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Friday, March 28, 2014

New Launches: butter LONDON Lolly Brights Collection

butter LONDON Nail Lacquer ($15) in Sozzled, Stroppy, Air Fairy, Chuffed, Jammy, and Ladybird

butter LONDON is back with a spring rendition of their color cosmetics collection! I tried a few of the products when they initially launched at the end of last summer, and was impressed with everything I tried. But the new Lolly Brights collection has me ready to wait in line outside ULTA before the April launch. Along with 6 totally NEW polish colors, the collection boasts 3 new lip gloss shades, 3 new WINK Eye Liner shades, 2 new WINK Mascaras, and a new Cream Blush shade. Get a peek at the new mix of spring-ready brights and pastels within the collection below! Want to know more about some of the products? Check out the reviews I have of the butter LONDON Cheeky Cream Blush, WINK Eye Pencil, and WINK Colour Mascara!

Do you have your sights set on anything from butter LONDON's new Spring Collection?
See more pictures after the jump!


March 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Unbagging, Review, Demo, & Promo Codes!

In My Bag:
  • Be A Bomshell Bora Bora Eyeshadow Quad
  • bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready
  • Nicole by OPI Roughles Polish in On What Grounds
  • NYX Bronze Smokey Look Kit
  • Beneft High Beam
Get discounts on all of the brands this month:
  • 40% off Be A Bombshell: IPSY14
  • 25% off NYX Butter Balm: IPSYBB
  • 25% off any purchase from chella.com: EYELINER
  • 25% off PixiBeauty.com: FlawlessPixi
Sign up for Ipsy!

Check out the pictures of everything I got below!

See more pictures after the jump!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dupe or Dud: ELF Lip Stain vs. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Rouge

ELF's Lip Stain and MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Rouge are visibly very similar in both their packaging and claims, making it easy to want to draw comparisons between the two. So, I'm doing just that with a little review and demo!

ELF's Lip Stain ($3) is described as a full coverage matte lip color that wears for hours while keeping lips smooth. On the other side of the double-ended packaging is a clear gloss that promises moisturizing wear and a shiny finish. The stain wears like a thin liquid lipstick, applying smoothly, but not necessarily covering or flattering dry, chapped lips. Worn alone, it lasts for an impressive 4-5 hours before it starts fading away. With the gloss, however, the lasting power is nonexistent - it becomes more of an opaque gloss that wipes off easily. 

MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Rouge ($22) also claims to have the long-lasting hold of a lip stain with the "eye-catching shine of a gloss." Unlike ELF's Lip Stain, MUFE's has a slightly thicker consistency to better cover slight texture differences. It also provides much more comfort during wear. The real test came with the application of the gloss. It lasts! Gloss or no gloss, MUFE's Aqua Rouge lasts between 6-7 hours - through eating and drinking. To see a full review of more shades from the line, check out my review and swatches!

Bottom line: For maximum comfort and long lasting wear with a matte or glossy finish, MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Rouge is worth every penny! That being said, ELF's might not be a dupe, but it's certainly not a dud. For a functional, affordable matte stain, it's a good alternative. Just don't expect it to last with the gloss!

By Bailey B

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Monday, March 24, 2014

My March LE TOTE

In an effort to expand my fashion horizons, I'm giving a few fashion subscription services a try! First up: LE TOTE. For $49 a go, you can receive a Boutique Box that promises 3 garments and 2 accessories for a total value of at least $200 in every shipment. Once you've set up your account and input your sizes, you can peruse clothing available on the site and "heart" the pieces you want to see in your closet. Using your selection, a tote will be curated for you and shipped with free 2 day shipping (both ways). In addition to my jewelry and clothing, I also received an actual tote, along with a $100 nakedwines.com voucher (with a $160 purchase). They know me so well. To see everything that came in my March LE TOTE, check out the pictures below!

Interestingly enough, I ended up loving pieces that I thought weren't for me when I first saw them, and just feeling lukewarm toward pieces I thought I would instantly need. So, what happens when you've worn and evaluated everything? Pack what you don't want to keep up in your pre-paid shipping slip, and keep the rest! When you look in the "My Totes" section of your account, you can not only rate the pieces that came that month, but you can see what the retail value (listed below) and member prices are for each item. My tote this month had a value of $235, but I can purchase all items for $147 and, in doing so, receive my next LE TOTE for FREE! One of my favorite parts of this service is how easy it is to skip a month (or 2, or even 6). If you are hungry for a fashion fix, you can get a tote monthly. If, on the other hand, you want to update your wardrobe with the seasons, just log in to your account and select whether you want to hold your tote for 1, 2, or 6 months, and they will do the rest.

Overall, I think LE TOTE is a great value for money and a fun, flexible way to keep your wardrobe fresh. If you are interested in giving it a go, I recommend signing up for their newsletter where they will occasionally send out promo codes. Receiving one for $15 off my first tote is what compelled me to sign up for this one!

Have you tried any fashion subscription services? Which are your favorites?

LE TOTE | Heather Layered Vest (Retail: $89 | Member: $47)

LE TOTE | Gianni Raglan Sweater (Retail: $62 | Member: $43)

LE TOTE | Venetian Lace Blouse (Retail: $48 | Member: $33)
LE TOTE | Trapeze Bar Necklace & Druzy Rose Gold Earrings (Both retail: $18 | Member: $12)
By Bailey B

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tutorial: Top 5 ELF Favorites

Reviews & Links to Products Used:

  1. ELF Smudge Pots
  2. BareMinerals Lash Domination
  3. Benefit Big Easy
  4. em Cosmetics Concealer Palette
  5. Everyday Minerals Finishing Dust
  6. ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzer in St. Lucia
  7. ELF Radiance Enhancer in Spotlight
  8. ELF Glossy Gloss in Pink Candy
  9. ELF Mineral Lipstick in Party Pink
Find out all about my fave 5 from ELF and learn how to WIN them all in the video below!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hot Dish Hits the Road: Blush Beauty Room

More like Plush Beauty Room!
A few months ago, I was visiting some girlfriends in the land of my alma mater (Go Gophs!) and, knowing my obsession with documenting all things beauty, one of them suggested we hit up a relatively new beauty joint in town: Blush Beauty Room. After a hellish trying hot yoga session, we cleaned up our act and treated ourselves to what was ultimately the perfect reward for winning Sweatiest Yoga Mat earlier in the day.

Blush Beauty Room is a mix of all things pampering - makeup, nail polish, accessories, a plush lounge area, and a bar of bareMinerals where you can belly up for any cosmetic cocktail of your choosing. Not only can you get your makeup done there, but they also provide makeup lessons, and do on-location makeup application for bridal parties. Speaking of parties, you can host your own within the space as well! In fact, as we were strolling around the store, there were a few women sipping champagne as they chatted and traded off having their makeup done. Clearly these women know how to do things up right, so if you don't trust my judgement, trust theirs.

After browsing for a bit, I ended up snagging a lipstick from theBalm while one of my friends got a bling-tastic ring for an event she had later in the week. With brands like CND, theBalm, Zoya, and bareMinerals, and killer statement jewelry, it was hard to show that kind of self-restraint. 

In Minneapolis and looking for some beauty hot spots? This is definitely a hidden gem! For more places (and brands) to see while in the Mini-apple, xoVain has a great list from a local beauty editor.

She put a ring on...and then bought it and wore it to a black tie affair.

The only way nail polishes should be served - on a bed of dazzle.

Gift ideas AND a sale table? Sign me up!

This was just to cute to leave undocumented.

By Bailey B


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Top 5 in Under 5: ELF + GIVEAWAY ft. ColorSweptBeauty

My video on Top 10 ELF Products has been a long-time favorite for those that stumble across my YouTube channel, but it's over a year old. With the rate ELF comes out with new products, it's time for an update! But rather than bring you another list in the same old format, I'm collaborating with Abby of ColorSweptBeauty to bring you two lists of our top 5 products, and giving two people the chance to WIN them! Find which products made my list and why I love them, then check out Abby's favorites and enter to win below. Good luck!

My Fave 5 (and what you can win!):

  1. ELF Smudge Pots in Ain't That Sweet, Back to Basics, Brownie Points, and Ocean Bound
  2. ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzer in St. Lucia
  3. ELF Radiance Enhancer in Spotlight
  4. ELF Glossy Gloss in Pink Candy
  5. ELF Mineral Lipstick in Party Pink

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Monday, March 17, 2014

MAKEUP WARS: Favorite Illuminizers

The weather has taken (what is hopefully) one last dive before spring, so I'm distracting myself with the products I'll use to lighten my look up for the coming warmer months! In this week's Makeup Wars, we're dishing on one of my favorite ways to revamp a tired winter look: illuminizers! Worn alone to highlight the high points of your face and get a lit-from-within look, or mixed with foundation to get a serious all-over glow, there are illuminators that do it all - here are my favorites:
  1. Benefit's High Beam - Although I've only actually had it for a few days now, it was love at first glow. This liquid illuminator has a pink pearlescent base that blends out to a cool soft glow, but can also be layered for a little more drama on a night out. Bonus: the creamy formula blends seamlessly over other liquid or powder bases without disturbing them.
  2. Physician's Formula Naturally Nude Palette for Face & Eyes -  Great for powder lovers, half of this palette includes finely milled shimmer that combines soft white, pink, and rose gold shimmer for a neutral, natural look highlight. The other half contains shades that create a beautiful shimmery bronze. In addition to creating a soft-focus ethereal glow when applied as a highlight, each of the 12 shades included in this palette can be used as eye shadows!
  3. it Cosmetics Hello Light Créme Illuminator - It's nearly identical to Benefit's High Beam with its pearly pink undertones, but will appeal to those who feel more comfortable applying cream products. I find the cream texture also makes it easier to apply to the inner corner of my eyes and brow bone!
  4. Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer - This champagne-hued liquid luminizer is great to use as you would most illuminators - to highlight the tops of your cheek bones, bridge of your nose, and cupid's bow. But it's also my favorite to mix with foundation to get a natural looking all-over glow! The warmer undertones ensure it won't throw off your foundation coloring, and the ultra-fine shimmer keep your face from looking like it had a run-in with with Ke$ha. 
Do you have a favorite illuminator you're excited to whip out this spring?


Review & Swatches: Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes & Bonjour Soleil Bronze Palettes

á la mode Eyes Sexy St. Tropez Collection ($36):

This palette contains 9 shadows and a look book. Divided into a day, classic, and fashion look, the á la mode palette has a nice mix of neutrals and brights. Nearly all of the shades live up to the Too Faced name - the exception is Cannes. With a slightly grainy texture, it takes using a setting spray to get it to stick together and show up when applied. While there are a few shadows that are similar to others you will find elsewhere (see comparison shots below), this is a unique collection of shades that will complement a collection that consists mostly of "comfort zone" shadows. If the shade range looks like something that appeals to you, get it! The shadows are beautiful and come in a sturdy, travel-friendly tin with a magnetized closure and mirror. 
This palette contains 3 permanent bronzers from the Too Faced Collection: Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (the darker counterpart to their Milk Chocolate Soliel Bronzer), Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer, and Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer. All of them weigh in at slightly less than half the weight of the full size version and come in a compact tin with a magnetized closure. Accompanying the bronzers is a Teddy Bear Hair Flatbuki brush - not a brush you will immediately want to discard! Each of the bronzers included have the same quality as their full size counterpart (awesome, in case you were wondering), and provide everything you need to sculpt, bronze, and highlight. Too Faced appropriately calls it your summer bronzing wardrobe! Whether you want a sampling of some of Too Faced Cosmetics best bronzers, or love the idea of taking those you already love to-go, this is an absolute must-have palette for summer!

Will you be picking up any of Too Faced Summer 2014 releases?

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes | Day Look

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes | Classic Look

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes | Fashion Look

Too Faced Monaco & Urban Decay Junk Show

Too Faced Soleil & Urban Decay Mugshot

Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Bronze Palette

Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Bronze Palette
Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Bronze Palette
Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Bronze Palette

Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Bronze Palette
Wearing it all!

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Too Faced Summer 2014 Launches!

Too Faced Á La Mode Eyes Sexy St. Tropez Collection

While browsing ULTA as a result of today's steal ($10 bareMinerals Ready blushes), I stumbled upon some new launches for Too Faced Summer 2014 Collection! See a full review along with swatches and looks of each of these palette up now!

á la mode Eyes Sexy St. Tropez Collection ($36):

  • St. Tropez - a matte cream with chunky gold glitter
  • Cannes - chunky copper shimmer
  • Soleil - medium purple-toned satin taupe
  • Riviera - ultra-fine gold-toned champagne highlight
  • Jardin - gold-laced peach
  • Cote d'Azur - deep, cool satin taupe
  • La Croisette - ultra-fine white shimmery highlight
  • Monaco - hot pink
  • De La Mer - blackened navy blue

Bonjour Soleil Palette ($44): 

  • Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
  • Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer
  • Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer
  • Teddy Bear Hair Flatbuki Brush
Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Palette

By Bailey B


What's inside: it Cosmetics CC Your Way to Beautiful Skin!

CC Your Way to Beautiful Skin is a new set to QVC that includes a mix of old favorites and new updates, and it's currently available for $65.98 (normally $72.50)! See what you get inside:

A Supersized CC+ Full Coverage Cream - As one of my favorite foundations for natural-looking full coverage that lasts all day, I'm happy to say that this set comes with a tube that contains more than double the product of the original! The only issue I've come across with this foundation is finding a shade that matches. I currently have both fair and light shades, and manage to fall right in between. Mixing the two provides a perfect match, but might prove problematic for someone that only wants to buy one shade and stick with it. 

CC+ Créme Gloss in Love - This is a new product to me, and I have to say I love it! Coming off the tail end of a cold, my lips are dry and flaky. When I'm not using my ultimate lip treatment, I'm looking for a way to add color to my lips without sucking away what little moisture is left in them. it Cosmetics Créme Gloss does just that and even flatters any rough texture that might still exist.

Waterproof Tightline Mascara - Although I didn't have any problems with the original Tightline Mascara formula, they've now produced one that's waterproof. Despite having a slightly different wand than the original, the new waterproof formula looks and wear the same on my lashes - great news for someone who doesn't like waterproof formulas and how hard you typically have to scrub to get them off (a no-no in the delicate eye area!) While I found this really does provide the appearance of a tightline when applied to the base of my upper lashes, I prefer to use it on my lower lashes as it provides the perfect amount of product to keep them defined, not spidery. 

Heavenly Luxe Plush Paddle Foundation Brush - I think we all know how I feel about it Cosmetics Brushes. If you don't, you can check out me reviews of their Heavenly Luxe Brush Collection and Powder Brush and in the mean time I'll just tell you: THEY ROCK. So soft and so solidly built, these brushes are must-haves. The Plush Paddle Foundation Brush has all the same qualities as the rest of the line and is a particularly good one for those who like to apply their foundation with a more traditional brush. I personally prefer the Powder Brush to buff liquids in, but the paddle brush included in this kit allows for more precision. 

it Cosmetics CC+ Full Coverage Cream in Fair & Light 

it Cosmetics CC+ Créme Gloss in Love

it Cosmetics CC+ Créme Gloss in Love

it Cosmetics Tightline Mascara

Waterproof Tightline Mascara Wand | Regular Tightline Mascara Wand

it Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Plush Paddle Foundation Brush
Full face with foundation, lips, and mascara!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review, Swatches, & Demo: Carmindy's 5 Minute Face Kit

Carmindy's 5 Minute Face Kit

Carmindy's 5 Minute Face Kit is available exclusively on HSN for $59. The set includes:

  • Carmindizeing Highlighter in Ethereal - A double-sided cream/power highlighter with ultra-fine shimmer and neutral champagne undertones. While both wear beautifully, having both a cream and powder in nearly identical shades is somewhat redundant.
  • Love Struck Blush in Universal Pink - A very subtle warm pink with negligible shimmer. This will likely disappear on medium to deep skin tones and took quite a bit of layering to become noticeable on me.
  • Kiss Me Lip Butter in Rose Passion - A tinted lip balm similar to Revlon's Lip Butters in a medium pink. The lasting power is similar to any tinted lip balm, wearing off in less than an hour, but the color is beautiful and the formula really moisturizes my lips.
  • Elevate Mascara in Midnight Black - A mascara that volumizes and separates while adding some additional curl. While it applies relatively wet, it dries down nicely to help lashes hold their shape all day without smudging or flaking.
  • Ever After Eyeliner in Espresso - An automatic liner in a deep metallic chocolate shade. While it lasts all day without smudging or fading, the somewhat firm texture meant it needed multiple passes on my upper lash line to build pigmentation. This could be an issue for those that have sensitive or easily irritated eyelids.
Overall, this set creates an ultra natural, minimal makeup look, despite missing one of the most important components I need in a 5 minute face: concealer. Check out the difference it makes with this kit in a before and after picture at the bottom of this post! The lack of pigmentation in the blush, duplication of the highlighters, and texture of the eyeliner are definite drawbacks for me, and might limit those who will be interested in this set as a whole. Instead, I would recommend purchasing the products you are interested in individually (because there are some winners here - like the Lip Butter or Mascara). If, on the other hand, you like the look this created and don't mind what I thought were shortcomings, it's worth it! This kit has a $105 value with each of the full sized products, so getting it all for $59 is definitely a steal.

Have you tried any products from Carmindy's new makeup line?

See more pictures after the jump!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review & Swatches: ELF Smudge Pots & MAC Dupes

ELF Smudge Pots

ELF Smudge Pots are gel-based cream shadows & liners that retail for $2 from ELF's website. Worn primed, un-primed, and with or without a powder shadow over top, these lasted all day crease-free and fade-free! Easily the best $2 spent from ELF. The texture and lasting power is similar to Maybelline's Color Tattoos and MAC's Paint Pots - and there are even some close color matches! ELF's Back to Basics is very similar to MAC's Indianwood Paint Pot, while ELF's Gotta Glow is slightly warmer than MAC's Limited Edition Paint Pot in Treasure Hunt. See the swatches below for a comparison! 

ELF Smudge Pots
MAC Indianwood | ELF Back to Basics

MAC Treasure Hunt | ELF Gotta Glow

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review & Swatches: BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette ($8-$12) comes with 7 eye shadows, 2 blush shades, and 2 lip colors all wrapped up in a sleek plastic compact with a large mirror. An ideal color palette for a natural, but subtly colorful spring look, it contains creams, lilacs, pinks, bronzes, and a deep plum to create anything from a soft, romantic look to something a little more deep and sultry. While most of the shadows are fantastically pigmented with minimal fallout, the cream shades are the most disappointing of the bunch with next to no color payoff. Still, the rest are impressive and worth the bargain for someone who wants to add subtle, flattering color to their shadow collection. 

The cheek colors, while subtle, are distinct with a light shimmery pink and light shimmery mauve. Unfortunately, there isn't a contour shade, or any matte face powders at all - but then again that may be appropriate for a palette called "Forever Nude.

The lip colors include a cream finish nude and slightly shimmery pink - perfect to complement both subtle and dramatic looks. While they aren't long-wearing, they do provide great pigmentation and a smooth texture. The only downside some might find is the that they are potted, so using your finger is a must unless you want to tote around a lip brush for touch ups. 

Overall, I really like this palette for the full face it can create! Sure, there are some downsides. But for a palette that's around $10, they can be easily overlooked. Check out the tutorial at the bottom of the post for some inspiration!

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

BH Cosmetics Forever Nude Palette

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