Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Anastasia Lip Gloss... New Favorite!

Hi everyone! So if I'm bringing the blog out of hibernation... it's gotta be some good material, right?! Well, that IS the case. Plus, I've got 4th of July company here who I don't want to wake by shooting a video right now, so I'm opting for blogging. Let's hope I can keep this up with some regularity- because I miss writing! Anyway... my point: I tried this new Anastasia Summer Mini lip gloss set (ordered it from the ABH website along with the Modern Renaissance palette and a couple of other things)... and it REALLY impressed me.  
I've never tried the Anastasia lip gloss before, and I've only tried one of the line's very popular liquid lipsticks. Sometimes social media hype surrounding a product actually makes me run in the opposite direction. I don't know whether it's skepticism, doubt, or just not wanting to be ga-ga over the same stuff everyone else is ga-ga over. But when this kid sees a $28 6-piece lip gloss set with what appears to be "my shades"... you can bet I'm going to give that a go. SO GLAD I DID. Here are the reasons, in a nutshell: 
  • CONSISTENCY: Non-sticky, comfortable glosses that still manage to have full color... and assuming you've applied them pretty evenly and haven't gooped on too much, the wear-down of these is pretty even on the lips & actually looks quite nice, even without the shine of the gloss. And the applicator is perfect for this texture (I'll explain more in a minute). 
  • COLOR INTENSITY: I love what-you-see-is-what-you-get types of lip colors! Glosses tend to have an ESPECIALLY hard time pulling this off, and if they do, they end up being a super thick, near-liquid lacquer type of texture. These maintained a comfortable feel while looking exactly how I expected them to look on my lips. The shine is also FANTASTIC.
  • SCENT: I feel a bit nostalgic whenever I twist one of these open... because it smells like one of the first lip glosses I ever really started using. Does anyone remember Bonne Belle Lip Lites? I believe there was a color called Cappuccino- a brownish-neutral gloss. I think that's exactly what these smell like. It's the sweet vanilla scent that so many lip products have-- plus something a little extra/more complex. 
  • COLOR SELECTION: The assortment of colors in this kit is just PERFECTION. A couple of neutrals, a classic pink, something with a pearly sheen that I actually don't hate, plus stunning berry colors that you KNOW I love. According to the ABH site, these are "all-new summer shades"... so I'm not sure if they're being adopted into the regular line or not, but whatever the case, this is a great bunch of shades.  
Swatches left to right: Toffee, Caramel, Blushing, St. Tropez, Tango, Grape Jelly 

Unlike the typical doe-foot applicators in many glosses, the applicators for these are more flattened-out. In the picture above, I'm holding it at a 45 degree angle so hopefully you can see that. The center of this little paddle seems to hold the most product, while the sides get nicely cleaned off when the applicator is pulled from the tube. I think this makes application really easy because the non-goopy sides let you get nice clean edges on your lip line. With shades that are so full color, I'm extra impressed by the quick, non-fussy application. 
(click photo to enlarge)
Top, L-R: Toffee, Caramel, Blushing
Bottom, L-R: St. Tropez, Tango, Grape Jelly

There's not a dud in this group, in my opinion. And it might be that they happened to include a bunch of colors that I would truly be prone to wearing on a regular basis... I know not everyone has the same taste as me! But I really appreciated how full color those lighter neutrals across the top row managed to be. Not sheer at all! And the really cool thing about St. Tropez, which has the pearly finish, is that it doesn't actually have identifiable flecks of sparkle. So you don't run into that awkward situation where the color wears down and your lips are still plastered with glitter. It's just a creamy, yet pearly gloss that I actually really like. Still, be aware that St. Tropez looks best when freshly applied (the wear-down just seems more obvious with that one). But then not one, but two berry shades. Tango is a bit deeper, practically fall-like, and then then Grape Jelly is my JAM (pun intended)... it's a bit more adventurous but I love the amount of purple in that shade. Ultimately I'm fascinated by the fact that I can wear these bold shades and not feel an uncomfortable amount of stickiness/cling on lips... yet they don't bleed outside my lips or get sloppy. I'm not sure I can explain how that's happening, but it is. 

Bottom Line: I think this little kit of glosses was well worth the $28 price tag. One of my favorite recent purchases, for sure. What's kind of odd is that the only place I've found them online is the actual ABH site (anastasiabeverlyhills.com). The amount per gloss is .07 oz, but being the lip product junkie that I am, I really don't mind a downsized lip product... it's still seems ample to me. I hope this review was helpful, and let me know if you've found any must-try shades from this line!
(FYI: This set was purchased by me and this is not a sponsored post) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • Even though the 4th of July weekend was pretty rainy, we still had a great time with some amazing food. Life has been pretty busy lately so it felt like the 4th crept up on us before we made much of a plan for it. But we pulled a little something together and Bub made the best ribs I've ever tasted!
  • We do have a lot of leftovers, so to everyone who asked on Twitter- come on over! haha!
  • My makeup all weekend was pretty low maintenance, but I'm thinking about sharing the look and the products I enjoyed.
  • Hoping to have a new video up tomorrow. Thanks for all the awesome feedback on the Singles Cruise challenge video! It was great to put those eyeshadow singles to work!
  • How is the weekend over already??

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Colorful Eyes of the Week! (Mostly)

Hello everyone! :) So the blog has been hurting for posts lately... and for that, I apologize! I miss this! Anyway, something I've been trying to do recently on Snapchat is document my daily makeup looks... usually focusing on something specific like lips, or in this case, eyes. These were all of my makeup looks from last week, and I thought the blog might be a good spot to occasionally share these compilations. Sometimes it's just fun to set a little makeup goal and use social media to hold yourself accountable, right? :) 

So I tried to do colorful eyes each day. And then by Thursday, I forgot my goal and went with a very neutral palette. Oops! I think my two favorite looks were Monday and Wednesday... I just really like the lower lashline pops. Here's a quick rundown of what I used on the eyes each day...
  • Monday: Urban Decay Shadow Box
  • Tuesday: Anastasia Self Made Palette
  • Wednesday: Beauty Treats 24 Matte Palette
  • Thursday: City Color Harvest Moon Palette
  • Friday: Shea Moisture Lavender Fields Palette
If you're not following me on snapchat... please do! I'm emilynoel83 :) This week is lip/cheek week...  I'm using multitasking stain type products on both lips and cheeks. Plus I have a video coming tomorrow that pertains to this topic! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: FINALE + A little chat!

Can you believe it?! Another season of the Emily Awards has come and gone! Huge thanks to everyone who's been watching the videos, reading the blogs, and sharing their kind feedback with me. These videos are incredibly time consuming, but of course, it's incredibly fun to discuss my favorite things! If you already watched the finale video, you noticed that it does not follow the "top 10" format. There are just so many special, specific awards that I do in the finale, along with a really varied selection of products from hair to skincare to body care... it just didn't make sense to put them into a ranking. Anyway... everything I mentioned in the video is listed below! The "buy" links will take you to wherever the product is being sold online, and "more info" links will take you to any other review videos or posts on that particular item.

* Denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Most product links are affiliate links. Best products for skincare, hair, and body are listed in no particular order.

Best Brushes
  • High End: It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Foundation/Concealer Brush (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Up & Up (Target Brand) Brushes (Buy - More Info)
Outstanding Tool
Most Innovative Product
Cutest Packaging
Needs to be In Your Purse
MVP's (Most Valuable Products)
Best Skincare Products
  • Olay or Equate Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths****** (Buy)
  • Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask (Buy)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Gel Masks (Buy Rose - More Info, or Buy Cucumber)
Best Body Products
  • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream (Buy - More Info)
  • Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub (Buy - More Info)
  • Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response Invisible Solid (Buy)
Best Hair Products
  • Tresemme Tres Two Hairspray****** (Buy)
  • Suave Naturals Almond Verbena 2 in 1 (Buy - More Info)
  • Remington Bendable Hair Wraps (Buy)

Again, thanks so much for your support of the Emily Awards over the years! Can we chat for a second? I really try to improve the awards with each passing year. The Top 10 format was brand new this year, and the reason for this was two-fold... the awards had grown so much, I wanted to offer something more concise and definitive for my viewers so true "top" favorites could be easily seen. I just wanted to make the overall viewing experience more fun, exciting, and less overwhelming.

Also- the time it takes to create and edit a video where I'm discussing anywhere from 25 to 35 products per video (times four), plus the special production elements that I add to the Emily Awards for intros, product videos, demos, blogging, etc... it was getting to be a very overwhelming task for one person (yes, I have considered hiring an intern during Emily Awards season... ha!) Anyway, after last year, I felt borderline burned-out... and that's scary to me. I NEVER want to feel exasperated, overwhelmed and like something Beauty Broadcast-related is a chore. I'm proud that after so many years at this YouTube thing, it still genuinely feels like fun, and I think that's something that has helped my channel succeed. But last year being my first year with a new baby... I just had this feeling that something needed to change with the Emily Awards and I was almost relieved to see a viewer suggestion that mentioned paring things down a bit. It was time for something new!

Something I've learned is that the Top 10 format takes more thought than the way I was doing it before! However... it takes less time in front of a camera and less editing. For my current lifestyle keeping track of a busy toddler... that works much better for me! And I just loved being able to actually count down to an ultimate favorite in each one of my videos. And for the Emily Awards "geeks" out there... I enjoyed offering the full category-by-category favorites here on the blog to accompany each video. But I want to keep improving! What things do you want to see next year? Anything more? or less? Any new categories? 

Some suggestions I've seen so far include: having separate categories in the face awards for corrector and concealer, including the number of years a product has won in the Top 10 videos, having longer written explanations for products in the blog posts. Anything else? Please share in the comments section here or send me a tweet! I'll add your suggestion to my list and take them into consideration for next year's Emily Awards. Another thing that I've been thinking about is starting the awards earlier... perhaps in December, but BEFORE the holidays? That way it can feel more like a year-end wrap up, plus it might be useful for holiday shoppers. Just a thought! 

Thanks for reading my rambles here on the blog (I know those who come here are the heart of #beautybroadcastnation!) And I've been asked if there will be a fails video... the answer is yes- I'm working on it! :) Have a great day, everyone!! ♥

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: Best Lip Products!

Click here to watch my Top 10 video!

Hi friends! So happy to share part 3 of the Emily Awards with you! The Top 10 theme continues with my favorite lip products. I wanted to list those out for you on this blog post, but my video will show all of these products on my lips- as well as ALL of the shade favorites that are listed below. The "buy" link is simply a link to where the particular product is being sold online (many of which are affiliate links), and the "more info" links will lead you to my blogs or videos that will explain the products in greater detail.

Top 10 lip products featured in my video!
  1. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick (Buy - More Info)
  2. NYX Slide-On Lip Liners (Buy - More Info)
  3. Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Sticks (Buy - More Info)
  4. Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potion (Buy)
  5. Nivea Lip Balm (Buy)
  6. ColourPop Lippie Stix (Buy - More Info - Info on Sheers)
  7. Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme (Buy - More Info)
  8. Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss (Buy)
  9. Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick (Buy - More Info)
  10. NYX Intense Butter Gloss (Buy - More Info)
While this year's Emily Awards video format has changed to a "Top 10" style, I still wanted to share my full records of the favorites for drugstore and high end in each category. This is basically the selection I chose from to create my Top 10 best of the best. I thought my long-time Emily Awards followers might appreciate seeing this list! The "Best Liquid Lipstick" category was newly added this year.

* denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Not every type of product has winners in both high end and drugstore categories. Most product links are affiliate links.

Best Lip Balm
  • High End: Dior Creme de Rose Balm (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Nivea Lip Balms**** (Buy)
Best Tinted Lip Balm
Best Lip Liner
Best Jumbo Lip Pencil
  • Drugstore: Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick**** (Buy - More Info)
Best Lip Plumper
  • High End: Buxom Lip Gloss/Lip Cream****** (Buy - More Info)  
Best Lip Stain
  • High End: BECCA Beach Tint** (Buy - More Info) ...also a winner for best cream blush
  • Drugstore: Hard Candy Plumping Serum Lipstick** (Buy - More Info)
Best Lipstick
Best Liquid Lipstick
  • High End: Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potion (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme (Buy - More Info)
Best Lip Gloss
  • High End: Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss (Buy)
  • Drugstore: NYX Intense Butter Gloss (Buy - More Info)
Best Pinks
  • Lipstick: ColourPop Lippie Stix in Last Call (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Blushing** (Buy - More Info)
Best Berries
  • Lipstick: Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potion in True Liar (Buy) & Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss in Berry Light (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Black Cherry Tart (Buy - More Info)
Best Reds
  • Lipstick: Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Romance (Buy - More Info) & Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bond Girl (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Cherry Flip (Buy - More Info) & Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss #204 (Buy)
Best Neutrals
  • Lipstick: Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Touch of Spice & Daringly Nude (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: L'oreal Extraordinaire in Nude Ballet (Buy - More Info)
There's still one part of the Emily Awards to go... it's the FINALE!

Follow me on social media to stay updated!
Snapchat: emilynoel83 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: Best Eye Products!

Welcome to part 2 of the Emily Awards for 2015! Thanks so much for the supportive and helpful feedback on part one. I've really enjoyed getting to go a bit more in-depth on the 10 favorites featured in each video, so be sure to check that out for swatches and demos of the various items! But if you're browsing the aisles of your favorite store and want a product list for easy reference... here you go!

Top 10 eye products featured in my video!
  1. Cover Girl The SuperSizer Mascara (Buy - More Info)
  2. LORAC Mega Pro 2 Palette (Buy - More Info)
  3. Viseart Sultry Muse Palette (Buy - More Info)
  4. (TIE) Jordana Color Envy Liquid Liner in Black Envy (Buy - More Info), Physicians Formula Eye Booster (Buy)
  5. NYX Avant Pop Palettes (Buy - More Info)
  6. (TIE) Milani Supreme Kohl Kajal Liner in Blackest Black (Buy - More Info), Milani Shadow Eyez (Buy)
  7. Maybelline Define & Fill Brow Duo (Buy - More Info)
  8. Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Palette (Buy - More Info)
  9. Huda Beauty False Lashes - #7 Samantha (Buy)
  10. NYC City Proof 24 Hr. Shadow Base (Buy - More Info)
As with part one, I wanted to give you my full list of favorites in each category. If you're new to the Emily Awards this year- this is actually how I used to structure each of my videos. I realize this isn't absolutely necessary to accompany my new "Top 10" way of doing things, but I do enjoy keeping records of favorites (been doing it since 2008!) So I thought I'd include you and let you see how everything breaks down! 

Follow me on social media so you can stay up to date on the rest of the 2015 Emily Awards series in the coming days! 
Snapchat: emilynoel83 

* denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Not every type of product has winners in both high end and drugstore categories. Most product links are affiliate links.

Best Eye Primer
  • Drugstore: NYC City Proof 24 Hr. Base (Buy - More Info) & Milani Eyeshadow Primer*** (Buy
Best Cream Shadow
  • High End: Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks***** (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Milani Shadow Eyez Shadow Sticks*** (Buy)
Best Small Eyeshadow Palette
  • High End: Bare Minerals Ready Quad- The Happy Place** (Buy - More Info
  • Drugstore: Wet n Wild Walking on Eggshells** (Buy) & Maybelline Sunkissed Olive (Buy - More Info)
Best Large Eyeshadow Palette
Best Overall Eyeshadow Formula
Best Eyeliner Pencil
  • High End: Marc Jacobs Highliner** (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Milani Supreme Kohl Kajal- Blackest Black (Buy - More Info)
Best Liquid Eyeliner
  • High End: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Jordana Color Envy in Black Envy** (Buy - More Info) & Physicians Formula Eye Booster (Buy)
Best Cream/Gel Eyeliner
Best Mascara
Best False Eyelashes
  • High End: Huda Beauty Samantha (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Koko Lashes #201 (Buy)
Best Brow Product
Thanks so much for reading/watching! Heads up lip product junkies-- the Emily Awards for lips are next!