Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Apologies & Tarte's F&F Sale (30% off!)

First of all, my apologies for disappearing for the past few days.  I was busy over the weekend with family stuff and then came down with a nasty stomach virus on Monday.  Fortunately, I'm feeling much better now but I'm so far behind on work that I'm feeling pretty stressed still.

So I thought I'd ease way back into posting with a friendly PSA about a seriously good sale...

Tarte's Friends and Family Sale starts today, which means you can score 30% off orders on  If you spend $40 or more, you can also get free shipping.  Just enter the code TARTEFF at checkout.  The sale is valid through August 4th.

So if you've been wanting to try Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushes or any of their fabulous foundations and concealers, now is the perfect time.

Happy shopping!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review -- L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder

 Last week, I posted a review on the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, and I mentioned that I'd seen some discussion about the new L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder being a possible dupe for it.

Since I've really come to like the Giorgio Armani Maestro but don't much like the $62 price tag, I was intrigued by the possibility and decided to pick up the Magic Nude Liquid Powder and see how it compared.

After using it for almost a full week, I have to say that I don't really think it's a dupe.

The concept is certainly the same, and the Magic Nude Liquid Powder definitely isn't a bad foundation but if you've tried the Maestro, I think you may be a little bit disappointed with it.

If you don't have the Masetro to compare it to, though, and don't have extremely oily or extremely dry skin, I think the Magic Nude Liquid Powder could be a really nice summer foundation for you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review -- Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments (Barely Brazen, Improper Copper, Breaking Bronze & Downtown Brown)

 Lately, I've gotten back into playing with my old school bareMinerals loose eye shadows.

I have a bunch of them that I've collected over the years -- they actually have their own drawer in my makeup collection -- but I have neglected in them recent years simply because they can be kind of messy and it just seems easier to grab some pressed shadows and go.

However, I remembered a shadow that I'd always loved (Night Owl, in case you're curious. I don't think it's available any longer, but it's a gorgeous shimmery cool brown.) and went digging around the drawer for it and found a bunch of other old favorites that I'd forgotten about as well.

And I'd forgotten how these loose pigment type shadows always seem to last longer on my lids than pressed shadows.

I mean, I use the same primer that I always do, but the loose shadows seems to stay bright and bold much longer than my other shadows.

Maybe that's just me.

So I was in the middle of my renewed love affair with loose shadows when I walked into CVS and saw the new Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review -- e.l.f. Pressed Mineral Eyeshadows (Heartbreaker, Disco DJ, Beauty Queen, & What's Your Name)

 Whenever e.l.f. has a big sale, I always take the opportunity to try a bunch of products.

Now, their prices are certainly reasonable to begin with, but when you're getting 30 percent off or more, they're practically steal.

I mean, the products are definitely hit and miss, but when you're spending $3 or less on them, you can feel free to experiment without worrying about wasting much money.

A while back, I decided to give the Pressed Mineral Eyeshadows a try, mainly because the colors seemed to call to me.

Yep, you guessed it -- they're mostly natural shades.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review -- Sephora Disney Collection Storybook Eyeshadow Palette Vol. 3 in Ariel

I wasn't sure if I should do this review because I know that at the time that I'm writing it, the Disney Collection Storybook Eyeshadow Palette Vol. 3 in Ariel is no longer available on the Sephora website.

However, the palette is also available in stores -- and inevitably at a jacked up price on eBay -- and I thought it might be helpful to share some photos, swatches and my opinions on the palette so you can decide if it's worth it for you to go hunting at all the Sephora locations in your area or pay an arm and a leg for it on eBay.

Now, before we get to the nitty gritty, I feel like I should put this review in proper context.

I'm not the biggest Disney fan in the world, so I wasn't all that tempted by the previous two Storybook Palettes despite how pretty they looked. Don't get me wrong -- I love "Cinderella" as much as the next girl (not so much with "Aladdin," if I'm being honest), but not enough that I really felt the need to purchase a collection of shadows in shades that I probably already have in my collection.

On the other hand, I absolutely, 100 percent, with all of my heart, adore "The Little Mermaid."

It may not be my favorite Disney movie ("Sleeping Beauty" holds that honor), but it is a close second and I dig Ariel like nobody's business. In fact, when I first decided to dye my hair red all those years ago, she was half of the inspiration for the change. (In case you're wondering, Scully/Gillian Anderson from the X-Files was the other half.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review -- Mary Kay Products (Mascara, Lash Primer, Cream Shadow & Lipstick)

Note: I did not pay for these products; I received them in an Influenster VoxBox. If you're unfamiliar with Influenster, it's a program where companies can share their products with a community of consumers, who then share their opinions about the products. You can find more information here (including how to sign up, if you're interested). That said, I assure you that these are my honest opinions.

I've wanted to try Mary Kay products for a while now, but somehow I never got around to it.

(Part of it, I think, has to do with the price -- not that the products are super expensive, but they seem a little pricey for a mail-order brand that I can't see or test the items ahead of time. I mean, I've purchased from Avon off and on over the years, so I'm not averse to the idea in general, but Avon's prices have always seemed more reasonable and they regularly run specials so it seems like there are always good deals to be had.)

So when I received the Influenster VoxBox featuring Mary Kay products last month, I was pretty excited.

It was a completely no-risk way to try the brand and see what I thought of the quality.

Sounds good, right?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review -- Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Back in March, when I went to Vegas, I won a little money on the slots.

I'm not a particularly lucky person, so it felt kind of like a jackpot to me.

And of course, like any good makeup junkie, I took my little windfall and used it to treat myself to products that I wouldn't normally shell out the money for.

So that's how I found myself buying my first ever Giorgio Armani makeup items.

What better way to spend slot winnings, right?

I knew that I wanted to try a foundation because I'm always curious how the ultra high end brands are going to perform, and at the time, the Maestro Foundation had just recently come out. All the marketing materials boasted about its unique texture and how it could perfect the skin without looking or feeling like traditional foundation.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review -- NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray

I'm kind of obsessed with setting sprays.

But not because I expect them to actually set my makeup and make it last all day.

I have zero hope of any product ever doing that for my super crazy, makeup-eating skin.

Instead, I use setting sprays to mist my face when I'm done with my makeup to eliminate any powderiness or cakey-looking spots.

So I suppose you could say that what I really like are finishing sprays -- it's just that most cosmetic companies call them setting sprays.

Tomato, Tomahto, right?

The one that I always seem to come back to, time after time, is M.A.C.'s Fix +, which is my favorite finishing spray because in addition to taking away any powderiness, it always seems to add a subtle radiance to my skin too, which I love. It's also a total multi-purpose product (I use it for applying shadows wet or shadows as liners all the time) so I feel like I get a lot of bang for my buck with it.

When I saw the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray, I thought that it might be a good alternative to Fix +.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

BE Beautifully Brillant Holiday Collection A/D #3 from QVC

Note: I apologize in advance for the poor lighting in these photos. It's been raining for at least some part of the day here all week, so I had to contend with dark, cloudy skies every time that I wanted to take pictures. You know, it wasn't until I started this blog that I realized just how terrible the lighting in my house is... I really should do something about that. I'm planning on getting a photo tent and light kit so if anyone has suggestions, feel free to share.

I’m always happy when the UPS man shows up at my door with the latest installment of a QVC TSV

This week, he delivered the latest kit in the bareMinerals Beautifully Brilliant Holiday Collection, which is called Fortune Found. While I get a lot of beauty-related TSVs, it always seems like the bareMinerals (and Tarte) ones are my favorites.  This one is another hit for me, though I do have a somewhat serious problem with it that I mentioned in my review of the second installment.

But let’s get on to the good stuff first, namely what’s in this kit.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review -- Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

With the BB and CC cream (I think there's even a DD cream out there now) craze sweeping the beauty industry, it's hardly a surprise that every company wants a product to throw out into the arena.

The only problem with that is that many U.S. companies are just taking tinted moisturizers and calling them BB creams ... or in some cases, taking a product that doesn't really have any of the properties of a BB cream and slapping the BB label on it.

Case in point: the Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm.

UD touts it as a multitasking product that hydrates, primes, protects, perfects and treats the skin.

I suppose it could do most of those things to some degree, but in my mind, the Naked Skin Beauty Balm is similar to the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer in that it's essentially a tinted foundation primer.

And if that's what you're in the market for, I'd recommend the Tarte BB Primer over the UD Naked Skin Beauty Balm for sure.

That's not to say that the Naked Skin Beauty Balm is a bad product.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review -- Tarte Exotic Eyes 5-in-1 Eye Shadow Palette

 I think it's pretty obvious at this point that I have a total weakness for natural eye shadow palettes.

Because seriously?  I have more than any one person needs... and yet I can't stop buying them.

So when a brand that I absolutely adore like Tarte comes out with one, I am a goner for sure.

The Exotic Eyes 5-in-1 Eye Shadow Palette is a nice, basic collection of natural eye shadow shades.

(Which is why I find the name somewhat of a misnomer.  I mean, when I hear exotic, I expect really bright or really dark colors... but maybe that's just me.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review -- L'Oreal Paris Magic Lumi Highlighter

The L'Oreal Paris Magic Lumi Highlighter is one of those face products that always call out to me.

Anything that promises to brighten, illuminate or make my skin glow is right up my alley.

L'Oreal claims that the unique liquid formula "highlights your complexion and boosts radiance for a subtle glow." They suggest dabbing it on dark areas for instant illumination or along your cheekbones and brow bone to make yourself look wide awake.

It's easy to believe that this product could work like that -- it certainly has a brightening effect on my complexion.  And it doesn't have any shimmer or glitter to make it look unnatural.

The liquid formula is nice and lightweight, so it blends easily into the skin and doesn't look cakey.

Unfortunately, the Magic Lumi Highlighter doesn't really work as a highlighter for my skin.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June 2013 Favorites

For many people, I'm sure what I'm about to say sounds like crazy talk but I've always traveled to the beat of my own drum so...

I'm not really a summer person.

There, I said it.

I hate the heat.  I hate the humidity.  I hate sweating.

I actually prefer the winter, if you can believe that.

So I'm happy that June's over.  It means the summer is like a quarter over (well, according to my admittedly screwy calculations...).

(Of course, July and August promise to be even hotter and sticker but ...)

But despite my distaste for months like June, I still had a few favorites that got me through.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Review -- M.A.C. Tropical Taboo Lip Products

In the past couple of months, I've bought quite a few lip products from M.A.C. limited edition collections.

They seem to be my weakness when it comes to these never-ending stream of limited edition products.

Unfortunately, with almost all of them, by the time I got the products, they were sold out online and I didn't want to do reviews on products that wouldn't be easy for folks to get their hands on.

With the most recent collection (I think it's the most recent anyway; there are so many that I may have missed one along the way), Tropical Taboo, though, the two products that I picked up are actually still available on the M.A.C. website , so I'm not too late with my review.

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