Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Reader Ammara requested a top five for berry-hued lip colors for summer, so here are my top picks! :) I’d love to hear yours — please share your recommendations in the comments.

  1. Guerlain Gladys — a brightened, fuchsia-berry
  2. Burberry Bright Poppy — a rich, reddish-berry with a matte finish
  3. YSL Forbidden Burgundy — a glossy berry
  4. Too Faced So Berry Sexy — a slightly brightened pink-berry with a soft shine
  5. Urban Decay Rapture — a warmer, muted plum

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

I love colorful eyeshadows, and there have been some interesting palettes that have released over the years! If you’re in the market for something that’s not just neutrals, you may want to check out some of these. Too Faced Pretty Rebel and Marc Jacobs Beauty The Siren both deserve honorable mentions; two of my favorites, but they are limited edition. I try to make these lists stand the test of time and avoid limited edition inclusions, but at this moment, both palettes are still available for purchase if they interest you. For now :)

  1. Sugarpill Cold Chemistry — a set of four, cool-toned shades
  2. bareMinerals The Elements — beige, orange, green, and blue for a particularly unique color combination
  3. Urban Decay Electric — for bold, bright near-neons
  4. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical — if you love purple, this one’s for you
  5. Sleek Sunset — bright golds, yellows, and coppers
Saturday, June 28th, 2014

With so many neutral palettes available these days, it can be hard to keep them all straight! These are my current favorites that are permanent…

  1. Urban Decay Naked — the original is still a go-to for travel for me, though I love Naked2 and Naked3 as well
  2. LORAC Pro Palette — 16 shades of neutrals from matte to shimmer
  3. Chanel Raffinement — smokier, cooler neutrals
  4. bareMinerals The Truth — cooler-toned, darker neutrals
  5. LORAC Unzipped — warm, shimmery pinks, browns, and bronzes
Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I have a definite weakness for colored eyeliner! I love how it can add a pop of color with very little effort. Here are a few shades I’m loving for summer this year…

  1. Urban Decay Chaos — bold blue
  2. Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) — bright teal
  3. Stila Mint Julep — mint
  4. Milani Perfect Purple — sparkling purple
  5. Sephora Sun Tan — coppery bronze

>> See side-by-side swatches here! <<

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner
Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner

Last week, a few readers said they missed seeing looks posted on the blog (as in, cohesive ones!), so I’ll try to post some periodically–depending on whether there’s time for a more “free” day.  Sometimes there are so many products to test, I can’t give up the facial real estate :)  On Saturday, we spent all day with my husband’s family, which is usually a 14-hour minimum, so it’s a day where I prefer to just go with something that works.  I remember several readers wanted to see Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep in action, so I thought this might a good opportunity to showcase that as well.  Going forward, I will try to post looks using recently reviewed products, but this was a very “for me” look more than anything, so hopefully you can forgive the excess of older products in it.

Eyes

A lot of the times if I’m not specifically testing something for wear, then I’ll reach for products that I really, really love that are, more-than-likely, discontinued or long ago limited editions. I love the two shades of cream eyeshadow Tom Ford released a year ago so much that I keep them in my basics/regular routine drawer, and I always take them with me when I travel. I’m so used to not using primer these days, but when I know I’m going out and about all day and am not testing, then I’ll still start with a primer!

I used NARS Smudge Proof spread all over the lid to the brow bone with a finger tip. I also like to take a little and apply it to the lower lash line for extra hold for the eyeliners I’ll use as well. Next, I applied Tom Ford Escapade Cream Eyeshadow to the first two-thirds of the lid, starting from the inner lid and moving outwards. Tom Ford Pink Haze Cream Eyeshadow was applied to the outer third of the lid and into the crease, blending outwards and upwards. To soften the edge of the crease eyeshadow, I applied Burberry Trench Eyeshadow to the brow bone (this is my go-to highlighter). For the lower lash line, first I applied Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) (62) Highliner Gel Crayon, and then I applied Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep underneath the inner two-thirds of the lower lash line and along the water line. The effect made it look as if the eyeliner was glowing–I was quite in love with it! For lashes, I used a mascara fan brush to apply MAC Opulash Mascara.

Face

Normally, I find primer an unnecessary step with my skin type (normal-to-dry) for regular, everyday wear, but yesterday was going to be a longer, 14+ hour kind of day, so I started by applying Hourglass Mineral Veil all over my face. Then, I mixed two shades of Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation with half of a pump of Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion as my base. For blush, I applied Troy Surratt Duchesse Blush  on the apples of cheeks. I set with Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder and finished with Guerlain Wulong Pressed Meteorites Powder.

Lips

I mixed two shades of OCC Stained Gloss in Aurora and Dune (reviews are forthcoming).

See more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette
Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette

Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette ($30.00 for 0.49 oz.) just debuted on the brand’s website and will be available at all the other retailers later this month/early June. It features a bronzer, highlighter, and blush in a slim compact. The texture of the bronzer and highlighter were good, while the blush was powdery and didn’t apply evenly. I wish the highlighter was just a bit less metallic, as it tended to emphasize skin imperfections and enlarge pores.

Streak Bronzer is described as a “pale bronze matte bronzer.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-brown with soft, gold shimmer. I wouldn’t describe it as matte, though it is not loaded with shimmer. The texture was soft, smooth, blendable, while it had good color payoff. It lasted for eight hours on me. Tom Ford Beauty Unabashed Bronzer (LE, $90.00) is yellower. bareMinerals Golden Gate Radiance (LE, $19.00) is pinker. MAC Optical (LE) is more matte. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Streak Highlighter is described as a “peachy shimmer highlighter.” It’s a very light, gold-shimmered peach with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth. The finish is high-shine, though, and it emphasized pores. The shade wore well for seven and a half hours before fading. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Streak Blush is described as a “bright coral blush.” It’s a pink-coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff, but the texture was really powdery and didn’t bind well together, so it didn’t apply as nicely to skin. If you wear liquid foundation and apply this while the foundation is still drying down, you’ll have better luck getting good color payoff. Dior My Lady (003) (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery, pinker. NYX Apricot (P, $5.00) is warmer. Hourglass Radiant Magenta (P, $35.00) is a touch lighter. Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) (LE, $43.00) is darker. NARS Love (LE, $29.00) is similar. Bobbi Brown Pink Coral (LE, $26.00) is brighter, pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

palette

Streak

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Streak Bronzer

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Streak Highlighter

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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