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.

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