Saturday, April 30, 2011

MAC's Fashion Flower Collection- Alpha Girl Beauty Powder

To be honest, I never really got the appeal of MAC's Beauty Powders.  As I snottily said on Temptalia's website, "So beauty powders are just under-pigmented blushes? I feel like I can get the same result using a cheapy blush, or you know, just using less of my regular blush."  Haha, I sound so sure of myself. I ALWAYS do this... look haughtily down my nose at products but end up buying them anyway and loving them.

I am currently in the midst of a full-blown blush obsession.  To be honest, I hope it's over soon because I only have two cheeks (well, two that wear blush :-P) and can't see myself using any of them up any time soon.  An obsession first starts with me noticing a gap in my collection.  "Hm, I don't have any blushes in these colors or those finishes."  So I go and buy one.  "Good, now I'm set, I have this color now."  But then I notice more gaps between colors until it comes down to, "Well, I have a peachy-pink shimmer and a peachy-orange shimmer, but I don't have a peachy-coral shimmer."  Yeah, it's a sickness.  You guys know you do it too.

But I really didn't have anything like this warm, muted pink that has more of a sheen than a shimmer.  I'm so glad I got it.  And I can honestly say I don't have anything like it.  Yet.  This and Ever Hip lipstick managed to sneak in right before I started my low-buy.  I really should have returned them, but I knew they were going to be my last big purchases for awhile and I just couldn't. :(

Isn't the embossing pretty?  It makes me sad that it will eventually disappear!

This is swatched heavily on the left and blended out on the right.  This isn't a heavily pigmented powder at all.  I know some people complained that it looked powdery, but I didn't find that to be the case.

The Beauty Powder gives just a hint of color to my cheeks and a slight sheen.  I think this blush would be really nice to wear with a dramatic eye or lip or just of you want a natural look.  The only problem is that this probably isn't usable as a blush for you gals with darker skin tones but it may work well as a subtle highlighter.

  • Hurry!  This is a limited edition item.  This Beauty Powder retails for $25 for .35 oz of product (And that is a LOT of powder.  For example, NARS blushes only have about .16 oz).  As of right now this is still available on MAC's website, but who knows for how long!

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

Friday, April 29, 2011

MAC's Fashion Flower Collection- Ever Hip lipstick

I bought this lipstick and another item from the Fashion Flower collection (I'll show you tomorrow!) before my self-imposed shopping ban (well, semi-ban).  I'm so glad this was able to sneak in at the last moment because I LOVE this lipstick.  It sold out nearly instantly on MAC's website too.  I had to call my local MAC counter and reserve it and the other thing I wanted.

My go to place for swatches and reviews is Temptalia's blog, but because she is darker toned than me it is sometime hard to guess how things will look on me skin tone.  I'm learning to guess what thing will look like on me based on her swatches.  For example I knew that this lipstick would be a lot darker on me and pull more orange, which is exactly what I wanted.  I only had one MAC lipstick before I bought this one, Viva Glam Cyndi, but I think I'm hooked now.  No matter how many times I swatch them, MAC's eyeshadows just don't do it for me, but I'm obsessed with their lip products.

If you can still find Ever Hip I suggest you snatch it up, cuz this is one purty color.

I love the look of an unused lipstick.  I always get a little sad using them for the first time, haha.

Here are my bare lips just for reference.

Ahhh!  I love it!  I've been obsessed with peaches and corals lately.

  • Retails for $14.50 but is sold out most places online.  I would call around to MAC stores and counters to see if they still have any.

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mail Call! From Across the Pond!

Woohoo!  Look what came in the mail yesterday!  My order of the Avoir La Peche collection from Sleek Makeup (a UK drugstore makeup brand).  International shipping is a bit high, $13.50, so I'll have to try everything and let you know if it's worth it.

Isn't the packaging gorgeous?  And I'm not even packaging crazy!  The collection includes a 12 pan eye shadow palette, a matte orangey- peach blush, and an orangey-peach lip conditioner.  I should have swatches and a review of everything up in a few days.  So excited!

My Most Expensive Blush Purchase Ever- Estee Lauder's Radiant Peach

So not only is this my most expensive blush purchase ever, it is also my most expensive single item (as in, not a set including multiple things) makeup purchase that wasn't a palette.  And do I regret it?  Hells no!

I've been on a blush buying frenzy lately and only in the past few months have stepped outside of my normal matte powder blush comfort zone.  I had previously shied away from anything non-matte because one of my first makeup purchases as a young girl discovering makeup was a cheapy hot pink blush with craft sized glitter.  Like many girls my age I put my on my makeup on the bus on the way to school.  Unfortunately I completely over-applied the blush and had somehow managed to get glitter over my entire body.  One boy told me a looked like an um, lady of the night, and it was enough to turn me off ANY blushes for years.

But my self imposed ban on things sparkly has thankfully come to an end.  And Estee Lauder's Radiant Peach is a far cry from the hot pink glitterbomb of my early teens.

Radiant Peach is an orangey, peachy coral with a gorgeous gold sheen that gives a beautiful glow and doesn't make my pores look like moon craters.  I have a confession to make.  I didn't like NARS Orgasm.  I bought and returned it the next day because it was just "meh" to me.  Radiant Peach is exactly what I wished Orgasm had been.

Taken inside with flash
Taken outside in the sun
On the left the blush is swatched heavily and is blended out on the right

 This was taken with flash and you can't really see the lovely golden sheen, but it's there!  This is the eye look from this post.

  • Smooth, creamy, finely milled texture
  • Buildable pigmentation
  • Doesn't make my pores appear gigantic
  • $26.00 price tag is a bit high


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

EOTD: Pink Champagne and I Jump On The Low-Buy Bandwagon

 First, for those who just like the pictures, here is an EOTD I did using Sally Girl eye shadows that I swatched in this post.  I'm not sure why I decided to call it Pink Champagne.  I don't think I've ever drank champagne, much less pink champagne.  I'm not in a creative mood right now so this is what it's going to be called.  So there!

All eye shadows used are Sally Girl.  On the inner two-thirds of my eyelid I used Soft Pink and on the outer third I used Rose.  Above that I used Cinnamon widely in the crease with a small amount of Espresso in the crease to darken it a bit.  I used Gun Metal to highlight the inner corner and my brow bone.  For the upper liner I used Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Hazel eyes pencil in the pink color over black liner. Below my lower lashes I used Physician's Formula Glam Eyes gel liner from the green eyes trio in a silvery color.

And here is the ranty bit.  I have a few purchases I've already paid for coming in the mail and quite a bit more that I've bought previously still waiting to be posted about, but after those I'm putting myself on an extremely low-buy.  I'm saying low-buy instead of no-buy because I don't want to hate myself if I fail (and I probably will.  Just being realistic.).  The whole reason I started this blog after wanting to for about 2 years is because I recently acquired tons of free time.  While free time is always nice, I would rather be back at school, which is what I was doing before I had to drop my classes this semester.

About two and a half months ago I had to have emergency surgery that I am still currently recovering from.  Because of it I'm unable to either work or go to school.  I'm so lucky that I have insurance that was able to pay for the majority of my hospital bills. (And really, it is a bit of a miracle that I have insurance.  After not having it for over 6 years I finally got on it 2 months before my emergency.  If I hadn't have had insurance I would tried to tough it out through the pain, which would have killed me. Literally. So talk about good timing.)  But still, I owe the hospital over $1700. (And that's just from the hospital.  I still have to pay my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and the lab for my lab work.)  They told me my only options were to pay the balance in full and get a 20% discount or make payments over 2 years which would be $70 a month or so.  Yeah, I can't do either of those things.  So my bill will go to collections and eventually my credit will be ruined.

I live with my (fantabulastic) boyfriend and he has been supporting me while I go to school.  But he can't afford to pay for my millions of bills despite having a great job because he has his own hospital bills to pay for.  We're only 24 but both have had major surgeries in the past year.  We're so lucky, haha.

So yeah, I don't know what I'm going to do.  So needless to say, not very many makeup purchases on my horizon.  Whew, that was long!  Thanks to all of ya'll that made it to the end.

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Give In To Peer Pressure and Get Naked! Urban Decay Naked Palette Swatches, Review, and EOTD

When Urban Decay's Naked palette was released I smugly would declare to friends obsessing over it, "Hmm, it doesn't look THAT special to me."  And I managed to maintain that stance for months- through the sold-out status and subsequent high eBay marks-up and through several re-releases fraught with drama (fingerprints in shadows, etc.).  I was so proud of myself for not giving in to the hype and being strong.  "Why do I need neutrals? They all look the same, and I have plenty already," I would tell myself.  I now know this was a lie.

So I walked into my local Sephora a week ago or so, not knowing my life would be forever changed. Okay, maybe that is a little over-dramatic.  Just a little, though.  I was actually looking for the Rollergirl palette (which is STILL not in my local stores, ugh).  I asked the sales lady and of course she had no idea what I was talking about.  Pet Peeve- Why am I always more knowledgeable about products and upcoming releases than Sephora employees?!  Anyway, she said, "Do you mean the Naked palette?"  She pointed over to the Urban Decay section and there was a huge stack of brown and gold velvety goodness.  For the first time I felt the palette calling my name.  I don't think I even responded to the girl, I just walked over to the shelf in a trance.  By the time I had swatched the first 4 shadows I knew it had to be mine.

Luckily this just so happened to be when Sephora was having their 15% off sale and I had the coupon with me.  On the way to the register I saw the much coveted LE Stila Make Me Blush heart embossed blush thingy (review here).  I pried my grubby hand off my Naked palette just long enough to grab the blush and hurried to the register as if I thought someone was going to take my pretties from me.  So yeah, that was a good day.  I bought two really hyped items and they both majorly EXCEEDED my expectations. Woohoo!

Now I know everyone and their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, second-cousins, and best friend's sister-in-laws own this palette and have seen the swatches, but I'll show you again.  I have an EOTD at the end for ya too.

These are swatched dry on bare skin.

The included brush.
I would actually rathr have this brush than the eyeliner the palette originally came with because I have so many of Urban Decay's eyeliners.  This brush is really nice.  It feels solid and well made.

From left: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal
Naked and Buck are mattes with no glitter and are smooth with great pigmentation.  Creep is matte with silver glitter and is rather patchy and not very pigmented.  This is the worst shadow in the palette to me.

The first 6 shadows- Virgin, Sin, Naked,Sidecar, Buck, and Half Baked
The last 6 shadows- Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, and Gunmetal
I love the pigmentation of Urban Decay's shadows but hate how so many of them have large pieves of glitter that cause major fallout.  However, only one shade in this palette has the glitter and it is a color I probably wouldn't use that much anyway- Creep.

This is Virgin in the inner corner and to highlight the brow bone.  I used Sin on the inner half of the lid and Toasted on the outer half with a tiny bit of Half Baked in the outer corner. Hustle was used in the crease.  I lined my upper lashes with Darkhorse applied wet and below the bottom lashes with Smog applied wet.  For my water line I used Urban Decay's 24/7 Eye Pencil in Stray Dog.  I also used Naked to fill my eyebrows.

  • Great value for 12 high quality eyeshadows
  • Great pigmentation on 11 of the 12 (Creep is a bit patchy)
  • Easy to blend
  • Versatile color will work on any skin tone
  • The brush is great
  • Plenty of colors unique to this palette
  • If you are an avid Urban Decay palette collector you probably own some of these shades
  • The matte black (creep) was patchy and prone to glitter fall out
  • Thous a great value, $48 may be a bit too steep for some
  • Constantly seems to be going out of stock


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

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Few More Zoya Nail Polish Swatches

Still haven't picked out your Zoya polishes yet that you're getting in the exchange?  You only have a few more days so you better get on it!  I swatched four more polishes to help make your selection easier (or harder, depending on how many you want!).  Here is a link to some of my other Zoya swatches.

If you haven't tried Zoya polishes before, the formula is rather thin and make a take a bit getting used to not flooding your cuticles with polish.  However, Zoyas apply smoothly, evenly, and don't build up too thickly.  Therefore they dry pretty quickly.  Zoya has a HUGE range of colors so I  highly recommend you check them out.  You might just find one or two with your name on it (get it?! heh.)!

All are swatched with no base or top coats.

Zoya Shawn in the sun
This was 3 coats.

Zoya Shawn in the shade
Zoya Tiffany in the sun
This was 4 coats.  While that is a lot of coats, the polish dries quickly in between and doesn't get too thick.

Zoya Tiffany in the shade
Zoya Casey in the sun
This was 3 coats.  I'm not sure why I bought this one.  It looks black in most lighting and I really don't like polishes like that.  The only way you can tell it's purple is by my cuticles and the bald spot of one of my nails.

Zoya Casey in shade
Zoya Edyta in the shade
This was 2 coats.  This is probably the best pigmented Zoya polish I have.

Zoya Edyta in the shade


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

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 3: Shopping my Stash for Untried Polish- Color Club Fashion Addict

So here I am on Week 3 to wear all of my untried polishes.  Considering that about a fourth of my over 400 polish collection is untried, this is going to while.  And this week's is my favorite so far (in case you missed them, here is week 1 and here is week 2)! 

I can't believe that I hadn't worn this polish yet- it's a holo!  Like most of my untrieds i have had it over a year and it has been sitting in my Helmer neglected.  When I'm feeling like wearing a purple holo, I go straight to this one's darker cousin, Wild At Heart.  Like most holo polishes, Fashion Addict looks a bit dull in the shade but bring in the light and the holo really pops.  One this I really like about this one is the formula.  Usually holos are thick, goopy, don't level out on the nail, and are prone to bald spots.  I didn't have any of those problems with this one

Fashion Addict is a light lilac purple holographic and was part of Color Club's Spring 2009 collection Catwalk Queen.  It seems to bit difficult to find online, but if you can track it down it's definitely worth it.

This is 2 coats with base and top coat.

Color Club Fashion Addict in full sun
Color Club Fashion Addict in the shade


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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Underrated Product Alert- 99 cent Sally Girl Eye Shadows

I can't remember where I first heard someone rave about Sally Girl Eye shadow singles sold by Sally Beauty Supply.  At just $0.99 each ($0.94 with your Sally card) I was skeptical at the quality.  But I'm a sucker for a bargain, and if these turned out as good as I hoped, they really would be a bargain.

And let me tell ya, my initial purchase of 2 or 3 has since ballooned into my current collection- 22 eye shadows.  I'm about half way there to owning them all as Sally Beauty lists 43 different shades on their website.  The colors range from light lavender shimmers to matte teals to satiny chocolate browns. When Urban Decay's Naked palette came out I bought a bunch of Sally Girl neutrals just to satisfy my lemming for it (Well, I ended up buying the palette anyway, but these shadows are still awesome).

One my favorite things about the shadows is that each one has little plastic slits on the side so you can connect them together and create your own custom palette.  This is a really good idea, especially for someone like me who always seems to put her makeup on at the last moment.  You can put coordinating colors together in a palette for a quick, no-thought-required look.

One gripe is that the plastic packaging does feel a bit cheap and weightless.  This doesn't bother me too much a because one, they ARE only 99 cents each and two, I would much rather have an effective product in okay packaging than an okay product in beautiful packaging.  Also, some of the names are completely off for.  For example, Gun Metal is a pale cream color and Peach is a dark brown.  It's kind of odd, but doesn't really bother me either.

In general these shadows are very good quality for the price.  They tend to kick up a bit of power, but for the most part are pigmented and blend well.  All of the mattes have what looks like micro glitter in the pan, but it doesn't really show up much (if at all) in swatches or on the eyes.  Despite not being as silky as high end eye shadows, they still don't look chalky or powdery.

These are all swatched dry on bare skin (no primer or anything).

I separated the shadows into four palettes-neutrals, pinks and purples, blues, and greens.

The colors are:
  • Gun Metal- pale cream satin shimmer
  • Bronze- light brown shimmer
  • Taupe- greyed-brown satin shimmer
  • Cinnamon-  light reddish brown shimmer
  • Auburn- coppery red shimmer
  • Espresso- medium brown shimmer
  • Peach- dark matte brown with sparse multicolored microglitter
From left: Gun Metal, Bronze, Taupe, Cinnamon, Auburn, Espresso, Peach
Pinks and Purples
 The colors are:
  • Soft Pink- cool light pink frosty shimmer
  • Rose- purple toned medium pink shimmer
  • Lilac- pastel blue-toned purple matte with silver microglitter
  • Caramel- pinky-purple shimmer with multicolored microglitter
  • Burgundy- a mauve purple with pink shimmer
  • Eggplant- dark muted purple satin shimmer

From left: Soft Pink, Rose, Lilac, Caramel, Burgundy, Eggplant
 The colors are:
  • Mint- frosty pale blue shimmer
  • Teal- turquoise blue shimmer with silver micro glitter
  • Aqua- swimming pool blue matte
  • Blue Marine- teal blue with gold shimmer
  • Navy- navy blue matte with silver micro glitter
From left: Mint, Teal, Aqua, Blue Marine, Navy
 The colors are:
  • Cream Cocoa- off white shimmer with a touch of green
  • Olive- golden olive shimmer
  • Green Apple- bright grassy green shimmer
  • Glow Green- bright matte yellow-green with micro glitter
From left: Cream Cocoa, Olive, Green Apple, and Glow Green

Here is an eye look I did with a few of the mattes.

I used a base of Too Face Shadow Insurance.  This is Aqua on the inner half of the eyelid and Glow Green on the outer half.  The crease is Peach (which is actually a dark brown). Below my lower lashline I used both Peach and Glow Green.

I have zero experience with matte shadows and I found these fairly easy to work with.

  •  Pigmented
  • Easy to blend
  • Very inexpensive
  • Good range of colors
  • Easy to make your own custom palettes
  • Packaging feels a bit cheap and flimsy
  • Shadows kick up quite a bit of powder

  • Retail for $0.99 each (or $0.94 with Sally Card) at Sally Beauty Supply stores or on their website.

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