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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 2013 Makeup Purchases + Reviews: Stila, L'Oreal, Rimmel, and Buxom

Hi guys- today I've made another random makeup post in lieu of my recently scraggly nails. Random makeup post #2 is a detailed review of all of the beauty products that I've bought this month, and I hope you find it helpful!
Over the past few months I've been getting more into lipstick, and can't seem to walk into Sephora without treating myself to one or two. This month I decided to give Buxom's new Full-Bodied lipstick and Stila's new Color Balm lipstick a go: 
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick
Shade: Hooligan
$21 at Sephora

(Doesn't it feel so luxurious when your lipstick's brand name is engraved into the product?!)

Aaand here's what it looks like on my lips (no lipliner). Keep in mind that my lips are naturally freakishly red, but since the formulation is quite opaque, the natural pigmentation of the lips doesn't make much of a difference.
My thoughts:
I bought this because I thought the mauve-y berry color of Hooligan would compliment my prom dress nicely (whoo seniors 2K13!), but I think I'll wear this on many more occasions. The color is very sophisticated and grown-up without looking dated, and the formulation is very hydrating. As far as staying power is concerned, I only wore this for two hours today before putting on my Stila lipstick, so I'm not sure how long wearing this truly is. By the end of the two hours, though, it had faded a bit but not too badly. You would definitely need to re-apply this after a meal.   

Stila Color Balm Lipstick
Shade: Isla
$22 at Sephora

My thoughts:
This lipstick is another great pick if you're looking for color + hydration. The color definitely looks more salmon-y swatched, but on the lips it's actually more of a light peachy pink, which I think would look great on just about anyone. The staying power of this is similar to the Buxom lipstick, which makes sense because they feel very similar on the lips (Isla feels slightly more moisturizing, though).


L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions
Shade: Black
Price: $9.95 (with my Kroger card it was around $7.75)

My thoughts:
Typically, I'm not that picky about my mascara- as long as it isn't waterproof and doesn't dry out quickly, I'll probably use it. That said, I was in the market for a new tube and picked this one up on a whim because the packaging was cool and I liked the look of the brush. As far as the actual product goes, the formula of this mascara is quite wet, which I tend to prefer for my lashes. Unfortunately, the wetness of the mascara did make my lashes clump, so I had to separate them with a lash groomer which ended up making the application process lengthier than usual. On a positive note, I did really like the brush- it's nothing fancy, just your typical rubber wand with lots of little bristles, but they really did seem to grab each lash and pull them upwards for a lovely lengthened look.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal 
Shade: Purple
Price: Around $4, depending on your drugstore   

My thoughts:
I had heard a lot of great things about these new Rimmel eyeliners, and was quite excited when I saw that the line included a vibrant purple (purples suit my hazel eyes nicely). Anyway, for the reasonable price of $4, I gave Scandaleyes a shot and ended up being mildly satisfied but definitely not blown away. The texture of the pencil is smooth, but kind of waxy in comparison to glide-on pencils like the Urban Decay 24/7s and the new NYX ones. This waxiness made application trickier because waxy textures tend to yield patchier color payoff, which meant that I ended up having to go over my lashline a couple times to smooth out any gaps. However, if you can overlook the slightly inconvenient application, the purple color ends up looking nice and vibrant, and won't budge all day.
In a nutshell, I don't really get the hype around these pencils- the one I bought is fine, but there are plenty of better drugstore liners.
and lastly...
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Price: $4.99
Shade: 011 Creamy Natural
My thoughts:
This is another Rimmel product that I'd heard a lot of great things about, and since I've recently been sick of using loose powder, I decided to pick it up at Walgreens. The shade I bought was the palest they had in stock, but on the Rimmel website it looks like they have even paler ones with pinkier undertones (which would probably be a better match for me, but these are fairly sheer so I doubt it matters much).  Like I said, this powder won't give you much additional coverage, but it does an excellent job of mattifying without appearing cakey, and the texture is smooth and finely milled. So far, my only gripe about this product is the packaging: in one word, flimsy. The plastic lid doesn't screw on very well, so I'm afraid to throw this in my handbag. 
Well, that's it for my April 2013 makeup purchases! I hope you've found this helpful, and I'll be back next week with a nail related post! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How-To: Short Nail Friendly Rainbow Fish Manicure

Hello again, and happy Saturday! Obviously, my nails, with the exception of the thumb and pinky, are still much shorter than I'd like them to be. They've just been breaking and peeling like crazy lately, so I cut the most brittle ones as short as possible to give them a chance to grow back healthily. Anyway, I thought that this recent turn of events would be the perfect opportunity to showcase some designs that work well for shorter nails. You can always adapt designs to fit the length of your nails, but I feel like nail art that employs delicate patterns is especially flattering on short nails. Hence the Rainbow Fish design:
 Who remembers the book? It was one of my favorites growing up.

Step 1.) Paint your pinky and thumb nails a light periwinkle shade (these nails will represent Rainbow Fish's fins).

Step 2.) Bust out your trusty black striper and follow along with the chart below to create scales on your ring, middle, and index fingernails.
 Frame 1: Make a few short, evenly spaced lines to begin the scale pattern.
Frame 2: Use the tip of your striper to connect the lines. If the striper has a fair amount of polish on the tip, creating the curves should be easier because you don't have to apply as much pressure to deposit polish. Sometimes applying too much pressure causes the striper brush to flick outwards, thus ruining the curve.
Frame 3: Repeat frames 1 and 2 on the rest of your nail. The middle row of scales should be slightly off centered so that they don't line up perfectly with the previous row. Don't worry if this isn't perfect- you'll easily be able to fix your mistakes when it's time to fill the scales with color.

 Step 3.) After you've allowed the black polish to dry, gather  royal purple/blue, emerald green, multicolored glitter, and bright fuschia polishes. Use a medium sized dotting tool and follow the chart below:

Frame 1: Dab a blob of one color out onto your worksheet. Then, use your dotting tool to gently stipple the color inside a few scales. Be careful to leave enough scales for an even distribution of color.
Frame 2: Repeat step one until you're left with a few empty spaces for Rainbow Fish's glitter scales.
Frame 3: Finish off the nail by adding glitter inside the remaining spaces. Depending on the density of your glitter polish, two coats may be necessary. 
Step 4.) While your scale design dries, randomly sponge on some of the royal blue/purple you used earlier and some metallic purple polish to create a watercolor effect (like the illustrations in the book). In order for the colors to blend well, you'll need to immediately apply a topcoat after sponging on the colors. I have a more detailed explanation of this technique here:  

Finally, wait for the topcoat to dry before painting on some random squiggles with the same glitter polish that you used earlier. After everything has dried, apply a topcoat as per usual!
Products Used:

Urban Outfitters "Crowded", Kiss Nail Art Paint in black, Nicole by O.P.I "Iceberg Lotus", L'Oreal "Members Only", O.P.I "Into the Night", Urban Outfitters "Afterhours", Sally Hansen "Deep Purple"
Base and Topcoat: Orly Bonder and Seche Vite
Thanks for reading and good luck!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Random Makeup Post: My MAC Eyeshadows + Reviews

Hello everybody! Today I'm doing a post that has nothing to do with nails, because at the moment 6 out of my 10 have split, leaving me with no choice but to lop them all off :( I would have done a tutorial for short nails, but most of mine split off right at the quick and are quite red and irritated. Long story short, I don't think that any of you are interested in seeing close-ups of my scabby nails.
Anyway, this event has made me bite the bullet and finally foray into blogging about makeup, which I've been meaning to do for months. So without further ado, I'm going to start talking about my MAC eyeshadow collection (a post that every beauty blogger and her dog has done, but whatever)
Top row: Omega, Wedge, Swiss Chocolate, Brown Script, Antiqued
Bottom row: Quarry, Naked Lunch, Girlie, Star Violet, Smut
At the moment I have 10 MAC eyeshadows, but I'm itching to buy an eleventh so that I can start the final row in my palette. As you can see, I go for a lot of warm browns and muted purples/pinks- not sure why, but I feel like most people are drawn towards purchasing variations of a specific color.
For this review, I'm breaking it down into two sections: swatches of the top row of shadows + pictures of the pans and reviews, and then the same with the bottom row. By the way, MAC eyeshadows are priced at $12 for pan refills and $15 for the shadow with proper packaging.
L to R: Omega, Wedge, Swiss Chocolate, Brown Script, Antiqued
What it is: a cool-toned light brown with a matte finish
Admittedly, this was kind of an impulse buy for me. I'd heard a lot of people raving about this being the perfect shade for filling in brows, but didn't feel too compelled to purchase it because Wedge looked okay on my brows. However, I have now joined the Omega bandwagon- it looks super natural on the brows, and works for most blondes and most brunettes. My hair is auburn/red, but Omega still looks good because it adds subtle definition to the brows. BUY IT.
What it is: A warm-toned light brown with a matte finish.
This was my very first MAC eyeshadow, and I think I'm about to hit pan on it. This is the perfect shade for lightly defining the crease if you have really fair skin like I do. Used with a light hand, it looks very natural and could also work as a contour down the sides of the nose if you have warm-toned skin.
Swiss Chocolate
What it is: A very warm medium brown with a matte finish
I bought this about 8 months ago when I was obsessed with reddish brown eyeshadows, and although I've moved more towards loving violets, I still get a lot of use out of this shadow for defining the outer corner. This isn't really a color that I'd go for during the spring and summer, but it looks awesome for chocolate-y fall/winter looks.
Brown Script
What it is: A matte terra cotta shade
Once again, this is the result of my red/brown phase. I loved this color when I first bought it and used it in the crease pretty much every day for a month or two. Then I noticed that people were asking me if I was sick more often than was usual. Not sure why it took me six weeks to realize that the inquisitions of illness stemmed from the fact that I had put RED on my eyelids, but as soon as I did, Brown Script was retired from my routine. However, If you are interested in wearing reddish shades, I would recommend wearing a very deliberate line of a dark liner to create separation beween the lid and the eye. Basically, I don't hate this shade- I think it's a really interesting color and the quality of the shadow is good. I'm just not real wild about it with my coloring.
What it is: A shimmery copper brown (Veluxe Pearl)
This eyeshadow is basically Swiss Chocolate with copper pearl mixed in. The texture is lovely and velvety, and the shimmer is subtle enough to put in the crease (personally, I hate overly shimmery eyeshadow in the crease). This would be perfect to use in a summery bronze eye look.
Part Two: Bottom Row of Purple-y Shades
L to R: Quarry, Naked Lunch, Girlie, Star Violet, Smut
What it is: A slightly brownish, muted plum (matte)
If I had to pick a most used shadow in my collection, it would probably be either Quarry or Wedge. Quarry is definitely more purple leaning than brown, but is subtle enough to wear confidently if you're a bit nervous about wearing color. This shade is also flattering on all eye colors- it's brown enough to make blue eyes stand out, and purple enough to make green or hazel eyes pop (mine are hazel and I love the way this looks). As for brown eyes, I'm of the opinion that pretty much everything looks good on brown eyed people.
Naked Lunch
What it is: A light, shimmery rose gold shade (Frost)
Naked Lunch is seriously one of the most gorgeous all-over lid shades that I've ever had the pleasure of owning. Tanya Burr of pixi2woo on YouTube talks about this shade quite a lot, and influenced me to buy it because it looked amazing on her. However, you definitely need a primer of some sort so that the shadow has something to grip on to. I find that with lighter shimmery shades, the color payoff sometimes isn't great without a base.
What it is: A muted pink with shimmer (Satin)
Before finally stumbling across this shade, I'd been in the market for a nice pink eyeshadow that didn't make me look ill. Well, this is definitely it- the subtle shimmer adds luminosity which makes the pink flattering. I like to wear this across the lids with a darker plum color in the crease.
Star Violet
What it is: A shimmery pinkish plum (Veluxe Pearl)
Next to Naked Lunch, Star Violet is probably my most used shimmery shadow because it's just so darn flattering. The plum is dark and muted enough to be wearable for everyday, but the reddish tones make it look especially beautiful against green or hazel eyes.
What it is: A dark graphite gray with subtle red shimmer (Velvet)
Last but not least, we have Smut. This shade is great for creating a smoky eye, but used with a light hand is also nice for defining the crease and the lower lash line. Hopefully you're able to see the red shimmer in the photo, but to be honest, I only detect a fraction of it once applied to the lids (which is my only criticism of the shadow). That said, it's still a really unique shade that has been popular with MAC customers for quite a while.  
PHEW. That was a long post. Hopefully you've found this helpful- I'd love to know whether or not you think I should sprinkle a few more makeup posts in with my usual nail tutorials.
Thanks for reading!