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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe Palette Review, Pictures, and Swatches.


I love the Holidays. I love all the Christmas brings. I always hear people grumbling when the holiday seasons come around but I happen to really enjoy them. I think every beauty lover likes the holidays even more because of all the makeup deals that happen this time of year. You have loads of website sales but this is also the time of year when all the companies put out there array of holiday sets. Holiday sets make me happy because they are usually way cheaper than the products are normally. If you have read my blog for a while then you know that I am all about affordable makeup. High end makeup does not typically fit into my low end budget but the holiday sets that the highend brands put out usually are within my financial reach. It's a great way to try out products before committing to buying them full price and full size.

Though I am usually a drugstore girl there are times when I splurge and get high end products. One brand that I have always been quite fond of in the snazzy makeup world is Smashbox.

I got one of their eye shadow palettes years ago as a gift and fell in love. I think I own most of their larger eyeshadow palettes at this point and I have never regretted buying a single one. Their eye shadows have always performed beautifully and have always been great quality. So of course when I say their holiday lineup the Luxe palette immediately called out to me. For one the packaging is just gorgeous. I love the jewel theme both on the outside and on the inside with the little gem in the middle of the palette. It is classy and hones in on all the things a girl loves...diamonds and makeup!!


The palette is only available at Ulta store or at Ulta.com! It is $42 and comes with 28 eye shadows. The shadows are a decent size. I would say they are about the size of a postage stamp or .04 oz each to be specific.

The packaging isn't the most durable but I still like it. It is a cardboard packaging kind of like the Naked palettes if you have ever seen those. It has a magnetic clasp at the front to help keep it from opening randomly. I love the jewel holographics on the front. I'd say this would be a good palette for light traveling however, I wouldn't bring it anywhere your bags could get thrown around.

You get quite an array of colors and finishes in this palette. There are mattes, satin finishes, and even some very shimmery shades. I love that you get some bright colors and plenty of neutrals so you could really create quite a few looks with this. I also love that it comes with awesome matte blending and highlighting shades. I can't stand when palettes don't have at least one good shade for the brow bone.



Because the palette is kind of strangely configured I went ahead and numbered the shades. I will list them below and give them a rating based on how I thought they performed. Not all of these shades wowed my pants off. Actually there were quite a few that disappointed me which hardly ever happens in a Smashbox palette.

1. Marzipan- A flesh tone matte shade. A terrific brow bone highlight. A+
2. Ambient- A warm bronzey brown with a shimmer finish. A
3. Midas- A shimmering taupe. Kind of chalky and a little hard to build color. B-
4. Zoom- An olive green shimmer. Beautiful shade but it does create some fallout. B
5. Totally Nude- A matte tan. Great color for blending in the crease. A+
6. Fizz- A light brown shimmer. Creamy and beautiful. A
7. Cream- Ivory shimmer shade. A
8. Roast- Deep dark brown with gold microglitter. A
9. Sumatra- Matte chocolate brown. Didn't apply evenly. Very hard to blend. D
10. Sable- Matte light brown. Creamy and a great blending shade. A
11. Juniper- A purple toned shimmering taupe. A
12. Lavender- A light purple shimmer. Powdery and not very pigmented. B-
13. Purple Mist- A deep purple with gold micro glitter. Hard texture and chalky. Hard to work with.
14. Pastel- A light satin finish pink. A
15. Peacock- A beautiful shimmering teal. A+ one of my favorites in the palette.
16. Sapphires- a shimmering midnight blue. Hard to apply evenly. Patchy. B-
17. Navy- A deep matte blue. A
18. Lilac- a cool tone shimmering purple. Another favorite. A
19. Royal- A deep matte purple. Didn't swatch very well but it is a great texture and a great defining shade. A
20. Snow- A matte white. A
21. Asteroid- A deep shimmering grey. Creates a lot of fall out. Powdery. B
22. Gypsy- A dark charcoal with silver micro glitter. A
23. Babycakes- A peachy satin shade. A
24. Moonlight- My least favorite shade. I don't even know what it's supposed to be. It just comes off as a powdery glitter. Creates crazy fallout. You need a tacky primer for sure.
25. Framboise- A deep pinky burgundy. A gorgeous fall shade. I love this as a blending color. A
26. Smoke- A deep charcoal matte. Gorgeous for a deep "smoke"y eye. A
27. Mink- A deep shimmering taupe. A
28. Cabernet- A satin finish burgundy shade. Gorgeous A+
Left to right: Marzipan, Ambient, Midas, and Zoom
Left to right: Totally Nude, Fizz, Cream, and Roast
Left to right: Sumatra and Sable
From left to right: Juniper, Lavender, Purple Mist, and Pastel.
Peacock, Sapphires, Navy, and Lilac. 
Royal, Snow, Asteroid, and Gypsy. 
Babycakes, Moonlit, Framboise, and Smoke. 
Mink and Cabernet
So there are some definite winners and some ones that are really not that great. I think overall it is not a bad palette but I think there are some better Smashbox palettes out there. I really really like the Masterclass palettes. I just got the Masterclass III palette and I think it's really great. You get one side that's bright colors and one side that is more neutral plus you get blushes and bronzers and it's just an amazing palette. This one is good and I think it's worth the money but I don't think it's their best work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BH Cosmetics Wild at Heart and Wild & Free Baked Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches!



Hey there pretty people! I hope everyone is doing well today. Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for being so amazing! Today I am writing a post on what may be my newest eyeshadow palette obsession. You'll see in a minute why these new BH Cosmetics palettes are my everything right now!

BH Cosmetics if you aren't familiar with the company is an affordable online makeup brand. They are typically best known for their large eyeshadow palettes that seriously have like 88 colors in one palette. I got these years ago when I was first learning about makeup and teaching myself proper applications. They are great palettes for beginners but were never really the best quality. However, in the last year or so BH has come out with some really phenomenal palettes. I have done a couple reviews on other palettes of theirs on the blog before! You can check those out by clicking the links below.

BH Cosmetics Take Me To Brazil Palette
BH Cosmetics Eyes On The 60's Eyeshadow Palette

They recently released 3 new baked eyeshadow palettes. I picked up 2 of them to begin with which are the Wild at Heart Palette and the Wild & Free Palette. There is one more which is called Wild Child but I chose not to get that one because it had very neutral colors which I am sure I have dupes of in my collection somewhere. They are anywhere from $12- $10 right now on the website which is an amazing price. You can check them all out by clicking here!

Wild & Free



Wild & Free is a perfect fall palette. It has green bronze, green, and blue tones to it. You really could create so many looks with this palette whether you want to play with color or so something more subtle. I have been getting a lot of use out of this palette lately. I love the versatility in here because you get highlight shades, crease colors, and even some colors to deepen up a look. 
 This is the top 3 swatched over the E.l.f Essentials primer. I did all the swatches over that primer.
 The three middle shades.
The bottom three shades.
This is all of the shades. 

These are swatches over a primer and as you can see the color pay off is out of this world. Baked eyeshadows and I have had a rocky relationship in the past. I always love how the colors look when I swatch them but it is usually very hard to get a good pigmented application without using them wet. These are the first baked eyeshadows in a while that I have not had to mess around with in order to get them to work. I do recommend using a primer with them to give more longevity to the wear. 

The texture isn't overly dry and they apply smooth and creamy. I found that the wear time for these was pretty great too. I didn't start to see any fading until about 6 hours of wear which is pretty typically for most shadows. The finish of all of these is a metallic or shimmer finish so if you are not a fan of those types of shadows than I don't think this will be a palette for you. 

I could use a little improvement on the packaging. These are definitely not intended for travel. The palette is cardboard and with baked eyeshadows typically being more delicate I wouldn't risk putting them in any bad that gets tossed around like a purse or luggage. I do wish they would put these in a little more durable package but I guess for the price I can live with it. I do like that you get a decent sized mirror in the palette. I for one typically use a hand help mirror during application so this makes my life much easier. 

Overall this palette gets a gold star from me. I think it is a wonderful little gem to have in your makeup stash and I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this.

Wild at Heart



Wild at Heart is the palette that originally caught my eye. I love purple eyeshadow so much that it's a problem. If a palette has beautiful purple shades in it than I have to have it. Wild at Heart has gorgeous purples, pinks, and some soft neutral shades in it. It is a great palette for green and blue eyes. I love the soft romantic feel of this one. Yet again you get plenty of colors to do a variety of looks. There are some highlight shades, some great crease colors, and some darker colors for a more dramatic look. 
This is the top row swatched over the E.l.f Essentials primer. All the colors were swatched over the same primer.
 Middle row
Top row



Like the other palette you get some amazing intensity with these. You don't need to use them wet to get great pigmentation. They apply smooth and are easy to work with. Like the other palette these all have a frosty/metallic finish so if you aren't a fan of that than you won't love this one either. 
I am also a really big fan of this palette as well. I think for the price it is an amazing find. The pans are also a great size. Each pan is a little smaller than a quarter so you are getting quite a bit of product in these. 



Overall I think both of these are definitely worth the money. I really have nothing bad to say about them to be honest. I love the shade ranges, the pigmentation, and the wear time. Those are all 3 important factors for me and it passed the test. I am going to have to get the third one now. Do you own any of these? What are your thoughts about them?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin Curves Mascara Review, Pictures, and Swatches!


Hey there my pretties! Welcome back for another drugstore mascara review. This one is a mascara that I found recently at my local Ulta. It was a mascara I hadn't seen or even really heard about before and it really peaked my interests. It has one crazy looking wand and reminded me of a possible dupe for a way more expensive mascara. I am talking about the Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves mascara! I am a big fan of Rimmel mascaras and have had great luck with them over the years so I instantly got a little excited about this. This is how it is described on the Rimmel site...

Our first broken heart-shaped brush creates a fringe of big, curvy, rockin’ lashes. This cleverly-shaped applicator twists and curves to hug the lash line; the thin tip grabs hard-to-reach inner lashes, while the amplified base pulses lashes with incredible volume and curve. Lashes are plumped and lifted in one clean stroke.
No clumps!

So is this as good as my beloved Scandaleyes Retroglam Mascara...let's see...

Packaging: 

In typically Rimmel Scandaleyes fashion the packaging is kind of big and bulky. That is one of my gripes about this is that if you were talking it on the go in a makeup bag or something it is kind of big and would take up some room. I do however love the sassy red look that it has. It is definitely an eye catching packaging. It caught my eye anyway. 



So what is really neat about this packaging is the wand itself. It is an s type shape that is very neat looking for me.I was very excited because the brush reminds me a lot of the Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara which is much more expensive. Not only is it shaped like an S but it varies in thickness throughout the brush as well. Okay here is where the first problem for me lies. So this brush is very cool to look at but in my opinion is very hard to work with. They say your supposed to be able to twist and turn this around to hug the lashline and all that but I am sorry I don't want to have to twist and turn and wiggle all around to get my mascara to work. Due to the shape it's very hard to get all the lashes or a majority of them in one swipe. You end up getting mascara on part of the lashes and not the other. It makes it hard to get the lashes to look uniform. Now I probably spend more time on my makeup than most but I am still a simple girl at heart. I want my mascara to do the work for me. I don't want to spend 15 minutes trying to get my lashes to look decent. 

Formula:

Jeez I really wanted to love this mascara. I really really did but it lacked for me in this department too. As you can see from the pictures it just clumped like crazy. I could not get it to separate my lashes for the life of me. Have you seen those spider lashes meme's from a *cough cough* popular mascara?? That is how I felt I looked. A great look for Halloween but not for everyday wear. I had to go back in with a dry mascara wand a couple times to try and get some separation! Nope I am not about that life. Too much work and it still looked pretty clumpy.
Do you see the transfer on my super huge up close eyeball? Ha...well I do and can you see the clumpiness! Nope...not about it!!

Wear Time:

This was actually the one thing that I can't harp about. It did wear very well throughout the day for me. I didn't have an transfer, smudging, or flaking at all. That isn't enough to make me love this though. 

Final Verdict: 

Pass on this. I tried to work with it and tried to really give it a fighting chance but when you use a product and everyday find yourself saying "ugh I hate this mascara," than it is not meant to be. Now like always I am not saying that everyone will dislike it or feel like I do but this is my honest opinion based on my trials and errors. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

NYX Eyebrow Gel Review, Swatches, and Pictures.



Hello there lovies. Thank you for taking the time to view my blog today. Today we are going to talk about brows. I don't know if I am alone here but I feel like brows are getting way more attention than ever before. With the Instagram beauty guru craze I see a lot of posts about eyebrows and eyebrow products. It opened the gate for so many eyebrow products and companies like Anastasia Beverly Hills. Now as women we were always used to grooming our brows. You know keeping them trimmed, waxed, and shaped but I never really saw a lot of people using a lot of product on their eyebrows. Well those days are over.

Like I said Anastasia Beverly Hills really paved the way for a lot of brow products. I remember everyone going crazy when they released the Promade which was one of the first eyebrow "paint" type products that I had ever seen. It proceeded to be followed by many other similar products like the Too Faced Bulletproof Brows and now NYX's Eyebrow Gel.

I have been dying to try these because well as you know, I like to save money. The NYX Eyebrow Gel's are $7 a piece. A much friendly price when compared to Anastasia's Brow Promade which can be around $20+. The NYX website describes the products as...

Keep your misbehaving brows in place with our discreet and easy-to-use brow gel! The lightweight, waterproof formula creates thicker, fuller, natural-looking brows and comes in five versatile shades.


Let's see some pictures shall we...

I chose 2 shades out of the 5 that they offer. I wasn't sure which one would be best suited for me and I knew I would be changing my hair color a little so I figured I would just get the 2 I thought would suit me best. Like I said their are 5 shades all together which are Blonde, Chocolate, Brunette, Espresso, and Black. A decent range that should suit most hair colors. I went with Brunette which is an ash brown and Espresso which is a cool toned deep brown.

Packaging:


These come in a tube type formula which I happen to really enjoy. Unlike a lot of the competitors packaging I like that you aren't dipping a brush repeatedly into the formula. Hygiene wise this is a much better set up. You do have to put it on the back of your hand or on a palette to be able to dip your brush into it so that can be irritating for some but I don't mind it since I can just wipe my hand off. You get .34 oz of product which when I show you how much you need to use for application is a HUGE amount. These are going to last me forever and a day. 

Formula:

                                        Espresso is on the top and Brunette is on the bottom.
The formula they call a gel but when I think of a gel I always think of something sort of transparent or light in color which is the exact opposite of these. I would say they are more of a cream almost. The formula is nice and creamy and incredibly pigmented. I literally put the tiniest little line on my hand to show you. I am talking a cm long if that and as you can see from the swatches it was more than enough. The color is opaque and you only need a tiny bit to go a long way. I am still perfecting how much to use because I always have to waste the extra left over on my hand. 

Now the NYX website says this will give you "natural" looking brows which I think is kind of a stretch. Due to this being to pigmented you do get a much more defined brow and it is a bit difficult to master at first. If you are new to filling in your brows it might be wise to play a little at home with these first or begin with a pencil and transition to these later. If you want a natural look than I think a tinted brow gel (the mascara wand type) is a much better way to go. I happen to love more dramatic brows so this is right up my alley though I did have to apply a couple times to really get the hang of it. I used my slanted eyeliner brush from Real Techniques when I apply it.

Wear Time:

This is actually what really made me want to purchase these bad boys. One day I was at Ulta and saw the display of new NYX items and these were on the display. The colors I wanted were already gone so I just swatched a tiny bit of the black on the top of my hand. I totally forgot about it after I left the store. I proceeded to go the whole day with it on the back of my hand which included multiple hand washes. When I got home and it was still there and still so vibrant was the moment I knew I needed them. 

When NYX says these are long wearing they are not kidding in the least. I think these have the best longevity of any eyebrow product I have ever tried. They will stay put through anything. I highly recommend this if you are in a position where you really need a brow product that lasts a long time. I do recommend using a makeup remover of some sort to take this off because just a washcloth alone won't cut it.

These are 2 pictures from my Instagram (feel free to follow) where I used the NYX eyebrow gel. As you can see it really gives a nice defined and sculpted brow. 

Final Verdict:

Well I personally love these. I think they are incredible for the price. They are so long wearing and have great color pay off. I think these perform better than some of their much more expensive counter parts. Like I said though if you like a very natural look these probably won't be for you. I got mine right off the NYX website but I know you can also get them at Ulta and at other stores that sell NYX like Target. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September 2014 Beauty Favorites and Fails!


Hey hey there pretty people. How are you today? I hope you are doing well! I am doing fantastic over here in this 77 degree NY weather. 77 in October?!!! I am loving it.

I am here again to do my monthly favorites from September. I have some oldies and some new products. I was buying a lot of new products in September and using a lot of new products so it is a bit of a mixed bag. I also have a couple complete fail products as well. I always hate when products don't work for me but from time to time I find ones that are just rubbish! Now keep in mind that they just didn't work for me! That doesn't mean they won't work for anyone else.

Favorites:

  1. Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation! This foundation is my life. I have been using it for over a year now and it is still a favorite. With my makeup ADD that is definitely saying something. I have gone through 2 full bottles of this stuff. It has a natural finish and is incredibly long wearing but what I love is the coverage. It is the best coverage from the drugstore that I have tried in quite a while. I just can't wear it enough. I also love that it has a decent SPF too so you get some sun damage prevention with this. CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation + Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Ivory 805- 1 fl oz
  2. Essence Gel Eyliner in Midnight in Paris. I am not going to talk about this much because I just did a review for this which you can check out by clicking here!
  3. E.l.f Studio Macara Primer. I was introduced into the mascara primer world fairly recently and I am so mad that I didn't jump on board much sooner. Mascara Primer has helped my lashes soooo much. This one is my favorite ones right now. It helps nourish and keep the lashes healthy but it also adds a lot of extra volume to the lashes as well. My lashes look longer and fuller when I use this. Plus it is only $3! Can't beat that. 
  4. Lancome La Base Pro Hydra Glow Primer. Now this is one of my more pricey favorites but it is totally worth it! I have been using the heck out of it this month. I know it won't be for everyone because if you are oily this won't work at all but for my dry skin darlings, this is heaven. I am going to do a full review soon.   
  5. City Color Be Matte Blush. Okay I don't know where City Color Cosmetics came from but they have been all over the place lately. I have seen them on a lot of social media outlets but I actually received this blush months ago in an Ipsy bag. One of the better products I've received because I love this blush. It is soft, pigmented, and long wearing and just awesome. Plus it's $5! I mean c'mon now plus the size is amazing for what you pay. 
  6. Physicians Formula Conceal RX Physicians Strength Concealer. I know I have talked about this concealer a million times before but I can't help it...it's amazing and it makes me want to sing about it! I won't go in to a lot of detail because I already wrote a review about a year ago on how it answered my concealer prayers. Check it out right here!
  7. Rimmel London Eyebrow Pencil. In my book it's the perfect pencil. Not too hard, not too soft, not too waxy, not too hot...you get my drift. It's just the right amount of everything for me. I love it enough that I'll even put up with a pencil I have to sharpen. In my world that is dedication. 
  8. Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched. Finally a bronzer that is perfectly suited for fair skin. It doesn't leave me looking like an oompa loompa and it doesn't make me look dirty. It's just dark enough to give me a healthy looking glow. Just enough shimmer and the perfect cool tone for my pasty white skin. LOVE!!
  9. Lip Balm Pencils...I feel like a pokemon when it comes to these things. Got to catch them all! But really I need all of them! I have been on a huge lip pencil kick lately. Specifically I have really been digging the L'oreal Colour Riche Glossy Balm and the Clinique Chubby Sticks. Both are so comfortable and hydrating but don't lack any color pay off...you need these in your life for fall and winter. Trust me! 
  10. Lastly I am loving this Crown Brush duo ended eyeshadow and crease brush that I received in my latest Ipsy bag. It has been in my travel makeup bag since I received it. The dual end makes it so convenient for travel and the bristles are so soft and do a wonderful job at packing on color and for blending. This is my first Crown Brush brush but I see many more in my future.

Fails:

  1. There is trouble among us! Is overspray happening in your town? Can I just vent for a moment and tell you how much oversprayed products really grind my gears. Why would you make a product look like something that it is not. We buy colors because we like that exact color. It's like the wolf in sheep's clothing of cosmetics and it gets me fuming mad. That is why the Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow is a fail this month. In the picture you can see what I mean.
  2. My next fail product is an Avon Concealer that I had gotten about a month or so ago. It's an illuminating concealer which I usually love but this stuff was awful. It separates so bad and does not blend for anything. I tried to use it twice and just threw it right out. Save your money because these were really bad. 
3. My last fail is a mascara that I received in a subscription box at some point in the past couple months by Blinc. They describe it as a no hassle/ no smudge mascara. Well I don't know if it's just me but this stuff didn't stay put for anything. It flaked all over my face. I would end up with all these little flecks of mascara all over my face by the end of the day.