Monday, October 31, 2011

(Not So) Recent Beauty Purchases

Throughout September I made various beauty related purchases and I wanted to compile everything to show you guys in a collective haul. Some of these products were acquired in October as well. It feels weird not to show you guys what I bought so I'll just give you guys a sneak peek at some of the reviews to come!I have reviewed and swatched a few of the products already so I will link those below.

Maybelline Single Eyeshadow in Golden Halo
Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stick in Coral Luster
E.L.F Studio Blush Brush
Nars Deep Throat Blush
Tarte Lip Insurgence Set
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (sample)
Nars Sheer Matte Foundation (sample)
MakeUp Forever Face and Body Foundation (sample)

I ordered the following items from Sephora's Friends and Family sale:
Benefit POWda WOWza Boxed Blushes: Coralista, Bella Bamba, Hoola
Tweezerman Mini Tweezers
Sephora by OPI Manhattan Minis Nail Polish Set (I'm wearing one of the shades in the video!)

Cargo Mediterranean Set - This was purchased through a gift certificate which was given to me by SkincareRX. A representative of skincareRX was kind enough to reach out to me and offer me a sponsorship which I gladly accepted. I had not expected any company to see much value in my blog, which I consider a hobby, but I am very happy and excited about the prospect of reviewing items that I normally wouldn't purchase with my own money as well as possibly holding sponsored giveaways!
L'Occitane Hand Cream (not pictured but you can see it in the video!)

I know, I know, it's a lot of stuff! I forgot to mention in the video that I am going on a November No-Buy which I will dedicate a whole blog post to soon. In general, less of my money will be allocated to beauty products and I'll get into detail about that in the said future post.

Hope you all enjoyed my collective haul and video! I finally figured out how to make my videos high definition and I feel much better about them now because the sub par quality really bothered me. My September and October Favorites post and video will be coming up in the next week or so so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lips of The Day

NOTE: I have added lip swatches to the Tarte LipSurgence Pencil Set review! You can get a much better idea of how the shades now :) Click HERE to see the swatches and review if you haven't already seen that post!

At the moment, my blogging schedule has amounted to about one post every four days. I wish I could post more often but due to lack of time to take pictures, edit, and write good quality entries, I just can't. I feel even worse about not posting a Youtube video in more than two weeks. I really miss making videos as it gives me a chance to essentially ramble about what I love to talk about. I promise new videos will be popping up on my blog soon!

Nowadays I choose not to wear makeup often because I would rather spend the twenty minutes I usually take to get ready, sleeping. Also, I'm usually out of the house for at least 12 hours a day so I do not want makeup sitting on my face for that long. When I get home after a long day, the last thing I want to do is feebly attempt to take out my contacts and cleanse my face thoroughly (although I always make sure to remove all my makeup no matter how tired I am!).

While ignoring my foundations, eyeshadows, and blushes, I usually only go for lip products during these no makeup days. A year ago, I rarely ever wore lip products whether it be gloss, lipstick, or what have you. Now I understand how a nice lip color can compensate for the lack of color on the other parts of the face.

The other day I tried a new lip combination, Covergirl's Lip Perfection Lipstick in Heavenly and Mac's Cremesheen Glass in Fashion Whim, and I totally love it. Heavenly is a mauve, cool toned pink and Fashion Whim is a baby pink with yellow undertones.

But when they combine, they turn into the most gorgeous peach shade! I have an affinity for peach lip colors so I'm really happy I tried something new and discovered something great. I find that the Covergirl lipstick is not the most hydrating or creamy so the creamy formula of the lipgloss also prevents my lips from drying out.

Have you tried out any new lip combinations lately? Tell me what your favorite lipstick and lipgloss combinations are in the comments!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Drugstore Gem: Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Golden Halo

Here's a product that I will be showing in my upcoming (very belated) collective haul. I have had this Maybelline eyeshadow on my wishlist for ages because you know all how I love the Maybelline Expertwear Eyeshadows. This is surprisingly the first single I have tried from their range. This gold is not your typical gold in that it has an old gold quality to it.

As expected, the pigmentation and texture is phenomenal. I believe most of the Maybelline eyeshadows can rival high end shadows in terms of quality. While the shadow is buttery smooth and pigmented, it is not powdery which is important to me. An example of good eyeshadows which are a bit too powdery are Wet n' Wild's.

I wanted to compare Golden Halo with some other high end gold eyeshadows that I own. Urban Decay's Half Baked can be found in many palettes including the infamous Naked Palette. Golden Halo is a bit more yellow while Half Baked is more orange. Too Faced's Honey Pot is more champagne than Golden Halo. You can tell that the pigmentation of the Maybelline shadow is right on par with the higher end shadows though. I highly recommend this shadow as you can find it for around $3 to $4 at your local drugstore. If I wasn't trying to cut down on makeup spending, I would run out and purchase a bunch of the other singles that they sell :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Quick FOTD: Neutral Eyes, Bright Lips

I'll be honest. This FOTD is a week old.... But better late than never right?! I actually have not worn makeup at all this whole week (well, do lip products count?). I haven't even had the time or energy to wear contacts. So I'm pretty glad I snapped a picture of my simple "everyday" makeup last week :)

On my eyes I wore one of my many go-to brown looks. I did a tutorial on this eye look HERE but the lid shade I used this time around was different. It's basically the same thing though! Super easy and I'll probably do a video tutorial on it one day. I applied a bit of bronzer and blush from the E.L.F Studio duo which you can barely see in the picture. 

On my lips I have Tarte's LipSurgence Pencil in Swank. I'm definitely getting more comfortable wearing bright lips and I've been reaching for bold colors more than nudes lately.... crazy, huh? I have been wearing a different shade of the Tarte pencils everyday to swatch them on my lips for you all. That will be up soon and I will post it in the original review which you can find HERE.

All in all, a very uneventful FOTD. But I wanted to post something to let you guys know I'm still here and that I care about this blog even though I don't get to update as often as I usually do. I am unbelievably behind in making videos and part of it has just been the inability to face the camera when I look like ^%@& :) I actually rarely curse in real life so excuse my online profanity! Hopefully next week I will find some time to finally show you guys what products I bought in August, September and October! Please stay tuned :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Quick Peek at my Skincare Shelf

I'm thinking of posting more short blog posts of just a few pictures and minimal blabbing instead of long essay posts with tons of pictures.... I'll alternate between the two styles just to vary it up from now on. Short posts are easier for me to write and they don't take up as much of your time to read :)

Here's a quick glimpse of some of the skincare products I've been using lately. My Lush Tea Tree Toner is out of the picture because it doesn't fit in that tiny space but I alternate between that and the Origins toner. I will review these products at some point or another (look out for my monthly empties posts!).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Beauty Must Haves Pt. 2

I put off doing this post for awhile so I apologize for the lack of continuity. You can read and watch Part 1 of my Fall Beauty Must Haves HERE which is dedicated to makeup related products. I picked out a few products that I have been using recently and ones that I think I'll really enjoy in the upcoming months. I have blogged about a few of the products in the past so I will include a link to those (just click on the name of the product). I will briefly mention some points about products I have not reviewed before.

Nail Polish :
Rimmel Steel Gray
Milani Ms. Milani
Sally Hansen Mystic Lilac
Sally Hansen Gunmetal
Sally Hansen Blue It
Sally Hansen Plum Power
The Face Shop BK901

Skincare & Bodycare:

Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam - This cleanser lathers very well and thoroughly cleanses the skin without stripping away all the moisture. I really enjoy using this cleanser but I'm saving it up for trips and holidays so I have to stop myself from using it!

Boscia Daily Hydration SPF 15 Moisturizer

Lush Buffy Body Butter

Origins Incredible Spreadable Body Scrub - This scrub is abrasive enough to make your skin feel fresh and renewed but the essential oils in the formula help retain moisture. I enjoy this a lot and is much like Buffy in that it is a two in one product.

Jergens Ultra Healing Moisturizer

What are your fall beauty must haves?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tarte LipSurgence: First Impressions

I know I've been rambling on and on about how busy I am recently and that I haven't had time to post as consistently... but I'm going to post two days in a row anyway. That's because I want to talk about this great deal (in case you guys haven't seen it) before it goes out of stock. Onto my first impressions!

Glossy lips are one of the trends that have survived the summer and are still prominent for this fall and winter. I myself love a glossy lip as matte lips tend to remind me of itchy, flaky lips. But that's just me. A few beauty brands have introduced jumbo pen crayons which tend to be moisturizing with a hint of color. The Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tints are one of the premier tints on the market right now but at $24 for a .1 ounce tube you can see why I wasn't in a hurry to purchase one. But lo and behold, Tarte released a set of five full size LipSurgence pencils for a mere $29! I was sold.

The shades in the kit are (from left to right in the picture above) Glitzy, Perky, Flashy, Swank, and  Dazzled. Perky and Swank are tint finishes with no shimmer, just glossy goodness. The other three are luster finishes and are packed with glitter. Tarte claims that these pencils are lip treatments and that your lips will feel more moisturized and soft with use. Another point that makes these great is that the packaging is retractable meaning you won't have to fumble with a sharpener and waste product.

Here are the swatches of the pencils on the back of my hand in the same order. The pencils glide on smoothly and they have a slight minty smell and tingle which is not irritating (to me at least). On my skin the pigmentation looks incredibly boring but you can see the glossy sheen. The glitter is very fine and almost undetectable, even on the lips. The glitter does have a tendency to migrate if you are no careful and it can be a little too glittery (especially if you're like me and don't like too much glitter on the lips).

On the lips, the pigmentation is much more apparent and I can tell you right now that Swank looks like a sheer red lipstick on my lips. I had expected Perky to be my favorite of the bunch because it has no shimmer and it looks like a safe color. I applied Perky all over my lips one morning and it looked like the color of my lips. However, a few hours later I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see my lips turned a bright cool toned pink. The color had changed and stained my lips into a quite unflattering color. Well, at least they weren't lying when they said these were long lasting.

I have yet to try all of the colors out but I wanted to give you guys my first impressions on this set because it is a great value nonetheless. I was really excited to try these out and I can tell they'll sell out like hotcakes on Sephora's website. So far, I have had a few gripes with some of the shades and the glitter but overall they're not bad. I would not pay $24 for one of these but for about $6 a pencil I can't complain too much. I'll make them work one way or another. I will be speaking about these again in an upcoming haul video and will probably wear one to show you the color on my lips so stay tuned for that!

UPDATE October 29: I have swatched all of the pencils on my lips to show you guys how they look (I know skin swatches for lip products are sometimes uninformative and uninteresting).

Dazzled is my second favorite shade of the bunch. You can definitely see the coral pigment on my lips and the gold shimmer is incredibly gorgeous. Glitzy is understated and it just adds a bit of shine to the lips. 

Flashy looks darker in real life and the shimmer is more apparent; I couldn't quite capture it on camera. I surprisingly do enjoy Flashy even though I would not normally go for a fuchsia lip color. Perky is surprisingly one of my least favorites. As I said before, it looks like a nice milky baby pink when you first apply it, but after an hour or two, it oxidizes into a bright bubblegum pink that does not suit my skintone.

My favorite is actually Swank which you can see in my FOTD post HERE. I couldn't quite get the lighting right when I tried to take a picture of only my lips so a full face will have to do. I have been wearing these pencils a lot recently and I find myself enjoying them more and more. The somewhat bold colors like Swank and Flashy have me toying around with the idea that I might just be able to pull off a bright lip!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Target Beauty Bag 2.0

Ack! My "real life" has been, and is going to be, keeping me very busy lately so I can't guarantee a post every two days like I usually do. But some good news is that I finally bought a new camera which means higher quality photos and HD video! I have yet to have time to record any videos with my new camera but I hope that converting the files and editing will not affect the quality of the videos too much. I have acquired a few new goodies in the past month but haven't had time to show you. A collective haul is coming soon, I promise!

I don't believe I ever mentioned the Target Beauty Bags on my blog. But basically starting last year, Target started giving out free makeup bags filled with samples to those quick enough to order them online. I just got my beauty bag in the mail today so I just snapped some pictures to show you all what I got. These pictures were taken with my new camera. Can you guys see the difference in quality?

To be honest, I'm a little underwhelmed by the selection this year. Last time, there was a full sized Neutrogena lip balm and some more makeup related samples. This time around there were three hair related samples (I have three of the same Garnier Fructis samples from other online freebie offers...) and some teeny skincare samples. The most exciting thing inside the bag are the Pond's wipes because I have never tried them and it's nice that there are five wipes instead of just one. I'll be saving those for a future trip (when that is, I have no idea). All in all, my favorite part of this year's bag was the actual bag. Last year the pouch was a bit smaller and blue with a similar abstract design. I like the plum color on this year's bag much more and it is a bit more roomy.

Did any of you sign up for this year's bag? If you have and you received your bag, did you get the same samples?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall 2011 Fashion Haul

Every few weeks I go through phases where nothing in my closet interests me in the slightest and I feel as if I gravitate towards the same few pieces daily. It bores and bothers me constantly. During these times, I just can't think straight until I quash the need to go out and spend some dough. I was having these exact feelings about a week ago and I had a day off and some money to spend.... So I hit up Forever21 and DSW to look for some new pieces for this season.

I try not to buy too many things from Forever21 simply because the quality is usually shoddy and I try to invest in better made clothing. Key word: try. The dirt cheap prices at Forever21 usually get the best of me. I rarely spend over $15 on a single item from their store and I do not order online as I need to see the clothing in real life to check the sewing, fit, and whatnot. For the past few months I've been lemming for a blush pink blazer and Forever21 happened to have a few different styles. Out of three different kinds of pink colored blazers, I only found a single one in a size small! I actually like the blazer a lot and although it was $28, more than what I would normally spend on something from Forever21, it's a bargain for a piece of outerwear. I wish it were a bit more snug but I can't complain.

The dress I am wearing above is another item I picked up and it was only $13.50! Dirt cheap! I actually really like this dress as the material is quite thick and the cream color is very flattering. I can't wait to create different looks with this one piece. It has short sleeves so it's easy to wear this under a blazer or cardigan or just by itself.

Forever21 comes up with really cute jewelry pieces and I appreciate the variety of styles they come up with. Although the quality is under whelming, the styles make up for it. Some of the pieces were under $3 so I can't complain too much! I love dainty jewelry and was in need of new accessories so these fit the bill nicely.

These are only a few of my purchases. To see everything I bought, please watch the video below! Let me know if you guys like seeing more fashion related posts :) I actually really enjoyed filming the fashion haul video and I think I'm getting much more comfortable talking to the camera! I'm pretty sure I will purchase a new camera with HD video capabilities before the month is up so stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Tutorial: Bronzed Plum Eyes

Shuffling from school, work, volunteering, interning, and some rare get-togethers with friends and family leave me little time to play with makeup. These days usually consist of nothing more than moisturized skin, glasses to hide my eye bags, and maybe a bit of gloss if I'm up to it. If I do have time to wear makeup, it'll be my usual base makeup, one shimmery beige all over my lids, liner, mascara, and a non obtrusive (a.k.a barely there) blush. I was yearning to do a Fall inspired tutorial so I found a bit of time (albeit last week.... I pre-film and pre-write nearly everything now) to film and photograph a look.

This look is something I would wear a lot during the fall season as it reflects the gorgeous colors of the leaves before they wither away. The plum and copper shades are not overly dramatic but still vibrant enough to be noticed. Please excuse my very bare lips. I was running short of time and had to leave the house without any lip products. Au natural lips are something I embrace often when I wear a bit more color on my eyes as I don't need a lip color to make me look "alive".

On the inner corner of my lids I used the champagne shadow from Wet n' Wild's Walking on Eggshells Trio. The rest of the lid consisted of the plummy goodness of Inglot's Pearl 452. In the crease and lower lashline I applied shades from Maybelline's Chai Latte Quad. I used E.L.F's Shimmer Eyeliner in Boldly Bronze on my lower lashline as a base for the copper eyeshadow to stick onto. I applied E.L.F's Studio Cream Liner in Copper on the upper lashline to tie the whole look together.

If you're interested in learning how to achieve this look, watch the video below! Thanks for reading and press the "follow" button if you want to see more Fall makeup tutorials!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Eyeliner for Monolids

A few posts ago when I was reviewing my black pencil eyeliners, I mentioned that I would do an eyeliner tutorial. Eyeliner is one of the most important steps in my makeup routine and it really ties everything together in a look. Some people can forego eyeliner and still have a bright eyed effect but for my flat, monolids, I prefer lining my eyes to make them more defined. My eyelashes are not curled and I am not wearing mascara in these pictures so you can see my eyes better.

Eyeliner is probably one of the most "well known" types of makeup, meaning that most people know what eyeliner is (as opposed to face highlighters). However I think eyeliner is one of the most easy things that people can apply incorrectly or in a way that is unflattering. To each their own and by no means am I saying that my way is even a "good" way. It's my preferred method and a technique that I think many people with similar eye shapes can use. I have had many people tell me that I line my eyes unevenly or too thick. My eyes are different shapes and sizes because the fold differently, thus my lines will usually look uneven no matter how even I draw them. I prefer a thicker eye line on myself because a thin line would do nothing for my eyes. I rarely tightline or line my waterline because my eyes are sensitive and I usually end up with eye infections when I line those areas.

Enough of my blabbering, if you want to see how I do my eyeliner, check out the video below! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Living La 'Dolce Vita'

Nars' Dolce Vita Lipgloss is perhaps my most "unique" favorite lip product for the Fall and Winter and you might remember that I mentioned this in my Fall Beauty Must Haves post. I say Dolce Vita is unique simply because it isn't a color I would usually go for. If you've been reaidng my blog or watching my videos for awhile you'll see that I tend to go for safe, nude lips. Sephora describes Dolce Vita as a "dusty rose" which is quite spot on. The color is neutral and almost a "my lips but better" shade with a noticeable tinge of red, making it all the more interesting.

The formulation is amazing. The texture is impeccably smooth and non-sticky while the pigmentation is rich and opaque. There is a strange chemical scent to the gloss but I can overlook that because it is just that good. The somewhat thick consistency helps this gloss stay on my lips for at least two hours and it fades evenly. This is definitely one of my favorite qualities of this lipgloss because I hate it when lipglosses gather where my upper and lower lip meet, creating that gross white line (I hope you guys know what I'm talking about!). Dolce Vita fades evenly and seems to stain my lips a bit in a good way so that I have some color. The formula is somewhat moisturizing and it definitely does not make my lips dry a tiny bit.

I tend to wear Dolce Vita a lot when I have minimal eye makeup on or when I have absolutely no makeup on because I'm just too darn tired to wear contacts. One day, a few weeks ago, I just applied my normal concealer, foundation and powder and skipped eye makeup entirely. I rarely ever skip eye makeup if I choose to wear makeup at all and I usually fore-go lip products instead (you'll know that if you watch my videos haha). Now even though my eyes look a tad droopy, I think a bit of Dolce Vita really brightened up my complexion and made me look more alive. You can see that on my lips, the color is really not that scary at all and it comes up more pink than red.

I love, love, love this color on myself and it would definitely suit many skintones. Even though a tube is $24, you get .28 oz of product which will last quite a while. I've been using a mini sample size I received almost two years ago. I've used this gloss at least a dozen times and I still have some product left. I would definitely repurchase this shade and I already have several others on my wishlist (including the infamous Turkish Delight)! Have you tried Nars' lipglosses? If so, how do you like them?