Monday, January 30, 2012

Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow Swatches

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Went into Sephora and swatched all of these. They are pigmented, smooth, and really lovely. My favorites were Shimmery Sand and Bronze Brilliance - I didn't end up buying either, though, because to put it simply these are quite dupeable, and I didn't really see any super unique colors. The black one got cut off a bit in the picture, but it was pretty pigmented (not as much so as Urban Decay's Blackout, but still up to par). They are all shimmery colors, no mattes in this collection. Here's swatches of all of them (the friends I was with thought I was totally crazy)!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doing my Face: Application Order

In the morning, if you do a full face, there's a couple things you will most likely use. Among these items could be moisturizer, concealer, powder, foundation, primer, blush, highlighter, and bronzer. I thought it might be helpful to do a blog post on the order of application,  or at least how I do it. I don't do a full face every day, but I think it's good to know how for special occasions or when you're going to be photographed. I'm just going to list out the steps. If there's one of these you don't do, just skip it and move on to the next step. I'm going to do two lists - one for if you use liquid foundation, the other for if you use powder foundation.

Powder Foundation
1. Moisturizer (preferably w/ SPF)
2. Foundation primer
3. Concealer
4. Powder Foundation
5. Bronzer
6. Blush
7. Highlighter
8. Powder

Liquid Foundation
1. Moisturizer (preferably w/ SPF)
2. Foundation primer
3. Liquid foundation
4. Concealer
5. Bronzer
6. Blush
7. Highlighter
8. Powder

Thursday, January 26, 2012

NOTD ft. Zoya Ki

Wearing Zoya Ki. It's a gorgeous purple-gunmetal shade with green duochrome. Lasted about a week before chipping, I really like this polish a lot. Got this during Zoya's 2012 promo where you get 2 polishes free and only pay shipping. The other polish I got was Charla, which I will use when I hopefully get the time to paint my nails again. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review of theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer

NOTE: Imaginary sequence will follow.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted so desperately a simple, gorgeous highlighter. All over the land she searched, trying and returning countless highlighters. Urban Decay, MAC, Benefit...none of those much revered brands gave her the glowy cheeks that she pursued so determinedly. Then the girl met theBalm.
"So I hear you're looking for a highlighter?" theBalm kindly inquired.
"Why, yes I am! How did you know?" the girl cried out in surprise.
"Well, I have my ways. You see, I think that I may have precisely why you're looking for." theBalm replied cheerily.
"Why, how lovely that would be! Why is it called?" the girl inquired.
"We call it the Mary Lou-Manizer." theBalm replied (upbeat dramatic music plays at this point).

And so the girl immediately rushed out and ordered the highlighter off Hautelook as soon as it went on sale. When it arrived and was promptly swatched, it was as if a gentle sheen of glowiness had descended over my arm. The highlighter was full of a sort of candle lit glow type shimmer. Its' gold tones whispered of elegance and sophistication free of bothersome glitter chunks. The girl went to sleep that night dreaming of perfectly highlighted cheeks (no, not really, but still).

(apologies again for my dry hands, this is the same swatch pic I used for my top 11 of 2011 post. this picture doesn't really do it justice, but I assure you it is many times more stunning in real life)

Okay, so I think you get the idea. This highlighter is absolutely gorgeous! It has this golden sheen to it, and when placed on the cheeks, it lends its' candelit glow properties to you. It has pretty decent staying power (I apply it over my powder), and it does lean gold. I think this would work on pretty much any skintone, and it has zero chunky glitter. The pan has so much product in it (.3 oz, which is a ton when compared to something like NARS Albatross, which is $3 more and has only .16 oz of product in it). It costs $24, and you can purchase it online at Sephora's website, since the brand is no longer sold in-store, or at theBalm's website. My only issue is that if I have any blemishes on the area where I apply this, it tends to accentuate them a bit. However, it's not majorly noticeable, and all in all, it's my HG highlighter. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Top 11 Makeup Products of 2011

Now, this post is pretty much old by now. It's where you take your top 11 favorite makeup products of 2011 and name them. I should probably have done this about two weeks ago. But instead of that, being the procrastinator I am, I'm doing it now. Since I love my eyeshadows extraordinarily much, I don't feel I can put them into one post along with other makeup products. I am warning you, by reading this post you are beginning the journey through what has turned out to be quite a long post, although I didn't intend for it to end up this way. I did kind of a mini-review on each of the products. So here's my top 11 favorites of 2011 excluding eyeshadow, with pictures, in no particular order.

1. Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation

This foundation is the third foundation I've tried. Admittedly, I haven't tried many. I actually received a mini size of this in my Birchbox, and decided to give it a go (although at the time I didn't wear foundation on a regular basis). However, it surpassed all my expectations. It gives me absolutely gorgeous skin with a completely natural finish - you pretty much can't tell I'm wearing it once I set it with my powder. I think it actually helps keep my skin clear - I've never broken out due to using this. It's lasted me a pretty long time - I got this in October, and I'm only about halfway through! It's my HG foundation, and the only time I use another one is for photos where I need a bit more coverage. It's meant to be used as a concealer as well, but  personally I find it doesn't work as that at all, since it doesn't hide red blemishes. However, as a foundation it's absolutely lovely. It matches my skintone perfectly (I think I'm NC25) and I use the shade Blush Medium - oddly enough, it has yellow undertones,  not pink ones. I have yellow undertones myself, and it's a color match made in heaven (at least during the fall/winter). I have 2 backups of this just in case they ever discontinue it - I love it that much. 

2. theBalm Sexy Mama Pressed Powder

This is the powder that keeps my skin matte and my foundation finish flawless. It gives me an absolutely natural looking face, and I love it very much. For more detail, see my review.

3. Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in 7

This is my HG concealer (and the second one I've purchased). Sorry for the reflection on the tube, I'm still a learning photographer. I use the shade 7, and it is absolutely wonderful. It covers redness, dark spots, blemishes - everything that a concealer should cover. You only need a tiny bit, and the tube has plenty of product in it. I think the one tube will last me at least a year or two, if not longer. I don't use a lot of it every day, I usually only have one or two blemishes that I need to conceal. My only complaint is that when I use it on my cheeks, the area I use it on sometimes is a sort of darker patch because my skintone lightened during the winter. However, it's rarely an issue, and in the summer I'm sure my skin will be tan once again, and it won't bother me anymore.

4. MAC 224 brush

This is the ultimate blending brush, in my opinion. I've tried EcoTools and Sephora blending brushes - neither of them cut it. I tried some obscure brand from 20 years ago's blending brush - it didn't cut it. And then, for my birthday, I received the one and only MAC 224. Any harsh lines on my eyeshadow? No problem for this brush. It whisks them all away and replaces them with smooth transitions. If I could only say one thing about this brush, it would be that it would get taken very good care of.

5. ELF Flat Top Powder Brush

This brush is just so soft. And so skilled. And so dear to my hear that I bought two backups of it (yes, of a brush!) before the first one broke for good. The ferrule had come detached from the handle for the 2nd time, and once again I had to superglue it back together. So when ELF had a $5 off, I jumped on it and ordered two more of these fluffy, soft, beautiful brushes. This brush applies my powder and powder foundation flawlessly. I haven't used it for anything else, because my powder and foundation are much too selfish to share this amazing brush with any other products. For only $3, this brush is absolutely incredible. It's my HG powder brush - twice I've bought a high end powder brush, only to return it before even using it, because I knew that they could not possibly surpass this brush, and they would only be a waste of money.

6. Sephora Collection Classic Double Ended Every Day Brush

Whoo, that's a mouthful of a name. Anyway, I use the flat shader end of this brush to shade. It does its job, it's very soft, and I do, true to the name, use it pretty much every day. The other end of the brush, the smudger, I use to apply darker powder eyeshadow colors on the lashline sometimes. It's kind of poky, and anyway I don't do dark eyeshadow every day. So I guess you could say I use it every half day, since I use half the brush every day? Anyway, it's a competent shader brush that makes me feel no compulsion to buy a newer, more expensive one. This, along with two Stila eyeshadows, was the only makeup related item(s) my mom ever gave to me (she thinks I'm absolutely crazy with my makeup obsession/makeup purchasing habits).

7. Inglot Sleeks Lip Gloss in 40

Sorry for my dry/veiny hands in this picture - I was just snowboarding a week ago, and my hands still haven't recovered from the cold/dry weather trauma (it's all about skiing on the fake snow, guys). Anyway, this is pretty much my HG lip gloss. The formula, not the color (although I do love the color). And unlike my experience with foundation, the sheer (pun not intended...okay maybe a little intended) amount of lip glosses that I have tried boggles minds of scholars everywhere. From high end to low end, I've tried them. And for their own reasons, each of my new lip glosses has slowly earned less and less use until it gets buried in the pile of lipglosses that I own. It is not the case with this one. This has earned its place on the top of my stack of lipglosses. The color I have is a pink with mauve undertones and silver/multicolored tiny glitter flecks. It smells kind of like, well, lipgloss. Which I actually really like the smell of. It's like plasticy grapefruit? It sounds unappealing, but I personally like it. Not as much as the fragrance of MAC's lipsticks (those smell like heaven in a stick), but it's pretty decent. It stays glossy for about an hour or so. It's completely non sticky, but still packs a pretty nice pigmented punch. If I need to go somewhere and lipgloss is on my packing list, this is the lipgloss that I will bring without thinking twice about it.

8. L'oreal Voluminous False Lashes

So this mascara has the most enticing ads. They show models with long, defined, gorgeous lashes. And I should know by now that when real people wear this mascara, ones who don't have lash extensions, it doesn't look quite as good. So after taking this mascara home, I wasn't expecting much, although I still had a sliver of hope that it would deliver decent results. As a matter of fact, it did. When I use this mascara and put on multiple coats, it doesn't lengthen a ridiculous amount. It volumizes (it is in the name, after all!). Without giving me clumpy lashes, it gets me fairly close to a false lash look. I absolutely love this mascara - if only I didn't need waterproof, which is an absolute pain to take off.

9. MAC Bombshell Lipstick

Sorry again about the dry nasty hands. Anyway, this lipstick is the only one I own by MAC. It smells like the rest of MAC's lipsticks. Like a fountain of vanilla, happiness, and smiles in a beautifully colored creamy stick. I could come up with all sorts of creative ways to describe this, but I should probably get to talking about the actual product now. This is the ultimate pink for me - it goes with pretty much any look, winter or summer. It has some gold shimmer, and pulls a tiny bit purple. It's a frost finish, and it's really quite lovely. Not drying on the lips, and it lasts a good 3-4 hours if I don't eat or drink.

10. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer

For the last time in this post, apologies for the veiny and dry hands. I've been using a Jurlique hand cream that I quite like, which is helping to repair the damage. This highlighter is like, the 3rd highlighter I've bought. The other two I returned, because neither could measure up to the mindblowing amazingness of this highlighter. It gives this amazing candlelit glow to your cheeks without the disco-ball glitter festival-ness of many other highlighters. I'm not opposed to glitter altogether, just not for every day. It's a golden toned highlighter - it doesn't lean white. It's super pigmented, so you only need to touch the brush to the pan to get enough. And since they give you a ridiculous amount of product in the pan, I will probably actually never use all of this up. Sad, I know. I got this on sale from Hautelook for $12 instead of $24, and the value of this is just mindblowingly good.

11. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Okay, there really isn't much else to say about this last item that hasn't been said a million times already. It keeps my eyeshadow from creasing, doesn't irritate my eyes, makes eyeshadow apply evenly, yada yada yada. In the end, all you really need to know is that I love it very much.

That wraps up my (extremely long post on) my top 11 makeup products of 2011. I hope you enjoyed, feel free to leave me a comment below!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review of theBalm Sexy Mama Powder

I'm going to be honest here - one of the main judges of my makeup is my mom. And for a while, I used Maybelline Dream Matte powder in Sand Medium over my Pur Minerals foundation. And every morning, my mom would tell me my face looked kind of fake. So I knew that I needed a new mattifying powder. I have normal/combination skin, but my face is usually a little shiny by the end of the day. I tried the Urban Decay De-slick Powder - for some reason I didn't really like it. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it just didn't look quite right to me. So my next powder that I tried was theBalm's Sexy Mama powder. This and their Mary Lou-manizer (which I will do a post on later) were the first products from them that I had tried. I heard pretty much all good things about both of them, and when I saw them on Hautelook I put them in my basket and immediately checked out.

A couple weeks later, my package came in the mail. Naturally, I was excited. Packages are one of my favorite things - they're like a present that you buy for yourself that you already know the contents of. But still, it's a present. So I took my box to my room, opened it, and took out my two items, hyped up to try them the next day.

The next day, I did my makeup. I did my eyeshadow and mascara, I put on my foundation, then swept on the Sexy Mama powder. I got dressed, then went downstairs to breakfast. When my mom came down, I asked her - "Does my face look fake?" She replied, "No, it looks pretty natural today." Bells and lights silently began blaring in my head. I had finally found a natural powder! I bounced out the door that day, overjoyed at my new, more natural face. The magnet that holds the book-like halves together (one with a mirror, one with the powder) is very nice, and it seems fairly sturdy, although mine took a bad spill one day and I cracked the mirror, klutz that I am. Now, I am not completely opposed to the scarily perfect skin that some women strive for, and sometimes value over a natural looking complexion. But at least for an everyday look, I greatly value a natural looking face, which is what theBalm's Sexy Mama powder has allowed me to achieve. When I get around to being less lazy, I'll try to post some pictures of myself wearing it. I also hope to do a couple tutorials in the future, once I have more time.
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