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Monday, April 30, 2012

Review & Swatchfest: Naked Cosmetics Pigment Stack in Rain Forest

This is the last of my Naked Cosmetics pigment stacks to review (for now...I've already set my sights on a few I might want need). But, while I'm sorry for the swatchfest to be over, I'm so excited to start my May challenge and start incorporating at least one into my everyday look! My personal agenda aside, let's get to the review and, more importantly, the swatches!

As the name suggests, Rain Forest is a very earthy stack, although perhaps not as neutral as you would think. Despite having 4 seemingly neutral shades with two pops of green, there is actually a rouge purple-taupe lurking in the mix. Can you guess which one it is before you get to the bottom (no reading the descriptions!)? Rouge colors or not, this stack is well coordinated and with a wide range of shades and intensities could provide anything from barely-there makeup to badaboom. The only thing this stack might be missing is a matte.

As I said in my other posts reviewing the Java stack and the Ivory stack, these pigments are super smooth and finely milled. Perfect for applying solo or with a mixing medium. For maximum wear time, I recommend mixing them with water or, my personal favorite, Duraline from Inglot.

Something to keep in mind when purchasing pigments is that they can be more difficult to work with if you aren't used to it. But, the practice pays off because, once you get the hang of it, the color payoff can be phenomenal and they are the ultimate multitasker. In addition to eye shadow, these can be used as blush, highlighter, lip color, nail polish, temporary color in your hair, and probably more.

The takeaway is that if you are a pigment lover and dig interesting/complex shade you should check out this stack (and the rest available at naked cosmetics, for that matter). If you are more of a traditional pressed eyeshadow kind of gal, then this probably wouldn't be for you. But, from one pressed shadow lover to another, it's great to have a stack on hand to use when traveling because it really can almost be a full face in a jar (or six).

Pigment 1: Shimmery, warm brown taupe with cool purple duo chrome

Pigment 2: Warm chocolate brown with plum undertones and chocolate shimmer

Pigment 3: Shimmery, muted Yellow with pink pearl reflects
Pigment 4: Sheer, shimmery pink with gold reflects

Pigment 5: Hunter green with a mix of silver and gold shimmer

Pigment 6: Rich olive green with lighter olive shimmer

Swatched Dry - Pigment numbers decrease from left to right.
Swatched Wet - pigment numbers decrease from left to right.

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Challenge 2 of the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards - I MADE IT!

The results are in and I MADE IT to the next challenge in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards Competition. Not only that, but I placed SECOND overall! I most certainly couldn't have gotten there without the help of you beautiful people. I can't tell you how beside myself I was when I found out -but my neighbors can, considering they were not-so-gently woken up by my hollering...and dancing.

This week's challenge is all about red carpet celebrity beauty. If you want to see who I chose, and why I love the look she's rocking, please click here to vote for your chance to win a pair of diamond earrings AND a trip to Miami Beach! While your there, you can click the like and tweet button at the top of the page. While it doesn't give you extra entries in the competition, it does give whoever is the "most liked" blogger a buzzworthy badge and a chance to be featured in Allure!

Again, I can't thank you all enough for the amount of support you guys have shown. It's truly overwhelming, and wonderful, and I can't tell you how much it means to me!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Napoleon Perdis on Hautelook Tomorrow! (4/30)

Credit: Hautelook
Napoleon Perdis is going to be on Hautelook tomorrow and, after trying and reviewing their Lip Gloss  in Mango, I'll be excited to see what they offer. Unfortunately, aside from the lip gloss, I can't make any other recommendations. But, if you have any, it would be great if you posted them in the comments so other readers could see! Would love to hear what others are loving from NP!

Happy Shopping!

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Review & Swatchfest: Napoleon Perdis Lip Gloss in Mango

Napoleon Perdis is one of those brands that, as I walk down the cosmetics isles of Tagert, I always put on the list to try, but never do. Whether it's because I haven't looked into the brand enough to know what's good or that I'm always quickly drawn away by the nearby sale rack, I don't know. But, I've finally gotten the change to try my first NP product: a lip gloss in Mango!

*This also serves as a head up to you beauty bargain hunters out there who may have missed my post about Sircle Samples. I received this full-sized product for free and you can too! To find out more details, go to their site here (my personal invite link) or read more on it in my other post here.

Pros first. This lip gloss smells, and tasted, delicious! I don't know about mango, but I am definitely transported to a faraway beach when I put this on and smell it for the first time. Fantasy cabana boys - and smell - aside, the texture is great too. It goes on very smooth and ranks 3 on a scale of stickiness (1 being as non-sticky as a lipgloss can be, and 10 being "What did you say? I'm distracted by your lip goop.") And, while it's definitely not as moisturizing as a lip balm, my lips are noticeably less dry after it has worn off. The color is a lovely peach with the tiniest hint of shimmer. While the peachiness of the color is apparent in the swatch, it wasn't pigmented enough to show up on my lips. So as a great smelling, luxe feeling, sheer, clear gloss this functions well.

Now for the critique. While not necessarily a bad thing, the brush is considerably smaller than typical brushes or doe-foot applicators, so the girl who loves a one-two swipe kind of gloss might need to take a little more time. The only other critique is the price point (but there is a saving grace!). The full sized lip gloss retails for $20 with .085 fl. oz. of product. To compare, a MAC Lip Glass gives you about double that (.17 oz.) at $14.50. That's not to say that the glosses are comparable, it's just some perspective. The great news is that, after a good googling, I found many retailers that sell this gloss at a fraction of it's retail price. So, if you are thinking this is a must-try, you can do so without breaking the bank! Not only that, but Napoleon Perdis is occasionally on Hautelook (next event is tomorrow, 4/30), so there is always a chance of catching a steal there.

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NOTD: Pigment & Sparkle

This was my first attempt at using my naked cosmetics as a nail polish and I am digging the results! This is Pigment 2 from the Naked Cosmetics Java Stack and it came off way more gold than pink. The sparkle I used on the ring finger is a Glitter on the Go from NYX in Sparks, a lovely champagne shade. I almost prefer pressing glitter on the nail like this because it ensures a thick coating of glitter without having to worry about extra drying time due to added coats.

Pigment 2 from Naked Cosmetics' Java Stack

NYX Glitter on the Go in Sparks

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Review & Swatchfest: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Sponge Cake, Juicy Red, and Candy Shop

NYX Mega Shine Lip Glosses are some of the most buzzed about among the "drugstore" lip glosses. At $5.50, they are even cheaper than some you may find in the drugstore and, some say, the quality is unbelievable. Let's try and get to the bottom of these claims, shall we?
NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Candy Shop

"Candy Shop" is a frosty pink gloss with gold shimmer in it that, when worn alone don't seem like much. However, when put over another liner or lipstick the gold shimmer really comes out and adds another dimension to the gloss.

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Juicy Red

Despite seeming like day-glo orange-red in the packaging, "Juicy Red" turns out to be a sheer wash on the lips. It's completely void of any glitter or shimmer and despite the red appearance in the packaging, it went on my lips rather pink.

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Sponge Cake

"Sponge Cake' is a brown based pink with gold shimmer. While it's very similar to "Candy Shop", it goes on the lips slightly darker, but still sheer.

From the left: Juicy Red, Sponge Cake, Candy Shop
The texture of all three of these is very smooth and creamy - even those with shimmer - which is a big plus! I wouldn't describe any of them as high shine glosses, but rather glazes that slowly wear away. In general, I notice them lasting around 3-4 hours when I'm not eating or drinking anything. While they aren't super moisturizing, I do notice my lips feeling softer and a little more hydrated after wearing. And, something I really love is that they don't feel like they sit on top of your lips. Sometimes I feel like other glosses create a slick barrier between my lips and the outside world, but these glosses felt like they absorbed into my lips somewhat without losing shine.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with was the color payoff. When swatched, I can tell a definite difference between each color. But, on the lips, they all look similar when worn alone. Some of them transform when you put them over lipsticks or liners, but I tend to like a gloss that can hold its own with or without a supporting product. Aside from this, though, the glosses really did hold up to the claims.

What do you think of the Mega Shine Lip Glosses?

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crown Brush on Hautelook Tomorrow! (4/27)

Crown Brush is back on Hautelook tomorrow! I've reviewed the 10 Blush Palette an the 15 pc. Pink Brush Set in case you are at a loss for what to check out!

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Swatchfest: Naked Cosmetics Color Collection in Ivory

The first time I had ever heard of naked cosmetics was in watching someone use the Ivory stack in a youtube tutorial. It was love at first sight. I knew that when I approached the booth at IMATS, I wasn't leaving without it.

Much like the quality of the other two stacks I have, Ivory's pigments are smooth, and finely ground despite having some serious shimmery goodness. While they don't look like much in the pot, when they are swatched they reveal a hint of color and, when swatched over a colored base, they reveal a split personality. Much like the other stack I reviewed, Java, these pigments can be used on the face, eyes, lips, hair, and nails. The opitime of versatility.

Also like the other stacks, however, is the inability to stay strong for more than a few hours without a base. Honestly, I don't hold this against them because I never go without some sort of eyeshadow base. But, for those who don't, it's something to know.

Now, let's get to what every makeup hound wants: the swatches.

Pigment 1 - White pearl - no glitter 
Pigment 2 - Magenta reflect

Pigment 3 - Yellow reflect

Pigment 4 - Light green reflect

Pigment 5 - Soft purple reflect

Pigment 6 - Soft blue reflect

Swatches start with Pigment 5 on the left
Swatches start with Pigment 5 on the left
I'm sure I don't have to tell you what a wow favor these are over a black base! These are going to provide a great way to put a twist on an eye look (or highlight for a night out!), add some subtle color to the hair, and include in some nail art. I have some big plans for these babies.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review & Swatchfest: Lime Crime Carousel Gloss in Candy Apple

This is my first product with the brand Lime Crime and, I have to say, I'm impressed! When I saw their booth at IMATS, I had the opportunity to look at and swatch some of their products, and it was hard to choose just one. I ended up going with a lip gloss (because I need more eyeshadow like I need another final essay assignment) and I chose Candy Apple because it's a blue-based red gloss with red glitter sprinkled throughout. Definitely something unique to my collection. 

The consistency is so smooth - not gritty in the least, despite having a glitter in it. It's slightly sticky, but not the worst I've encountered (old school Victoria Secret gloss, anyone?). The pigmentation is amazing, so rich and long lasting. I was actually a little surprised at how long it lasted because, after a few hours of wear and watching it come off on water glasses and coke cans, I was convinced there would be nothing left. Wrong. Not only was the color still as vibrant as ever, but there was even still a slight gloss! This might be a first among all the pigmented glosses I have tried.

The product itself is so impressive that the only critiques I have regard packaging. The brush is a little small for my liking (although great for precision application on the edge of the lips) and, although the swirls are cool, they add a lot of bulk to the outside of the packaging to inflate the amount of product you are actually getting. Lime Crime is definitely not the only brand to this; it just happens to be a pet peeve of mine.

Packaging aside, Lime Crime's carousel gloss is not only lovely as far as glosses go, but very unique in terms of appearances! If you, like I was, are looking to try your first product from Lime Crime, this is an excellent gateway drug product. I might need to try some lipstick next...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Allure Beauty Box is Available!

Hurry fast, because these babies go like you wouldn't believe. Although maybe you would if you knew what was inside... 

Unfortunately, Beauty Boxes are sold out! But, stay tuned (or subscribe using one of the many services over there --->), because there might be a spare to be won later... :)

That's right, folks. All of that for just $39.99! With shipping, handling, and tax, it will end up being just over $53, but if you can see yourself using even less than half of these items, it's well worth the price!

Get yours now!

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Tutorial Using Benefit's Cha Cha Tint!

As many of you may know, the first Challenge in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards was posted yesterday and the voting has started! If you aren't familiar with the contest, you can check out the announcement page for more details. Remember: you can vote once a day for a chance to enter to win a $500 beautybar.com gift certificate (this week), and a trip to Miami Beach. In the mean time, you can like and tweet about the competition using the buttons at the top of the challenge page. Those that get the most likes/tweets have the opportunity to be "spotlighted" and featured in an Allure article!

I am amazed at how supportive everyone has been and truly can't thank everyone enough! For every link I see posted or "I voted for you!" I receive, I am in awe that someone would take time out of their day to vote for and support me. Sappy? Sure, but if I don't say it, you will never know. And it's the truth! Thank you all so, so much!

Beyond professing my love for each and every one of you, this post really does have a beauty point. So let's get to it!

Yesterday, I posted a tutorial using Benefit's Cha Cha Tint - the product I reviewed in the first challenge. I wanted to supplement the review with a tutorial so that people who are hesitant to add an orange tint to their everyday look can see that it's not so scary as well as give you some application tips. So, here it is!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Review & Swatchfest: Naked Cosmetics - Java Stack

Of the three pigment stacks I got from IMATS, I had to review this one first because it shocked my the most with its swatch transformation. At first glance, this stack looks very plain  - which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you are after some staple, neutral pigments. But, when swatched wet, these transform into some seriously eye brightening pigments. I can't wait anymore, let's get to the swatches.

Naked Cosmetics Pigment Stack in Java

Because these shades aren't labeled, I'm just numbering them 1-6 starting at the tip of the stack.

Pigment 1 - light camel with pearly white duo chrome

Pigment 2- peach with a gold duo-chrome

Pigment 3 - shimmery, sandy brown

Pigment 4 - light camel with pearly purple duo chrome

Pigment 5 - orangey brick with a purple duo chrome
Pigment 6 - purple leaning taupe
Swatched Dry
Swatched Wet (with water)
Right trio close
Left trio close
Unfortunately, these pictures don't do the duo chromes in these pigments justice. When worn dry, their staying power is mediocre at best (2-3 hours). If you put them over a primer, they last considerably longer at about 5-6 hours. But, when worn with Inglot's Duraline, they didn't even want to come off with eye makeup remover. I think that speaks more to Duraline than it does to the pigments. Still, they have the capability of lasting for ages!

If you watched my haul video, I talked about the different ways you can use these pigments. among them are eyeshadows, blushes, nail polishes, hair highlight (I know, what?!), and eyeliner (to start). This stack is going to be great to use for nude nail polishes for the summer, bare-eye-bold-lip looks, and even hair highlights/red lowlights. I've decided that I'm going to challenge myself in the month of May and make it a rule that I must use at least 1 naked cosmetic pigment in a look so that I can  force myself to discover all the uses they have. Needless to say, you will be seeing them in the near future! Look for reviews of the other two stacks, Rainforest and Ivory, coming soon!

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