Sunday, November 23, 2014

What's In My MAC Eyeshadow Palette?

I've done it! I've finally completed my (first?) MAC palette. Is it weird that I feel accomplished for purchasing and arranging eyeshadows? I'm going with it. It's been a long time coming, since I was trying to make it more of a long-term project. I wanted to make sure I really wanted all of the colors I was choosing, since it's so easy to get swept away by all of the pretty shades available at the counter. I also wanted to make sure that all the shadows would go well with each other. And variety. I love me a neutral palette, but I definitely wanted a couple pops of color in there. Yeah, I was pretty picky with this one. But I have to say, I'm beyond pleased with how it turned out. This is definitely a one-and-done palette for me. I can do multiple, full eye looks and my brows with just this palette. Here are my picks: 

L to R: Dazzlelight, Naked Lunch, Arena, Expensive Pink, Woodwinked

This is my highlight and lid color row. Dazzlelight is that perfect subtle highlight, and my go-to regardless of what other eyeshadows I'm using. It almost has a pink duochrome factor which is gorgeous. I love Naked Lunch for a highlight with smokier looks, or as an all-over lid color for easier looks. Such a great multi-tasker. Arena is a great lid color, but I really don't reach for it that often. Expensive Pink and Woodwinked on the other hand, are wonderful. I recommend both of these, but if I could only choose one, it would be Woodwinked. This is perfect for a one-shadow look since it gives dimension when buffed into the crease. 

L to R: Sumptuous Olive, Soft Brown, Swiss Chocolate, Mystery, Plumage

Can words express my love for Sumptuous Olive? Let's find out. If I had to choose a single favorite shadow from my palette, it would be this one. This tone of green is subtle enough to go with basically anything, and it really makes brown eyes pop. I don't know if I've ever applied a more magical color to my lids. How was that? Soft Brown is a cult favorite and for good reason: it's the perfect warm transition shade. This makes it into about 75% of my eye looks. I love Swiss Chocolate as a crease color for warm looks. It looks especially good paired with Sumptuous Olive. Mystery is my brow color. Its cool tone makes it perfect for brows, and its slight red/purple tones are great if you have auburn hair like me. I also love it for deepening the outer-v. Plumage is one I wish I used more than I do. I love, love, love it for a colorful smokey eye, but it's also great as a liner. 

L to R: Sable, Haux, Satin Taupe, Copperplate, Sketch
Finally, my taupe/purple row. I tend to really like these kinds of colors. Sable and Satin Taupe are my lid colors, but I usually prefer Sable. Haux is a great transition color, and works beautifully with all of the colors in this row. I wish Copperplate were not so powdery because look at that color! I absolutely love it, but I hate working with it. I've seriously never experienced more kick-up from another eyeshadow in my life. Sketch is gorgeous as a definer or smokey-lid color, but I have to say, I'm not as impressed with the texture and payoff of this one as I am with some of the others. 

Although I speak more highly of certain shades than others, out of these 15, none are misses. All of these colors are great in their own way, and I recommend them all. But if I had to pick a top five, they would be: Naked Lunch, Woodwinked, Sumptuous Olive, Mystery, and Sable. 

What are some of your favorite MAC eyeshadow shades? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Favorites

Well one of my favorite months has come and gone, but I don't have too many favorites. I spent so much of October in Halloween makeup, that I didn't get to use or try too many other products. But here are some of the products I frequented the most aside from my white face paint: 

I absolutely love this moisturizer. It's super rare that I repurchase a skincare product because I'm always convinced there's something better out there that I need to try. Well I couldn't find anything else that looked better this time around, so I got another Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer. This stuff is awesome. I love for my daytime moisturizer to have an SPF, and this one doesn't skimp with its level 47. (Although I find 47 to be a humorously odd number; why not 45 or 50?) It also keeps my oily mug hydrated without making me more oily throughout the day—which is a huge win for me because I have serious trouble finding a moisturizer that accomplishes that. And bonus? It smells like Smarties. 

This product is new to me, but has quickly become a staple in my brow routine. I'd heard boasts of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel, but never realized it could be this good. I used to use a clear mascara as my brow gel, but a product that is meant to hold brows in place really took my brow game to the next level. Have I said brows enough? Brows, brows, brows. Now I have long and decently wild brows (ha), but with this stuff, they do. not. budge. For real. It's pretty awesome. I use the shade Brunette, BTW.  

If you're at all familiar with my blog, you'll know that I'm in love. That's right, I'm in it for the long haul with NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. I have way too many colors (pshaw), but I love them all. This one in Copenhagen is no different. This is the perfect vampy fall/winter lip color, and I get compliments on it every time I wear it. The formula is matte without being drying, and smells amazing. I'll be wearing this for the rest of winter.

Although I'm sure this product is gorgeous at anytime of the year, I especially love it for fall. MAC Blue-Brown Pigment is such a beautiful duo-chrome. Exactly as the name suggests, it goes from being a bronze-y neutral to a wearable blue with just a shift of the head. I like to use this wet for optimal intensity, and I just pack it all over the lid for a simple, yet complex-looking eye. This also looks really great with some winged liner, and one pot will last a lifetime. Let's swoon, shall we? 

What did you love during October? Any products you're excited to pick up in November?   

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Easy, Last-Minute Halloween Makeup Ideas

I love Halloween. It's probably my favorite holiday, and I spend all month planning different looks I might want to try when the 31st rolls around. But you want to know the saddest thing? I've tried out umpteen looks throughout the month, and here I am, five days from Halloween, and I'm stuck in the same rut I always find myself in: I have no clue what to be for Halloween. I think the problem is that there are just too many options, and I always just want to try something new. But I still hate scrambling for a costume. And just in case you're like me, and have yet to be inspired, maybe we can help each other out. Here are some of the looks I've played around with: 

Daddy's Little Zombie
 Click HERE to see how to get this look.
Monster's Bride
 Click HERE to see how to get this look. 
Pop Art Girl
 Click HERE to see how to get this look. 
 Click HERE to see how to get this look.
Broken Doll
Click HERE to see how to get this look. 

What are you going to be for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Swatches & Review

I was so pumped when I heard Benefit was releasing a collection of their boxed powders for the holiday season. I've actually never tried any of their cheek products before (besides Watt's Up), and I'd been eyeing Rockateur for the longest time. Honestly, the only reason I never went for it was because I just couldn't get past the fact that Benefit cut off a significant amount of the product but still sold it for the same price (0.17oz for $28 instead of 0.28oz for $28). 

Wellll, for all of you who were like me, this set is such a steal. For $8 more than a single boxed powder, you get a full-sized Rockateur plus five other powders (each of the others average at 0.17oz as well) to try. I will say, though, my least favorite thing about this set, and the reason I usually steer clear from other Benefit sets, is I hate the packaging. Yes, of course it's pretty cute at first. But from a practicality standpoint, it's just way too clunky. I don't have enough room to accommodate this in my collection, and I sure as hell don't want to travel with it. I'll definitely be depotting these once I figure out what size palette I want for that. If you have any suggestions for depotting this palette, or want me to do an update once I've finished, let me know in the comments!
L to R: Watt's Up, Rockateur, Coralista, Hoola, Sugarbomb, Bella Bamba, Dandelion

Although I haven't properly tested all of these powders yet, I think it's safe to say that the ones I expect to get the most use out of are Rockateur, Dandelion, and Hoola. Rockateur is such an easy-going, goes-with-everything kind of rosy color. Love it. Dandelion is that perfect light-pink color that I think looks flattering on everybody. (It reminds me of a slightly lighter, warmer version of Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface.) And I've heard Hoola touted as one of the best contour shades. I have to say, so far, I agree. I'm pretty fair, so a lot of bronzers and contour powders can go a little orange on me; this one doesn't. 

As far as the other three go, I like using Sugarbomb as a highlighter, though I'm not blown away by it-- I prefer Watt's Up. Coralista and Bella Bamba are shades that I'm not too attracted to. The Coralista in this palette (I've heard it's different from the original) is quite sheer and has a high sheen to it. I might eventually use this as a highlighter, but for now, I don't see myself getting much use out of this powder. Bella Bamba, while a nice color, has too much glitter in it for my taste. I may get more use out of it in the summer, but for now, it's also on my "meh" list.  

What do you think of this cheeky set? Which Benefit powder is your favorite?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Battle of the Drugstore Deep Conditioning Hair Masks

I've finished off three drugstore hair masks, and wanted to have another little battles royal. Just so you can better judge my opinions on these, I have fine hair but a lot of it. I wash it every other day, and alternate between a regular conditioner and a hair mask. When I was using each of these, I used it exclusively as my treatment, meaning I did not alternate between hair masks, just the individual mask and my regular Pantene conditioner. Here's what I thought:

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle: First off, this stuff smells ah-mazing. Like coconuts. It also does a great job moisturizing. However, it only has one oil (jojoba), and I don't like the packaging. I prefer my hair masks in pots so I can easily scrape out every last bit. But! This is 8oz. And for only $3? I would definitely repurchase this. 

Neutrogena Triple Moisture: Of the three, this one did the best at conditioning my hair. This was the most expensive at $8 for only 6oz, but from this trio, it proved price corresponds with quality. It has three oils: olive, meadowfoam seed, and sweet almond. And it smells really nice; not as good as the Aussie one, but much better than the L'Oreal one. I would repurchase this one as well. 

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm: This one was fine. It did the job, but that's it. It conditioned my hair basically the same as a regular conditioner and didn't smell particularly great. Not that it smelled bad, mind you. Just compared to the other two, there's nothing really special about this one. It doesn't have any oils, but it does contain ceramide, which is supposed to combat breakage. This was the second-best value at $6 for 8.5oz, but is the only one I wouldn't repurchase. 

So if I had to rank these, I would say the Neutrogena one was my favorite, Aussie next, and L'Oreal was my least favorite. I'm currently testing out a different L'Oreal one that has six! oils (I love me some hair oil), so I'll let you know how I get along with that one. What are your favorite hair masks? 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

MAC Lipstick: My Current Top 5 Permanent Shades

L to R: Viva Glam V, Plumful, Vegas Volt, Twig, Rebel

I'm a sucker for MAC Lipstick. But who isn't? Props to you if you can easily walk away from those counters with the sleek bullets and hundreds of shades. I admire your willpower. My collection has slowly been growing, so I wanted to do this post before I can no longer pare down my picks to just five. Here we go: 

Viva Glam V (Lustre)

This is my go-to MLBB shade. I normally prefer cream finishes, but the fine shimmer in this is actually really flattering while still feeling perfectly smooth.

Plumful (Lustre)

This soft, pink-berry color is universally flattering and so comfortable to wear. If you're not a huge fan of the color-payoff of Lustres, try this one-- the color is pigmented and build-able.

Vegas Volt (Amplified)

I love this one for a punch of color, anytime of the year. It looks especially nice with a green/khaki eye. I love pairing this with MAC's Sumptuous Olive eyeshadow. 

Twig (Satin)

Ah, my cozy-sweater lipstick. This one is pigmented, build-able, comfortable, universally flattering, and goes with any makeup look. If I could only recommend one lipstick, it would be this. 

Rebel (Satin)

This color is perfect day or night, summer or winter. And the saturation is so beautiful, I don't even care that it stains the lips. 

What are your favorite MAC lipsticks? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Favorites

I've been such a bad blogger this month. I apologize. I've been pretty sick off and on, and I did a little bit of traveling in between. So since I was sick a lot, I didn't get to experiment with too many products--I pretty much just stuck to the basics. BUT I still have a few that I love and appreciate for standing by me during my trying times. I'd like to share them with you. Without further ado, my September favorites: 

NYX SMLC San Paulo 
When I first got this color, I put it aside as a "total fall color." I will never retire this color again, regardless of the season. It's definitely the perfect fall color, but it's actually just the perfect color. 

Naked Basics
I'm in love with this palette. I've been using it almost everyday since I bought it. When I was traveling, I took only this for my eye looks. It really is much more versatile than I had originally thought--I didn't even think I wanted this palette until just this August. 

MAC MSF Natural Light Plus
My lazy makeup routine has included just a light dusting of this. No foundation for me. Even though I usually only use a powder foundation anyway... This was still a nice, lighter option. It gives the skin a nice, natural finish with a little something extra that reminds me of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. 

Maybelline One By One 
It's been a minute since I've used a drugstore mascara, especially Maybelline (I've had a lot of misses with them in the past). But this one works really well for me. It gives more volume than some high-end ones I've been using (I'm looking at you, UD Perversion and Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes), which has really helped me re-evaluate my relationship with high-end mascara. 

Serge Normant Dry Shampoo
Y'all. I washed my hair an embarrassingly few times this month. This dry shampoo saved me from being that creepy grease-ball who obviously has not showered in way too long. Not that it really mattered since this was all occurring while I was lying on my couch eating soup and spamming America's Next Top Model, as one does. 

Well we're entering my favorite quarter of the year, and I'll be back on my blogging game. Apologies again for the giant leave of absence. What were some of your favorites for September?