Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sephora Collection Travel Clutch Brush Set Review

What's included:
-Red metallic clutch travel case (zippered close and wrist strap, mirror inside)
-Powder brush (natural)
-Foundation Brush (synthetic)
-Crease brush (natural)
-Angeled eyeliner brush (synthetic)
-Eyeshadow paddle brush (natural)
-Lip brush in metal tube (synthetic)

Cost: $44 ($128 value?) on sale for $17

One thing that stands out about this set is that the crease brush is quite large.  For travel, I'd rather have a smaller crease brush to work with.  The hairs also look like they are starting to splay a bit. All the brushes were wrapper in plastic and two of the eye brushes had a protective hard plastic cover.

I've had minimal shedding if any, but I have only used the brushes for about a week and a half (they have been washed and spot-cleaned during this time)

One of things I love is that each brush has a slot to hold it to the nylon case.  It's more organized than having a jumble of brushes and less bulky than carrying a brush roll.  There is also a nylon flap that covers the top of the brush heads so that there is minimal makeup mess.

Here's the size of the brushes in comparison to MUFE full cover concealer tube.  They are decently sized for travel and have red handles.  Each brush is clearly labeled, so it's great if you are a beginner.

I wouldn't recommend this set for daily use.  I don't think they'd hold up for years of use, but if you are looking for a set to take on weekends away without taking your everyday brushes, this set is great and the sale price is amazing.  

Rating: 3.5/5
Repurchase: Yes
Where to buy: Sephora (online-sale section or in stores)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sephora Colorful Mono Eyeshadow Review and Contest (Win No. 15)

I have decided to do a review/giveaway on a recent product I tried out.  I bought 2 prior to trying it out with the intent of giving one away to one of my subscribers :) Contest details below!
Suede No. 15 is from the sephora collection and is a matte neutral light brown.  Normally I would use this to blend out a shadow, but I opted to put it all over the lid to show off the color (on a normal day, I would recommend it to blend out crease colors).  Depending on skin tone color, this can look more orangey on some.
The pigmentation is decent for a matte color.  I find most mattes are hit or miss.  It is decently blendable and has little to no fall out or even chalkiness that other mattes can have.
Here it is on the lid with a deep plummy brown in the crease (NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil in cottage cheese for inner corner and Urban Decay Skyscraper Mascara)

I actually really like the colors as fall colors, so it's ironic that I bought them now.  I definitely consider this more warm-toned, but I think it would be workable for others as well. (rest of the face is Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua with Sephora Bronzer in Riviera, lips Kat Von D Lolita Lipgloss).

Overall, this product was a good deal.  Normally it retails for $12 for .07  oz, but you can usually find them for less.  The shade is now sold out online b/c it was on sale, but I actually managed to get mine in the store.  Now, on to the contest.

-must be a follower
-must be over 18 or have parent/guardian permission
-open internationally
-winner generated by
-Contest closes 8/5/2011 at 12:00 AM, Eastern Time

-I'm not doing extra entries for twitter follows or blog posts linking back.  I really just wanted to do something fun in a review and give someone else a chance to try out the shadow.  You are definitely welcome to advertise the contest on your blog or follow me on twitter, but there are no extra entries.
-Leave one comment below telling me what color combo you would try out with this color.  I wanted to make this a little bit more fun than just "enter me".  It can be anything you'd like to try out with this. 
-Make sure to include a way for me to contact you whether it's e-mail, twitter, etc. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rimmel Airy Fairy Lasting Finish Lipstick - Worth the hype?

Airy fairy is all over youtube and blogs, but is it worth the hype?

This shade from Rimmel can be found at Ulta for $5.19.  This is a hard color to find in person at the store.  Definitely not the best availability.

Airy fairy is a mauvey-pink with slight golden flecks.  The finish reminds me more of a satin.  It is definitely not a matte finish.

It appears as a nudey pink on my lips, and has decent pigmentation in 2 swipes.  I didn't have a need to top with a gloss b/c the finish was nice alone.

One down side is that some feathering/bleeding can occur (as on the right side of my lip), but this was tested without a lip liner.  A lip liner in a similar shade would help prevent this.  The wear is about 4-5 hours, while the claim is 8 hours.   There is some transfer during drinking/eating.

Overall, I'd still recommend this shade if you like pinks with a hint of purple.  This color won't be for everyone, but I find it wearable and easy to throw on.  It's a "don't need a mirror" lipstick.

The packaging is a standard lipstick tube, again in a satiny looking finish in a deep purple/maroon color.  The product is apparently scented, but mine didn't have a scent.

Rating: 4/5
Repurchase: Yes

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Elf Mineral Lipstick Review and Swatches

(Pictured: Rosy tan, Barely Bitten, Pouty Petal, Runway Pink)
I grabbed 4 of the elf mineral lipsticks during the 50% off mineral collection sale on the website.  Normally these retail for $5, but I got them for $2.50 after the deductions.  I've never tried elf lipsticks before.  It has decent packaging.  Honestly, I think revlon and loreal definitely package lipstick better, but these containers are decent.

One thing I did not like was that one of the lipsticks was damaged in shipment :(  But I guess 1 out of 4 isn't bad.  I just didn't want the hassle of returning one lipstick.
You can see pouty petal has gashes in the side and it's broken across. Sad face.
Rosy Tan: a brownish pink (would be a great natural lip on darker skin tones)
Barely Bitten: Comes off as almost a cherry popsicle-like stain.  Not overly pigmented.  Great way to wear a red lip more subtley
Pouty Petal: More of a girly pink color
Runway Pink: I consider this in the pinky nude family. 

Runway pink is by far the most pigmented and creamy and the color is great. The other colors are definitely more on the sheer side.
(without flash)

Rating: 3/5
Repurchase: On sale yes.  But I wouldn't repurchase the same colors except Runway Pink
Wear Time: About 2 hours for me.  Will come off drinking or eating.
Where to buy: Elf website, some Target stores

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Spot a Fake - Episode 2, MAC Eyeshadow Palettes

Here is a sample of a real MAC palette that I own from a holiday collection (Devil May Dare).  It's packaging is sturdy, it has a full mirror, color names are listed on the back, there is a small brush included.
 Now here is a fake I purchased off of eBay from a seller announcing "authentic MAC products".

How to tell it's fake:
  1. It says it's cream eyeshadows...MAC cream eyeshadows don't come in this format.
  2. It's not even cream eyeshadows.  When you open it, it's powder.
  3. The Fantastic color-land quote.
  4. The back is plain black.  A real MAC palette will tell you what names the eyeshadows are and have a name itself. Mine has a sticker with a #6.
  5. There is nothing about the product size, where it's made, nothing.  Essentially the palette was only printed on the front.
How to know it's fake:
  1. You just aren't going to get 12 MAC shadows for about $12.  It's just not going to happen
  2. Double sponge-tipped applicator, what?
  3. Beware the mirror.  Some MAC palettes will/will not have the full mirror.  For example, some holiday palettes will.
  4. Look at the quality of the shadows.  You can tell my brown has a huge chunk out of...which was from part of falling apart as I was using the awesome sponge tipped applicator.
  5. The colors they are meant to mimic are not comparable.
And now the Swatches:
 How to tell it's fake:
  1. Look at the quality of what you have.  If alot of the shadows seem sketchy, it's most likely too good to be true.  The purple for example has horrible pigmentation, it's chalky, and it doesn't stay put.  The black (which I assume is meant to be "carbon") is the same way.  The light blue and brown are decently pigmented, but that is the thing, the quality will vary because it's so inconsistent.
You may ask who would even think that was real.  I did when I first got into higher end makeup.  I didn't know that these palettes weren't real and actually came from China.  I do recommend checking out Asian whole sale sites to see what is commonly copied (MAC, Benefit, anything). Look and see what is being offered.

Also, question the seller.  I once saw someone with a Liberty of London collection lipstick b/c I was looking for Peach Stock and the colors she had listed were not in the collection at all.  Look up what was in the collection to see if it is even remotely close to what was offered by MAC.  Also, that seller never answered my question. Answer: it's fake.  If you come across fakes, report them to eBay.  You can also file a claim through paypal to protect yourself but with some sellers, be ready for a battle.

Also, common lies:
  1. No the person does not work at MAC and gets this stuff to sell
  2. The person did not get a shipment that "fell off a truck".
  3. It is not the "Asian version of MAC". It's called counterfeit.
  4. I don't know where it came from (how do you not know where the products YOU are selling are from)
Other locations to be aware of: Any auction sites, store websites selling discount cosmetics (be careful where you shop), Flea markets, any type of stand sale.

Above all else, If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kat Von D Painted Love Lipgloss in Lolita Review and Swatches

I <3 the sale section at Sephora and while I was browsing, i noticed the Kat Von D lipgloss which is normally $18 was on sale for $9.  Never one to pass up a sale, I purchased Lolita, a dusty rose color.
The packaging is adorable and has "tattooed" roses on the outside.  It has a slightly rubberized feel comparable to NARS packaging.

This is really more of a liquid lipstick than a lipgloss.  Good coverage and amazingly pigmented.  In comparison to a MAC lipglass, it's much better.

Formulated w/o parabens and has a light fruity scent that fades after a while.  The site said you can layer it over a lipstick, but I think it stands alone well enough.  It's only a little sticky, but nothing that was over bearing (especially in the summer heat!).   It also had a decent few hours wear

Overall, I'd recommend this to those of you looking for a thicker liquid lipstick with stronger pigmentation.  The color selection isn't great right now in the sale section and I'm not sure if being in the sale sections means it will be discontinued, but at $9 I'd purchase it again.  I'm not sure I would do $18.  While you get a decent amount of product, I think $15 would be a decent price.

Rating: 4/5
Repurchase: yes for $15 or under, $18, unsure (maybe if I had a 20% off coupon)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Loose Color Concentrates Eyeshadow

One thing I love about OCC is that after each IMATS, they offer 20% off their website to their fans not able to attend. Plus, for my eco and ethically minded friends, their products are 100% vegan and cruelty free, as well as PETA-approved.

I placed an order for a couple items, mainly the liptars and the concentrates (all colors on their page can be used on the eyes EXCEPT cherry bomb)
I placed an order for Clove and Smote
The packaging is little sifter jars.  I admit in comparison to a MAC pigment, I much prefer the sifter lids. You get 2.5 grams for $12 (plus 20% during the sale).
Clove is a shimmery champagne color.  I love it as an all over lid color.
Swatch without flash (left, clove, then smote)

with flash (bottom clove, top smote)

Smote is listed as a "tin-taupe shimmer" and was hyped on youtube for a hot minute.  Some people think it's a dupe for satin taupe, but really, I don't get the taupe out of this.  I get more brown.  It's still a great color, but not that purpley grayish taupey brown I was looking for.  It also has much more shimmer than clove to the point there is almost more of a glitter look.

There is fall-out with these shadows as they are loose pigments.

I also own pigments from Coastal Scents which give you a huge container for a couple bucks.  Honestly, I wouldn't repurchase these because the coastal scents pigments are a much better value.  I still like the colors I got and the lip tars (review and swatches coming soon) are a huge hit with me, but the shadows, ehhh, I just feel like it isn't worth $12 unless you are looking for a really vibrant blue or green.  For neutrals, I would recommend looking elsewhere and saving your money for a liptar if you want to try an OCC product.

Rating (1-5): 2 (product pigmentation is great, but the value isn't there as there are other pigments/micas that work similarly)
Repurchase: No

Monday, July 11, 2011

July Cynthia Rowley Birchbox 2011

Sorry for my disappearing act!  I've been very under the weather and went to go stay with my parents on the weekend when I was not working.  But, hopefully I should be back to full posting power soon!

Birchbox has been hyping this upcoming box on facebook and twitter, so I decided to try it for another month (subscriptions are $10/month).  Here's what I got:
  1. Redken Shine Flash 01 (2.1 oz, full size is 4.4 oz for $17)
  2. Kind Almond & Apricot Bar (this was an "extra")
  3. Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser (1 fl oz)
  4. Zoya Touch Collection Nail Polish in Shay (.25 oz, full size .5 for $8)
  5. Ahava Mineral Hand Cream (.58 fl oz)
Overall, I'm really disappointed in this birchbox. The "extra" item I found very odd.  I'm not sure why you are sending me food.  I don't have an interest in the hair product.  The Ahava hand cream smells odd. I'm interested in trying the Philosophy Purity face wash.

My favorite item so far is the polish.  It's a slightly metallic nude.  Great for a conservative nude nail (or toenails).  Here's a swatch:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I won Diana's Contest and a Blog Award from Bri!

So, I was super excited when I found out that I won Diana's Contest and she sent me a wonderful package full of goodies from the UK!  If you haven't seen her page, check her out at DianaMakeupArtist. She's got a great blog and she's great to talk with on twitter as well.  Anyway, here are the goodies:

The main contest was for the Glamour magazine and the 3 Benefit minis in Benetint, High Beam, and Posietint.  I have only ever tried benetint once back in the day and it was before I knew you could use it on the cheeks, so i"m excited to try and review these 3.  They have a lot of product in them, so I'm excited to try them out.

She also sent me a nice card, sample of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Boots No. 7 nude lipliner, Smokey Eyeliner Brush, Radiance Revealed Exfoliater, and Lash 360 mascara, and a mini of the Estee Lauder Pleasures perfume.  I can't wait to try all these (I've already been loving the mascara and high beam!).  And I've read the magazine cover to cover.  British magazines seem so different!  Again, huge thanks to Diana!  I loved the package!

Next up, I got an award from Bri at Beauty Blogger Bri. Again, if you haven't seen her page, definitely check her out (plus, her dog is adorable).

I'm not tagging anyone as a lot of people have been tagged, but I did want to do the top 10 products, so here we go!
  1. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
  2. Urban Decay Primer Potion (either Original or Eden)
  3. Eve Pearl HD Pressed Powder
  4. MAC I Get No Kick eyeliner (champagne colored)
  5. Cosmedicine Eye Treatment
  6. Mascaras (I can't pick just one! Either Lash Injection by Too Faced for High End or Cover Girl Lash Blast for drug store)
  7. Michael Todd Lipstick in Lace
  8. MUD eyeshadows (especially cashmere)
  9. Lorac eyeshadow in Persuasion (for a highlight)
  10. MUFE Full Cover Concealer