Saturday, July 14, 2018

5 Products I Did Not Expect to Love

This title might seem a bit weird because why would somebody buy something not expecting to enjoy using it?

But allow me to explain.

Either my first impressions of these products were wrong, or I purchased them not really expecting much, but have since learned that it is more than it appears. This all sounds cryptic. Let's just get into it.

I did not expect to love the Pixi Lower Lash mascara. I remember there were a lot of lukewarm reviews about this product, which actually was a collaboration with someone I don't know, but the overall consensus was just confusion about the utility of such a product. Furthermore, I don't really love Pixi as a brand. I have had terrible luck with their lip products and eyeshadows, though I admittedly use the Glow Tonic. But I really really like the lower lash mascara. I bought it and the brow gel for $8.00 (retail $16) at TJ Maxx on a whim, and have not regretted it.

The mascara defines and lengthens the lashes in a natural way, creating a feathery effect. I enjoy using it on my top lashes as well. As my eyelashes can be difficult, the brush is fine enough to comb through them. After, I typically layer on another mascara, such as Essence Lash Princess, and my lashes really pop.

And actually, I learned that Pixi is coming out with a mascara that contains both a lower lash and upper lash wand. If it performs the way mine currently does, I would happily buy it! I really think they are on to something with this.

The second product was in the same duo. Though I use the Essence Make Me Brow, sometimes I don't want color. I didn't really think the Pixi one was going to be anything special, but it does an excellent job of shaping my brows and keeping them in place. I would say, though, it is more of a light hold if anything.

Next, I did not expect to love the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair (15). I bought this after hearing a lot of glowing reviews, but around that time I also got the Colourpop No Filter Concealer, and the BH Cosmetics Pro concealer. Those two are very light and bright, and good for under the eye, and I just wasn't paying any attention to the Maybelline one, which is closer to my skin-tone. But when I needed to spot conceal, the CP and BH ones didn't cut it. Not only is the Maybelline one great because it is a good match, but also because it is pigmented and durable, and will last on your face as a spot-concealer.

My first impressions of the Looxi Shadow Mirage were not stellar, because I explained how it is on the sheerer side, and doesn't play well with my more dependable bases, such as Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy. However, I have since learned that the shadow does better wet, or with regular eyeshadow primer all over the lid. I really like the effect of it that way, and have since learned to be happy that this shade is in my collection. If you want to see a look featuring this shade, check-out my LA Splash eyeliner review from earlier today.

Lastly, I did not expect to love the Milani Contour & Highlight Cream and Liquid Duo. I bought this last summer for $11 from their website because it was new. I was not impressed by the liquid highlighter, which is more on the natural, subtle side, and decided that the whole product was not for me.

But then I got into cream stick contouring, and there is something about the Milani one I really enjoy. It blends well, does not disappear, and has a bit of a grey tone to it. I have been using it for a couple of weeks. It contains 3.6 g of product, which compared to the KKW contour stick, is about 4 times as much. Just saying.

What have I learned? In most if not all of these cases, my first impressions were off because I only was thinking of one intended use for the product, or way to use the product, which was incredibly limiting. I learned to get the full use out of my products and I ended up with five things that I not only use a lot, but really like.

What are some products you did not expect to love?

LA Splash Art-ki-tekt Liner in Chromate: Review

First off, the name is terrible. I keep wanting to type Ark-i-tekt. Because that's the word, sort of. But LA Splash wanted to get a bit clever, a bit punny, didn't they? Didn't work.

The eyeliner itself does work, though, and I am happy to review it for you here, today. This is what the pen looks like:
Art-ki-tekt waterproof slim eyeliner - Chromate

I would show you a picture of my own pen, but because the rose gold packaging is so reflective, I can't get a decent pic of the entire pen. 

So, let's get into specs. The liner is a brush-tip eyeliner, which is a must for me. Because of my protruding eye shape, felt tip liners skip, while brush tip liners can mostly follow the contour of my eye. I am always in the market for affordable, matte (as matte can be), very black brush tip eyeliners. Believe it or not, they are quite hard to find.

But on the recommendation of one of my fave youtubers, I bought this from Amazon for $14.00. It is currently out of stock on the LA Splash site, but not on Amazon, where it has a rating of four out of five stars.

LA Splash claims the liner is waterproof. The pen contains 1 mL of product.

For funsies, I decided to also compare it to my HG Physician's Formula Eye Booster Liner (I mean that's not even the full name but really people we have got to talk about these names), in Ultra Black. I have a couple of back-ups of these, but retail price ranges from $9-$11, for 0.50 mL, which frustrates me, because I do feel like I run out of the PF one quickly.

So, as of now it seems like the Art-ki-tekt pen is a better deal. Let's get into swatches:

This is a picture of my eye about six hours after application, and two hours of walking in the park in 80-degree weather. Aside from the fading on the outer edge of my eye, it held up pretty well. No leaking. 

This is a close-up of the brush-tip. Out of nowhere, a bristle got trapped and won't seem to bend back into place, no matter how carefully I put the cap back on. Sometimes I get that kind of problem with the PF liner, but it always resolves itself. 

 Swatches! Physicians's Formula on the left, and LA Splash on the right. PF I noticed dispenses more product and creates a thicker line. In terms of darkness, opacity, and sheen, the two are nearly identical. They do have very similar ingredients. LA Splash, though, contains Jojoba oil.

And the wear comparison. After rubbing the back of half with a wet cloth, the Art-ki-tekt liner broke down, while the PF liner held up. 

Is this liner as good as my usual choice? Product-wise, no. The finish, color, and opacity are the same, but the durability of PF cannot be beat. However, LA Splash wins with a better value. If you wanted to pay for a full mL of PF's eyeliner, you'd be paying about $20, while LA Splash is less. 

The pen on LA Splash is also thinner, making it easy to control and draw on the line. I don't mind this eyeliner and am happy to have it. It just makes me want PF to be even better when it comes to product value. 

If you are in the market for a brush-tip eyeliner, this one is worth trying out. 

I am not that familiar with LA Splash as a brand, but I am definitely interested. If anyone has tried anything from them, or knows of a different brand that sells brush-tip eyeliners (of any price range), I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Almay Shadow Squad in Fairy Tale: Review and Swatches

So, as part of Almay's rebranding, they've released these little quads of eyeshadow called "Shadow Squads," packaged in a sleek transparent little square, with many different colors out there. Each quad (because I am not going to keep typing Squad) contains colors in the same family, but with different finishes.

I purchased at CVS the shade Fairy Tale quad, because 1.) I am a fairy tale nerd, and 2.) these appeared to be iridescent versions of the primary colors, in the same vein of the Kat Von D Alchemist Palette. I paid $6.99, for  3.5 g of product.

Let's get into some pictures:

 Order of swatches: Green, Blue, Red, and Yellow

 All the colors mixed together.

As for my assessment, the only positive thing I can say is that the powder is very soft, and when I initially placed my finger in, I was hopeful based on the texture of the product. However, there is barely any color pay-off. Each shade is vaguely the color as shown in the pan, but each is filled with glitter of the same color. I will say that the glitters are small and could be very flattering, but they are so sparse and the iridescent base so sheer that there is hardly any impact on the eye.

The eyeshadow even failed the Pixie Epoxy and wet brush tests, as normal quality shadows are able to be enhanced by either medium.

I also tried to swirl a face brush in the pan to make a highlighter, but again, no impact. The swatch I provided looks pigmented, but when blended out, it disappears. All that remains is the glitter.

This line is so weird, and I am quite disappointed. It is almost as if Almay is desperate to gain some footing in the market, but they have seemed to underestimate or misunderstand what customers are looking for. I expected pigment. My last Almay purchase was a couple of months ago, when I bought a liquid eyeliner because I was in a pinch. That stuff washed off so easily, and had no staying power. So how updated is this company, really?

I regret this purchase and wish I didn't fall for the gimmick.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Beauty Bookmark #2, The Norvina Palette

I thought this release was worthy of its own post. Today Norvina of ABH released the promo image for their upcoming palette, the Norvina Palette:

Now, right of the bat I am super excited for this palette, and wanted to buy it as soon as I saw it. However, I also wanted to think about parallels with my own collection, and what I would need to make sure of before actually buying the palette.

So, let's go shade by shade.
  1. Dreamer: A light gold shimmer. I know I have tons of these in my collection. 
  2. Summer: A brassier, darker gold. Another shadow I feel I have in my collection.
  3. Wild Child: A cool-toned pink frost, that seems to be a bit more rich in color. This I sort of have? From the Dose of Colors Eyes Cream Palette, we have the shade Bubblegum. My only issue with Bubblegum is that I feel it's a bit on the sheerer side, with flecks of glitter dispersed throughout, which is not exactly the look I am going for. Wild Child, however, does seem to be the frosty pink that I've been looking for.
  4. Rose Gold: I have many a rose gold shadow, including my HG, Rose Gold from Ardency Inn. 
  5. Celestial: This is really pretty and interesting to me, and I know I don't have anything like it in my collection. I have been looking for the perfect purple frost, and I feel like I have yet to find it. I could also be reaching, but going by the name and the picture, it might have a slight light blue reflect? 
  6. Dazzling: A bronze shimmer. 
  7. Drama: A red-toned purple shimmer. I hope it has more of a frostier finish. I might have something a bit like it in the Tarte Pro to Go palette, in the shade Dominate, or the shade Queen Mother by Coloured Raine. 
  8. Base: Matte cream shade. I've got these.
  9. Soul: Going by its satin finish, I have nothing like it in my collection.
  10. Incense: Reminds me of Bobbi Brown Wheat. I do have Warm Taupe from the Modern Renaissance palette. 
  11. Love: A pink matte, but warmer toned. I do have a gorgeous Inglot matte shadow #362 that is like a true pink, but this shadow also reminds me a lot of Lay Low by Colourpop, which I also have, and is slightly more peachy. 
  12. Volatile: A reddish/rosier brown. Could be similar to Cone from the Dose of Colours palette. 
  13. Eccentric: In the palette it looks really striking, like a mustard-brown, but I wonder how similar it is to Burnt Orange or Raw Sienna. 
  14. Passion: Mulberry from Soft Glam? There's a shade in the Carli Bybel Deluxe palette that could be sort of similar. 
This palette also drew immediate comparisons to the Soul Blooming Palette from Nabla:

The Huda Desert Dusk:

And the Lime Crime Venus 3:

Truthfully, though, out of all of those options, ABH's palette still is most appealing to me. Too much blue in Nabla, too much warmth in Desert Dusk, and I heard the most gorgeous looking shade in the Venus 3, the shade REM(?), was a let down. 

So what do I need to do know before buying this?

  • How distinct are the shimmers? I have critiqued a lot of ABH palettes in the past for lack of distinct shimmer shades, and there are four neutral shimmers in this palette. If any of them have a nice finish, or even a duochrome quality, I would love that. 
  • How does Soul swatch? Soul is that satin-looking lilac. The last not quite shimmer I can think of in an ABH palette was Antique Bronze and I hated it. 
What do I like about this palette?
  • I like the way the shades were paired together. Because there are so many mattes, the "quad" configuration doesn't really work for me here, but grouping them in pairs seems promising to me. 
  • PINK AND PURPLE. Those have been my colors this summer and I want to keep the party going.
Will I buy this?
  • At this point, the only way I am going to be sure this is not redundant and a waste of money is if I see swatches. I am in the camp of wanting to buy this, though, very much so.
What do you think? Are there enough neutrals vs. pinks and purples for you to buy this? Please feel free to let me know below!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Neutral-ish Sunset EoTD and Tutorial

Tonight I was bored so I experimented with a couple of colors and techniques.

First, I used concealer to prime my eyes this time. I used the Colourpop No Filter concealer because it does have a dry finish and sets quickly.

After, I took a very fluffy blending brush and used the two yellow mattes from the BH Cosmetics Take Me Back to Brazil Palette:

I do this only because I can never remember which of the two is the pigmented one.

I was very generous with the yellow, and it did need to be built up a bit. I went high up with this color, even up to my brows, and also on my lid.

Then, I took the orange shade Empress from the Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts palette. This was a good shade of orange because it was midtoned. Darker oranges run the risk of appearing brown on me. I blended the orange into the crease, but beneath the yellow.

Finally, I did use four colors from the Modern Renaissance palette.

I used Venetian Red blended into the outer corner and a bit into the orange, and Red Ochre concentrated on the outer corner and slightly blended. Burnt Orange was placed on the lid, but that could have easily been replaced with any color or finish. 

Primavera, a gold shimmer, was placed in the inner corner. 

 Overall, I really like this look!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Looxi Beauty Aurora Shadows (Swatches and Review)

So I guess my haul was not 100% over with. As one last hurrah, I did a bit more research into duochrome shadows, and found the brand Looxi Beauty. I picked up a couple of more work-friendly duochrome colors, for $20. Using Angelica Nyqvist's code almost covered the shipping fee that was already pretty minimal for me.

The four colors I got were:

1.) Boujee. This was the winner for me- hands down. I was not sure what the site meant that it contains all the colors of a rainbow- but after wearing and swatching it, it totally does. So on the surface, this appears to be a copper/gold with a metallic yellow reflect, but it has reflects of blue, which also shine a bit green and purple at times. On my eye it looks really elegant.

2.) Bohemian. I am kind of disappointed in this one, because it definitely reads warmer and copper on me than I would have liked. Aside from the fact that it is high quality with bits of purple microshimmer in it, I do have shades like this in my collection. That is my own fault, really, for not selecting shades carefully enough. However, it really is a gorgeous shadow and I do intend on using it.

3.) Mirage. I hate to say it, but the formulation on this one confuses me. It's not smooth, it creates a lot of fall out, and it didn't behave with Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy. I have never meet a shadow that doesn't play nice with PE! For my swatches, I have a dry finger swatch, and then on top of primer, but even then there does not seem to be much of a difference. For what it is worth, the colors are pretty, but I could not do a complex look with it- I imagine it would be good as a one-shadow color. Maybe.

4.) Charmed. This is a light lilac with blue-green reflect and is super pretty. It also wears well as a highlighter.

Swatches, and eye looks:
(l-r) Charmed, Bohemian, Boujee, Mirage

Mirage on top of WnW eyeshadow primer. Not much of a difference. 

For this look, I used Bohemian on top of Mac Paint Pot in Painterly. I regret doing this and won't do so in the future. Because the eyeshadow is so intense already, it got kind of muddy in my crease on top of Painterly. The color is super pretty, though. On me it just needs a drier base. 

The above is my eye look with Mirage. I used Wet 'n Wild eyeshadow primer, and then the Physician's Formula matte shadows to set it and deepen my crease. On top of that I used Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy, which did not agree with Mirage, which flaked a lot, and created a lot of fallout. 

I used the same process with Boujee, but as you can see, Boujee looks a lot nicer. I will be wearing this look in the future.

Final thoughts:
 Looxi has gorgeous shadows, but I need to be more careful about the formulas and shades that I choose. I do plan on picking up more in the future, though! If there are any that are in the more pink-brown-gold family that you think are worth it, please let me know!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Beauty Bookmarks, #1

Hello! So this is a new feature from my blog, which really isn't dissimilar from what I've already been doing. I like to TMO/anti-haul things I like, but it's really draining to sustain a negative viewpoint. Even in my TMO's, I don't really do that completely. If a product seems interesting, I'll concede to that, but also talk about why I won't personally be purchasing it.

So, for the sake of clarity, I am going to call my product release posts Beauty Bookmarks, because they're usually literally posts on Instagram that I've bookmarked. There are releases that I am aware of but have chosen not to discuss, only because I would never buy them. 

The first item is hot off the presses, in terms of news about its release. We are talking about a blush and eyeshadow palette, called Fetish, from Kat Von D. You may remember an Instagram post from 6 mos ago (lul), which was a sketch of the calligraphy for the palette design. Both palettes are ovoid, with raised print. The names of the blushes/highlighters are: Roseshock, Magick, Telepathy, Bathory, Salem, and Coven. Three pans are larger than three others, but I am not sure which she would make the big pans. The Alchemy palette was pretty small, so if she is reusing those supplies, then my prediction is that the highlighters will be the smaller ones. 

Now usually I really don't care about product names, but Erzabeth/Elizabeth Bathory was a serial killer. Not a good look. And as someone who teaches The Crucible, I don't think of Salem as really needing to belong in this hodgepodge mystical assemblage she has going on here. It's a bit lazy. 

As for the eyeshadow, there are quite a lot of them in this palette. Like a lot. And all of them have names related to certain practices and lifestyles that I am sure Kat Von D is misusing or misappropriating in some way. 

The interior of both palettes have not been released, but let me tell you, aside from two steeply discounted palettes I bought from her one time, I have no intention of buying her products ever again. The anti-vaccination stupidity, neo-nazi associations, etc., are inexcusable and I am not funding it. 

From a product point of view, face palettes are a gamble. Unlike an eyeshadow palette, face palettes have bigger pans of product that might not work for you. As for her eyeshadows, she seems incapable of producing permanent eyeshadows anymore, so essentially she's glutted her own market. I have been expressing fatigue with the Ma Vida Loca palette craze for the longest time, and every palette since then has been some spin on "dark rainbow." Okay. Not for me. 

Let's move on, shall we? 

The BH Cosmetics Desert Oasis Palette. In terms of brands that have the potential to be direct competitors with Colourpop (you've heard it here first, folks), BH Cosmetics is one of them. Just start selling singles, darn it! Anyway, they are releasing this summer palette that actually looks quite pretty. This is Trendmood's pic:

Though I have most of these colors, and would not wear blue eyeshadow, I think the composition of this palette is nice. I don't quite get the placement of the larger pans, but it still feels balanced in terms of shimmer and matte shadows. The larger pans could also be bronzers. The way this palette is designed is to be an all-purpose summer palette, and for someone who does not have this already, it would not disappoint them. I trust BH Cosmetics's both shimmer and matte formulas (which have improved so much!).

Nyx Swear By It giant eyeshadow palette: $35. 40 shades. Can you imagine that for five dollars less you could have purchased an Element palette? Yeah, neither can I. Here is a promotional pic:
Swear By It Shadow NYX palette 40 colori
Hm. I have not tried the Nyx non-neutral matte or shimmer formula. To me, this is bit intimidating, and I wish they offered this palette in halves or quarters. From a brand point of view, this is an interesting move. They are really trying to get a sense of what people will pay for, and what they won't. This mimics the Sephora Pro palettes set-up, and maybe even a little Viseart. My issue with palettes like these are the colors they choose to make shimmer. In the case of this palette, I think Nyx made smart choices and the palette is balanced. While I do think this is an interesting release, and though I am curious to see the quality of the shadows, I know I am skipping this one because I do have a lot of eyeshadow already. I would never get through all those colors. 

Fenty Moroccan Spice Palette:
$59 and sold out already.

So I got a little bit of push-back on reddit for suggesting that this palette is similar to the Natasha Denona Star palette. Here me out:

Image result for fenty beauty moroccan spice sephora

Image result for natasha denona star palette
Granted, the initial images Fenty releases were VERY cool-toned, hence my associations with this palette. Still, I do see some parallels. Now, if I did not have the Modern Renaissance, or Looxi shadows coming in, or tons of other eyeshadows, I'd buy it. I think Fenty did a really cool job with colors. It is not a neutral palette. 

So, those were my thoughts! Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Miscellaneous Bite Beauty Swatches and Reviews

Hello! I have found myself with suddenly a bunch of Bite Beauty samples and products that I thought I would share.

First, I have three Bite Beauty Multistick samples. The Multistick can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips. A full size of the product is $24.

In order of the swatches, the three colors I have are:

Papaya, a bright coral, Biscotti, a mauve, and Cashew, a rose brown.

 One misconception I had about this product is that I essentially thought it was the same as putting lipstick on your face. Maybe that's not too different, but the formulation of the multistick is different than their lip products. It is drier, but not matte, and easily blendable with a brush. It does not have a sticky or oily finish, and does not drag on the skin when using a brush. In fact, I tried blending with my finger as well, but the product behaved better with brushes- for the eyes and face.

The two products included in the Sephora June birthday gift are Chai, a lipstick, and a brighter red-brown and Glace, a matte lip crayon, a brown-pink that reads duskier on me. Both are long wearing and do leave behind a pleasant stain.

Glace on top
Chai on bottom

Glace on top
Chai on bottom

Final thoughts:

There is no doubt in my mind about the quality of Bite Beauty. The products are hydrating and pigmented. However, what ultimately deters me from buying from this brand is that the colors Bite Beauty offers appear to me very tonally similar, so I am not noticing a lot of variety in the color concept (is that even a phrase? sounds pretentious to me) that Bite presents.

I am not hankering to buy any Bite products soon, but I will happily use up the products I do have now.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

EoTD: Rose Gold w/ Stila's Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in "Kitten"

So a long time ago I put Stila's "Diamond Dust" in a disappointing products post. And I still stand by that- it clung to texture, felt terrible on, and I just could not believe that was what the hype was about.

And then, as a result of my Sephora haul, and I got a tonnnnn of free samples- including a couple of uses of the Glitter and Glow in the shades "Kitten" and one that is slightly darker than Kitten.

Feeling brave, I decided to go with Kitten and layer it on top of Mac's Painterly Paint Pot...and I really like the look so far. I was stuck by how different it was to Diamond Dust- it was smooth, did not irritate my skin, and did not apply patchily. 

Of course, how it wears throughout the day will be another story. It is pretty warm and humid out, so I will be looking for creasing, etc., and I will update this post with my final thoughts. 

But other than that, I really like my look today. 

I am wearing the Fenty foundation mixed with Physician's Formula Healthy Foundation, and with Mary Loumanizer as a highlighter, which I have not worn in forever. It is one of those products I am trying to pan this summer. My blush is my usual mix to make a rose-brown tint, and I am wearing my Milani contour stick. Both powder and cream formulas are working very nicely on top of the foundation. 
I am also wearing one of the items from the Bite Beauty June Sephora birthday set- the lipstick in Chai. 

One thing I will say before I show the pictures is that compared to the eyeshadow powder version of Kitten, the liquid one is darker because its liquid base is rose brown. I like this quite a bit because it gives a bit more depth and complexity on the eye. I did pack the shadow Kitten on the center of the lid just for a bit more sheen and to see what would happen. 

Here are the results:

Also, before I wrap this up, I should say I got samples of a variety of products that I could feature on my blog, and decide whether or not I would purchase full size. These include:
-Tarte Blush in Exposed (though I already know I would not give Tarte a single penny)
-A couple of samples of Bite Beauty multisticks (maybe for a monochromatic look)
-A couple of samples of the Sephora story lipsticks
-Some Buxom liquid lipsticks
-Clinique Foundation

Let me know what you think of that idea! Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer/Birthday Haul and Anti-Hail + Some Reviews and Sephora Ramblings

Hello hello hello!

Today I have a bit of a long form haul post. It was my birthday a couple of days ago and I did pick up a couple of things beauty and skin care related. Part of this post is to keep all these products straight in my mind, and part of it is just to talk about my thoughts.

Before I get into it I should say that I did not buy any eyeshadow. It's really surprising for me because I love eyeshadow most of all, but I am finding myself looking for really unique duochrome and affordable pressed options and there are none. Touch of Glam Beauty is a potential place to look at, but nothing really jumped out at me. The shipping for Clionadh Cosmetics is way too much, as they are a Canada-based brand, and I really don't like the set-up of Devinah's website. I feel like I am not getting any idea of what the colors will actually look like on the skin. So overall I am just giving eyeshadow a pause and enjoying what I do have in my collection.

Moving on, I did go out to Sephora and swatch a couple of things because I needed to! So while this post will be ruminations on what I did buy, let's start with the things I did not buy:

1.) Fenty:

  • Glitter Puff: I knew reviews on this were mixed but...I just had to touch it. It was super soft, and super, super glittery. The glitter particles were almost silvery, and were finely milled. 
  • Gloss Bomb: I have been sorely tempted to buy this one. It is always in my Sephora loves list or cart. But after swatching it and smelling it on my hand....I just wasn't blown away. I was not about to actually try it on my lips, but from swatching it alone I was not impressed. The scent had a lemon tang to it, and I just could not justify purchasing it when I currently have three lipglosses that I need to use more of. 
  • Duo Mimosa Sunrise: You can tell how hyped people are for a product and how interested in it they are going by how they were swatched in the stores. For example, this duo was swatched to death at my local Sephora. The metallic magenta side is gorgeous, and the orange-gold side is also very pretty, but after swatching it, I realized I already have the orange side. While a lot of people surmised that the new Wet 'n Wild Humming Bird collection would be similar to this release- specifically the orange and magenta colors, a closer "dupe" could be the Colourpop eyeshadow Chauffeur, which I also have. Both are bright oranges with a strong gold reflect. That being said, there was no need for me to buy this duo.

2.) Pat McGrath Bronze Ambitions Palette. I knew I was not going to pick it up because it is palette with brown eyeshadows in it for $55. Still, I wanted to get a sense of the formula of the shimmer shades, and see what exactly is all the fuss is about. And well.....I swatched the coppery shimmer shade and was blown away. One small swatch and it was vibrant, high shine, and did not move around on my skin. It lasted even when I tried to rub it off. That is what a person is paying for. As I use up more eyeshadows, I probably will consider buying one of her smaller palettes in the future based on the quality of the shadows, but only if the palette has enough shade variation and interesting colors. I want her to do more duochromes, pretty please.

3.) Huda Electric Obsessions: I swatched one magenta matte shade and that did not budge. I am not sure how easy it would be to blend out but it was definitely intimidating. Incredibly rich in pigment and vibrant color, though.

4.) Natasha Denonana Tropics Palette: I did not actually swatch this because after opening the palette, it just looked..gross. Hard pan everywhere, and the shimmers actually just looked like flaky glitters/mica tightly pressed. I would never pay for this.

And finally, a brand I did not get to swatch even though they are sold in Sephora: Viseart. Are they online only? I would have loved to get a look in person at those.

Okay, let's get into what I actually bought:

1.) Fenty Pro'Filtr Matte Foundation. I bought this because in the summer my face tends to get greasy and I wanted a more matte option.  I should have gotten a shade darker, though. While I love the lightweight formula and lack of fragrance or any smell, I do need to mix it with my Physician's Formula Healthy Foundation to get a perfect color, which I am not mad at, because I do like that foundation too. I think this foundation will be better for me in the winter, by itself.

2.) Bite Beauty Gift for June. I am counting this in my haul because these are things I am going to use. It was a nice little kit- one lipstick in Chai, which is this really bright red-brown, a matte crayon in Glace, and a little sample of the agave lip balm and sugar scrub.

3.) Saturday Skin No Bad Days Set. This is coming in the mail today and I am super excited. It was a pretty pricey set but I liked the packaging and ingredients and variety. So we'll see.

4.) First Aid Beauty Set. A long time ago, I got a small lotion sample from Ipsy, and have been obsessed with this brand ever since. I used up their Eye Gel completely, and liked it a lot. So as a set I got the two jars of their Ultra Repair Cream, in regular and Vanilla  Citron. These also come in today.

And at Lush:

1.) Ultrabland Face Cleanser. Everything I hoped it would be. Love it!

2.) a sample of Cosmetic Catastrophe. I have not used it yet, but currently it is in the skin care drawer of my fridge. The salesperson at Lush said to use this only two times a week, so I want to be judicious about when I decide to use this.

and a random Target purchase:

1.) Cerave Eye Repair Cream. So, I don't have dark circles so I can't comment on the veracity of that claim. However, this is a great cream that absorbs quickly, is not greasy, and improves the look of my skin around my eyes, especially fine lines. I really do think this is a great product for my specific purposes.

...So that's my haul! A lot more skin care this year. Like tons more. I hope this post was helpful, and you can definitely expect more reviews on the products included here!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Eyes of the Day: Pinks, Reds, and Oranges

Today I have two different but related eye looks to share with you. I used the following products to achieve them:

1.) Too Faced (TF) Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette
2.) Coloured Raine (CR) Queen of Hearts Palette
3.) Colourpop (CP) Lay Low
4.) Vanessa's Vanity (VV) 6 pm

From left to right, we have 6 pm by VV, CR Crowb, CR Noblewoman, CP Lay Low, TF Extra Creamy, and TF Nuts About U

The first look was done by setting my primer with Extra Creamy, and Blending Lay Low in the crease. I then took Nuts About U in the crease and outer corner, really blending. On the inner corner of my eye I used Crown, and then mixed that with Noblewoman to create a more muted effect. 

Eyeliner was Physician's Formula, and mascara was the new Covergirl Flourish mascara in brown.

And here is the second look, which was a lot harder to capture a decent photo of:

So everything is pretty much the same as the first one, except the only shimmer is VV's 6 pm, a duochrome sparkler, that I used on top of Pixie Epoxy by Fyrinnae. I did not use eyeliner this time, but used the same mascara. 

 This is a really weird and blurry photo that best captures the sparkle.

In sum, I really liked these colors and will keep on using them. I think they bring out the green tones in my eyes. 

Thanks for reading!

5 Products I Did Not Expect to Love

This title might seem a bit weird because why would somebody buy something not expecting to enjoy using it? But allow me to explain. Eit...