Monday, April 29, 2013

Gettin' Swappy with It (Again): UK Beauty Swap

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder
(Collection Shimmer Shades in Blushalicious)
(Left to Right: MUA Lipstick in #13, Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in #15, MUA Lipstick in #4)
(MUA Undressed Palette)
(Sleek Bush by 3 in Pumpkin; Shades Left to Right: Pie, Squash, & Lantern)
(Cadbury Creme Egg)
(MaxFactor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick in Subtle Coral)

There's nothing like a good swap-- especially when you're trading for products that aren't readily available in your country. Plus, it's totally guilt-free shopping when you're buying for someone else ;) When Emma from Glossy Boutique mentioned in a post that she was looking for someone from the US to do a swap with-- the impulsive person in me quickly messaged her. We each mentioned a few products that we were looking for and the rest was a surprise. When this arrived in my mailbox, by the time I walked up the driveway I was already into the box and sorting through all the amazing products.

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder: An iridescent champagne powder highlighter that applies quite sheer but is easily build-able. I love how it's pressed into a design very reminiscent of Mac's Extra Dimension Collection. 
Collection Shimmer Shades in Blushalicious: Add "icious" to the end of any word and I'm hooked (Case-in-point my blog name). This is a quad blush set of well-pigmented shimmery shades. Being a big fan of pink blushes, I can definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of this.
MUA Lipsticks in #13 & #4: In terms of quality and packaging, these are really similar to lipsticks from NYX but for only  £1! They both have a light sheen to them, are really comfortable to wear, and are identical to the color thats on the packaging. 13 creates a true red lip with 1-2 swipes. 4 gives you a great baby pink lip without being difficult to apply like some light lipsticks. It's a little more sheer than 13, but I actually prefer that in lighter formulas. 
Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in #15: I was totally impressed with this formula. It's really hydrating and gives a high-gloss finish. It's definitely more of a blue-toned red than MUA in #13 and makes your teeth look a little whiter.  
MUA Undressed Palette: This palette definitely is considered to be a dupe for Urban Decay's Naked Palette. Since my Naked Palette is no more, I was really excited to get this bad boy. For the £4 price point-- it's an amazing deal. I think the formula is better than NYX's Nude on Nude Palette (Which is also meant to be a Naked dupe). The high glitter shades do have a bit more fallout but all the shades are decently pigmented. 
Sleek Blush by 3 in Pumpkin: I'm so in love with this palette in "Lace" that I was thrilled to open up another one in Pumpkin! Unfortunately, the "Pie" shade had a bit of a rough trip across the pond but still has a lot of life left. 
Cadbury Creme Egg: Because, what UK swap would be complete without a Cadbury product?
Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick in Subtle Coral: This product reminds me a lot of Soap & Glory's Sexy Mother Pucker without the scent and maybe a little more sheer. Definitely comfortable to wear and very purse-friendly. 
Baylis and Harding England Body Wash in Wild Rose and & Raspberry Leaf: I'm slightly
completely obsessed with rose scented anything so this body wash was right up my ally. The raspberry scent keeps it from smelling too mature and it's just strong enough to leave you with a slight scent for the first part of the day. Love this. 

I love everything and am thoroughly jealous of all the great products that are available in the UK. I would gladly give up all my Babylips for a few Bourjois products. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Give Me Lip: Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Exatitique (94)

I'm always on the hunt for the "perfect pink". While perusing the Chanel counter I stumbled upon this fuchsia, blue-toned pink.  The blue hue seems to primarily come from the iridescent shimmer in it. Normally, I steer far away from lipsticks with any sort of shimmer in them, but this was undetectable until it was on my lips-- and by then, I was hooked. I happily chucked over $34 for a measly 0.12 oz. In terms of hydration, it does fairly well but would never be confused with a balm. It lasted a few hours and transfers easily. It's sheer enough to make it a wearable hot pink. The formula isn't flawless, but it's still a comfortable light lipstick and the color is to die for!

Maybelline Color Tattoo by Eye Studio 24HR Cream Gel Shadow Collection

(Left to Right: Barely Branded, Waves of White, Cool Crush, Inked in Pink, Bad to the Bronze, Tough as Taupe, & Gold Rush)
(Top Moving Clockwise: Cool Crush, Waves of White, & Barely Branded)
(Top Left Moving Clockwise: Tough as Taupe, Gold Rush, Inked in Pink, & Bad to the Bronze)
(Waves of White on the Lid: 6 Hours After Application)
I'm a huge fan of cream shadows from Buxom, Benefit, Mac, and MUFE. Out of all of them, I find that The Color Tattoo line of shadows outlast all the others (but about the same as MUFE). But considering the $15+ price difference between the two brands, Color Tattoo shadows are a great value.

Barely Branded (Metal Collection): This one was the first I bought, and definitely the one that gets the most use. It goes with just about anything and is a true shimmery champagne color. It fades faster than all the others (with the exception of Waves of White) but I haven't noticed any creasing, even when I don't set it with powder.
Waves of White (Limited Edition): This one came out really recently, in the same launch as Cool Crush. It's actually one of my favorites as it's a true duo-chrome and has a blue/green effect depending on the light. It's also quite sheer, and due to the high shimmer, it does tend to fade faster than any of the other colors.
Cool Crush (Limited Edition): Almost comes off as a silvery blue/lavender. I'm thinking this will probably get about as much use as Inked in Pink. It's slightly sheer, but build-able and wears similarly to Inked in Pink.
Inked in Pink (Metal Collection): This one has less wear time than Bad to the Bronze, again, still good. It's really pigmented and a shimmery pink. I've probably only worn this twice in the last few months, so I wouldn't consider it a must-have.
Bad to the Bronze: This one is a little more sheer, but still easily build-able. When I'm in a rush, I'll slap this one by itself and call it good. It has slightly less wear time than Tough as Taupe but still will easily last you through a long day.
Tough as Taupe: From the ones I've tried, this one definitely has the best wear time. It kind of reminds of clay in color and texture. It's the thickest feeling of the bunch but this would probably last at least 24 hours without creasing/fading. I've put it on my eyes and rubbed and it still didn't budge.  Also, I've had some luck using this for contouring as well.
Gold Rush (Metal Collection): This is probably my least favorite color of the bunch. It lasts a little longer than Barely Branded before fading. I should have known by looking that it was a very bright gold, and I really only end up wearing it when I mix it with Bad to the Bronze. Fades faster than Inked in Pink and Cool Crush.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Products with Terrible Names

When I put up the facial mist post called,  "The Squirts" awhile ago I was getting together a few products with terrible names and hoping to stumble across more. So far, here's what I've come across.

NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Cottage Cheese: Nothing is quite as beautiful as curdled milk. For the record, the matte white Jumbo Eye Shadow in the same line is called “Milk”. Initially, I was going to include a few NARS blushers but I can appreciate the fact that their blusher’s names can, in fact, make you blush.

NYX Powder Blush in Bourgeois Pig: I can kind of imagine people over at NYX laughing about the number of people who bought a blush that’s name translates to “Middle-class pig”. And should I be concerned that I love this blush?

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Orange-Gina: The perv in me reads this as orange-jyna and it certainly doesn’t help that it’s predominately red in color once applied. 

Do you know of any other products with terrible names?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Beauty Subscription SmackDown: April 2013

(One Coat of Sation)
(Two Coats of Sation)
(Three Coats of Sation)

(Left: Sweet Cheeks, Right 2: Heartache Duo Eyeshadow)
LaFace Laboratories BEAUX YEUX Beautiful Eyes Concentrate Intensive ($160 for 1 oz.): This was a good sized sample, especially for something that's so pricey. It has a typical eye cream texture and contains hyaluronic acid, peptides, and apple stem cells. It's supposed to work on dark circles, hydration, and fine lines. I thought it was good, definitely, but I doubt I would purchase the full size.
Caudalie Divine Oil ($49 for 100 ml.): This dry oil truly smells divine and absorbs quickly. I didn't find it to be very moisturizing though but I might consider buying the full size to spritz on my décolletage and arms. 
Supergoop!® Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream ($32 for 1.6 oz.): I'm addicted to trying new CC creams so I'm really happy this was in my box. I still prefer the Smashbox BB Cream to this though. 
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle ($21.95 for 8 oz.): Really nice, but again, I prefer It's a 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner to this. It's supposed to be a heat protectant, detangler, and hydrator. 
Hail Merry Macaroons ($5 for a pack of 2): These are vegan, gluten-free, and are low-temperature dehydrated (which protects the nutrients). I actually gave these to my mom, who loved them. They're a good, hearty, desert that taste strongly of chocolate and coconut. They also have them in Strawberry.
Be a Bombshell Sweet Cheeks blush ($16): This is definitely a deluxe-sized sample and really pigmented. It's similar in texture to Lorac blushes. This particular shade is a highly shimmered pink and I actually think I'll get a lot of use from it. This is definitely my favorite thing in this month's bag.
Two Cosmetics Heartache Duo Eyeshadow ($5.75): I don't see myself wearing this as eyeshadow-- and from what I read on makeuptalk this formula may not be approved for eyes. Either way, I only see myself using this as blush.
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment ($21.95): This contains Moroccan Argan Oil that claims to make your hair shiny and help treat moisture, frizz, smoothness, elasticity. I really liked this, and definitely preferred it to the Beauty Protector that came in this month's Birchbox. Still, nothing beats It's a Ten Miracle Leave In Conditioner
Sation Nail Lacquer Of Corset I'll Call You ($5): It's a decent polish and came in the full size. In the pictures above you can see how it applies after each coat without a base or top coat. Overall, if you like the color you would probably like the formula of the polish.

Overall, they were good boxes. I think that this month Birchbox offered better products but smaller sample sizes than Ipsy. I'm definitely not canceling either subscription any time soon! What do you think about this month's boxes?

Give Me Lip: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in 29 (Opera Rose)

(An hour after application)

My relationship with this lipstick has pretty much been an emotional roller-coaster (dramatic, I know). At first I hated it, mostly because initially it smelled like a mix of pickles and perfume-- a scent that doesn't really do it for me. However, after a few uses, the "pickle" scent went away and I was left with that faint fruity/tropical scent that YSL uses with their lip products. 

The color was a little more orange than the pictures Sephora had posted of it which was disappointing at first but I'm actually really attached to it now. It feels so silky and light on your lips-- a trait that is really hard to find in a pigmented lipstick. When compared to the Rouge Volupté Shine (RVS) collection, these are silkier but do not smell quite as nice. I think they're both equally comfortable to wear but I think I prefer RVS, only because it doesn't settle into creases at all. 

If you're looking for a luxurious product, I highly recommend these. Lastly, the packaging is to die for! Even applying it at work makes me feel a little glamorous... and that feeling is exactly why I love makeup so much. 

Overhyped and Underwhelmed: Disappointing Makeup Products

If I could say anything about myself and makeup it would be that I love it too much. It's rare that I dislike a product but here is the first of a few...

Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream: All I can say is, the smell is horrendous. I found out after cracking open the package that it comes in an unscented version, but the original smell was so off-putting I've got no desire to try any others. I'd rather have chapped lips for life... fortunately though, there's Nuxe Reve de Miel.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sleek Guipure vs. NARS Orgasm

Nars Orgasm
Sleek Guipure
Left: Guipure, Right: Orgasm
Left: Guipure, Right: Orgasm
Sleek Makeup Blush by 3 Palette in Lace: The middle shade in this palette is called Guipure and is striking similar to NARS Orgasm. Unfortunately, the set in "Lace" available in the States doesn't include the same color combination ($12.49 from Sleek online)

NARS Blush in Orgasm: A cult classic, described as a peachy pink with shimmer. It's fairly sheer, very finely milled, gives a natural looking flush, and feels so soft on the skin. ($29 at Sephora)

Final Thoughts: Once on the face, I doubt most people would be able to tell them apart-- especially if Guipure was applied with a light hand. The Sleek palette is a great value for a good product... but ultimately you get what you pay for in the formula. Orgasm is a little easier to apply because of it's sheerness and appears less gold than Guipure. I feel like getting NARS Orgasm is somewhat of a rite of passage in the makeup world, but that may not justify the cost. Either way, I'm personally glad I own them both.  

The Squirts

In honor of my upcoming blog post on terribly named beauty products, I decided to do a post with an atrocious title. 
Caudalie Beauty Elixir: Reviews on this are a dime a dozen—and for good reason. I love it but because of the smell I keep trying others. The minty scent is definitely refreshing, however, the rest of the mix kind of smells like urine to me. That said, it does a great job of hydrating your skin better than other facial mists I've tried. It has a really fine mist that doesn't require any blotting afterwards and it doesn't leave your face feeling tight like Evian other brands. The 1 oz. size is perfect for carrying around in your purse but with daily use each bottle only lasts 2-3 months at best. I use it sometimes to set powder makeup and while it doesn't really help the makeup last, it does keep it from looking powdery. I'll frequently use it as a toner after washing my face and follow with a moisturizer. I'm on my second bottle and will likely continue to repurchase. ($18 for 1 oz. at Sephora)

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater: This is by far the best value at $7 for 4 oz. and a close second favorite to Beauty Elixir. I love the distinct rose smell, but it lacks the oils that are in the Beauty Elixir and isn’t as hydrating—still a little more than Fix+. Again, this is good for spraying as a toner or after applying powder but it doesn’t really make your makeup last longer.  

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Face Mist: Claims to be an energizing, clarifying anti-oxidant tonic, hydrating, pore minimizing, and anti-aging. It definitely has a pomegranate/tea scent and in that sense, it’s refreshing but I don’t feel that it’s done much for my skin. This one leaves your skin feeling slightly sticky. I’ll use this up, but it’s not exactly a joy to do so. ($28 for 4 oz. at Sephora)

Mac Fix+: Another facial mist that gets quite a bit of attention. I love how versatile it is and I think it does a good job of setting and extending makeup. I’ll occasionally apply this to apply makeup “wet”.  The light scent is really pleasant and I’d imagine most people would enjoy it. ($21 for 3.4 oz at Mac)

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist: This smells terrible. I blame the Ylang Ylang but it’s so much worse than that.  It’s also the stickiest of the lot. I guess if you wanted to turn your face into flypaper—it might be just the thing for you. ($22 for 6.75 oz. from Juice Beauty online)

 What are your favorite beauty mists?