Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Charlie wishes you a very happy holiday season too.

I know I've been MIA recently -- I can only blame holiday-related insanity.

But I wanted to make sure to wish everyone who reads this blog a very happy holiday, no matter what you celebrate.

I will be back very soon with reviews of a bunch of great, new products -- and I suspect Santa's bringing me a few more treasures because my Christmas list consisted of almost nothing but makeup goodies.

I hope you all get some fun gifts, eat yummy food, and enjoy time with family and friends.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review -- The Balm Mont Balm Eyeshadow Palette

I have been absolutely obsessed with wine, burgundy, and/or cranberry eye shadow lately.

It makes sense, I suppose, because those kinds of rich, dark red shades scream fall and winter, and I really like the way the warm tones contrast with my blue eyes.

Whatever the reason, I've been using them like crazy so when I saw that The Balm had a new quad at Kohl's that features a gorgeous cranberry shade, I had to pick it up.

(Of course, it's The Balm, so I likely would have picked it up regardless of the color selection but ...)

The Balm's Mont Balm Eyeshadow Palette is an adorable ski-themed quad with the usual fun, retro artwork on the packaging.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review -- Make Up For Ever Artist Palette

When it comes to Make Up For Ever, my experience is mostly with their face products.

I've tried many of their foundations, concealers and powders over the years and love pretty much all of them -- the MUFE HD Foundation has pretty much achieved holy grail status for me, actually. But despite the fact that the brand's other products have a pretty stellar reputation, I haven't tried much else.

I have a couple of their old shadow singles, but that's it.

Still, when I heard a few months back that they were reformulating their eye shadows, I was intrigued. MUFE describes the new shadows as a gel-powder formula with a silky texture that makes them super easy to apply and blend and ultra-fine, atomized pigments for intense, super-saturated color.

Sounds pretty great, right?

So I had to give these a go, but because I wanted to get the most bang for my buck, I decided to try their Artist Palette, which features the new shadow formula.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review -- Lancome Jason Wu Collection Color Design 6-Pan Palette in Dark Romance

It's been years since I tried a Lancome eyeshadow -- I currently only have one single in my collection and I've probably had it for at least four years --so when they had their Friends & Family sale recently, I decided that it was time to take the plunge ... again.

(I promised myself I wasn't going to buy much before the end of the year, but I caved in the face of all the amazing Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Friends & Family sales. I am weak, weak, weak.)

I was just going to buy a single shadow or two when I saw the Jason Wu Collection Color Design 6-Pan Palette in Dark Romance and I was so drawn to the colors that I had to give it go.

The palette is apparently inspired by Jason Wu's 2014 Fall Collection and Lancome's website describes it as combining "rich autumn colors with hints of metallic glam for on and off the runway looks."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review -- L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paints

A few months back, I bought a Too Faced kit from Sephora that contained one of the Melted Liquified Long-Wear Lipstick and though I'd seen some pretty good reviews of the product, I wasn't overly impressed.

I didn't hate it or anything, but I just didn't think it was worth the $21 price tag that the full-size Melteds go for.

Especially when there's an incredibly similar product that costs a fraction of the price and performs just as well.

The L.A.Girl Glazed Lip Paints are very similar to Too Faced's Melted Lipsticks in terms of pigmentation and texture, but you can pick them up for $4 each.

Pretty amazing, right?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review -- L'Oreal Colour Riche Dual Effects Eyeshadow

Recently, when I was trying to organize my oversized makeup collection, I realized that I really don't have too many drugstore eye shadows.

There's no real reason for that. I'm a big fan of drugstore makeup -- I actually feel like some of my favorite new foundations in the past year or so have been from drugstore brands and God knows I love me plenty of drugstore lipsticks.

But with the exception of a bunch of e.l.f. shadows and a few other random brands, eye shadows from the drugstore haven't really made their way into my makeup bag.

So a few months back when I saw that L'Oreal had come out with a new line of shadow quads, I decided to give them a try. The Colour Riche Dual Effects Eyeshadows each feature four shades, which are meant to deliver rich color and smooth, velvet-y texture.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review -- Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee

I absolutely love cream blush.

Especially in the winter when my skin starts to look seriously dry and dull -- because instead of just sitting on your cheeks like powder blush, the cream variety blends into your skin for a really natural, glowy look.

I just always think that it provides such a fresh, healthy look.

My cream blush obsession has gotten pretty out of control this year, actually, so I've tried a bunch.

I was particularly intrigued by the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelees because their consistency is somewhat unique -- it's kind of a cross between a cream and a gel, which makes for an interesting texture. It also contains 50 percent pure coconut water, so it's hydrating too.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review -- Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipsticks

As a rule, I don't like matte lipsticks.

Not only do they tend to be drying and feel uncomfortable, they seem to highlight every crack, line, and dry patch that you have on your lips so they just require too much effort to make work.

But I do kind of like the way they look, particularly in fall and winter and especially when they're in darker shades. There's just something really bold and glamorous about them.

Still, I'd sworn off buying matte lipsticks a long time ago because the ones I did have just wound up collecting dust in the back of my drawer. When I started reading and hearing really positive things about Maybelline's Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipsticks, though, I thought maybe it was time to reconsider mattes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review -- IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette

About a year ago, I bought the  IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette and promptly fell in love.

The palette offers 14 of the most beautiful, soft, easy-to-use matte shadows I've ever come across, plus a  transforming pearl shade that you can layer over the mattes to give them a shimmery finish.

I'm not really sold on that somewhat gimmicky aspect of the palette (because you could use any shimmery shade to give mattes more dimension and the pearl shade does slightly alter the actual color of the shadows), but it is a lovely palette -- it's been one of my favorites this year for sure.

So when I heard that IT Cosmetics was coming out with another palette in the line -- the IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette -- there was no doubt I would give it a try. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review -- The Balm Nude'Dude Eyeshadow Palette & Body Builder Mascara Set

The Balm's Nude'Tude Palette is one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow palettes, hands down.

I love the shadow formula, the range of colors and finishes, and, of course, the adorable artwork on the package.

Given how much I adore that baby, I wouldn't really think it possible for The Balm to ever top it.

But they decided to try with a sequel to the fabulous Nude'Tude Palette, the Nude'Dude Eyeshadow Palette -- and of course, I had no choice but to pick one up.

As far as I know, the palette is only available at Kohl's at the moment as part of a set that also includes a tube of the What's Your Type? Body Builder Mascara.

(But the copy on Kohl's website refers to the set as providing a "sneak peek" of the Nude'Dude Palette so I assume it's going to be available in other locations, including The Balm's website, shortly.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review -- The Balm Balmsai Eyeshadow and Brow Palette With Shaping Stencils

For anyone who's been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love The Balm.

If you're new to the blog, The Balm is one of those brands that I just sort of "automatically" buy each new product that comes out regardless of whether I need it or not.

That's partly because they make some pretty fantastic products, but also because I cannot resist the adorable artwork on their packaging -- I just love the whole retro vibe of it.

So when I saw that they had a new eyeshadow palette coming out (they've actually had a few come out recently, so be on the lookout for some other reviews in the coming weeks), I ordered it as soon as it was available.

There is something unique about The Balm's Balmsai Palette, though -- it's actually being marketed as an eye shadow and brow palette, so it comes with shaping stencils to help create a perfect brow arch and a perfect winged liner.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Product Alert -- Upcoming Tarte Sweet Indulgences 3-in-1 Collection TSV from QVC

When I fall off the wagon, I fall hard.

So despite my best efforts to cut back on QVC beauty TSV purchases, I caved and bought the upcoming bareMinerals holiday kit and then right after that indulgence, I went and ordered the upcoming Tarte Sweet Indulgences 3-in-1 Collection TSV.

I couldn't help it, though.

It's just too good a value.

For just $59.94 (plus s/h), you get three lovely boxes full of goodies, so Tarte suggests you can break them up and give them as three separate gifts.

You totally can, I think -- unless you're greedy like me and want to keep all of the treasures for yourself.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Product Alert -- Upcoming bareMinerals Candlelight Glow TSV from QVC

I've been trying to cut back on the beauty TSVs that I purchase from QVC.

That's because I almost always wind up purchasing them on the auto-delivery plan, which means there's another two or three kits coming in the future so the makeup can really start piling up.

And you know me -- I don't really need any help accumulating the beauty products.

But at the holidays, the beauty TSVs from QVC are just always so tempting and I couldn't resist the bareMinerals Candlelight Glow 8-Piece Holiday Collection.

The TSV will be available on November 24th for $49.98 plus s&h, but I ordered early and just got my kit so I thought I'd give a rundown in case anyone is trying to decide whether to purchase this one or not.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review -- The Balm Cindy-Lou Manizer

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know I love The Balm like nobody's business.

Whenever they put out a new product or palette, I buy it pretty much as soon as it's available.

A year or so ago, they came out with a new product in the Manizer highlighter line in a peachy shade, I was super excited.

The Mary-Lou Manizer is one of my all-time favorite highlighters, so it was kind of a no-brainer to get the new one.

But I actually showed a little restraint and didn't buy the Cindy-Lou Manizer when it was first introduced.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review -- Lipstick Queen Saint, Sinner, and Butterfly Ball Lipsticks

Over the past year, I've become absolutely obsessed with nude lipsticks.

I'd always sort of liked them, but now, nude is probably my favorite shade category for lip products. I mean, I probably wear a nude lip 4 or 5 times a week... and that's being conservative.

In my quest for the perfect nude -- because makeup junkies are always on the hunt for the perfect something or other, aren't we? -- I finally got around to trying a few Lipstick Queen Lipsticks.

I'd read quite a bit about the brand the past few years,and I definitely was intrigued, but it wasn't until I realized how many fabulous versions of nude lipsticks the range offers.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review -- Urban Decay Vice 3 Eyeshadow Palette

I admitted in my last post that I'm an eye shadow palette addict.

I am particularly bad when it comes to limited edition items.

In all honesty, though, that doesn't just apply to palettes. As soon as you tell me something's only available for a limited time, I panic and make rash decisions about whether I need it or not.

In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes.

I'm sure fellow makeup collectors understand.

That's what happened with the Urban Decay Vice 3 Eyeshadow Palette.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review -- Stila Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palette in Mind

I have an eye shadow palette addiction.

There -- I admitted it.

They, along with foundation and nude/peachy lipsticks, seem to be the makeup products that I can never resist.

So I've been interested in Stila's relatively new Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palettes for a while now... and I let myself give in.

There were a few that looked good to me, but I ultimately went with the Mind Palette, which features 12 matte eye shadows in natural shades, because I figured I would get the most use out of it.

And I think I made the right decision because the reviews that I've seen for the other Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palettes haven't been very good.

But for the most part, I think the Mind Palette is pretty nice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review -- Too Faced I'll Stop The World and Melt With You Fall 2014 Full Face Collection

The other day, I finally got around to organizing my desk after months of intending to do it.

I seriously will stack file folder after file folder on top of one another until they form a pile so high that every time I bump against the edge of my desk, I'm worried that they're going to topple over.

I'm not the most organized person in the world, that's for sure.

But I was rewarded for finally tiding up because among my mess of folders and junk mail, I found a Sephora gift card that still had a little money on it.

Naturally, I decided that it was a sign that I should treat myself to a little shopping trip -- as if I ever need any convincing.

I didn't just want to load up on more palettes, though, so I decided to look at some of the value kits instead.

And I came across a pretty interesting one, The Too Faced I'll Stop The World and Melt With You Fall 2014 Full Face Collection.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review -- Too Faced Country Nashville Nudes Eye Shadow Collection

I've been a bad girl.

I tried to resist the latest group of Too Faced eye shadow palettes.  Really I did.

I already have a ton of palettes and I know that there are going to be tons of holiday kits and sets available in the coming weeks and months that I'm going to want, so there's really no way to justify purchasing much anything right now.

So even though the Country Nashville Nudes Eye Shadow Collection was totally calling my name, I tried to talk myself out of it.

And I held firm for a couple of months... but then, I was in Ulta and I saw the palette in person and I just couldn't resist anymore.

It was a total impulse buy.

The Country Nashville Nudes Palette comes in a tin packaging like many of Too Faced's other smaller eye shadow collections. The artwork is adorable, featuring lassos and little stars to fit the country theme.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review -- Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eye Shadow Palette

I always used to think that I hated matte eye shadows.

That's probably because I thought that they were boring or had used too many that were chalky and hard to blend.

In recent years, though, I've bought so many matte-only palettes that I absolutely love and find myself reaching for on the regular.

Of the five or so that I have, the Urban Decay Naked Basics is probably the one that I'd recommend first -- it's a nice compact little palette, with a reasonable price tag as far as high-end products go, and six basic shades that everyone probably needs.

The shadow formula is also top-notch -- smooth, creamy, and easy to blend.

I use at least one shade from it on a near daily basis.

Of course, because the original Naked Basics Palette was so successful, Urban Decay decided to come out with a second one, the Naked 2 Basics Palette -- and of course, I had to have it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review -- e.l.f. Essential 18 Piece Eyeshadow Palette

I love splurging on high end makeup items that make me feel a little extra pampered, but there's something really thrilling about finding budget-friendly items that perform just as well as their higher end counterparts.

And it helps stretch your beauty dollar a little further, which is always a good thing too.

e.l.f. is a brand that often surprises with those kind of beauty bargains, and their new Essential 18 Piece Eyeshadow Palette is the latest serious value in the line worth checking out.

Because it's just $8 for 16 shadows that are really nice and easy to use.

The palette is part of their Beauty School offerings, and it really is ideal for anyone who needs a foolproof collection of shadows for school -- but it's also perfect for work or any occasion when you want mostly soft, natural makeup.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review -- Makeup Geek Vegas Lights Palette and Pigments

I have wanted to try Makeup Geek eye shadows for a long, long time now.

Partly because I've watched Marlena for years on YouTube and absolutely adore her, partly because I like to support small businesses, and partly because I've seen nothing but rave reviews for the shadows.

I've held back only because I was seriously overwhelmed by all of the options and couldn't seem to narrow down my choices to just a handful -- I seriously can't tell you how many times I filled my cart up with like 20+ shadows and then said to myself, you can't get that many the first time... but I couldn't bear to leave any of the shades out so I just didn't order anything.

When I saw that she was coming out with a Vegas themed collection, though, I knew it was a sign -- I am kind of obsessed with Vegas, so I'm a sucker for products that have anything to do with Sin City (I own MAC's Vegas Volt Lipstick even though the color isn't the best match for my skin tone just because of the name.), which made this the perfect time to try out some Makeup Geek products.

I picked up the Vegas Lights Palette and two pigments from the ccollection Vegas Lights and Nightlife.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Eyeshadow Picks -- bareMinerals Ready 4.0 in The Bronze Age and Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Photo Focus Eyeshadow in Desert Festival

I am a firm believer that you should wear whatever makeup shades you like no matter what your skin tone or what season it is.

Wear what makes you happy on any given day is basically my philosophy.

But I will admit that I do tend to gravitate toward certain shades depending on the time of year -- I love pastel eye shadow and nail polish in the spring, for example, and cobalt blue eyeliner in the summer.

For the fall, I love warm bronze, brown, and orange shades that remind me of falling leaves -- they also bring out my blue eyes like nobody's business, so that doesn't hurt either.

If you're  a fan of autumnal shades when the weather starts to cool down like me, I thought I would share a couple of eye shadow quads/quints that I think are perfect for the fall -- and I've got one high end and one drugstore option, so there should be something to fit any budget.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review -- NYX Butter Lipsticks

I'm a big fan of the NYX Butter Glosses ever since I tried them last year.

So when I saw that they were adding lipsticks (and balms) to the line, I knew that I had to give them a try.

In general, I much prefer lipsticks that have a creamy, moisturizing feel to long-wearing lipsticks that tend to feel dry. I'd rather have to reapply more often than have to deal with dry, cracked lips.

The NYX Butter Lipsticks are supposed to be a lightweight formula that melts into the lips while still delivering vivid color -- and honestly, I feel like they absolutely live up to those claims.

I purchased two of the 22 shades that are available: Pops, which is kind of a mauve-y my-lips-but-better shade, and Candy Buttons, which is bright peachy pink.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review -- Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation

My skin's been acting a little strange this summer.

I used to have seriously oily skin and all the problems that came with it, like regular breakouts, foundation melting off my face, and greasy shine pretty much two minutes after I washed my face.

But since I turned 30 and started using Retin-A, I've gotten drier and drier. In the winter, it's not usual for me to have a flaky patch or two that requires a heavy-duty moisturizer to get it back in shape.

When warmer weather comes around, my skin definitely veers more toward normal, so I don't need a hydrating foundation and can use a face product that's more mattifying.

This summer, though, my skin has actually been oily -- with the major shine and melting foundation to go with it.

It's weird because I haven't changed my skincare routine at all and it hasn't been a particularly hot summer here in NY so I don't know why it would suddenly become an oil slick.  But whatever the reason, I've been relying on thinner foundations with a matte finish to keep me looking as fresh as possible.

There are a ton of thin, liquid-y foundations that melt into the skin for a bare skin look on the market now -- I have the Giorigio Armani Maestro Foundation, L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder, and bareMinerals Bare Skin Foundation, and I like all of them to varying degrees. (In the past, the GA and L'Oreal ones were a little too drying for my skin, though now they cooperate pretty well with my skin. The bareMinerals foundation seems to work with my skin no matter how it's acting, so it's my hands down favorite.)

The Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation seems to follow a similar concept.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review -- Benefit Rockateur Blush

I wanted Benefit's Rockateur Blush from pretty much the moment it was introduced two or so years ago.

But it's $28 and the blush drawers in my makeup collection have been overflowing for a while now, so I told myself that I couldn't justify the purchase.

And unlike so many times in the past when I didn't listen to my own advice, I actually held fast and didn't buy it, even though I wanted it desperately.

But then a couple of months ago, I found myself in the Benefit section at Sephora and that damn little box just screamed my name. And honestly, I kind of felt like I'd earned it because I'd waited so long to get it and I'd actually gotten rid of several powder blushes in my collections.

So I bought it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Review -- elf Studio HD Blushes

Over the past year or so, I've gotten really into cream blushes.

I suppose that it makes sense because they have such a fresh, dewy look on the cheeks that I really appreciate now that my skin has become drier.

Of course, some days, I use a cream blush as a base and layer a powder blush on top of it to really make the color last all day.

However I'm using them, cream blushes really rock my world these days.

But I was still a little reluctant to try the elf Studio HD Blushes, which have been around for a while now. That's because a few years back, Makeup Forever had a similar type product and I got a deluxe sample with purchase at Sephora and just wasn't particularly impressed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review -- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

I am a total concealer junkie.

There, I admitted it.

(Though, really, in all honesty, I'm a junkie of pretty much every makeup item under the sun. But concealers seem to pull me in more than others. Well, concealers and foundations.  And eye shadow palettes. And nude lipsticks. And highlighters. And peachy blushes. I should probably stop now...)

So I am always ready to try the latest and greatest offering in the concealer in arena.

For the most part, I only really use concealer under my eyes. Every so often, I'll dab some on a breakout or some other discoloration, but on a daily basis, it's my dark circles that I'm trying to cover up.

That means I want a concealer that's a little bit brightening and creamy and moisturizing enough to blend nicely under the eyes without creasing up a storm. My dark circles aren't that bad, so light to medium coverage is all I really need.

Now, that doesn't seem like such a tall order, but those kind of concealers are actually hard to find.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review -- Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Blush & Bronzer

There are times when I'm kind of in a rush to put my makeup on -- I love my sleep so sometimes I may hit the snooze button once or twice and wind up screwing myself out of precious makeup time.

On days like that, it always helps to have products that do double duty so you can eliminate a step in your routine.

If you're a fan of highlighting, the Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Blushes and Bronzers are those type of product.

These are mosaic powders that features multiple shimmery shades that deliver a pretty sheen along with pretty color.

I purchased two of the blushes in Pink Rose and Nude and one of the bronzers in Light Bronze.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review (for Fair Skinned Folks!) -- MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10

I've always been a fan of MAC.

I don't buy many items from the brand these days, though -- mainly because I have all of the items that I really want from the permanent line and they just put out too many damn limited edition collections for me to keep up with (except for the occasional one I can't resist like Marilyn Monroe or Archie.)

But, as much as I like MAC, I've never been a big fan of their foundations.

It's not much a formula issue because they certainly have enough to choose from. As a super fair girl, I could never find a color match that worked with skin tone. I tried both NC15 and NW15, and depending on the foundation formula, they were either too dark or too orange.

I have plenty of other foundations that I like so I made my peace with the fact that I couldn't use MAC foundations.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review -- Maybelline The Nudes Palette

For several years now, nude or natural eye shadow palettes have been all the rage in the makeup world.

I totally get it -- they're completely wearable and usually easy to use.

Even if you're a fan of more colorful looks, it helps to have one of these natural palettes in your collection so you have plenty of transition and highlight shades to complement your bolder shadows.

But while you can't really turn around in Sephora or Ulta without finding a natural palette from Urban Decay, LORAC, Tarte, etc., there hasn't been a drugstore version -- and by that I mean, an actual palette, not just a quad or duo of pretty nude or natural shades.

Maybelline obviously saw an opportunity to corner that market and have introduced their The Nudes Palette as a budget-friendly nude eye shadow palette.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review -- Maybelline Eye Studio Color Plush Silk Eye Shadow in Mad for Mauve

A few months back, I purchased a couple of the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Plush Silk Eye Shadow Quads that were part of Maybelline's spring collection.

I didn't bother reviewing those because they were limited edition and somewhat difficult to find.

But I was impressed enough with those quads to purchase one from the permanent line, Mad for Mauve, and I figure that it's worth doing a review because it's pretty widely available.

The Eye Studio Color Plush Eye Shadows have a really interesting texture -- they're pretty soft, but not so soft that you have to worry about fallout. That's because they have almost a creamy consistency so they just blend easily across your lid.

The quads are available in 12 different shades, and while they were a couple of pretty natural collections that I probably would have gotten more regular use out of, I went with Mad for Mauve because it didn't seem like I had too many dupes for the shades in my collection.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review -- Rimmel London Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tints

I've been a big fan of cream and liquid blush products over the past few years.

They tend to be a little sheerer than powder blushes and they blend a little more seamlessly with the skin, so they can look seriously natural -- which is why I especially love them for my minimal makeup days.

But they're not just for no-makeup makeup days -- you can build them up for a more intense look or layer a powder blush over them for a flush that lasts all day.

I haven't found too many cream blushes at the drugstore that I like all that much, though, which is disappointing because I'd like to find a budget-friendly option so I could have cream blushes in a wider range of shades without seriously breaking the bank.

Enter the Rimmel London Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tints.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review -- CoverGirl Tru Blend Liquid Makeup

There have been a ton of new (or reformulated) foundation at the drugstore lately, and like a kid in a candy store, I just can't resist trying as many as I can get my hands.

Foundation is one of those products that I don't feel bad about splurging on -- because it's such an important part of your overall look and finding one with top notch ingredients that cooperate with your skin can sometimes mean shelling out big bucks -- but when I can find budget-friendly options that work well, I'm always excited.

A few months back, I picked up the CoverGirl Tru Blend Liquid Makeup, which I believe is a reformulated version of their old Tru Blend Foundation (which, for the record, I never tried) -- and I've got to admit, I didn't like it much.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review -- Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil

I don't mind having to use multiple makeup products.

I like to take my time when I'm doing my makeup -- most days, it's the only time I have to sort of shut off my brain and just relax -- so it doesn't really matter if it takes 3 or 13 steps.

But there are definitely times when I'm in a rush or just not feeling all that great and I want to get through my makeup as quickly as possible.

One step that always seems to trip me up on those days is concealing.

That's because when I find a concealer that's hydrating, brightening, and lightweight enough for under the eyes, it doesn't cover acne, scars, and other discolorations on the rest of my face.

Or I find a heavy duty concealer that's got enough coverage to hide my breakouts, but it's way too cakey to put under my eyes without worries of it creasing withing minutes.

So that's why I usually wind up using two different concealers -- one under the eyes and one on the rest of my face.

Now, it's certainly not a big deal but it would be really nice to have one concealer that I could throw on everywhere and be done with it.

It seems like Urban Decay has answered my prayers because their 24/7 Concealer Pencil is just the kind of versatile concealer that I've been looking for.

As its name implies, it comes in a pencil form, but it's a thicker pencil so a couple of quick swipes beneath the eyes and dots on redness or dark spots and you're covered.

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in CIA
I've tried pencil concealers before and I always found them to be either too creamy (so they disappear as soon as you try to blend them in) or too dry (so you can't blend them in at all).

As Goldilocks would say, the 24/7 is just right.

It's creamy enough to easily blend under the eyes, but it doesn't disappear when I blend into other spots on my face. The consistency is great too -- it's lightweight so it doesn't crease under the eyes, but there's still enough coverage to hide most blemishes.

It comes in 8 shades, and if you're super fair like I am, you'll be happy to hear that the lightest shade, CIA, works perfectly with my pale skin.

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in CIA
The one thing I don't love about the 24/7 Concealer Pencil is that it has to be sharpened -- and you need a sharpener that can handle thicker type pencils. The Urban Decay Grindhouse is perfect for it, but if you don't have that sharpener, you might have to purchase a new one to accommodate the pencil.

Otherwise, I wholeheartedly recommend the concealer -- to pretty much all skin types too.

The pencil retails for $19 at the Urban Decay website, Sephora, Ulta, and anywhere else where you can buy Urban Decay.

Have you tried the Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil? Are you a fan? What's your favorite concealer for using under your eyes *and* on the rest of your face?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review -- LORAC Pro Eye Shadow Palette 2

I'm a makeup fiend -- anyone who reads this blog knows that is the truth.

But my self-control and will power are especially low when it comes to eye shadow palettes.

Which is really silly when you think about it because powdered products last so long and when you've got a ton of shadows, you're not likely to hit pan on very many of them and really how many completely unique shades show up in a single palette.

But still, every time new palettes comes out, I'm practically throwing my money at the company and begging them to take it.

I've been a little better lately -- I've loved the looks of the new Too Faced palettes like the Nashville Nudes and Rock n Roll collections, but I resisted because I know I probably have more than a few dupes for those shadows in my collection already.

When it came to the LORAC Pro Eye Shadow Palette 2, I went back and forth a few times.

Initially, I was certain that I had to have it. Then I thought that maybe it wasn't a necessity. Then I went back to needing it desperately before being certain I could live without it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review -- The Balm How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream Palette

I'm a pretty big fan of cream blush.

In the fall and winter, I'll wear it all by itself for a fresh, dewy look.

In the spring and summer, I'll use it as a base for powdered blush so my cheek color stays in place all day.

And it can be pretty versatile too, because when I'm in a rush and just want a simple look, I'll rub a little on my lips and call it day.

But finding a cream blush with the right formula can be tricky.

If it's too dry, it's impossible to blend into the skin and goes on all streaky.

If it's too creamy, it blends in a little too easily, isn't very pigmented, and doesn't last all that long.

You need something that falls right in between the two extremes to find a really good cream blush.

The Balm pretty much nails it with their How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream Palette.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review -- Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation

Note: My apologies for disappearing for the past week. Charlie was neutered last week, so I was all about making sure he took it easy during his recovery (which didn't really happen because he is constantly jumping, playing or getting into some type of trouble or other). He's pretty much back to normal now, though, so I should be back on schedule this week. I've got a ton of reviews coming up for products that I'm really excited about -- this one included. 

When you're a beauty junkie like I am, you don't have too many qualms about spending a little extra for a quality product.

But there's always something seriously satisfying when you find an inexpensive product that delivers just as well as its high end counterparts.

Particularly when it's a foundation.

Because let's face, finding a good foundation is always tricky business.

Now, my skin is usually normal to dry so it doesn't get on too well with matte foundations. They can look cakey, cling to dry patches, and just make my face look too flat. That's why, as a rule, I prefer foundations with a dewy or luminous finish.

In the summer, though, the rules change a bit. My skin gets a little more oily and I sweat at the drop of a hat, so a foundation with a matte finish works much better for me -- and can usually last a little longer than my usual moisturizing foundations.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review -- LORAC Alter Ego Lipsticks

Over the past year or so, I feel like so many major makeup brands have come out with a new lipstick formula.

Two of my personal favorites have been the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks and the Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks.

They feels super smooth and comfortable on the lips and are available in a wide range of colors, so there's plenty to like about them.

When I heard that LORAC had come out with a new line of lipsticks, the Alter Ego Lipsticks, I initially resisted the urge to try them -- I have plenty of lipsticks and don't really need any new ones -- but then I saw a set of 3 of the lipsticks on sale at for $24 and free shipping when a single lipstick goes for $16 so I bit the bullet and ordered a set.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review -- Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye on Neutral Shimmer Palette

Several months back, I reviewed the Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye on Neutral Matte Palette  and pretty much declared that everyone should have it.

The palette includes just about every natural/neutral eye shadow shade that you could ever need in an amazing matte formula that makes them super versatile.

It's rare that a day goes by that I don't use at least one shadow in the palette in my eye look.

Because I loved that palette so much, I decided that I had to give the Sonia Kashuk Eye on Couture Eye on Neutral Shimmer Palette a try -- because it's pretty much the same concept at the matte palette except all the shadows have a shimmery finish.

And I love me some shimmer.

Besides, because the matte formula was so good, I figured the shimmer shadows would be just as good -- because it always seems to be easier to get shimmery, metallic or satin finish shadows right than matte, doesn't it?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Review -- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

Last year, I fell in love with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders.

They're kind of a difficult product to describe -- I use them mainly as finishing powders, but depending on the shade that you use, they can also function as highlighters or even light bronzers.

My favorite Ambient Lighting Powder is the Ethereal. It is the perfect fit for my pale skin and just seems to create this amazing soft focus effect on my face that makes my skin look far better than just about any other powder in my collection.

It's a must-have for me now.

So when I heard that Hourglass was coming out with Ambient Lighting Blushes, I knew that I would have to give them a try.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Recent Favorites

It has ages since I last did a favorites post.

I get so caught up in reviewing new products that I sometimes forget that sharing what "older" products I'm loving can be just as helpful.

(I'm going to try not to go so long between favorites posts in the future -- and maybe mix in a few other non-review posts here and there to keep things interesting.)

But since it's been so long since my last Favorites, I'm going to share some things that I've been loving for the past few months or so.  To keep it simple and quick, I'll break them down by category so if you're not interested in a particular type of product, you can just skip over it.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Review -- Pixi Shade Quartettes in Shades of Nude, Shades of Taupe, and Shades of Peach

I haven't tried a ton of products from Pixi, but every time I do come across one, I'm usually impressed.

So when Pixi was recently available on HauteLook, I picked up a few things to play with.

The Shade Quartettes caught me eye because the concept intrigued me (and also because I'm pretty sure I saw the fabulous Lisa Eldridge use one in one of her tutorials once upon a time) -- they are tone-on-tone wheels of coordinated eye shadows meant to create the perfect natural eye.

I love natural eye makeup so these seemed like an ideal addition to my makeup bag.

I picked up three of the quartettes -- Shades of Nude, Shades of Taupe, and Shades of Peach.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: e.l.f. Studio Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon

I've been singing the praises of plenty of e.l.f. products lately, but we all know that the line is full of hits and misses.

And while I've been lucky enough to come across quite a few of their hits lately, I've also encountered a pretty huge miss.

In theory, the Studio Waterproof Eyeliner Crayons should be a great product.

It's versatile enough to use as an eyeliner or blended out as a shadow, and the formula is supposed waterproof and smudge-proof so it stays in place all day.

They're also twist-up pencils so you don't have to bother with sharpening them, and they come in seven shades that range from nude to black.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review -- City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon and Pink Grapefruit

This blog is a testament to the fact that I am pretty much obsessed with all things makeup and beauty-related.

And because I'm so obsessed, I tend to think that I know every brand that's in existence.

But some do manage to slip through the cracks.

Several months back, I received a product from City Color Cosmetics in my ipsy bag

I'd never heard of the brand so I really had no expectations for the item, the Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon, so imagine my surprise when I tried it and realized that it was pretty amazing.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review -- Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lipsticks

It seems like everyone is always on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick.

That's partly because we don't all necessarily have the same idea of what makes a nude lip color (Is it a pale, concealer like shade? Is it a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade?) and finding a shade that really works with your skin tone can be serious challenge.

When you're fair like me, it can be especially tough since nude lipsticks tend to be super light, which can leave you looking washed out in a hurry.

I was really excited to try Maybelline's new Color Sensational The Buffs Lipsticks because the collection contains 10 shades that range from super pale to super dark so I figured that there had to at least one color in the bunch that would work for me.

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