Review & Swatches: NYX Simply Lip Creams




Not over the chubby lip pencil trend? You're in luck! NYX is throwing down in the popular makeup category with their new Simply Lip Cream Collection. Divided into 4 color categories, there are 6 shades within each giving you 24 NEW ways to screw up your holiday budget! At $6.49 a pencil, they won't do too much damage on your pocket book - but I dare you to walk away from browsing with just one shade. You can't! Here are the shades I'm swatching:

  • Enchanted - A light mauve-oink
  • First Base - A pale pink
  • XOXO - A bright coral pink
  • Fairest - A soft cool nude
  • Peaches - A light pink-toned nude
  • Sable - A medium mauve-nude
  • Covet - A deep blackened maroon
  • Enamored - A deep brown-black
  • Seduction - A bright orange-leaning red
  • Russian Roulette - A berry-toned red
  • Knock Out - A brick red
Although NYX says these have a glossy finish, I would say these differentiate themselves from the other drugstore releases because they don't have a balmy or glossy finish. Rather, they are opaque and creamy like a lipstick. The lasting power is pretty stellar at around 4+ hours - even for the nude shades. While they don't necessarily hydrate, I didn't find they dehydrated my lips either. The only downside I found with these shades is that there's some variation when it comes to application. Some shades are easily layered for intense pigmentation and complete opacity, while others come off as streaky. While not an absolute deal breaker, it's something to be aware of when it comes time to buy.

Overall, these are a must-have - catch them while they are buy one get one half off at ULTA for an especially good deal!

What shades have you tried from the NYX Simply Lip Cream Collection?

Review, Swatches, & Comparison: IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette


IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette


IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette made a huge splash when it debuted nearly a year ago. With 14 matte shades, and one shimmer "transformer", it promised a ton of versatility along with the quality IT Cosmetics is known for - and it delivered! Needless to say, when I found out they released a limited edition extension of this much-loved palette, I had to give it a try.

The Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette once again offers 14 matte shadows, but they are changing the game up with a shimmery gradient shadow that fades from champagne to gold. While each of the shadows have the same buttery texture and fantastic pigmentation you can expect from IT Cosmetics, there are quite a few shades that are similar between the original version of this palette and the holiday edition. Generally, the shades are cooler in the Celebration palette, but there were quite a few  between the two that I felt were easily duplicated - so many that I don't think it's necessary to own both. Scroll down to see swatches of each similar shade!

Overall, I have to say that I prefer the shade range and packaging of the Naturally Pretty Celebration Palette. Both palettes have excellent shadow quality, but the added versatility the gradient shade provides, and the more streamlined packaging of the Celebration Palette make it the winner of the two. It's Limited Edition, so if it strikes your fancy get it quick!

Want to see just how versatile this palette is? Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see step-by-step tutorials using both neutrals and plums!

Makeup for your hair? This is a must-try.






From the time I was teen admiring Lizzie McGuire's funky hairstyles - crimps and all, I've wanted to be able to experiment with temporary hair color without the commitment. The resurgence of stars like Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne rocking hot hair hues haven't made things any easier! I've tried big trends like hair chalking and using pigments, but nothing seems to leave my hair as pigmented as I want, or last as long as I would like. It all stops with Redken's new Color Rebel Hair Makeup!

They recently sent over two shades for me to try - Rebel Without a Coral, and Purple Riot. I was eager to put them to the test! With cut and dry instructions, application is easy - just twist and apply! You can layer the product for more pigmentation, and once it's dry you're ready to style. I found my hair had a crunchier texture once I let the dye dry, but after a quick brush through it was ready for heat styling. I was blown away by the results! The application was easy, and the color payoff was awesome.

As far as lasting power goes, these are meant to come out with 2 shampoos (depending on how porous your hair is). I personally washed my hair and found the dye was nearly gone - great for the girl who needs her hair back to its original state for the work week. Alternatively, Redken also recommends using their Hair Cleansing Cream or Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine for immediate removal. With 5 shades in the line, I'm looking forward to trying each one! Because Redken is sold in salons, prices can vary. Check out their salon finder to find one closest to you!


MAKEUP WARS: Must-Have Shadow Palettes

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In this week's Makeup Wars, we're running through out favorite makeup palettes! As a certified makeup junkie, this was a toughie. Palettes are my weakness, so I've accrued quite the collection. The list could go on, but these are what I consider to be the essentials:
  • Must-Have Customizable Palette: MAKE UP FOR EVER's recently launched their Artist Shadows at Sephora, and they're available in customizable duo and trios. Each and every shadow I've tried (which as of now is 36) is smooth and very pigmented. The trio pictured below contains the shades M-636, ME-512, and ME-310. 
  • Must-Have Travel Palette: For an ultra-compact palette that promises both matte and sparkle finishes, Smashbox Full Exposure Mini Palette is just the ticket. It has all the essentials for a daytime look, or some smoky sparkle for the night.
  • Must-Have Drugstore Palette: Essence All About Nude Palette is a great combination of cool neutrals. The shadows themselves are surprisingly smooth and pigmented given its $4.99 price tag!
  • Must-Have Large Palette: My ultimate all-in-one palette is LORAC's PRO Palette. With 8 matte shades, and 8 shimmer, the pigmentation is unbelievable and the texture of each shadow is a buttery as they come. With shades that range from essential neutrals to flattering gem tones, this is a palette that's great for any occasion!
  • Must-Have Multitasker: Urban Decay's Naked Basics Palette is ideal not only for the quintessential natural, neutral eye, but it also serves as a facial contour, highlight, and brow powder! Follow the link to another Makeup Wars where I demo how to use it as each.
  • Must-Have Singles: Sometimes you can only find the perfect palette by making it yourself. Makeup Geek Shadows and Coastal Scents Shadow Pots allow you to pop individual pans into customizable Z-Palettes so you have the exact shades you need. Check out some of my favorite shades below!



Review & Swatches: IT Cosmetics Your Most Radiant You 5 Piece Collection


IT Cosmetics Your Most Radiant You 5 Piece Collection



It Cosmetics has done it again! Known for their product quality, they frequently assemble QVC-exclusive sets that contain their best-sellers and all-time favorites for an unbeatable deal. Your Most Radiant You 5-Piece Collection is their latest collection to be featured as QVC's Today's Special Value on October 14th, so they sent me a sneak peek to share. Check out the video above for a full review and demo, and learn more about the products included below:
  • Celebration Foundation Illumination: A powder foundation with same coverage and lasting power as the original Celebration Foundation, but with a finish that gives the appearance of a lit-from-within glow.
  • Heavenly Luxe Double Airbrush Foundation Brush: A flat top kabuki brush perfect for buffing on foundation.
  • CC+ Radiance Ombre Blush in Je Ne Sais Quoi: A rose-hued blush that fades from a pigmented pink blush, to a pink-tinged highlight. The texture is smooth, and the lasting power is unbelievable! These ombre blushes are exclusive to QVC through the end of 2014.
  • No Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black/Brown: A buttery automatic eyeliner with a gel consistency that glides over the lid and waterline. It's easily smudged for an effortless smoky eye, and offers great lasting power on the waterline.
  • Hello! Lashes Extensions Mascara in Black: This fiber-filled version of the original Hello! Lashes formula has a thinner consistency and a wand that's conducive to creating lashes that are lengthened and separated.

Given the product quality, it's no surprise that this set creates a fantastic face! You can get everything inside for $67.50, but stay tuned on October 14th when it's QVC's Today's Special Value.

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