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Monday, December 30, 2013

Review & Swatches: Sally Hansen Triple Shine Polish in Red Snapper



Sally Hansen Triple Shine Polish in Red Snapper
Sally Hansen recently came out with an extensive line of new polishes called Triple Shine, and I was lucky enough to receive on in my Violet Voxbox from Influenster! Red Snapper is a great red with slightly warm undertones. I found it didn't completely cover the whites of my nails after 2 coats, but definitely think it would for those that didn't have such stark white tips. Despite having to layer it to get more opacity, it dried relatively quickly - a bonus for someone who loves painting her nails, but has no patience for drying time. Overall, the color isn't anything special, and I didn't notice an exceptionally shiny finish, but I'm very curious about some of the glittery or opalescent top coats the line has - especially given how well Red Snapper performed.

Sally Hansen's Triple Shine Polish retails for $4.99 from drugstores and ULTA - a good price for a fair amount of product that performs well for a drugstore polish. I'm planning on trying some of the other more unique polishes from the line - how bout you?


See more pictures after the jump!

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dupe or Dud: Urban Decay Naked 3 vs. Kardashian Beauty Gradient Eye Color Palette in Echo


Kardashian Beauty ouch Tones Gradient Eye Color Palettes in Echo
In a recent review of the Kardashian Beauty Gradient Eye Color Palettes in Echo and Mirage, I compared Echo - a pink-toned shadow selection - to Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette. Here's a more in depth comparison of the two so you can see the extent to which the Kardshian Palette might satisfy your urge to splurge on Naked 3!

Despite looking overwhelmingly pink, lilac, and purple in the pan, Echo has a lot of the same cool pinks and taupes as Naked 3 when swatched. Seen side-by-side, there are some glaring differences with varying textures, and a broader span of light shades in the Naked 3. But my #1 complaint of Urban Decay's Palette was how similar some of the shades are. If you could trim it down and have one or two pink shades and one or two taupes, you could still create roughly the same number of looks with one as you could with the other. While there are some definite texture differences (Kardashian's lack the buttery smoothness Urban Decay is know for, yet they still have good pigmentation and apply well with minimal fallout), packaging differences, and an obviously smaller selection of shades to choose from, Echo is a great way to incorporate the pinks, taupes, and mauvey-taupes many loved from Urban Decay, but couldn't justify the $52 it takes to get them.

At $9.99, Kardashian Beauty's Gradient Eye Color Palette in Echo is by no means a dupe for Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette. But if your aim is mainly to incorporate similar pinks and cool, mauvey taupes into your look, the Echo palette is a good way to do so on a budget.



See more pictures after the jump!

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Review & Swatches: Kardashian Beauty Touch Tones Gradient Eye Color Palettes in Echo & Mirage


Kardashian Beauty ouch Tones Gradient Eye Color Palettes in Echo & Mirage

PROS: 

  • Affordable at $9.99
  • Includes two matte shades that perform well
  • Offers a nice spectrum of shadows with just 5 colorful shades and an "overspray"
  • The "overspray" adds depth when used, rather than just being a shimmery mess
  • Good pigmentation
  • Good lasting power
  • Smooth texture and easily blendable
  • Most darker shadows are buildable

CONS:

  • No mid-tone matte shades for the crease
  • Lighter shades are harder to build more additional color payoff

Overall, the Kardashian Beauty Touch Tones Gradient Eye Color Palettes are another win from the brand! They provide a nice array shadows in a sturdy (for the drugstore) packaging. See an in-depth comparison of Echo vs. Naked 3

See more pictures after the jump!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review & Swatches: The Color Workshop Art of Eyes Set



A few days ago, I reviewed the Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection from The Color Workshop, and mentioned they are owned by the same parent company as Wet n Wild (explaining their shockingly good quality, despite only seeing it around a few times a year). Today, I'm reviewing the Art of Eyes set - a kit that includes two 9-pan eyeshadow palettes, 4 liquid liners, 4 shadow pencils, and 1 mascara and retails for roughly $9.99 in stores like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. 

The shadow pencils are similar to the Wet n Wild Idol Eyes Cream Shadow Pencils, but a tad less creamy, which I find is better for longer wear on the eyes, and slightly less pigmented. With a light pink, deep navy, copper, and silver, there are shades to function as both eye shadows and highlighters for both the inner corner and face (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid's bow). While they don't act as long-wear primers under the shadows, layering them over a primer and pressing the shadows in this kit over them yields some great high-impact results!

Two shadow palettes come in this set - one green-based and one purple-based. Both have a mix of light, mid, and deep tones, along with a mix of matte, sating, and shimmery shades, and all have shockingly good pigmentation! Greens and purples can flatter and enhance a wide range of skin tones and eye colors, making this a safe bet for many.

This set also comes with 4 liquid liners equipped with brush applicators in a vibrant blue, soft khaki green, deep black, and silver. While the green lacks some pigmentation, the rest function really well as bold long-lasting liners - although they aren't waterproof. The mascara included is function, but not my favorite. Still, it's a good way to complete a look if this kit is all you have!

Overall, $9.99 is a great price for such a nice mix of products, and now you can probably find these further discounted in your drugstore's holiday aisle! Snag them before they're gone.



See more pictures after the jump!

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Friday, December 27, 2013

December Starlooks Starbox Unboxing, Review, & Swatches


Starlooks 15 Shade Shadow Palette



Starlooks Starbox is a monthly subscription service that costs $15 for a selection of full size products from the brand Starlooks. This month, I received a palette that otherwise costs $99 from their website and contains a mix of matte, shimmery, and metallic shadows with varying hues. While I wouldn't necessarily pay $99 for the full size palette, it's comparable to a 15 pan MAC palette you can customize for $160, and I find the quality to be similar (although the shadows aren't removable). So, in that respect, it's a good deal and made this box well worth the price.

PROS:


  • The service promises a $35-$99 value each month - something they definitely delivered on this month!
  • They recently started a rewards program where every third month you stay subscribed, you receive a gift worth $35. 
  • You receive 1 point for every dollar spent with Starlooks and $10 for every 100 points you earn. 
  • You receive a free gift box for every person who signs up using your referral link. 

CONS:

  • Not as much of a "community" as you might find with more established monthly boxes.
  • It's $15 rather than the $10 Birchbox and Ipsy charge per month.
  • Boxes aren't customized according to a beauty profile - although their FAQ suggests they might be as they grow in the future.
  • You only receive Starlooks products - a downside for those looking for a variety of full size products. 
Overall I think this is a service to watch out for. I'm going to keep trying it for a few more months to get a feel for the consistency of the products you receive each time, but if you don't mind receiving full size products from the same brand (so long as the quality is there), this is a great option! Check out the New Year's Eve tutorial I created below, and get all the steps for the look in my Makeup Wars post.

See more pictures after the jump!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review & Swatches: The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection


The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection
Around this time of year, a mysterious new brand pops up in the "new products" section and holiday isle of drugstores: The Color Workshop. Typically, not knowing what to expect from these new sets has me thinking twice before trying, but I recently found out they are made by the same parent company as Wet n Wild - a drugstore staple I can't live without. Markwin's was kind enough to send me a few of items you might see on shelves, and the first I'm going to show is the Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection - an affordable way to stock your makeup collection to prep for Pantone's 2014 color of the year: radiant orchid.

This set includes 6 eyeshadow duos, a blush trio, eyeliner pencil, liquid eyeliner, and lipstick, and all of them have quality that's consistent with Wet n Wild! The pans in the blush trio are a tan slim for separating each for individual application, but overall they create a gorgeous medium pink, and can be built for great pigmentation. The liner is pigmented, however I wouldn't call it waterproof, but the lipstick is smooth and packs a purple punch. The eyeliner doesn't add much for me - although the Wet n Wild eyeliners rarely do, but you get 12 smooth shadows that work together to create loads of purple/berry looks. The range of finishes is narrow, with both satin and shimmer in the mix, but both perform well.

This set retails for $4.99, but there's a good chance you can find them discounted at retailers like Walmart. It's a good one to nab if you are wanting to beef up your purple makeup to prep for radiant orchid!


The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection



The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Blush

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Blush

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Blush

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Lipstick

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Lipstick

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Eyeliner

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Eyeliner

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Eyeshadow

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Eyeshadow

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Left Row

The Color Workshop Drama Queen 20 Piece Makeup Collection | Right Row

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review & Swatches: bareMinerals All The Faves


bareMinerals All Time Faces

bareMinerals All The Faves
ULTA was having some stellar holiday sales on their bareMinerals sets and, after my experience with the Crystallized Set from Sephora, I thought I would broaden my horizon and try some of their best-sellers! It just so happens ULTA has an exclusive set marked down to $25 from $36 - the perfect time to try!

 What you get:

  • Prime Time Original Foundation Primer - a gel primer that helps foundation glide on.
  • Prime Time Eyelid Primer - A flesh-toned primer that helps eyeshadow pop and stay on all day (it works!). 
  • Mineral Veil Finishing Powder - A translucent powder I use to set my makeup. I love it specifically to set my undereye concealer without looking cakey. 
  • Ready Blush in The One - A smooth, pigmented nude pink blush. Very natural, but might be too light for deeper skin tones.
  • Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Epiphany - A universally flattering neutral duo with Brown Sugar, a shimmery warm taupe, and Brown Truffle, a matte chocolate brown - perfect for subtle daytime makeup, or a dramatic smoky eye for the night. 
  • Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara - After multiple recommendations from subscribers, I'm happy to finally try this mascara! It provides both volume and curl without leaving lashes clumpy, and it lasts all day.
  • Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready - Of the shades I've tried, these lipsticks are consistently smooth, creamy, and pigmented, and leave a slight stain on the lips so that even when the finish has worn off, the pigment is still there. Get Ready is a nude pink. 
  • Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Sparkplug - These lipglosses have a subtle mint flavor and slightly plump the lips. While they are a little longer lasting that the average lipgloss, what makes these standout are the shades within the range. Sparkplug is among the more universally flattering shades as a dusty pink coral, but others have interesting duo-chromes. 

This is a fantastic set for those looking to experiment with bareMinerals products, or want affordable travel sizes of some of their favorites. It's not available on the ULTA site, but there were plenty in store when I purchased it a few days ago. Grab them before they are gone!
See more pictures after the jump!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette Tutorial | 2 Looks in 1





Products Used & Reviews:




Look 1

Look 2

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Makeup Wars: Holiday Eye Look



The holidays are upon us and, with presents to buy and wrap, food to cook, cookies to bake, and travels to make, the last thing on your mind might be what your are going to wear on your face for New Years Eve. This Makeup Wars, we are coming together to bring you a few ideas for your holiday look - whether it's a classic eye with a hot lip, or an all out glitter-fest. This time around, I wanted to play with color AND glitter (say wha?!). Get a step by step of how I make it happen below.

Step 1. Start with a primed eye - I used Senna's Totally Transforming Eyeshadow Primer
Step 2. Apply a satin cream shadow from the lash line to the crease. All shadows in this look are from my 15 Color Shadow Palette from my December Starlooks Starbox.
Step 3. Apply a frosted white shadow to the inner corner.
Step 4. Use a brush with a tapered tip (mine is Sigma's small tapered blending brush) to apply a matte berry shade in the crease - from the inner corner, to the outer corner.
Step 5. Pat a deep emerald green in the outer corner with a small flat shader brush and blend the edges out.
Step 6. Apply a matte black shadow with a small, precise brush (mine is Tarte's double ended liner brush) to the outer corner to add more depth to the look. Blend into the emerald and crease shade just enough so the colors meld together seamlessly without muddying them.
Step. 7. Line the upper lash line with a glitter base or glitter liner - I used ELF's copper glitter liner.
Step. 8. Pat a loose glitter over the top of glitter base for high impact glitz.
Step 9. Apply mascara.
Steps 10-13. Were accidentally added and I'm too lazy to remove them, but admiring your glitzy look upon completion is encouraged!

For an affordable holiday look sans glitter, check out the classic look I created for under $20 in the tutorial at the bottom of the post!





For a full list of products used in the $20 makeup look, checkout the original blog post. Don't forget to check out the rest of the fantastic looks created in this week's Makeup Wars below!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review & Swatches: BH Cosmetics 6 Color Concealer & Corrector Palette in Light

BH Cosmetics Concealer & Corrector Palette in Light



PROS:

  • Light, dry texture
  • Layerable
  • Blends smoothly
  • Trio of concealers provides year-round versatility
  • Affordable ($3.50 - $5.50)

CONS:

  • Lasting power isn't stellar - need a setting powder to last throughout the day
  • With only three palette shades (Light, Medium, Dark), there might not be a ton of versatility. 
This is great for the color-correcting newbie and everyday makeup wearer alike as it's an affordable way to experiment with good quality concealers and color correctors. You can purchase the 6 Color Concealer & Corrector Palettes from the BH Cosmetics website!

See more pictures after the jump!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Review & Swatches: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette


Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette



PROS:

  • Hard case is durable - great for travel
  • Contains large mirror
  • Well-made double ended brush
  • Contains a mix of textures - like matte, satin, shimmer, and metallic
  • All but one of the shadows (Dust) are consistent with the great Urban Decay formula (pigmented, long-wearing, smooth, etc.)

CONS:

  • Not much contrast in the shade range (a few of the shades look very similar when worn) - I found this made for looks that appear very similar despite using different shadows to create them.
  • Dust was more sparsely pigmented than normal micro-glitters from Urban Decay

The Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette is available at ULTA and Sephora for $52. While these shadows definitely fill a gap in the Naked Palette saga and will flatter many (specifically those with brown, green, or hazel eyes), I personally found the number of looks I could create were limited as a few of the shadows looked very similar when worn. I'm sure loads of makeup enthusiasts will notice and love the nuances, but for practical day-to-day wear, I thought they looked very similar. I would have liked to see more contrast within the shade range. Still, the quality is consistent with Urban Decay's shadows so it's well worth the money if you feel you will use it!


See more pictures after the jump!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tutorial: bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection


bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection
I recently reviewed the bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection and wanted to show you step-by-step what I did to create the look I showed in that post. It's super simple, and a classic day look. Check it out below!

Step 1: Sweep Steam Eyecolor in Metallic Silver Shimmer all over the lid, up to the brow bone, using the broad side of the shadow brush.
Step 2: Pat Abracadabra from the Ready 2.0 Shadow Palette to the outer half of the eye lid using the narrow tip of the shadow brush. Blend with the broad side of the brush
Step 3. Pat Presto, the other shadow from the pressed shadow duo, on the inner half of the lid. Blend Abracadabra and Presto together.
Step 4. Use the liner sponge tip to apply Mesmerize Shadow Liner in Dark Charcoal to the upper lash line.
Step 5. Sweep Lash Domination 10-in-1 Volumizing Mascara on upper and lower lashes.
Step 6. Use a large blush brush to applyGolden Gate Radiance All-Over Face Color to the cheek bones, temples, and beneath the jaw.
Step 7. Apply Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Break Away.
Step 8. Apply Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Hypnotist.

bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection


bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection






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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review & Swatches: BareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection - ON SALE!

BareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection
bareMinerals Crystallized Full Face Collection is a Sephora-exclusive holiday collection that includes 7 full sized products and 1 dual-ended brush for $54 (although I've seen them in stores, and purchased mine, for $38). Check out what comes in this kit:

Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Magic Wand - Presto is an almond shimmer, while Abracadabra is a shimmering slate. One major incentive for purchasing this kit is the formula of these shadows - it's one of the best I've ever tried. With a smooth, buttery texture, both of them glide across the lid effortlessly and blend beautifully. 

Golden Gate Radiance All-Over Face Color - This must be the first face color I've tried in a while because I've never seen this new packaging. I'm loving it! The rotating sifter makes it easy to get just the right amount of product. As for the product itself, it's a gorgeous subtle warm mauve/berry that can be worn both as an all over bronze shade to warm up the face, as well as a blush. 

Steam Eyecolor in Metallic Silver Shimmer - Worn opaque or sheer, this soft silver shadow applies smoothly and is great for the inner corner, brow bone, or a sheer wash of color over the whole lid.

Mezmerized Shadow Liner in Dark Charcoal - While it says "liner" this is also a great shadow to smoke an eye look out to the max. Applied dry, it can create a nice soft liner for the daytime, but applied wet it can be used for an inky cat eye. 

Lash Domination 10-in-1 Volumizing Mascara - This has been on my to-try list for months and doesn't disappoint! 

Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Break Away - Not only is this lipstick smooth and creamy, it stains the lips so the pigment lasts hours longer than I initially thought it would. Even through drinking and snacking, the deep mauve hue lasted over 4 hours!

Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Hypnotist - This was another product that drew me to this kit. I mean look at it! Like a holographic beacon, it called my name and has a surprisingly subtle appearance when it's actually worn. It's not long-lasting, but it has the familiar minty taste that goes hand-in-hand with plumping glosses.

I created a look below - check back tomorrow for a step-by-step pictorial showing you how to create it! 

This set creates a wearable look that's great to gift - especially to the makeup lover or a bareMinerals addict in your life. $54 is a fantastic value for all of the products included, but the $38 I've seen it go for in stores is an absolute steal. Get to a Sephora stat to see if you can grab it!
See more pictures after the jump!

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December Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing, Products Reviews, & Swatches


December Ipsy Glam Bag



December's Ipsy bag was a winner! This was the first month I was able to redeem Ipsy points (a kind of currency you can accrue through product reviews or having friends sign up) for a bonus product in my bag. What kind of products, you ask? Oh, just a Beauty Blender (among other things)! Expensive beauty sponge aside, this month's bag was stellar. See why in the video, pictures, and swatches below!

What's Inside:


  • Pop Beauty Eyeshadow Trio in Smokin' Hot
  • Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Flustered
  • NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Iris
  • English Laundry Signature Fragrances
  • NickaK New York Nail Color
  • Points Bonus: Beauty Blender & sample size cleanser

See more pictures after the jump!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

ULTA & Sephora Haul



Get 20% off non-prestige items at ULTA with code 106838.

Products Mentioned:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultimate Lasting Lip Set: Sold out online - check your nearest store!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Perfect Palette TAG



Palettes Mentioned: 


Do the tag yourself! Create a video or share in the comments below:

TAG Topics:

1. Best Packaging
2. Best Color Payoff
3. Most Versatile
4. Best for Travel
5. Biggest Regret
6. Best Color Names
7. Least Used
8. Most Used, Most Loved, Desert Island
9. BONUS: Current lust

Review & Swatches: Kryolan Earthtones Sparkle Wheel

Kryolan Earthtones Sparkle Wheel

A few weeks back, I went to the freestanding Kryolan store in Chicago to watch the season finale of Face Off. While there, I had some time to spend perusing display after display of all the goodies they sell and, like a kid in a candy shop, I found something I had to have.

Kryolan's Cream Colors are multi-use products safe for the eye, face, lip, and body. The Interferenz line in particular has a metallic/pearl finish that will knock your socks off. While you can buy them individually, Kryolan also has a few pre-made palettes and wheels that contain a coordinated selection of colors meant for anything from Black Eyes and Corpses to something a little more glamorous. The Sparkle Wheel in Earthtones contains 6 shades - Gold, Silver, Copper, RY (a rose gold), Bronze, and 071G (black).

For everyday makeup, these are comparable to cream shadows so I thought I would try them out as such. They have a very smooth texture, apply evenly with a brush or finger, and can be built for added pigmentation. While these don't remain tacky after applied, they don't quite dry down to the powder texture many cream shadows do. Still, worn un-primed and un-set with a powder they lasted well after the 8 hour mark! With a translucent setting powder, it would last through the night. Of course, these are also a makeup artist's dream with how versatile they are when worn elsewhere, but it's great knowing these beautiful cream colors also have a practical application!

With 6 colors and a ton of products in each pot, this cream color wheel is a steal at $18.90. You can purchase them at free-standing Kryolan stores or online!

Kryolan Earthtones Sparkle Wheel

Kryolan Earthtones Sparkle Wheel

Kryolan Earthtones Sparkle Wheel


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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review: CoverGirl Bombshell Volume Mascara


CoverGirl Bombshell Volume Mascara




PROS:

  • Step 1 adds great length and separation
  • Lasts flake and smudge-free all day
  • .33 fl. oz. included - quite a bit of product
  • It's versatile - you can use one wand or the other to get varying results
  • Formula is neither too thick nor too thin

CONS:

  • Very hard to remove
  • Expensive for a drugstore mascara
  • Overall unimpressive results

You can purchase CoverGirl Bombshell Volume Mascara by Lashblast at ULTA for $11.99 (it's around $9.50 at Walmart). Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the results - especially given how expensive it is for a drugstore mascara. Additionally, it acted like a waterproof mascara when it came time to remove - very hard to get off.


See more pictures after the jump!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

$20 Holiday Look


Products Used:




Monday, December 9, 2013

Splurge vs. Steal Holiday Gift Guide & GIVEAWAY!



Products Mentioned:

Formula X for Sephora - The Twenty-Two
IT Cosmetics 6 Pc. Vanity Brush Collection
Real Techniques Core Collection (face)
Real Techniques Starter Kit (eyes)
Bare Minerals Degrees of Dazzling
Madison Street Beauty
Stila Lip Glaze Set

Friday, December 6, 2013

November Favorites



Products Mentioned:

  1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder 
  2. Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation
  3. L'Oréal Butterfly Lash Out Mascara
  4. Conair Infiniti Pro 1 1/5" Curling Iron
  5. L'Oréal Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Endless Red
  6. em Cosmetics Party Life Palette

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Rimmel ScandalEyes Lycra Flex Mascara






PROS:

  • Affordable ($6.99)
  • Leaves lashes flexible
  • Lengthens and curls
  • Shape lasted all day on the upper lash line

CONS:

  • Wand is large and cumbersone
  • Noticed some undereye transfer throughout the day



Before

After

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