Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Drugstore Items + Reviews

I love when drugstore brands come out with new products and I was not disappointed with the selection. 

Probably the most exciting new release are the L'Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain. I have the color Berry Persistent.

They are supposed to be a dupe for the YSL Glossy Stains, not that I would know because I find it difficult to shell out $32 for a lip product. L'Oreal owns YSL so it makes sense that they would come out with a similar, cheaper version. Normally, I'm not a fan of stains because I find them drying on my lips, these however, were not drying at all and the staying power was excellent. They did leave my lips sticky but that went away after a while. They have an odd "plastic" smell but to be honest that doesn't really bother me. I did notice that when it started to wear off, the color was a little patchy and it settled into the lines in my lips. Not a very attractive look so be sure to keep your eye on that. Overall, I enjoy the L'Oreal stains and am really curious to see if the YSL ones are a lot better. Let me know if you have tried them!

Next new item is the L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Crayon Concealer. My Shade is Fair/Light W1-2-3 (W for warm tone) 
I am really impressed with this concealer. I hate the True Match line so I didn't really have high hopes. It's very lightweight so don't expect a lot of coverage but it blended beautifully and didn't crease under my eyes. This concealer is in a crayon form, like the popular lip crayons, so the bottom twists up to reveal more product. The tip will go blunt eventually which is a bummer but I still like the concept. If you don't need a lot of coverage, try this product out and I think you'll like it!

Finally, we have the new Maybelline Color Tattoo Metals Cream Eyeshadows. The colors are Gold Rush and Barely Branded. 

I've been a fan of these cream shadows since they were released a while ago. Gold Rush is very glittery and has a lot of fallout but I think it would look beautiful for a New Years Eve look. Barely Branded is the most neutral color they have. However, if you bought Barely Beige in the fall collection (which I did) they are almost the exact same color. Barely Beige is ever so slightly more pink than Barely Branded. You definitely don't need both. Oh well, I have a backup I guess. 

Have you picked up anything new at the drugstore? I always love hearing about great finds!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

L'Occitane Almond Enchantment Gift Set

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas for those that celebrate and for those that don't I hope you had a fabulous Tuesday. I have been obsessed with the L'Occitane Cleansing Shower Oil for a while and when I saw Essie-Button blog about this gift set I immediately emailed my mom and told her that this is what I wanted for Christmas.
The packaging is so bright and whimsical it makes it feel more special. This is a box I will be keeping.
This gift set comes with six products and is currently on sale for $68.00 (originally $74) at L'Occitane's website.
1. Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil (8.4oz)-this is the bigger size that comes with a pump which I was super excited about. This shower oil foams up when you rub it into the skin making it perfect to shave with. It also doesn't make your skin tight when you get out of the shower.
2. Amande Milk Concentrate (3.5oz)-this is the lightest most moisturizing "lotion" you will ever try. I want to buy the full size so bad but at $44 it's hard to justify. 
3. Almond Delicious Paste (1.7oz)-This is an exfoliator that leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated which I find rare in an exfoliator. I don't think I would recommend this on your face as the actual exfoliating bit are crushed almonds which would be too rough for the face. The full size is also expensive at $36.
4 and 5. Two Almond Delicious Soaps (1.7oz each)-I have to be honest, I haven't tried these soaps yet. I don't use bars of soaps ever so it's going to be difficult for me to actually use them. They smell nice and I'm sure they are lovely but even if I never use them, the gift set is still worth the money.
6. Almond Smooth Hands (1oz)- I love this hand cream. I believe L'Occitane is known for their hand creams and I can totally see why. I will buy a full size when I run out of this but I think I'm going to go for the unscented Shea Butter instead. 

Overall, I completely recommend this set and I think it would make an amazing present for anyone you know who loves bath and body products and who also loves the smell of almonds (I'm guessing this wouldn't be so great for those with almond allergies). My mom even loved the shower oil so much she bought a bottle for herself so I'm pretty sure you will like it.

One final note: Can someone please let me know how you pronounce this brand because I have a feeling I'm butchering the name which would be a shame since they have such lovely products!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lush Ocean Salt

I'm coming at you with another Lush skincare review. Ocean Salt is a face and body scrub that contains salt, vodka, lime juice, coconut oil, and other ingredients (parabens included unfortunately). The reason I bought this was because whenever I get a pimple it leaves a horrible scar that won't go away for months. When talking to the lovely ladies at my local Lush store they said this would help brighten my complexion and help acne scars fade. 
I have heard a lot of mixed reviews so here is my honest opinion. It is harsh and if you have sensitive skin you should probably avoid this. Ocean Salt has a layer of blue salt on top and a white moisturizer on the bottom. I found that if you really mix it together it isn't as harsh. I use it all over my body but when it comes to my face I use a small amount once a week and gently rub it in for 30 seconds which limits the abrasiveness. I have actually noticed a difference in my acne scars fading and am quite pleased with this product. Would I buy Ocean Salt again? Yes! Just please beware and do research to make sure that this won't harm your skin.

Pros: Smells amazing
         Helps fade acne scars quickly
         You can use it to exfoliate your whole body
         Doesn't leave skin feeling stripped

Cons: Can be too harsh for sensitive skin
           Freaking expensive (I had sticker shock when they rang me up) $21.95 for 4.2oz, $35.95 for 8.8 oz

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sephora In The Glow

Sephora has the best gift sets around this time of year. You can buy it for someone else or buy it for yourself, like I did. Personally, I think the Sephora In The Glow gift set is one of the best I have seen. This set contains 9 miniature sizes of some of the most popular blush and highlighters around. I tend to never use up a full size blush or highlighter and having small sizes is perfect to test out whether or not you like it, especially since most of these are quite expensive.
Lorac Perfectly Lit in Spotlight, Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Splendor
Lorac mini-.106oz, full size-.36oz, $36 and comes in 3 shades. Laura Mercier mini-.14oz, full size-.21oz, $38 and comes in 4 shades, Tarte mini-.11oz, full size-.2oz, $25, comes in 16 shades
One of the main reasons I wanted to buy this kit is for the Lorac highlighter. It lived up to my expectations as it is a more warm toned highlighter, perfect for more yellow toned skin. The Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc is also nice and you can use it multiple ways. I think I'll probably get more use out of this in the summer and wear it more as a bronze blush. The Tarte blush is always a nice thing to have as I love the formula. This one has a lot of big chunks of glitter which I don't care for too much but thankfully, it doesn't show up that much.

Benefit High Beam, NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna, Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush
Benefit min-.13oz, full size-.45oz, $26. NARS mini-.08oz, full size-.28oz, $34, comes in 3 shades. Tarte mini-.17oz, full size-1oz, $30 and comes in 9 shades
I already own the full size of Benefit High Beam and find it to be a little too pink for my skin tone. I will give this to my cousin since it looks good on her porcelain skin. I always thought NARS Laguna was so over hyped but after trying it a few times, I actually really like it. I will probably buy the full size if I ever run out of the other 5 bronzers I already own (which will probably be never). Tarte Cheek Stain is another thing I've always wanted to try and I love, love, love this. It gives you such a healthy, effortless flush of color.

Bare Minerals Pure Radiance, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder, Stila Convertible Color in Peony
Bare Minerals mini-.02oz, full size-.03oz, $19 and comes in 8 shades. Too Faced mini-.08oz, full size-.35oz, $29. Stila mini-.07oz, full size-.15oz, $25 and comes in 7 shades.
The Bare Minerals Pure Radiance was nice but I find it too be too messy to deal with and the color is nothing special. The Too Faced Bronzer is a really nice true matte bronzer and it smells like hot chocolate. Stila Convertible Color in Peony is amazing. I love the color, I love the formulation, and I would definitely buy the full size.

I know this review is long but I hope it gave you some insight into this kit and helped you decide whether or not you would buy it.

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the states. I wish you all the best.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fall and Winter 2012 Blush Picks

This is my final post on my Fall and Winter makeup picks and this one is all about blush, which just so happens to be my favorite makeup category. I love all of these blushes so much that I have a hard time choosing which one to wear.

Dusty Rose/Berry Color
These are my favorite colors to wear in the fall because they tend to be a bit neutral and go with a lot of different looks. From left to right, MAC blush in Breezy, NARS Cream blush in Penny Lane, Benefit Box blush in Dallas, and Milani Baked blush in Berry Amore.

Bright Blushes
I like using bright blushes in the fall and winter because sometimes I want my cheeks to standout a little more as to not appear so dead looking. You can wear these color any time of year which makes them even more amazing. From left to right, ELF Studio Blush in Pink Passion, 100% Pure Blush in Berry, Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi-Use Blush in Spark, NYX Blush in Cinnamon. 

Thanks so much for reading and as always, I encourage you to leave a comment letting me know your favorite product for fall and winter.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask

If you have normal to dry skin with the occasional breakout, chances are you will like the Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask. It helps calm down blemishes while keeping your skin soft and hydrated. Garlic, tea tree, and kaolin are key ingredients Lush says will help your troubled skin.

Some may like the smell of this mask but to me the garlic is a bit too overpowering. Hey, if it works I'll try to keep the whining to a minimum. What I like about this mask is that it does seem to keep my breakouts to a minimum and the best part is it doesn't leave my skin feeling tight. I've used it four times now and I can see the difference it is making in my skin. I will warn: those with sensitive skin should probably avoid this as garlic, tea tree oil, and other fragrances in this mask can be irritating. 

With all Lush fresh face masks they expire within a couple of weeks so you are forced to give yourself a treatment at least 3 times a week. Mine expires this Sunday so I am planning on a pampering session with my boyfriend whether he likes it or not (he says not).

Lush Fresh Face Masks cost $6.95 and contain 2.1oz of product

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall and Winter 2012 Lip Product Picks

I'll admit, I'm extremely lazy when it comes to wearing lipstick. Usually, I slap on some chapstick and head out the door. However, there's something about fall and winter that make me more inclined to wear it. Maybe it's because you can get away with wearing more bold lips or maybe I just fall in love with the colors every year. Either way, I think these lipsticks and lip glosses add the perfect touch.

Today I am sharing with you my picks for fall and winter lip products. Most of them are actually from the drugstore so they are easily accessible and affordable. 

The Dark Vampy Look:
The most predictable color to wear but also very beautiful and on trend. From top to bottom, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry, and Revlon Colorburst Lip gloss in Bordeaux.

Classic Reds:
Perfect for your holiday party. From top to bottom, Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Ravish, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries in the Snow, and L'Oreal Infallible Lip gloss in Rebel Red.

Unexpected Pinks:
Not your typical shade but still appropriate. From top to bottom, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick, and NYX Mega Shine Lip gloss in Dolly Pink.

Neutrals still work:
In the fall and winter I also wear more dark colors on the lid, so wearing a neutral lip can look beautiful. From top to bottom, Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude, Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight, and Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Strike a Rose (limited edition).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NARS Eyeshadow in Kalahari and Blush in Luster Swatch and Review

It was my birthday on Friday and I got a fancy new DSLR camera as a present so I felt this justified me getting some products that have been on my lust list for a while. NARS is a brand that I just don't buy often. I have one cream blush from them and I hardly use it. That being said, I have wanted the Kalahari eye shadow duo and the blush in Luster for a long time but I could never justify buying them until now. 

Let's start with Kalahari eyeshadow duo:
I find that the color on the left needs some sort of base to really show up because once you start blending on the eye, the color just kind of disappears. The color on the right is beautiful and has that cool dimension where you can't tell if it's purple or brown. Overall, I do really enjoy this product but $34 for .14oz is a lot for 2 eye shadows considering you can get a nice palette for around 10 more dollars. Who am I kidding, I'll probably buy more NARS eye shadows in the future but only on special occasions! 

Next we have the blush in Luster:
This blush is gorgeous! I have heard so many people raving about this and now I can totally see why. It gives your cheeks a healthy looking glow, no highlighter necessary. Luster is a warm toned blush and is described as a golden apricot. I did accidentally apply way too much but it blended out with no problems. NARS blushes are only $28 with .16oz which I think is more justifiable than the eye shadows.

I've been watching a lot of Essiebutton and she mentioned that a dupe for Luster is NYX Terra Cotta blush which I just so happen to own so I tested her claim.
You know what? They are pretty close but I think the NYX is a bit more orange and sparkly. I do prefer the NARS blush but if you are on a budget, the NYX Terra Cotta will work, especially for $6 and .18oz of product.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

L'Oreal Project Runway 2012 Limited Edition Blush Collection Review and Swatches

Call me a nerd but I still watch Project Runway. It's been on for 10 seasons which is hard to imagine that I have been watching for 10 years! Last year L'Oreal released a limited edition Project Runway collection which I was obsessed with so when I found out they were doing another collection I was all over that. This year I wasn't super impressed with most of the products so I just decided to purchase all four of the blushes because I can never have enough blush! I found them at my local Walgreens and they were buy one get one 50% off (although I don't think that sale is on anymore). 
The first two are The Mystic's Blush on the left and The Temptress' Blush on the right
The Mystic's Blush is a very light peach color and The Temptress' Blush is a deep berry wine color.
Can you even tell that I have Mystic's Blush on my arm, because I can't. The underside of my arms are pretty fair and it still doesn't show up. I tried putting this on when I was wearing foundation and I still couldn't see anything. I'll be giving that one to my porcelain skinned cousin to see if she can wear it somehow. The Temptress' Blush on the other hand is beautiful. It will be perfect for the fall and winter months.

The other two are, The Muse's Blush on the left and The Queen's Blush on the right
The Muse's Blush is a peach color and the Queen's Blush is a dusty mauve color
Both swatches show up nicely and I really like The Muse's Blush as I am partial to peach colors.

For a little recap; these blushes retail for $9.99 and contain .35oz. They all have the tendency to be a bit chalky but if you apply it using a dense blush brush (I use the Eco Tools blush brush) it helps to not get blush everywhere. These also aren't overly pigmented which I actually like because you don't have to worry about over applying. 

I don't think you need to run out and get these unless you like limited edition or you like Project Runway. The stand out blush is The Temptress' Blush and the others I think you can find similar colors for cheaper.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Ultimate Natural/Organic Foundation Review and Comparison

I love using natural and organic foundations because I want to use good ingredients when it comes to my skin. I have found that this is easier said than done. Natural foundations are often very pricey and very hard to get your hands on (mostly available online only). My goal for this post is to provide you with detailed information and opinions on five different natural foundations so that you may have a better idea of what you are looking for.
The five I have tested (from left to right), 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation with Super Fruits, Juice Beauty Perfecting Foundation, Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation, Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation, and Vapour Organic Atmosphere Luminous Foundation. 

I have been using these foundations for about 6 months now and have tried a variety of ways to apply them as well as tested them with primer so that I can give you the best suggestion possible. I should also mention that I have dry to combination skin and I prefer a slight dewy finish over a matte one. Let's start the review!
100 % Pure is a brand that is only available online unless you live in Northern California. They are one  of my favorite natural makeup lines and I am also a big fan of their skincare line. The Healthy Skin Foundation is a full coverage, satin finish, like the packaging suggests. I find it works best to apply this with a damp sponge or beauty blender. Since I have dry skin, using my hands or brush made the product cling to dry patches. I don't think you need a primer unless you have super oily skin because this foundation lasts all day. If you are looking for a flawless full coverage finish, this foundation is for you. This costs $32 and contains 1oz of product.
Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundations is a product you are going to hate to love. It has mineral beads suspended in Aloe Vera gel. When you pump it onto your hand it has this weird consistency that can be difficult to blend. I find using a flat foundation brush worked the best as it allowed me to really blend out the pigments. Be warned, this takes a long time to really blend but once you do, the finish is amazing. It looks so natural like you aren't wearing any foundation at all but your skin has magically become flawless. This lasts all day for me so I don't use a primer. I think this foundation would be good for both dry skin and oily skin. Jane Iredale has the widest range of colors to choose from so I think anyone can find what they are looking for. This foundation costs $48 and contains 1oz of product, the priciest of the bunch but definitely worth it. Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation can be found online or at Nordstroms and Neiman Marcus.
Juice Beauty is one of my favorite natural skin care lines so I was excited when they came out with a foundation. Their Perfecting Foundation has three color shades which is quite disappointing. I mistakenly got the middle color because on their website the lightest color looked too fair for my skin tone. This foundation made me look orange and greasy within a couple of hours and I don't even have oily skin. The coverage is OK but you'll still need concealer. For $35 and 1oz of product I definitely do not recommend this foundation. I would stick to their skincare line if you want to try anything from Juice Beauty. Their foundation is available online at their website.
The Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation is probably my favorite of the group. It is so good for dry skin, it gives me a dewy look that I love and it matches my skin perfectly. I have used it on my friends for their wedding day and it worked beautifully on them. Unfortunately, I think the self-adjusting foundation is hit or miss for a lot of people so I would definitely test this before you buy. You can find it at Sephora and online which makes this the most easily accessible foundation. I use a primer with this foundation because it isn't the longest wearing foundation since it has such a dewy finish. Those with oily skin may want to avoid this all together. Using a stippling brush (I use Real Techniques) or a buffing brush would be best for application. This foundation is $42 for 1oz of product
Finally, we have Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation (apologies for mine looking so messy). I love the makeup from Vapour Organic and this foundation is no exception. I have a sample size which I'm not sure you can buy anymore but you can still get a tiny sample from them to test your color. Or, if you email them a picture of your face they can help color match. This is a stick foundation so using your hands is the best way to apply since it helps melt the product in to your skin. This has a natural satin finish but it doesn't last all day so it will get a little oily after a few hours. I think a primer is necessary and the primer they sell compliments it very nicely. I think this foundation would be ideal for those who are in school and want a quick application or those who are traveling and want to keep their liquids to a minimum. Those with oily skin may not like this foundation and even those that don't have oily skin beware, because it does transfer quite easily. The full size has the least amount of product at .34oz but is still expensive with a $34 price tag. You can find their products on their website.

Overall, my favorite foundations are the Josie Maran and 100% Pure. I think they give the best finish and the price is descent. Finding the right natural foundations is tricky but I hope this helped you with whatever questions you might have. Please let me know if there was something that I didn't answer.

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