Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LOTD Cover Girl Natureluxe Gloss Balm in Sandstone

As soon as I saw Taylor Swift's ads for the new Natureluxe line from Cover Girl, I was stoked. I'm a fan of her anyway, but her pictures just looked absolutely gorgeous. Like that ethereal angel we all want to be - or maybe, just what I want to be. I mean... look at her!

Anyway. Cover Girl's Natureluxe Gloss Balms claim to have "luxurious, sheer color with a hint of shine," the "lightweight feel of a balm" and SPF 15 for good measure. It also "contains decadent mango and shea butter" as opposed to all that synthetic stuff cosmetics companies seem to be getting away from. Not too shabby for a "gloss/balm" that retails for $6.49-$7.49 (Wal-Mart vs. Walgreens pricing there...).

There's 16 shades at the time of this posting, but I'll only be reviewing one: #265 in Sandstone. Why? Because that's the color Cover Girl said Taylor was wearing in the ads. Sucker? Yes. Plus, I was color-matched to that shade on the Cover Girl website. So... I thought it was a safe bet.

I would describe Sandstone as a soft pink that's flirting with peach. There is absolutely no brown anywhere in this color, so I'm not sure where they're picking the name from... but it's a gorgeous, understated lip color. This would be perfect for spring/summer months when you don't want to shellac on a heavy lipstick.

It's moisturizing, yes, but I wouldn't totally replace my regular lip balm with just the Natureluxe one. I would, however, be able to take just the Natureluxe one out for a day of running around and be perfectly fine without my regular lip balm until I got home. It's nice and slim and fits easily in your pocket, but there have already been complaints about the sticker/label peeling off of the tube. I can personally attest to that fact - the corner of my label will not stay down, which is starting to get kind of annoying.

The only other downfall about Sandstone in particular? It has glitter in it. Lots of glitter. Not so much that my lips feel really gritty, but there are visible chunks of silver glitter laced through the whole tube that I did not realize until I got it home and tried it on. I love, love, love the color, but the glitter was a huge disappointment for me. I'm not a fan of glitter, least of all on my lips.

Nekkid lips.

Sandstone in the sunlight.

Sandstone away from the sunlight. Sorry it's a little blurry -I was trying to capture the glitter.

One swipe on the left; three swipes on the right, just to show you that the color is buildable, to a point.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

It's been two weeks since I've had the Olay spinny brush and I think that's an adequate amount of time to review it. For starters, I feel like I should clarify one of the biggest differences between the Olay brush and the Clarisonic version. The Olay one doesn't vibrate or have any kind of sonic technology - it spins (hence me calling it the 'spinny brush' all the time). On a side note: Clean 'n Clear will be coming out with a vibrating brush called Morning Burst Surge, but as of this posting, it's not even available on their website yet.

Ok, now that that is out of the way. The other difference between Olay and Clarisonic? The price! Olay = $30. Clarisonic Mia (the smaller version) = $149. Yeouch!

The Olay spinny brush runs on two AA batteries (that they're actually nice enough to give to you, too!) and can be used in the shower, worry-free. The replacement brush heads are about $9, too.

It comes with two settings - high and low - that you just change by pushing a button. The first time I used it, I used it on high. My face felt a little tight afterward, so I lowered it down and I've been using just the low setting ever since. Also a word of warning: the battery compartment is a pain to get opened. You have to hold it and wiggle it back and forth to get it to pop open. But, it snapped back into place easily enough.

The "kit" I bought at Sam's Club ($37) included a full-sized version of the Olay Pro X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser, which normally retails for $18-$20. From what I understand, the boxed version pictured above only comes with a sample of the cleanser, but both kits/versions come with batteries and the brush head replacement.

I'm still kind of on the fence about the cleanser. You can feel the grit in the cleanser and it's nice and evenly distributed. I like that it lathers up and doesn't have much of a smell. On it's own, I think it's ok for daily use, but combined with the spinny brush? Eh...I think it might be a little too much, especially for sensitive skin. Also, I'm not too keen on cleansers that require me to use a separate cleanser for eye makeup. Call me lazy, but I like an all-in-one product.

So, my final thoughts on the spinny brush? ...since I kind of got off on a tangent...

I like it. Still out on the cleanser, but I really like the spinny brush. I just use Purpose Gentle Cleanser with mine, for a minute or so, every night and I can honestly say that I've had less breakouts and less flakes. I still have a couple blemishes (I doubt even a Clarisonic could combat hormones...) and the occasional flake or two (because it's below zero here in Po'Dunk), but overall I'm quite happy with it. I honestly didn't expect to see a difference, but I think my skin looks smoother and I've noticed that I don't need to use as much moisturizer anymore. Can't beat that for just $30 bucks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Natural FOTD

Here's just a quick "natural" FOTD I actually took a while ago. I need to get in the swing of these more. I just always forget in the morning...

Concealer: Makeup Forever Full Cover in 1 Pink Porcelain
Powder: Cover Girl Professional Loose Powder in Translucent Fair 105
Blush: Lancome Blush Subtil in Cedar Rose
Undereye concealer: MAC Studio Finish in NW15
Undereye powder: Benefit Powderflage

Primer: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
Lid color: MAC eyeshadow in Bisque
1st crease color: MAC eyeshadow in Cork
2nd/darker crease color: Lancome Color Design eyeshadow in Mochaccino
Highlight: MAC eyeshadow in Blanc Type
Liner: L'Oreal Perfect Pencil in Espresso, topped with MAC eyeshadow in Mystery
Mascara: Maybelline Full 'n Soft in Black

Lipstick: L'Oreal Colour Riche in Taffeta

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LOTD Flirt! Chickstick in Obsess

It's honestly a toss up between Flirt! Obsess and Maybelline's Nearly There for my favorite nude. I think it honestly depends on my eye makeup as to which lipstick I reach for.

As with all of Flirt!'s Chickstick lipsticks, Obsess is as "smooth and creamy" as Flirt! says. It never dries my lips out and it wears evenly. Obsess is a shimmery champagne nude that I think would be flattering on all skin tones.

Flirt's lipsticks retail at $12, but Kohl's almost always has sales or 15-30% off coupons, so you can usually pick them up for much cheaper. I, however, don't mind paying full price for them because they are that awesome. :)

Sorry, it's such a blurry pic. I was trying to get all of the shimmer in the sunlight and sadly this was the best picture I had. :(

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

mark i-custom Palette

I'm not a huge fan of ordering cosmetics online or through another person (Avon, mark, Mary Kay etc) because I'm neurotic about running out and not being able to get another quickly. But, I was intrigued by mark's whole concept and couldn't resist these four eyeshadows. For $5, you get an 0.08 oz square that you can put into whatever palette you want (mark's come in three sizes; mini, mezzo, and mega - mine is a mezzo).

left to right: Biscotti, Victorian Lace, Minx and Fairy Dust

Please excuse the white "line" going through the palette - the flash reflected off of the mirror at the top and I didn't realize it until I'd already deleted the main picture off of my camera. :(

left to right: Biscotti, Victorian Lace, Minx and Fairy Dust

Biscotti is reportedly Lauren Conrad's favorite color. I personally like Victorian Lace and Minx the best. Fairy Dust can be a smidge orangey on me, but I still like it. I had some other matte colors from mark and I have to say, I prefer the shimmery shades. The matte ones were hit and miss, but generally on the chalky side.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

EOTD Flirt! Chocoholic

Since I just talked about it, I thought I would show just how gorgeous Flirt!'s Chocoholic eyeshadow is. :)

Undereye Concealer: Benefit Eye Bright
Undereye Powder: Benefit Powderflage

Base: MAC Painterly Paint Pot
Lid color: Flirt! Chocoholic
Highlight: Flirt! Sugar Daddy

Eyeliner: Clinique Quickliner in Really Black
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in Blackest Black

Monday, January 17, 2011

Skincare Haul

As I may have already mentioned a time or two, my skin has been freaking out lately. I'm not happy with it, but I think it's getting better. At an agonizingly slow rate. To help it along, I had myself a little skincare haul. Actually, it was three mini-hauls that I just lumped together for simplicity's sake. (Oh, and don't worry. I plan on doing a full review on all the products! :) )

First off, in the foreground, we have the Olay Professional Pro X Advanced Cleansing System aka: the Olay spinny brush.

Lying on top of that is the new (newish? I just heard about it recently, but I think it's only been out since the summer at most) Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller. Whew! What a name, but what a product!

In the back, starting from the left, there's the Olay Professional Pro X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser (renew, renewal... sensing a theme here?), followed by the Grassroots Vitamin C Brightening Serum (the review for that can actually be found here: link), H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment, and American Beauty Beauty Boost Overnight Radiance Cream.

Like I said, I'll do an in depth review on everything later, but here's my initial thoughts.

So far, I've been using the Olay spinny brush for a week and I really like it. I'm still not so sure about the exfoliating cleanser.

The Garnier roller is pretty cool. I was skeptical about how well it would "tint" to match my skin, but it's surprisingly natural, even on someone as pale as me. We'll see how much "brightening" it does over the next few weeks.

The Face Oasis, Vitamin C serum, and Beauty Boost are all re-purchases for me because I ran out at one point or another. The Face Oasis is a summer staple for me. The Vitamin C serum is also equally nice for warm weather. And the Beauty Boost I used with great success a year ago, then stopped using it in favor of lighter/cheaper alternatives. But since my skin is so friggin' finicky, I've decided to go back to it and hope it will calm things down. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Eyeshadow Collection N-Z

...aaaaand we come to the end of my eyeshadow collection.

Thanks for looking guys! This is the last of my "collection" posts for a while (unless you like that sort of thing, then I'll have to post something else, like perfume or something...). Sorry if this wasn't your bag, but I kind of did it as a "record" of my stuff. I'm curious to see what my stash will look like this time next year and what better way to keep track than to use pictures?

Nars Tibet and Night Life

Shu Uemura ME Brown 850

Urban Decay Sellout and Ruthless

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Eyeshadow Collection L-M

Eyeshadows... continued. :)

Lancome GWP quads
left side, going clockwise: Makeover, Honeymoon, Colour du Jour, Backstage Pass
right side, going clockwise: Burnt Sand, Honeymoon, Lezard, Nutmeg

MAC Pro Palette - L=depotted Lancome eyeshadow M=depotted/pro pan MAC eyeshadow
top row: Shroom (M), Fabric (L), Nutmeg (L), Jest (M), Burnt Sand (L)
middle row: Click (L), Mannequin (L), Sable (M), Naked Lunch (M), Lezard (L)
bottom row: Style Section (L), Electra (M), Silver Ring (M), Volcano (L), The New Black (L)

MAC Pro Palette - L=depotted Lancome eyeshadow M=depotted/pro pan MAC eyeshadow
top row: Blanc Type (M), Bisque (M), Wedge (M), Shale (M), Quarry (M)
middle row: Mochaccino (L), Cork (M), Swiss Chocolate (M), Girlie (M), Handwritten (M)
bottom row: Phloof! (M), Femme-Fi (M), Copperplate (M), Mystery (M), Satin Taupe (M)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eyeshadow Collection A-L

Getting back to my "collections" posts... I figured I'd finish out the week showing gist of my eyeshadows. I think out of every product category, eyeshadow is my favorite. I definitely see the need for concealers and lipsticks, but eye makeup is where I have the most fun.

I realized shortly after I'd put everything away, that I should have taken a group shot of my whole collection... but I didn't, so here are closeups of everything. I have excluded some brands from the general collection, because I have/plan to write a little more in-depth review on them, ie: Clinique and Flirt!.

American Beauty Luxury for Lids Duo in Double Cream and Memphis Blues

Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes Palette

Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Bone, Shimmerwash in Beige, Shimmerwash in Stone

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow in Fawn Over Me and Dandy Brandy

Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Swatch Wars!

Today's Swatch War is a silver eyeshadow show down. :)

NARS Night Life vs Lancome Style Section

I originally purchased NARS Night Life a few years ago when it first came out as a limited edition item. Now it's a part of their permanent Nightlife collection. NARS describes Night Life as "silver with silver particles." $23 for .07 oz.

Lancome Color Design eyeshadows run a little smaller (.04 oz) than the NARS and a little cheaper ($17), but the Lancome one is hands-down my preferred color. While their website doesn't describe Style Section, I would describe it as a light, icy silver with a slight blue undertone.

NARS NightLife, Lancome Style Section

With one swatch, you can clearly see the color pay offs are not the same. Night Life was my second NARS purchase and it was my second NARS disappointment. Style Section, on the other hand, was exactly what I was looking for. It's a true, light silver that actually shows up on my skin and isn't chock full of glitter.

But what I really hated about Night Life? The silver particles! I don't mind glitter every once in a while (like UD's Sidecar) but Night Life is ridiculous! There isn't any actual eyeshadow to this product - it's strictly silver glitter smashed together into a powder! I think this was one of the biggest let downs I'd ever had. You open the box and it looks so pretty and then you try to put it on and it looks like a fairy just spit in your eye. :(

The winner? Clearly Lancome Style Section. You get a beautiful, icy sheen with nary a speck of glitter to be found. It looks great with black, blue and gray eyeshadows or even just by itself.

Monday, January 10, 2011

LOTD Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick in Ms. Behavin'

So I was in the market for a vampy burgundy lipstick, but I didn't want anything too terribly drying. I already owned one lipstick from Benefit and I figured their glossy-lipstick hybrid might do the trick. ...Or not. It always amazes me how trick in-store lighting can really be.

It's $18 for a sleek black tube with white lettering and Benefit gives a tagline of "for the softest, sexiest lips." Umm.. sure. They also give a more indepth description of the "Silky Finish" line: Our flattering silky-finish lipsticks are sheer and buildable, so you can customize your look: a light wash of color for au natural gals or an amped-up POP of color for the drama queen in you!

I have a feeling Benefit has discontinued this color, since I couldn't find it or a description on the website. I would say it's a dark plum in the tube and a rusty burgundy on the skin. The thing I don't like about this whole line of lipsticks, in general? They have close to zero staying power.

Bare lips

Full on, straight out of the tube. Ah!!

Blotted down. Not so purple or glossy.

Swatches of both versions - full on and blotted down.

Grassroots Vitamin C Brightening Serum

I was a little late to the Vitamin C bandwagon, but I'm finally caught up! Skin experts across the board swear by the powers of Vitamin C and I feel like just about every skincare line totes some product with a nod toward the citrus family. Grassroots is no exception.

As usual, I was wandering through Kohl's one day this past summer (I seem to always be at Kohl's... it's kind of like Wal-Mart for me. I'm usually there at least once or twice a month.) and I saw the bright orange display from the end of the aisle. I figured since I was approaching the middle of my twenties, I might want to start thinking about this Vitamin C thing. And really, who can't use a little extra brightening?

Grassroots offers both a Brightening Serum as well as a Brightening Cream with SPF 25. I try to stay away from creams whenever possible, so I opted for the serum to use under my regular moisturizer.

For $32.50, you get 1 oz of milky white, magical Vitamin C serum. But, being Kohl's, you can usually pick it up for much cheaper. By comparison, Mary Kay offers four .25 oz vials of vitamin C at a whopping $55 a pop. Yeouch!

Price aside, I'm pretty sure the serum works, but it hasn't been a life-changing miracle product for me. The changes have definitely been on the subtle side. I tend to think my skin looks more even when I use it versus when I don't and I like that I'm doing something good for my skin. I also like that the serum is slightly moisturizing in and of itself, which meant that when it was really hot out in Po'Dunk, I didn't have to use a daytime moisturizer.

I'm sorry to say I can't actually remember when I bought it, but I know it was this past summer. I used one to two pumps every morning since purchasing it. It's now January and I'm finally out (not too shabby for only 1 oz!) and I'm pretty sure I'll be repurchasing it Wednesday when my 20% off coupon goes into effect. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MAC & Stila Giveaway!

Barbie, the creator of the fabulous blog Drop Dead, Gorgeous, is having a giveaway! The details can be found here, but it's super easy to enter and you still have plenty of time (deadline is February 6th). It's also open to international bloggers, too!

What's up for grabs? A ton!! Here's what you could win:

•Stila – Fabulous in Fiji palette – Full Size
Includes 4 eye shadows: (r & r, escape, palm, wave)
One convertible color (lip & cheek): (plumeria)

•Perfume Samples of:
- j’adore – dior 1ml (0.03 fl oz)
- twirl – kate spade 1.5ml (0.05 fl oz)
- parisienne – ysl 1.5ml (0.05 fl oz)

•MAC Pigments:
Jardin Aires (LE) – generous 1/8 tsp
Copperized (LE) – generous 1/8 tsp
Navy Blue (LE) – 1/8 tsp
Pinked Mauve (LE) – 1/8 tsp
Dark Soul – 1/8 tsp
Frozen White – 1/8 tsp

•Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Pink Blush

•Modella Purse Makeup Bag

•Revlon nail polish in 799 Plum Night - Full Size

•Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Very Black - Full Size

Once again, you can check out the details at Barbie's blog here:

Flirt! Eyeshadows Collection

For the MAC lover in all of us, Flirt! is a good source of dupes that won't break the bank. Since they're both owned by Estee Lauder, it's not really surprising that the colors tend to overlap. The first dupe, for example, that springs to mind is Flirt!'s Glamourazzi, which is reportedly indistinguishable from MAC's Trax. I don't own either, but I have seen plenty of swatches on line and they are really, really, really similar.

But, anyway... One of the best things that Flirt! does is issue a 40-eyeshadow palette at the end of each year. The one I have is from 2009, but when I looked at the 2010 one, they didn't look all that different. And I don't tend to wear bright/crazy colors, so one palette is A-ok for me.

The "suggested" retail is $29.99 at Kohl's, but we all know Kohl's and their sales, so you can usually pick this up cheaper - especially now that Christmas is over. They're the size of a regular MAC/Lancome eyeshadow and fit easily into the MAC pro-palette or into the E.L.F. quads, if you wanted to depot this baby.

Flirt!'s single Dreamy Eyes eyeshadows are equally nice if you don't want the whole, ginormous palette. Each single "retails" for $12 and you get 0.07 oz per pan (Versus MAC's 0.05 oz at $14.50 a pop).

top row: Sugar Daddy, Witchy
bottom row: Vibrant Violet, Chocoholic

Sugar Daddy is a nice, pale champagne that's not too yellow and not too pink. It's perfect for an all over wash or highlighting.

Witchy is a light taupe. Slightly shimmery and very neutral toned. It's good as a wash, crease color, and for eyebrows (for blondes/light redheads, anyway). Can't get more versatile than that, eh?

Vibrant Violet was definitely a step out of my comfort zone, but it just screams SPRING! And when paired with black eyeliner, I think it looks pretty cool.

Last but not least is my absolute favorite of the four singles I own: Chocoholic. In my opinion, Chocoholic is a must have for blue-eyed gals. It's such a pretty red-copper penny color that doesn't make you look tired or bruise-y. I use it in the crease with Sugar Daddy on "lighter" days and all over the lid for a smokier look.

I'm back! Oh, yeah, and Happy New Year!

First off, I just wanted to apologize for my month long absence. Between work, family, and the holidays, I seem to have gone MIA longer than I intended to.... :(

But I'm back!

I still have the rest of my eyeshadow collection to post and a ton of swatch wars/reviews to put up, including my brand spankin' new Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System (or... as I like to call it, the "Olay spinning brush").

I hope everyone had very happy holidays and that their new year is off to a great start!