Thursday, March 31, 2011

28-Pan Blush Palette... A Lifetime Supply of Blush? Review and Swatches

I'm sooo sleepy today.  I just got back yesterday from visiting my parents for a few days (they live 5 hours away) and I'm always exhausted when I get home.  It's a combination of not sleeping in my own bed, trying to cram as much stuff to do in a limited amount of time, and chasing 5 dogs around the house.  I have 3 and my parents have 2, so it gets a bit crazy.  Plus, I'm always a bit melancholy when I get home because I am very close with my family and I don't get to see them often enough.  I feel like I'm wasting a good part of our lives together living so far away, but it's either here with the boy(friend) or there with them... and I guess I have made my decision to be here.

Boo, sorry for being such a downer!  I do have some swatches for ya! 

I used to be one of those people who thought I could live the rest of my life with one blush.  As I said in my post about Revlon's cream blushes... When I first started getting more into makeup I never thought about blush.  I went to Sephora, bought one neutral pinky rose powder blush and thought I was set for life.  I would often tell my boyfriend with an air of superiority, "How can anyone need more than one blush?"  Oh, how wrong I was.  Oh so wrong.

So when I started obsessing over blushes my next idea was that I just needed a whole bunch of colors to choose from and THEN I would be satisfied the rest of my life.  So I bought a 28-pan blush palette off eBay and thought I would be happy.  Of course I was wrong again, but that is a different story.  Let's talk about this palette.

28-pan blush palette from eBay

I bought this from eBay several months ago for $10.84 including shipping.  Like most palettes like this, it shipped from Hong Kong so it took a few weeks to get.  These same palettes are sold by resellers from anywhere from 2 to 5 times as much.  All they do is stamp their name on the front and charge a buttload more (yes, a buttload is a precise measurement).  There is also a 10 pan blush palette but it costs exactly the same as the 28 pan so I went with that one.

For example, compare this 10-pan blush palette from Coastal Scents that costs $15.95 plus shipping, to these 10-pan blush palettes on eBay that start for under $8.  Exactly the same right!?  You're welcome, I just saved you some money!

There is a big variety in the texture, pigmentation, and finish of the blushes.  Some are pigmented and apply well and some are sheer and patchy.  The finishes vary from mattes, to shimmers (some frosty) to ones containing micro glitter. 

All of these are swatched on bare, dry skin with my fingers.

1st Row
This row contains cooler-toned pinks.  This row also contains the sheerest colors, but the pigmentation still varies (you can barely see the swatch on the far left but the one of the far right is very pigmented).

2nd Row
This row is a mix of cool and warm-toned pinks with a coral or two.  I really like the blush on the far left as a highlighter on my super pale skin.

3rd Row
These are mostly orange blushes with two nudes in the middle.  You can barely see them, especially the first one, because they are almost the same color as my skin.  I'm not sure what I would use them for.

4th Row
This row has coral blushes.  These are the most pigmented of the whole palette.  Seriously, it is worth buying this palette for this row alone.

  • Really cheap.  It comes out to about $0.28 per blush!
  • Some really pretty and pigmented shades
  • A good way to experiment and see how certain colors look on you before buying more expensive brands.  For example, I've always wondered how I look in orange blush, but never dared to buy any!
  • Shipping takes awhile as it does come from Hong Kong
  • Some of the shades are sheer and patchy
  • The packaging is cheap black plastic and smells a bit funny
  • On eBay for around $10.  I've bought several things from this seller and have never had a problem, but other sellers have it for a few dollars cheaper.

Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Few Must Own LA Splash Nail Polishes with Swatches

The first time I saw LA Splash nail polish in Golden Seahorse on someone's blog I was in love.  It was one of the most beautiful polishes I had ever seen.  When I finally dragged myself over to Ulta to buy it, it was even more gorgeous in person.  I still have not tried any of LA Splash's other cosmetics just because I enjoy their nail polish so much.  It really is an underrated brand with great products and should get more recognition.  And at $3.99 a bottle with frequent sales at Ulta, the price is right.

LA Splash does some really unique and beautiful glitters.  While some of them are better off as layering polishes if you hate having your nail show through, I almost don't mind the sheerness.  My favorite, Golden Seahorse is far from sheer though.  It really is a must own polish for any fanatic.

The colors I own are:
  • Ocean Sprinkles- a sheer sky blue opalescent shimmer base with orangey-gold glitter
  • Pretty Jellyfish- a sheer purple shimmer base with silver a purple glitter
  • Golden Seahorse- a seafoam green shimmer with gold glitter
  • Tidal Wave- a rich burgundy plum shimmer with green shimmer that is only really visible in the bottle
All of these are swatches, with no base or top coats.

Ocean Sprinkles in full sun
This is 5 coats of of Ocean Sprinkles on my index finger and 1 coat over one coat of Orly Snowcone on the others.  I should have put two coats of Ocean Sprinkles over Snowcone instead of one.

Pretty Jellyfish in full sun
This is 4 coats of Pretty Jellyfish on my index finger and 1 coat over 2 coats of China Glaze Grape Pop on the others.

Golden Seahorse in full sun
This is 3 coats of Golden Seahorse.

Golden Seahorse in the shade
Tidal Wave in full sun
This is 3 coats of Tidal Wave.

Tidal Wave in the shade
Under a light bulb
Here is a bottle picture of Tidal Wave attempting to show the green shimmer.


Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Like It Cheap and Easy- My Makeup Storage Solution

Liking it cheap and easy is not always best, but when it comes to storage, it's what works best for me.  I don't want something complicated that takes 10 years to assemble or requires a complex system of levers and pulleys screwed with special screws to the ceiling or something.  I also don't want it to cost much, because I would rather be spending it on other things (ahem, makeup and nail polish).

I spent all my money on "other things" for so long that the makeup just piled up on a shelf in my linen closet.  I also kept stuffing more and more into my makeup bag until it couldn't close anymore.  I was so frustrated with the disorganization I resorted to only using the top few items in my makeup bag and neglecting the rest.

I finally (!) decided I needed some organization.  So I headed down to Walmart, bought a Sterilite 5 drawer storage tower, and some organizer baskets.  I have a bit of OCD so organizing is fun for me; but I'm also lazy so I rarely do it.  I guess the laziness usually wins.

The  storage tower was $17.97 and the 3 3-packs and 1 2-pack of organizers were $1.17 each.  So for under $25 with tax I'm set!

Oh, and I have something else for my nail polish collection.  Unfortunately it would not all fit in one of these on its own, much less sharing it with makeup.

Empty and ready to be filled!

The storage trays

As you can see the inserts fit perfectly, almost as if they were made to fit in the drawers (they weren't though, I just got lucky).

1st drawer
The top left basket has single pressed eyeshadows.
The top right has cream shadows, gel and cream eyeliners, and eyeshadow pencils.
The middle has my makeup brushes and a tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurance that snuck in there.
The bottom drawer has pen and pencil eyeliners.

2nd drawer
The top basket has pressed eyeshadow palettes with 2 to 6 shadows and some random mascaras.
The bottom left has foundations and concealers.
The bottom right has face powders and primers.

3rd drawer
The top basket has loose eyeshadows.  Mostly Fyrinnae samples on the left and L'Oreal HIP pigments on the right.
The bottom left has eyeshadow palettes.
The bottom right has blushes.

4th drawer

In the back are a few of those huge multi-pan palettes from eBay.
The middle is a random bronzer I never wear and Maybelline Dream Mousse shadows I got from Dollar Tree.
The front basket has a few lip products that aren't currently in my purse (I have about 10 times as many in my purse).

5th drawer
This just has a few empty makeup bags.  Yay!  Room for expansion!

I purchased the Sterilite 5 drawer tower at Walmart, but I don't see in their website or even the Sterilite website.  Maybe it was discontinued and what I bought was just old stock.  It is similar to to this one, but it has 7 drawers instead.

Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

Monday, March 28, 2011

China Glaze DV8

This post is going to be short but sweet.  That's okay... most people just look at the pictures anyway!

DV8 is part of China Glaze's limited edition OMG! collection.  You used to be able to find these still at online retailers but I haven't seen any for sale in months.  Your best bet is to swap for it or pay the ridiculous eBay prices.  I only have this one and L8R G8R  I just wish I had bought the whole collection when I had the chance!

You know some nail polish you wear just because how easy it is to apply?  Well, this definitely isn’t one of those.  Quite the opposite really. Terrible cuticle drag and bald spots and shows imperfections on nail and from application easily.  The good news is that it dries pretty quickly, but you need to let it dry pretty well between coats so you don’t get bald spots.  This won’t stop me from using the polish because it’s so damn pretty, but it is a hassle that I’ll save for when I feel like messing with it.  Polish was pretty thick, and I had to use lots of thinner to get it to a workable consistency. It felt like I put half the bottle before it made any difference!

This is 2 coats (maybe could have used 3).

DV8 is a medium teal-ish blue holographic.

DV8 in full sun

  • Probably just eBay these days.

Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wet n Wild Color Icon Single Eyeshadow Swatches and Review

I'm supposed to be fasting right now because I have to go get blood work done in the morning.  I'm not even allowed to have a sip of water.  Right now EVERYTHING is reminding me of something I could eat or drink and it's driving me crazy.  It's not so much that I'm hungry, it's the fact that I can't eat that is making me want to eat.  Ahh, stupid brain!

So I decided to go swatch some eye shadows to take my mind off of fasting but my brain is one-track and can't be derailed.  I was busily swatching away at my little desk and I heard one of my dogs drinking water from his water bowl.  I got jealous... of my dog... drinking water from a dog bowl.  I need help.  So I cheated and had a sip of water.  Not from the dog bowl of course!

Anyway... on topic.  Everyone always talks about the Wet n Wild Color Icon palettes that the single shadows are often overlooked.  The colors are nothing wild, they are more staple colors, but at $1.99 they are worth picking up.  Make sure to be on the look out for sales.  I bought all my single eyeshadows at Walgreens when they had a 50% off Wet n Wild sale.

I have all but 2 of the colors- Sugar, a shimmery white and Brulee, a matte light nude.

I have:
  • 252B Nutty- a taupey light brown shimmer
  • 245B Lagoon- a slighty sheer medium blue shimmer
  • 255B Penny- a coppery coral with gold shimmer
  • 256B Envy- a forest green shimmer
  • 257A Kitten- a sheer lavender purple shimmer

All of these are swatched dry on bare skin.  No primer.

Picture taken in full sun
I put the two sheer colors, Lagoon and Kitten, over primer at the end to show they they have buildable pigmentation.

Picture is blurred to show shimmer.
  • Most have great pigmentation
  • Inexpensive
  • Soft texture
  • Small, portable packaging
  • As good quality as some higher end brands at a much lower price
  • Some colors are more sheer
  • A relatively small range of colors and finishes

  • $1.99 at all drugstores and grocery stores that carry Wet n Wild products
  • Walgreens website

Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nicole by OPI Yellow Its Me

What I am doing currently: writing a post about nail polish; editing picture of nail polish; and applying nail polish.  3 nail polish-related task at once.  That has to be a record for me.  In case you haven't figured it out yet, THIS is the nail polish post. YAY nail polish!

One of my favorite drug store nail polish brands is Nicole by OPI.  Yes, they are pretty expensive for drugstore at (runs to Google to check because I forgot) $7 a bottle.  That's almost $2 more than you can buy regular OPIs for from online retailers.  Although, technically I don't think they are supposed to be selling them.  Also, the polishes tend to be pretty sheer.  You either have to layer them or use tons of coats.  But for some reason the polish must work really well with my body chemistry because they dry quickly, last forever and apply like buttah.

Yellow It's Me is one of my favorite Nicole polishes despite it's lack of opacity.  It layers really well over any old yellow creme.  It has a lemon yellow jelly-ish base with absolutely stunning reddish orange glass fleck shimmer/glitter that of course I wasn't able to capture accurately enough on camera despite two attempts.

Full sun
This is 5 coats of Yellow It's Me on my index finder and 1 coat over 2 coats of China Glaze Happy Go Lucky on my other fingers.  I'm disappointed that the red-orange shimmer didn't show up as visible as it is in real life.

Partial shade
Here you can see the shimmer a lot better.

The following picture was my first attempt to photograph Yellow It's Me several months ago.  This is  2 coats of Yellow It's Me over Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure Yellow Kitty (why do these names have to be so dang long?!).  The bright shimmer is washed out by the flash in this picture, but I think Yellow It's Me looks better over a more pastel yellow cream than a brighter, more intense one.

Taken with flash

Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tarte 8th World Wonder Set swatches and review

I have always thought of QVC as something old ladies watch and get suckered into buying things they don't need.  Well, maybe I'm partially right... but it's so much more than that!  I didn't realize they sold some of my favorite makeup brands like Tarte and Smashbox.  And you can often get better deals from QVC than you can from say, Sephora. Also QVC often has exclusives that aren't available at other retailers.  For example, QVC often offers sets of items for a low price that would retail for over 3 times as much.  And that is exactly what this post is about.

I had been craving the Tarte 8th World Wonder collection for weeks and I finally caved in and bought it.  I'm so glad it did!  The kit has 7 items and I bought mine for a little over $48 (with tax and shipping it was almost $58, but still totally worth it).

This kit includes:

  • 1.7 fl oz Amazonian clay balancing foundation SPF 15 with brush in choice of Fair, Light, Medium, Tan or Deep
  • 0.008 oz. Amazonian clay automatic waterproof eyeliner in Golden Plum
  • 0.14 fl oz Pure Optic moisturizing lip gloss in Golden Pink
  • 0.24 fl oz Lights, Camera, Lashes! volumizing mascara in Black
  • 0.20 oz Amazonian clay 12-hour wear powder blush in Glisten
  • Amazonian clay long-wear eyeshadow palette with four 0.06 oz shades: Dark Brown; Shimmering Bronze; light Sand; and Shimmering Plum
  • Deluxe Airbrush Finish Foundation Brush
  • Purple Braided Makeup Bag 
I see that the kit is still available on QVC but the only foundation option is in Deep.  In my opinion it would still be worth it to buy the kit even in the foundation shade is completely worng for you.  The other items in the kit are way worth the price.  The foundation brush itself could probably sell for $48.

Now on the pictures and swatches!

Everything came packed in this bag.  The bad is lined and feels nicely made and not cheap at all.  I hate how in some sets the bag always feels like a cheap afterthought, but this one is really nice.

All the items in their plastic packaging.  The set also came with a sample of Tarte's new Maracuja Oil.

Airbrush Finish Foundation Brush

The brush is really big, soft, and fluffy, but dense enough to buff on foundation.  I have large hands and it still looks big.  It IS big.  The brush is vegan and has a recycled bamboo handle.  The brush really did make my foundation look soft-focused and air brushed.

Pure Optic lipgloss in Golden Pink

It looks just like a Stila Lip Glaze doesn't it?

I am so bad with these pen lip glosses.  I always make too much come out.

Picture taken with flash
This washes the color out a little bit, but is pretty color accurate.

Picture taken under a light bulb
This makes the pink look warmer toned than it really is, but accurately shows the thick texture, incredible shine, and all the gold glitter.

The gloss doesn't impart much color on my lips, but the gold shimmer/glitter is really pretty.  There is a lot of the glitter, but it still manages to be delicate looking.  The gloss is mint scented and flavored.  It is very thick, but not as sticky as MAC's Lipglasses.
Amazonian Clay blush in Glisten
The flash washed the color out a bit.  It is darker and pinker.

Swatched heavily on the left. Blended out on the right.
The color is a pinky coral with gold shimmer.

Amazonian clay automatic waterproof eyeliner in Golden Plum

This is a plum brown shimmer.  It really is long lasting too; I couldn't remove it rubbing with a dry finger.  However it came off really easily with makeup remover.

Amazonian clay long-wear eyeshadow palette
The recycled bamboo case is really beautiful and it feels heavy and substantial in your hand.  The magnet holds the lid closed securely but it is not hard to open.

The colors are from left: Dark Brown, Light Sand, Shimmering Bronze, and Shimmering Plum.  The shadows are pigmented and soft and don't kick up a lot of dust when picked up with a brush.  The plum is more of a matte with shimmer pieces and doesn't swatch as pigmented as the other 3 colors.  It works better applied on the eye over primer rather than swatched on the arm.  Which is a good thing because most people wear eyeshadow on their eyes... not their arms!

Here is a look I did with the eyeshadow palette and the eyeliner.  You can tell they aren't patchy at all and blend together beautifully.

Amazonian clay balancing foundation SPF 15 in Fair
I blended the foundation out to the right of the swatch and it looks a little bit too yellow for my skintone.  However on my face it is a pretty good match.  I have a hard time finding foundations light enough and this one is.  The texture is almost mousse-like.  It is soft and creamy and dries down well.  It is more coverage than I'm used to but I was able to buff it down using the foundation brush.

The ingredient list.

Overall, my favorite items are the blush, eyeshadows, and foundation brush, but they are all awesome and I don't find a dud in the entire set.

Here is a quick rundown of the products:
  • Brush- big and soft, not at all scratchy.  Is dense enough to buff, but not too dense.
  • Lipgloss- thick and glossy with a mint flavor.  Sheer with lots of gold shimmer.
  • Blush- incredibly pigmented and soft.  Not too powdery. Very shimmery.
  • Eyeliner- Pigmented and doesn't tug on your lids. Long lasting but removes easily with makeup remover.
  • Eyeshadow- Soft, pigmented and not patchy. Blend well and don't fade.
  • Foundation- Only available in a few shades which may not match everyone. Soft, mousse-like texture.  Better applied with a foundation brush and buffed in.


Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    NARS Purple Rain (and something fun)

    NARS Purple Rain was my first high end nail polish.  I kept seeing pictures of it over and over on blogs loved it, but there was NO WAY I was going to pay $16 for one nail polish (Hm, it looks like they raised the price to $17 recently).  But maybe you can guess by the fact that this post is called Purple Rain that I caved.  I still don't own that many high end nail polishes; I don't really see the need to when there are so many cheaper brands that are just as good, if not better like China Glaze and Orly.  But still, Purple Rain is one of the prettiest polishes I own.

    Stick around to the end and I'll show you something THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!  Well, maybe not, but it is pretty.

    Purple Rain is a blackened  red-toned purple with pink and purple shimmer.  This was 2 coats and no top coat.

    Purple Rain in full sun


    1 coat of Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure over NARS Purple Rain!

    Full sun

    Outside in the shade
    See? Aren't you glad you stuck around?  I told you it was pretty.  I wish Hidden Treasure was still available and east to find.  Oh well, at least I have a back up!


    Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!
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