Thursday, December 19, 2013

Too Faced "All I Want for Christmas" Set

Hey everyone!
I hope your week is going well! I know not everyone gets an early jump on holiday shopping, or maybe you're just looking for a way to treat yourself, so I'm continuing to review several of the holiday sets that I have! :) This one from Too Faced is called "All I Want for Christmas", and it's $36 at Ulta. I noticed that lots of these were still in stock at my local Ulta store. While it's a small-ish kit, it still contains some full-size products, plus a fun cylinder-shaped chevron makeup bag. I think this kit is really nice for several reasons... I enjoy most of the products, it's a good value for what you're getting, and the selection of colors in this kit will work for so many ages.
There's a mirrored compact in this kit that's about the size of a typical pressed powder compact. It includes a fabulous shade of blush in a satin finish. It's a deep peach color, and the concentrated swatch (and the camera flash) are making it appear lighter than it really is. (You can get a more true look at the way this color comes off in my pictures below). But I think it's a great, healthy color that's pigmented and will show up... yet it's easy to wear and you don't have to be too careful with application. This compact also includes two eyeshadows... a matte cream and a shimmery rose gold/taupe-ish color. It's kind of hard to describe, but it has an unexpected warmth on the lids. These two shadows can easily create a natural look without anything else added. Both the matte and the shimmery shade are equally pigmented. There's also a full-size Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer in this kit, which is one of my favorites for improving a shadow's longevity on the lids. 
Other items in the kit include a mini Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Black. This is a really creamy eyeliner and applies with ease, although I don't feel like it's totally waterproof. It's decently long-wearing, but can lose a little intensity by the end of the day (at least that's what I've noticed on my eyes). I'm not a fan of the mini Lash Injection Mascara. The brush is quite large, and I don't feel like it does a great job with separation. It's really rich and black in color, but doesn't give me super bold lashes. I much prefer Too Faced's new Better Than Sex mascara, but who knows, everyone's lashes are different so others may enjoy this one! I love the La Creme lipstick formula, so I think it's awesome that you get a full-size in this kit, and I'm pretty sure it's a limited edition shade called Believe. I'm so sorry that the picture above is making it look like such a bubblegum pink color (it's a gray afternoon and I've been struggling with the lighting)... it's actually a deeper rose shade and shows up more true-to-color in the picture below. These lipsticks are super rich with color and so shiny! Reminds me a little bit of the Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheers! :) 
 Here I'm sporting my hot rollers, as well as the products in this kit! The little compact with the blush and eyeshadows is one of my favorite things about this kit- I love how those shadows create such a quick, easy look... which we all need from time to time! I patted the rose gold color on my lids, and then used a fluffy brush to blend it up into my crease. As you can see, it doesn't look quite so metallic when you sheer it out. I'm wearing the matte cream shadow under my brows, and I didn't add any other eyeshadows. The blush gives an effortlessly radiant look to the cheeks, and that lip color is glam without being too dark and intense. To me, the high points of this kit outweigh my dislike for the Lash Injection mascara :) So if you need a last minute gift, this might be a good thing to check out! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • This day has flown by!!
  • A purring cat is sitting behind me in my seat.
  • Had a fun time on Beauty Broadcast Live this morning! :) Thanks to all who were able to join in, and if you couldn't make it, you can catch up here.
  • I think I'm going to start wrapping some presents now. seeya! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Z-Palettes: Crocodile Collection

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to share some details on the newest Z-Palettes! You've probably seen or own Z-Palettes in some of the fun prints that are available, but this new limited edition Crocodile Collection actually has a texture to it. Zena and the Z-Palette team sent me these to try, and of course I love any excuse to rearrange my palettes (it's like a puzzle for makeup addicts!) In case you're not familiar with Z-Palettes, they are empty palettes that you can fill with de-potted products. Your products magnetize into these palettes, and in many cases, it becomes a major space saver when you think about all of the individually packaged products that you're able to combine into a palette. If you want more ideas on what to do with your Z-Palette, check out the video I did earlier this year- What's In My Z-Palettes?
The Crocodile Collection comes in two colors- Oak and Burgundy. It feels very durable and there's a little bit of shine to the finish. The other basic elements of the palette are consistent with other Z-Palettes-- there's a large clear window in the top of the palette and they have a strong magnetic closure. They can easily be wiped out with a damp paper towel when they get dirty.
There are also two sizes available in this new design- Large ($22) and 4U ($18.50). Here you're seeing the Oak in the large size, and the Burgundy in the 4U size. There's much more information on the Z-palette website as far as examples of how much the various sizes of Z-palettes can hold, but just as an example, my large palette is holding 8 MAC blushes (let me know if you'd like more details on those!), and my 4U size just has some random products from Benefit and Too Faced that I've depotted from larger palettes. I have another 4U that holds 15 MAC eyeshadows- it's a great size.

Z-Palettes also come with little packets of round and square metal stickers. Certain products (MAC, for example), need these stuck on the bottom so they'll adhere to the Z-palette. You'll find that not all products need one of these, but I always save my extras.

As a Z-Palette fan, I'm really enjoying this fun new style! I think they look really classy, without changing any of the other elements that we know and love Z-Palettes for. I wanted to get a post up about these now, because it's actually a really good last-minute gift idea! You could just give a palette, or put in a few pans of something- like Makeup Geek eyeshadows, Coastal Scents Hot Pots, you name it! Maybe even offer to help a friend with de-potting... I think it's actually really fun once you get started, and becomes a MAJOR space saver. If you need help with de-potting, this video by MakeupGeek helped me a lot! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • Tyler, my dad, my brother and I took part in our yearly tradition of going to a Rams football game together! We stayed the night in St. Louis and had a great time. Plus the Rams won! 
  • Engaged in a little line dancing & toasted ravioli eating afterward :)
  • The snow is starting to melt. Melting snow and slush is not cute!
  • I'm tired! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mally Celebrate Your Beauty Holiday Color Kit

Hi everyone! 
Hope you're having a great Friday! Today Mally has a 12-piece holiday collection on QVC - it's the Today's Special Value and costs $59.96 (the price will go up after today- assuming it's still available). I recently ordered this from my InsideQ magazine which gives you a sneak peek at Today's Special Values (yes, I'm a QVC geek!), and it just came in the mail last night! So I haven't had a lot of time to play around with the products, but many of you on the Beauty Broadcast Facebook page said you'd like me to go ahead and show you the products. For some reason QVC doesn't seem to show a lot of swatches (especially of eyeshadows), so I'll be able to do that for you. I also did a look with one of the eyeshadow palettes today! :)
(click to enlarge)
The overall concept of this collection is that you can create three separate gifts out of it. You're getting 3 different eyeshadow palettes, 3 Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliners, 3 Volumizing Mascaras (in special limited edition black packaging), and 3 High Shine Liquid Lipsticks. It all comes in a large box with a magnetic closure-- that box could easily be used for other things since the tray holding the products can be removed. You could obviously mix and match these products however you want when you gift them, but they're arranged in the box in a suggested way if you're unsure of which liners/eyeshadows/lip colors would look good together. Also, the instruction cards reference certain liners being used with certain palettes, so you might not want to switch those up.
In addition to the makeup- you're getting a few other things to make this set extra giftable. There are 3 pillow boxes that coordinate with each eyeshadow palette. They come flat and you can just pop them into their "box" form. And here's what I LOVE-- in the back of the (rather thick) instruction booklet that comes with this kit, there are several perforated cards. There are face charts on the front and back of each card- giving you two suggested looks per kit of products. You can just tear them off and slip them right into the box. How cool is that?! You can gift someone all the makeup in the world, but a lot of people need a little guidance before they'll actually USE the stuff. So I think the instruction cards are an awesome idea- basically turning those shadow palettes into a super easy paint-by-numbers situation. 
Now let's take a closer look at the products! And just so you know- I've obviously swatched and used the lip products and eyeshadows- I'm not going to be gifting those. However I already own the eyeliner colors and the Volumizing Mascara-- so I do plan to leave the new ones untouched and gift those to friends and family. The wand & swatches in the pictures above are from the products I already own. The Evercolor Starlight Waterproof liners come in the shades Shimmering Black, Espresso, and Royal Plum. These liners set to a totally smudge-proof finish, which I love. You have to sharpen them, which I don't love... however they are some of the smoothest, easiest to apply eyeliners that Mally makes. Even people who don't typically use pencil liners would enjoy these because they glide on SO nicely. Did I mention this stuff is all full-size? And you know how I feel about Mally's Volumizing Mascara!! Mom & Pup- if you're reading this- a couple of these new ones have your names on them! :) They love Mally's mascara also. These are the same mascaras as the ones in the white packaging- but for this kit they're in fancy black/glitter tubes. I love the way this mascara builds thickness and length on my lashes- ESPECIALLY after it's been in my mascara rotation for about 2 weeks. The formula dries just slightly and becomes ideal for sparse eyelashes. It also keeps my lashes feeling soft and flexible, not hard/heavy and brittle.
Left to right: Petal to the Metal, Mally's Melon, Mauvelous
 I am completely LOVING the selection of High Shine Liquid Lipsticks in this kit! Isn't it fun how each shade totally changes the vibe of the overall makeup look? You're getting three brand new, full-size shades. So if you're a High Shine hoarder like I am... you won't already own these. These are truly a liquid lipstick- not a sheer gloss. In the pictures above, these are the ONLY thing on my lips- no liner, no lipstick. They are super shiny, creamy and opaque with no shimmer. The gloss clicks up through the brush tip, allowing for very precise, yet speedy application. Also- these are just tacky enough to have good staying power... not nearly as sticky as a Stila Lip Glaze though. I'm in LOVE with Mauvelous (wearing it to a Christmas party tonight!)... although I think the pink & melon shades are gorgeous, too! I was honestly a little worried about the melon in this kit- I thought it looked kind of orange in the tube- but it's definitely the perfect coral on the lips. LOVE!

Now for the shadows-- there are three powder eyeshadows in each compact, along with Mally's eyeshadow base. As an added bonus, each compact has a mirror (quite handy!) As far as the finish, none of this shadows are completely matte, which might be a downer for some of you. However, none are super metallic or glittery. I'd say they're all either a satin or shimmery finish. They don't come across super shiny on the lids- and you'll see that when we get to the look I created with one of these today. One note about the shadow base- it's definitely a full coverage base. It'll completely cover discoloration on the lids. But don't overuse it... I've used too much in the past and my shadow actually started creasing. But just dab a small amount and you'll have a long-wearing, vivid eyeshadow look! :) 
All swatches below were done on top of the shadow base that's provided in each palette.
Royal Plum
Shadow base, Angel Wings, Lavender Glow, Vivacious Violet. 
Romantic Brown
Shadow base, Whipped Cream, Macchiato, Espresso.
 Radiant Taupe
Shadow base, Sandy Nude, Shimmering Taupe, Haze
 Today's look- using Romantic Brown
Just thought I'd give you a little rundown of the look I did using the Romantic Brown palette! This is the one palette I can really elaborate on, since it's the only one I've used. I first patted the base all over my lid/crease/browbone area. I used Whipped Cream around my inner corner and under my brow. This is a really nice satin-finish cream shade... it has a little glow but isn't super shimmery. Then I went all over the lid with Macchiato, which reminds me quite a bit of Twinks from MAC. It definitely has some shimmer. Then I used Espresso, a satiny deep brown in the outer corner. To soften the look even more, I lightly applied Macchiato just above my crease. Then I used those two brown shades on my lower lashline. I was very happy with the overall look, and popped on some Demi Wispies false lashes for a finishing touch. 

Overall Thoughts... This is one heck of a makeup kit for just under $60! I am very familiar with Mally's mascara, eyeliners, and liquid lipsticks-- so I knew that aspect of the kit was a home run, even before getting it home. But I wasn't so sure about the shadows since these are brand new kits that haven't been out on the market before. From a gifting standpoint, I love that the shades in each palette are SO wearable. Great for everyday use, and I love that Mally tends to include a base in her palettes. I can't remember the last time I did an eyeshadow look WITHOUT some sort of base/primer. It's essential to getting the shadow's truest color, while also improving staying power. The gifting details are also fabulous-- love the little boxes and the instruction cards. So you've either got one MEGA gift for yourself, or 3 separate gifts that break down to about $20 apiece... though I honestly think they're worth way more than that. You could also take my approach... give some AND keep some for yourself! Thanks for reading my super long post, and I hope it was helpful if you're considering this kit! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • Funny story- last night after eating dinner, Tyler and I were joking around and I was getting my boots on to go turn on the porch Christmas lights. Tyler was teasing me about not already having the lights on or something silly, and I jokingly yelled BAH HUM BUG at him as I opened the front door. Then I nearly jumped out of my skin to find that the UPS man was standing RIGHT THERE. LOL!!! He hadn't even knocked yet- it was like he had just shown up on the doorstep! I shrieked out of surprise, and then myself and Mr. UPS just started laughing. And I continued to laugh my butt off for about another 5 minutes... unable to even open my Mally TSV box for awhile because I just couldn't believe that I shouted Bah Hum Bug in the UPS man's face! 
  • I am loving the Sing Off!!! What a great show! And is anyone else here a Pentatonix fan? They have a great holiday station on Pandora! 
  • I need to go make a pasta salad for the Christmas party/potluck thingy tonight. I'll try not to yell Bah Hum Bug in anyone's face!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coastal Scents Revealed Palette - Naked Dupes

Hey everyone!
Ever since showing the Coastal Scents Revealed palette in my recent haul video, I've heard from a lot of people who want to see some comparisons to the Urban Decay Naked 1 & 2 palettes! So that's what this blog post is all about :) FYI- the Revealed Palette is $19.95 at the Coastal Scents website... although at the time I'm writing this post- the palette is out of stock-- however you can sign up to receive an email to notify you when it's back! 
Top to bottom: Naked 1 Palette, Naked 2 Palette, Revealed Palette

 I had a hunch that there were many Naked dupes in the Revealed palette, and after a whole lot of swatching this afternoon, I was able to come to a few conclusions...
  • 17 of the 20 shadows in the Revealed Palette are dupes for shadows in the Naked 1 & 2 palettes
  • 2 shades in the Naked 1 palette are very similar to 2 shades in Naked 2, and Half Baked is in both Naked palettes. Those shades have the same dupes in the Revealed palette. 
  • I wasn't able to find dupes for 3 Naked shadows
  • 3 Revealed shadows don't seem to be dupes of the Naked shadows
  • While you will notice that many of the Revealed shades are color matches, none of them contain glitter, and a few of the Urban Decay shadows do. So certain "dupes" will still have that difference.
(Click to enlarge any of these photos)
I've numbered each shade in the Revealed palette to give them an "identity". From what I can tell, shades 6, 11, and 16 aren't dupes for any of the Naked shadows. 6 and 11 were close to certain shades, but not quite close enough. In the pictures below, the top row of shadows are Urban Decay Naked shadows, and the bottom row are Revealed Palette shadows. If you notice some gaps under certain Urban Decay shadows-- those are the shades that I wasn't able to find a dupe for. The first shades on the far left are very light (just don't want you to skip them as you look across).

(click to enlarge)
Naked 1 Palette Dupes (top) - Coastal Scents Revealed Palette (bottom)
(Half Baked is also in the Naked 2 palette and is swatched in that picture)

Left to right:
-Virgin: 2*
-Sin: 3
-Naked: 4
-Sidecar: 9
-Buck: 7
-Smog (no dupe)
-Darkhorse: 14
-Toasted: 15
-Hustle: 18*
-Creep (no dupe)
-Gunmetal: 19

 (click to enlarge)
Naked 2 Palette Dupes (top) - Coastal Scents Revealed Palette (bottom)

Left to right:
-Foxy: 1
-Half Baked: 8
-Bootycall: 2*
-Chopper (No dupe)
-Tease: 5
-Snakebite: 12
-Suspect: 9
-Pistol: 13
-Verve: 10
-YDK: 17
-Busted: 18*
-Blackout: 20

Shades marked with an asterisk* are dupes that were used more than once. I found the shades Virgin and Bootycall to be very similar, so their dupe was the same shade. Also, Hustle and Busted are very similar, so their dupe was the same shade. When you see these swatches move and catch the light, I feel like they are even more exact... the still picture only shows so much, but with so many different dupes to share, I thought a blog post would be easier than a video. 

I know many people already have the Naked palettes, but for those who don't and want to get similar looks- I think it's pretty remarkable that there are so many dupes in this affordable palette! I find the Coastal Scents shades (both mattes and shimmers) to be very pigmented- and I really don't mind that they don't contain glitter like some of the Naked shades. One downside to the Revealed palette is that it doesn't have a mirror... but beyond that, I really don't have any complaints. It's a great neutral collection of eyeshadows! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • I'm uploading a review on the new Cover Girl TruMagic products! It'll be on my main channel this evening. 
  • Did a lot of online Christmas shopping over the past couple of days!
  • I had an interesting dream before waking up-- I'm on a relay team (with a REALLY random assortment of people from my past), and we're running through an obstacle course that's set up in a big office building. It's like a giant adult track meet, and I had superhuman speed. Clearly a dream and not reality!!
  • Cupcake is napping behind me in my chair, making very cute noises.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hard Candy Glam Kit Eyeshadow Palette

Happy Friday everyone!
This time of year I'm always tracking down holiday palettes to review, and this one from Hard Candy is one of the most affordable I've found. It's called the Glam Kit Eyeshadow palette (24 colors), and it was only $4.88 at Wal-Mart. There were actually several versions of this palette available- maybe 4 or 5 different options. They had different colors on the top of the palette (I chose the gold one), and each had its own grouping of shadows on the inside... each one seemed to have quite a bit of color variety, and they all contained shimmery shadows. Ever since I fell in love with the quality of Hard Candy's baked shadow duos, I've been intrigued by any subsequent shadow release because I'm just hoping that it's the same as those duos. So far nothing measures up, including this palette. 
Here I've swatched the top, middle, and bottom rows of this palette and didn't use any primer underneath. As you can see- the pigmentation is VERY weak with that top row. When you look at the center row of the palette, you'd think those shades should be pretty vibrant... they swatched better than the top row, but are still pretty sheer. The bottom row contains the deepest shades, and also some of the most pigmented shades. (I used a couple of the best shades from that row in my look today). Still, the quality is very hit and miss-- note the swatch of the black shade... it looks like a sheer grey.
For my look, I first used an eye primer, and then used five of the shadows from this palette...
1. I applied this bronze color all over my lid
2. I used the olive green on the outer part of the lid and in the crease
3. I used black in the outer corner
4. I blended the coppery color just above my crease
5. I used this pearly shade as my highlight
As far as other parts of the look, I lined my upper lashline with the Jordana 12 Hr. Made to Last eyeliner in Jade Jewel on my upper lashline, and I used a black pencil in my lower waterline. I also applied mascara to my upper and lower lashes. On my lips, I'm wearing the Maybelline Color Whisper in Petal Rebel with Laura Geller Color Drenched Lip Gloss in Tea Rose on top. 
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the shadow look- partially because I used some of the more pigmented shadows in this palette. One thing that I was not happy with was the black shade. I had to really scrub on the shadow with my brush to pick up any color, and then when I started to apply it, it had really bad fall-out on my cheek... you'd think that a shadow that creates fallout would at least be rich and pigmented, but that wasn't the case here. It was weird! I had to wipe down my cheek and start over with my concealer, which I almost never do. 

Bottom Line: I realize this kit is only $4.88... and a lot of people might not expect great quality. But with the Hard Candy name on it, I held out some hope that it might be good. Unfortunately, there are many more misses than hits. I know that sheer shadows do have their place in someone's eyeshadow collection... sometimes you just want a sheer look, or maybe you're not experienced with makeup so you don't want anything too pigmented. However I could see this palette just being a pain in the butt to both the beginners and the experienced makeup users. Many of these shades don't show up anywhere close to the way they look in the palette, and eyeshadow that generates a lot of fallout is really frustrating. Also- EVERY shadow in this kit has the same shimmery finish-- no mattes. If you want to try something from Hard Candy, check out their regular line of products... they have many things that FAR exceed this palette quality-wise. (Baked eyeshadow duos, baked blushes, Tiki bronzer, etc.) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • It started snowing here yesterday afternoon and it hasn't stopped! This is nuts!
  • I have a new video going up tomorrow on my main channel- it includes some drugstore DIY beauty gift ideas. I'm very excited about it!!
  • I SO enjoyed The Sound of Music last night! Those songs are so classic, Carrie Underwood was amazing, and the kids were adorable. Also- from the live TV standpoint... it really didn't seem like anyone missed a beat- from the performers to the camera shots- everything seemed so solid!
  • My feet are so dry. Not cute. 
  • A tractor just came by to scoop our street! yay!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Revlon Finds at Ulta!

Hello friends!
During my last visit to Ulta, I noticed a couple of new Revlon displays! I'm kicking myself that I didn't take pictures of them, but thought I'd give you a heads up here on the blog. The first display was for Revlon Skinlights- that's an older product that is making a comeback! There was also a display with quite a few different blush colors, along with several bronzer/highlighter combos that reminded me of Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips or Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. I picked up a couple of items that I'm trying out, and I'll make sure to review them for you soon! :) 
Skinlights are basically a liquid highlight type of product. They've been re-released as part of the "PhotoReady" line, and there are several shades available. I believe there was peach, pink and bronze... and the shade I got which is Bare Light. I struggled to get a good shot of the sheen that this product gives off- but the picture on the right is a partially sheered-out swatch. These Skinlights seem to provide a very subtle glow... they have a pearly finish without flecks of glitter. I could even see these being used as a primer, or as a highlight on top of your makeup look. I chose Bare Light because it seemed to be the most natural and I thought it would mesh well with my skin tone. I plan to do a full review on this once I've had a chance to experiment with it more! 
 There was a really pretty selection of blushes in a separate display, and many of the colors seemed more vibrant that what Revlon usually has in their line. I opted for one of the brightest shades called Haute Pink to see just how much punch it really had. There is some shimmer in this blush, which I think tones down the overall color payoff. It's definitely a color that I'll use, but it doesn't strike me as anything vastly different from other drugstore blushes. Definitely not as impressive as the Coastal Scents blushes that I showed in this haul video

Just wanted to let you know that those new displays are out there, in case you're interested! Have you run across any other new drugstore products lately? Let me know! :) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • The winter storm is underway! Ice pellets have accumulated outside to the point where it looks like snow in some places. 
  • Tyler says they're closing the firm early.
  • Who else is tuning in to watch the Sound of Music LIVE on NBC tonight?!? I think Carrie Underwood is going to knock it out of the park!
  • Had a fun morning on Beauty Broadcast Live today! Click here to watch if you missed it. 
  • I'm still wearing my Santa hat :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bite Beauty - The Lip Kit

Hi everyone!
I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!! I had a great few days at home with my family and I loved every minute. Now- back to the blogs! :) One of my top holiday lip kits featured in my Top Holiday Makeup Palettes & Gift Sets video was this mini lipstick set from Bite Beauty. It's called The Lip Kit and costs $38 at Sephora. There are four double-ended lipsticks, and each lipstick is .07 ounces. I'm sure you could mix these duos to create even more shades! Several of you asked to see a post showing what these lipsticks actually look like on the lips- so here you go! :) 
First- a little background... ever since trying a trio of Bite lip products in this blog post back in August, I knew I wanted to try more. The formula of the Luminous Creme lipsticks is just incredible, and they are loaded with good-for-you ingredients. Since women truly do CONSUME so much lipstick in their lifetime, Bite uses food-grade ingredients. One of those ingredients is resveratrol, which is an antioxidant in red wine. I love how rich and moisturizing these lipsticks feel... without also feeling heavy or TOO thick on the lips. That's a huge reason why I chose this kit as one of my favorites for the season- but I also love the way this kit is put together. You're getting a really fabulous color selection, and I love the fact that all of these colors are part of Bite's regular line- not limited edition. So if you fall in love with any of these shades, you can pick up a full size. Also- the colors are SO saturated and creamy, with just the perfect amount of shine. This kit is definitely the ideal product for a lipstick lover!
 Pepper (Dusty rose) and Apricot (Warm red)
 Rose (Classic pink) and Palomino (Bright magenta)
 Musk (Brownish pink) and Pomegranate (Cherry red)
 Retsina (Nude pink) and Mulberry (Wine)

I don't know if you noticed this (I didn't until I put this post together and really looked at the diagram on the back of the packaging), but the lipsticks on the left side of the duos are all a bit more natural, and the really bold and colorful shades are on the right. I think all of those brighter shades are just striking. Mulberry is a favorite for me, but could Pomegranate be any more perfect? And how about Palomino?! And as for the softer shades- I like them because while they're lighter, they're not SHEER. Retsina is light in tone but still very full color. And Rose is so fresh! I could go on and on, but I just wanted to show you what all of those lipsticks looked like in case you were interested in the kit- or if only one or two interest you, they're all available individually

Daily Nuggets...
  • I get in some sort of a zone when I'm blogging. Once I start on a blog, it's like I don't stop for anything. I'm really thirsty and my feet are cold. Still blogging!
  • The house is about 95% decorated for Christmas. I need Tyler's height to help me out with some garland around the door.
  • My empties bin is overflowing!
  • Tried Estee Lauder Double Wear Light... I gotta say it- totes amaze! LOL! Loving it! THANK YOU to my makeup loving buddy, David!! xoxo

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Junk Food Flavored Lip Balms

Hi everyone!
So... I was hungry when I was getting some pre-Thanksgiving groceries today. No, I didn't splurge on junk food-- but I was tempted by these junk-food flavored lip balms. They were just $1 apiece at WalMart in the stocking stuffer area, so I felt compelled to test them out and share my findings. There was a whole range of about a dozen different food flavors... things like pickle, ketchup, popcorn and bacon were among the other options. I decided to go with some of my favorite unhealthy foods... mac & cheese, pepperoni pizza, and french fries. A brand called Lotta Luv Beauty makes these. I also contemplated going through the self check-out to avoid judgement or questioning from the cashier about these odd purchases, but given my cart-load of other "normal" items, I decided to take my chances :)
With each lip balm I tried, the experience just got more and more strange. I started wondering... do I really WANT this stuff to smell/taste exactly like the food it's imitating? Would I want to go about my day with Pepperoni Pizza lips? I know these are a "just for fun" type of product- but you know me... I'll give them a serious review! ;)
  • Mac & Cheese... Truly does smell like the cheese packet that comes in your box of Kraft macaroni & cheese. They seem to have nailed the fake cheese scent. Where a lot of lip balms have a slightly sweet taste... this tastes slightly salty. But compared to the others, this is the most mild flavor. The balm has a thick, slightly gritty consistency. Teeny tiny salt-flavored particles? Who knows!
  • French Fries... This balm really does smell like potatoes! What?!? The feel on the lips is thicker & more gritty than the Mac & Cheese, and quite a bit more salty also. Almost like solidified mashed potatoes in a stick! It's as if I had some french fries, and just decided to mush one onto my lips. Ew!
  • Pepperoni Pizza... This balm smells nothing like pizza. I can't figure out what I'm smelling... it's a little like the mac & cheese flavor, I think. Upon application, this flavor actually made my stomach turn! Same thick & gritty feel as french fries... but the flavor is both sweet and salty and just all around WEIRD! I'm all for a sweet & salty snack mix... but this is just so odd. I can't handle it!

The moral of the story is this: Salty lip balms are weird. If you love mac & cheese, french fries and pepperoni pizza... these lip balms will not satisfy your craving. The strange thought of having those food flavors (or attempts at food flavors) just sitting on your lips is actually rather unappetizing, and may eliminate your craving for said foods altogether. Maybe a new kind of appetite suppressant? Definitely a fun gag gift stocking-stuffer type of thing if you want to give the family some laughs. Just steer clear of Pepperoni Pizza... it's not worth it! LOL!  
Here's my question-- what's the grossest food-flavored lip balm you can come up with?   

Daily Nuggets...
  • Got a crown at the dentist's office today (the next step in my root canal saga). Not the kind of crown a girl deserves, but a crown nonetheless. 
  • Cupcake has a lot of nicknames- her newest is doodle bug.
  • I'm so excited for Thanksgiving!!
  • My contributions for the meal will be my donut hole acorns and a Fireball whiskey/apple cider cocktail. Woop woop!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pixi Icy Lip Luster Lip Gloss Kit

Hi everyone!
My quest to test and review holiday makeup kits continues! Most recently, I was sent a couple of affordable kits from Pixi. I wouldn't say I'm SUPER familiar with everything in the Pixi line, but they do make a palette that I absolutely love called Soft Focus Fresh (click here for my post on that palette), as well as an amazing brightening concealer called Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach (featured in quite a few of my videos). While Pixi is available at Target, many of the products are bit more pricey than other drugstore brands. The kit I'm blogging about today is called the Icy Lip Luster Lip Gloss Kit in Snowbunny Glace. It's $15 at Target or Pixi's website (apparently they have quite a few different makeup kits!) From what I can tell, this gloss formula isn't part of Pixi's regular line-- it's just a special holiday kit. 
Color-wise- you're getting 2 sheer sparkly glosses, and two creamy glosses that are more colorful. The texture is super smooth and not at all sticky, and they smell like coconut- which was a nice surprise! These contain Vitamin E and actually do feel kind of moisturizing on the lips- which is kind of a rare quality for a gloss. While they aren't sticky, they do seem to "cling" to the lips nicely... they don't have  a greasy feel that makes me wonder if they're going to slide right off. Staying power is pretty consistent with other lip glosses- it'll stay on for several hours if you're not eating or drinking... otherwise, plan to do some touch-ups. These do a good job of filling the lines in my lips- making my lips look very pillowy and smooth. 
Left to right: Ice Crystal, Ice Petal, Natural Rose, Pink Orchid

You can enlarge this picture to get a better look at these shades. Overall, I'm REALLY pleased with the scent and feel. At 1 fl. oz each, it's a good size for someone who just wants to sample a few different shades.  However, I personally don't love that there are two shades that are so sheer. Like the more colorful glosses, they feel nice on the lips, but so much of my natural lip color shows through. While one is slightly more pink than the other, they look very similar. I love Natural Rose and Pink Orchid- they're just beautiful, and upon trying these, I thought I'd like to check out some other full-size glosses from Pixi's line! However it appears that this particular formula is exclusive to this set... kind of a bummer if you really fall in love with some of the shades. Overall, I could see this being a great little gift for a teen who wants a high quality, comfortable gloss formula- but not a lot of bright colors. If you expect a great deal of color payoff from lip glosses- you'll probably only be 50% happy with this kit. Do you have any favorites from the Pixi line? Please share! :) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • I have been a video shooting & editing machine today! Trying to get ahead on things so I'll be able to post videos while I'm away for Thanksgiving :) 
  • I can't believe the Beauty Broadcast Express channel is already approaching 90,000 subscribers! I can't thank you enough for supporting it!! The kind feedback and video requests are VERY much appreciated, and Tyler is grateful for your #tydayfriday love too! :) 
  • Had a great time meeting up with the twins (Tyler's sisters) on Saturday!
  • After traveling to see the twins- I could tell the roads are already getting busier... holiday travel has begun! Please be safe out there and don't text & drive! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Beauty Product Backups

 Hi everyone!
Are there any products in your stash that you MUST have a backup of? Things that- if you run out of them- there will be a mini-crisis? I have a lot of products in my daily rotation, but there are a select few that I tend to have extras of. There are others that I should or did have extras of... that are no longer extras :) But here's a sampling of what's usually in my "backup" stash! 
Lash Glue... It's just common sense that you can't wear false eyelashes if you don't have glue. I prefer Revlon Precision Lash Glue, and I usually find it at Wal-Mart. They seem to either have the clear or the dark-tone in stock... but not usually both at the same time. I'll use either kind, and the last time I was shopping, I picked up an extra (not realizing there was already a backup hanging around!) This stuff will definitely get used!
 False Eyelashes... Months ago when I fell in love with the Red Cherry #43 false lashes- I ordered more. I got a couple 6-packs of them on Amazon for super cheap. They are just awesome when you want full, long lashes. Gorgeous! 
Clear Brow Gel... When you've got some big, thick eyebrows... those things need to be tamed! I don't require a certain kind of brow gel- but this product from ELF is about as cheap as it comes- just $1 at Target. I'll start using this when I run out of the Maybelline Great Lash Clear.  
More Eye Products... I think most of us have mascara backups! I actually have some different mascaras from several brands that have been sent to me for review- but these are the back-ups that I actually insist upon having in my collection. Mally Volumizing Mascara-- I experiment with many mascaras, but sometimes you just need to go back to the old faithful. This stuff is great, especially once a new tube is about 2 to 3 weeks in... then the formula becomes perfection. I also made sure to have an extra of the Mally Evercolor Automatic Waterproof Liner in Onyx. This is one of the best black liners for the waterline- it wears wonderfully! I also keep a backup of Cover Girl Clump Crusher Water Resistant... fantastic when I need the BEST staying power. Doesn't flake, and doesn't even smear when I use it on the lower lashes. 
Random Beauty Stuff... I almost always have an extra TRESemme Tres Two mini. I keep one of these in my purse at all times, and it's a carry-on friendly travel size as well. So this one is just waiting to be used. Also- I have come to rely on Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs leg makeup. I can't remember the last time I wore a dress or shorts and DIDN'T have this on my legs. It makes them look flawless, tan, and it doesn't wipe off onto clothes or sheets (it'll wash off in the shower). If this stuff got discontinued, I'd be in trouble. Actually I'd be in trouble if any of this stuff was discontinued- scary thought! I also typically have an extra box of the Equate version of Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths. I actually just busted into my backup. Those things take off ALL of my makeup, including eye makeup. 

What's in your backup drawer? Even if you have a big collection of products that you're always using...  you just have to have backups of certain things! ;) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • Just posted a new Stuff I Love video! I know, it's been too long! 
  • Cupcake invaded 2 of the 3 videos that I shot today.
  • I have the urge to take my makeup off and start over. And it's almost 5pm. Does that ever happen to you?
  • Have you seen the K-Mart commercial where the dudes are wearing jingly boxer shorts?! HILARIOUS!

Monday, November 18, 2013

FOTD: MAC Stroke of Midnight Face Palette

Hi everyone and happy Monday!
Over the weekend I was playing around with a new kit from MAC- so I thought I'd share the look I created! This kit is the Stroke of Midnight Face Palette in Cool (there's also a warm option). I tend to use both warm and cool tones in my makeup looks, but I was drawn to this kit because of... you guessed it- the berry lip color! :) I have a few other things from the Stroke of Midnight holiday collection, and I'm thinking I'll probably do an all-in-one type of review soon- sharing my take on everything. In case you were wondering- my foundation is Cover Girl + Olay Simply Ageless (thanks MissCrystalMakeup for making me want to pull this out again!), and the blush is the Jane Multi-Colored Cheek Powder in Peach Bouquet.   
The packing of the whole Stroke of Midnight collection just makes me think of the Great Gatsby. Black, white, and gold- just gorgeous. The whole compact is a little larger than the size of my iPhone. There's a decent-sized mirror on the inside, and I don't think you can really see it, but there's a little trap door over the lip products- which is great for keeping the powder fall-out away from the creams!
The palette contains...
-Iridescent Powder in Sparkling Rose (soft pink with gold frost)
-Lipstick in Sublime Pleasure (Lustre- sheer rose)
-Lipstick in Romantically Inclined (Cremesheen- plum)
-Eyeshadows (left to right) - All Races (matte), Scene (satin), Magic Moor (veluxe pearl)
-Eye Kohl in Ebony (black)
This isn't a full-on review- but just some observations on the kit. The highlight is quite sheer, but I think it gives a really pretty glow when dusted on the cheekbones and down the nose. I also used this as a highlight under the brow. The lip colors are both quite shiny- I used the plum shade all over with a lip brush, with just a dab of the lighter color in the center of my lower lip.
 For eyes- I used the lightest grey shade all over my lid, with the medium shade in my crease. I used the deep shimmery grey in my outer corner, and also smudged it on my lower lashline. I think the shadows are pretty nice, but not super unique colors/textures. I used the black eyeliner in this kit as well, which I found to be rather dry and hard to apply- rather than gliding across my lashline, I felt like I had to press too hard and it was dragging. No issues applying it to the waterline, though the staying power on that part of my eye wasn't great. I really love the way the finished look came together... but I think you could utilize a lot of different products in similar colors to pull off the same kind of look. Any thoughts on the Stroke of Midnight kits? Like I said, I'll put together a full review once I've had a chance to play with them more! :) 

Daily Nuggets...
  • I started watching The Good Wife over the weekend from the very beginning- I'd never seen it before but have heard so many good things about it. I can't get enough!! So good! Tyler likes it too. 
  • Posted an early-morning video today! I didn't want to wait too long since it was on the TSV from Tarte that's being featured on QVC today! New #bbexpress review coming later.
  • Mega storms rolled through the midwest yesterday, including my area here in southern Illinois. There were fatalities and extensive damage less than an hour from where we live. Definitely keeping those families in my prayers. Thanks to those who shared their concern on Facebook & Twitter-- fortunately we had no damage to our home. 
  • I found Gingerbread flavored M&M's.... they're milk chocolate- with some flavoring. Still not sure what I think of these!