Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nivea A Kiss of Relief SOS Lip Care



Nivea (and Labello) is another one of those brands that seems to have a huge cult following, so naturally, I was intrigued. One day I was having a lack-of-lip-balm panic attack and I snatched this one off of the Wal-Mart shelf and put it to the test.

What Nivea claims: The intensive formula of NIVEA SOS lip balm with precious calendula oil and caring dexpanthenol helps to immediately repair and sooth irritated lips. SOS lip balm provides instant relief to lips dried by wind and weather. It also protects cracked or chapped lips, leaving them soft and healthy looking.

I don't know about repairing my lips, but it does feel nice when I put it on. The product, like the tube, is white, but it doesn't distort your lip color in any way. I'd say it's part liquid, part cream, but doesn't leave your lips feeling oily or waxy. There is a smell to it that I liken to the "Nivea smell." It's really kind of hard for me to describe... kind of like a flowery synthetic. It's not terribly overpowering and it seems to fade rather quickly. There is a slight plastic taste (in my opinion), but that's also overlooked since I usually use this at night before bed.

It has a slant tip applicator and a screw-on cap. I think it cost around $2 or $3. For severely dry/chapped lips, I would say this does a good job of re-hydrating them, but it is a little intense for everyday/all-seasons use.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Avon 8-in-1 Palette in Neutral Tones

Neutral Tones was my first experience with Avon eyeshadows and it was a... decent one. Some of the colors are better than others, as is the case with most palettes, but it's nice to have for traveling. There are two other palettes available (Paradise Greens and Water Colors), but I think this is the most versatile and it's a pretty good deal - 0.32 total oz for just $12.




The lighter colors, as you can see, are pretty sheer. The ivory color on the far end is kind of on the chalky side, too. But the darker colors, especially the bronze and dark chocolate (last two) are really impressive. I barely had to tap into the product to get that much pay off.

I think this would be good for someone who is just starting out in makeup or who travels and doesn't want to run the risk of losing their Naked palette (or any other pricer palette they may have).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Makeup Horoscope

I found this link on one of the makeup forums and I thought I would share. It's kind of interesting, but I would never try mine. Ever.

Scorpio

Your best eyeshadow color is: Burgundy/berry

One to try: Sephora Colorful Mat Mono Eyeshadow in Mat. No. 7 (a matte deep burgundy), $10

Why: This color inspires depth, strength and love. It helps you move through times of transition. Wearing shades of burgundy increases your perception, persistence and drive.

How to wear it: "Use a matte burgundy for lining and defining eyes, or use a shimmery texture for a jewel-toned smoky eye -- sweep the color around a [black] lined and smudged eye," Karsten says.


I don't know who "Karsten" is (even though it probably says on the website...) but burgundy for lining your eyes? Umm... no. I see that leading into white rabbit territory. Unless maybe you have a darker complexion. But for me... red hair + pale skin + burgundy eyes = eeek!!!

But for fellow Scorpios interested in achieving a burgundy eye, Emily from EmilyNoel83 just did a great tutorial based on Keira Knightley's burgundy smokey eye - linky link.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Drugstore Eye Makeup Collection

I think drugstore makeup has come a long, long way from the stuff I used in my early teens. And, personally, I see no reason to pay an exorbitant amount of money for something I'm going to pitch every six months... like mascara.


The holy grail of mascaras for me - Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume! ...and her ugly step-sister, Lash Blast Length. And my hands-down "natural" mascara is Maybelline Full 'N Soft.


L'Oreal, Prestige, and Revlon eyeliners.


Left to right:

top row: Almay Intense i-color trio for blue eyes, Cover Girl Eye Enhancers in Mink, E.L.F. Nautral Palette

middle row: Isabel's Pure Colors in #52, L'Oreal On the Loose Shimmering Powder in Sugar Coated and Beauty Queen

bottom row: Maybelline Eye Studio in Copper Chic

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NOTD Sally Hansen Angel Wings

Since my nails are uber-short again, I opted for something with a little bit of sheen/shimmer that wouldn't draw huge amounts of attention to them while they're growing back out.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish claims to be a basecoat, color, and topcoat all-in-one. I still put a coat of Salon Sciences Instant Artificials underneath before applying two coats of color. I did, however, skip a top coat, because I was feeling incredibly lazy and I find that this line of colors doesn't take too terribly long to dry.

Angel Wings is definitely one of the most sheer colors in the line. On me, it looks like a pale pink/lilac irridescence with silver and light green sparkles in it. For people that want "POW! Look at me!" nails, Angel Wings is not for you. But for people that want a little something more than a clear coat, it's a nice, subtle shade that goes with pretty much everything. A word to the wise, though: removing it can be a PITA because of the shimmer. It doesn't feel gritty when it's on your nail, but when you try removing it, the shimmer sticks like no other.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lipgloss Collection

I know I haven't done any LOTDs with lipglosses yet, but here's my collection! Er, rather, all the lipglosses and balms I could round up at the time. I know for a fact that my Korres Lip Butters and Palladio Tinted Lip Balm in Champagne Fizz are not pictured. They were in my purse and I was too lazy to go out into the garage to get it. :)

The whole shebang.


Random lip balms/moisturizers.


Almay, American Beauty, and Bath & Body Works glosses


ELF, Flirt!, Lancome, and mark glosses


Neutrogena, Palladio, and Revlon glosses (and balm).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blush Collection

Seeing as it was a gray, gloomy day here in Po'Dunk, I thought I would keep myself entertained by taking pictures of my makeup collection. I figured I'd start off with blushes because I don't really have that many and I could cram it all into one post. :)

Here they are! My 12 measly blushes. I think the reason I don't have that many is because my cheeks are really pink naturally and since I don't wear foundation all the time, the pink is almost always there. Plus, the blush just kind of fades after a few hours, anyway. I'm much more into highlights or shimmery/sheer blushes that just enhance what I already have.





Lancome:
top row: Blush Subtil in Miel Glace, Blush Subtil in Cedar Rose and Blush Subtil Sheer in Sheer Amourose

bottom row: Color Design in Freeze Frame (it's a cream-ish blush/highlight)


MAC:
Mineralize SkinFinish in By Candlelight, Sheertone Blush in Tenderling, MAC Sculpt and Shape Powder in Accentuate/Sculpt


Flirt! Peek-A-Blush Sheer Powder Cheek Color (Whew! what a mouth full!) in All Dolled Up


Clinique:

Blushing Blush Powder Blush (another tongue-twister) in Smoldering Plum and Iced Lotus

Fresh Bloom All Over Colour in Almond Blossom



My one and only bronzer... Physician's Formula Bronzing & Shimmering Face Powder in Summer Eclipse (it's for medium skin tones - but I wanted something that would actually show up on my skin)

And... I thought I would go ahead and swatch them, since you can't always tell what the color is going to look like from the pan.


Left to right: PF Summer Eclipse, Flirt! All Dolled Up, Clinique Iced Lotus, Clinique Smoldering Plum and Clinique Almond Blossom


All Lancome, left to right: Freeze Frame, Miel Glace, Cedar Rose, Sheer Amourose


All MAC, left to right: By Candlelight, Tenderling, Sculpt and (barely even visible) Accentuate

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LOTD Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Beauty

For me, Clinique's lipsticks are hit and miss. One of my favorites, though, is their Long Last Lipstick in Beauty.

It's described as "a muted wearable pink with a hint of golden luminescence," according to Clinique.com, and I would have to agree... somewhat. I don't get much "golden luminescence" on me, but it is still a really pretty wearable pink. It has a moderate amount of coverage and isn't incredibly drying. Retail: $14





EOTD Clinique Pink Chocolate Quad

Clinique's Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad in Pink Chocolate is a pretty, subtle, safe quad for people that like neutral colors. The shadows are shimmery and easy to blend, but not intensely pigmented.

I honestly don't find myself reaching for this quad... hardly ever. I think I like the name more than the actual product. "Pink Chocolate" evokes images of Valentine's Day for me, but the pink hardly shows up and it turns into just another brown eye look after a few minutes.

Clinique's description is more accurate (and flattering) that I could probably come up with, so here it is: Palest pink with a shimmering rose, a dark chocolate flecked with silver pearl, and a warm midtone raisin. Retail: $25






Undereye Concealer: MAC Studio Finish in NW15
Undereye Powder: Benefit Powderflage

Eyeshadows all from the Pink Chocolate quad
Lid color: rose pink color
Crease color: raisin color
Outer corner: dark chocolate color
Highlight: pale pink color

Eyeliner: Clinique Cream Shaper in Chocolate Lustre, topped with the dark chocolate eyeshadow
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in Blackest Black

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

LOTD Lancome Colour Design in Vintage Rose

When it comes to lipsticks, Lancome is one of my favorite brands. Sure, they're on the pricier side, but I've never had a problem with them drying out my lips, fading funny, or turning wonky colors that look nothing like what's in the tube.

Lancome's Colour Design in Vintage Rose is no exception, either. For $22, you get a beautiful sheer lip color that is best described as a mauvey-rose. Ok... what's so special about that? Well, nothing really... until you add the hint of blue iridescence and then pow! Prettiness! In the tube, it actually looks like a pink/pale blue duo-chrome. Some people claim the blue undertones help make their teeth look whiter. I'm not sold on the whole optical-illusion/color play theory (if you don't believe that, please refer back to my Radiant Red post), but I am sold on the my-lips-but-better color Vintage Rose gives me.



Nekkid lips.

Vintage Rose

Swatched indoors

Another swatch - I was trying to show off the subtle sheen you get, without it looking frosty or glittery. The blue irridesence is only visible in the tube itself and doesn't even like to show up when photographed. :( But trust me, it's there. And I think it's the secret ingredient to making Vintage Rose an awesome color.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blistex Five Star Lip Protection

Hi, my name is Ashley and I'm a lip balm addict. I've been addicted for ... probably twenty years now, ever since my mother bought me a plastic candy cane tube full of tasty Lip Smacker's lip balms for Christmas one year.

I need to have lip balm around at all times. If I don't, I kind of panic. The minute I even think my lips are dry, I have to get to a lip balm or dry lips are all I can think about. Kind of like an asthmatic with an inhaler. Sad, I know. But unfortunately very true. I've actually been in the middle of a store, like Wal-Mart, and realized I didn't have a lip balm on me and actually had to buy another one on the spot and tear into it the second it was paid for (sometimes even while the debit card is being swiped through the machine... ::clears throat::).

So, as part of my lip balm mania, I've tried almost every one on the market. My most recent purchase? Blistex's new Five Star Lip Protection.

Here's what Blistex says:

New Blistex Five Star Lip Protection has a unique system of five specialized ingredients to deliver unparalleled defense against nature’s harshest conditions…dryness, sun, heat, cold, and wind.

The Five Star Lip Protection Approach:
•Glycerin holds in moisture in dry air
•Candelilla helps form a wind barrier
•Wheat Germ Oil provides moisture relief for heat-stressed lips
•Calendula Oil soothes cold-chapped lips
•SPF30 provides UVA/UVB sun-protection


Well, that's a load of bollocks if I ever heard it. Five Star has been my "work" lip balm for the past month or so (I keep it in my uniform jacket, so I know I always have one on me... See? Sad...) and it's safe to say that I've used it at least five or six times, daily, during the eight hours I'm at work.

Five or six times? Sometimes more? That's ridiculous. I know part of my job consists of talking, not to mention any eating/drinking I do, but to have to re-apply lip balm that much? Something is clearly not working.

I really wanted to like this lip balm. I bought into the "five star" claims and thought it was doing loads of good things for my lips. But it's not and there's no point in pretending it's a decent lip balm when I think it's actually drying my lips out even more. It smells nice, kind of like a cross between vanilla and almond, and it has nice "slip" to it, but within no time the little moisture it does provide is gone and I find myself having to re-apply. When I slick on a lip balm, I want to know it's actually going to moisturize and soothe my lips - not smell good for a minute and then disappear, leaving my lips worse off than they were in the beginning.

Five star protection? Yeah right! I get more relief from plain ol' Vaseline.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cuticle Care

I'm really really bad about taking care of my cuticles. I pick at them, I push them back all the time, and very rarely do I ever think to slap on some kind of cream or oil. I figure, I'm using hand cream. Isn't that enough?

No. It's not.

So, I tried disciplining myself to take better care of my cuticles. Because healthy cuticles = healthy nails. Or so I'm told.

I've only experimented with two cuticle creams/oils and I think they both have their perks and downfalls.



The biggest appeal about Creative Nail Design's Solar Oil (aside from its cult following) is that it smells like almond oil. I love almonds. I love eating them and smelling the oil/extract. So, naturally, when I first smelled Solar Oil in a salon, I wanted it. I only use this before bed, because it is an oil and it leaves your fingers greasy and ... well, oily. But it does moisturize immediately and leaves you with a sweet, lingering almond scent.

Another cult favorite has to be Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I keep a tin of this in my purse and I apply it while I'm bored out of my mind at work. It doesn't leave your fingers as greasy as the Solar Oil, but it still leaves your cuticles soft and hydrated. I like the light lemon scent, too. It's not over-powering and sometimes it's just enough of a little "pick me up" to keep me from going postal. It's like a little mini spa treatment, right there at your desk.


As far as which one gets more love from me? Well, I'd honestly have to say the Burt's Bees. I like that I can put it on and go do something with my hands right away and not leave oil residue all over the place.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Smokey Blues FOTD

First off, please excuse my hair. I decided just to "scrunch" it and it was still a little damp and all over the place.

Ok, now that that's out of the way. :) This is my "Thanksgiving Day" look. It's Sunday, I know. But I'm working on Thanksgiving and I actually wanted to, you know, see my family, so we opted to have Turkey Day today. Since I was wearing brown, I thought I'd switch up my eyes and go with a smokey blue.



Face
Foundation: American Beauty Perfectly Even Natural Finish in Fair/Cool
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish in NW15
Powder: Cover Girl Professional Loose Powder in Translucent Fair 105
Blush: Lancome Blush Subtil Sheer in Sheer Amourose
Undereye concealer: MAC Studio Finish in NW15
Undereye powder: Cover Girl Professional Loose Powder in Translucent Fair 105

Eyes
Primer: I just dabbed some foundation there
For the eyeshadow, I only used Almay Intense i-color Trio for Blue Eyes in 032
Lid color: Shimmery gray
Highlight: Pale pink with blue iridescence
Crease color: Dark blue
Liner on top: L'Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Black, topped with a random black eyeshadow
Liner on bottom: L'Oreal Pencil Perfect in Paris Blue, topped with the dark blue eyeshadow from the Almay trio
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in Blackest Black

Lips
Lipstick: Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Bamboo Pink

Bonus pics!! I snatched my cat as he was walking by and the hubby kept taking pictures. It's with great pleasure that I present to you my cantankerous old man, Broon - aka, Broonie. He looks peeved in the first picture, but he started mellowing out by the second one. Oh, and please excuse the tower of plastic cups in the back... we were looking for something in the cabinets and forgot about them. Whoops!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Palladio Eye Ink Update


In my post on liquid eyeliners (here), I told everyone about my new found love of Palladio's Eye Ink liquid eyeliner. I'm here to retract that statement.

Almost one month to the day of posting my first review, my thoughts on Eye Ink have done a complete 180. I went to use it today and found that the product wasn't coming out of the felt tip. I shook it again, a little harder, and tried again. Nothing. More shaking continued.

Shake, shake, shake... Shake shake, shake... Shake your boo-
Ahem. Sorry.

No matter how much I shook it or tried swatching it on the back of my hand, the ink simply refused to come out as nicely as it did before. It would either come out as a pathetic gray stripe at the very tip, or it would glob out (literally!) from the part where the felt tip connects with the plastic part.

Admittedly, I've only used it a couple of times (just because I'm usually in a hurry and don't have the time/patience to mess with liquid eyeliner, no matter how easy/convenient the pen/brush is). So, I know it can't have run out of product. The fact that it was globbing onto the back of my hand when I smashed the felt tip against my skin was proof enough that there was stuff in there. And it's not like I line my eyes like Amy Winehouse or Taylor Momsen... I'm sure you can tell by the few FOTDs I've posted that I'm more of a classic/neutral kind of gal. Emo just isn't my thing.

Oh, and the silver writing on the outside of the packaging has already rubbed off, almost completely. Just another thing that irks me.

I've never had an eye liner do this to me before and I'm really, really aggravated because of how much I liked it initially. I don't know if I just had a bad batch or what, but I'm not buying any more Eye Inks. Getting 3 or 4 good uses out of it isn't worth it when I've had other liquid eyeliners last me almost a year! I always cap everything as tightly as humanly possible, so that can't be the reason either. I really am quite baffled, not to mention disappointed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

John Frieda Radiant Red


I never really jumped on the John Frieda bandwagon until I saw he finally came out with a collection for red heads. Nothing against blondes and brunettes, but red heads need some cool shampoos/conditioners, too! So, he finally made one. And that's where my cheering for John Frieda stops.

The John Frieda website claims: "Our formulas help red hair attract more light, project richer hues and retain more color – all, while keeping it gorgeously healthy-looking."

As soon as I saw the Radiant Red shampoo and conditioner at the store, I snatched them both up and used them religiously. I only have a small bit left in each tube, but after that... I don't think I'll be repurchasing.

Pros? The shampoo lathers nicely and it has a fresh, clean shampoo-y smell that doesn't conflict with any perfume I may want to wear later. A little goes a long way for both the shampoo and the conditioner. Also, the conditioner doesn't weigh my hair down.

Cons? The conditioner, while weighless, doesn't moisturize my hair to my liking. And the dark red liquid that comes squirting out of the shampoo bottle is akin to the blood found on sets of 80's horror movies. The conditioner is a little better, since it's a thicker cream, but it's still a dark, garish red that is kind of weird in a world of neutral colored hair products.

The claim that it helps red hair "project richer hues" and "attract more light" didn't do much for me. My hair looks the same whether I use his collection, or any other shampoo/conditioner I happen to have in my shower. It might help color-treated red heads retain their vibrancy and add life to their color, but it didn't do anything for this au natural girl.

My verdict? Spend the $14 elsewhere. Sorry John!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lip Stains

I'd just like to start off by saying that I'm not a lip stain kind of person. I find them difficult to work with and I get just as much "staining" power by blotting down a highly pigmented lipstick. I currently have a whopping three lip stains in my collection and after doing this round of swatching, I've decided to discard all of them. What an uplifting way to start out a post, eh?

Anyway... the first lip stain I ever bought was Beaute's Liqui-Gel Stain in Fever. I was suckered in by Karla Sugar's fabulous swatching skills and the trap was complete with Beaute teamed up with her to run a sale through her blog. The 10% off code helped me stomach the $29 price tag these suckers carry.

Then, I was lured into the world of lip stains again by Twilight. Yeah, Twilight. The one and only world of sparkling vampires. This time, the culprit was Rosalie Hale, or rather, the makeup artist on the first movie. I was intrigued by her super dark red lips and when I found out they used Vincent Longo's Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in Liquid Kiss, I wanted it! I also got Vincent's stain in Sweet Appollonia because I thought it would be a good base for berry lip sticks. For $22.50 a pop, I should have just stuck with regular ol' lipstick.

From left to right:

Beaute Fever, Vincent Longo Liquid Kiss, Vincent Longo Sweet Appollonia

I did two "layers" of color for each and then tried to "blend" it out a little for a sheerer look. All three of these are designed for lips and cheeks, but I was never brave enough to try it on my face.

This was after scrubbing my arm with Clinique's liquid Take the Day Off...


The customary nekkid lip pic...


Beaute's Fever - Out of all three shades I have, this one is the most flattering (in my opinion). However, it was still difficult for me to work with. It took a lot of patience and careful dabbing to blend it all out and get even coverage.


Vincent Longo's Liquid Kiss - this is so not what Rosalie's lips looked like in the movie. I think someone was lying. But, this does give you a nice reddish brown color, if that's your thing. For me, it just didn't look good with my coloring.


Vincent Longo's Sweet Appollonia - ZOMG! Scary! The only time I could ever imagine wearing this out in public would be for Halloween... and you're going as Maleficient.

However, Sweet Appollonia did redeem itself a little after I had a) scrubbed a majority of it off and b) applied Aquaphor over it. Toned down, it's ok and I would wear it outside the house, but I still don't love it enough to keep.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Swatch Wars!

In our next installment of Swatch Wars, I'm pitting Urban Decay against itself.

Sellout VS Sin.

Who will come out on top?

Dun, dun, duuuuuuunnnnnnnnn!!!


Sellout is on the left. Sin is the second "strip" of eyeshadow from the bottom (Sorry I don't own it individually...)

Sellout just chillin' in the sunlight.

Sin is the second from the left. Also chillin' in the sun.

Sellout, Sin. In sunlight.

Sellout, Sin - another sunlight shot.
Sellout, Sin. Still trying to capture the shimmery, glowiness of them...

So, Urban Decay says that Sellout is a "pink champagne shimmer" whereas Sin is just a mere "champagne."

In their respective pans, they look almost identical, but on my skin, Sin is just a smidgen darker and more peachy colored than Sellout. When I went to purchase a "my lid but better" color in Ulta one day, I literally stood in front of the display for over ten minutes, trying to decide which one I wanted. I finally opted for Sellout because it was ever-so-slightly more shimmery in person. For example, the first time I wore it out, my hubby told me my eyes looked like pearls. It might sound like a weird compliment, but that's what I was going for. A subtle sheen that just made me look bright-eyed and glowy. Swoon!

They're both $17 for 0.05 oz.

The winner? Well, considering that I ended up purchasing Sellout first, I'd have to say Sellout....

But! When I saw Sin was in the Naked palette, I was super excited. I really hemmed and hawwed over which one to get, so I'm really happy that I have both of them now. I like to use Sellout by itself with black liquid eyeliner and I use Sin when I use the Naked palette, since, you know, they're kind of designed to go together.