Thursday, March 28, 2013

Monthly Makeup Favorites: March, 2013

Moisturizer: Embryolisse, Lait-Crème Concentrè  ($28 on Embryolisse’s Website)
I got this in a December’s Birchbox and almost immediately ordered a full-sized tube. It’s really thick and emollient yet hasn’t broken me out. It has a silkening effect, which has made it a good moisturizer/face primer.  It’s has a “soapy” scent, which I quite like, but if that worries you--it does go away once dry.

Base: Smashbox, Photo Ready BB Cream ($39 at Sephora)
I bought this several months ago and no matter how many other BB creams and tinted moisturizers I try, I always end up coming back to this one. It’s the perfect consistency, blends easily, and doesn’t settle into dry patches. It’s available in 5 shades, which makes it much better than most BB creams. I love that it’s neutral in tone and has an SPF of 35.
Concealer: Make Up For Ever, 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in 01Concealer Palette in 01 ($38 at Sephora)
I featured this in a recent haul video and I’ve been using it regularly since. It’s quite thick, extremely pigmented, and a little bit goes a long way. However, because of the consistency, I wouldn’t recommend it under the eyes (as it can easily crease). Between the five colors it’s so easy to find/create the perfect match year-round.

Brow Product: Lancôme, Brow Expert Le Crayon Poudre in Taupe ($25.50 at Sephora)
This eyebrow pencil is so different than any of the others I’ve tried. It almost dries to a powder finish which not only gives it a softer, more natural look, but it also doesn’t leave any wax clumps on your brows. I definitely prefer it to any brow product I’ve tried.
Highlighter: Guerlain, Météorites Perles in Teint Rosé 01 ($58 at Sephora)
I’ve had this little guy for ages but only fell in love with it recently. In the past I’d used it as a setting powder and while I liked it—I wasn’t convinced it was worth the hefty price tag. However, when used as a highlighter it is phenomenal. I feel that it actually gives you a believable and gorgeous glow.

Contour/Bronzer: Benefit, Hoola Bronzer ($28 at Sephora)
Hoola was the first product I ever used to contour and it’s the one I always find myself coming back to. It’s completely matte and while I wouldn’t consider it completely cool-toned, it isn’t orange either. It’s really pigmented and a little bit goes a long way. It’s smooth in texture and not at all chalky feeling. I’ve also found that it also makes for a great crease shadow.

Eyeshadow: Naked Basics Palette ($27 at Sephora)
I’m so glad I broke down and got this. I still think that once on the lid, there isn’t a big difference between W.O.S. and Foxy but I still use them both frequently. My favorite look using this pallete was from Miss Lipgloss.

Mascara: Too Faced, Better than False Lashes in Black ($35 at Sephora)
This is a 3-step process, but to me, it’s totally worth it for the lengthening effect you get from this. I haven’t been using it very long and in a few more weeks I might do a post reviewing only this. Is it truly a substitute for false lashes? No, not really, but I haven’t used any mascara that makes them look as good. FYI-This only comes in one color.

Eyeliner: Jordana, INCOLOR Fabuliner in Black ($2.99 on Jordana’s Website)
This is definitely the most user-friendly liquid liner I’ve tried. It’s a firm felt tip and despite using it for several months regularly, it hasn’t begun to fade at all. It doesn’t skip/drag and makes doing a winged liner so easy! The inexpensive price doesn’t hurt either. It’s true black in color (not blue/gray), matte finish, dries quickly, blendable. This comes in both black and (dark) brown.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Wish List

Weekly Wish List
Where's a genie when you need one? I think rounding up all the things I like together only gets me one step closer to adding the item to my online shopping cart (as you'll likely see in the next Shopa-Haul-It). Regardless, it's fun to do a little pretend shopping for this type of post.

YSL Rouge Volupte in Opera Rose: I'll admit, a big part of my attraction to this is the packaging but I've heard really good things about the product itself.

Smashbox Camera Ready CC cream: I've been using their BB cream for quite a while and I love it but I can't wait to get my hands on the CC version as soon as possible.

Diptyque Candle in Rose Duet: Apparently this exorbitantly priced candle is a mix of two of the brands equally expensive candles, Roses and Baies. Either way, I'm oddly drawn to it.

Neom Luxury Organics Body Scrub: Definitely a luxury product, but I'm dying to try it. Unfortunatly, another item that isn't available in the States (as far as I know). Please prove me wrong!

Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Ravish: Pixiwoo did a Glinda tutorial using this blush and I instantly fell in love, only to find out that it's since been discontinued. From what I've seen, it turns out much less purple/red and into a nice pink. If you have any cream blush recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oops!... I Did it Again: Shopa-Haul-It

No, I didn't play with your heart. What I did do, was go to Sephora. I initially went to return the Origins Super Spot Remover which effectively removed my top layer of skin and left the pimple, but one thing led to another (again) and here we are...

Too Faced, Better than False Lashes:
Every time I go to Sephora I look this over but I'm too much of a germaphobe to put any of the store samples on my eye, so I went for it. I know this has a lot of mixed reviews but I figured I would give it a try and I'm really glad I did. I know this isn't going to be for everyone and it does run the risk of looking "spidery" but if you only apply the fibers to the lash tips the results are actually pretty good. The mascara that it comes with is a really wet formula and won't be winning any awards for length or volume but when paired with the fibers... some sort of magic happens. I'll give this a few weeks and if I'm still liking it, I'll do a separate post on it.

Fresh Gift Set:
This included the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Berry, Fresh Lip Polish, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, and the Fresh Mascara. Had I seen that online they have this gift set I probably would have gotten it instead. I love all of the Lip Treatments and mentioned one in The Used post. The lip polish feels really similar to the DIY ones with brown sugar and olive oil. I'm glad I tried it but probably won't be repurchasing. The Fresh Soy Face Cleanser promises to hydrate (yes) and firm (I have no idea). It's a really gentle cleanser and works perfectly with a Clarisonic. I'd say the mascara is fair, but nothing worth rushing to the store to get.
L'Occitane, Hand Cream in Vanilla:
Simply put, I love this. Super moisturizing, not sticky, and smells delicious.

Clarisonic, Sensitive Brush Head Replacement:
They recommend changing the brush head every three months... doubtful. The other one was looking a little rough but I'll still use it for small areas or a mani/pedi.

Twistband, Hair Tie:
I got the headband in my Birchbox and decided to get another.

Samples: Generally, I don't really care about the samples that people haul but these two are both worth mentioning. First, Origins VitaZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen (which is slightly tinted) and both light and moisturizing. I would definitely think about purchasing in the future. Second, I got the Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream in Light/Medium. This could hardly pass as a "light" shade but it is really nice. It's more pigmented and yellow than my Smashbox BB Cream but still lets your skin breathe and look like skin. Again, definitely something I would think about purchasing.

Urban Decay, Naked Basics:
You could throw a cat in a crowded room and it would land on someone who owned this palette. I'm a little late to the party on this one but I'm so glad I broke down and got it. I've used this palette exclusively since I bought it. I love neutral and primarily matte looks so this was perfect for me. The shimmer in the cool-toned "Virgin" shade is really subtle and perfect for your inner corner. It's pretty difficult to find pigmented and non-powdery matte shades and this palette definitely delivers. I can see myself repurchasing this (which would be a first for an eye shadow palette). If they made another version with ever more matte neutral shades it would definitely be a HG product for me.

Chloé Eau de Parfum:
Another scent that may not appeal to everyone, but I really love it. To me it smells like a powdery rose. I mentioned this in my first Shopa-Haul-It posting and I used the voucher from the Scent Sampler for this. 

NeoStrata Oily Skin Solution AHA 8 (Purchased on Amazon):
I've wanted to try the Alpha H Liquid Gold but this one has a stronger concentration of AHA. I've heard it takes a while to see the full effects of it but so far, it hasn't taken my skin off, which is an improvement from the Origins Super Spot Remover. I use this as a toner at night after cleansing and before a few spritzes of the Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

Bath & Body Works:
This kind of stuff doesn't particularly thrill me to read about on other blogs but nonetheless I thought it deserved to be included. They had hand soaps on offer for 5 for $25 and mini-candles were 3 for $10. The antibacterial hand soaps are in Kitchen Lemon, Japanese Cherry Blossom, and Wildberry Dahlia. The candles are in Tiki Beach (smells like coconuts) and Beach Cabana (sweet & clean smelling).

Gettin' Swappy with It: UK Beauty Swap

If I did anything with the amount of dedication I devoted to reading British beauty blogs I would no doubt, be quite accomplished. Currently though, this hobby only helps me come up with new and clever ways to spend money.
One day, while reading another blog, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a link to Cosmetic Debris and it was love at first site (seriously, go check it out)! Anyways, Becky mentioned how she was dying to try an American beauty product and I knew there were a ton of British products that I’ve been lusting after. One thing led to another and eventually we set up a swap. Here’s a link to the products she received.

Left: Apocaliptic, Right: Stellar
Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic and Stellar 
It seems as if every blogger and vlogger alike has at some point mentioned Rimmel Apocalips and I didn’t see any news of them coming to the U.S. anytime soon. I ended up picking the shades Apocaliptic and Stellar and I can’t wait to (hopefully) try more later. There are plenty of reviews out there but I would best describe them as a lip stain with a heavily pigmented gloss topcoat. They can be a bit tricky to apply but I found if I built the color up in thin layers I got an awesome effect.

Soap and Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker in Fuschia-ristic:
How could you not appreciate the name of this product?! I first heard about it via Fleur De Force and couldn’t resist. It smells like a really soft vanilla and isn’t alarming at all once on your lips. It’s definitely sheer and more moisturizing than Revlon Kissable Lip Stains (but not as pigmented). Definitely love this product and I keep it in my purse.
Collection 2000 Concealer in Fair:
Damn you, Pixiwoo for introducing me to another product that I can’t live without! As far as liquid concealers this one is great. I’m pretty pasty but this was still just a tad too light for me. However, formula wise, I really liked it.
Sleek Brush by 3 in Lace:
This was a suggestion by Becky and I’m so glad she mentioned it. She may not feel the same way after trekking all over looking for it, but it’s definitely appreciated! I absolutely adore this set. Every shade is pigmented and blends like a dream. The middle shade is a good dupe for NARS Orgasm. However, I actually prefer the texture of the Sleek blush.
Topshop Lipstick in Ohh La La:
This was another great suggestion from Becky. This is the first Topshop makeup product I’ve tried and I was really impressed! It’s super pigmented and stayed for about four hours while I was at work.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited to receive a package in the mail! Becky took the time to do an amazing and adorable packaging job that put mine to absolute shame… to the point that I feel I should redeem myself with another swap. You know, just to make things right J.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shopping Lust List

Shopping List
Just a quick list of a few things that I don’t need...
Givenchy leather bag
I've been lusting after the Givenchy Antigona Medium since I first saw MelSoldera on YouTube review it. 

Kevyn Aucoin waterproof makeup
I've been eyeing this for awhile but the review on Cosmetic Debris totally sealed the deal. Shockingly, this isn't carried in any of the department stores in Idaho. Seems that many companies haven't jumped in to this market... fools.

Nars cosmetic
I'm such a sucker for a good YouTube review and GossMakeupArtist delivered a glowing one on this concealer.

Chloé fragrance
Definitely going to use that Sephora perfume voucher for this little baby. Smells delicious and like a powdery rose (much more appealing that it sounds, I promise). 

Beauty product
$76 -
I just purchased the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel and while it does remove makeup, my face doesn't really feel clean afterwards. I would love to get my hands on the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm... unfortunately, I haven't found a way to get it in the States. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

GHD vs. Sedu Straighteners

The day finally came when, after five years, and several months of incessant chirping, my GHD died. As someone with bangs, a straightener is pretty essential unless you don’t mind rocking a Donald Trump style—a look that’s surprising hard to pull off. In searching I was able to narrow it down to replacing it with either a GHD Professional 1” Styler ($225) or a Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline 1.5” Flat Iron ($129).

GHD Classic Styler
I purchased the Classic Styler model from for about $180. At the time, it came with a miniature Sedu straightener and a heat proof pouch (which I never used). The fact that it lasted a solid five years, despite being dropped on more than one occasion, attests to its high quality (and my clumsiness). My only complaint with the GHD is the amount of frizz I would get, particularly if I used it to curl.
Heats up in 30 seconds
1” plate allows for versatile styling
Safety shut-off
2-year warranty
Available in different colors
Universal voltage

Small amount of frizz
Slightly damaging
No temperature adjustment

Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline
I was able to use a coupon code and send in an old curling iron, which gave me a $50 credit towards my purchase. Additionally, it came with free shipping. After sales tax I was able to purchase the straightener for just under $90.  You are able to create large, soft curls with the Sedu and I haven’t had to battle with frizz afterwards. It’s worth noting that Sedu makes a straightener called the Revolution that has a 1” plate; however, it wasn’t rated as well as the Pro Ionic Version.

Smoother/Softer results than the GHD
So far, less damaging
Longer cord
Adjustable temperatures
Takes less time to straighten
2-year warranty

Heats up in 60 seconds
No safety shut-off
Wide plate is less versatile

Price was definitely a factor in my decision but so were the Folica reviews, which seemed to favor the Sedu. Obviously, every heat tool is going to damage your hair to some degree, but at this point, I haven’t noticed quite as many split ends since I’ve made the switch to Sedu. They truly are both great straighteners and while I don’t know if the Sedu will last as long as the GHD did, I think I made the right decision for me.