Monday, December 31, 2012

FOTD: Holiday Treasure

Hi Guys! Happy New Year's Eve! Do you all have special plans for this evening? I'll be spending some time with friends from work! I haven't decided what to wear yet, and I don't know how I'll do my makeup, but I'm definitely itching to play with Meow Cosmetics' Egyptian Treasures collection again after reviewing these photos from a Christmas-inspired look I did last week just before the holiday!

I've had a handful of Meow Cosmetics' eyeshadows for quite awhile now; in fact, some of my earliest posts featured these products. I won't be linking you to those early posts, as I've learned a lot since then (and still have more to learn, admittedly), but you can go take a look if you're curious about which colors I picked up. I have exercised incredible self-control and haven't placed an order since then. I blame Meow Cosmetics' ability to make eyeshadows that are so good, I'm still excited to use them, even two years later!No need for new beauties, the excitement from the original batch is still going strong. You can use these dry, but they really come to life when used damp; they glow, with the metallic shades looking like liquid metal on the eye, and the burgundy shades looking like flocked velvet. They're really spectacular.

Here's the finished look:

Of course, while I'd consider Meow Cosmetics' eyeshadows to be the star of the show, I used lots of other products to get this look. I decided, why bother focusing on eyes? I went super-dramatic for the cheek and lips as well. Hey, it's been awhile since I've had time to really play around with makeup! Cut me some slack.

Here's what I used:

Lips: Urban Decay Lipstick in Confession, Revlon Colorburst lip gloss in All That Glitters.

Eyes: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded, Korres Eyeshadow in 775 Plum (wet on lid), Meow Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Tutankhamun (wet on middle of lid and into crease), Meow Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Reincarnation (dry in crease), Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten (in inner corner blended into crease), Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Vintage Lace (blended from top of crease up to brow bone, used to blend outer edge of eyeshadow), Meow Cosmetics eyeshadow in Ra (wet on lower lash line), Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil (smudged on top lash line), Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Revolver (on upper lash line), L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, Prestige brow pencil, Anastasia Brow Gel in Caramel

Cheeks: Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Nyx Blush in Raisin, NARS Blush in Douceur, Hard Candy Blush in Pin Up, The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Powder in 01.

Face: (not pictured) Prestige primer, Make Up For Ever Face & Body Makeup, Hard Candy Glamoflage concealer

Natural Light:

Indoor Light:
Look at how glowy Ra looks on the lower lash line!

Look at what happens where Reincarnation is dusted over Tutankhamun! It creates this really fiery burnished orange.

I had a lot of fun playing around with some products I don't reach for that often. I don't have very many excuses to wear heavy or dark makeup looks, especially since I'm supposed to do "understated" makeup for work (turns out brides like the be the center of attention...), so the holidays provide the perfect excuse to play with metallic shades, textures, and glitter!

What are you guys doing for New Year's Eve? Have you been playing around with makeup more than usual during the holidays?

Monday, December 24, 2012

NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Cinna-Snap

Hi Guys! If you celebrate, hope you're enjoying your Christmas Eve! I am having a low-key Christmas this year; I'm spending Christmas Eve cooking, baking, wrapping presents, cleaning the house, and watching Christmas movies, and tomorrow my boyfriend and I are spending the day with his parents. I miss spending the holidays with my family, but I'm the only one left in California anymore!

Just a quick post right now, I wanted to show you all Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri nail polish in Cinna-Snap, a color I've had for a long time but haven't worn in awhile. Frankly, I was sure I must have posted about it before now! It's not a particularly exciting color, but it's a very nice deep burgundy-red cream, perfect for a classic red manicure through the holidays. The Insta-Dri formula isn't my favorite; it's on the thick side, and chips about a day sooner on me than most other nail polish formulas. That being said, it does have its advantages; the brush is wide, which coupled with the thick formula means that it is a great choice for a fast manicure; not as many brush strokes per nail, and it's easy to get away with one coat if you're in a pinch (although I used two here just to make sure things were nice and even). Because it's a fast drying formula, that cuts down on the time you usually have to devote to a manicure as well. I keep buying these because I like some of the colors that are released in this line, and it's nice to have a few go-to polishes that I can slap on if I only have a few minutes to devote to a fresh manicure.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

Summary: It's not the greatest nail polish formula that's ever been, and while Cinna-Snap is a lovely color, it is particularly dupeable; I'm sure most of you have a version of this color in your collection already. That being said, it's a nice go-to polish when you're in a pinch and need a particularly quick manicure.

Do you guys have polishes with less than stellar formulas that you find you appreciate for their other qualities? What are your holiday plans?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NOTD: Love & Beauty in Mauve

It's been awhile since I've shown you guys a nail polish from Forever 21's beauty line, Love & Beauty. I always take a look at the nail polish selection when I'm in a Forever 21; the colors are only $2.80, the formula is of decent quality, and they sometimes have really unusual, very pretty shades!

I picked up Mauve fairly recently, and it's a really pretty warm greyed berry-plum color with loads of pink and gold shimmer and flashes of ice blue shimmer throughout. The formula was just fine; I have no problems with application, and I get a few days of good wear out of it, which is average for me. I think it's really comparable to some of the better drugstore nail polishes out there. The brush is on the small side, but is definitely usable.

Summary: This color isn't spectacularly unique, but I think the shimmer really sets it apart from similar shades in my collection. I've worn it a few times since purchasing it, and I find myself reaching for this bottle more than I would have expected; it's a versatile shade that looks really put together but is still interesting, and it's perfect for the colder weather!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

e.l.f. Evil Queen Palette

So, you may or may not remember me posting when I acquired the e.l.f. Disney villains palettes a few months back. If not, you can re-read that post here. I promised you all swatches, and here they finally are! It took me a little while to work my way back around to these, but now I have some more thoughts for you all regarding the formula and wear. I'll be doing separate posts for each of the palettes, and I'm starting off with the Evil Queen's palette!

Here are swatches of the top row. From top to bottom are One Bite, Vanity, Narcissistic, and Potion. I swatched each color twice; first on bare skin, then over the included primer. You can barely see Vanity, but I promise it's there.

And here is the second row of colors swatched in the same manner. Top to bottom are Fairest of the Land, Majesty, Peddler's Cloak, and Poison Apple.

And finally, here are the two lip/cheek color pencils, blended out on the left, and then swatched more heavily on the right.

Summary: I'm honestly not very impressed with the quality of the products in this kit. The eyeshadows are powdery, patchy, and aren't particularly pigmented. They do slightly better on the eyes than swatched. I'm sure I'll still use them from time to time despite this mediocre formula; they're not terrible. I can't see myself using the lip/cheek pencils as cheek colors, but they smear very easily when worn on the lips. I am glad I picked these up when I had the chance since I am a big Disney fan and I love them as a collectible item, but I wouldn't recommend the products inside; this is an inexpensive set, but unless you want every single color you'd still probably be better off buying a single from the drugstore. The sheer shadows and packaging would actually make this perfect for a young girl looking for costume or play makeup. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LOTD: Sparkly red lip

Hi guys! Thanks for being patient with me, it looks like I got the Picasa fluke fixed. It certainly took long enough! I have a few fun posts planned, so hopefully it was worth the wait.

As for this post's featured look, I wanted to play around with a few new and new-ish things that I hadn't had a time to really get to know. I used some new eyeshadows from The Body Shop, and boy, I have to say... they are creamy and beautiful! It's not my go-to makeup brand, but I think there are definitely some hidden gems. Some of the eyeshadows I swatched in the store had a drier consistency, but I picked up some of the creamier, more densely pigmented shades. In addition to that, I used a new MAC blush, Small Vanity, and two lip products I have swatched for you but haven't had a chance to wear yet. Take a look!

Eyes: MUFE Aqua Cream in 13 as a base,The Body Shop 07, 32, and 41, MAC Fluidline eyeliner in Catch My Eye

Lips: NYC lipstick in 309 Sheer Red, Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in All That Glitters

Cheeks: MAC Small Vanity

I'm also wearing my usual "basics"; foundation, powder, mascara, and brow gel.

Full face, natural light

Natural light

Natural light

Indoor light

Lips in indoor light

I'm glad to be able to blog again! I know I wasn't gone for too terribly long, but I had so many things I wanted to share with you all! I am still not sure what happened with my pictures not being able to be loaded, but in case any of you have had the same issue, the problem was not that I had reached my photo limit and needed to pay for extra storage space; it was just a glitch in the system that worked itself out. The error message I was getting on this end was that I was out of storage space, but when I went into my Picasa account, it showed I still had plenty left.

So what do you guys think of these products? Have any of you picked up the same items? I'm still figuring out how to make Small Vanity work with my coloring; I purchased it because it looked like it might be the  same color my cheeks get when they flush naturally. While it is very close, I am starting to wonder if that's a good thing; sometimes when I use it I just look really ruddy, and I have to be very careful about the placement so it looks intentional!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fellow Blogger Picasa Help Please!

Hi guys! I was trying to get some content up and I ran into the "No more storage space in Picasa!" problem other bloggers have been seeing. I'm not opposed to paying to upgrade my storage option, but I want to know what others have done before I commit to that. When I went to look into that option, it said that I was only using 59% of my Picasa storage space... Has anyone ever had this error before? How did you resolve it?


Thanks guys!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EOTD: Maybelline Eye Studio in Cozy Cashmere

I've been meaning to show you guys this Maybelline Eye Studio quad for awhile now! It's Cozy Cashmere, and was part of the limited edition fall collection. I love wearing really warm colors on my eyes, and I've been using the heck out of all my neutral palettes lately, so I knew I had to have this quad! It's a good "neutral with a twist" set of colors. Sorry I didn't show this to you guys before now; this may be difficult to find now, although I've seen a couple floating around drugstores recently. I found mine on a display at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Cozy Cashmere has an incredibly shimmery/ frosty champagne beige, a warm medium brown with gold sparkle, a nearly-matte burnt orange, and a nearly-matte deep brick red that leans a touch burgundy. I wish there was a fifth matte nude shade so you aren't stuck with the shimmery color as your only highlighter, but if that's the only other eyeshadow single I have to use to make an eye look out of this quad, I'm still a happy camper.

The Quad; Cozy Cashmere

With the lid up

The following swatches are in the order of the quad, but backwards; left to right is the burgundy shade, the burnt orange, the medium brown, and the champagne.

On an angle to show the finish and shimmer better

And here I am wearing the colors over eye primer, with an ivory matte highlight shade under the brow bone.

Summary: These shadows are very pigmented and easy to blend. The colors are great for fall and are definitely unique; I don't have any other drugstore shadows in these colors. I'm really happy I picked this quad up, and wish that I'd tried it out sooner so I could let you guys in on the good news before now!

What do you guys think of this set? Do you wear warm oranges and reds on your eyes? I know some people are afraid they'll look like they have pink eye with red colors near their eyes. As long as I use a liner alongside red or orange colors like this, I don't worry about that too much.

Did anyone else pick up this quad?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NOTD: Zoya Anastasia

Wow, busy busy week on my end! Are you guys feeling that holiday gear-up already, too? Besides more errands than usual (several trips to the DMV last week, had to take my car in to get looked at today, a broken stove yesterday...), fall reorganization and cleaning in anticipation of holiday guests, and the usual work and household duties, I have felt like I've been "falling" behind! I have to admit, it feels good to get some things reorganized and looking better around the house, but it's been at the expense of my social life, leisure time, and-- you guessed it-- my blog! I miss you guys! What have you all been up to? Am I the only one with errands and chores piling up?

Anyway, I've got another Nail of the Day to show you guys. This one is a pretty Zoya fall color, Anastasia. It's a deep plum-mauve with threads of gold shimmer that definitely make an impact on the nail; this isn't the sort of shimmer that shines in the bottle and then disappears on the nail! Zoya describes this as nearly opaque, and I would concur; I used two coats and got perfectly opaque, even coverage. This is an easy one to work with!

Summary: I'd recommend this color in a heartbeat! It's gorgeous, and a good fall or holiday color if you don't want to use traditional holiday colors; the amazing gold shimmer against the dusty jewel tone background make it feel festive, if not over the top. It was a dream to work with, too.

Do any of you have this color? What do you think of it? Do you have any non-traditional "festive" nail polishes you pull out around this time of year? I have a few champagne shimmers I'll probably start rotating into my lineup!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nyx Blush in Raisin

It's been awhile since I've featured a blush, and it is high time I introduce you to some of my "new" pretties. I've actually had Nyx's blush in Raisin for awhile. I bought Raisin alongside Red and Taupe, intending to use all three as contour colors. Raisin is a plummy color with a touch of grey/ taupe which makes it a great contour shade to accompany plum, wine, berry, and purple blush colors, as well as a nice matte blush all on its own. Nyx's blushes are very pigmented and finely milled; they last through an entire day on my skin, and blend beautifully. My only complaints are that they can be difficult to find and that the surface has little raised pyramids on it, which can sometimes leave a weird pattern of blush on your brush, since it's so pigmented a small tap will do (no swirling required!). Since it blends so easily though, that's not really an issue, although you can't forget to blend the product on your cheeks because of this! I like that the packaging has a clear lid so you can see the color of the product from the front.

I purchased Raisin from a beauty supply store in San Jose and paid $7.99 for the blush; this is a bit steep, as I've seen these blushes elsewhere for $5.99, and Ulta will often run BOGO sales on Nyx cosmetics, although many places don't carry the full range of shades. Sometimes random stores will carry Nyx; an inexpensive clothing store in my local mall has a display (but only in the plus-sized store; the standard size store across the mall doesn't have a cosmetics display...), so keep your eyes peeled!

I tried to look through my existing blushes to do a comparison for you. The closest color in my stash is NARS' Sin, which is slightly lighter, less taupe, and has some golden shimmer in it. In the swatches below, Sin is on the left and Raisin is on the right:

Sin on the left, Raisin on the right
Finally, this is what it looks like on the cheek! I am only wearing Raisin on my cheeks in the following photo, although it does pair very nicely with other blushes as a contour shade as well.

Summary: Nyx blushes are worth the $6-$8 pricetag, hands down! I think they can compete with much higher end blushes as far as pigmentation and staying power go. My only complaints are that they can be hard to find, the raised diamond design makes careful blending a must, and that I wish they had a wider color selection; the shades are pretty basic earthy neutrals, and are mostly matte. More interesting colors and finishes would make me very happy! That being said, these are great "basics" to fill out a makeup collection, and I love that they have so many matte shades with a taupe or grey tone that make for such great contour colors.

Have you guys used Nyx blushes? Do you have any favorite contour colors?

Monday, November 5, 2012

NOTD: Flirt + After Party

I recently decided that, after all of my pale pink and nude manicures for work, I needed something dark and glittery on my nails! I decided on Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Flirt, a deep warm purple with shimmer in it, with Icing's nail polish in After Party on top. After Party is one of my go-to glitter top coats; it has irregularly shaped pieces of purple, blue, red, and gold glitter in it, and it is so much fun to wear.

After Party doesn't lay flat on the nail, so I needed two layers of Seche Vite to smooth things out and keep the glitter from snagging on anything. I didn't mind, though; it's so much fun to wear, and I love the way it popped against the dark background of Flirt. I think I may try After Party on top of a nude or shimmery tan (like China Glaze Fast Track or SOPI I Only Wear Vintage...) next!

Do you guys have either of these nail polishes? What do you think of them?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Limited Edition Haul and a Look!

Hi Guys!

Sorry I haven't been posting as frequently as I generally like to, I've been very busy with work! It is going really well, but it has definitely been an adjustment from my "anything goes" student schedule, and I haven't exactly figured out how to budget my time on my days off the most efficiently yet. Anyway, I have been trying really hard to get at least one blog post up a week, and increase from that once I get a better handle on my time management! And maybe once I've caught up on all of the household cleaning... Yeah, that's been getting neglected as well.

Anyway, I went to my local beloved Bed Bath & Beyond with the amazing makeup department, and I found a few goodies in the Limited Edition section! I got two L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows (see my ebullient earlier reviews here and here) and two Revlon Colorburst lip glosses. The eyeshadows I bought were from the Diamond holiday collection. I bought Blinged & Brilliant, a warm bronzed champagne shade, and Gold Imperial, a true gold. Both have an incredibly shimmery with a metallic finish. Gold Imperial has gold glitter and applies with only medium opacity, but can be built up to be more opaque; Blinged & Brilliant is more metallic without any glitter particles and is more densely pigmented. They were $6.99 each. The lipglosses I purchased are All That Glitters, a very sheer gloss jam-packed with glitter that flashes white and gold depending on the way the light hits it with rainbow microglitter scattered throughout, and Brilliant Bordeaux, a sheer heathered mauve with silver shimmer. These were $5.99 each, and part of the Revlon holiday Just Add Sparkle collection. These are both products that I have used before and love; in fact, Colorburst lipglosses may be my favorite drugstore lip glosses, and the Infallible eyeshadow is my favorite drugstore eyeshadow formula. Both, in my opinion, hold their own when compared to products more than twice their price.

For the following look, I used L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Blinged and Brilliant on the lid, and I used Gold Imperial on the inner corner, along with a plum shade in the crease and an ivory under the brow bone.  I am wearing Brilliant Bordeaux on my lips.

Brilliant Bordeaux

And here is an up-close look at the colors:

Here are some swatches; both are done dry with my finger. Gold Imperial is on the left, Blinged & Brilliant on the right. You can see that Gold Imperial has some gold glitter in it and is a bit more sheer (though it can be built up to opacity), and Blinged & Brilliant has a frosted, metallic finish. It's a warm champagne peachy-pink shade with a pale gold sheen.

And here are the glosses!

So far, I've been having fun playing around with these. I love that Gold Imperial is a very true gold color, and Blinged & Brilliant is such a brightening shade, it just opens up the whole eye. As for the glosses, Brilliant Bordeaux is a really nice "my lips but better" shade that cools down the natural color a bit, and I think All That Glitters will be great for layering.

What do you guys think? Will you be picking any of these shades up, or have you already bought any? I'm really excited to try using All That Glitters over a red lipstick for the holiday season!