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Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm a Runner Up in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards!

Finally, the competition is over and I can announce that I am one of two runners up in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards and I want to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout it all! In addition to the snazzy title, I also get to be in the October issue of Allure (say wha?!). I'm still in shock at having made it this far in the competition and have no one else to thank but you. THANK YOU!

For those that voted, don't forget that you are in the running to win the weekly prizes as well as the grand prize trip to Miami Beach! The rules state that they will be drawing the winners around June 18th, so man your emails to make sure you don't miss the winning email. Now it's my turn to cross my fingers for you! Good luck!

Review & Swatchfest: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette




Well, I had successfully avoided it until very recently when the taupes became too tempting. The Naked 2 Palette is the cooler, taupe counterpart to the original Naked Palette and this is another product that has been around long enough for people to have already decided if they need it or not. Still, I'm going to give you my thoughts on the Naked 2 Palette and the products that come with it and with whether or not it's worth the $50 price tag when there are other, more affordable neutral palettes available.

To start, the palette comes with 12 shadows (.2g less than a full-sized 1.5g shadow), a double sided brush, and a sample sized lip gloss in Naked. While there is a repeat shadow, Half Baked, from the original Naked Palette the rest are a new assembly of shadows with cool undertones. In terms of diversity in finish and shade, there are two matte shadows (Foxy and Tease), a nearly satin finish shadow (Bootycall), and the rest are very frosted or shimmery. For those who don't like the UD shadows with chunky glitter, the good news is that there is none of that here. But, it also means that if you don't like a good shimmery shadow, this palette won't be for you with its measly two mattes. But, in its defense, they are good mattes and all of the shadows are up to the smooth, evenly applying shadows with stellar pigmentation. And, unless you have shadow singles, or previous palettes from Urban Decay, the colors will be unique to your collection too.

The brush and gloss are good additions to the palette although the brush adds some serious value, whereas the lip gloss might give you 4-5 uses. The double ended brush has both a crease and shadow brush valued at $26 a piece. So if you love a good UD brush, you get double the fun at a bargain price! Naked, the lip gloss, is an aptly named brown based pink shade that comes off very sheer on the lips and has a hint of shimmer. Still, it's smooth and has a hint of peppermint to give your lips a plumped look.

In terms of value, the shadows and brushes make this palette worth about $268, yet it's available for $50. Although this is $2 more than the original Naked was when it was released (what's up with that?!), it's still a great value considering the products you get. If you buy makeup sparingly and for quality, I definitely recommend this palette. The quality is stellar and the shades are rich, but they aren't necessarily unique. That means that if you're shadow obsessed, you could probably dupe the bulk of these colors with your collection. But, there is the convenience of having it in one compact. When it comes to asking, "Naked 1 or Naked 2?", the choice comes down to whether you want warmer or cooler shades.

Hope the mini analysis helps! Now, for the closeups and swatches.







Lip Gloss in Naked
Naked Gloss on Lips

From the left: Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper

From the left: Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper

From the left: Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol

From the left: Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol

From the left: Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout

From the left: Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review & Swatchfest: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Precious, Sweetheart, Lovesick, Rendezvous, and Romantic

Just when you thought Revlon had perfected tinted lip moisturizer with the Lip Butter, they released their Summer Collection and the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains that go along with it.  I first spotted all 12 shades in a newly assembled CVS display and knew they were meant for my lips.

On Revlon's website, they say these have a unique gel formula that serves to moisturize and stain lips for long lasting and fortifying wear. Not only that, but I only picked up five of the twelve colors available so there is a large shade range - everything from barely-there to in-your-face. The formula is definitely different than a true balm or stain and a gel-based "balm stain" is just the way to describe it. In some shades, the color payoff is huge, yet it isn't completely opaque, and there is a balmy sheen that lasts for 1-2 hours. Sans eating and drinking, the color itself lasts at least 5 hours without any sign of wear. The praises don't stop at the product itself. The packaging makes reapplication super easy. These balms come in a twist up chubby pencil form - similar to the Clinique Chubby Sticks or Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Stains - and function similarly as well.

While these do moisturize your lips and are good at maintaining moisture in lips, the one problem you might encounter with these is if you already have dry, flaky lips. In some of the pictures below, you might notice I have some flakiness that no amount of lip exfoliation could get rid of and some shades handle it better than others. This isn't any reason to nix the lot of them on a day when you have dry lips, but I've noticed that the shades that go on thicker, like Lovesick, Romantic, and Sweetheart, you can avoid exaggerating the dryness. If you are specifically looking for a tinted something that will look good over dry, flaky lips, I would suggest Revlon's Lip Butters over these.

To see shade descriptions, see the captions below! You can purchase Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stains at Walgreens!

Lovesick: A fuchsia 



Precious: Brown0leaning apricot




Rendezvous: Light tangerine tint




Romantic: Brick red with a brown undertone




Sweetheart: A posy pink without the purple undertones Lovesick has.






From the left: Lovesick, Precious, Sweetheart, Romantic, and Rendezvous


How to & Review: Loose & Lazy Summer Waves


I had a few requests to talk about the loose curls I've been wearing the last few videos I've done, so I thought I would show and demonstrate the new curling irons I got by Zoe Professional. Watch the video above to get the details!

Review & Swatchfest: Revlon Grow Luscious Lash Liner in Emerald, Onyx, Graphite, & Espresso



Well, I wasn't successful in getting all of the Revlon reviews up before the contest ended, but better late than never! I want to thank all of the readers out there for their support throughout the competition because I wouldn't have gotten as far as I have (let alone in the competition at all) without you! Win or lose, it's been an amazing, fun ride. For those interested in the results, the Allure website says they will be updating the results within the next day and a half. If you voted and are interested in when the drawings for the sweepstakes will take place, the rules say that on or around Jun 18th they will begin to draw and notify the winners. Good luck to you!

Now for the liners. These are really impressive with how creamy, opaque, and long lasting these are. Much like the Creme Gel Liners, there are the staple colors in the bunch and then an zing added by the seriously shimmery emerald green color. To start, these are comparable in texture and staying power to Urban Decay's 24/7 liners but available at a fraction of the cost. While the shade range might be more limited, you get the everyday go-to shades. The pencils last all day on my upper lash line and just short of 4 hours on my lower waterline.

Emerald is a complex shade that can look turquoise in some light and green in others, but it always has a gorgeous gold shimmer. Because of how much glitter it has, it's a little less smooth than the other shades, but it isn't rough by any means. There is just a noticeable texture difference. Onyx is an matte shade that is very, very black. Espresso has the same velvety finish Onyx does, with it's matte finish, but it's a smooth, buttery chocolate brown. And, finally, Charcoal is a grey color with silver/grey shimmer. The shimmer is slightly smaller in Charcoal than in Emerald, so the texture is still pretty smooth, but there is a slight difference between it and Onyx or Espresso.

If you are looking for smooth, creamy liners that have some serious staying power, you should check these out! The shade range may be limited, but who doesn't need a good black or brown liner?


Grow Luscious Lash Liner in Emerald




Grow Luscious Lash Liner in Onyx


Grow Luscious Lash Liner in Espresso


Grow Luscious Lash Liner in Graphite





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