Monday, July 30, 2012

Red Apple Lipstick Review & Giveaway!

Hello my friends!
Super exciting blog post here! It's not only a review, but also a giveaway- EXCLUSIVELY on my blog for fantastic blog readers! :) 
It's all about line of makeup called "Red Apple Lipstick"...
the brand actually offers liners, glosses, and even eyeshadows.
The company contacted me to review their products, and after I browsed their website- 
I realized that there are several things that make this brand different...

--Products are lab-tested gluten free
--Products are paraben free
--Products are also soy-free and vegan

One of my new beauty goals is to better educate myself on ingredients in the products I'm using. One thing I've known for quite some time is that sensitivity to gluten is very common in our world! Many people are eating gluten free, and I know that's no small task! (Tyler tried to do it for awhile last year).  If you're going to all that effort- you may be interested in a beauty product that's also gluten free. Granted, the prices for these products are not cheap ($20 to $25 for many of these products)- but if gluten free, paraben free products are a priority for you, it's worth it. I happen to KNOW that this is a priority for many people who watch my videos or read my blog, so I really wanted to give these products a try. As you'll see in my swatches- the quality is superb, and I wish I had a way for you to FEEL how comfortable these lipsticks are on the lips. They manage to hydrate, but feel incredibly light. It's a rather unique combination in a lip product!

Gluten-free Waterproof Lip Pencil in Blush ($21)

This lip pencil is EXTREMELY long-wearing and this particular color can work with pretty much ANY lipstick or gloss as a long-wearing base. I even wore it alone in the picture below- it's a nice color & I think the name "blush" describes it well. While this feels much more dry on the lips than the lipsticks in this line, I would sort of expect it to- since this is a longer-wearing product. Also, you don't have to sharpen it- the product twists up from the bottom. 

Photo of me wearing just the Blush lip liner! I like to fill in the entire lip area pretty much anytime I wear a lip liner. 

Gluten-free Lipsticks in Sunkissed, Strawberry, and Red! ($17.50 to $23.50)

These are the stars of the show! :) My favorite products that I've tried from this line are the lipsticks- by far! They go on smooth with exceptional pigmentation, and continue to feel comfortable on your lips as you wear them. I have several bold shades and I noticed that the Strawberry & Red even left a bit of a stain on my lips even after a majority of the color wore off, which was nice! As you can see, none of these shades contain glitter or frost... they're just creamy, bold colors. 

This orange color is not playing around! I'd like to note that this was just one pass around my lips... the color just builds up instantly. What you see is what you get!

This is the most universal shade that I tried. It applies more sheer that it appears in the tube, which I was happy about! I like that it's not overly pink OR brown. It's the lip color that could fit with pretty much any outfit/makeup look. 

Yes- the label actually gives this color an exclamation point- and for good reason! This is a very bright, blue-based red. I should've shown my teeth in this pic- since this kind of red actually makes your teeth appear whiter! I really think everyone needs to own a red lipstick. 

Gluten-free Lip Gloss in Metropolis ($18.50)
Not only is Metropolis the home of Superman, it's a classic pink gloss! While I didn't notice much of a scent on the other products, this one seems just slightly sweet. It has sort of a large, flat form of a doe-foot applicator and has a wet shine. It's not at all sticky, yet it doesn't have that oily, slide right off your lips feel. Still, in my experience- the staying power with this is not as good as the lipsticks. At least with this shade, when the gloss is gone, it's gone. The lipsticks seemed to leave some nice color behind, which was nice. Still- the freshly applied appearance on the lips is gorgeous. This pink is not frosty in the least- just creamy, classic pink. I always feel like I look younger in shades like this! 

The Giveaway!
  • Take a look around Red Apple lipstick's website, and find one (1) single product (not a set) that you would like to have! 
  • Post the name of the product in the comments section of THIS blog post!
  • You have one week to do this! The giveaway will end on Monday, August 6th at 10 a.m. central time. 
  • At that point, I'll do another blog post announcing TWO winners! I'll get your mailing info and Red Apple Lipstick will send your prize! Thank you Red Apple Lipstick!
  • Giveaway is open internationally!
Something for Everyone!
  • If you want to place an order at Red Apple Lipstick from now to August 15th, use the discount code BROADCAST when you check out! You'll save 15% on your entire order! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • I had the day off today- it's been NICE! :) 
  • I'm on a new website where you basically do tweets in video form... it's called Tout and I'll be posting little 15 second videos every so often! Check it out
  • Cupcake has appeared in 2 Tout videos so far :) 
  • I have a lot of makeup brush cleaning ahead of me this afternoon. 
  • Goldfish are now being made in a S'mores version- chocolate & graham flavor plus little fish-shaped marshmallows!
  • Just watched my girl Mally on QVC! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

IT Cosmetics Today's Special Value on QVC!

Hey everyone!
Hope you're having a great day... it'a almost Friday! And Friday, July 27th is also a special day because IT Cosmetics with have the Today's Special Value on QVC!
I got my hands on it early (which you can do if you're a QVC Insider)-- 
it's the Vitality Anti-Aging 5 Piece Collection!
The entire kit is valued at $236.00, but on Friday only- it'll be $59.94. 
If you check it out on QVC's website BEFORE Friday (go to & type in A228718)--
you'll notice that the special low price hasn't yet taken effect. 

What comes in the kit?
(You may recognize some items as favorites in my hauls & Shopping List Ideas videos! 
Now that I have this kit-- I have some backups!)
  • Vitality Anti-Aging Brightening Face Disc w/ Blush Stain & Drops of Light Luminizer
  • Vitality Lip Flush 4 in 1 Lip Stain in Je Ne Sais Quoi (As seen in this video!)
  • Bye Bye Undereye SUPERSIZE Anti-Aging Concealer (As seen in this video!)
  • Heavenly Luxe Ultra-Plush Jumbo Powder Brush
  • Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Concealer/Foundation Brush
A quick comment on the brushes-- they are SO SO soft! So far I've actually just been using my own brushes with this kit to apply the products, but once I experiment with these brushes, I'll let you know how they do. One brush is a large powder brush, and the other can be used to blend out concealers & foundations. In the case of this kit- you could use it with the Bye Bye Under Eye & apply it wherever you need it on the face... whether it's large areas or more targeted spots. 

Here's the disc- now that my beloved IT Cosmetics "My Sculpted Face Palette" has been discontinued- this is sort of like the new option. This disc is no joke- it's larger than the palm of my hand!
Half of the disc is a matte bronzer... you know how sometimes when you put your brush in a product- powdery fallout goes everywhere? Not with this. This bronzer goes on very sheer, and it's hard to mess it up on your face. I truly think fair to medium skin tones will enjoy this as a contouring powder... however I question how well it'll show up on tan or dark skin. If you're familiar with the "My Sculpted Face Palette"- this bronzer seem to come off more sheer, and a bit less powdery than those in the old palette. You can see the bronzer swatched below (in a not-so-sheer way) on the right side of my hand.

The highlight is a shimmery pearl color... my swatch almost makes it seem metallic, but sheered out, it really doesn't seem so shiny. I love it! While I really enjoy all of the elements in this palette, my favorite part is probably the gorgeous blush! It practically feels creamy. The shade is a GORGEOUS pinky-coral. Overall, the convenience of having all these face products in one disc is great- plus you get a giant mirror which is also nice for travel!

Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer is Supersized in this kit! You can get some more description on this concealer if you click the link that I posted above, but this is a full coverage product. It's marketed as something you can use as a foundation all over your face if you want, but my best experience with this has been as an under-eye concealer. Please be advised- it only takes a LITTLE BIT OF PRODUCT to work! I felt like it was a bit heavy and perhaps prompted a breakout or two when I used it around my nose- keep in mind, I have combination skin that gets oily in the t-zone. If you watch the presentations Friday on QVC, chances are you'll see IT Cosmetics creator Jamie Kern Lima cover up major rosacea with this product live on the air... it's pretty amazing. She just swipes off the makeup on half of her face, then covers it up again. Love it!

And here is one of my FAVORITE LIP PRODUCTS!!! I smell an Emily Award and it's only July! :) 
The Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi is fascinating, and if you want to hear more descriptions on this, and 2 other shades that I purchased- click the link that I posted above. When you look at the picture, you'd think it might just be a clear balm. NOPE! It gives you perfect pink lips- the color actually develops on your lips once you apply it. It actually STAINS your lips that color, and it's also super moisturizing! Now that I have an extra after getting this kit, I think I'm going to let my mom try it since she's very concerned with lip products feathering outside the lip line. None of the colors I have in this feather outside your lips! Not a bit! KICK ASS LIP PRODUCT. 

Also- I know I mentioned I've been watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. I'm trucking through Season 1, and something that I've noticed is that most of the girls seem to have a perfect pink lip going on most of the time. Not baby pink, but more of a berry pink. This lip product duplicates the color and finish perfectly! :) As a whole, I love the makeup on this show. 

  photos courtesy:

Bottom Line:
I want you to know about this kit so you can take advantage of Friday's low price! You really get a lot, including some legit brushes that I know I'll be getting some use out of. I truly think you'll come up with at least a couple of MUST HAVES out of this kit, whether it's the 3 in 1 face disc, the full coverage concealer, or the Lip Flush! I'm also partial to the brand's creator, Jamie Kern Lima, because she's a former news anchor! She knows what it takes to look good in HD, so I truly respect her opinions, and the fact that the brand doesn't have a zillion products... she says she creates things slowly to ensure that  everything is top quality. She also developed the line of cosmetics with the help of plastic surgeons- which I also find fascinating! What's your favorite product from this line? What should I try out next? Let me know! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • It's storming outside & we just lost power for a minute... almost thought I lost this blog post!! 
  • Glad I finally got my new video to upload today on the Urban Decay Smoked Palette! 
  • My makeup room is in major need of cleanup!
  • Someone messaged me saying they miss Cupcake! I'll get her in a new Beauty Vlogcast video soon! Also, I'm always posting pics of her on Instagram- follow me at emilynoel83 :) 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Benefit Box o' Powders Review

Hi Everyone! I promise I'm trying to get myself on a more consistent blogging schedule!
However I have just started watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix...
so it was not easy to pull myself away! 

But I do want to share my thoughts on Benefit's Box o' Powders. They're $28 bucks apiece...
For the longest time, I had only tried one of these... and recently Benefit sent me quite a few more. 
Now that I've had a chance to experiment with them... I'm ready to share my thoughts!

So here's what I have... 
Top Row: 10 & Coralista
Bottom Row: Dallas, Sugarbomb, & Hervana

I want to start off by saying- the packaging on these is ADORABLE. I love that each one has its own unique look... and there are several more on the Benefit website/Ulta/Sephora that are equally cute.
However I find that they are a bit bulky for travel... I think my ideal packaging would be the same style in a flat compact. Also- these come with little brushes, which I don't use (you can click my Box o' Powders link above to see them)... I just prefer a traditional bush brush to apply these. Here are some individual reviews... 

10 - Bronzing & Highlighting Face Powder Duo

I remember buying this one a couple of years ago on Kandee Johnson's recommendation. I really do like it! I love the highlight in this duo because it has just the right amount of shimmer, and the glowy bronzer is actually really pretty lightly dusted all over the face. While Benefit sometimes incorporates multiple shades in these boxed powders, I like that with this one- you get 2 colors and you can easily choose which one you want based on which side you swipe your brush. For people who want the convenience of a light bronzer & highlight in one- I can see the appeal of it.  It's definitely a quality product... but it is worth $28? I know I can find comparable highlights & blushes in my collection for less.   


My overall favorite of the blush colors- I think this coral is gorgeous and has a subtle shimmer that never looks like "too much" on the cheeks. And this is an odd observation about a blush- but it smells amazing. It's gorgeous, fresh, and would be great on fair to medium skin... I'm not sure that it would show up as much on darker skin tones. 


This powder is described as a "dusty sunset plum" - which I think is pretty accurate. I sometimes use this as a subtle contour, or really lightly on the cheeks as a very neutral, muted blush. I don't think it's showing up in the picture, but it has some very subtle shimmer. Not in-your-face glitter, but it's definitely not completely matte. I like having this one in my collection because I don't have much else like it. While I own some deeper blushes, most of them take on more of a bronzy tone. I like the slight plum feel that this one gives.  


I really wanted to love this one. With the four triangles of color, I thought it looked great in the packaging. But it does not give enough bang for the buck for me. When I swirl my brush in this product, I feel like the rosy tones give it a hint of nice pigment, but the other two shades- peach and light plum- almost "dilute" the overall color and make it pretty bland. I have tons of inexpensive blushes that could run circles around this one- giving off a similar look- but with a lot more color payoff. 


I know lots of people love this blush, so I'm sorry if you disagree with me, but this is my least favorite of the bunch. Can you see that swatch? Me either. Like Sugarbomb, it's so pretty in the packaging, and it smells heavenly, but it does NOT show up on me. The white and light peach in this blush once again seem to dilute the overall effect on me. I don't have especially dark skin... I'm more of a light/medium or medium skintone- and I just couldn't get into this. The shade is described as "orchid blossom" on the website, but I can't honestly vouch for that. 

So here are my overall thoughts! 
$28 is a lot for one blush. In my opinion, if you're going to pay that much for a blush, it had better be pigmented, unique, and give a gorgeous flush to the cheeks. Of the shades I've tried from Benefit, I feel like their solid "one-color" boxed powders are best. Coralista and Dallas are pretty shades that show up on the cheeks with ease. I also enjoy 10 because the shades aren't intended to be swirled... you use them one at a time and in that sense, they are effective. But with Sugarbomb and Hervana, you're meant to swirl your brush and for me, the end result is something that's nowhere near the $28 price tag. I also need to mention- I have tried the Hoola bronzer (not in the boxed powder format, but a small size in the Cabana Glama kit)- and I really like it!! It's a great matte bronzer and once again, it's a solid shade with nice pigmentation. 

I know there are more boxed powders from Benefit that I haven't tried... so are there any great ones that you would recommend? Feel free to let me know! Thanks so much for reading :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • Due to my weird schedule & early bedtime, I couldn't watch the Bachelorette finale last night, but I have miraculously managed to go all day WITHOUT learning the outcome! I plan to shower & watch it ASAP!
  • I had the most fantastic weekend at my cousin Jamie's wedding. It was so wonderful having most of my family all together, and I kind of want to rewind and repeat the weekend!
  • I had some questions about my very attractive (HAHA) Turbie Twist picture I put on Instagram yesterday- I got it from CVS! There are several different patterns done in microfiber- which I think sucks the moisture out of my hair even better! I use them right after I shower in the evening, and then by the time I go to bed, my hair is just slightly damp. When I get up in the morning- I blow dry for maybe 20 seconds & I'm ready to style! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

ELF Pout Perfecter!

Hey everyone! Just the other day I got in a little haul of some new ELF products (if you'd like to see a video on it, let me know!) One of the things I picked up was the Pout Perfecter from the studio line. It's $3, and comes in one shade- Glow. I was intrigued by the claims behind the product... the site says it'll give you more volumized, fuller lips with an optical illusion. In other words- while it won't literally plump your lips- the shine will give them a fuller look. You're advised only to apply it to the center of your lower lip, because if you use it all over, you'll lose the effect.

Swatch of the Pout Perfecter... 

Pout Perfecter as it hits the light- very reflective.

Highlighting the center part of the lower lip is a technique I often use with Revlon Super Lustrous lip gloss in Foiled.. but this product has much more sparkle. It reminds me a lot of NYX Mega Shine Gloss in Cosmo... but with MORE sparkle.  I was actually concerned about how much it had just by looking at the packaging, but when I tried it on the lips, I really liked the look! It's very reflective and works on top of a variety of different colors...

Excuse the orange lighting on these pics- I took them in front of our mirror at work. In the top pic, I'm wearing the Pout Perfecter over the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick, a bold magenta color. It gave a pretty, brightened look in the center of the lower lip, and staying power was really nice!

In this picture, I'm wearing Pout Perfecter on the lower lip- over MAC Viva Glam V, which is a much more neutral  lip color. As you can see, the Pout Perfecter still pops! :) 

If this product was just an average shiny gloss marketed as "pout perfecter"- I wouldn't really see the need for it. But it definitely has a level of shine/sparkle that goes beyond other glosses I own, so I do see the value in its "specialized" purpose. I also like that it doesn't feel goopy on the lips. If you're going to add the extra layer on top of whatever gloss or lipstick you're wearing, you don't want it to feel annoying. So I give this a thumbs up! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • I made some delightful, easy little appetizers for a potluck-style party on Friday night. Click here to see the recipe for Jalapeno Popper Crescent Bites! (thank you, Pinterest)
  • On the topic of food- check out my apple pie video with mom! 
  • Still on the topic of food... I did some grocery shopping today & the store was eerily calm... it was so nice.
  • I am drinking the Vitamin Water that called Glow that claims to give you good skin (Vitamins A, C, & E). Who knows if it really will, but it tastes awesome!
  • I really don't know how I lived without the Turbie Twist. It gets tons of moisture out of my hair after a shower, and it stays on my head sooo much easier than a giant towel. 
  • Excited for a wedding coming up this weekend!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hard Candy Shadow Duos!

Hey friends!
Thought I'd share a little review/current obsession with you!
It's a product I've been accumulating slowly, and the more I try, the more I love them!
They're $6 at Wal-Mart, and I'm thrilled with the quality... they're pigmented, easy to blend, and have the most beautiful metallic finish. And I don't mean they're loaded down with flaky glitter-- they just have a pretty shine that I love! 

I have quite a few neutral shades- but they each have their own look... and I think wearing neutral colors with a metallic finish is a fun twist on a "natural" eye look. 
Also, this might sound common sense, but I like that one shade is light and the other is dark. For some reason I run across a lot of duos that don't have enough contrast between the shades. With these, you can easily pop the lighter shade on your lid and brow bone, and use the darker shade in the crease. You can also wear these wet for even more impact, though I think they're great dry!

Secret Rendezvous

This was the first duo I ever picked up from this line (I bought it when Hard Candy first came to Wal-Mart). It's a light metallic pink and gorgeous cranberry/burgundy shade. The swatch is a bit washed out... this color is really deep and pretty. Reminds me of MAC Cranberry-- a much-loved shade!

Rush Hour

This bronzy-brown combo is a summer must-have. Picture tan skin, a golden/bronze gloss, and these eyeshadows-- love! Fans of the rose-gold look will like this one. And the brown has a subtle coordinating sparkle that's really pretty. 


This was a recent buy- I decided to pick it up after seeing one of my YouTube favorites- LolaMarie7- use it in a recent tutorial! As you can see, it's a classic neutral duo- shimmery champagne & medium brown. Can't wait to use this one!

High Maintenance

I wore this duo today!! I recently picked it up- along with Peace. The light color is a bit cooler than the light shade in Peace, and the deeper color is a gorgeous taupe with a slight hint of plum! I am kicking myself that I forgot to take a picture of this before my shower. The light color looks great around the inner corner, and the deeper color blends so easily into the crease, for a dark (but not too dark) effect.

So there's my review on these baked duos from Hard Candy! I really don't have any complaints-- other than the fact that I'd like to see even more colors. It's clear that Hard Candy knows how to do metallic... but some matte colors would be nice! Also, have you tried any of the Meteor Eyes shadows? They're more sparkly and just have one color. Curious about the quality of those!

Daily Nuggets...
  • I have been editing my buns off this afternoon for a new video and I'm STILL not done. 
  • Cupcake slept that whole time- in case you were wondering. 
  • The heat wave in our neck of the woods is finally calming down. Thank Goodness!
  • Are you on Pinterest? A couple of my favorite boards are Got It, Love it! and Want it! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rediscovered Love: ELF Hypershine Gloss

Hey everyone!
Ever have those products in your collection that you haven't paid much attention to...
until someone ELSE says they love them?
Then you remember how much you love them too. 
This was the case for me with ELF's $1 Hypershine Lip Glosses after I read PinkLouLou's blog on Favorite ELF things. 

A few key points about these glosses...
-They're $1 each
-They won an Allure Best of Beauty Award
-They claim to have glass-like, conditioning shine
-You can find them at or Target (limited selection)
-They have a built in brush... 
so when you twist them at the bottom, the product comes out through the top.

I have 6 or 7 of these total, but there are a few in my collection that are my favorites...
and in a recent ELF order I placed, I'm picking up a few more! :) 
For now- the ones I have that I enjoy the most!

This soft, pearly pink has a bit of iridescent shine. I have enjoyed this one for awhile now, and even named it one of my "Favorite Summer Lip Glosses" last year at this time! Worn alone, it gives lips a soft pearly appearance, but I also love layering this gloss over pink or nude lipsticks to give a light lip look a little more life. (enough L's in that sentence for you?!)

Joy is probably one of the few sheer glosses (in any brand) that I really like. It looks borderline lavender in the tube, but takes my not-super pigmented lips and makes them look like a fresh, shiny pink.  It also seems to have a little pearly shimmer like Fairy, but much more pink on the lips.

LOVE this color! This is like the exact color of my natural lips but with great shine! It's the ultimate natural lip. A true "nude" lip doesn't actually look that natural on me. But this does- because it's basically a match for my lip color. It doesn't have the pearly shimmer like the others. It's beautiful, and is one of my most recent purchases! This is going to get a lot of use! :) 

Overall Impressions!
I have some pretty heavy-duty glosses in my collection that provide a lot of shine and a lot of thick color. I like those! However these are like their less shiny but still gorgeous little sisters. The shades that I've dubbed my favorites don't make your lips look drastically different from the way they naturally are, but they end up having a little extra shine and color. They're cheap as can be, and actually feel comfortable on my lips- not too heavy or sticky at all, yet not so light that you wonder if it's even there. I also love the brush-tip applicator- it's very easy to get a precise application and the product doesn't feather outside my lip line. A great buy! :) 

Daily Nuggets...

  • A thunderstorm popped up this afternoon- 70 mph winds! Blew some of the trim off of our house in one spot. Dang it! Should be a quick fix though, and power was only out for 15 minutes, so I can't complain! You know that wreath mom & I made? It fared just fine!
  • Cupcake flipped out and raced all over the house- ending up under our bed. Once the annoying storm passed, she was a calm, happy cat again. 
  • I love bumping in to people in Target and ending up in a conversation about beauty-related stuff. Seriously, I'll talk beauty products anytime, anywhere. Today the topic happened to be self-tanner :)
  • I picked up Coconut Water- as advised by the Tone it Up girls. This is gonna take some getting used to.