30 July 2012

Prelude to a Haul: The Tarte F&F sale

I used to do these with MAC collection releases all the time. But ever since of hearing about the Friends and Family sale being held by Tarte, I couldn't help myself. I had to talk about what I think is the best from Tarte!  

Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20

From tartecosmetics.com
What I love about this product, is that it has a touch heavier coverage than a traditional tinted moisturizer.  It's smooth and while it isn't overly moist it does wear well over moisturizer and primer.  The finish is semi-matte, which keeps in line with its "natural finish" promise.  What I'm most impressed and enthusiastic about, is the fact that this is a GREAT winter foundation.  It's non-drying, lightweight, feels smooth on the skin and doesn't cling to dry patches.  I wore this all winter long, and really dug how it wore in the cold and in the heat.  The color match was fair - I am Agent 10 (aka conceal) which is a medium/ light-medium with yellow undertones, and this was a nice winter shade for me.  Its summer now, and Agent 10 is too light, and because of the semi-sheer coverage its a little too obvious of a difference to wear.  But, overall, great staple product!


from tartecosmetics.com
This is the, hands down, best sooty black gel liner I've ever owned. EVER.  You can use any kind of brush, and the dual ended brush you get with it is not too shabby.  I use this is two different ways.  As a nice winged liner or as a smudgy, smoky eyeliner around the whole of the eye - sort of Taylor Momsen trash panda-lite, and a little more refined and chic. The liner does set, but in between you drawing it on your eye and it setting you do get ample time to blend the liner or refine the shape of your cat eye, should you choose to do so.  It's also pretty fab as an eyeshadow base, if you work quickly with it.  But my favorite part of this whole gel liner equation is that the black is so BLACK. I just can't get over it.  It also traces a nice, smooth and importantly even line of liner.  This is love baby. (don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more!)


from tartecosmetics.com

Generally, I'm not a gimmick-y person or a person who has an avid appreciation of rollerball cosmetics.  HOWEVER, on occasion, these opinions can be changed.. namely, when the product is discounted ($10 before the 30% discount), and when the product actually works.  The hero of this duo really is the roller ball primer, the shadow is a nice addition, but it's not essential to get foolproof, stay-in place makeup.  The powder over cream to set it trick isn't exactly cutting edge, but the color range and the ease of use for this product make it very nice and an easy alternative for when your old primer isn't up to taking on the day.  That's when you call in reinforcements, that's when you call in Lock n' Roll.

Other Mentionables

You can find all sorts of reviews, all over the internets for these hero products - but they are worth mentioning, because they are awesome.  So, I'm going to give credit, where credit is due....
Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush - Shades everyone has - Tipsy, Dollface and Exposed.  Shade I'm coveting - Natural Beauty, a nice sheer red.

emphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener - Missed out on the MAC Chromagraphic Pencil?  Don't like Stila Kajal in Topaz (ew)? Not crazy about Illamasqua's Cane Medium Pencil or Vow Medium Pencil?  This my friends, is for you.

LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint - Smooth.  Minty.  Matte.  Pigmented.  Really all you need to know about this, if you thought they were expensive but you wanted to try them out, F&F is the time to take these puppies for a test drive.  I like Exposed and Fiery.

Stacking Up the Savings!

The F&F code for 30% off is FFAUG, with free shipping on orders over $40.  But if you log into Ebates, tartecosmetics.com is offering 4% cashback, on your purchase.  So shop away!
 

28 July 2012

Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report



Erin at Face Design Studios shares with us her 5 favorite summer nail polishes, and one that doesn't quite meet the mark.

Katherine of Sparkle Girl's Life shows of how her lip product collection, and how she stores it!

At Love For Fashion, Meera shares her thoughts on the fashion and style shown at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards.

Olivia at The Unknown Beauty Blog talks about the Sugarpill Burning Heart Palette.  Find out why it makes her Best of the Best list!

Looking for a nail art design that reflects the Summer colors? Why not try this colorful French manicure brought to you by Jocelina at Pink Chocolate Break.

Interested in Little Black Bag but don't know where to start?  Kelly at The Reasonable Blonde details her experience with the site, shows us what she snagged, and gives some tips and tricks to successfully navigate trades and have the most fun with LBB!
Every other week, Lindsay at The Beauty Think Tank, shares her Faves and Fails in the realm of Beauty - from cosmetics, to music, literature and fashion, nothing escapes her realm of notice or review!

So check us out!  If you're a blogger who would like to be featured on Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report please e-mail Lindsay at beautythinktank@gmail.com.

27 July 2012

Faves & Fails Friday Edition!

HOMG! Kstew cheated on RPatz!  THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IS NOW ENDING!  All of this attention on Kstew has lead me to notice one thing about her, especially because her face is now, literally, everywhere - that hussy!  And that thing is that if you can get past the hair, and her expressions, she has great makeup.  Like all the time!  It's always this messy, smudgy, smoky without being too overdone or contrived, look.  Half the time, I am envious of her makeup and the other half of the time, I am envious of her clothes, because I dig her personal style.  It's kind of anti-feminine, but it works!  I like that there is a lack of frills and sparkles to her look, that it's mostly colorblock and uses unique materials.  As much as it pains me to admit, because I really think that without Twilight no one would care about her, I kind of covet her look.  

from USweekly.com
FAVES

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum - This was a sample I received in my July Birchbox and I squeezed every little loving drop out of my packets.  S!CSS was moisturizing, wore well under makeup, had minimal white cast, and made my skin feel better no matter what foundation and moisturizer I coupled with it.  It wasn't overly greasy, and sank into my skin. This is SPF 30, which is my preferred method of protection, because I am not prone to burning SPF 50+ is overkill on me and actually can make my face whiter than my body, which I'm not crazy about. Now, I'm not a sunscreen wearer, but I love this sunscreen! In fact, I can't wait to buy a full size of it!  If only... if only it wasn't $42 for 1.7 oz.  SERIOUSLY! SUPERGOOP!! Why you gotta be so $$?  Is there some magic unicorn dust that you had to travel the bi-frost for to get?  I mean... good lord.  I can get a nice Neutrogena sunscreen for $10! WTF.  AGH!  I guess I'm going to have to rack up some Birchbox points, so I can get a discount on it!

from birchbox.com
Revlon Va Va Violet Lipstick - I am over summer.  Blistering heat?  Sweating?  Not being able to wear leggings?  No thank you.  In an effort, to give mother nature a push in the right direction, I have taken to wearing dark violet lipstick.  Enter in Revlon Va Va Violet, I purchased this from Rite Aid, when Revlon was 40% off, and let me tell you.  It's love.  It applies better and darker to dry lips, can be blotted down, and fades relatively evenly.  This is from Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick range, but is pretty matte, and doesn't pull too black or harsh on my lips.  Love it!

from drugstore.com
FAILS

Julep Nail Vernis Sasha Nail Polish - So remember that NOTD that I promised when I posted my Julep Introductory box review?  There's a reason I haven't followed through with it. It's... well... how do I put this politely, kind of unfortunate.  I know I am not the best manicurist, but I still put up NOTD pics because I want to get better, and I want to show off colors I think are hot.  Out of the three nail polishes I received with my Julep It Girl box, Sasha, a nice coral-cantaloupe-y hue, was the one that really blew my skirt up.  So naturally I manicured my hand with it.  Unfortunately, it also looked like I Jackson Pollack-ed my hand - part of which, has noting to do with my semi-ineptitude.  The brushes are tiny, the polish is runny and the slim rectangular brush handle is really awkward for me to hold and messes with my control while painting my nails.  It was just... fail.  FAIL.  I've had the polish on for two days and its already chipping.  I'm not sure what happened, because the polishes I tested out in Sephora were so much better than Sasha.  I just don't know! Needless to say, I don't think I will be continuing with the Julep Maven box after August.

Meep why!?!

RANDOM

Music - Anyone heard Young the Giant's cover of R. Kelly's - Ignition?  No?  Let me fix that for you!


Buh Bayum!  You're welcome!

Etsy 

To be quite frank, lots of people geek out over Pride & Prejudice... but I geek out over Jane Eyre.  I geeked out when Mia Wasikowska played her, and geeked out even more when Mr.Rochester was played by Michael Fassbender in the movie.  If given the choice to be Lizzie or Jane - I'd be Jane.  Some people may think that is lame.  But Jane has a quiet strength which I love, plus she's very funny and in her own way secretly rebellious.  I think Jane is very kick ass.  And I think this etsy scarf with the scene in which Jane confronts Mr. Rochester with her feelings and essentially tells him that he can go eff himself if he thinks that he is superior to her and the depth of her feelings, is AMAZING.

From the Storiarts by tori iannarino Etsy store
 It's love in scarf form.

Weird Fashion Craving

Galaxy print leggings. I'm not kidding.  I desperately want a pair.  I'm glad galaxy print is so randomly en vogue.  Cuz I love me some space and I love me some leggings.  And if you marry the two... well... SOLD!

from Romwe.com
Thanks for reading!
-/L.

24 July 2012

RIP Sally Ride

Sorry for the interruption in beauty programming, but I felt like posting this because this woman was a pioneer and really did go where no woman had gone before and she deserves my respect. Sally Ride, the first American Woman in Space and one of my childhood heroes, passed away yesterday from pancreatic cancer. Rest in Peace.

23 July 2012

Julep Maven Introductory Box - It Girl


Julep Maven is a Beauty Subscription service offered by Julep cosmetics, and provides three nail type products (usually varnishes) and one surprise product/ item per box per month for $19.99 with free shipping.  As a product Julep Nail Vernis's are the big 3 free, and as a brand, a portion of Julep Maven sales support their Powered by Girlfriends initiative which is a charitable organization that supports women.

HOW IT WORKS (cuz it's sorta complicated but pretty awesome)



Go to Julep.com, register an account and take the style quiz.  Your first box (which is what this review is concerned with), contains three nail varnishes based upon what category you fell into.  When I took the Style Quiz, I was typed as 'It Girl'.  I also think, had I tweaked my answers a wee bit I probably could have fell into the 'Boho Girl' theme as well.  



Your introductory box is sent out immediately, and when your regular monthly box is available, Julep emails you.  They tell you the contents you will be receiving and the theme of that months box (if any).  You can then log into Julep, and view the products available to the other style types that month.  If you like another style's offering better, you can change which box you want to receive.  Then! If you want more products, you can add on an additional three nail varnishes for that months box for an extra $4.99 a piece.

BILLING

Julep Maven makes it ABUNDANTLY clear, that they will bill you on the 27th of every month, and ship your at the same time they bill. I can't confirm the TAT for the monthly subscription, but I signed up for Julep on 17 Jul, was e-mailed my shipping confirmation on 19 Jul, and received my box today, 23 Jul.  So about six days from nuts to bolts.  Which is pretty speedy.  And they get major bonus points in my book for the transparency of their billing and shipping practices.  I feel that it is very upfront and fair.

SO WHAT DID I GET!?!

Toe seperators and a mysterious pink package.
Three Varnishes!
The name of the varnishes!
Up close of the colors.
PERKS

Julep has quite a few perks.  I'm going to list them for clarity.

1) You can score your introductory box for 1 cent using the following coupon code - COLOR2012

2) You can score a free monthly box thereafter by using a referral code provided by Julep and having two people sign up for a box.

3) Once they e-mail you the contents for your monthly box (the box you will be billed full price for), you get one free Add On for being a new customer.

4) Because you are a Maven it appears that you score 20% off all products in the Julep store with free shipping.  This does not appear to be restricted to the featured monthly products or only certain products that you receive.

NITTY GRITTY

I feel like I've been decidedly under-opinionated thus far.  Let me rectify that!  I signed up for Julep Maven because I have cancelled my Glossybox subscription (for reasons I will reveal in my July Glossybox review) and wanted to replace that subscription, with another subscription at a similar price point.  I chose Julep because it seemed so user friendly, and when I swatched their varnishes in Sephora, I really like the color range/ polish quality.  In terms of value, Julep has already outclassed Glossybox.  All of the varnishes sent are full sized, Julep has incredible freedom of choice and great customer service as well.  So, for $20 I am basically receiving 7 nail polishes of high quality (3 from the intro box, 3 from my August subscription, plus 1 free Add-On), when individually they retail at Sephora for $14 each.  So, yeah, major bang for your buck.

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE

I may get bored with this rather quickly.  I am not a fancy nail polish chick.  You can tell from my abysmal NOTD attempts - I am not a fancy, high falutin' nail-o-phile.  And I have no intention of becoming one, I just like having polished nails.  So I can imagine there coming a point in the very near future in which I am just going to grow tired of receiving nail polish, and question the necessity of it, because there is no way I'd use that much nailpolish, or need that much nailpolish around.  But quite a few people would like receiving the hottest nail colors at their fingertips.

Anywho, I'm posting a BOLO for my NOTD featuring Sasha sometime this week, and so far, so good for the good chicks at Julep Maven.

22 July 2012

Tarte Clean Slate Deluxe Primer Trio

I have a confession. The only primer I use daily is eyeshadow primer - mainly because I actually know that it works.  Foundation primers I've always been sort of iffy on.  And by iffy I mean, I think they have a time and place and a specific user.  Generally, when you need your makeup to last on a really important occasion applied by a professional.  Otherwise, I see zero benefit from it.  So, of course when I saw a primer trio on-sale at Sephora for $9, I was like... MUST BUY.  Clearly, I was taken in by a rogue lemming pony.

Packaging - This is deceptive.  These are tiny sample sizes/ aliquots.
I mean I get to try three primers for $9?  And, then I have all the primer I need if feel I need to use it?  Because I don't wear it all the time?  And there are two different kinds for my face?  And its from Tarte? And they last 12 hours?  And.. and.. and!!! You can see how it was easy for me to saddle up with that pony and chase down my lemming wholeheartedly.

Clean Slate Poreless, Clean Slate flawless, Clean Slate Creaseless - all crazy tiny.
I'm actually surprised that this was just $9.  I could see Sephora charging $15 for it easily, especially because Tarte's products are priced on the higher end of the mid-range, and get away with it.  Granted, I would have thought twice about it at $15, and may have been dissuaded from purchasing, but I think the $9 price point was to encourage impulse buying in a marketplace flush with $20 - $30 full sized products.

IN GENERAL

Clean Slate Poreless - This is a silica based gel that's clear with a smooth texture.  When applied, I stuck to the T-zone and left the edges of my face bare.  If overapplied you can feel the product sitting on the skin, but it tends to mesh well with tinted moisturizers and heavier foundations.  I used my fingers to apply this.

Clean Slate Flawless - I'm not sure if I would consider this a primer.  I would consider this a face brightener because it's very liquidy and pearlescent with even parts pink and golden shimmer.  I smoothed this over the face entirely, with extra on the tops of my cheek bones, bridge of my nose for some pre-foundation highlighting oomph.

Clean Slate Creaseless - A very thin, almost Too Faced Shadow Insurance type texture that absolutely sucked as an eyeshadow primer.  It creased and was oily, so I used it as a concealer primer.  This did not fill in my creaselines, but it did give my concealer a bit more staying power than usual.  This is the most meh of the three of them.

TORTURE TESTING

All of these claim to last for 12 hours, and of course I had to test it out! I mean, wheres the fun in taking things at face value! So, I took before and after pictures of each to see if I could still see makeup sticking.  I mean, after all, that's what you use a primer for... to extend the longevity of your makeup, right?  So lets test this out!

Clean Slate Poreless
Fdtn - NARS Sheer Glow, Concealer - MAC Mineralize, Face Powder - Tarte Smooth Operator.

I took pictures with flash so you can see exactly where the makeup is on my face, it does not look this way IRL.  The powder does not show as much to the naked eye, nor does my lower lashline look freakishly whited out.  But it looks nice and even right?  No huge issues or gaping problems that I can tell.

Post 12 hours.
Skin still looks nice, but as you can see the makeup has faded considerably.  The concealer is gone and the forehead is shiny, but the nose and nosewings still appear to be in good shape.  Overall, I'm not terribly disappointed as I was testing these primers on exceptionally hot days, I would expect better results on cooler days.

Clean Slate Flawless

Fdtn - NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, MAC Mineralize Concealer, Tarte Smooth Operator Powder.
I tend to change up my makeup daily, and constantly struggle with my under-eye area, I'm sorry for failing so hard. Although, I have to say, I don't see the flawlessness but I do see a lot of matte from the powder.  My chin and around my lip area is a bit shiny, but it's nothing too big.
12 hours later.
This fails.  All of the makeup is pretty much gone.  Flawless is not that great of a primer.  I'm not crazy greasy or shiny with my makeup melted off, but it's still just not on my face.  I was noticing it's disappearance throughout the day as well.

OVERALL

The Poreless primer is nice - it mattifies, fills in the pores and tries to hold on.  But you can buy better for cheaper from various Indie Cosmetics companies like Fyrinnae (It's there Oil Control Silica Gel Primer).  As for Flawless, I think its a bit of a misnomer to say that this is a primer.  I would venture to say it's a brightener and would be better suited as a subtle highlighter.  Creaseless was used on my under-eyes, but it just really wasn't worth it's salt.  I really didn't see any benefit to using this product. So, for me, this is a womp, womp.  I induldged in an impulsive lemming and now all I have is one tiny sample of primer that cost me $9.  Such are the ways of the lemming.

21 July 2012

Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report



Jeneille from C'bbean Beauti Blog reviews the Smile Brilliant teeth whitening system - complete with a giveaway!

Erin from Face Design Studios reviews the ELF Flawless Face Foundation, read on to find out what she rated it!

This week at Love-for-Fashion Meera discusses Cheryl Coles new retro look spotted during shooting for her latest music video.

If Ombre is your thing, Olivia reveals how to keep the trend fresh using eyeliner at Maquillage Obscura.

Zoe Saldana always shines on every red carpet event and with her casual outfits as well. If you want to know how to get her look check out this post from Pink Chocolate Break.

Just when Rose Gold couldn't get any hotter or trendier Kelly at The Reasonable Blonde finds two great polishes for keeping your fingers and toes in great metallic style.

Jessie from Velvet Daisy showcases her style saavy and fashion steals she found while shopping car boot sales.

While waxing poetic about Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint, Lindsay from The Beauty Think Tank, tries and doesn't quite succeed at finding a dupe of this luxurious lip product.

So check us out!  If you're a blogger who would like to be featured on Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report please e-mail Lindsay at beautythinktank@gmail.com.

20 July 2012

NOTD- China Glaze Jungle Queen

I picked this lovely up at Sally's, it's from CGs Fall Collection and it's what I wanted Revlon Perplex to be. JG is a purple-grey creme with purple microshimmer, and the formula is fairlt thin. I needed two thicker coats gor full opacity. I photo-ed this with the flash on so you could see the shimmer Also, I had to trim my nails down, they were getting excessive.

Science Fridays: Beta Hydroxy Acid





WHAT IS IT?


A class of organic acids that has beauty applications.  The most commonly encountered of these is Salicylic Acid (Sal-E-sill-ick Acid).  In organic chemistry terms, a BHA has the following defining chemical characteristics: A Carboxylic Acid group and a hydroxyl group seperated by two carbons.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

I'm so glad you asked!


My poorly edited picture - but it illustrates my point.  I could really bore you with how this works, but then I'd have to kill you, that's totally insider knowledge.  Kidding!

WHAT DOES IT DO?

For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on salicylic acid, because it is really the most commonly encountered BHA of them all.  Salicylic Acid is the primary ingredient in over-the-counter acne treatment products because it acts as a chemical exfoliant.  Meaning it causes skin cells that normal clog pores and contribute to acne, to slough off - thereby clearing your pores and reducing the places bacteria has to grow and cause acne.  It also helps to constrict the size of the pore and stimulates cellular turnover revealing brighter, clearer skin.  It also is the active form of aspirin, and aspirin tablets can because it acts as anti-inflammatory. (Note: This is probably why your grandma told you to crush an aspirin tablet and apply it to your face to get a particularly volcanoe-like blemish to go away).

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

It is found naturally in the bark of the Willow tree, and way back when, and I mean way back when like Ancient Rome, it was used to treat a variety of medical maladies like aches, pains and fevers.  But since it was Ancient Rome, I don't think this actually extended your longevity.  Now, it's probably chemically synthesized in bulk rather than extracted from bark.  I mean, Bayer couldn't possibly have a top secret Willow tree farm that they exclusively cull willow bark from to support the intense demand for salicylic acid the world needs to be pimple and pain free.... could they?  (It's a conspiracy!)
WHAT CAN I BUY IT IN?

The strongest concentration I've seen a BHA at the drugstore is 2%, and that is in things like Acne facial cleansers, Oxy Clean Pads and Clean & Clear Acne Treatment gel.  I'm certain a dermatologist can prescribe stronger prescriptions, or you can crush aspirin into your face cleanser or moisturizer for a greater concentration.  This, however, is not recommended because too much salicylic acid can result in chemical burns on the skin by extreme exfoliation.

HOW DO I USE IT?

Generally all of the products come with directions for use on the packaging, and you should absolutely follow them, they are there for your ease of use.  However, I have some post use suggestions, since this is an exfoliator, you want to be kind to your skin after use.  Meaning moisturizer after use and sunscreen for protection, because you're exposing newer and fresher skin faster.  Those skin cells aren't as hardy or problematic as the older skin, so they need to be babied.  You'll thank yourself for it sooner - when you have a nice, supple looking, fresh skin, and later, when the sunscreen has slowed the aging process on your face and your 40 but looking like a popping fresh 30.  Just saying.

18 July 2012

NOTD - Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens

A NOTD post that's not an Mblog!?!  I know... what is the world coming to.  Anyways, Nails Inc is one of my favorite HE Nail Polish Brands.  It's not too expensive and the brand delivers a great color payoff from a diverse range of shades - all for $9.50.  Nails Inc. also happens to make Kensington Caviar Fast Dry Top Coat - my favorite ultra shiny quick drying top coat. And is British - I'm a total anglophile!  I would watch tapes of Lady Diana's wedding that my mom had as a kid. I stayed up with my mom when Lady Diana was in her fatal car crash glued to the news. I still watch my saved DVR of the Prince Williams marriage to the lovely Kate Middleton.  I have a veritable ton of Youtube subscriptions to lots of amazing British Beauty Vloggers.  AND.  I am super pumped for the Olympics being held in London at the end of July.

I mentioned Lady Di - because her story was tragic and British.  Much like Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens, a shade of varnish I would describe, at best, to be ugly-pretty.  Which can be tragic or it can be classic and great.  HG is such an ugly color on it's own, a warm mustard brown with a slight touch of baby vomit that it's almost unsightly.  If it hadn't been on sale, and I hadn't been in a weird mood in which I wanted such a strange color, I never would have bought HG.  However, I am glad I did, because, for such an ugly color, I really, really love it on my nails.  It's unusual and gross, but it's so well done that it's beautiful, classic and unexpected.  Check it out for yourself!

I'm working on my polish skills.  They're still a work-in-progress.

17 July 2012

Inglot Freedom System Palette Picspam!

Dear Readers,

I am writing a letter to apologize for having this palette for over a year and not writing about it.  I am apologizing for being behind in the bandwagon, and for lagging behind posting pictures of it.  I hope you can forgive me, and appreciate the fact that, out of all the blogs I've stalked I've yet to see a duplicate of my palette.  So while not being fresh, it is, at least, unique.

My sincerest apologies,

Lindsay

PS - You'll also have to forgive because... uh... I don't remember the names of the colors, and if you're familiar with these palettes, you'll know that once you get the eyeshadows in there it is beastly to get them out of the palette.  Blame excessive magnetic force, and my faulty memory.

PPS - The way I designed the palette was to be both a neutral and a bold palette, that I could get a multitude of looks with just five eyeshadows.  So I picked unique textures and colors, with some great warm toned neutrals and my two favorite colors as my accent shadows.  In a strange way, it reminds me of the MAC Hello Kitty Lucky Tom Quad (which is my favorite MAC Quad of all time, and partly the inspiration for this palette), but better and you know... not limited addition.  Ultimately, I wanted something that if I was traveling could take with me and have several complete looks at my finger tips.  I'm big into Bang for my Buck.

PPPS - If anyone thinks they know the shades leave the numbers in the comments please!  And I'll update the post accordingly!  Thanks!

FREEDOM PALETTE PICSPAM

Exterior - I really love this palette's design aesthetic.  I also like that once the lids on, it's pretty much indestructible, like a tank.

I apologize for the dirty interior, but I've had it for a year.  Can't you see the neutral and bold look possibilities!?!

Can't you see them now!  And it's only five shadows!

So, in one palette I have a neutral, smoky, colorful, colorful smokey, natural, retro, cut crease and probably other possibilities I am just not naming.  But I really do like this palette - I haven't really found this color combination a lot of places, and I really enjoy it.  It works well for me.

15 July 2012

Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint - Black Currant

I've been experiencing a makeup renaissance of sorts.  A paradigm shift in how I experience cosmetics.  This is not the first time such a thing has happened to me.  When I first indoctrinated myself into the world of cosmetics and makeup-ery, I went for high impact color with in-your-face flair.  It was go big, or go home.  Pansy assed neutrals need not apply - the Cult of My Anything But Better could check itself at the door.  Then I sort of unplugged myself for a while, and became a staple one look girl - winged liner, mascara, bronzer, nude lip.  I could've cared less about color in blush or in lipstick.  And now, now, I am cycling through another phase where I am finding that subtle use of color on lips and cheeks can be more dynamic than balls out bold and more feminine than minimal.  In short, I think my attitude(s) about makeup are, in fact, maturing.  I'm mildly alarmed by this.

The box!
Now, I told you that story, so I could tell you this story.  (10 points if you get the reference!)  I am digging dark lips for fall, and was looking for a lip balm/ color adding product to wear during the summer but then, once it became fall, use it as an amplifier for darker lipsticks so that when they fade, they fade a bit more evenly.  Enter in Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Black Currant.  

I love Bite Beauty's packaging - it's this delicious charcoal grey with a velvet matte finish.  Inocuous and luxe.

My one beef with ordering this brand online is that the Sephora.com swatches are terrible.  You don't really get a good feel for the color of the product online, and it gives no indication that the product is so sheer.  Or what the actual lip product bullet looks like (at least for the lip tints).  When I purchased this, I knew I wanted to layer this under darker lipstick so I just went with the darkest one I found thinking that any undertones would be obliterated by a darker lipstick.  

The inner bullet - with the awesome B full of stuff, that I am going to divulge in the next paragraph!
The Bite Lip Tint is dual cored, with an overall balm like texture and consistency.  It's supposed to be a sheer tint, that deepens as you layer it with a glossy finish.  There's a lot of stuff going on in this lipstick ingredient wise - argan oil, vitamin E, fruit butters and Resveratrol.  But that's typical of Bite products, they like to cram the antioxidants in there.  They also like to be $24 USD, which is a bit of a... Wuuutttt..... for me.  Because in this day and age, you can find similar products for cheaper. Notice, I didn't say better. I love, love, love the way this product feels on my lips.  It's smooth, moisturizing and sinks in like none other.  All Bite products feel this way.  They're just luxurious, and a delight to wear.

Bite Lush Lip Tint in Black Currant is on the Left.  The Right Swatch will be revealed in due time.
The above swatch is one swipe of Black Currant.  The one difference you can see between BC and the mystery swatch is how natural it looks, and by natural I mean, the color looks like it appears in nature, like someone took a black currant and crushed the living daylights out of it and put it in a lip product.  It's a color that isn't punched up with lots of pigment, its very soft and beautiful.  BC also has a ton more sheen than mystery swatch as well, something that the Bite Lush Lip Tint is touted to have and clearly delivers.  On heavily pigmented lips, this wouldn't do anything.  It's way too sheer, even for a sheer product - on my lips one layer of this barely comes up, and I have pretty un-pigmented mauve-y pink lips naturally.  What it looks like is a bare hint of color, some shine and a cushiony, plush lip feel.  So what is the mystery swatch?  I mean it's clearly there for a reason.

Why it's Revlon Colorburst Red Velvet Lip Butter!
I actively tried to find a cheaper dupe for the Lush Lip Tint, because for $24 I couldn't justify keeping a product that didn't really do something I couldn't get cheaper products to do.  The challenge for this, was going to be duplicating the color.  I was unsucessful at this.  The RCRVLB is clearly more pigmented and pinker/rosier/fuschia toned than the BLLTBC. In fact the Lip Butter is so pigmented that it applies more like a lipstick than a lip tint or moisturizing balm.  I had to dab this onto my lips and really blend it out to get a similar look to the Lush Lip Tint, but it still was pinker than I wanted it to be, and I purposely bought Red Velvet because it appeared to be the darker, browner version of the two shades that were the darkest reds offered by the Revlon Lip Butter Range.  This product is also a good deal drier than the Lip Tint, which I thought was strange for a product whose main attraction is that it's supposed to be moisturizing and shiny.  Which. It's neither.  To me, this lip butter is more of a semi-moisturizing lipstick in disguise.  Product dupe fail.

Just to be thorough - what the Lip Butter Bullet looks like. But you can see why I thought it may dupe Black Currant.
All that being said, it's not a bad product for $8 USD.  And in direct comparison, you get more oomph for the price versus the Bite Lush Lip Tint - whose benefit will probably be seen in the long term and a bit faster on a person whose lips are a bit older than mine.  Bite Lush Lip Tint is sold on Sephora.com and the Revlon Red Velvet Lip Butter is available not at Sephora.com and literally everywhere else.

Drive by Swatching - Smudgy Eye Pencils from Tarte, Stila and Urban Decay

I was in Ulta and decided to Swatch things - This is a bang for your buck swatchfest right here! Top row from L to R: Stila Smudge Pencils in Umber, Pink Violet, Navy and Smoke. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Rehab. Bottom row from L to R Tarte Amazonian Clay Shadow Liner in Olive, Fig, Plum and Golden Black.

13 July 2012

Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers - Inaugural Post!


The internet is a big place, filled with lots of blogs, advertisements and opinions.  You want to separate the wheat from the chaff, but sometimes good things get lost in the shuffle!  Well never fear!  The Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report is here to bring you the best from little know blogs that are delving deep into the world of Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle!


Ashton over at Little Beauty Treats reveals some awesome news about a wonderful goal she has attained!

Meera at Love-for-Fashion talks about essential gear and looks for a stylish Festival/ Summer Concert season.

Olivia at Maquillage Obscura divulges her favorite hairbrush from a brand she has been favoring for 20 years!

Jocelina at Pink Chocolate Break shares some quick and easy tips for growing out your hair.

Kelly at The Reasonable Blonde talks about Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Protector Finishing Powder a great lightweight powder for summer.

Jessie at Velvet Daisy shows off a cute and effortless ensemble for relaxing with friends.

Lindsay at The Beauty Think Tank shares what she thought of this month's excellent Birchbox.

So check us out!  If you're a blogger who would like to be featured on Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report please e-mail Lindsay at beautythinktank@gmail.com.

Faves & Fails Friday Edition!


Another week, another Friday, another small indicator that, indeed my friend, time does march on.  In other news, Miley Cyrus apparently got a Theodore Roosevelt quote tattoo on her forearm.  Which I am surprised by and mollified by, because I guess I underestimated her capacity for intelligence and hipster type decision making.  Anyways, she's one - or several up on me - because I have zero tattoos, although I have grandiose visions of ink and skin in my head, I just can't commit to one idea.  Plus it's far easier to hide piercings.

FAVES

MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl - This was sort of a darkhorse product for me.  I've had it for awhile and didn't realize how much I used it, until I couldn't find it this morning and had myself a good panic, during which time, I ripped apart my vanity in a crazed fashion trying to locate it. It's a really great, smooth bronze-y gold pencil.  It's awesome as subtle, smudgy liner, great as an all over eyeshadow base, and excellent on the waterline for a sultry look.  It's perm at MAC so I'm never fearful of running out of it, or never being able to repurchase it because they always have it.

MAC Brunette MSF - Anyone remember MACs Blonde, Brunette, Redhead?  It's seriously my favorite MAC collection that wasn't in crazy release.  It brought the world  my favorite MAC shade ever, Henna - the eyeshadow form of Powersurge, and it brought the world the less popular bigger sister of MAC Redhead MSF - MAC Brunette MSF.  Believe it or not, I still have this MSF and I use it on the regular in the summer.  It's a pretty red based coral, that actually looks like a natural flush, and since  it's an MSF it's a great texture for the cheeks because it's colorful and shimmery at the same time, but still subtle and natural.

Read the inphoto captions!
The Body Shop White Musk Sun Glow EDT - Another great soft fragrance for summer.  It was designed by a master fragrancier (I think I just made up a word) for the Body Shop to update their signature scents for the summer.  What I like about this is that it's rich, floral, bright and light at the same time, with my favorite powder smell anchoring the whole she-bang.  This scent has a pleasingly sharp opening from a sweetened lemon note, the florals become diaphanous and spread out with a warmth, and then a light touch of powder from amber and musk gives the scent a nice base.  This is an EDT, and it doesn't last for hours, but it clings to clothes longer.  
From The Body Shop website
 
FAILS
 
Redken Wool Shake 08 - I'm not even kidding about the name. Its a spray gel, that you shake up and spritz in the hair and it's supposed to give the hair a wooly-bully soft texturized appearance.  I bought it because I have really short hair now and was looking for a Spraywax alternative, and thought this would work.  Short story - it doesn't.  It gives my hair a weighed down, sticky, tacky texture (which it's supposed to do) that just doesn't work for my hair type or cut.  On the upside, it does smell really awesome.






RANDOM

Mail Calls

- Sephora.com - I placed two orders because they had two VIB deals for full sized products, one was for the Stila Stain Gloss and the other was for the Glo Smile Whitening Pen.  I ordered some other things, but all will be revealed in good time!

- Skyn Iceland Detox Kit

- July Glossybox - hopefully this won't fail as hard a the June box did.

Television

Summer TV Series! Finally on TV for the Summer!  Sidenote, I also have questionable tastes in programming.

- So You Think You Can Dance
- Covert Affairs - I did a post way back when about the kind of makeup I thought Annie Walker would wear.  It's sort of embarassing.
- Wipeout!
- Destination Truth
- Awkward.

Youtube

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are the best thing that you don't know about unless you know about it.  In which case, kudos to you for holding your end of the DFTBA bargain by not forgetting to be awesome!  It is, essentially, a modern day adaptation of Pride & Prejudice as told by a 24 year old Lizzie Bennet on her Video Blog.  It's amazing.  Let me clue you in to the first episode!

 
Also, the makeup and clothing in this is pretty fantastic.  Lizzie rocks several looks, and Jane is in fashion merchandising as a profession.

Sunscreen

- This should actually say that I have burgeoning interest in sunscreen.  I don't wear it regularly, and I'm kind of a dunce about it, but since I keep picking sunscreen samples and they keep appearing in my beauty subscription boxes, I guess I'm going to guinea pig them all out in an effort to protect my skin, and to find one that I really love. Additionally, this is going to be interesting, at least I think so, because I am not fair skinned, my natural inclination (or should I say biochemical inclination) is to tan (melanize) in the sun, and using sunscreen may actually cause some problems for me in that area (ie - paler face than body, rather than vice versa). So stay tuned for my foray into sun protection!

That's it for this week!  Do you have any hero products?  And don't you agree that the Lizzie Bennet Diaries are awesome!?! Thought so. 

12 July 2012

The Great Product Use 'Em Up!

This is just a quick post of all of the products I've used up since March.  It's mainly skincare and haircare - things that regularly get used in larger volumes than most cosmetics, but there is some makeup in there, too.  I'm posting this now because I felt like a hoarder keeping a box of used up products around until I felt like I had enough to warrant a post.  I may have a Sample Use 'Em Up post in the future, just to show you guys what samples from all of the Beauty Subscriptions and extras from orders that I accumulate.

This picture would probably benefit from in-picture captioning.  Oops.

From the Top!

- Inglot AMC Gel Liner in Shade 74
- Redken 10 Spray Wax Travel Size
- Amore Pacific Moisturizing Eye Gel
- Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed (mini sized)
- Prestige Brow Gel
- NARS ProPrime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Primer 
- Illamasqua Masquara 
- Nick Chavez Miracle Amazonian Hair Mist 
- Bioderma Micelle H20
- Olay 7 Skin Moisturizer
- Bumble & Bumble Texture Undressing Cream
- Walgreen's Benzoyl Peroxide Cream
- Zoya Remove+
- The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel
- Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Cleansing Gel
- Pssst! Dry Shampoo

Things I'd repurchase:

- Redken 10 Spray Wax
- NARS Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Primer
- Zoya Remove+
- The Body Shop Shower Gel

Things I wish I hadn't:
- Nick Chavez Miracle Amazonian Hair Mist
- Bioderma Micelle H20
- Pssst! Dry Shampoo

Think Tank Style - Everyday Accessories

Just some fun daily accessories I rock out with! Purse - F21. Wallet - Loungefly. Earrings - F21. Moustache Necklace - F21. Watch - Skagen of Denmark. Leather Bracelet - Pandora.

11 July 2012

The Lemming List Vol. 3 - Birthday Edition

It's getting close to that hallowed (read: AWESOME) day I crash landed on this planet (read again: My birthday), and I am compiling a list of things I am lemming like a crazy fox.  It's best to be prepared when beauty product binge spending is imminent.  Right now, it's torture, but when the time for acquisition comes, this list will, hopefully, keep me from just willy nilly buying any cosmetic that blows my skirt up.  Or so I tell myself.  It just sucks that I was born during one of the annual best times to buy makeup.  Specifically, all of the upcoming Fall collections - being an August baby has it's perks.  Other than you know, being squeezed out in a military hospital in Hawaii with out A/C in the summer.  But that was really my Momma's problem, not mine.

BOBBI BROWNS BB CREAM




From Nordstrom.com
I, for one, think that BB creams are too good to be true.  I've tried three and all have failed to hit the mark of all around awesome that everyone is simply raving about.  Clinique BB Cream was too pink and drying.  Garnier BB Cream was just... terrible, a giant fail all around.  Diors BB Cream took my awkwardly sallow complexion and made it even more awkward and sallow and slightly greasy.  So, I'm not impressed.  BB Creams don't impress me. I can get the same benefit from a moisturizer, sunscreen + antioxidant lotion, and a really good Tinted Moisturizer - all products which I own, and all products that I really enjoy using.  What makes me lem the Bobbi Brown version?  Well, for lack of a better descriptor, its Bobbi Brown.  If I am sure of one thing, it's that out of all brands (and right now - it's literally every brand on the face of the earth), Bobbi Brown has the greatest chance of success for working.  All of her products are classic and just well done.  She gets the building blocks right.  It's never overdone, never more than what you need, never anything than just right.  Bobbi Brown is not a brand I talk about a lot, simply because, it's just not something I'm drawn to.  However, literally every Bobbi Brown cosmetic I own I love. It's HG status.  So if I'm going to give this BB Cream fad one last chance, then I might as well bring out the big guns and buy it from a veritable juggernaut of this product can't fail because it will be well made, and because Bobbi Brown, much like Francois Nars, puts magic crack in her cosmetics.

ARMANI EYES TO KILL EXCESS MASCARA


From Nordstrom.com

I love High End Mascara.  It's seriously a ridiculous expenditure, because I have yet to find a High End mascara that can't be similarly duped by a drugstore mascara.  Even though I just freely admitted to that, I still buy high end mascara.  Maybe its that the ads are finessed with more Photoshop, maybe it's that there really is a slight difference between HE and DS mascaras that only a true connoisseur would notice, maybe it's just that I'm a sucker.  I don't really know.  I do know, however, that if you give a mascara a bad ass name like Eyes to Kill Excess and sell it from Armani, I will buy it.  It also helps to know that this mascara has a cult following, people love it for its voluminous formula and dense pigmentation.  I want to love it because I can't leave the house without a good five layers of mascara, and I need to try this.  I need to.

BITE BEAUTY HONEY LIP LACQUER

Honey Lip Lacquer in Cardinal (from Sephora.com)
I saw this on the Sephora website awhile ago, and it wasn't available for purchase yet.  I'm not sure what it is about this, other that it being from Bite Beauty and having a very cool, sleek packaging, that makes me want this.  It's a lip lacquer, which pretty much means glorified lipgloss with some extra pigmentation for giggles.  But I do enjoy Bite products, so if I was going to purchase a glorified lipgloss, it would be from this brand.  This is supposed to have Maruka honey and 5 mg of Resveratrol, which sounds like a lot but when you think about it, its 0.05% of a 100 mg tablet of aspirin (For the record Resveratrol is not aspirin - it's an Antioxidant) for the WHOLE 0.13 oz of product.  Just saying.  The colors I'm drawn to are Cardinal, described as a bright red pink, and Dolcetto, described as a peachy pink.  Neither of which are available for purchase... yet.  But who is to say that won't be the case by the end of August? Hm?

URBAN DECAY BROW BOX


From Sephora.com


I've wanted this forever.  I've almost purchased it four times that I can successfully recall.  Every time, I talk myself out of it because, and I am ashamed to admit it, I don't think my brows are worth $29 dollars (that and this has an awesome dupe from WnW for 4 dollars).  At least not when I have two other eyebrow pencils and one brow gel to burn through before I'd consider the necessity of purchasing another brow trimming product.  And by trimming, I mean you know artfully decorating, not trimming them off with a pair of wee scissors.  That being said, since I have now reverted back to my natural color which is the color of burnt coffee beans, I need a really dark brow powder, which Brown Sugar does have.  As well as a lovely, dovely wax.  And while the dupe does exist, I say this is a lemming because everyone should be able to try the real thing at least once, right?  No weaksauce for the birthday girl!