Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Smashbox Mother Earth Palette

Hi Everyone! Hope you're having a good Tuesday. I just spent about 2 hours updating the Video Library section on my blog. I really need to do it more regularly... you'll find the icon on the right sidebar. Basically it just has links to every video I've done, so you can find exactly what you're looking for (Dramatic eye tutorials, haul videos, videos with Tyler... it's all there and categorized). I also just realized my next video will be #360!! I can't believe I've done so many! :)

Anyway... on with the blog! I just wanted to tell you about a product I've been using from Smashbox. It's available at a discounted price on BeautyTicket.com (lots of other overstock or limited edition high-end items are sold there for low prices)... I'm on the Beauty Panel and I'm occasionally sent products to try. In this picture-- the Smashbox Limited Edition Mother Earth palette. If you're trying to go green... this is the way to do it with your makeup! This palette costs $22.99 on BeautyTicket... but it typically retails for $45!!

According to Beauty Ticket, this palette includes four certified-organic shadows and a blush inside a compact made from sustainable materials. The packaging is so unique, because it truly is wooden! I can safely say, I own nothing like this palette. The downside- there isn't a latch on the palette, so even though you shut it, the palette can easily come open. So it's not exactly travel friendly (unless you wrap a rubber band around it), but it's definitely cute to sit in your makeup area. Heck, maybe even a conversation piece on the coffee table! :) If you have friends that enjoy having conversations about makeup.

The colors inside are an interesting combination... definitely some earthy tones, but probably not colors I'd normally use together. The texture is very close to the typical Smashbox formulation. You get a matte cream shade, an almost olive-ish gold, a shimmery blue, and brown. My favorite is the blue. It's a really rich color and I've enjoyed using it as a liner. As for the blush... it's AWESOME! A wonderful matte peach shade that really gives my face a look of health- something we could all use in the dead of winter.

As you can see, I've swatched the shades on my hand. You might be wondering... how do you wear them on your eyes? You could easily pair them up in duos, but if you want to wear them all, I suggest the olive-gold shade on the lid, the light cream color as a highlight under the brow and on the tear duct, the blue shade in the crease and as a lower-liner shade, and the deep brown just to add a little more depth to the outer corner.

This is a fun palette to have. The packaging is adorable, it's a very environmentally friendly product, and if you like the looks of the colors, you might want to give it a try. While the shades are pigmented and blendable- they're not quite as creamy-feeling as the regular Smashbox shadows are. I suppose the organic formulation changes them a bit? Still, as I mentioned, it is very close. If you like to stick to earthy, natural makeup shades but want to test out some new colors within that theme- I'd recommend this palette. If you already have a lot of these shades, and you're not wild about the wooden packaging... you might want to pass on this and check out some of the other great prices on Smashbox shadows at BeautyTicket.com. :) Have a great night everyone, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Monday, February 1, 2010

5 Tips for Drugstore Makeup Shopping

Hey everyone! How's it going? I know, it's Monday. I'm not a huge Monday fan, but I've just been in a really good mood today. I thought our newscast went really well this morning, I had a cute story about a baseball team donating items to Haiti, and I made a good lunch. Yesterday I posted a BIG Drugstore Haul video... I know many of you out there like to watch hauls, and I feel they serve a purpose in terms of letting you know what I have. This way you don't have to ask and you know what a review or a tutorial is probably coming on! Plus it's a nice opportunity to share my initial reactions on products, or mini reviews. So if you haven't checked out my latest haul video, here it is!

I hear from many of you who say you enter a drugstore, and you're just overwhelmed by the amount of different products, and you're just not sure how to approach the situation. I totally understand. When I first started buying my first few makeup products, I was very hesitant to branch out... it's really kind of scary at first! But at the same time, I have some viewers who have the opposite issue... they want everything on the shelves! So in this blog I wanted to offer some tips to improve your drugstore experience.

5 Tips for Drugstore Makeup Shopping
  1. Don't buy from the first brand you see. As you browse the aisles, you may instantly see something you want, let's say... a great smoky eyeshadow palette. Before you get your heart set on purchasing it, take it with you and compare it to similar items from the other brands. Is there a better deal? A better packaged product? A product with even better shade selection? It may take a little longer, but comparison shopping can be the difference between buying a new favorite product and something that will sit untouched in your makeup drawer.
  2. Bring a foundation that is a close match. One of my most frequently asked questions is: How do you find the right shade of foundation in the drugstore? Since you can't swatch the colors, I think you need to bring a foundation from home (in the jar/container) that is a close match. If the shade you own isn't quite right, all you need to know is what's wrong with it-- then you can find something slightly lighter, or slightly darker. Finding the right shade is only half the battle- you also need the right formula. This is based on skin-type. If you have oily skin, look for foundations that claim to be "oil free", "shine free" or "matte". If your skin is dry, look for foundations that claim to give a "luminous" look, or have a "moisturizing" or "hydrating" quality. Those are all common buzzwords when it comes to foundation.
  3. Now and then, try something totally different. Never tried a red lipstick? Or green eyeshadow? Or bronzer? The drugstore is the perfect place to experiment. There are many ultra low-cost brands like N.Y.C., Wet & Wild, or Jordana that have a nice selection of shades... but the products are very inexpensive. If you don't like it, you aren't losing a lot of money, but you have the freedom to experiment and find a potentially awesome product that looks great on you! You won't know if you don't try. So now and then, pick up something you've never tried before!
  4. Make sure you get your deal. Many drugstores will have "buy one get one free", or "buy one get one half off" deal, or any type of discount on beauty products. No offense to Walgreens or CVS or any type of drugstore (I got nothin' but love for the drugstores!), but now and then, I've gone through the check out and later glanced at my receipt, only to find that I bought 2 instead of getting one free. Or I paid full price when it should've been 75% off. There is nothing wrong with saying, "I'm pretty sure there's a bogo on these"... to the clerk, or just ask if there is indeed still a deal. Sometimes the deals are over and they forget to take the little signs down in the aisles. When you go to Walgreens, you can see on the little screen if the "BOGO" went through when a product is scanned. We sometimes have to be our own watchdog when it comes to these deals.
  5. Research online and take notes. There is a WEALTH of makeup knowledge on the internet. If you see a commercial on TV and think, "man, that looks cool! But I don't know if I want it"... look up a review online! Not to toot my own horn, but I have dozens and dozens of reviews on drugstore products, and lots of "Shopping List Ideas" videos and hauls and "Emily Awards" that give honest, straightforward info on products. If you see me give something a strong review and it's an item you think you might need, jot it down on a notepad! Also, if people ask me about a product that I haven't reviewed, I'll often refer them to a site called Makeup Alley. There are tons of reviews there, but the site always averages the grade that the products recieve so you can quickly see if a product was great, average, or bad. I'm offering this tip as "drugstore" advice, because there's often nobody there in the makeup aisle to describe a product to you like there is in a department store- so it helps to go to the store prepared.

Hope you enjoyed these tips! Let me know how your next trip to the drugstore goes! Have an awesome day everyone!