3/28/09

Brights Anyone??


Craving brights? These new 42 Color- Double Stack Eye Shaodow & Blush combo palettes available from CoastalScents.com are really, um, bright. Available in both Matte and Shimmer versions, there's something for everyone. These are some of the brightest pressed eye shadows I've seen. On the skin, most of the colors have the effect of a mineral eye shadow or loose pigment. Pretty impressive. Since there are so many colors in each, ranging from these bright primary shades to a few neutrals, I only swatched a few of the brighter colors. But as you can see from the pictures below, these palettes are not for the timid, they are VERY colorful!

42 Color - Double Stack Matte Shadow & Blush Palette
$28.95


42 Color - Double Stack
Shimmer Shadow & Blush Palette
$28.95


The palettes themselves are pretty small closed...


...but when you open it, the eye shadow tray comes out and stacks against the top revealing the blush underneath.

The blush colors are the same in both palettes

Overall, the payoff of the blush colors are pretty great too!



*Reviews of their other new palettes are coming soon*






3/25/09

Smokey Navy Eyes




What I used:
MAC:
Painterly Paint Pot
Nehru eye shadow
Knight Divine eye shadow
Soft Brown eye shadow
Blanc Type eye shadow
Fascinating eye kohl
Blacktrack fluidline
Plushlash mascara
Tippy blush
High Tea lipstick

Watch the video tutorial here:

3/24/09

Sigma Makeup Brushes


Finding quality brushes for affordable prices can be difficult. Recently I was introduced to Sigma, a company that sells high quality face and eye makeup brushes. Since receiving them, I've used every single one and cleaned them as well. They work and hold up beautifully and while they are MAC-comparable, I actually prefer some of them to my actual MAC brushes! These are definitely my new babies.
I received the Sigma Makeup Professional Brushes Kit-Complete (with the brush roll), which contains 12 very high quality eye and face brushes. The complete kit with 12 brushes and a very high quality brush roll is $79. You can also purchase the brushes only without the roll for $64, which is great for brushes of this quality. Imagine what you would spend on 12 MAC brushes! This averages out to about $5 a brush. Amazing. I also received the SS182 kabuki-style brush which is a fabulous brush as well and goes for $16.





Check out my video review!





3/20/09

MAC Sugarsweet Collection Swatches & Review


I actually loved this collection in person...well, except for the funky tri-colored parfait-like lipglosses. Here is what I got and the swatches! You can also check out a full video review below.

Nail Polish in Peppermint Patti : $11.00


Shadesticks in Cakeshop (top) and Lemon Chiffon (bottom), $16.50


(no flash)
(with flash)
Lipsticks in (l-r) Lollipop Loving, Bubbles, and Saint Germain, $14.00



Eye Shadow in Dear Cupcake(l) and Aquavert(r), $14.50



Mineralized Skinfinish in Refined $27.00

Mineralized Skinfinish in Perfect Topping, $27.00

(sorry about the finger swatches...these don't photograph well)
Refined(l), Perfect Topping(r)





Promo image credit: Specktra.net (lisen.chic.se)




3/18/09

BeautyBlender Review and Demo

I LOVE THIS!! Check out the video for a detailed review, application demonstration and techniques to use and a demonstration of how to clean it :) Also don't miss the bloopers at the end :)


3/13/09

Bright Spring Colors w/ MAC Pigments








Products Used:
MUFE HD Foundation & Powder
MAC Bare Canvas Paint
NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil in Milk
MAC:
Vanilla Pigment
Viz a Violet Pigment (or any medium shade purple)
Clear Sky Blue Pigment (Pro)
Loreal Carbon Black Liner Intense
Ardell Lashes (#105, cut in half)
Petite Indulgence Cremesheen glass
Gentle Mineralized Blush

3/12/09

MAC Grand Duos Review/Swatches

Mineralized Blush (Duo): A mineralized Blush featuring soft-shimmer super-shine pearl in pretty tricolour veining to enhance and glorify cheekbones, followed by the pop and dimension of solid colour shimmer without an overly frosted look.
US$22.50


Overall, this is a beautiful collection of colors. Overall, the pigmentation is better in my opinion than the regular Mineralized blushes. Also, the color is very smooth and the shimmer is very fine. No chunky shimmer here. These two were my favorite!

Love Rock
( Gold violet mélange / bright blue pink)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Intenso
(Pink gold mélange / Terracotta rose)


3/9/09

New MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation Review


YAY! MAC finally has created a good liquid foundation. At least in my opinion. To be honest, I've never had good luck MAC's liquid foundations. But this is the first I've really liked. This one is truly unique.
A creamy, luxurious, gel-based foundation that provides medium buildable to high coverage with a natural satin finish. Hydrating, instantly revitalizes the skin while keeping it looking smooth, soft and plush. Long-wearing, water-resistant.
40 ml / 1.3 US FL OZ
US$28.00

Based on the description, I didn't think I would like this foundation because I have more combination/oily skin. I pictured this as being like most other "hydrating" foundations that claim to have a "natural satin finish". Usually they don't set well for me and have an oily look, as some people mistake or label foundations that leave an obnoxious shine as "natural" or "satin" finishes. This one is so unique because when it's blended in, it truly looks like skin. Not shiny, not matte...just, well, natural. When swatched on my hand (or worn on the face), it truly blends in completely and leaves no noticeable difference in finish between the product and my natural skin. That's truly saying something for a foundation. It is truly long wearing, and since it's water-resistant, it's actually really great for those of us with oily skin.
The only weird thing about it to me is the sweet, butterscotch scent. After a few applications, I got used to it though.

For more info. about this product (application methods, coverage, etc.) see my review video below!

I'm glad MAC finally created a liquid foundation I like!
You can see the gel texture in this one. It doesn't run or drip like a traditional liquid foundaiton when held sideways.

Not blended in

Blended in...you can see (or not see) the natural finish. It disappears into the skin.







3/5/09

Lush/Hate relationship....Lush Skincare Review

Ok, so I've made it a little over a week with my new skincare routine. Sadly, I've got to say that I was a little disappointed. I wanted to LOVE everything, I really did. But unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. Staying true to my commitment issues with skincare (other than my old trusty Proactiv), I didn't even make it the full 2 weeks. Read on for the full reviews of each product and why I stopped using these products.
**Please keep in mind that what works/doesn't work for me, may do the total opposite for you. These are just my honest opinions.

Lush Coal Face Cleanser:
At first I LOVED this stuff. If you're like me and you're used to a really deep cleanser that makes your face feel super clean, this is probably the best Lush cleanser for you. It has small exfoliating bits in it as well, which was important to me because I pretty much have to have an exfoliating cleanser after being used to using the Proactiv cleanser for 8 years. Unfortunately, the little bits are few and far between in the soap and while you can feel them in the lather, it really doesn't do a thorough job of exfoliating. It's just kind of scratchy. The soap lathers beautifully into a rich grey lather. The smell, which was kind of weird at first, really grew on me. It rinses very clean and easily. The downfall of this cleanser is that it's very drying. I felt like it wasn't really doing anything for my skin, just cleansing it and making it very dry. Not really putting anything back. I felt like I could have gotten the same cleansing effect with a bar of dial soap.

Tea Tree Water Toner:
The best part about this stuff is the packaging. I love how you can spray it directly onto your face or onto a cotton pad. I really didn't care for the scent. It reminded me of bathroom cleaner. I really didn't find it to do anything really. After washing my face, it really didn't make my skin feel any more comfortable or like it had truly "toned" it and put anything back that my skin needed. I know this stuff claims to be pretty effective, but it just wasn't for me.

Vanishing Cream:
This is supposed to be the least oily moisturizer Lush has. That being said, it still contains oils. I had been using this in place of my Benefit Dear John cream that I LOVE and really found that it didn't hold a candle to it when my skin was really uncomfortable. The Benefit Dear John however, is not completely oil free and I find it to do a better job of moisturizing without feeling as oily as the Vanishing Cream. Something that kind of freaked me out about it was the Johnson's Baby Oil-ish after scent. That, I did not like. At $35 for the small container, I just wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be after using it consistently.

Mask of Magnaminty:
This cleanser/mask feels really nice on the skin and has a really strong minty/tingling sensation as it dries on the skin. I actually found the sweet mint scent to be kind of nauseating. Like mint and something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. However, it's a little difficult to rinse. When I would rinse the mask, I would rinse it to begin with with my hands and warm water so I could get all the exfoliating benefits of the mask (which I really didn't find to be all that exfoliating), then to get the rest of it off, I would have to really work at it with a washcloth and warm water. Then, my washcloths would get stained and that was no fun. I actually really prefer the Love Lettuce mask by Lush. It's actually exfoliating, cleansing, and easy to rinse off. It just seems to work better with my skin. I also LOVE the Cupcake mask for when I need less exfoliation. I guess I shouldn't have tried to find something new when I already had found two masks by Lush that were working perfectly.

Philosophy On a Clear Day Retinol Treatment:
This was the only keeper out of the bunch. I found that during the course of using all of this new stuff, I didn't get any acne-like blemishes or anything like that. Just clogged pores (ew). Which I think the other products were more to blame for. I felt like this stuff kept most areas of my face acne free and really smooth. I also feel that when I use a retinol treatment, my pores are less noticeable. The only downfall to this stuff is the price. At $40 for such a small tube, that's a little much in my opinion. My biggest piece of advice would be to head to the drugstore and pick up some of the Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Cream with Spf. That one comes in a much larger tube, is 1/4 of the price and adds the spf protection which is crucial for retinol treatments since sunlight breaks down the active ingredients in any retinol treatment. Also, never pair a retinol with a leave-on benzoyl peroxide treatment (like a cream). They kind of cancel each other out and renders both uneffective. At least that's what the derm. says!

Ok, so the main reason I stopped using these products were because of the clogged pores that resulted. Not blemishes or acne or anything like that, but my skin just looked bumpy. Just on my forehead and chin. Something I've never really experienced before. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy about that. I feel like it was a combination of two things. Not enough exfoliation and not using any type of acne treatment (other than the retinol). While I've never had any real acne issues, I've always needed to use skincare aimed toward treating acne to prevent it since my skin can break out easily.
So, I've decided to go back to my old faithful Proactiv. It was good to me for 8 years. It really has everything I need: An exfoliating, medicated cleanser, a toner with glycolic acid (which will help smooth the appearance of my skin and fade any acne scarring), and a benzoyl peroxide acne treatment lotion. Since I stopped using this because it had become a little harsh on my skin, I'm planning on using the benzoyl peroxide lotion much less often. For moisturizer, I'm going to use my MAC Lightful Deep Ultramoisture cream day and night and the Benefit Dear John Cream when my skin feels like it needs some extra moisture. As for the retinol treatment, I'll use that at night if I feel I need it.

So needless to say, I haven't had the best of luck with Lush's skincare. In the past, I have also tried their Fresh Farmacy, Herbalism, and Angels on Bare Skin cleansers. I honestly didn't care much for those either. Yeah they were fun to use and different, but they just didn't deliver any real results. Out of all the cleansers by Lush, I actually like the Angels on Bare Skin the best, but I've realized that I need something with more cleansing, active ingredients. So as far as Lush skincare goes, the Love Lettuce mask and Cupcake masks are really all that works for me.
**EDIT** Also, the Ocean Salt Scrub. I actually like that a lot. Probably won't use it as much now that I'm back on Proactiv, but it's still awesome.

I LOVE Lush. Their skincare....umnotsomuch.

Tutorial: Silver & Bronze : Kim K. Inspired

This look was inspired by a photo sent to me by a subscriber of Kim Kardashian's makeup at a recent photo shoot. She also posted a video with her makeup artist recently. I decided to do a more "wearable" version. To see the inspiration picture and the videos, click here.

Products used:
MAC
Studio Sculpt Foundation NC25
So Ceylon Mineralized Skinfinish
Painterly Paint Pot
Arctic Grey eye shadow
Electra eye shadow
Bronze eye shadow
Cork eye shadow
Blanc Type eye shadow
Penultimate eye liner
Carbon eye shadow
Plushlash mascara
Blinking Cool False Lashes
Make Up For Ever no. 100 lip liner/concealer pencil
Pretty Please Lipstick
White Magic Lipglass (or Luminary Lustreglass instead)