Friday, February 28, 2014

FOTD : 2.28.14

Well you guys, we made it to the end of another week. This was a particularly rough one for me and without getting into too many details, let's just say I couldn't be more happy that it's over. I've kind of been ignoring my face this week since I had a massive stress break out and just general unhappiness. Applying makeup this morning was really therapeutic and put me in a great mood.

  • Revlon Snow Peach

I think that this weekend should also lift my spirits a little bit; the Jayhawks play on Saturday night and I'm also going to see some of the ladies from MTV's Girl Code tomorrow. I hope you guys have a great weekend and stay out of the cold!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

NARS Sheer Glow : Tried & True

Alright, I've decided to change the name of Thursday's posts from Throwback (because this sounds like I'm going to talk about products from the 80s) to Tried & True. The premise is still the same, just a different name. I'm sure that all of you would have noticed this on your own and been very dismayed had I not said something. 

Today's Tried & True is technically a product that I haven't even owned all that long, but that I've used for a very long time; NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. I only bought a bottle of this back in November, but if I'm being truthful with you guys, I might have hoarded samples of it for about 6 months prior to that. I don't know why I had so much trouble pulling the trigger, but I finally did during the VIB sale in the fall.

So what's so great about this foundation? A lot of stuff. I'm going to review this like I normally would just to make sure that you guys know that it's great.

Price: $45 (plus extra $$ if you buy the pump)
Amount of Product: 1 fl oz.
Number of Shades: 19 (!!)
Claim: "A glowing, natural radiant finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage that immaculately evens skin tone. Replete with skincare benefits and the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, it leaves skin hydrated, more luminous, softer and smoother. Used daily, Sheer Glow Foundation improves the skin's brightness and texture." 

Shade that I use: Gobi, but I've also used Siberia

Shades and the foundation itself: 19 shades? Yasss. I have yellow toned skin, so I can't speak for all you pink ladies out there (catch that pop culture reference), but NARS has a pretty awesome skin tone and color line. Sibera, the lightest of all of the shades, is a yellow toned porcelain shade, somewhere around a NC10 if you want a MAC equivalent. I'm not so well versed in the other end of the spectrum, but it runs fairly dark and also plays with different undertones.

The foundation is a liquid, but not overly runny. NARS states that the foundation is for normal, normal/dry, and dry skinned ladies and gents, but I have normal/oily in the winter and super oily in the summer and I still wear this. I'll touch more on this in a moment.

Coverage: The coverage on this foundation is buildable. If you want it to be very sheer, applying with a damp beauty blender would definitely give you the light coverage you desire whereas I apply it with a brush to achieve something closer to a medium coverage. I wouldn't recommend trying to build this to full coverage as I think it would start to get cakey and noticeable on the skin. I definitely need concealer for my under eyes with this foundation and while it does cover a bit of redness, it doesn't get it all.

Application: I always shake this foundation before application, but I'm not entirely sure if that's necessary. I then squeeze out one pump and apply it in small patches and blend it in with a brush. I will, on occasion, apply this with my fingers if all of my brushes are dirty (like they currently are...) and this method is actually recommended by monsieur Nars. One of the things that I love about this foundation is the ease of blending; it blends so perfectly and seamlessly on the skin that it looks like your own skin in a few seconds. 

Wear Time: This is why monsieur Nars recommends this foundation for normal to dry skin types; the staying power on oily skin isn't so great. I wear this foundation almost religiously in the winter because my skin gets so damned normal that I can't use my "oily skin foundations" and it definitely lasts a good 8 hours. It isn't a long wear foundation, so it's not going to stay perfect looking for 16 hours, but it's definitely still on my face at the end of the day when I go to remove my makeup. In the summer, depending on how oily I am, I give it 4 hours of looking good and then it's off my face. I like to wear it out at night in the summer since it's light weight and makes the skin look nice.

Does it deliver on its claim? As much as I love this foundation, I hate that it makes the claim that it makes your skin better over time. Sorry, I don't believe any foundation that spouts shit like that; I'll leave those claims to my skin care. Other than that, yes, this definitely delivers on its claims. It makes my skin look glowy and natural, but also manages to cover most redness and unevenness. 

Honestly, I really love this foundation and I recommend this to tons of people on the internet and in real life. Sure, there are drugstore dupes for this foundation, but none of them have the same color & tone range that is available in the NARS. It is pricey for a foundation, but if there were only one thing that I could splurge on, it would definitely be foundation; it makes or breaks a look.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Limited Edition Drugstore : Swatches Video

Ok, now that I have all the photos taken and edited and swatched and blah blah blah, I can update this post!  Watch the video if you want to hear me actually talk about the products and scroll down for photos (and comparison photos).

Nude Embrace

Ravishing Rose

Snow Peach (it is NOT this pink in real life; blame it on lighting & camera)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Real Techniques Silicone Liner "Brush" : Product Review

Happy Monday everyone! As I sit here typing, I'm consuming my late afternoon coffee because it is Monday and it is cold and coffee and I have a very loving, committed relationship. I was planning on having this review be a two-fer, but I haven't used the other new brush enough to really establish feelings yet, so I will wait to review it (perhaps next week?). I also just got a small brush order from Coastal Scents delivered today, so I will need to do a large write up on their brushes fairly soon since I got some others at Christmas.

However, today I'll be focusing on the "brush" pictured above. I love Real Techniques brushes and I think I use at least one every single day, if not two or more. Real Techniques is a brand that is backed by (or started by, not quite sure) Sam Chapman from PixiWoo. I just noticed that the newly released brushes also have her sister's name on them (Nic), so I guess it's been expanded to include both of them. All of the brushes are synthetic, but I use a lot of cream and liquid products, so that's perfect for me.

excuse the slightly dirty brush... it was leftover eyeliner :)

This "brush", however, is completely bristle free as it's actually a little piece of formed silicone. When I first heard of this brush, I thought that it was a genius idea. I mean really, has some other company thought of this for eyeliner and I'm just too dense to know about it? Why has it taken this long for someone to come up with this idea? I set out to buy it immediately, but all of the Ultas around me were sold out and I didn't want to pay for shipping just for the brush. I eventually found it and even after the first time of using it, I wanted to write the review. I've used it more, but I honestly could have written this review two weeks ago.

If you use liquid liner or don't wear eyeliner at all, then this is not the brush for you; this is definitely meant for cream and gel eyeliners. Some of the biggest gripes that people have with traditional brushes is that you 1) can't see how much product is left on the brush and 2) that the bristles can splay or bend or just not work with you. This brush takes care of both of those issues. Since this is a silicone tip that is, for the most part, transparent (slightly frosted, I guess), you can see exactly how much product is left on it. And it obviously takes care of issue two by not having bristles. This brush will no splay, the product won't get trapped in the bristles, and you don't have to worry about the brush bending some odd way and messing up your perfect line of eyeliner. 

The brush seriously makes applying gel and cream eyeliner a dream. It also makes creating sharp, precise lines incredibly easy since the end of the brush is pointed and small. You want some killer wings? Hit up this brush. I'm aware that after the last paragraph and a half, it probably sounds like this is some sort of sponsored post, but it's most definitely not. I really love this brush and I can't believe that it's taken this long for it to be mass produced. 

So, is there anything wrong with the mystical magical brush of the gods? Yes, there is one thing that does irritate me a little. Even though you can see when the product is running out on the tip, the real indicator is that it starts to drag on your lid a little bit. That would be due to that fact that the tip is silicone and it can get a little attached to your skin. The only other complaint is that it tip is completely conical and I think it would be a lot better if one side were rounded and one side were flat. I guess if that were to happen, the universe might explode, so I'll stick with it how it is.

Final thoughts? If you wear gel/cream eyeliner with any regularity, I would buy this brush. Even if it's just for the sake of testing it out, I would get it. It's really affordable (I think mine was $5.99) and if you purchase through Ulta, you can use coupons and deals to get it even cheaper. Hell, even if you wear gel liner twice a year, pick this up; you'll like it.

Questions, comments? Let me know down below!

Friday, February 21, 2014

FOTD : 2.21.14

Happy Friday everyone; we've made it to the end of another work week. I will be celebrating the end of my week with my bestie before she moves halfway across the country (insert sad face and tears here), so I expect for my makeup to be ruined at some point tonight. 

Despite the fact that I'm sad on the inside, I felt like it was an appropriate day to start busting out some spring colors since it's almost 60 degrees and sunny here in grand ol' Kansas. I also used a LE MAC Fluidline as my eyeshadow, which is one of my favorite things to do. MAC loves making these very glittery, very light colored Fluidlines and while they aren't fantastic as eyeliner (at least, I don't think that they are), they are wonderful as a cream eyeshadow. 

My face today includes:

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil : Product Review

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! I've labeled this as a "product review" because at its heart, it truly is a product review, however Thursday is reserved for reviews of products that I know I love and have been using for a long time; hence the "throwback". Thursday is for items that I wouldn't think to review otherwise because I've simply forgotten that anyone would need or want to know about them. So, if you stop by the blog on Thursday's, you'll be reading about products that I think are fantastic!

Today's topic is Tarte's Pure Maracuja Oil. If you've read this blog for a long time, then you would know that I typically identify as having oily skin except in the winter when my skin goes normal. You may be asking yourself why I'm reviewing an oil and why it would be a favorite of mine and the answer is very simple; oils are for every single skin type. Shocked? You might be, but I'll guess that most people that read this blog are already a bit familiar with that concept.

I'm not going to dive into what types of oils are good different skin types because I'm not that well versed in the area, but I do know that maracuja oil is one of those that is fairly universally applicable types.

What is it? Maracuja is just the fancy name for passion fruit seed oil. Tarte claims that this is 100% cold pressed passion fruit seed oil.

What does it do? Directly from the Sephora website, "This undiluted organic and moisturizing maracuja oil quickly absorbs for firmer, brighter, smoother skin. Pure maracuja oil is rich in vitamin C, so skin appears instantly brighter and more radiant. The oil is also a source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), a requirement for healthy skin cells that the body cannot produce on its own. EFA deficiency can result in the breakdown of essential skin cells which causes skin to appear dry and aged. By supplementing skin with pure maracuja oil, you are infusing life back into dull skin and replenishing EFAs to rapidly rebuild and repair. This potent antiaging elixir that has anti-inflammatory benefits promotes active skin recovery and delivers maximum hydration without any greasy or filmy feel."

And from Garden of Wisdom's website, "Passion fruit seed oil is rich with vitamin A and potassium to help keep skin healthy. As well as being nourishing, passion fruit seed oil is antibacterial, so is good for use on acne prone skin. As an anti-inflammatory and naturally anti-itch, this oil will help to reduce swelling and irritation of the skin. Passion fruit oil also contains ascorbic acid, β-carotene, calcium, flavanoids, phosphorus, and potassium. Passion fruit oil has been shown to reduce sebum secretion, promoting a drier skin feel, and is an excellent addition to anti-acne and sensitive skin care applications." 

Passion fruit seed oil is also anti-bacterial, which really helps in the anti-acne department (if that's what's causing your acne). If you didn't read any of the above, let me sum it up for you; packed full of awesome skin vitamins and fatty acids and incredibly fact absorbing on the skin. 

So, uh, how do you use it? This varies from person to person. I don't use this every day and mostly because I'm constantly trying out new products, but there are stretches of time that I really love using this. I used this pretty heavily at nights over the summer because it really helped to control my oil production. I normally wake up as an oil slick during the summer, but when I was using the Maracuja Oil, I would wake up with only a bit of oil sitting on top of my skin. 

I personally use this alone, but you can also use it in conjunction with another moisturizer if you have drier skin. I put two drops into my hands and then rub all over my face and wipe the excess off on my neck.

Where to get it: You can pick up Tarte's version anywhere that sells Tarte products (Sephora, Ulta,, but it can be quite expensive. I've lucked out and gotten several deluxe sample sizes of it, but the 1.7 fl oz size is $46. If that pretty much blows your socks off, there are other ways to get passion fruit see oil. A great website, Garden of Wisdom, sells an ounce of it for $5.25 and if you want to get fancy and get it in a glass bottle, it'll take you up to $7.65. I've never used the Garden of Wisdom oil, so I can't speak of it personally, but I know that a lot of people use the site.

So there you go, a great oil that I love to use! If you have questions of comments, please let me know down below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Daily Makeup Routine : Video

YouTube Tuesday! I made it in under the cut! I was tying to edit this video this morning using iMovie so that I could get it uploading before I headed off to work, but iMovie and my camera don't get along and therefore, iMovie will no let me edit my videos without corrupting the files. Regardless, I got this all edited and up for you guys.

This is my daily makeup routine, which I feel is something that you should show people. My favorite eye look to do day to day is a cream shadow stick swiped over the lids with the edges blended out. I have roughly 8 shadow sticks for this reason, but the ones that are absolutely the most flattering on my eyes are the Trish McEvoy 24 hour Shadow Sticks (which also are the most expensive.... of course). I have linked all of the products down below for you, enjoy!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Lorac Pro to Go Palette : Product Review

Many, many months ago, I saw that Lorac was releasing their "Pro to Go" palettes; one for Sephora and one for Ulta. The one that was available at Ulta has since been discontinued and I've seen it at my local Nordstrom Rack, but the Sephora Pro To Go was much more popular and is now being sold in multiple locations. Oddly enough, Sephora is not carrying this palette any more since they aren't going to be carrying Lorac products.

Now that you have a bit of back history, let's get down to the actual product. This palette comes with six eye shadows (three shimmer and three matte), two blushes, a bronzer, and two itty bitty brushes. I love that there are no lip products included on this palette simply because I don't like lip product in palettes. 

The shadows that are in this palette do not coordinate with shadows in the Pro Palette; aside from the shade "Black", they are all different shades. In the top row, we have the three shimmer shades; Pearl, Chai, and Mink. Pearl is a slightly pink toned neutral, Chai is a very warm shimmery medium brown (maybe even a dark bronze), and Mink is a dark warm shimmery brown. Pearl and Chai definitely seem more shimmery while Mink appears to be just a bit more glittery. 

In the bottom row, we have all of the matte shades; Shell is a pinky toned neutral (closer to to a true neutral than Pearl, but still has a tinge of pink to it), Café is a warm medium brown, and Black is... black. All of these shades are completely matte without a trace of any shimmer, pearl, or glitter.

So what can you expect from these shadows? Exactly what you expect from the full sized Pro Palette; buttery pigmented goodness. They all apply better over primer than without, but that's to be expected of any shadow. I can't say that I've ever tried these shadows without primer, but I don't wear any powder shadow without primer. The wear time is amazing and the shadows are easy to build. Since this is an all neutral palette, you can create a myriad of looks but nothing with pops of bright color. But really, you could make so many look with just one row of these shades, so the different finishes really open up even more possibilities.

(Top to Bottom: Pearl, Chai, Mink, Shell, Café, Black)

And then we have the blush/bronzer side featuring (from left to right) Coral, Pink, and Bronze. I'm happy to report that the blushes are also very well pigmented and buttery, so they're extremely easy to apply and blend. We get two different finishes with the blushes; Coral has a coral base with a gold shimmer to it (very reminiscent of NARS Orgasm) and Pink is a matte, medium slightly warm toned pink. Bronze is made more for light or light-medium skin tones, so if you fall out of those two realms, it's kind of useless. Unfortunately, it is a bit orange-y on my face, so it will have to wait to be used until I get a tan (ha!).

(Top to Bottom: Bronze, Pink, and Coral)

And then we have these two guys; a shadow brush and an angled liner brush. Honestly, these are throw away items because if you're buying this palette, you probably already have an eye shadow brush that is light years better than this dinky, tiny thing; the brush head is the size of my pink nail. I have actually used the angled brush, but it was because I decided I wanted to do powder winged liner at the last minute and only had it. Not a horrible brush, but I would much prefer my actual angled liner brush. I suppose it's nice that they included these brushes, but they're fairly worthless.

So, would I recommend this to you? It depends. If you already have the Pro Palette and are perfectly happy with it, then this isn't really necessary for you to pick up. The shades of eye shadow, while different than the pro palette, are still fairly similar. I'm also willing to bet that most people have blushes in these two shades since they are pretty stereotypical flattering blushes. If you're like me, though, I have the Pro Palette, but I am constantly not at home, so this makes things a bit easier for me. It's not a tiny palette, it's 4.6 x 1.1 x 3.4", but it is compact enough to make it worth it to me. And to clarify, the shadows in this palette are quite a bit larger than the Pro Palette. If you don't have the Pro Palette and you love neutrals, then absolutely pick this up. I think that Lorac has some of the best eye shadows out there; they're pigmented, buttery, and easy to blend. 

You can find the Lorac Pro to Go palette at Nordstrom, Amazon, Ulta, or

Questions or comments? Let me know!