Sunday, October 7, 2012

MAC Marilyn Monroe Pure Zen Lipstick Review & Swatches

One of the most recently hyped collections from MAC, the Marilyn Monroe collection sold out in under an hour online.  eBay is insane with prices already.  I managed to get my hands on Pure Zen lipstick.  The deeper reds did not appeal as much to me as I already have a few shades of red that I love, but I rarely wear them.

Pure zen is described as a frosted warm nude. It is actually a repromote, so this isn't a new shade.

The packaging is sleek and has the image of Monroe with a signature.
I'm not a die-hard fan, so the packaging wasn't that appealing to me, but for fans, it is a tasteful image.
Pure Zen is a cremesheen finish.  I didn't find it drying.  It wore about 4 hours for me.  Less if I'm doing more talking and drinking.
This is a very heavy swatch.  One of the cons is that it isn't as pigmented as I would like for a lipstick that costs over $15.
Here is is with a flash.  You can see it does settle in the lines, so I recommend conditioning your lips first.
Above is without a flash (and truer to color I think).

Overall, would I buy this lipstick again?  Probably not.  I much prefer creme d'nude and innocence, beware! (also limited edition).  It's a nice tube to grab and put on without a mirror, but it's not overly impressive unless you are a fan of the packaging.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back & Ready For Fall!

I've been away for, well, too long.  I've missed the blogging community.  Where have I been?  I've been balancing working FT and going to graduate school at night (2 nights a week for 3 hours each).  I'm farther along in my studies so I've had a lot of reading as well as papers to work on.

I've also had the opportunity to travel for work.  I got a pay bump, which upped my job responsibilities.  I went to Washington DC for the first time and it's definitely a place I would love to visit to site-see.  Unfortunately business trips only give time to take pictures out of cab windows!

I have a lot of good posts and reviews coming up and I'm excited to get back into blogging, especially since Fall is my favorite season.  I can't wait to catch up on all your blogs as well (for those of you who run them) and thank you to those who have stayed subscribed! I can't thank you enough.

Updates soon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ultraflesh Tinted Moisturizer in Diaphanous Review

I'm obsessed with the Sephora sale section and I normally use it to try out new higher end produts.  I had a 10% off coupon, so I picked up the Ultraflesh tinted moisturizer in the shade diaphanous (the lightest).  It normally retails for $34, but it was on sale for $17, so with my discount, I paid $15.30.
First, this is just one pump, which releases a lot of product, so if you bought this, try just to use a half pump.  I also had to pump over 30 times (yes, I started counting) to get the product to come out at all.
This is not a moisturizer for those with oily skin as it does have quite a sheen to it.  I have normal to dry skin (right now, it's more dry) so the sheen wasn't too bad on my face.

However, the shade that is lightest is very yellow-based, which I wasn't a fan of. Coverage is very light and fades throughout the day (unless you set it with a powder, which I don't like to do with a tinter moisturizer).

Overall, I don't recommend buying this product even on sale, especially for those with oily skin.  It has minimal coverage and looks very yellow if you are fair.  It might be better for warmer toned skin, but for your money, I think there are much better brands to try out.  It still felt like I was wearing skin didn't feel refresh.

The only positive I found was that the packaging was sleek, but what good is the packaging, if you don't like the product inside?  I'll use up what I have, but I would not repurchase this.  I think Ultraflesh has other products which are much better compared to this.

Price: $34 ($17 on sale at
Rating: 1 out of 5

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What's in my March BirchBox

I'm finally back to blogging after some crazy work & school times!  I have a lot of reviews and hauls coming up as well as some "office makeup" looks.  But for now, here's a look at what was in my birchbox for March
  1. Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment
  2. Annick Goutal Petite Cherie Perfume Sample (it smelled fruity, not floral to me)
  3. Kerastase Elixir Ultime (a hair oil)
  4. Essie Luxeffects in A Cut Above
  5. Twistband Hairtie
At $8 for the Essie polish alone, I think this box was worth the price.  I actually just got the Fresh Sugar Tinted duo from Sephora for my birthday in February, but I was psyched to get another one as I can't justify the $22 price tag (review coming soon).

The perfume sample was a bit disappointing, but expected from birchbox now.  The box was also a teen vogue promo, so there was a deal to subscribe to the mag (which I won't because I'm far from a teen).  I've actually gotten the hair ties from birchbox before, but this was a new line of spring colors.  I do like the hairties, but for the price from that company, you could buy them cheaper, even at sephora (which I have done).

Overall, I am still pleased with the service and the point system.  I have a haul/review coming up from when I recently redeemed some points!  I don't think I'll use the polish a lot because I can't really wear glitter to the office, but it's cute for a night out or next valentine's day or just a day you are feeling pink & girly. 
Essie A Cut Above over Sally Hansen's 160 Gentle Blossom

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What's In My January Birchbox

Hi everyone! I've just finished moving out of cube-land at work and am now in a shared office (with a window!), so I'm finally getting back to blogging.  My department now turned into legal, so I moved floors and have a swanky new space.  I'm super excited and hoping this will bring new opportunities at work.

Now, on to makeup!
  1. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
  2. Chuao Chocolatier (extra gift) -- chocolate with some heat (not a fan)
  3. Mineralogie Ultimate Cream Concealer (will do a full review but so far not digging it for under the eyes)
  4. Eye Rock Designer Liner
  5. Beauty Blender!
I'm most excited for the beauty blender this month.  I've thought about purchasing it in the past, but could never convince myself to shell out the $20.  So, I was stoked to see this in my $10 box! I had also just bought the dupe at Ulta, so I'll do a comparison.

I'll also do a review of the eyeliner...I'm interested to see if this works!  Like a lot of girls, I sometimes have trouble getting eyeliner just right.  While some are a bit too edgey for my everyday look, I'm excited to try it out.

I'm also not sure why my concealer came with a blemish on it...The full size retails for $16.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

CVS Milani 75% Off Sale Haul

Hi Ladies!  I wanted to post this right away in case your cvs has the 75% off Milani select products.  My CVS didn't have them marked, but I scanned them at the machine before check out.

I picked up 2 lipsticks and 3 blushes (one is a back-up of Luminous which I already own).  The lipsticks are completely passable.  They were a bit on the drying side, they are shaped odd and they are frosty.  On top of that Sugar Rim has actual glitter chunks in it.  So not the nude shade I was hoping for.
(Sugar Rim and Mystique Mauve)
I couldn't get the glitte3r chunks to show in the picture...but they aren't so flattering.  I will most likely use these as bases for other lipsticks or glosses.  I'm not a fan of the finish as they are.  Too frosty of a look for me.
The blushes on the other hand, I LOVE.  Top is the Luminous one I already own.  I picked up an extra to have a back up.  It's a great shimmery pink-peach that some say is a dupe for orgasm.  I'd say it's a mix between orgasm and deepthroat. The bottom left is Soft Rose.  If you pick one blush, I'd get this one.  Great color especially while it's still winter.  It's matte, which I love.  And last at the bottom right is Mai-Tai a matte true coral.  Can't wait to rock this for spring!

Overall, I'd say the best bets are the blushes and the select nail polishes on sale (I couldn't find any at my CVS that were marked down, but I've tried their polishes before).

Happy hauling!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 HR Cream Gel Shadow

Tired of hearing about these yet?  For the past few weeks, I have been trying out these little pots of cream eyeshadow.  The second I heard "paint pot dupe", I was all in.

While the packaging is quite similar and definitely a step up, I wouldn't go as far as to say "dupe". For me, paint pots don't crease (I know that for some they do).  The Maybelline shadows are a cream eyeshadow (the name irks me...are you a cream or a gel?). They aren't necessarily meant to "prime" the eye persay.  I found these shadows worked best for me with a primer underneath.
I picked up Tough As Taupe (matte), Painted Purple, and Audacious Asphalt.  If you pick up any, I'd recommend tough as taupe.  The purple is horrible.  I wish I had listened to reviews, but it looked so pretty in the pot!
Sadly, the puple is after me applying 4 layers at which point on your eyelid, it will start looking cakey and some still streaky.  Avoid the purple! Audacious Asphalt I wanted for everyday wear, but for my office, the glitter is too big.  Shimmer is office appropriate, this was not.  I will most likely use this for the evenings.

Here are two of my attempts above.  The top pic, I had creasing, the bottom I had major wear in the crease.  The colors will definitely fade throughout the day.  It's not going to last you 24 hours.  Mine photos were taken after about 7 hours.  I can't imagine these being good for the summer months at all.

Final verdict: I think Maybelline is going in the right direction, but isn't quite there yet.  They stepped up their game, but that purple shadow dragged them back down.  A lot of people seem to love tough as taupe and I think it would be a good call by Maybelline to come out with some more neutral colors in the range.

Overall, like a paint pot, you need to try it for yourself.  Depending on your eyelid skin, it may work great!  My eyelids are generally in the normal range.  Sometimes dry for winter.  But for me, this wasn't a replacement of my paint pot.  I will use what I purchased, but I wouldn't run out to buy more.

Final Scores:
Rating (1-5): 3 (I still think it needs work)
Best For: Those with less oily eyelids or those that don't have many issues with fading or creasing
Where to buy: Drugstores or Super Stores (CVS and Riteaid usually have deals running, so if you are going to buy, I'd wait for a deal)
Best option: Tough as Taupe
Leave it on the Shelf: Painted Purple

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Haute Collection Nail Polish Set

Hi beauties!  I scored a great deal at CVS this past week and I thought I'd share in case any of your CVS's still had them available.  In the Christmas 75% off section, I was lucky enough to find the Sally Hansen Salon Manicure 3 polish packs.  These were $9.99 originally and came to $2.49 for 3 full polishes!  There 3rd is a clear coat (not pictured...because, well, it's clear).

I picked up the haute collection, which included Commander in Chic and Pat on the Black.

Commander in chic is one of those great "muddy" colors that exploded this fail.  Great color pay-off and applies easily (used 2 coats)
Pat on the black is not a color I would normally be drawn too, but it is a nice black.  You can also see hints of a berry purpley color in the bottle and if you only use one coat.  I used 2 to make it opague.

Overall, I would say give these polishes a try if you can find them in the 75% off section.  Normally these are $8/bottle and I got 3 for only $2.49.  Even if you only want one of the colors, you can always gift the other to a friend :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whats in my Birchbox for January?

After a bout of the stomach flu (after the regular flu!) I have tons of posting and reviews to do!  I thought I'd start off slowly, so here's the birchbox for January...
  1. Origins Checks and Balances (full size retails 19.50): I've actually been loving this cleanser so far.  You really need the tiniest amount to get a mound of lather. I'll do a full review after trying for longer than a week, but so far, love it!
  2. Archipelago Pomegranate Body Soap: Not a huge fan of bar soap, so this may be a decorative soap I set out in my bathroom (picture below).  It smells ok...not amazing.  Actually, it makes me sneeze, so if you are sensitive to smells or bar soaps, this is probably not for you (and full size is $12.50?!?)
  3. Juicy Couture Perfume Sample: Smells good, but nothing I'd ever buy for myself.  I actually HATE when Birchbox puts in perfume samples.
  4. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner: I received the color Lionfish which is a metallic brown (swatch below).  It's a nice automatic eyeliner.  Still need to test it more for a full review. (this came in full size, which retails for $20).
  5. Bonus - Latabar Mini Bar: I received the carrot cake flavor.  It tasted ok...but it's also the last thing I ate before the stomach flu!!! Soooo, I don't have good memories of it!  I also wish Birchbox would stop sending me food.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jouer Creme Eyeshadow in Organza (Review and Swatches)

I had over 300 points at Birchbox, which equals a $30 gift card.  They were also running a deal where if you spend $75, you got $25 off.  Hard to pass up that good of a deal when I only ended up spending $20 on my purchases.  I decided to grab up some makeup from Jouer.  I've only ever tried their lipgloss, but I saw this little taupe-y beauty and it was love at first sight...
This is Jouer creme eyeshadow in Organza.  Retails for $20 for 2.5 grams of product.  The eyeshadow cases each have a mirror and an interlocking bit on the side (meant for you to snap them together and design your own palette).
The shade is described as a "lavendar-tinged taupe".  I don't get overwhelmed with lavendar, but I think it's a gorgeous taupe shade with a strong color pay-off.  The formula glides on easily with a brush or your fingertips.

This formula will crease on most people, but using a good primer will stop that.  You can apply this sheerly or build it up to your liking.

Overall, I'm not amazed by the creme eyeshadow.  I like it...but I'm not about to rush out and buy the other 3 shades off the site.

If you are looking to buy a high-end shadow (creme or powder), I'd say this is passable.  The color is great, but I'm just not certain it lives up to a $20 price tag.  If it worked more creaselessly on me like a paint pot or benefits creaseless cream shadows, I'd be more willing to shell out the 20, but I feel like you can get more product from Benefit for a cheaper price.

Price: 2/5
Product (discounting price): 3.5/5

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years: Beauty Resolutions?

Happy new year everyone!  I've been away for quite some time as I traveled home for the holidays to see my family and ended up getting the flu for Christmas!  It hit heavily last week, so I completely missed New Years festivities and work. Ugh.  Oh well, here's to a better year!

I'm not one for making new years resolutions...but there are some beauty resolutions I'd like to *TRY* to keep.
  1. Deep clean my brushes regularly (no more of the eh...I'll do it tomorrow!)
  2. Get enough beauty sleep! (During my work busy season, I should just live at the office!)
  3. Take off my makeup before bed...even the nights I've been out til 2 am.
  4. Actually use up some of the products I've bought.
Do you have any new years beauty resolutions?