Sunday, April 27, 2014

A FOTD Featuring MAC's Plumage and NYX's Maple Blondie

I love the look created by the pairing of duskier, peacock blues with bright, baby pinks. And since I picked up MAC's Plumage not too long ago, I wanted to do my take on that type of look. To see what else I used and what I did, keep reading!

(Sorry to include an iPhone quality pic, but this shows the colors closer to how they actually appear before the camera washes them out.)

Products Used

Lancome La Base
Covergirl Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 foundation in 810: Classic Ivory
Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in 101: Invisible Matte
Tarte blush in Dazzled
Tarte bronzer in Park Ave. Princess

Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
MAC Copperplate
MAC Plumage
MAC Sumptuous Olive
MAC Woodwinked

MAC Naked Lunch
Jordana FabuLiner in 01: Black
Rimmel Scandal Eyes in 005: Nude
Em by Michelle Phan Lash Gallery mascara in Black
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in 02: Black/Brown
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette

MAC Venus
NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie

To get this eye-look, after priming my lids, I started by applying Copperplate to the inner 1/3 of my lid with a shader brush. Then, using a smaller, denser shader brush, I packed Plumage onto the outer 2/3 of my lid, making sure to carry the color into the crease. Next, I took Sumptuous Olive on a fluffy, crease brush, and swept this color right above my crease, blending it into Plumage. Finally, with a clean blending brush I made sure to seamlessly blend all of the colors. To highlight my brow-bone, I used Naked Lunch. For my upper lash-line, I used a liquid eyeliner and did a somewhat thicker winged line (compared to the size of my lid). And for my bottom lash-line, I smudged Plumage along the outer 1/2 and Woodwinked along the inner 1/2 and around the inner-corner.  To top off the eye look, I lined my lower water-line with a nude kohl pencil and applied mascara to my top and bottom lashes.  

For lips, I applied MAC lipstick in Venus, and topped off with NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie. Okay, real talk for a second. I'm not usually a gloss kind of girl. And even after all the original Butter Gloss hype, I still had no interest in trying it. The swatches never even looked that impressive to me. But one day, and I can't even tell you why, I decided to pick this one up, and now I totally get the hype. Since I only have this one, I can't say how consistent the formula or pigmentation is, but Maple Blondie is easily a favorite for me. How do you feel about glosses? Are there other must-haves in the Butter line or elsewhere?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Lovechild Review+Swatches

As much as I love UD shadows and liners, I haven't really explored their lip products, so I decided to give their chubby pencil a go, and picked up the Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Lovechild. UD describes this as a flushed, natural pink, and I like that the packaging is pretty true-to-color of the product. I also really like the size of this pencil. It's definitely thicker than a lip liner, but thinner than most other chubby pencils.

As far as the formula goes, this pencil is nicely pigmented with build-able color and glides on extremely smoothly. It feels hydrating on the lips, doesn't have any stickiness, and lasts about 3-4 hours before I notice fading. Though it sure is long, I think the name of this product aptly describes it. The only thing I really don't like about this product is that it isn't automatic--it needs to be sharpened. I hate sharpening lip products, but for some reason my favorite chubby pencils never have a twist-up (I'm looking at you, NARS Lip Pencils!).
0.1 oz for $20

Away from sunlight
Direct sunlight
Although this product leans warmer and cooler depending on the lighting, I think it's actually pretty neutral. I think it's the perfect summer-pink lip, and I knew I wanted a little gold and teal to go with it. So, to complete the look, I paired a little MAC Woodwinked on the lid and Tarte Azurite Green liner on my upper lash-line. 
Completed look
Overall, I like this product enough to purchase more, and I've got my eye on Punch Drunk and Apocalypse. Have you tried this or other UD lip products? What do you think of them? 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Week of FOTD's Featuring the Lorac afterGLO Palette

I wanted to continue to play with the afterGLO Palette, so I used it everyday this week. I came up with some looks to share, but if you want to see my initial review, swatches, and Day 1, go here. Since these colors aren't crazy-pigmented, I did use my iPhone for all of these photos since my camera tends to really wash out color. This way, you can see the colors closer to how they appeared in real life. 
Day 2
 For this look, I patted the copper shade all over the lid, used the dark-teal color in the outer corner and on the lower lash-line, the lighter brown through the crease, and the white as a highlight. I topped off the look with some winged liner and MAC's Venus on the lips. In doing this look, I did notice that the copper shade had a lot of fallout, so heavy use with that color requires some cleanup or preventative measures (like a tissue under the eye while applying).
Day 3
 For this simpler look, I applied the lighter-brown shade to the inner half of my lid and the coral shade to the outer half. Then I took a bit of the deep-brown shade in my outer corner and lower lash-line, and used the lighter brown again through the crease. This day I used the pink highlighter, and finished the look with winged liner and MAC's Rebel on the lips. No fallout with these shades, but I did notice that the colors had significantly faded by the end of the day.
Day 4
I do love the brighter looks that this palette can create! For this look, I used NYX's Milk as a base, and applied the purple shade to the inner 1/3 of my lid, the gold shade (also experienced some fallout with this color) to the middle 1/3 of my lid and inner 1/2 of my lower lash-line, and the mermaid-green to the outer 1/3 of my lid and outer 1/2 of my lower lash-line. I applied the lighter-brown shade through my crease and mixed the white and pink colors for my highlight. I topped this look off with winged liner and MAC's Kiss and Don't Tell Lipglass. 
Day 5
So after seeing how well this palette does bright looks, I wanted to see how well it did demure ones. For this look, I applied NYX's Milk as a base and the purple shade all over the lid. Then I applied the lighter-brown shade a bit in the outer corner and all through the crease. I used the pink highlighter, and lined my upper lash-line (thickly, for me) and the outer half of my lower lash-line with Rimmel's Scandal Eyes liner in brown. To top off this look, I used MAC's lipstick in Twig. This look also significantly faded by the end of the day--more so than Day 3.
Day 6
 For the last two days, I wanted to see if I could get a smokey-eye out of this palette. First, I tried a brighter option using the deep teal color, which I applied all over the lid and blended into the crease on top of NYX's Milk as a base. I also dragged this color along the outer half of my lower lash-line. Then I applied the lighter-brown shade through the crease, added a little of the dark-brown shade into the outer corner, and mixed both highlight shades for my brow-bone. I topped this look off with some winged liner and NYX's SMLC in Zurich (for my review of this and other SMLC's, click here). While I noticed some fading by the end of the day, this shade did not fade as much as the lighter shades.
Day 7
For the last day, I went for a more neutral smokey-eye, and so applied the dark-brown shade all over my lid and blended into the crease on top of NYX's Milk as a base. Then I used the lighter-brown shade through my crease, and again mixed the two highlight shades for my brow-bone. Finally, I lined my upper and lower lash-line with Rimmel's Scandal Eyes liner in brown, and topped off the look with Tarte's Lipsurgence pencil in Glee. Like Day 6, this look faded some by the end of the day, but not as much as the lighter shades. These last two darker looks needed some blending as the shadows applied a little patchy, but were my favorites of the bunch. 

Overall, I really enjoy the variety of looks that can be created with this palette. While the quality of the shadows isn't out-of-this-world, I think the versatility of this palette makes up for what it lacks in pigmentation and application. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How To: Make the Most Out of Foil Packet Samples

I am a sample junkie. I love getting (deluxe) samples with orders, as point perks, and as subscription services. The only downer about samples is when they come in those pesky little foil packages. You know, the ones where it looks like you can only get one use out of it? And you can't usually tell how you feel about a new product after only one use anyway. I actually cancelled my subscription to Birchbox over those kinds of samples. They made me feel like I wasn't getting my money's worth. And while I still wouldn't pay for foil-packet samples, I'm not as bummed as I used to be about getting them when I can get them for free.

I don't like throwing product away, and I know there is actually more than one use in most foil-packet samples, but once those are opened, they're difficult to store so that the product doesn't dry out and the packet doesn't make a mess on the counter (or wherever you might try to store it). So I like to stock up on 5 gram sample jars. These little jars (I got mine from Coastal Scents) can hold all of the product from a typical foil-packet sample, they're easy to store, and they keep the product fresh for multiple uses. With these, I am able to get about 2-3 uses out of makeup products for the entire face (foundations, tinted moisturizers, etc.) 5-10 uses out of skin products meant for the entire face (washes, scrubs, serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, etc.) and up to 2.5 weeks out of eye creams. 
Pack of 25 from Coastal Scents: $5.95

I like samples because they help me deicide if a product is worth my money, and I spend less than I would have if I had to buy it to try it. With these sample jars, I'm saving even more money in the long run, because I usually get enough time to see how my skin behaves with repeated use. This way, I can be even more confident in my purchases. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lorac afterGLO Eyeshadow Palette Review+Swatches

Every year I eye all the beautiful summer palettes, but always talk myself out of them since there's usually one shade that I'm worried I won't use and I tend to really simplify my makeup in the summer anyway. But when I saw this particular palette, I actually loved every shade included. And at $24 (compared to the usual $30something price tag) I couldn't pass it up. 

I love my Lorac Pro Palette, but I had heard that Lorac special edition palettes tend to lack in quality. When I swatched this in-store, I had to admit that the rumors were true, but the majority of the colors were still quite pigmented and I thought with the right priming and application, I could get this palette to work for me.

The packaging is very slim and sturdy with a snap-closure and large mirror. The colors in this palette aren't named, which is a shame since I usually look forward to seeing what different colors are called. BUT I do love the shade-range, so I'll deal with having to call these colors by their appearances. Sooo bear with me as I attempt to describe these colors. 

From left to right we have: a deep teal that is matte and nicely pigmented, a mermaid-green that is a shimmer and also nicely pigmented, a light gold that is a shimmer but gritty with poor pigmentation, a copper that is also a shimmer but has good pigmentation, and underneath it all, a white highlight shade that is matte with poor pigmentation. All of these colors except the gold apply very smoothly. Although some of these shades lack in pigmentation, they are build-able. 

From left to right: a radiant orchid that is matte with poor pigmentation, a chestnut brown with a satin finish and good pigmentation, a coral with gold glitter (doesn't really transfer) and a satin finish with good pigmentation, a medium-deep brown that is a matte with good pigmentation, and a light-pink pearl highlighter with decent pigmentation. All of these shades apply smoothly, and are build-able with the exception of the radiant orchid color--I can't get this color to be quite as bright as I would like. 

Although a little difficult to see, I have swatched the highlight shades under their respective sets of colors.

While the overall quality of these shadows lack compared to the Pro Palette, the majority is still quite good. Also, I really appreciate that in addition to the fun colors, a good transition color, a darker, matte neutral, and both a matte and pearl highlight shade have been included. This makes it easy to achieve a full eye-look using only this palette.

For the first look I've tried with this palette, I made sure to apply a white base (I used NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk). Then I applied the mermaid-green shade to the inner 1/3 of my lid, the gold shade to the middle 1/3 of my lid, and the copper shade to the outer 1/3 and slightly into the crease. Next I applied the radiant orchid shade all through my crease, and mixed the two highlight colors and applied that to my brow bone. I lined the outer 2/3 of my lower lash-line with the deep teal color, and placed the gold color on the inner 1/3 and around my inner-corner. Finally I lined my upper lash-line with a liquid liner, which I slightly winged out, and applied mascara. 

For my cheeks I used the coral color in this palette, and I actually really like the shade as a blush. To finish the look, I popped a little Maybelline Color Whisper in Pink Possibilities on my lips, and called it a day. 

Direct Sunlight
Away from sunlight
Overall, this palette is pretty fun to play with, and I'll definitely be trying out more looks with it, so stay tuned for that (see a week's worth of looks using this palette here)! What's your favorite summer palette?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A FOTD Featuring MAC's Sumptuous Olive and Vegas Volt

Hello!  Just wanted to do a quick FOTD featuring some MAC faves.  This look is pretty easy to do, and I've been loving the green/gold and coral pairing recently...especially with this Spring weather we've been having lately!

Lancome La Base
Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 foundation in 810: Classic Ivory
Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in 101: Invisible Matte
Tarte blush in Darling
Tarte Bronzer in Park Ave. Princess

Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
MAC Sumptuous Olive
MAC Swiss Chocolate
MAC Soft Brown
MAC Naked Lunch
Lorac Front of the Line Pro
Em by Michelle Phan Lash Gallery mascara in Black
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in 02 Black/Brown
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette
Maybelline Great Lash in Clear

MAC Vegas Volt

Different lighting

To get this look, I started by priming my eyes and packing Sumptuous Olive all over the lid.  Then I went in with a small shader brush and patted Swiss Chocolate onto the outer 1/3 of my lid.  Then with a fluffy crease brush, I blended Soft Brown all the way through my crease, starting from the outside and working my way in (so the heaviest deposit of color is on the outside).  Next, I took Swiss chocolate on a smudge brush and drew this along the outer 1/3 of my bottom lash line.  Then taking Sumptuous Olive on the same brush, I traced the middle portion of my bottom lash line (overlapping some with Swiss Chocolate and ending about where my lashes start near my tear-duct).  Finally I took some Naked Lunch, still using the same brush, and patted this around my inner-corner.  To finish the eyes, I drew a thin, winged line with my liquid eyeliner from Lorac (love this stuff!) and applied mascara to my top and bottom lashes. 

Last but not least, I topped this look off with my favorite coral lipstick at the moment: Vegas Volt.  What's your go-to coral lipstick?
Finished look

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Clarisonic Brush Heads: Comparison and Review

I got my Clarisonic Mia 2 ($150) about a year ago to help battle my oily, acne-prone skin.  Although she wasn't necessarily a miracle worker, I definitely noticed improvements in my skin.  My skin feels smoother, absorbs product a lot better, and is a little less oily (although my pores don't seem that much smaller).  I haven't completely stopped breaking out, and I still have stubborn blackheads in my nose, but I do feel like the Clarisonic helps minimize the frequency and severity of my breakouts when they do happen.

Since acne and oil are my concerns, I wanted to try the Acne and Deep Pore brush heads after giving the Sensitive brush (which comes with any Clarisonic when first purchased) a go.  All basic brush heads retail for the same price, so all three that I'm reviewing here are 1/$27, 2/$44, and for a limited time, 4/$75.  Since the prices have gone up since I first purchased my Clarisonic and these brush heads, I would definitely recommend snagging the 4/$75 while it's still available as it's probably the best deal we'll ever see for brush heads from Clarisonic. 
Clarisonic Mia 2 with (top to bottom) Acne, Sensitive, and Deep Pore brush heads
Acne Brush Head
 The very first thought I had after trying the Acne brush head was 'dayyyum this is a soft brush!'  And it retained its softness throughout the 3 months that I used it.  This brush is targeted for oily skin, and it was such a gentle clean.  The bristles are longer than those on the Sensitive and Deep Pore brush heads, and the surface area appears to be smaller than the other two brushes as well.  Additionally, the bristles appear to be more densely packed than the Deep Pore, but not as much as the Sensitive.  As far as controlling oil and acne, I felt like this brush did a better job than the Sensitive, but was not significantly better than the Deep Pore.  This is probably my favorite brush of the bunch, and I would definitely repurchase.
Sensitive Brush Head
 This is the brush head that came with my Clarisonic, and it did the job.  It made my face feel clean, and helped products absorb better.  It felt soft at first, but was not as soft as the Acne, nor did it retain its softness over the 3 months that I used it.  This brush is targeted for all skin types, and while it does a solid job, I don't feel like it is anything special, and will not be repurchasing.
Deep Pore Brush Head
 I actually took the plunge with this brush and bought the 4-pack before trying it first.  It seemed just as soft as the Acne brush at first, but did not continue to feel as soft throughout its 3-month trial.  However, I feel like the results on my skin were basically the same.  I do notice, however, that my skin feels especially squeaky-clean after I have used it.  This is targeted for normal to oily skin, and while I feel like it helps with my oil and acne, it is meant to flush out large pores, and I don't think it has really taken care of my blackheads nor tightened my pores.  Since the effect it gives is comparable with the Acne brush, I will definitely continue to use up my pack of these, but since the softness of the Acne brush was a little more comfortable, I will probably go back to those after I have finished using these. 
L to R: Sensitive, Acne, Deep Pore
L to R: Sensitive, Acne, Deep Pore
Have you tried any of these brush heads?  How do you think they measure up?