Friday, December 18, 2015

Product Alert -- The Balm In theBalm of Your Hand Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Palette and the Manizer Sisters AKA The Luminizers Palette

Since I tried my first Shady Lady Palette more than five years ago, I've been in love with The Balm.

Not only is their packaging adorable, their products are almost always fantastic, so an obsession was borne.

That means whenever the brand comes out with a new palette, I buy it, no questions asked. Their holiday palettes, in particular, are my weakness.

This year, though, I was prepared to skip them -- not because they didn't look great, but because they were "greatest hits" type palettes and I already had all of the products in them. 

I have a modicum of self-control and common sense.

But then, The Balm had a 50% off sale on Black Friday, and for half price, I couldn't resist completing my palette collection so I bought In theBalm of Your Hand Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Palette and The Manizer Sisters AKA The Luminizers Palette.

I'm only human, after all.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Product Review -- Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette

Makeup companies must see me coming a million miles away -- because I'm such a sucker whenever they add a new palette to a certain line for the brand.

That's why I always buy the Urban Decay Naked Palettes as soon as they come out, for example.

If I like one, I'm always ready to like a new one.

So when I heard about the new Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette, I knew that I'd have to have it. I love both the original Chocolate Bar and the Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palettes -- both because the shadows are pretty great and also because of the scent. It's amazing! -- so I was definitely willing to take a chance on the new one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Product Review -- Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made Palette

When you're a makeup junkie, it's pretty difficult to find a palette that's really unique when compared to the rest of your collection.

That's why the Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made Palette stood out to me -- it's really unlike anything else I own.

Because while it features some neutral or natural type shades (like so many of the palettes that I own), it also features bolder or more dramatic shades -- and yet everything shadow in the palette is wearable, even for someone like me who has very fair skin and doesn't do well with brighter shades.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review -- Tarte Tartelette 2 In Bloom Palette

I absolutely love the original Tarte Tartelette Palette.

It's an all-matte collection that features a pretty outstanding formula, so it's extremely easy to use. The shade range is somewhat cool too, which makes for a nice change because I feel like many matte palettes veer toward the warmer end of the spectrum.

All in all, I think it's a great addition to anyone's collection.

So I was really excited to hear that Tarte was coming out with another palette in the Tarlette line.

The Tartelette 2 In Bloom Palette is probably even more versatile than the original, though, because in addition to its outstanding matte formula, it features three luster shades so you can add a touch of shimmer to your look.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review -- Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

(My apologies for disappearing for the past week or so. I've gotten caught up in holiday-related craziness. 

To make up for my absence, I'm going to try to have reviews up everyday this week for some of the more exciting palettes that are available at the moment  -- so if you've got some last minute holiday shopping to do or you're putting the finishing touches on your own wishlist, hopefully you get some ideas.)

Right off the bat, I have to confess that I've always been a pretty big No Doubt fan.

Back in the day, I had all of their albums and could recite pretty much all of their lyrics from memory. Even today, I have "Just a Girl" and "Spiderwebs" on one of my favorite playlists for running.

And while Gwen Stefani's style is not really something that would ever really work for me, I've always admired it.

So when I heard that she was working on a palette with Urban Decay, I knew I was going to buy it.

It didn't even matter what it looked it -- it was going to be mine.

And I've got to say, I'm totally in love with the UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette. I've used it almost exclusively from the day I got it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Product Alert -- Buxom Pout Out Loud and Tarte Deluxe Amazonian Butter Lipstick Set

When it comes to choosing makeup gift sets for friends and family at the holidays, I always feel like lip product collections are often the best option.

That's because even the people I know who aren't as into makeup as I am usually use a lipstick or lip gloss at least occasionally and enjoy having several shades to choose from.

I picked up a couple of fun lip kits from Sephora and Ulta recently that I think would make great gifts or stocking stuffers for family and friends -- or provide a good chance to try out some interesting lipsticks and glosses.

Best of all, both are under $25.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Product Review -- Clinique Whole Lotta Chubby Set

With the holidays right around the corner, there are so many value sets and collections available that make trying new products a little more budget-friendly.

I'd been wanting to try the Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balms for a while now, and I've been curious about the Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes too, so when I saw the Clinique Whole Lotta Chubby Set on Sephora's website, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Because for $25, you get 5 products from the Chubby Stick line that are approximately half the size of full-size items.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Product Review -- LORAC Mega Pro Palette 2

With the holiday season upon, there are a ton of new palettes out on the market.

I'm trying to be good and only pick up the ones that really call to me (the rest are going on my Christmas list!), but it's really difficult with so many tempting options out there.

One palette that I was particularly interested in getting was the LORAC Mega Pro Palette 2.

That's because I'm a big fan of LORAC's shadow formula -- they tend to be really creamy and smooth, so what's not to like?

I also purchased the Mega Pro Palette last year (I never reviewed it because it sold out in about 3 seconds. They've done a much better job this year with the stock, it seems.) and I've used it a ton. It's an ideal palette to travel with too, because you get so many shades and both matte and shimmer shadows, so you can create a ton of looks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Product Alert -- Tarte Holidaze of Giving 15-piece Gifting Collection

Tarte always seems to put out really impressive holiday kits, and this year is no exception. There are at least three or four out there that I'm debating getting.

I've caved on just one so far -- the Holidaze of Giving 15-piece Gifting Collection from QVC.

What makes this kit unique is that it comes with three individual boxes of products, so you could break it up into a few gifts or keep one for yourself and give the others away (or keep all three for yourself, as I'm doing).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Product Review -- L'Oreal Colour Riche La Palette Nude 2

As a makeup junkie, I've been really excited about the the fact that more and more drugstore brands seem to be introducing eye shadow palettes into their lines.

It doesn't matter that I haven't really found one that excites me -- I recognize that it might take a few tries for brands like Maybelline and L'Oreal to get the palette thing right. Just the idea that there are more budget-friendly options available out there makes me happy.

So I was pretty excited to try the L'Oreal Colour Riche La Palette Nude(s) when they came out several months back -- mainly because I'm a sucker for nude or natural shadows and this palette just seemed much more substantial than Maybelline's The Nudes Palette.

The Colour Riche La Palette Nude comes in two shades: 1, which seems to include more brown-toned shades, and 2, which contains more rosy, mauve-y nude tones.

I went with 2, because I'm kind of obsessed with rosy brown shades at the moment (and I have plenty of brown nude palettes in my collection already).

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Product Alert -- bareMinerals Divine Decadence 8-Piece Collection TSV on QVC

With the holidays right around the corner, there are so many amazing kits and sets available that deliver serious bang for your buck.

In particular, QVC usually has some really great TSV kits at the holidays -- and I'm always sure to pick up the bareMinerals set because I'm a big fan of the brand and there are usually new products included that I can't wait to try.

Tomorrow, November 9, the bareMinrals Divine Decadence 8-Piece Collection will be available as the TSV on QVC for just $49.98 (+$3 s/h). 

I ordered the kit early, so here's a quick rundown in case you're trying to decide whether or not to pick it up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Product Review -- Milani Color Statement Lipliners

If you read this blog, you know that I obviously don't have an issue spending money on makeup.

It's one of the few things that I really don't mind splurging on.

But there are still certain types of makeup products that I don't really like paying big bucks for.

Mascara is the primary one -- it only lasts a few months, so I have a really hard time spending more than $10 or so on it.

Lip liners are another one of those products I don't like to spend too much on.

While they definitely last longer than mascaras, I'm usually pairing them with lipsticks or glosses so I don't need them to do too much. I want them to be creamy so there's no dragging when I apply them, but not too creamy so they move around too much.

And I don't feel like I necessarily need to spend $20 to get that.

Particularly when Milani's Color Statement Lipliners are kind of perfect and retail for just about $3.50.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Product Review -- The Balm La Balmba Steal the Spotlight Eye Shadow Palettes Vol. 1 & 2

I'm absolutely crazy about The Balm.

I love their products and I love their packaging and considering they're a higher end brand, I think their prices are pretty fair (and you can often find them on HauteLook at a serious discount, which is even better).

I'm actually such a big fan of the brand that I tend to buy new products as soon as they come out without really considering whether I need them or not.

(With other brands, I usually hesitate for at least a few seconds...)

Recently, I saw a couple of new shadow quads on the Kohl's website and I just had to have them.

The La Balmba Steal the Spotlight Eye Shadow Palettes Vol. 1 & 2 are dance-themed quad, featuring The Balm's usual adorable vintage inspired artwork. They come in sturdy cardboard packaging and a small mirror on the inside.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Product Review -- Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Lately, there seems to be another new foundation on the market everyday.

Not that I'm complaining -- I love trying new face products so I'm always excited for new options.

Water-based fluid foundations seem to be a pretty big trend in recent years, and I've tried quite a few. They're not always the best match for my normal-to-dry skin, though, so I usually I save them only for warm weather when my skin tends to be more oily.

However, when I saw that Tarte was coming out with a version, I knew I'd have to give it a try because I usually have pretty good luck with Tarte foundations.

The Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation is marketed as a lightweight fluid that "floats over the skin" and delivers full, hydrating coverage. The formula is also rich in antioxidants and contains SPF15, so it offers some skincare benefits as well.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Product Review -- L.A. Girl PRO Conceal High-Definition Concealer

I have several concealers that I really love in my makeup collection, but I'm still always on the hunt for that one holy grail concealer that puts all the rest to shame.

Which is why I'm constantly buying new ones even though I've got a drawer full of them already.

When I can find a concealer that's budget-friendly, I feel a little bit less guilty about buying another -- so I was pretty excited to give the L.A. Girl PRO Conceal High-Definition Concealer a try. 

Because it's only $5. 

And I'd seen plenty of good reviews of it, so it definitely seemed like it was a worth a gamble. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Product Review -- Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow

I'm a pretty big fan of Josie Maran skin care and makeup products.

They're all designed to combine high performance with healthier ingredient,s and for the most part, they're pretty successful.

Of course, there are some duds, but that's to be expected in any brand's lineup.

Many of the Josie Maran products contain argan oil, but recently, the brand's been incorporating coconut water into some formulas as well. In particular, I absolutely love the Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelees, which give such a pretty, natural flushed look to the cheeks.

That's why I was so interested in trying the Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadows.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Product Review -- Lancome Auda[City] in Paris Palette

There are so many gorgeous new palettes coming on these days that it's difficult to choose between them.

I mean, I'm on a budget so as much as I'd like to buy every new palette that comes out, I've got to be a bit more selective.

I was drawn to the Lancome Auda[City] in Paris Palette primarily because of the shade range -- they are a lot of lovely warm tones that are perfect for fall and a good variety of light, mid-tone, and dark shades.

I've had good experience with Lancome shadows in the past too, so I was relatively confident of the quality as well.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Product Review -- Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette

I need another palette like a I need a hole in the head.

And I need another Tarte palette like I need a second hole in the head.

Which is to say, not at all, not even a little bit.

But I am weak (all the holiday sets and palettes are seriously trying my will power at the moment!) and when I saw the Energy Noir Clay Palette, I caved.

I just love Tarte's palettes and palettes that contain shadows and blush are especially tempting to me, so this hit plenty of my buttons.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Product Review -- YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipsticks

A while back, I treated myself to a couple of YSL lipsticks.

I got one of the Rouge Volupte and one of the Volupte Sheer Candy, and I really like both of them.

The packaging is particularly attractive, and the lipsticks themselves feel quite nice on the lips.

But they're $36 each, and while I like them, I wasn't wowed enough by them to purchase any other YSL lipsticks.

So I was pretty excited when I got the chance to try a couple of the new YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipsticks courtesy of Influenster, I was seriously excited.

As with the other YSL lipsticks that I own, the packaging for the Rouge Pur Coutures is really luxe. They come in gold metallic packaging that has a square shape and features a black, engraved YSL on the front. They are the kind of lipsticks that will make you feel really glamorous when you pull them out of your purse.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Product Review -- It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Matte Vol. 2 Romantics Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette

Almost two years ago, I bought the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Matte Vol. 1 Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette and instantly fell in love.

The palette contains 14 matte shadows that boast a fabulous creamy, smooth, blendable formula and one shimmery "transforming" shade that gives you the option of changing the finish of the matte shadows if the mood strikes.

It is a completely wearable, easy-to-use, fabulous palette.

So when I heard that It Cosmetics was coming out with another palette in the line, I was ready to hand over my money without a second thought.

The Naturally Pretty Matte Vol. 2 Romantics Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette follows the same format at the Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 to a tee.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Product Review -- Urban Decay Vice 4 Palette

I was going to be good, I swear.

I told myself over and over that I really didn't need -- hell, that I didn't even *want* it.

But then I saw a photo of the shades and there were one two many that pushed my buttons and I caved.

So yeah, I bought the Urban Decay Vice 4 Palette.

It would be really hard to top the Vice 3 in my mind, because there were just so many pretty warm burgundy/red/plum shades that I love for fall in it, but I was hoping that the Vice 4 would.

Right off the bat, it scores brownie points with me -- that's because it's actually the slimmest of all the Vice Palettes. Now, don't get me wrong -- I love impressive packaging, but if it's bulky and hard to store, it can lose its appeal very quickly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

In the Moment -- 4 Current Faves

I haven't done a monthly faves in forever, and I've learned that I can't commit to doing those regularly.

Some months, I have a ton of things that I love, while other months, I'm trying so many new products that I'm sure enough about any of them to call them faves -- and I hate the pressure of trying to randomly come up with faves.

But I always find it interesting to see what (not necessarily new) products other beauty junkies are enjoying at any given moment, so I want to get back to at least doing favorites sporadically.

I'm not going to call them monthly faves, though -- they're just going to be a few products that I'm loving at a given moment.

So here's what I'm reaching for most often these days:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Product Review -- L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Foundation and Blush

Even though I know better, I can be a sucker for marketing hype.

Tell me that a product is going to blur my imperfections and make my skin look flawless, and even though I know that it's not true, I'm dying to try it.

That's what happened with the L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Foundation.  

I didn't believe it could work miracles like blurring fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture as the product label claimed, but I was curious about what it could do so I picked it up. 

And because L'Oreal was BOGO-half off at Ulta, I decided to try the Visible Lift Blur Blush as well.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Product 411 -- ColourPop Fall 2015 Collection

I'm a fan of nearly everything that ColourPop does, so whenever they put a new collection, I'm all over it.

Especially when it's a fall collection with lots of shades that I dig -- and as an added bonus, it's 90s themed. I grew up in the 90s so the nostalgia factor definitely helps.

I made my purchases from the collection of single products -- I haven't picked up either of the sets ... yet. I'm trying to be strong because so many brands launching their holiday collections these days and I only want to buy things that I really want. Still, both the shadow and lippie sets are calling my name so who knows how long I'll hold out? -- which contains Super Shock Shadows, Super Shock Cheek Blushes, Lippie Stix, and Lippie Pencils.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

'Tis The Season: Favorite Products For Fall

I'm a firm believer that you should wear whatever makeup shades that you like no matter what time of year it is.

I mean, if bright orange lipstick is your favorite, you should rock it year round, not just in warm weather.

But I'll admit that there are certain colors that I associate with specific seasons, so I tend to wear them more regularly at those times of the year.

And I'll also confess that traditional fall colors tend to be my absolute favorites -- all the rich, warm shades of plum, burgundy, rust, copper, and bronze totally float my boat.

So I thought I'd share some of my favorite products for the fall (I'm kind of jumping the gun a bit, given that it's still in the 80s here in NY and fall doesn't officially start for another week or so, but like I said, it's my favorite season for makeup colors so I couldn't wait.) in case you're in the market for some cool weather-ready shades:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Product Review -- Too Faced Lip Injection Color Bomb

I've never wanted fuller lips.

I mean, my upper lip is maybe on the slightly thin side, but it's not something that really bothers me all that much.

As a result, I haven't tried very many lip-plumping products -- and honestly, the lip plumping promise wasn't really what prompted me to try one of the Too Faced Lip Injection Color Bombs.

It was the color, pure and simple.

Still, I think this is a nice product on the whole, provided you can tolerate the slight warming, stinging sensation that occurs when the plumping action happens.

The Color Bombs come in a chunky pencil-like form that twist up, though their tips are rounded instead of pointed. The color of the exterior patching matches the shade of the product, but there are gold accents as well.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Product Review -- NYX Wonder Pencil

I am a big fan of using a nude eyeliner pencil to line the waterline.

It really does make your eyes look a little brighter and wider, so any day when I'm looking tired, it's kind of a must-do step in my makeup routine.

But I do run into a problem sometimes -- nude eyeliners tend to be a little too dark or peachy for my fair skin so they don't quite have the effect that I want.

Now, you can use white liner for a similar effect but I find that it's kind of a stark, obvious look that I don't necessarily want for an everyday look.

Fortunately, I came across the NYX Wonder Pencil on a recent trip to Ulta, and it's the perfect solution to my dilemma.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Makeup 911 -- How Do You Use Hot Pink/Magenta Eye Shadow?

As anyone reading this blog can attest, I am a bonafide makeup junkie.

I spend a ton of time playing with makeup and reading about it and yeah, buying it, so I definitely know my way around an eye shadow palette or a tube of lipstick.

But just because I'm a makeup enthusiast (sounds better than fanatic, doesn't it?), that doesn't mean that I know everything about the topic.

In fact, there are plenty of things that I'm kind of clueless about when it comes to makeup.

So I thought it might be fun -- and helpful -- to do a series of posts where I pose some of my makeup questions to you guys and see if you can offer up any tips, tricks, or suggestions.  

(And if you have a makeup topic that you're struggling with, feel free to leave a comment or email me with it and I would be happy to use it for one of these posts -- because if I can't help you, I'm sure someone else reading this blog can.)

My first dilemma is hot pink or magenta eye shadow.

I have several palettes that include bright pink shades, which are gorgeous and I'm totally drawn to.

Some of the hot pink/magenta shades in question -- Sigma Redberry Rose, Too Faced Totally Fetch, Sephora Little Mermaid Sha-la-la, Urban Decay Junkshow

The problem is that I have no idea how to use them in a way that's wearable with my skin tone. 

I'm super pale so they're going to make a seriously bold statement on me, and I really don't want to wind up looking sick. 

So... what's your favorite way to wear hot pink eye shadow without it making your eyes look totally bloodshot and infected?  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Product Review -- BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Blushed Copper

One of the very first products that I tried from BECCA was the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal.

It's a cream/liquid highlighter that looks absolutely gorgeous on the skin, but it can be kind of a pain to use -- because cream/liquid highlighters are always trickier to apply than powders and you can't really put it over powder (I do sometimes, but I have to be careful with the application).

It is versatile, though, because sometimes, I'll mix a little in with my foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer for a subtle, over all glow.

So in general, I like the product quite a bit.

When I saw that BECCA had come up with pressed versions, though, I was definitely interested -- and I kept meaning to pick up Opal or Moonstone to use as an everyday highlighter.

However, when I saw the limited edition shade Blushed Copper (Sephora lists it as limited edition anyway, but it's been on their website for quite some time so I'm not sure how limited it really is), I decided to change plans -- because the color definitely isn't a highlighter on my fair skin but it's so ridiculously beautiful that I had to have it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Product Review -- IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Illumination

For the most part, I feel like American BB and CC creams are gimmick-y.

Because for whatever "skin care" ingredients they might contain, they really just perform like tinted moisturizers, which is hardly an earth-shattering development in the beauty world.

Of course, there are a couple of exceptions to the rule -- the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is not only one of my favorite BB/CC creams; it's one of my favorite face products period.

It provides medium to full coverage, is hydrating, feels lightweight, contains SPF50, and applies flawlessly with your hands -- what's not to love?

So when I heard that IT Cosmetics was coming out with an illuminating version of the CC cream, I had to give it a try.

Because I'm all about illumination -- I like looking dewy and glowy and all those things.

To be honest, though, I think the original YSBB CC+ Cream has a nice dewy finish so I really wasn't sure what to expect from the Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Illumination.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review -- Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oils

If you had asked me what I thought of cream blushes back when I first started wearing makeup, I probably would have told you I hated them.

They just seemed so much harder to use that good old powder blushes and I didn't have any patience for it at all.

Fast forward several years when my skin started becoming drier and I may not be cream blush's biggest fan.

It can give the skin such a nice, healthy, dewy glow and in most cases, it looks so very natural on your cheeks.

(And even if you've got oily skin and don't feel like you can wear cream blush, try using it as a base for your favorite powder blush. You'll get more color and better staying power, I promise!)

As big a fan as I am of cream blush, I'm an equally big fan of Josie Maran's cosmetics. Now, I know they're probably not for everyone because they tend to offer a more natural, softer look, but I am hooked.

That's why I couldn't wait to try the Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oils.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review -- Stila Custom Color Blush in Coral

I try to avoid gimmick-y products -- because how many of them actual live up to their gimmicks? -- so I haven't been particularly interested in Stila's Custom Color Blushes.

They've been around for a few years now, but if you're not familiar with them, they're blushes that are supposed to react to each wearer's pH levels to create a custom perfect shade. 

I don't know about you but that sounds like a pretty neat marketing ploy -- but personally, I don't buy into it.

Maybe it's because I feel like blushes always tend to look a little different on different people -- your natural skin tone and coloring always affects the way a shade appears, doesn't it? 

So what's the big deal with these Custom Color Blushes?

Still, I checked out the Coral one a few times when I was at Sephora, and I was really drawn to the color, so when Stila recently had a sale, I decided to pick it up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review -- Rimmel Show Off Lip Velvet

Matte liquid lipsticks are all the rage these days, but I've been reluctant to jump on the trend.

That's because, as a general rule, I don't particularly like matte lipsticks -- they're just so drying and require too much work to make look good -- and I especially don't like liquid versions.

On my lips, they always seem to look dry and cracked, no matter how much I moisturize and exfoliate my lips.

But I'm weak when it comes to makeup and seeing all the new liquid lipstick products out there gets me a little intrigued.

I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a product that I wasn't sure I'd like, though, so when I was at Walgreen's recently, I decide to give Rimmel's Show Off Lip Velvets a try.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review -- Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

When I heard that Urban Decay was coming out with a new Naked Palette, I told myself I wasn't going to rush out to buy it.

I lasted an entire week before breaking down and ordering it.

That's something, right?

My initial reluctance to buy it was due to the fact that it's the Naked Smoky Palette -- because while I love a good smoky eye, I have very specific requirements for the smoky looks I like on myself so I'm usually better off putting together my own looks than buying generic 'smoky' palettes.

That's because I have super fair skin so I prefer warm, bronze-y smoky looks on me over traditional black, gray, navy, etc., smoky eyes.

(Which is not to say that fair-skinned folks can't rock those kinds of looks. I see lovely examples of it on YouTube and Instagram all the time. It just requires a skill that I don't have ... or maybe it's just that I'm too lazy to put the work in. One or the other.)

The Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette falls more in line with the traditional idea of the smoky eye, so if that's your thing, I think you'll definitely enjoy this palette.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review -- Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation and Concealer

Every time I go into the drugstore or Ulta these days, I feel like there's a new foundation or concealer to try.

I'd seen quite a few videos and reviews on Maybelline's new Superstay Better Skin Foundation and Concealer before it actually turned up on the shelves of my CVS, so I was super excited to give it a try when I finally spotted it.

Now, it should be noted that these products don't just promise amazing, long-lasting coverage while you're wearing them -- they claim that they can actually improve the overall appearance of your skin in the long-term too because they contain Actyl-C, a more stable form of vitamin C, so skin becomes brighter, more even, etc.

I don't really pay much attention to claims like that -- because I'd have to use these products every day, consistently, to realistically see those kinds of results, and I switch up my face products on the regular so that's never going to happen.

So for me, it all comes down to how the foundation and concealer make my skin look while I'm wearing them.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review -- YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector and Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Confession time -- I stalk the Sephora website on pretty much a daily basis, looking for new products.

Now, I don't always buy the new goodies I see, but I like to know what's out there so I can decide how badly I "need" this or that.

When I saw the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Perfector, I was definitely intrigued. 

A product that perfects the skin while keeping its healthy glow? 

Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn't it?

But the product is $55, which is a definitely pricey in my book so I didn't rush out to buy it. I mean, I own exactly one YSL product -- the Le Teinte Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation -- which I absolutely love, but because it was pretty expensive, I tend to save it for special occasions. 

So when I had the chance to try the Touche Eclat Blur Perfector and a sample of the Touche Eclat Blur Primer for free, courtesy of Influenster, I was super excited.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review -- It Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder

When you have dry-ish skin, it can be pretty difficult to find a face powder.

That's because they tend to cling to dry patches and become seriously cake-y even if you apply the lightest layer possible.

Sometimes, though, I need a little powder -- whether it's because I want a little extra coverage or I want to make sure that my makeup lasts all day or I don't like the finish of my foundation -- and I need to have a product in my makeup drawer that I can count on.

As a brand, It Cosmetics is dedicated to creating products that provide anti-aging benefits so it stands to reason that their powder products would be a good match for dry skin. I love their Bye Bye Pores Powder in the summer when I want a matte look (and it does really make your pores disappear!), and their Celebration Powder Foundation and Celebration Illumination Foundation are nice as well, but they're a little heavy if you just want a powder to set a foundation.

That's why I was excited to see their new CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder.

While it offers more coverage than a basic translucent powder, it isn't a powder foundation so it's ideal for setting everything from a BB cream to a full coverage foundation.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review -- Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream SPF 25

My very favorite BB cream in the world is the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream.

It feels like nothing on the skin, but delivers seriously impressive coverage that tends to be enough for me most days.

It also has a healthy, dewy finish that's really pretty and the shade No. 13 is nearly a perfect match for my super fair skin.

But Missha has a ton of BB cream options, and I wouldn't be the makeup junkie that I am if I weren't a little bit curious about their other formulas. So when they had a sale recently, I decided to give the Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream a try.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review -- Tom Ford Eye Color Quad

If you read this blog, you know I spend plenty of money on makeup.

It's really my one indulgence, so I don't feel too guilty about it.

But there are still some products that are a little too rich for my blood.

I mean, I'll spend $54 on one of Urban Decay's Naked Palettes because I'm getting 12 shadows, but when I see the $79 price tag on a Tom Ford Eye Color Quad, I tend to balk -- because you're only getting 4 shadows.

That's like $20 per shadow!

Now, of course, there's something to be said for quality -- my sister always tells me that you get what you pay for, and I agree with her most of the time. And I've seen such terrific reviews of the Tom Ford shadows, so I've definitely been curious.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review -- It Cosmetics CC+ Eye Color Correcting Concealer

I am a big fan of pretty much every It Cosmetics product that I've tried.

In particular, I find the face products to be particularly impressive. The Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is one of my favorite everyday foundation products. I love the Bye Bye Pores Micro Powder is my go-to finishing powder for warmer weather, and when I really need to hide dark circles or other imperfections, the Bye Bye Under Eyes Concealer never fails me.

That's why I was so excited to try the CC+ Eye Color Correcting Concealer. While Bye Bye Under Eye delivers serious coverage, I don't necessarily need that everyday -- CC+ Eye is a terrific alternative for days when you want something lighter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review -- e.l.f. Studio Pressed Mineral Bronzer

Bronzer is a tricky product for me.

Because I'm incredibly pale -- think Casper the Friendly Ghost and then go a few shades lighter -- it is extremely difficult to find a bronzer that isn't too dark or too orange-y to look even remotely natural on my skin.

When e.l.f. came out with their Studio Pressed Mineral Bronzers, I was excited because it was an opportunity to try a couple of new shades without spending a ton of money on products that (likely) wouldn't work.

So I picked up two of the Studio Pressed Mineral Bronzers -- Baked Peach, a slightly shimmery peachy bronze, and Tan Toffee, a matte light golden brown.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review -- Clinique Cheek Pops

What's better than a gorgeous, natural-looking blush?

How about one that features an adorable daisy design etched into the powder?

That's what Clinique's Cheek Pop Blushes deliver -- and seriously, these are probably the prettiest looking blushes just sitting in my makeup drawer.

I started out with a single one when the line first launched a little over a year ago (and never got around reviewing!) and then purchased two more a few months ago when they added new shades -- and I've got to say, I really do love these blushes.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review -- Too Faced Natural Matte Neutral Eye Shadow Collection

Once upon a time, I would have sworn that I hated matte shadow.

Too boring, I thought.

But any time an all matte palette comes out these days, I can't get my grubby little fingers on it fast enough.

I've totally fallen in love with (good) matte shadows.

That's why I knew I just had to have Too Faced's Natural Matte Neutral Eye Shadow Collection.

I have the original Too Faced Matte Eye Palette (it was actual one of the first all matte palettes I ever bought) and it is one of my all-time favorites. The shadows are smooth and creamy, not the least bit chalky, so they're extremely easy to work with and apply.

I was hoping that the new Natural Matte Palette would be more of the same -- but I actually think Too Faced may have improved the formula a bit.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review -- Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Around-the-Clock Blushes and Come Correct Celebrity Concealer

Wet n Wild is one of those drugstore brands that just always lures me in.

Without fail, whenever I walk through my local Walgreen's (they seem to have the best WnW selection in my area), I always have to check out their new offerings -- because in recent years, it's difficult to think of a company that combines quality with value in the quite the same way (e.l.f. comes close, but I think that brand has a few more misses than WnW and their prices have gone up a little too).

So when I saw some new items in Wet n Wild's Fergie Centerstage Collection, I had to check them out.

I have one of the existing shadow quads and one of the shimmery highlighters, and I like them both quite a bit, so I was definitely interested in trying out the new Around-the-Clock Blushes -- and I'm always a sucker for a new concealer, so the Come Correct Celebrity Concealer had to be mine too.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review -- Battle of the Contour Palettes (NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette, Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, and Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette)

Contouring and contour palettes have been all the rage lately.

It seems like every time I turn around, another brand is coming up with their own version.

As someone who's very pale, contouring is tricky for me -- but as someone who has no visible cheekbones to speak of, I'm still always willing to give it a try.

So over the past six months or so, I've picked up not one but three different contouring palettes. Instead of doing separate reviews of each of them, I thought it would be helpful to combine them all in one post to do a comparison of sorts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review -- CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation

Surprisingly, I'm a big fan of the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation.

I say surprisingly because it's designed to be a long-lasting foundation and those are usually have a matte finish and are meant for oily skin. My skin is normal to dry, so those kinds of foundations tend to cling to dry patches and just look cakey on me.

The Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation doesn't do that -- and it's got seriously good coverage and lasts a long time so what's not to love?

(Now, admittedly, I usually wear it in the warmer weather when my skin is a little bit more on the oily side but I can get away with wearing it in fall and winter if I moisturize well and use a hydrating primer under it.)

Still, when I heard that CoverGirl was coming out with a new version of the foundation, the Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation, I was seriously excited.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review -- The Balm Balm Voyage Vol. II Palette

I'm a sucker for pretty much every palette that The Balm puts out.

The packaging is just always too adorable and I've developed something of a collection over the years so I can never let one pass me by.

The good news is that the products in the palettes are always top-notch too, so I never regret picking them up.

The Balm Voyage Vol. II Palette is no exception.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review -- Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette

To round out my collection of Tarte spring palettes, I couldn't resist picking up the Showstopper Clay Palette.

Like the Rainforest After Dark Palette, it is a circular palette that contains eye shadows, a bronzer, highlighter, and blush, so you have everything you need to do a full face.

That's mainly the reason I was drawn to this palette -- I figured it would be another good one for travel but like the Empower Flower Amazonian Clay Collector's Palette that I reviewed last week, it's a little bit of a disappointment in that regard.

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