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


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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?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Liebster Award

I can't believe I'm writing this post, but I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! I received my nomination from the amazing Maurissa at Maurissa Sees Beauty. Thank you so much, Maurissa, I'm so honored! If you haven't checked out her blog before, definitely go take a peek— she's such a talented writer. And just in case you don't know, the Liebster Award is meant to connect bloggers as well as allow readers to get to better know their bloggers. 


Here's How It Works: 

1.) Write a post thanking the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2.) Post 11 fun facts about yourself.
3.) Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
4.) Create 11 questions for your chosen bloggers to answer.
5.) Nominate fellow bloggers and let them know that they've been tagged.

11 Fun Facts About Me:

1. My dog is my baby. Her name is Mina and she's a rescue mutt.
2. I love horror novels and movies. 
3. I have to eat chocolate at least once a day.
4. Kevin Spacey is my celebrity crush. 
5. All of my favorite t-shirts are ones I stole from my mom. 
6. I collect shot glasses from places I've traveled. 
7. I take my coffee black.
8. I've crocheted since I was 8 years old, but I don't know how to knit. 
9. My family watches the extended The Lord of the Rings trilogy every Thanksgiving.
10. Fresh figs are my favorite fruit. 
11. I love alliteration.  


My Questions from Maurissa:

1. What was your last dream about? There was this race/competition on the beach, and I was so pumped to play, but I left my bathing suit, sunscreen, and towel at home. I had to go back to get all my stuff, and by the time I caught back up with the group, I was too late to play. Most. Annoying. Dream. 
2. How many hats do you own? You know, I think I own maybe two baseball hats that I wear when I go to the beach/take my dog for a walk. I'm not a big hat-person.
3. What animal would you like to have as a pet? Besides dogs? Probably a bear or tiger. As long as they would cuddle with me and not eat me.
4. Who was the last person to send you a text message? My boyfriend.
5. What was the last thing you took a picture of? My dog. My phone is filled with pics of my dog. 
6. Is the glass half full or half empty? It's mostly half-full. But there's always those half-empty days. 
7. Do you prefer tea, coffee, or cocoa? Why must I choose?? In the morning, tea; in the afternoon, coffee; and in the evening, cocoa.
8. If you had to throw out one beauty product right now, what would you sacrifice? Probably the mascara or foundation that I've almost finished up. Is that a cop-out answer? 
9. What historical period would you visit if you could go back in time? I don't think I'd want to live in any historical time, but if I'm just visiting, either the 1930's for the fashion, or 14th century England to chill with Chaucer. Because that could totally happen if I went back to that time, right?
10. What's the worst show on television right now? I think any reality TV is arguably the worst show on television. Unfortunately, I happen to love those shows, so which do I pick as the guiltiest of pleasures? Probably #RichKids of Beverly Hills. 
11. Where did you go on your first airplane ride? I was 18 months old and my parents took me to Japan. That's where my mom's side of the family is from. 

My Nominees:

Debra from Makeup By Debra
Heidi from Hansen & Heidelberg

My Questions for the Nominees:

1. If you could only apply one type of makeup product (lipstick, blush, mascara, etc.) for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
2. Which is your favorite meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 
3. Favorite guilty-pleasure movie? 
4. Dogs or cats?
5. If you could totally splurge on one fashion item, what would it be? 
6. What is your favorite app? 
7. Can you play any instruments? 
8. What is your favorite makeup brand? 
9. Do you have any siblings?
10. What was the first concert you ever went to?
11. If you could do a collaboration with MAC, what would be the star of your collection? 

Thanks again to Maurissa, and have fun, nominees! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Japanese Skin Care Haul

So when my cousin came to visit, she brought me a ton of Asian skincare which basically made me swoon. I'm obsessed with Celdie's face wash, so I had asked her to bring me a bottle. She brought three because she's awesome. She also packed some other goodies like Lioele face masks, Puresa sheet masks, eye-makeup remover, and a moisturizer.  

Most of these products are available on Amazon.com, so you can still order them if you live in the US. However, the prices will be inflated. I haven't tried everything yet, but I can highly recommend Celdie's face washes if you're on the market for a new cleanser. They're super gentle and effective. The Lioele masks are also really nice (and cute, to boot). If you're interested in a review, or just have a question about any of these products, make sure to comment below! 

ありがとう、亜希子!




Monday, August 25, 2014

Studio Gear's Invincible Gel/Cream Eyeliner is Actually Pretty Invincible

In a recent haul, I picked up this eyeliner from Studio Gear, and I've been using it pretty frequently ever since. I tend to cycle through my eyeliner formulas, so it's been a while since I've used a good gel. I've also been on a neutral kick recently, so this blue color was a nice and well-needed change (that I think would look gorgeous with any eye color). The formula is super smooth and creamy, and glides easily onto the lids. The pigmentation is out-of-this-world, and it can be used as a liner or base/shadow for a smokey look. (Hint: This is a perfect match for the color "Slate" in the Lorac Pro Palette.)  

But my favorite part of this liner? The staying power. My eyelids will make an oil-slick out of the best-claimed products. Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoos? More like 2-4 hours on these lids. But this product does not smudge, budge, or transfer once it sets. The swatches below actually needed makeup-remover at the end of the day. All the hand-washing I did between applying the liner in the morning until the time I went to bed did nothing to disrupt that gorgeous color (and I wash my hands a lot). Overall, this product is a total winner. It retails for $16 at studiogearcosmetics.com

Top: Applied with Sonia Kashuk Bent Liner Brush; Bottom: Applied with finger


That's MAC's Expensive Pink on my lids and Creme d'Nude on my lips.

What are your favorite eyeliner formulas? Let me know in the comments!