Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Bite : Product Review

I kind of waffled on writing this review, because surprise surprise, this was a limited edition item that I happened to pick up late in the game. It is not available online at this time, but the last time I was in my Sephora, there were a ton of these sets, so if you're interested, I would call and see if they have some (they are a Sephora exclusive).

With that little disclaimer mentioned, I also want to mention that I felt compelled to write this review because I like these pencils so much that I felt like it was good to review them. Also, even though this set is limited edition, Bite Beauty does sell these pencils individually (the set is $25) except for Cranberry, which is exclusive to this kit.

So what comes in this kit? It comes with 4 "matte" (more on this later) lip pencils which are housed in a cute little tin that has a mirror inside. I believe that these pencils are a bit smaller than the regular pencils since the suggested value on this kit is only a smidge more than two regular pencils. 

There is a fairly nice shade range in this kit with a nude shade, a dusty rose, and two brighter, more vibrant colors. If you've ever wondered if you could pull colors like these off, this would definitely be a good intro kit.

The reason I wrote the word matte in quotations up above is because these are marketed as matte, but they aren't true mattes; they do have a bit of a sheen to them and I would describe them more like creams. The colors are extremely pigmented and it only takes on swipe to get the color to show up beautifully on the lips. I've read that some people find these to be drying, but I don't really find that to be the case, at all. I think that these apply incredibly smoothly and stay nice and creamy for hours. Yes, after about 6 hours or so, my lips might be a bit dry, but my lips would be dry after 6 hours anyway if I hadn't applied a balm. 

I like Bite Beauty because of several reasons. First and foremost, every product of theirs that I have tried has been insanely pigmented and shows up the same color as it looks in the tube. They also say that each lipstick has as much reservatrol as 5 glasses of red wine, but that doesn't do much for me. However, they also create their lip sticks using food grade ingredients as mentioned by Sephora here "This product is free of synthetics, polybutenes, and petroleum byproducts and made exclusively with lip nurturing food-grade ingredients that are healthy enough to eat.". 

From left to right: Cranberry, Quince, Rhubarb, and Madeira.

(Ignore that smudge on the left side, this was the last one I applied and I smudge Quince!) Cranberry is a very lovely rich red shade that pulls a little bit cool, but isn't overly pink toned. I have warm undertones, so if a red has a lot of blue in it, it just looks fuchsia on me. Luckily, Cranberry is only a bit blue toned and stays fairly true to red on my skin.

(these next few pictures are out of focus because I'm incompetent...)

Quince is definitely a bold color, but it's very very pretty. Sephora's website describes this as a "rose berry", but I find it to be much bolder than that description. In the photos, it tends to look similar to Cranberry, but Quince is definitely much more pink in real life. I think I would describe this more a darkened magenta but don't let "darkened" fool you, it's a very standout color.

Rhubarb is your standard dusty rose color that for some people will be a MLBB shade. It's a touch too dark for MLBB for me, but it's still a beautiful neutral shade that could be worn with a myriad of looks and is also work appropriate.

Nude shades mostly make me look like a living corpse, but this is one that I feel like I can kind of pull off. It's a little bit more pink than most "nudes" which I guess makes sense since Sephora describes this one as "nude pink". I still practice caution with this since I'm mildly terrified of anything even close to this color, but maybe I'll have to venture into the world of lip gloss and the Kardashians and bust this one out from time to time.

I only have two complaints about these lip pencils and for some, these might be deal breakers. One being that since these shades are so creamy (except for Madeira, which is the most true matte shade in here), that they tend to transfer very easily. This could be remedied by applying, blotting, and then reapplying, but I am lazy, so I tend not to do that. The other complaint is that Cranberry and Quince appeared to feather around the lip line. I have scars and some fine lines around my lips and those two shades definitely try to creep into them. The solution to that is lipliner, which is easy, but I wanted to inform you lovely readers that they can feather!

My verdict on these? Pick these up if you can find them. Yes, the feathering can be a touch annoying, but it's nothing compared to the pigmentation and feeling of these lip products!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour : Gilded Rose Gold

Back to regular posting! I didn't want to post anything while the giveaway was going on so that people could easily find that post and read the details and enter and so on. I have picked up some new items in the mean time and wanted to review one them that I was the most excited about; the Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Gilded Rose Gold. I picked this up while it was on sale at Sephora (do you guys notice that they sometimes mark down brand new items?) and now I can't find it at all on the Sephora website. I did find it on the Laura Mercier website here, but it appears to be sold out at the time being.

You may be asking yourself, why would you buy this when you just picked up the Naked3 palette? And my answer is this: Because. I really love rose gold eye shadows and I also really love Laura Mercier and I really love sales, therefore this was the perfect thing to buy. 

So what can you expect from this shadow? Everything that you have ever learned from Laura Mercier, basically. The shadow is pigmented, soft, and applies beautifully. I know that rose gold isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there's something really cool about this shadow that might make you change your mind about it. It has the ability to shift its color quite dramatically depending on how you apply it. I, for one, always apply an eye base or primer under my shadows because I have oilier lids. When I swatched this on my hand, with nothing underneath, it was very coppery, but when I swatched it over my Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials in Demure, it changed to a much more rose gold tone. 

Since the above picture didn't show the difference well enough, I decided to bust out the trusty old camera on my phone to see if I could capture it any better with that. 

In this picture, you can see the radical difference that the eye base made! This legitimately looks like two different eye shadows with the eye base underneath it. The crazy thing is that Demure (you can see it here) is a nude color and almost matches my skin perfectly (I wear Buff in Revlon Color Stay and Gobi in NARS Sheer Glow), so I don't understand the drastic difference it makes. It does, however, make me want to play with all of my cream shadows and different eye primers and see how much I can make this shadow morph.

This is just a sheer wash of it on my lid, but I wanted to include it so you could see how it appears with my skin tone. I applied it with a Sigma E25 brush (MAC 217, The Coastal Scents Pro Fluff Brush, etc. are all similar) so that I could get color all over the lid and the blend out with the same brush. Any of the brushes that I listed above will do the same thing and it's what I like to do when I'm feeling particularly lazy.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this purchase. If you love rose golds and maybe aren't feeling the Naked3 palette and just want a simple, awesome, rose gold, then I highly suggest this shadow. The quality is impeccable, just like most Laura Mercier products, and the price (it's still listed at $12 on LM's website) is pretty awesome right now. Snatch it up if you can!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Giveaway!

FINALLY, the time is here! This promised giveaway has finally arrived! I'll break down what everything is and include supplemental photos (tomorrow!), but first, the rules.

Rules for the Giveaway
  • You must be 18 or older; no exceptions
  • You must enter using the Rafflecopter app provided below, no other submissions accepted.
  • All entries must be received by December 24th, 2013 by 12 a.m. CST.
  • Winner will receive (1) Package of Fatty Sundays PB&J Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels, (1) "I Need Lipstick" cosmetics bag, (1) Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Native, (1) Stila Sample Pack [that includes (1) mini Stay All Day Liquid Liner, (1) mini Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso, and (1) mini Kitten eye shadow], (1) Benefit Primer Trio [that includes (1) mini That Gal primer, (1) The Porefessional primer, and (1) mini Stay Don't Stray primer].

Other general info:

This is open internationally, so anyone over 18 can enter. I will post the winner on December 24th and I will send you an email to let you know that you have won. I will mail the winnings to you, so you must provide your mailing address within 48 hours of winning; if you don’t provide me your mailing address within 48 hours, I will re-draw and there will be a new winner.  All items are brand new and have never been used.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birchbox : December 2013

I got my Birchbox super duper early this month (I think it arrived here on the 10th, but it might have been the 11th), so in turn, I get to bring it to you guys a little bit earlier than normal; at least it feels earlier than normal. The theme of this month's box is "Sparkle and Shine" which you know, is kind of the sentiment around the holidays. I feel like glitter and metallics get busted out big time around the holidays, so I get their theme.

What I Received:

  • Laqa & Co. Fat Lip Pencil in Ring of Fire
  • Arcona Magic White Ice
  • La Fresh Travel Lite Antiperspirant Wipes
  • Hayadie Pure Happy Smooth
  • Ahmad Teas

My Thoughts: 

My initial thoughts when I peeked at what I was getting (box pages update on the site on the 10th, so I looked before my box arrived) were "hmmph". When I got the box, my thoughts were still "hmmph" and I'm still undecided on whether I like this box or not. 

I am not a tea drinker. I was at one point in my life, but it's when I lived abroad and had tea with milk and sugar pretty much every day. The main take away from that sentence was "when I lived abroad"; I think American tea is pretty much horrible. When I saw that I was getting tea bags in my box, I was definitely put off. However, this is not American tea, this is British tea and when I opened up my box, I was taken back with the amazing smell of these three tea bags. I've only consumed one so far, but it was magical and wonderful and I take back my sentiments of being upset with tea bags.

I am excited to use the Magic White Ice, which is a moisturizer designed for winter skin. The real thing that is selling me on it though is that it's a gel moisturizer, which is what I use every day. I honestly don't think that it's going to replace my holy grail of moisturizers (Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel), but I will definitely try it out.

The Laqa lip color will be put to use as is almost every single lip item that I receive from Birchbox. I'm glad that I got the color that I did; it's a great, slightly blue based red. Nice and opaque and great for the holida season.

The Pure Happy Smooth is a hair product that you apply to prevent frizz from blow drying your hair (it's a "thermal protector"). My hair is still pretty short, but I suppose I can keep this around until it gets longer. 

The big fail for me is the La Fresh Antiperspirant Wipes. Why? Why do you do this to me Birchbox? There are certain brands that get thrown into pretty much every single subscription service at some point or another and La Fresh is one of those brands. It's nothing personal, La Fresh didn't wrong me in any sort of manner, but I just think that their products suck. I know it's not fair to judge all of their products off of the ones that I have already used, but I am expecting not to be blown away by these. Also, deodorant is not hard to apply nor is it cumbersome to carry around... just sayin.

Monetary Values:

Laqa & Co. Fat Lip Pencil: $8 (taking value from their mini lip duos, which are $16/two)
Arcona Magic White Ice: $13.20 for .33 fl oz (full size: 1 fl oz/$40)
La Fresh Travel Lite Antiperspirant Wipes: $1.66 for 2 individual wipes (full size: 3 wipes/$2.49)
Hayadie Pure Happy Smooth: $4.38 for 1 fl oz. (full size: 4 fl. oz/$17.50)
Ahmad Teas: $0.53 for 3 bags (full size: $7/40 bags)
Full Monetary Value: $27.77

Final Thoughts: Meh, this box is a little lackluster and it doesn't have anything that really stood out to me as ah-maz-ing. I'm sure I'll use it all up, but perhaps not as joyfully as I would have hoped. Birchbox usually seems to have pretty lackluster boxes in December (this is my third December with them), so I guess I'll just see what next month has in store.

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox, you can follow my referral link here or visit birchbox.com

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Naked 3 : Swatches & First Impressions

I just finished filming a two look tutorial using the Naked 3 palette, but before that video goes up, I wanted to write a blogpost talking about my first impressions of the palette and to show you some swatches. Continue to read this post to see what I thought about it!

You get 12 shades of rosy hued neutrals and double sided brush for $52 in this palette; some of the shades are warm and some are cool toned, but it's a pretty good mix of both. Since it contains such a good mix, people with all skin tones should be able to partake. The first three shades, Strange, Dust, and Burnout, are the lighter shades and are a matte, shimmer, and satin finish (respectively). Limit, Buzz, Trick, Nooner, and Liar are your more mid range shades and are a grab bag of finishes. The last four shades are the darker shades and they are Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, and Blackheart which are almost all shimmer shades except for Blackheart which has glitter.

There isn't a substantial amount of fallout for most of the shades in this palette, but the shades that do have fallout have a massive amount of fallout. The shade with the worst amount of fallout is Dust, which might as well not even be in this palette. If you put dust on your finger and then wipe it across your hand, it barely applies any color and it flakes off. That's the biggest disappointment in this palette, but the other 12 shades are fantastic. Buzz and Trick also have a bit of fallout, but it's nothing that can't be controlled with careful application. If you have a base that is somewhat sticky (like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk), Buzz and Trick will stick to it very easily and stay in place. 

I've heard that some people have found that the matte shades are chalky, but I don't agree in the slightest. All of the matte shades in this palette are buttery and smooth and apply and blend like a dream. The shimmer shades are very typical Urban Decay shimmers, beautiful and smooth.

1) Strange
2) Dust
3) Burnout
4) Limit
5) Buzz
6) Trick
7) Nooner 
8) Liar
9) Factory
10) Mugshot
11) Darkside
12) Blackheart

Slightly different lighting

The palette also comes with samples of Urban Decay's Primer Potions; all four of them. I'm not a big fan of Primer Potion, it doesn't work very well with my skin, but I will probably try these out to see if they can change my mind. As for the brush that comes with the palette, it's decent, but it's nothing to write too much about. It's a synthetic brush, which isn't great for powder products, so I highly suggest using different brushes for this. I might use the supplied brush for creme shadows and concealers; we'll see. 

Overall, I think this palette is pretty great. I love rosy and rose gold shadows, so this is something that I was highly anticipating. I have a warmer skin tone and greenish eyes, so this is something that feels like it was made explicitly for me. If you're on the fence about this palette, I would highly suggest checking it out in person and swatching against your own skin. It's available now in Ulta and Sephora, so go check it out!

Questions, comments? Leave them below!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Smokey Eye Makeup : Tutorial

Hey everyone! Like, I said, I would start to do more videos once I got a new camera and here you are, already into the second video. The folks over at Studio Gear Cosmetics were kind enough to send me their Holiday Smokey Eye Palette and I created this look with it (and a few other things). If you are interested in the palette, you can find it right here (and it's on sale right now!) and use code SGHOLIDAY for 10% off. 

Questions or comments? Let me know down below!

This palette was provided to me by Studio Gear Cosmetics

Monday, December 9, 2013

Super Massive Mega Haul : Video

Hey guys! I posted a new video over the weekend, the first one I filmed with the new camera. I'm still a bit of a n00b here with the filming (so much more comfortable with photography, not these new fangled moving pictures), but I wanted to show you guys everything that I've picked up in the last few months. The majority of these items are going to make their way onto the blog for a review (except for things like MAC Fluidline), so make sure to keep an eye out for them. 

I filmed a tutorial over the weekend, so that will be going up later tonight or tomorrow morning. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you can stay caught up with all of the happenings. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jouer Creme Eyeshadow Crayon : Product Review

I am a big fan of Jouer products. I love the Matte Moisture Tint and used it pretty much every other day this past summer. I think that their eye shadows are great, I think that their blushes are great, and I like their lip conditioner and (sort of like) lipglosses. I picked up the Creme Eyeshadow Crayon through the Birchbox shop because I have been on a major cream shadow kick recently. I was so excited when this came, but the results weren't exactly what I was expecting. Keep reading to find out more.

The Facts

Price: $24
Amount of Product: .07 oz.
Number of Shades: 5
Claim: "Jouer Crème Eyeshadow Crayons in 5 beautiful, wearable colors. Effortless application and rich pearl finish, this fast-drying formula is designed to prevent creasing and fading. Built-in sharpener included. Waterproof, Crease Resistant, Paraben Free, Dermatologist Tested."

Shade that I used: Renaissance

Wear Time: Not great. I know that's not a specific amount of time, but if something is going to be touted as crease resistant and made to resist fading, then I expect it to be pretty damn good. When I wore this without primer, it lasted maybe 5 hours before creasing; with primer, it lasted about 9.

Does it deliver on its claim? No. I don't think that this is incredibly fast drying or crease resistant and fading is not prevented without the use of a separate primer. It might be waterproof, but it removes easily with makeup remover, so I can't be certain on that claim.2

Thoughts:  I had extremely high hopes for this item since I know and love Jouer and I know and love creme shadow sticks, but it was a pretty big let down. Like I said above, without a primer, this maybe lasts for 5 hours without creasing. I'm not talking about slight creasing, I mean like massive, heavy, color migration creasing. I do have slightly oil lids, but nothing out of the ordinary. I can wear Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks, Trish McEvoy 24hr Creme Shadow Sticks, and Maybelline Color Tattoos without primer and without creasing. When I did wear this with primer, the creasing didn't happen so fast, but it did happen eventually. 

Something else about these sticks that was a bit annoying was the fact that my shade, Renaissance, didn't glide very easily. It is very pigmented, but it wasn't effortless to pull it across my lid; instead it tugged a bit and made it so it had to be blended out thoroughly. Renaissance is meant to be very plummy, but when blended, it turns to kind of a muddy purple brown. It made a great base color for NYX's Rust eyeshadow, but I want to be wowed by the stick's color, not its ability to transform my eye shadow.

Final Verdict: I don't plan on buying any more of these (I actually have two of these, but that's because one came damaged) and will stick with my Laura Mercier and Trish McEvoy sticks for the time being. 

If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!