Mini reviews of recent purchases

It’s a busy blogging day! Hopefully you guys don’t mind. I work 12 hour night shifts 3-4 days a week and truthfully I don’t want to be all tied up on the computer when I am home with the hubby. He is at work today and I am making up for it by blogging my blues away. I have been busy purchasing way too much makeup lately. In fact, I am thinking about doing a no-buy April and maybe even May so that I can pay off some credit cards, but that said I thought I would share with you some of my recent purchases and what I think of them.

Let’s get started..

1. Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation $26.00 for 2.5oz-

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation

This foundation is basically a knock off of the Dior airflash foundation that is over $60.00. I wanted to try a spray foundation but not for 60 bucks so I did some research and found this dupe that was within my price range. I love this stuff, it somehow manages to give medium to full coverage, while looking flawless and it’s so light you can’t even tell it’s on your face. I pull my hair up in a towel and wrap a towel around my neck then spray a light layer on my face, then I spray some on my hand and go over areas that need a little more coverage. It takes no time to get perfect skin with this stuff. I don’t know how long it would last if you used it everyday. I try to save it for special occasions or when I want a really flawless look. Because it is a spray can that you shake (almost like spray paint), it can be hard to tell how you much you have left. I would definitely recommend trying this product!

2. NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder in Translucent Crystal $35.00 for 0.24oz-

NARS - Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

This setting powder comes in both loose and pressed versions. I have the pressed version and I really enjoy it. It claims to set foundation, make makeup last longer, soak up oil with touch ups, and blur wrinkles and pores. This does give the face a really even, bright look, but I don’t notice much in terms of blurring pores or imperfections. I like this powder mainly because it doesn’t make my makeup look cakey and because it’s pressed I do think it will last a long time. I am not sure if I will buy this product again once I am out mainly because of the price tag.

3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light and Radiant Light $45.00 for 0.35 oz                                                    Hourglass - Ambient Lighting Powder(Diffused Light)                         Hourglass - Ambient Lighting Powder(Radiant Light)

These powders are face powders that are supposed to mimic different types of light and give the skin a glow. Diffused Light was the first one I bought and Sephora’s website describes it as “a soft, warm, pale yellow that reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity.” I like this the best out of the two I have and use it to set my under eye concealer everyday and alternate between this and the NARS powder to set my actual makeup. I feel like this powder blurs my face and gives it a soft-focus effect. Unlike the NARS one, I actually feel like this makes a difference in my imperfections and the yellow base is perfect for people who struggle with red, sensitive skin. I promise you won’t actually look yellow. The Radiant Light is a warmer bronze that is described as “a sun-kissed golden beige that enhances the overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth.” I can go overboard with this powder very quickly. It goes from looking soft and warm to orange on my light skin tone if I am not careful. As spring and summer roll in and I begin to get some color on my face, I think this will look gorgeous as an all over face powder or on top of bronzer. Right now I use it whenever I have had my makeup on for a long time and some of the color has faded. I’ll sweep this across my forehead and cheeks and it revives my makeup and makes me look alive again. There are 4 more colors available and I want them all. They also have blushes that look beautiful. I literally have to try and talk myself out of ordering one every time I go to Sephora’s website. Hourglass’s powders are becoming a quick holy grail product for me.

4.Urban Decay Naked Basics palette $28.00 for 6 eyeshadows that are 0.05oz each.

Urban Decay - Naked Basics Palette

This palette contains five matte shades in natural colors and one demi-matte shade. This has hands down been my favorite palette since purchasing. It looks so natural and makes my blue eyes pop. I can mix it with other palettes and shadows that don’t have mattes to use as transitional colors or use it alone to make everything from a natural everyday look to a dramatic night time smokey eye. I love this palette.

5. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette $52.00 for 12 eyeshadows that are 0.05 oz each

Urban Decay - Naked3

This palette contains 12 eyeshadows that are in the pink/rose gold/gray family and that range in finishes from matte to shimmer. Everyone and their mother has talked about this palette. Do I love it? NO! Will I use it since I spent 50 bucks on it? YES! Could you get these looks with cheaper options? Absolutely. I feel like the lynch mob just got called out and are lighting their torches. I’m sorry but I don’t like this palette. I have been able to get a couple of cute looks but in my opinion all the looks end up looking the same when you blend them out and I regret spending that much money on it.

I also got a few samples in my various orders that I thought I would share. Keep in mind I only got to use these samples a couple times each but I’ll share with you my first impressions

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Medium Brown $23.00 for 0.03oz  (full size) –

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Brow Powder Duo

I love this stuff so much I have already ordered the full size. I am not good with eyebrow pencils but this stuff fills in my brows and lasts all day. It is super easy to use, also.  I used the sample about 10 times and the full size version is about 150 times bigger than the sample size, so I am figuring the full size will last forever.

Dolce & Gabbana Passioneyes Duo Mascara- $32.00, Sephora doesn’t have the size listed on their website-

Dolce & Gabbana - Passion Eyes Mascara

This stuff works well but it is so expensive I didn’t let myself get too attached. To be honest I think it is very similar to Covergirl’s Clump Crusher or Lash Blast mascaras and they are much cheaper. If you have the money to spare, though, this is a good mascara that will give you length and volume and very few clumps.

Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation $34.00 for 1.5oz-

Buxom - Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation

I really like this foundation for summer. It is extremely light weight and provides light to medium coverage. I have acne prone skin and it covered my blemishes and redness well. It has ingredients in it that are supposed to help hydrate your skin and smooth wrinkles. I have considered buying the full size but I can’t decide since I only used it once. I have read some reviews that said it caused breakouts on some people who don’t normally break out. I will have to ponder this purchase a little longer.

Last but not least,

BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme $44.00 for 1.01oz-

BECCA - Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème

I really liked this foundation. It was really light on the skin but so pigmented. I felt like I didn’t have to put a lot on to cover up imperfections and my makeup looked fresher all day with no signs of cakey-ness. I’ve seen mostly negative reviews on this foundation and I can’t understand why. I think it’s great! I have heard some people say it is just too hard to find the right color but I lucked out because my color was in the sample card that Sephora sent me. If you have dry, aging, or acne prone skin, I would recommend this foundation because it contains 21% pigments and 22% water, which is why it offers such great coverage and hydration in a lightweight formula.

Alright, I think I have covered everything for now. Let me know if you have tried any of these products or if you have tried anything new recently.

Recent theBalm haul from Hautelook

Hey everyone. I made my first Hautelook purchase the other day. The brand theBalm is one of emilynoel83’s favorite brands and she mentions them frequently on her youtube channel. I have two eyeshadow palettes from theBalm and really wanted to try some more of their products and lo-and-behold Hautelook had like almost every product I wanted to try for 50-75% off. Hautelook is no longer featuring theBalm but they cycle around every few months so check back soon!

For the record, the discounted price is amazing but Hautelook’s shipping process is killing me! I made my order on the 7th of March and it still hasn’t shipped. The expected delivery day according to Hautelook’s website is the 31st of March.. I might die from anticipation before then.

Anyway, what I bought:

Hot Mama Shadow/Blush-

Hot Mama

this is a peachy-pink blush that looks beautiful on theBalm’s webpage. I am hoping this blush is similar to NARS Orgasm blush.

Bahama Mama Bronzer, Shadow, and Contour powder-

Bahama Mama®

this is a matte brown powder that looks gorgeous as a bronzer. The website says it can even be used as matte eyeshadow, and based on your brow color, I imagine it could be used to fill in your brows, but I haven’t seen the product in person yet, either.

Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent powder-

Sexy Mama®

this is a colorless finishing or touch-up powder

timeBalm Foundation and Concealer-

Light    Light

these have some great anti-aging ingredients and I am a sucker for foundations and concealers anyway!

Schwing black liquid eyeliner-

Schwing®

my old favorite liquid eyeliner from MaryKay got discontinued and the packaging on this was too cute to pass up.

What’s Your Type Mascara- the Body Builder-

What's Your Type?®

You can never have too many mascaras. The packaging on these products are so hard to resist. Whoever designs the packaging for theBalm and handles the marketing should really get a raise because I know I am not the only one having a hard time passing on these cute products.

Last, but not least, was the En Root Moisturize My Hair Shampoo and Conditioner and the En Root Conditioning Treatment Mask.

En Root® Conditioning Treatment Mask                             En Root® Moisturize My Hair Shampoo                                    En Root® Moisturize My Hair Conditioner

I have heard rave reviews of the hair mask and the shampoo and conditioner were impulse buys. I couldn’t pass up on getting high end hair products for drugstore prices!

Let me know if you have tried any of these products and how you liked them. I will be sure to do a follow up once I actually get the products and try them out.

All photos from http://www.thebalm.com

Join Hautelook : http://www.hautelook.com/short/3SLl9

Products I want to use up in 2014

Over the last few years I have done some damage in the shopping department. As the bills pile up money has been tighter and I really need to work through some of my stash and try to keep a better handle on money. At the end of last year I made a list of some products I really want to go through by the end of the year.

My goal is to add new products as I use up some of the other ones. I like to keep these products in a container on top of my makeup collection so I remember to use them more frequently. This method works because you use up products faster when you are focusing on them, and going through your collection and finding old things to focus on almost feels like shopping. In fact, Emily from Beauty Broadcast (emilynoel83 on youtube…look her up, like now!) calls it shopping her stash.

My list includes:

2 brown eyeliners- I started off the year with three brown eyeliners and I have to be honest, most of the time I wear black. So I decided to focus on using a couple of the oldest up.The two I had started into were from Jordana and Maybelline.  The Jordana one was the 12 hr made to last liquid eyeliner pencil in Espresso Last. I got this from Walgreens for less than $3.00 and I love it. I have heard people say it is a dupe for the Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on eye pencil which retails for like $20.00. I am proud to say I have used this pencil up and moved on to the next one. The Maybelline pencil is the Eye Studio Master Drama eyeliner in Bold Brown and I believe it was around $6.00-$7.00 at Wal-Mart. I do not like this one and can’t wait to use it up. I cant even get the color to show up on my waterline and on my lid the color payoff is minimal. I use it on days when I am going to smudge my liner out with shadow anyway or as a base for a dark smokey eye. This one can’t be used up fast enough! I do think that it is just a color thing though because I have used the black version of the same pencil and loved it!

2 It-cosmetics eyebrow pencils- The specific pencil I was talking about is the Your Brows But Better eyebrow pencil that retails for $24.00 at Ulta. At first I loved this pencil, which comes in one universal shade, but as time went on I realized I am not good with a pencil formula at all. It takes so long for me to use these pencils up that I was actually dreading having to use a pencil for like the whole next year. My mom loves this pencil though and was almost out of hers, so I passed the unopened one in her direction leaving me with 1/4 of one left to use. As I type this my Anastasia brow powder (which is a much better formula for me) is sitting in PA waiting to be delivered to its new home! This really comes down to the formula you prefer. If you like pencils then the formula really is great and lasts all day.

Mary Lou-manizer and the It Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Creme Illumizer- I love both of these but have too many highlighters to work through and these two got picked to be used first!

Random face products- Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation, Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makuep,  L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream, and Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer. I am so close to working through all of these products! The JM foundation is a total fail for me almost no coverage and takes too long to blend. The Revlon foundation is really nice for winter but is too heavy for spring and summer so I am trying to finish it off before then. Also it doesn’t last entirely through my 12 hour night shifts, even thought it claims to have 24 hour wear time. The miracle blur is actually a great primer with sunscreen in it and although it doesn’t extend the wear of my makeup it makes it go on so much smoother and does blur minor imperfections. This one may get repurchased in the future. I hate the Tarte BB primer. I refuse to waste it but I hate putting it on my face. It offers medium coverage and great skin benefits but it is hard for me to blend and makes my face feel sticky.

At least 10 lip products- The other day, at work, the girls asked me to pull out any lip products I had in my purse at that moment.. I easily pulled out 35 lip products. I don’t care what colors or formulas I use up I just need to work through my collection.

At least one blush- It takes me forever to use up a blush and my collection of blushes has grown a lot in the past 6 months. The one I am focusing on is the COVERGIRL Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush in Refined Rose. I love this blush for everyday use, it is a naturally pretty flush and the lightest shade is great as a highlighter. The fact that it is under $12.00 at all major drugstores is a bigger bonus.

All pressed powders- I have recently gotten into finishing powders and after realizing how much of a difference it makes to my makeup not to pile on more color from a pressed powder foundation, I have been working to use up all my remaining powders. I had 6 powders and 1 tub of Bare Minerals at the start of the year and now I am down to 2 powders (both half used) and the Bare Minerals has 1, maybe 2, uses left.

Hair products- I went through a stage last year of trying to wear my wavy hair natural 100% of the time and spent a lot of money on some DevaCurl products to bring out the natural curl. I tried to do the Curly Girl Method but my hair didn’t want to cooperate and I didn’t want to spend that much time on my hair and researching allowable products. I save these products for days I let my hair dry naturally, or when I want to boost my waves. These products are too heavy on my hair for everyday use and I won’t repurchase once they are gone.

Alright, I think that’s it! Are there any products you guys want to use up before the end of 2014? Let me know..

First ever Nars purchase

Okay guys, I admit, I have been late to the Nars bandwagon. It seems like beauty gurus everywhere are always talking about Nars Laguna bronzer and the Orgasm blush. I had never tried these products because of a couple different reasons.

First, the price. Orgasm, which Sephora describes as a “peachy pink with shimmer”, is $30.00 for 0.16 oz. I feel like this is so expensive for a blush when I can go to the drugstore and get a Milani blush for $8.00 for 0.12 oz.

Laguna, described as “brown with golden shimmer”, is 0.28 oz and retails for $38.00. Prior to discovering this bronzer I was using NYC’s Smooth Skin bronzer in Sunny which is 0.33 oz and retails for like $3.00 at Wal-Mart.

The second reason I had never tried these products is because when I think of products I want to splurge on and pay high end prices for, I think of foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadow, and other products that the quality of a drugstore product can’t (or doesn’t usually) match.

I don’t know about you guys but I can exchange blush and bronzer and face powders and usually come out with similar looks, regardless of if the products are drugstore or high end. However, my mom gave me birthday money and I saw a set from Sephora that I couldn’t resist, which ended up leading to this post.

Sephora has a set (still available at the publishing time of this post) that contains Laguna bronzer, Orgasm blush, and Devotee highlighting blush (described as “luminous alabaster sheen”), plus a brush for only $49.00!

Image

Photo from Sephora.com

The NARSissist Cheek Kit contains .08oz of each of the three cheek products and a travel sized blush brush. If you have ever tried or have any of these products then you probably won’t want to run to the nearest Sephora to purchase this kit; however, if you are like me and have never tried any of the products before and don’t want to pay the full price before sampling, then I highly recommend this kit.

The bronzer gives a beautiful “just back from somewhere exotic” look while the blush brings a natural flush to your cheeks that mimics the glow you get after exercising (as the color name implies, I am sure the people of NARS did not want the glow to be described as one of post exercise but I am trying to keep it PG around here ;)…). The highlighter is also beautiful. It is very natural and has a sheen, not sparkle, that make your cheeks look radiant, it is also good for setting under-eye concealer and brightening the under-eye area.

All-in-all this kit is amazing and worth the high end price point. When I first used the kit, I texted my mom to tell her i had found the only bronzer and blush I would ever use again. That was probably a little dramatic on my part because I always want to try and buy new things but these are colors that I don’t think I will be without in my makeup bag ever again

Let me know if you guys have tried any NARS products and how they have worked out for you!