Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Starting Spring Right: Coral NOTD


It's beginning to look a lot like spring! At least where I live, the rain clouds are gone and the sun is out. So im excited! Spring just reminds me of everything pretty and what girl doesn't want more pretty in her life???

Anyways, Last spring I found myself with a love for lavender, this year Im lusting after anything coral! I think coral was a trend last summer, soo im late, typical.

It's so hard to find a good coral nail polish! But I did find (in my own collection) Avon Apricot Mystery, it seems to get over-looked quite often. It has no real "bottle-appeal", it looks very dull and grandma-ish in the bottle. Luckily I gave it a swatch, and it comes up a pretty soft coral. 

Even though I love the color on it's own, I thought that Essie Luxeffect topcoat in Shine of the Tines would be a perfect compliment to it (Plus, what NOTD of mine would be complete without some sparkle?).It's very subtle and just occasionally catches the light. It's holographic glitter so im not entirely certain what color it is: it reflects orange, green, and yellow mostly. 

This is my first experience with holographic glitter, im still unsure how I feel about it; It's not as pretty as normal glitter I feel. Hmmm. Regardless this coral shade is definitely a favorite for spring! Im looking in to getting some more, Have any recommendations? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

UD Naked Basics Palette FOTD


This is less of a FOTD and more of a face of the month. Glitter shadows have gotten so old, and since school started I just want something simple, fresh (and brightening! for those early mornings eghhh), and quick. The clear choice for me is was the Naked Basics Palette, but I definitely needed to inject some color. 

Eyes -  Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, Sephora Silver Eyeliner

Obviously, the star of the show is the Naked Basics Palette. I used the shades, W.O.S and Naked 2, a light skin-tone color and a light cool brown. 

 I can't give the palette all the credit because I found that I just needs a little something extra. I've been using a silver eyeliner and I love it! It, not only makes it look less boring, but it also helps me feel more awake in the morning.

Face -  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush, Benefit Watts Up Highlighter

Still using my favorite foundation, Neutrogena Healthy Skin. It's a tad too dark for me (as this was my summer color) and it's sadly running out now, but hopefully I'll be able to get L'oreal Magic Lumi foundation soon (that I featured in my Spirng Shopping List post).

Today Im wearing way more blush than is recommended (so it'd show up in the picture). It's Tarte's Amazonian clay blush in Fantastic, that came in a set of four. Not sure if it's available in full size (or even at all) sadly. But it's my favorite of the four, bright cool pink that looks good with plummy lipstick.

I just can't get enough of highlights. I have a mini sample of Benefits Watts Up. It's not bad but it's a more subtle highlight. 

Lips -  MAC Lipstick Rebel

I do switch up my lipstick but my favorite of the moment is Rebel. I used to wear this really dark and opaque  last fall, but I realized it looks so pretty and bright as a stain! It tones down to such a lovely bright pink berry color, who knew! Also the Satin finish lasts a really long time on the lips, virtually no touch ups needed.

Im not photogenic at ALL and my camera was making me all sorts of weird colors. But a FOTD would'nt be complete without a face.

I didn't think I'd EVER love such a plain palette so much. Im not a fan of boring makeup. But using this feels like a lifestyle change for me, it's simplification. Everything I need but nothing more. Except of course bright blush and lipstick! It's definitely my ideal fresh spring face.

And by the way, this is my first FOTD! Thanks for reading =)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Real Techniques Core Collection Review


Here's the last of my Real Techniques brushes, as promised! 

Real Techniques Core Collection

Buffing Brush -

The reason I bought this collection and this brush IS worth the cost of the whole set! If nothing else, this brush won't disappoint. It's a great buffing brush, that's dense, almost paddle shaped, with a rounded top. It's probably very similar to a round top Kabuki Sigma brush (but I dont have one). I compared it to my Sigma flat top Kabuki and they're very similar in density. But I find that this brush has more give the bristles aren't as stiff and it glides smoother because it's a little less dense. Which I find makes it a lot easier to work with! 

Real Techniques Core Collection

Contour Brush -

My Second favorite brush in the set, and I dont even contour! It is a great brush for contouring, fits nicely in those... contours. It's nice and small and fluffy, it blends everything perfectly and allows you to control where you put product. 
It's like a smaller version of the Blush Brush basically. The problem I had was the Blush brush was too big for blush placement on my face, if you have the same problem this might be a good alternative. I've been known to use this for blush and highlight. 

Real Techniques Core Collection

Pointed Foundation Brush - 

Egghhh every set has it's weakness. This is the low point of the Core Collection. It's a very useless foundation brush. It's like an anorexic classic foundation brush. It's just too small and too thin to cover an entire face. I guess it could be used for under-eye concealer or concealing large areas, but I havent found anything that it's really good for. 

Real Techniques Core Collection

Detailer Brush - 

This little brush can be used for anything you want. It's basically a smaller, more useful, version of the pointed foundation brush. It's my new favorite lip brush! 

Real Techniques Core Collection

As are the rest of the line, these are great quality, affordable  synthetic (creulty free) brushes. I love 3 out of 4 of these brushes, so I'd say this set is worth buying. Actually it's so cheap that, you could buy it just for the buffing brush without feeling bad! But im sure you'll find uses for some of the other brushes too and it comes with a little case that might also be useful for traveling. 

* If you want to see my reviews on the Real Techniques Blush Brush, Expert Face Brush, or Eye Brushes, you can easily find them by scrolling to the left and clicking either the 'makeup brushes' or 'real techniques' under Categories.

Friday, February 22, 2013

MAC Opulash Mascara Review


When I saw that the MAC Opulash Mascara is included in the new MAC "Archie's Girls Collection" I knew I had to get a review up as soon as possible, because it's the only high end mascara that I really love! I was surprised that I actually liked it after my run in with MAC Zoom Lash (awful!) and other high-end mascaras that never seem to out-do my drug store favorites. 

Volume -

This mascara gives a slight amount of volume. I think because the formula of this mascara is very thin, it doesn't seem to build thickness and give a ton of volume at the roots. 

Length - 

Just as with volume, I can't say that the length is extreme. But for me, it's not a concern.

Creepy pictures of my eye : Before and After

Definition -

I think this is it's real strong point! This mascara gives great definition. A thin slightly wet formula combined with the combing effect of the wand seems to always insure that lashes never get clumped together. 
Definition is always a good thing because it makes it seem like you have more lashes.

Wand - 

Im a fan of these larger wands. They always seem extreme and hard to use, but in the end, ALL of my favorite mascaras have them! These large bristle wands just seem to work wonders for my lashes. 

This one is really big, but I love the tapered point which makes getting the corner and bottom lashes easier. 

I also love that the wand never seems to pick up too much product. It never blobs mascara or clumps lashes together.

My favorite thing about this mascara is it's ease. I used to deal with messy, sticky, blob-y, clumpy 'max volume' mascaras but they're such a PAIN.  This gives volume and length and a nice black black coating, but I really appreciate that it leaves my lashes separated and fluttery feeling rather than all that mess.  

* Side-Note: 

This can be a little confusing - The "Archie's Girls Collection" includes two different Opulash Mascaras. This is a review of the original formula. The "Archie's Girls" "Betty" Opulash is the original formula and the "Veronica" Opulash is a new supposedly more volumizing formula. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Real Techniques Starter Set Eye Brushes Review


Finally got the Real Techniques Eye Brushes I've been eyeing! 
A few months ago I tried my first Real Techniques Brush (The Blush Brush) and now im a complete convert. I've bought almost every brush in the line now and Im never disappointed.

Base Shadow Brush -

This is a very basic brush but one that is perfection! It reminds me of the much coveted MAC 217, it's another one of those brushes that do the convenient double duty of packing on shadow and blending it at the same time.
Unlike the MAC 217 this has a point at the tip. Which makes it very easy to do something a little more precise, like crease and outer-V work.

Compared to MAC 217

Deluxe Crease Brush -

This is a very dense round topped brush. I dont think this should have been called a "crease brush", I find this too be a little too big for use on my eyes. With one exception, it's pretty dense which makes it ideal for blending really suborn cream shadows.
This brush reminds me of Sigma's Precision kabuki brushes, and I find it works just like the one I have. It's actually perfect for blending concealer or especially thick cream products. 

Compared to Sigma Precision Kabuki 

Accent Brush -

This is a really thin, small, short fiber-ed brush. Real Techniques says this is "designed for precision detailing, spotlighting, highlighting, and smudging" and I find that to be completely true.
I find this perfect for work under the eyes, smudging liner, eyebrows, and even lipstick if need be.

Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush -

I'll admit things start to go downhill at this point. The point on this brush is way to blunt to be a good for my eyeliner. It makes the line too thick for my taste and cant make a thin point that I like at the end of my liner.
Although I have been using it for concealing, I prefer liner brushes because I like to use as little concealer as possible (I previously used my Sigma eyeliner brush). So it's not useless to me at least. 

Compared to Sigma Eyeliner Brush

Brow Brush -

This brush is the real low point for me. Apparently this brush was specifically designed to be used for brows. It's shaped like a classic angled brush but is unusually thick. The thickness prevents me from getting the precise lines I need in my eyebrows and pretty much everything else.
I literally cannot find a use for this brush, it's the only brush that I'd say was a complete miss.

Compared to MAC and Sigma Angle Brushes

Overall I love these! and use most of them everyday. Even though these came in a set, they are of the same quality as the individual Real Techniques Brushes I've bought. They're soft, don't shed, and maintain their shape wash after wash. BTW they also came with a brush holder thingy, similar to a brush roll but it stands up. I don't use it much but it seems nice for travel. 

On a side note, I also bought the Real Techniques Core Collection face brushes, and will be reviewing them next! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Dupe for MAC Dubonnet Lipstick


You know when you like a song a lot and you put it on repeat and, at the time, no other song can satisfy your ears quite like that one can? Well, I do the same thing when shopping; I get into cycles of buying tons of the same thing. My closet is filled with more polka dotted clothes than one girl needs but at the time nothing else could satisfy. A few months back I got caught up in buying deep red lipsticks and it's no surprise that these two turned out to be practically the same. 

This is MAC Dubonet and NYX Snow White 

MAC Dubonet was my first and is still my favorite MAC red lipstick, if not my favorite MAC lipstick period.   It's a deep bloody red with a hint of brown undertone that I think does wonders for my complexion, the only dark shade that makes pale skin and dark hair work without a draining goth-y effect. Similarly NYX Snow White is a deep bloody red that, as the name suggests, also works great against pale skin.

Simularities -

  •  Both shades are really bold slightly deep reds.  
  •  Dubonet is a MAC Amplified finish, meaning its really pigmented and has a creamy texture, and Snow White is very similar in pigmentation and texture.
Slight Differences - 

  •  A subtle difference is Snow White does not have the slight brown base like Dubonet.
  •  Snow White appears a little brighter and more red.

(This is the part where I deny that I have a problem) I honestly do like having both; they aren't interchangeable to me. Even though they swatch similar, I am such a red lipstick addict that I notice the tiny details. When I have them on I can really notice Dubonnet's brown base or Snow White's vivid red quality. But they're both two of my favorite reds (and I own quite a few!) and if you really need to save that $10, Snow White wont disappoint! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Valentines NOTD


Every Valentines day I take out this really adorable Nicole by OPI glitter hearts polish; its practically the only  time it sees the light of day (but somehow it's still half empty). It's one of my favorite nail polishes I've ever owned but it also makes for the most annoyingly impractical manicure I have ever experienced.   

The base color I used was my new pale pink, almost nude, Essie polish called Like to be Bad. Which I was disappointed in because it's quite sheer (this is 3 coats) and it looks like it has a red shimmer in it while it's in the bottle but it doesn't show up at all on the nails! I wanted a shimmer so I then put on a thin layer of Nicole by OPI Pink-nic in the Park which is a very sheer purple and pink duo-chrome. Then onto the glitter!

This glitter is probably not available anymore but it is repromoted quite a lot; I saw a similar one in the Minnie Mouse OPI collection last year, this one is called Nicole by OPI Step to the Beat of my Heart

I didnt start with the intention to put glitter hearts on every nail but I just couldn't help myself. Then a few hours later I realized why I never usually do that.... 

Firstly, this is one of those extremely annoying glitter polishes where you get tons of clear polish and few glitter particles, mine was worsened by the fact that it's half empty. So I basically had to fish out each heart one by one; however this did allow me to get accurate placement of the hearts.
Then, I realized later when I was taking a shower that the hearts 'catch' on every little thing, like clothing threads and hair most annoyingly of all! It's very impracticable because it not only rips out your hair but also the catching causes the hearts to chip off eventually. Originally my ring finger was fully coated in hearts but just a day later, as you can see in the photo, it has a few bald spots. 

This manicure was so annoying and uncomfortable that I have already peeled off all the hearts in frustration (and it's not even Valentines day yet)! Ripping off hearts has to be some kind of bad omen... 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

MAC Eyeshadows: Old and New Favorites


When I got my Urban Decay Naked Palettes last year I thought I'd never need to pick up a MAC eye shadow again. Well, It's amazing how fast a girl can get tired of 24 eye shadows. Egh, now it's like I never want to see another shimmery nude or brown again!

The Old - After a long absence I went back to some of my old favorites. Im still a neutral lover but these are
                a little more exciting than the average.

Sable,. Sketch, Smut, Tempting 


The New - I dont have a very extensive MAC eye shadow collection so there were a few colors I've heard                      tons about and have been lusting after for a while. So a few weeks ago I finally caved in. I really                   wanted to stay away from brown so I gravitated towards more cool toned grey-ish 

Copperplate, Quarry, Satin Taupe 

Im pretty happy with my new additions, they're all great quality, and once again im on a eyeshadow 'no buy'. I should, however buy a palette because  these little round pots are a bitch to store! 

Let me know what your favorite MAC eyeshadows are

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lusting Over: Tom Ford Cherry Lush Lipstick


I'm not one who can pass judgment on spending a lot of money on makeup, but when a pretty product comes with an unthinkable price tag, there is nothing more I can do but give it it's own segment in what I'm calling 'Lusting Over'. A series designed purely for conversational purposes, inspired by this very lipstick, Tom Ford's Cherry Lush. 

When everyone was raving about Tom Ford's infamous Black Orchid, I was falling in love with swatches of Cherry Lush. Its an amazingly bright blue toned pinky red.... that's a lot of colors for one lipstick but all in perfect synergy (you really have to check out the swatches to understand where I'm coming from). 
Its everything that I usually gravitate towards in a lipstick: Bright, Red, Sexy Embossing, and High Price Tag. 

But this lipstick really pushed my boundaries and spurred the question, How Much is too Much? 

Tom Ford lipsticks are mainly sold at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave stores (Now this is where I started to get nervous too) and they retail for $48. 
I'll admit, I have no problem parting with the occasional $15 for a MAC lipstick or $25 for a Nars Lipstick. And well, I've at least considered a $35 Chanel lipstick purchase once but even that seemed a little too reckless for me. 

This Story does have a bright-side.
Firstly, I now do not feel as bad about the price of MAC lipsticks, I mean in comparison it seems insignificant. Also this lipstick is probably one of cheapest luxury products you can buy. I should feel lucky I don't have a handbag or shoe obsession, right?

So the question is, should I loosen up or just leave this lipstick in my dreams??