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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Elf Haul!

Hey all! As finals week has been absolutely brutal, I needed a quick and cheap pick-me-up. For that, I turn to Elf. I picked up a few of the things I've been dieing to try from them, from Target:

In case you don't already know, all Elf products are ridiculously cheap and most are good quality.

From left to right, I picked up:

(1) HD Powder ($6)
(2) Flawless Finish Foundation ($3)
(3) Tone Correcting Powder ($3)
(4) Mineral Infused Primer ($3)

I'll definitely be reviewing these products once I've had a chance to play around with them.

In the mean time, have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Cover Girl Eye Shadows

Hey all!
Over the weekend, I was at Rite Aid and noticed a new display of Cover Girl eye shadows. The palettes had new packaging- in black and definitely more sleek. The colors were mostly cool which to me is "meh" as I tend to gravitate toward warmer colors. I saw this palette Prima Donna Diva and thought it was pretty handy- you get warm bronzes and golds but you also get a frosted light pink and a shimmery black for a nice smokey eye. I thought it would be a handy little palette to tote around in your makeup bag because it gives you so many options.

I was also curious about whether or not the new palettes had better pigmentation so as soon as I got home, I swatched the colors:

I was honestly pretty disappointed. The payoff was less than mediocre and what you see in the picture above is at least three swipes to get it to show up enough for the swatch. The quad I reviewed last week (Coffee Shop) was MUCH better quality than this one. Plus, with other drug store brands like Wet n Wild turning out eye shadows whose pigmentation is comparable to high-end brands, this is a complete let down.

I'm not sure if the lack of pigmentation was just the palette I happen to pick up, or if its the entire new line that lacks pigmentation, but I won't be picking up any others any time soon!

Have you tried any of the new Cover Girl eye shadows? What did you think?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fashion Friday: Cute Flats!

Happy Friday everyone!

It always seems like Fridays can't come fast enough but for me, that was especially true because it was my last week of classes! Next week is finals week and after that, I have a few days to breathe before I start summer classes. What better way to celebrate than to show you a pair of flats I had been dieing for for the LONGEST time? I picked these up from Fabco shoe store for $21.99:

I haven't worn these yet, but I've wanted an affordable pair of beige ballerina style flats with a black toe for soooo long. When I saw them at Fabco, I literally pounced on them and picked up the very last pair! I checked the website for you guys in case any of you were interested, and it seems like you can't shop for Fabco online, so I found two websites- one with similar styles that are high end, and my other cost effective alternative- Payless!

Click here for a bunch of higher end flats and here to snatch up the Payless ones!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cover Girl Palettes

After my Cover Girl haul yesterday, I couldn't wait to swatch the eye shadows to test their quality. I was actually pleasantly surprised. First up, the Sunset trio:

This one consists of a pinky tan color, a warm gold, and a golden vanilla color (all shimmers). Though all the colors in the palette are really beautiful, I really love the first color- its perfect for day without going over the top. The middle color would be perfect for  sunlight golden look while I could see the last color making a really beautiful highlight. The quality of the shadows themselves were average compared to the newer drugstore shadows such as Wet n Wild which are really amazing quality.
Here are some swatches (no primer):

The next palette is the quad "Coffee Shop". The colors are very similar to the Sunset trio except this one contains a matte dark brown.

These swatched incredibly. The colors were much more pigmented and creamy than the trio except for the dark brown which was just a tad chalky.

Overall, I'm glad I picked up both of these palettes as I can see them becoming go-tos for travel and/or everyday looks. Plus they're super inexpensive and if you wait for a BOGO sale, they're even more of a bargain.

Happy Thursday! We're almost to the weekend! ☺

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cover Girl Haul

I've been having a not-so-great week and decided to make it better with what else? A mini drugstore haul! ᵔᴥᵔ I realized that aside from the new collections they periodically come out with, I have kind of left Cover Girl by the wayside for the likes of brands like Revlon, Maybelline, and Almay. So today, I picked up a few products from their core collection to try out:

The products are:
1. Lipslicks Tinted Lipbalm in Demure (I got all nostalgic when I saw these- I remember them from when I was a kid!!)
2. Invisible Concealer in Honey
3. Eyeshadow Trio in Golden Sunset (EmilyNoel83 on YouTube ALWAYS recommends this! I love her videos so I finally broke down and got it...)
4. Eyeshadow quad in Coffee Shop
5. CG Smoothers Foundation in Classic Tan

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite Cover Girl products?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Revlon Kissable Lip Stain

I was innocently perusing my local Rite Aid the other day (no I was not looking for any new makeup collections... lol) when I happen to spot the new Revlon Kissable Lip Stains. I was pretty excited about these because they seem like a low-cost alternative to the Clinique Chubby sticks. I picked up one color to check out (Charm)- the nude of course.

Right off the bat, the texture of this product reminded me more of a lipstick than a lip stain. It has a light, pleasant minty smell which wears off after a few minutes and feels hydrating on the lips- not drying as other lip stains usually are. The wear time is average for a lip product- I'd say two hours on my lips. I will say that for me, this was not a lip stain at all. However, I did pick up the lightest color of the collection and my lips are relatively pigmented. Therefore, whatever staining qualities this product has was probably lost on the darker pigmentation of my lips. Because of this, I decided to judge this product more as a lipstick than anything else.
As a lipstick, Charm is on the sheerer side, but still pigmented enough to hide most of the natural red coloring of my lips. Also, because the color is so light and glossy, if there are any dry flakes on your lips, it WILL make them much more obvious so your best bet is to exfoliate before using this product.

Swatch of Charm on my hand.
As you can see from the swatch above, Charm almost completely blends in with my skin tone. If not for the gloss, you'd barely be able to see it.

Though from the swatch on my lips it looks like a clear balm, my lips are a very dark pinky red with nothing on them. You can see how much this tones them down.

Overall, I do like this product and feel that because its in a twist-up style package, it would be perfect for touch-ups on the go. With the lighter colors in the collection, its pencil shape makes it virtually goof-proof which means that they can be applied without a mirror. Though I don't usually like darker colors on me for every day wear, I may pick up a coral or red color to test the stain quality of this product.

Have you tried the Revlon Kissable Lip Stains yet? What do you think?

Monday, May 14, 2012

NOTD: Flaming Poker

Hey all! Today I have a NOTD for you- a gel manicure I did on my sister over the weekend. I picked up the gel polish at Ulta from a brand called Pro Gel. The color is called Flaming Poker:

I'm really liking this brand of gel polish. The color was super easy to apply and I was able to achieve my desired opacity in just two coats. What I also like is that the color is reminiscent of China Glaze's cult favorite Ruby Pumps, but is more on the brighter berry red side.

I love the red glitter in this- it makes the color much more glam.
What are your favorite red polishes?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fashion Friday: Cuffs

Since I have freakishly small wrists, I can never wear bangles or cuffs because they will literally slide right off my hand or go flying and possible injure someone if I gesticulate wildly as I often do. I absolutely love the way cuffs look, and I have been able to find some small ones that fit me nicely. Here are my favorites:

Gold: Charlotte Russe, Silver: Charlotte Russe, Rose Gold: local boutique

I love that while these will jazz up any outfit, they're sleek, simple, and elegant.

How do you feel about cuffs? Where do you shop for your favorites?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NARS Copacabana Illuminator

A brand I haven't really ever gotten into is NARS. Though they have several cult favorites such as Orgasm blush, Laguna bronzer, Sheer Glow foundations, and their ultra-pigmented eye shadows, because of the hefty price tags, I've kind of just looked elsewhere. However, though I still absolutely love my Becca Pearl highlighter, this pinky, frosty one by NARS caught my eye:

While the look is not for everyone, I enjoy very strong highlights- something you can't really achieve with a powder. What I like about this product is the intense shimmer. It definitely illuminates, but not with giant glitter chunks which would just look strange. Its a bit hard to describe, so I'll just show you!

Unblended on left, blended on right

Ugh. Its so shimmery and amazing. What I also really enjoy about this product is that even though its a liquid, it does "set". Not into a powdery finish, but it doesn't stay tacky like my Becca one does so I don't have to worry that I'll smear it at some point. I could also see this working on a wide range of skin tones and really POPPING on darker ones.

Have you tried any NARS products? What are your favorites?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Milani Shadow Eyez

As soon as I heard about these, I couldn't wait to try them. They seemed like a cost-effective version of Urban Decay's shadow pencils. I stalked CVS until I found them and picked up these two- the neutrals of course!

Top: Champagne Toast
Bottom: Brown Deluxe

These swatched incredibly. They were soft, creamy, and incredibly pigmented. I used Brown Deluxe as bottom liner and really liked it. I will be testing these as eye bases as well. If these work well, I may go back for a few more colors.
Left: Brown Deluxe, Right: Champagne Toast

Have you tried these yet? What do you think?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Products I'll Be Trying Out

When you're busy and always rushing to get some place, its way too easy to fall into a makeup rut. You know, those familiar few products you reach for to create that 5 minute look and dash out the door? Lately that's been me and honestly, I don't *really* mind because I love the look so much. However, with so many things in my collection and so many different products out on the market, I have to challenge myself to branch out. Therefore, for the next few weeks, I'll be incorporating these products into my routine:

They are:
1. Mehron CoveRing Tattoo Concealer #505-T
2. NYX Eyebrow Kit in Brunette
3. Maybelline Fit Me Powder # 325 Cream Beige
4. Revlon Photoready Concealer # 005 Medium Deep
5. Cover Girl Tru Conceal #4
6. Benefit Erase Paste #2
7. MAC Face and Body Foundation #N5

Have you tried any of these products? What new products would you like to try?

Monday, May 7, 2012

NOTD- Gel Manicure

Happy Monday everyone! I know, those two words seem to go together like oil and water after a weekend that completely flew by, butttt I have a NOTD for you today. As I still have my acrylics on, I did a dark plum gel mani for my sister over the weekend:

I used the CND Shellac Base Coat, the CND Shellac Top Coat, and a brand of UV gel I picked up awhile back at a beauty supply store. It's called Speedy Gel and the the color is called Plum. It was fairly inexpensive at $9.99 for the quantity you get compared to the Red Carpet gel polishes which I also love, but you get way less of. Also, the gel polish from this brand was completely opaque in just two thin coats whereas the dark colors I've tried from Red Carpet seem to have a strange jelly finish- you can never get them to be completely opaque.

What do you think about gel manicures? Have you jumped onto the band wagon yet? ت

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fashion Friday: Fashion Don'ts

Happy Friday everyone! When it comes to fashion, I consider myself in the "classic" camp because those are the types of clothing I tend to gravitate toward. However, I often see things that look great on other people but I wouldn't necessarily rock myself. There are also some fashion trends that I just can't see eye to eye with. Therefore, the topic of today's post will be my personal fashion don'ts.

(1) The "mullet" dress

Side note: I absolutely love Jessica Alba but the dress? Questionable. Maybe if the hems weren't so extreme...?
Image credit: Google
(2) Shredded jeans
I think lightly distressed jeans are cute. They add an easy, low-key vibe to your look. When they are excessively shredded (like the first pair below) it just looks sloppy and unkempt.

Image credit: Google

(3) Cat print... anything
I love animal print- especially leopard in small doses. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of cat print on various clothing items and it's a trend I just can't get behind.
Image credit: Google

(4) Weird print on tights
I like tights from time to time. However, there are some crazy prints out there that should've stayed in the '80's where they belong!
Image credit: Google

What are some of your fashion don'ts?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Princess Bun

I have been absolutely obsessed with giant buns lately. Even though I secretly (well not so secretly now!) look like a boy with my hair up, I've just been loving the way big buns look. I saw this tutorial on YouTube recently and HAD to try it ASAP. Plus, if you haven't checked out LeighAnnSays yet, you totally should because she's awesome!

All you need is a hair tie and a few bobby pins. First you create a pouf in the front and secure with bobby pins. Next you use the hair tie to create a tight ponytail, but instead of bringing the hair all the way out of the hair tie, you create a "loop". Lastly you grab each end of the loop and bring them to the front so they meet- pin together. The last few steps are all about shaping and pinning to your liking. What's great about this hair style is that it does not have to be perfect to look great- perfect for a bad hair day or when you're in a mad rush!

Here's my first attempt at the "princess bun":
Aerial view!

Excuse the awful blurring of the background but my house but the background was a mess!

This is by far the easiest way to get a HUGE gorgeous bun in just about 5 minutes. I absolutely love this.

What's your go to quick and easy hair style?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

FOTD 05/02/2012

Hey all!

Here's a quick post to show my face of the day:

This is as happy as I'll ever look.

I used:

(1) Benefit Oxygen WOW in Toasted Beige
(2) MAC Studio Fix Concealer in NC35
(3) MAC Shade Stick in Gentle Lentil (I think this product may be discontinued, but its a light tannish cream shadow- totally dupeable so use what you have in your collection!)
(4) MUD Cream Mascara in Black
(5) MAC Powder in Harmony (as bronzer)
(6) Buxom Lipcream in White Russian

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Primer Fail: Benefit Primed and Poreless

For many people, primer is one of those extra steps that isn't really used on a regular basis. I don't use primer religiously but if I want my makeup to really last and continue to look flawless, I'll definitely use one. Here's the catch: I don't want to spend lots of money on one and if I do, it definitely has to be worth it. At Sephora I was given a sample of Benefit's Primed and Poreless which I was excited to try as I've seen so many good reviews about it. While I'm not totally hung up about it, I do have larger pores around my nose and cheeks. If I can find a product that minimizes them, that would definitely be a huge plus in my book.
Here's my cute little sample packet:

 So, last week, I tried the primer and applied as directed. I topped it with the makeup that's been part of my routine lately- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Foundation, MAC Studio Fix Concealer in NC35, and a light dusting of whatever setting powder I happen to have at hand.
Here's what the product looks like:

Its a bit more creamy than it looks in the packaging

Here you can tell that it has a silicone-y look and feel to it

After application, I noticed that my face kind of looked... the same. It didn't minimize the appearance of my pores but did mattify my skin so I decided to just give it a chance.
Here's what my face looked like about half hour after application:
Kindly ignore the giant under eye circles..

On this particular day, I wore my makeup for about 9 hours which is a bit longer than I usually would. Anyway, at the end of the day, I looked in the mirror and was startled to see that my makeup looked AWFUL. The foundation was virtually gone and my concealer looked crease-y and gross. I've worn my makeup for that long before (without Primed and Poreless) and did not see those effects. And it wasn't just like "gee, my makeup has worn off a little. I look kind of odd." No. It was "Oh my God! I look AWFUL and I want to wear a paper bag over my head to get home!" As I've said before, my skin isn't particularly oily and its been cool in NYC, so I'm not entirely sure what happened. If you've read my other blog posts, you also know that as much as I love makeup, I'm not hung up about leaving the house wearing it always- most days I actually don't wear any makeup at all- just lip balm. Honestly though, the way my makeup looked at the end of the day... it was rough and I am sure I would've looked much better (and much more normal) had I not been wearing any makeup at all. I'm not including a picture of the after because it was just... gross.

Have you tried Benefit's Primed and Poreless? What was your experience with it? Also, have you tried any primers that you absolutely hate?