Friday, April 29, 2011

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Review & Swatches

After seeing a lot of reviews on youtube, I finally picked up two lip creams by Nyx from Ulta during the 40% off Nyx sale.  These normally retail for $5.99 and come in 11 shades.  I most wanted Antwerp, but it was sold out, so I chose Stockholm (a darker nude shade - on left) and Istanbul (bluish pink).
One thing I have to give to Nyx is that they stepped up on packaging.  The black caps are very smooth and feel more similar the Smashbox eyeshadow trios packaging.  The colors are pretty true to what you see on the outside, which is great unless you are shopping online like I was and then you have to depend on pictures or googling for beauty reviews.
Here's a close up of Istanbul.  I was impressed by the coverage.  Not sure how it would look on darker skin tones, but for light to medium skin/lip tones, the coverage is great.  However, when wearing after an hour or so, you can get feathering and wearing into fine lines.  I recommend using your favorite lip balm a few nights before going for the matte colors to lessen the effect.
Here's a close-up of the two colors.  The formula is ultra creamy which makes application with the doe-foot applicator a breeze.  Stockholm is a beautiful deeper nude shade that would be amazing on darker skin tones.  It's a bit too dark for me and almost appeared orangey under bright lights.  Natural light, it looked more subdued and natural.  But again, on darker skin tones, I think it would be an amazing matte nude.

Repurchase?  I would repurchase it if it were on sale again, but I don't wear mattes enough to justify full price as I was constantly topping it with a gloss.  I also had to touch up more throughout the day b/c it does tend to wear more off the inside of the lips.

Grade (1-5): 3 for all day wear, 4 for the colors they came out with and the packaging.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stila Last Call Sale! Half-priced foundations!

Just a quick post for those of you who love Stila.  Go to the Last Call section of the website for great deals on foundations, tinted moisturizers, shadows, and more.  Lots of good deals going on.

The one step foundation (which will be discontinued) that is normally $44 is reduced to $22.  So, if you've been meaning to try it, but don't like the hefty price, now is a great time to pick it up.  The full range of shades is being offered.

No coupon code needed and no further discount codes accepted.  I picked up 2 bottles of foundation and the illuminating moisturizer (which I haven't ever tried. the foundation I have and I really enjoy it).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sephora Collection Advanced Airbrush Set - Chic Week Haul Part 2

I grabbed this set during Chic Week for an extra 15% off the normal $65 price tag (Sephora lists it as a $170 value...) and for the price, it's a good value. The brushes are made of synthetic fibers and the case is faux-leather in gunmetal gray.  It actually looks very chic and I almost thought it was real leather.
The set comes with 5 brushes (not pictured is the crease brush...which is back at my parents house).  The brushes you get: Powder, Foundation, Concealer, Crease, and Eyeshadow. I love the foundation brush (#56). I've used it 2 different brands of liquid foundatoin and it's been great each time. It just looks very well blended and "airbrushed". You can also build the coverage to your liking. I use the concealer brush (#57)  to get in any crevices of the face like around the nose. I've used it for concealer under the eye, but my favorite application for undereye concealer is still my finger.
Also liking the tapered blending brush (crease brush) . If you are a beginner or just don't have a lot of time to get ready in the morning, the blending brush blends it quickly and effectively in a few wind-shield wiper swipes. The regular eye shadow brush I don't love for all over the lid b/c I tend to pack more shadow on the lid, but again, it depends on the look you are going for.
These are full size brushes, but they come in a case that is convenient for travel.  I used it this past weekend for Easter holiday. The case is nice and best of all, you can wipe out the inside so you don't have to worry about make up staining.
The brush I don't love, but wanted to, is by far the powder brush.  It is almost too soft to be effective.  I'm going to try working with it some more, but I don't find that my powder looks better than when I apply it with a kabuki.  I've tried it with MAC MSF Natural and Eve Pearl HD Pressed Powder and neither application was that favorable.  It was decent, but this is not a brush I would ever purchase on its own.
I would repurchase this set if given the chance to do it again and I thought for a long time about this as I've had brushes from Vincent Longo, Urban Decay, Coastal Scents, LiLique, and Bare Minerals. Good value for what you are paying, even if you exclude the powder brush. However, if you are only looking for the foundation brush and don't need the concealer or eye brushes, I'd recommend getting the 55 or 56 individually.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Michael Todd Creme Glace Review & Swatches

Michael Todd cosmetics were my biggest surprise this year.  I've never bought the products until I stumbled upon them on and found my new love.  Since then I've bought glosses, lipsticks, blush, primers, bases.

The Creme Glaces come in a tube like a lipgloss with a doe-foot applicator, but they are much closer to a liquid lipstick.  If you remember back when Almay had Whipped Glosses, this is very similar, but more pigmented and longer lasting.

I picked up 3 shades which cost $17 each (for 7g), but I paid between 7-9 on hautelook.  I have 2 in the newer packaging and one in the older.  Love the new packaging, it's very chic with the purple cap, blue lettering and silver band.  I think the packaging has been amazing.

I picked these up in Naked, Perfect Mauve, and Bellissima.

Out of all 3, Bellissima is my favorite and I've been wearing it everyday.  Naked was the color I was most excited for, but I find it to be borderline frosty.  For those who want that extra sheen, it may be a go-to neutral with an extra pop.

One of the disadvantages is availability.  Few sites offer the products and no stores around me supply Michael Todd, which brings me to the next disadvantage of the swatches on the Michael Todd website.  I haven't found any of them to be very accurate to the product that you actually get. 

Here's a few swatches I did in natural lighting with a camera setting for pale/baby skin:

Overall, I would repurchase these, but I would most likely stick to hautelook for my purchase because the price was much better.  I think they are worth the $17, but knowing they come on hautelook fairly often, I'd rather wait for the sale.  In comparison to Mac Plushglass or lipglass, I definitely prefer these.  Good range of color, nice pigmentation, good coverage, lasts a decent amount of time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sephora Chic Week Haul! (Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Brousse, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, Smashbox)

Sephora had it's opening night of Chic Week for VIB's today to save 15% off of everything.  I hauled a few items and traded my 500 points for the Smashbox set (which I'm LOVING the eyeshadow trio, great colors!)  Sorry the pictures are a bit dark, I'm working on getting better quality.

Smashbox trio in Vanilla, Champagne, and Brazillian Bronze.  Set also came with Lash DNA, photofinish eyelid primer, and Dark Brown Cream Eyeliner (deluxe sample size or bigger of each).

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Brousse ($33USD).  Shimmering finish, beautiful medium brown and a deep plum color.  Gorgeous colors and my first NARS shadows.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Cream Ivory ($42). This is my go-to foundation and the best I've tried so far.  Also picked up the Coach Poppy Rollerball ($22).  Amazing scent.  Floral, not over-powering.  Gets me ready for spring.

Overall damage after discount: $89.05 (with 15% discount and tax)

Please let me know if there is anything you'd like to see a review on!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lip Balm Rating List (Korres Lip Butter, MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner, Kiss of Milk and Honey, EOS, and CO Bigelow Lip Cream)

Here's a quick top list of the lip balms/lip treatments that I have tested. (List most to least fave)

1. Korres Lip Butter: While it is on the pricier side, this is my all time favorite and my go to lip product for evening. Super soft, wears a long time, smells great, and offers various shades that give your lips a tint. I own this in Jasmine, Pomegranate, Quince, and Wild Rose and I love them all.  For most natural color, I recommend Jasmine.

2. MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner (in calm mode): This came out with the Champale collection and I love the way that it feels on the lips.  Moisturizing and lasts a decent amount of time.  This collection came out with lavendar scented items, so this may turn off some people, but the conditioner works well, very light color (natural) and has SPF 15.

3. Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey: LOVE the smell.  Smells like honey or toffee.  It reminds me of Honey I Washed the Kids from Lush.  Wear time is low, only about 1-2 hours for me.  It's softening, but I wouldn't choose it as my night-time moisturizing balm.

4. EOS Balm (in starfruit, not pictured): They get major points for the packaging, I love that I don't have to put my fingers in it, which keeps it more sanitary. Aside from the packaging, I don't love it.  It seems like the average drug store lipbalm, just in a better outfit.  Wear time is about 2-3 hours.  I don't like the starfruit scent, but I've smelled the mint one and enjoy that.

5. Essence of Beauty Lip Butter (from CVS in citrus coconut): I love the scent variety b/c I love coconut scents.  During a sale, it's about $3, so for the price, it's pretty good.  Feels very soft, but anytime I hear lip butter, I automatically compare it to Korres.  For drugstore, it would be my top pick at night for a moisturizer, but for day I'll still choose EOS.

6. CO Bigelow Lip Cream (in Lemon): I got this for about $2 at Bath & Body Works...and I wouldn't repurchase, even for $2.  It is a very oily lip cream (probably from the 2% lemon oil).  I feel like it wears off fairly quickly especially if you are eatting or drinking anything.  I tried this in winter because I thought it would be the best option because of the oils, but it seemed to wear off outside quickly and chapstick would be a better option.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Deal of the Day! Benefit 2-in-1 Eye Bright and Boi-ing in No. 2

This is less of a review and more of a deal of the day.  Ulta is currently running their F&F 20% off sale and I grabbed this in line (not available online at the website).  It's at the checkout where the travel sized items are.

This is a great way to try two benefit products in one. Boi-ing in the No., 2 shade (there are only 3 shades total) and eye bright (normally sold in a pencil).

Why it's a great deal: Normal price is $12.  I paid $9.60 with the discount, but even at $12, it's a steal.  You get .05 oz of boi-ing and .04 of eye bright.  Eye bright normally sells for $20 for .05 oz.  You are only getting .01 oz less in the travel size!  Already, it's an awesome deal, but add on .05 oz of boi-ing which sells for $18 and is .1 oz.  So a half size of this would cost you $9. But for $9.60 I got almost a full size eye bright and half-size of boi-ing.

This is a great way to try new products or stock up on favorites.  I'm new to the products, but I'm loving the boi-ing concealer (which I thought would be too dark on my light skin).  The eyebright I'm iffy about.  I like the effect on the inner corner, but it would definitely work better in the standard pencil form.

Retail: $12 at Ulta Stores