Friday, September 28, 2012

My Highlighter Collection: Creams/Liquids, with Video

I'm a bit of a nut for highlighters, something about glowing sheen on my cheeks makes me happy. It brings dimension as well and since I don't contour much these days, it helps. I have several creams and liquids, some that I like better than others.

Three that fall into the cream category are Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight in Wicked and Moonshine. These colors have been discontinued, I bought them on They are a very thin, slick texture. Super cute little packages with the skulls!

Moonshine is a translucent strong pink pearl flash, reminds me of the pink flash shade in the Tarina Tarantino Jewel Palette in Magical - one of my favorite palettes! I wore it a few times since recording the video and I definitely am liking it more than I did before. It doesn't have any large chunks of glitter. Wicked is sort of a perplexing color to me, it's a possibly bronzed pink? Glittery mystery. As you may have guessed, it does have larger pieces of shimmer which can be very obvious in certain lighting. This one is not my favorite.

MAC Cream Color Base is a thicker texture, MAC calls it a pale gold with icy shimmer (what color is icy I wonder..?). To me it's sort of a beige-ish light creamy sheen, looks very natural on the cheeks/browbone. I haven't had wear issues with it, but my cheeks are normal/dry.

Urban Decay Urbanglow in Moonshine, Wicked;
MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl,
Boots No 7 High Lights, Benefit High Beam,
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
It's a little tough for me to get a decent picture of highlighters, all those glowing strips and my pale skin competing to reflect the most light. :D

For liquids! First thing I bought quite a while ago was the Boots No 7 High Lights, I mentioned in the video the Beauty Broadcast post by Emily showing the tip she'd gotten on this being a dupe for Benefit High Beam. Now that I have both, I would agree they're very similar in the colors but the thinner texture of the High Lights makes it trickier to have the same payoff of High Beam. They're pearl shades leaning to the pink side.

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl is a pink with gold shimmer, but it's quite sheer and I was disappointed with the payoff on my cheeks. It kind of disappears, so I am glad I got a kit so I could sample this out before buying full sized. Nice if you want something subtle with a warmer tone.

Boots No 7 High Lights, Benefit High Beam,
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl,
LORAC Double Feature highlight DF 0.5
Last one I forgot to include in the video (I think it pops up when talking about the powders!) is the LORAC Double Feature highlighter that comes with the concealer duo. The shade is DF 0.5 and I think the highlighter is different depending on the shade. Mine is a strongly pigmented pink with strong shimmer, I wore it too heavily one day to work and took a picture - it was like a lightbulb on my face. Wowzers. :)

Overall, I think my favorites are the MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl, Urban Decay Urbanglow in Moonlight, LORAC Double Feature 0.5 DF. What are your favorite cream or liquid highlighters? Anything you're dying to try out? Heck knows I need more highlighters to obsess over. ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Simple Brown Smoky Eye Tutorial with a few Sigma Performance Eyes Kit brushes, with Video

(video link here)

I felt like giving my Sigma Performance Eyes Kit another try, I think it was emilynoel83 that mentioned them in a recent video. I had a bad taste in my mouth from the small blending brush (E36) which shed so badly I must have lost 1/4 of the hair. One brush I didn't show in the video which I have enjoyed consistently is the Smudge E21, mine has felt like the highest quality on the Sigma spectrum which does vary. I should say I've also liked the tiny liner brush, E11.

So, in this video I tried out using the shader for the lid (worked better than I remembered), crease brush also performed well, happy with the how the tightline brush worked to stamp on my L'Oreal Infallible gel liner. Overall I don't think the kit is worth the price of the brushes I found really useful. Real Techniques makes a tiny liner brush like this, small smudge brushes aren't that rare, and other flat liner brushes can work for tightlining. Okay, enough brush talk!

So after wearing the L'Oreal Infallible gel liner on my waterline for 12 hours, it was still opaque. The inner corner and very outer corner did smudge out (but I'm not asking for miracles here!). I've never had anything last on my waterline more than a few hours (other than a very faded layer of color at the edge of lashline like MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner 0L will leave). I was quite impressed. I have tried a few other drugstore gel/cream liners on the waterline and did not have this sort of success, I imagine if I tried out a high end gel liner (I don't have any!) I'd have better luck with the good ones.

Overall this whole look wore really well, as I've talked about before these Infallible shadows have excellent staying power and remain vibrant for 12+ hours on me (over primer). I was outside in the cold next to a fire for 4 hours, along with other 8+ hours puttering around inside. Just a little loss of liner in the very wet corners of my eyes!

Let me know if you've used this brush kit, what your favorite simple smoky look is, or just say hi! Thanks for taking the time to visit. :)

Products shown:

  • L'Oreal Infallible 24HR shadow in Bottomless Java
  • Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana
  • MAC Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack, gold from Surf, Baby! collection Surf the Ocean stack
  • L'Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner 24HR in Espresso
  • Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
  • Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in Soft Plum
  • Dior Diorskin Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond
  • Revlon Lip Butter in Creamsicle 
Brushes used:

  • Sigma Shader Lid E56 (Performance Eyes kit)
  • Sigma Shade Crease E47 (Performance Eyes kit)
  • Sigma Tightline Liner E16 (Performance Eyes kit)
  • Sigma Tapered Blending E35
  • Sigma Tapered Highlighter F35

The brush I mentioned having a horrible shedding problem was Sigma Blending E36 from the Performance Eyes kit.

On the rest of my face:
  • Milk of Magnesia as primer (still testing this)
  • Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder in Translucent Fair
  • Laura Mercier Undercover Pot UC-1 - Secret Concealer
  • Benefit Powderflage to set concealer
  • Urban Decay matte shadow Shakedown (discontinued) for brows
  • elf clear brow gel

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MAC Cranberry and Woodwinked Tutorial with Jordana Best Lash Extreme mascara, with Video

I've uploaded a couple video haul/purchases videos recently, my channel is here Since I recently bought an empty MAC palette in the NYC Grand Central Terminal store (how dangerous would commuting past that be! :D), I was thinking about my few MAC shadows. I decided to throw together a simple look featuring two shadows I have, MAC Cranberry and Woodwinked.

Something I picked up the past week or so was a new mascara, Jordana Best Lash Extreme. One of my perennial favorites on youtube, Heidi jalapena2007 mentioned it and that it was somewhat between Mally volumizing mascara and Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes. I've tried a few products from Jordana but had passed over mascara. There's so many mascaras out there, it's overwhelming! Anyhow, with a winning endorsement (that's how I heard it at least), I made the big investment of $3.99 and bought it. ;) So glad I did, for the first time in I can't even remember - I loved a mascara from day one! We'll see how long it lasts, I can see it getting obnoxiously clumpy after a few weeks.

Another fun new budget buy in the video is the gigantic Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana, it's a light golden beige highlighter which has a fairly subtle very easy-to-wear shimmer. I'm liking this a lot for using all over the cheeks over a bland blush to give it some glow.

Let me know what you think and how you like to use these shadows if you have them! What are your favorite MAC shadows? Thanks for stopping by!

Products used:

  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Lemon Drop
  • Urban Decay shadow in Shakedown (matte, discontinued)
  • Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 in Soft Porcelain
  • MAC Cranberry and Woodwinked
  • Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana
  • Laura Mercier Undercover Pot in UC-1
  • MAC Select Cover-Up in NC20
  • Jemma Kidd Makeup School cream blush in pawpaw
  • Model in a Bottle Eyebrow Sealer
  • Jordana Best Lash Extreme mascara
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in Airy Fairy

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Drugstore Budget Friendly Items Face of The Day

Drugstore budget friendly face of the day it is! I hadn't planned on doing this when I started getting ready this morning, but lately I've been trying to use the palettes I've neglected for a while.

One disclaimer to get out there straight away, I did use one non-drugstore item. Eye primer, my nemesis with budget looks. I keep meaning to buy an e.l.f. primer, but haven't been tempted by a good coupon that didn't mean I needed to spend $20 to get a deal. So, I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance Lemon Drop. Other than that, everything - brushes included - were drugstore price point.

Today and yesterday, I've reached for my e.l.f. 32 color palette. While it can be powdery (and a bit messy/glittery), it does have some lovely shades that are easy to work with. Since mine is a couple years old by now, I don't believe they carry this color set anymore. The current version is $10.

I used a mid-toned shimmery brown over the lid/crease, a deeper taupe for the outer lid/crease, shimmery peach over the center of the lid, light beige for the browbone, white for inner corner.

The shimmery white is a favorite of mine for the inner corner, it's just the right shimmer and pigmentation so it's not stark white but just a lovely lifting brightness.

I used a CoverGirl Liquiline Blast pencil in Violet Voltage ($7.49) for the upper and lower waterlines , Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara ($3.99, which I LOVE so far, so easy to use!), Maybelline Ultra Brow Brush On Color in Light Brown ($6.79), e.l.f. brow gel ($1).

Milani Minerals Blush in Luminous ($7.49) which is unfortunately discontinued now, a pink with gold shimmer that gives a glowy sheen on the cheek. They do have a baked blush called Luminoso which I don't have, but Angie has a lovely post here Your Beauty Fashion Fitness - Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso - heavy swatches they look different but have a similar effect on the cheek (Luminoso is less heavy on the gold shimmer and a bit deeper pink/peach/coral).

On my lips I have a NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream ($5.99) in Instanbul, the finish of these lip creams is so interesting. It gives this blurred out matte look that seems different from a heavier matte lipstick. Unfortunately for me though, it's way too dry for my poor lips and I have to put something glossy over it. For those of you without zombie lips, I would definitely recommend trying them alone!

On my face, I used Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder in Translucent Fair ($9.99), I apply it with a powder puff (comes with it, I wash it periodically) and it is rather drying (fine for my super oily skin) - I hit pan a while ago and anticipate being out of it soon. Under my eyes and for nose redness, I used Revlon PhotoReady PhotoReady Concealer in Light ($8.49).

On to brushes! I used just a few tools, I tend to use one eye brush if I can get away with it. This time I used the e.l.f. Mineral Blending Brush ($3, but I don't see it online anymore) for everything. It's not the greatest brush, but it grabbed the product well and I don't feel bad about tapping it hard against the pan to get the excess loose powder/glitter off. ;) For my brows, I used a Coastal Scents Black Detail Synthetic brush ($1.99) and an e.l.f. Eyelash and Brow Wand ($1). Lastly, on my cheeks, I used an e.l.f. Studio Blush brush ($3).

These all are products and tools I've used for a while and like. All told, it's $70.22 worth of products, which can be slightly shocking! I did use quite a few items, but a normal amount for a full face. One thing to keep in mind with drugstore items is you can work sales and coupons to get the price way down, that can make a huge difference. Nonetheless, it can really show why doing a good quality $20 challenge is so difficult! If I can find a good eye primer, I will give it another go. I had two options written up that I never posted because I just couldn't get behind all of the products I used.

Prices quoted from Walgreens, Target, ULTA, - preferring Target for best base price, Walgreens for items Target did not list, ULTA for items sold there only.

What are you loving from the drugstore lately? Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Maybelline Colorsensational LE 2012 In Style Sienna

So, as often happens lately, I saw something on Angie's blog Your Beauty Fashion Fitness - In Style Sienna and I wanted it. No, I needed it! I've been working in embracing darker lips, I've always felt a little shy about them because I am so pale and my lips are a little full. I felt like the lips took over my face! Then to add to that, the only time I got comments or teasing from the guys at work it was with bolder lips (bright pink, red); not counting the Clown Comment which also involved my pal who doesn't like red lipstick on women. Like I told Angie the other day, to heck with those guys! It's an adjustment when making a big change in makeup, like when I started filling in my brows it was tough to get used to. Having visible brows just seemed so strange and alien.

Now that I've been wearing darker lips for several days, I'm getting more and more used to it and In Style Sienna is definitely helping. :) It's an interesting color, like a toned down MAC Club type shade - it's a reddish brown with a subtle green gold shimmer. Truth be told, it was the greenish shimmer that totally sold me. I love the unique shimmer base combinations in shadows, lips, nails - everything!

Once on the lips, the green is there but Angie sees a more antique gold - I haven't seen mine in the sun so I can't say on that front. It may also be that I want to see the green. :)

It's not intensely pigmented and seems to have a fair amount of slip, after blabbing in a status meeting for an hour I noticed it was wearing off a bit near the center of my lips. It wasn't patchy or noticeable other than some fading.

I did notice the shimmer did catch a bit on some dryness I had near the center inside of my lips, and you can see here a little extra darkness in there where it's globbed on. It's not frosty at all though and has a more shiny glossy finish.

Here I added Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Sweetheart mainly on my bottom lip, I dabbed it on just so I could get the moisturizing non-lip-peeling qualities, but the pinky pearl worked nicely with the lipstick I think!

This is definitely unique to my collection and I think a very wearable shade, especially if you lean to the warmer side.What do you think? What's your must-have fall lip color? Thanks for stopping by!

Other stuff on my face:

  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance Lemon Drop
  • Tarte for True Blood palette (green on lid with gold dusted on top, copper and taupe through crease)
  • Laura Mercier Undercover Pot UC-1 peach for under eyes
  • MAC Select Cover-Up in NC20 over the LM concealer and to take down redness on nose
  • Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder in Translucent Fair
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash, Model in a Bottle Eyebrow Sealer
  • Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Perversion
  • Benefit Bad Gal Lash
  • Stila blush in one of those travel palettes that I keep at work because I forgot to put some on before I left the house today ;)
Nails: L'Oreal Colour Riche in Check Me Out (pink), Revlon Moon Candy in Orbit

Tightlining Makes All the Difference

I've been a fan of the upper underneath lashline liner (that usually ends up on the upper waterline as well) called tightlining ever since I learned about it a few years ago. I originally posted back in March 2011 my difficulties with twitchy spazzy lids while doing it but I figured out the trick to avoid this. I determined with me, it depends where my pupil/iris is (aka the non-white part of your eye). If I'm looking where the pencil is, my lids will twitch. If I look away so all I can potentially stab is the whites (pfft who cares, that happens all the time :S) - no twitch.

Here I've already tightlined the left eye with mascara applied to both eyes - Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara. For the liner, I prefer MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes 0L, it's a little less creamy than Urban Decay 24/7 pencils and for me has better lasting power. It's not the most pigmented but I'm not looking for a deeply dark look like I might want for the lower waterline.

The technique I use now gets more liner on my upper waterline (which then just makes more cleanup due to transfer on to lower lashline/tear duct). I place the pencil at the upper waterline, close my lid for the most part and just slide back and forth. There's lots of demos on YouTube, I will try to remember to film a clip next time I have the camera out!

And here's the end result! You can fake some extra lash volume your mascara may be lacking without taking any space on your upper lid. I love how it adds intensity, one of my favorite subtle techniques. :)

Do you tightline? Have a favorite combination of products? What's your favorite sneaky tip? :D

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mascara Swatching Series: Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara

Okay people, enough with the gigantic names of products! That aside, I do like this mascara. :)

The sample tube is nearing the end of its life, shame I didn't swatch this earlier. What I like about the mascara is it gives some volume and is easy to work with. Not too wet or dry, I can get it on satisfactorily in 2 minutes which is saying something!

It's a traditional bristle brush so I'm less likely to stab myself in the waterline painfully, that's a plus!

Overall I'm happy with it, doubt I'd buy it full price but I *might* consider it with this one.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Easy Fast Fresh Look for School, Work, Lazy Days

I was taking pictures for a Mascara Swatching Series post and decided to keep going and photograph a simple look perfect for lazy days or when you're running late or want something simple for school - that kind of thing! Most days I really enjoying creating a somewhat complete, slightly complicated look - but I thought I'd challenge myself today to do something easy and simple. :) The products are almost all from my August 2012 Beauty Favorites and NYC Shopping at MAC and Sephora (haul) video.

I started off with eye primer, mascara and liner tightline done (you'll be shocked to know I also am doing a tightlining post soon.. :)). Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara, Benefit Stay Don't Stray primer, MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes 0L liner. One note about the Benefit primer - I had not used it before this, but it has a decent amount of pigment and actually gave me a cleaner canvas (hiding veins and softening freckles).

Next, I used the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot UC-1 - concealer on the right which is a quite dry texture around and on my nose and cheeks to take care of all the redness. I applied the peachy creamy concealer on the left under my eyes (hit pan on it yesterday, woot woot!).

This helped brighten up my face (though some of the pink is still peeking through, it's not the best concealer match for me).

On my eyes, a very sheer wash of MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque.

I used the setting powder from the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot for setting concealer under my eyes, on cheeks and nose. I dusted a bit on my forehead and chin to combat shine. I've got a lumpy sore bit of acne happening on my chin so I wanted to leave it relatively free of product.

Since I wanted this to be fast and fresh, I decided to skip brow color. Now for me, that's slightly major if you know what I mean, my brows are somewhat sparse and weakly colored. So I went for Model in a Bottle Long Lasting Eyebrow Sealer to keep them in place and give a bit of shine (will be featured in a haul video soon!).

On my cheeks, I used a tiny sample of Benefit Cha Chat Tint from the VIB clutch I received when shopping at Sephora in NYC.

Last up is my lips! I'm trying to use more of my lippies now that I can consistently wear a Laura Mercier Lip Glace over any color and my lips won't peel. In my stash I went for Revlon's Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake. It's quite blue based and pulls almost lavendar on me.

It's a fun change and it's balanced out a bit with my cheeks being fairly warm from the orangey-toned Cha Cha Tint (and the golden sheen on the eyes from Rubenesque).

All done! A simple fresh look that will work for any occasion, when running late or just want something quick. Let me know what you think! What's your favorite fast look combination? And what do you think of my mess of a swoopy non-hairdo? ;D I must be one of the laziest people out there when it comes to doing my hair. My official excuse is that initially I started taking pictures that I knew I'd be cropping my hair out of.

Products used pictured below, so few it's a little shocking ;) On top of that, I only used one brush - a small fluffy brush for setting the concealer!

Friday, September 7, 2012

August 2012 Beauty Favorites, With Video

(video link here)

In line with my rambly post about cream shadows, several standalone easy washes of color made it into my favorites this month! A now perennial favorite, Maybelline Color Tattoos in Bad to the Bronze and Barely Beige, shimmery brown leaning taupe possibly? and shimmery beige. Recently picked up MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque (haul posted soon!) which is a lovely pinky gold shimmer, ULTA Extreme Wear Whipped Eyeshadow in Tiramisu Cream is a light brown with a wet whipped cream-like texture. Shades I can wear alone over a primer and not worry about creasing, and I can blob it on making a mess and loving every minute. ;)

One of several product combos I've been loving is the Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara sample from the Nordstrom kit (aiee that's a mouthful!) and MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes in 0L (sample from a Sephora MUFE VIB sample kit). I really have been enjoying this mascara, fairly low effort to give the lash effect I want and tightlining (liner on upper waterline/lashline base) makes up for any lack of volume. The MUFE liner isn't as creamy as some other pencils I have, and seems to last better near a watery waterline on me.

Next combo! I've mentioned many times how dry my under eye region is, and indeed last month's favorites included the Garnier Anti-Dark-Circle Roller because it was so dry it was the only concealer I could wear without it globbing in dry patches. I transitioned to using the MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream morning and before bed, and finally my under eye skin has resolved back to manageable. I picked up the MAC eye cream initially because Irene from pinkiecharm on YouTube recommended it and she has very dry skin.  I had been doing well with Shiseido Benefiance twice a day, but I'd been using Sample Society (and others) creams in the mornings and the dry skin can back with a vengeance, I ran out of the Shiseido and went to the MAC for a cheaper option. So now that my skin can handle concealer, I was really enjoying the peachy concealer in my Laura Mercier Undercover Pot in shade UC-1. Happily Instagram'd that I also hit pan on it this morning :D It nicely brightens the area and gives some coverage.

Okay let's just make it three product combinations in a row, why not! I have a much blathered about love of these Laura Mercier Lip Glaces because they keep my lips from peeling which is unheard of for me. While traveling I was usually taking just one lip color with a gloss in a small purse, so I grabbed for something with SPF with all of the outdoors time. I found the combination of L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm SPF 15 in Nourishing Nude layered beautifully with LM Lip Glaces Sweetheart and Bare Blush. Another advantage was these semi-sheer products, I could slap them both on without worrying about using a mirror. SPF protected lips that shine and have a bit of color coverage, love it!

Last up, a skincare item. Before our trip I wanted a daily moisturizer with SPF that was geared towards oily skin that I could wear confidently on days when out in the sun for an hour or two (using the real sunscreen for full outdoor days). I picked up Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 for Acne Prone skin from Walgreens. I was attracted to the SPF and Oil Control - the formulated for acne bit sold me. I don't find it to be different really than other oil control moisturizers, but it's a nice pump and can be tricky to find a good SPF 30 in a moisturizer for oily skin. Very comfortable to apply face to chest, doesn't aggravate acne and maybe helps control oil a teeny bit.

What products have you been loving lately? Have you tried out any of my favorites? I love hearing from you! :)