Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorite Beauty Products of 2014

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As 2014 comes to an end, I've been reflecting on some of the beauty products that played a substantial part in my beauty routine this year. Here are the products that immediately stood out to me as significant parts of my makeup collection for their performance in the past year.


1. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette: This was my reviewed in my second blog post of 2014, and it has been one of my most used palettes ever since. I have a lot of neutral palettes, but I always reach for this one because of it's versatility and combination of mattes and shimmers (and amazing chocolate smell). I can't even count how many times I've used this in eyeshadow looks that I've posted here in the past year!

2. Urban Decay Electric Palette: Bright eye looks can be intimidating to many people, but they are easily made wearable when paired with a neutral palette like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar. I love the variety of bright shades in the palette, and I've been blown away by the color payoff. If you are thinking about getting this palette, rest assured that each shade looks exactly the same on the skin as they do in the pan!


3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Flushed: It should come as no surprise that I chose this blush as one of my favorites, because I just posted about it in my November Favorites. If you have not tried out Tarte's blushes, you are really missing out on amazing shades, color payoff, and staying power!

4. Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in Coconut: I would be crazy not to include this in my yearly favorites because I've gone through three of these this year! This powder provides a matte finish and awesome coverage. It's my go to powder on days that I want minimal makeup because of its quick and easy coverage and oil-control.

5. LA Girl Pro Concealer: This product didn't get much love from me on my blog this year, but I use it almost every time I wear face makeup! The consistency and pigmentation is perfect for blemishes. dark under-eye circles, and highlighting and contouring.

6. Mary Kay Bronzer in Bronze Diva: I'm so upset that this product has been discontinued because I didn't start loving it until Mary Kay replaced it with new bronzing powders. This product is an awesome shade for contouring, and it looks natural on my skin. Sadly, I've already gone through one of these, and this is the last one I have. I'll have to find a replacement soon!


7. Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick in Sienna Brulee: I'll have a full review on this lipstick coming soon, but this lipstick has become a huge favorite only recently. It was in my November Favorites post if you are interested in seeing more pictures and swatches. This shade is the perfect nude shade for me, which has taken me forever to find!

8. Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Shameless: If you've been following me for awhile, you already know about my obsession for purple lipsticks, and this is an amazing one! So amazing that I was on the hunt for it for months when it first came out. I wanted it so badly that I made it an exception to my No-Buy back in February. I am wearing it as I type this, and I love how smooth and non-drying it is. If you are a purple lover, this is a must-have!


I hope you enjoyed seeing my favorites for 2014, and I hope to find more awesome products in 2015! What products have been staples in your makeup routine this year?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Evian Brumisateur Facial Water Spray Review

During this time of year when the weather is getting colder and colder, I find that my normally oily skin begins to form dry patches which are accentuated when I apply makeup. I always go to facial sprays to combat this issue, and the one I have been using lately is the Evian Facial Water Spray. It's available at evianspray.com and the 5 oz size that I'm reviewing is priced at $12.00.

This facial spray contains mineral water that is held in a pressurized spray bottle filled with nitrogen and oxygen. Since the water is packaged in a pressurized bottle, it is protected from exposure to bacteria. This also allows the product to come out in a nice, continuous, mist. I apply this spray by holding it about a foot from my face, letting the fine mist gently land onto my skin.



As listed on the package, this product has multiple uses, which was a very attractive characteristic to me. I love to have lots of products in one! The can states that it moisturizes, refreshes, and tones and it is suitable for all skin types. You can use this product as part of your skincare routine by spraying it on after you cleanse your face. Doing this will remove traces of anything left on your skin, and this mineral water tones and moisturizes the skin. Using this as part of my skin are routine gives my skin a very clean, refreshed feel. I follow this spray with a moisturizer and I've already noticed a difference in the amount of dry patches on my face.

This facial spray has even more uses than listed on the bottle! I use this in my makeup routine sometimes as well. If I'm wearing a full face of makeup and feel like my face is starting to look to cakey and heavy, I spray this mist on to give my face a more natural look. Instead of a powdery look, my skin looks natural again after using this, which is similar to the effect that most setting sprays I've tried in the past give my skin.

The last way I've been using this spray is as a mixing medium for eyeshadows. After getting eyeshadow on a brush, I like to spray it with a little bit of this Evian spray, and the result is much bolder color payoff. You can get a similar effect by using any kind of water, but this spray makes it so much easier and less messy.



So is the Evian Facial Water Spray worth the hype? I think so! At $12, the price is very fair. I don't know of a cheaper alternative that has skincare as well as makeup benefits. And I love that the product is in a pressurized can so much! I've used setting sprays in the past that squirt way to much product out as much, but the even, continuous mist that this product creates allows for so much more control. Whether you want to eliminate dry patches in makeup application, refresh your face with a toner, or rid yourself of the cakey makeup look, I think this product is a great fit for you.

Disclaimer: I received this product for consideration.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mermaid Makeup Look ft. Paula Dorf Aztec City Eyeshadow Palette

After reviewing the Paula Dorf Aztec City Eyeshadow palette a last month, I knew I had to do a look using that gorgeous blue-gold duo chrome color in the palette. I came up with this look which features very cool, ocean themed, eyes and a bold purple lip.



I wanted to go for the murky ocean water look (which sounds gross but seemed pretty in my head heh heh), so I took the cream and the dark brown in the palette and mixed them together. Then I blended it into my crease, making sure that it faded towards the brow bone. Then as my brow bone highlight I used a little of the cream mixed with the white shade.

Moving on to the lids, I put a cream colored eyeshadow base all over, avoiding the crease area. Then I took the dark brown and placed it on the outer half of my lid, and I took the gold-blue and blended it onto the inner half of my eyelid. I grabbed a matte black from another palette and place a tiny bit in the outer corner and blended it out. Then on the inner corner of my eye, I placed the shimmery white shade.

On my lower lash line I mixed the brown and the blue and placed my custom shade right at the base of my lashes. I finished off the look with mascara and eyeliner.



On the rest of my face I used the Mary Kay Matte Wear Foundation, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, Mary Kay Bronzing Powder, and Paula Dorf Blush in Passion. And on my lips I applied the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Shameless.

I'm pretty happy with this look, even though it's not something I'd wear on a daily basis with all the cool tones. The eye look is definitely subtle enough to wear frequently though! And I am obsessed with that golden-blue shade

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mary Kay Matte Wear Liquid Foundation Review

Anytime I hear of a foundation with the word "matte" in its name, I instantly want to try it! With my oily skin, it's a battle at times to find a foundation that doesn't slide right off of my face after a few hours. For the past few weeks I've been putting the Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation to the test.It is priced at $22 and available at marykay.com.

This product comes in a squeeze tube, which I like because it's easy to control how much product comes out of it during each use. This foundation also comes in a formula called Luminous-Wear which is more suitable for dryer skin types. Each type of foundation has 23 shades, so the shade range is pretty nice! I use the shade Bronze 5.


The consistency isn't too thin or too thick, and I'd say that this is a medium coverage foundation. However, it builds nicely to get a full coverage look without looking cakey. And even though the finish is matte, it doesn't make my skin look too lifeless and flat!



Below you can see how different layers of this foundation look on my skin applied with a buffing brush. I have some discoloration on my forehead which showed a little after only one coat. After applying another thin coat over my forehead the discoloration wasn't visible.


This product does claim to provide "all-day shine control," but I found that after 5 hours I get shiny and need to use blotting sheets or powder. The color does a nice job of lasting all day without fading though.

On a daily basis I use a light layer of this foundation and pair it with a little translucent powder. It looks really natural and my face doesn't feel heavy like some foundations can feel.

Overall, I like the packaging, texture, shade-range, color payoff, and finish. It could do a little better at shine control, but 5 hours is pretty decent for me. And the price might seem a little high, but it does contain the TimeWise age-fighting ingredients. If you have oily to combination skin, this foundation might be worth a try!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Eye Makeup Look!

Merry Christmas! I know a lot of people take breaks from blogging today, but I just got a new laptop so I'm really excited to be posting. Here's the makeup that I'm wearing today which features lots of bright colors from the Urban Decay Electric Palette.




This look came out crazy bright! It looks like electrified cotton candy or something. To get this look I warmed up my crease with a medium brown eyeshadow and highlighted my brow bone with a cream colored eyeshadow. Then I blended blue and purple shades on the outer half of my eye, pinks and purples on the middle of my eye, and silver on the inner part of my eye. Underneath the eye I used the blues and purples again. The look was completed with black liquid liner, black pencil liner, and mascara.



 Eyes:
-The Balm Stay Don't Stray Eye Primer
-The Balm Adagio and Allegro Eyeshadows from the Balm Jovi Palette
-Urban Decay Chaos, Urban, Jilted, and Revolt pressed pigments from the Electric Palette
-Maybelline Master Precise Ink Eye Pen
-Mary Kay Black Pencil Liner
-Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara
-Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil and Brow Gel

Face:
-Evian Facial Spray
-Mary Kay Matte Wear Foundation in Bronze 5
-LA Girl Pro Conceal in Fawn
-Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion
-Mary Kay Bronzer in Bronze Diva

Lips:
-Mary Kay Clear Lip Liner
-Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick in Sienna Brulee

Did you do anything fun with your makeup today? I hope you all have a great holiday!



Monday, December 22, 2014

Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion

I've been using this Paula Dorf Cheek Color in the shade Passion for a little while, and I'm excited to share my thoughts on it. I've been really enjoying all of the Paula Dorf products I've tried so far, and this is no exception. This Cheek Color is available on pauladorf.com for $23.


The matte black packaging is similar to all of the other Paula Dorf products. It feels very durable and luxurious.


Passion is a beautiful warm pink shade. It's completely matte, which makes me really happy because sometimes shimmery blushes are way too much for my oily skin. It also feels very smooth; I really like the texture.



And here's a swatch of the shade on my skin. It's a much heavier swatch than most would normally wear on the face, but I wanted to show the gorgeous warm pink color.


When I saw the blush I though it would look too ashy on my skin tone, so I was shocked when I first applied it to my skin. It adds a nice natural color to my skin without making me look like I have lots of makeup on. This also tells me that if you are any shade lighter than me, it should work great too! And it is very pigmented. I light tap into the product is plenty of product. Don't swirl your brush in the product and apply it like I did when I first tried it out!

As I mentioned above, my skin is oily, so making blushes last on me can be tricky. I can always tell how good the quality of a blush is by how long it lasts on me. I can get 5-6 hours of wear out of this blush which is very good for me! If you have normal or dry skin it'll likely last all day. 

I haven't tried a Paula Dorf product that I didn't like! I really like the smooth, matte texture of this blush, and after looking at the other shades on the website, I really want to try more! The shades Sweet Cheeks and Jazzed look so pretty! If you want to try a Paula Dorf Cheek Color, use the code CHEEK to get 20% off of your cheek color purchase!

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for consideration*

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paula Dorf Lip Color Cream in Legend

My lipstick collection has probably grown more in the few months than all the other months this year combined! One of the lipsticks I've been on the hunt for is the perfect holiday red, and I've found it in the Paula Dorf Lip Color Cream in the shade Legend. It is available at pauladorf.com for $22.

Check out the packaging on this lipstick! It is so luxurious looking with it's matte black casing and shiny center.





And look at how gorgeous this shade is. It is a warm-toned red shade with a shiny finish. It looked so beautiful when I first got it that I didn't even want to use it and mess it up!


Here's a swatch of this on my skin. It is pretty opaque- I got this color in two swipes. I don't notice any patchiness. You can see the shine it gives in this swatch too.


This lip color claims to be "long wearing, hydrating, and conditioning," and I pretty much agree with these claims. I find most lipsticks with a shiny finish to be a lot more hydrating on the lips than matte lip colors, and this lipstick was no exception. When I removed this after a few hours of wear my lips were just as soft as when I applied it, which is really nice!

I also found the shade to be long wearing, however, I did notice slight feathering outside of my lip line. I wasn't really surprised though, because I have this issue with a lot of bold lip colors. It's easily fixed with a little red or clear lip liner though. I can get at least 5 hours of wear out of this depending on how much I'm eating, drinking, and talking.


I'm really happy with the Paula Dorf Lip Color Cream in Legend. It's gorgeous color and luxurious feel definitely makes it worth the $22 price tag. But if you decide to try it, use the code LIPCOLOR at checkout to get 20% off any Lip Color Cream purchase.

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for consideration*

Monday, December 15, 2014

Billion Dollar Brows Best Sellers Kit

If you saw my November Favorites post, you know that I've been really into my brows lately. Here's a product I've been trying lately called the Billion Dollar Brows Best Sellers Kit. It's only $34.99 (with a $79 value), and it would be a great holiday gift!




Here are all the items in the set. It comes with the Universal Brow Pencil, the Brow Duo Pencil, a pencil sharpener, the Smudge Brush, and the Brow Gel.


The Brow Duo Pencil is a creamy, double sided pencil with a concealer shade and a lighter highlight shade. The pencil is great for using underneath the brows to give them that fierce, defined look. And the highlight shade is very brightening. I do wish that the concealer came in different shades though because the concealer pretty light for my skin. I use the concealer as a highlight and the highlighter for an even more dramatic highlight.


The Smudge Brush is a flat topped, stiff brush, and it is a perfect addition to the pencil. It makes blending effortless, and I find it easier than using my fingers. The brush seems to be very good quality, and I have washed it once without any shedding.


My brow hairs are very unruly, so the Brow Gel was very exciting to see in this kit. It holds my brows in place without making them have that thick, crunchy feeling. I'm very impressed with the lasting power too. I can wear it for at least 8 hours before noticing my hairs getting out of control again.


The Universal Brow Pencil is the product that most attracted me to this set. One side has a retractable brow pencil and the other side has a nice spoolie. I love the convince of using the same product to fill in my brows and brush them into place. I also don't notice much fading on this product after 8 hours of wear. Another interesting thing about this product is it claims to be a good match for any hair color! I'm not sure about that claim because I've only tried it on myself, but I can tell you, it works for black hair!




Here's some swatches of each of the products: (from left to right) Universal Brow Pencil, Concealer, Highlighter.


And here's a before and after so you can see what these products did for my brows. In the left picture I have nothing in my brows, and on the right picture, I've used all of the products in this kit!


Overall, I am happy with all the products in this kit! My favorites are the Universal Brow Pencil and the Brow Gel. And these products are already perfectly packaged to give as a gift to a beauty lover this holiday season.

What products do you use for your eyebrows?

*Disclaimer: These products were sent to me for consideration*

Sunday, December 7, 2014

TheBalm Top 4 Smoking Hot Looks #4

This is the last look idea suggested in theBalm's Balm Jovi Palette, and it's one of my favorites. Check out the other looks in this series:


In this look, the shades Moderato and Metal-ica are paired together. Moderato is a pretty, matte, deep purple shade, and Metal-ica is shimmery silver.





To achieve this look I used a white eyeshadow base, and then I placed Metal-ica on the inner 1/3 of my eyelid. I used Moderato on the center 1/3 of my eye, and used a dark eyeshadow, The Stroke, on the outer 1/3. I blended a mixture of Moderato and The Stroke into my crease, and blended those shades out using a light brown called Allegro. Then I highlighted the area underneath my brow using Adagio. To finish of the eyes I smudged some of the stroke on my lower lash line and applied eyeliner and mascara.




On my cheeks I'm wearing the Don't You Want Me? blush, which is also known as theBalm's Frat Boy blush. And on my lips I'm wearing the natural red cheek/lip tint called Vanilly.

This series was pretty fun to do! Let me know if you enjoyed, and I might do more in the future!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

TheBalm Top 4 Smoking Hot Looks #3

I'm continuing on with my looks from theBalm Balm Jovi Palette where I'm doing a look based on all of the look suggestions that come with the palette! For more info check out my first post!



The third look suggests using a combination of the Presto and Blink 1982 eyeshadows to create a look. Presto is a gorgeous, deep brown shade, and Blink 1982 is a shimmery, light-pink shade, so I decided to create a very natural look. This look is really nice for everyday wear.






To get this natural look, I placed Blink 1982 all over my lid and on the inner corner of my eye. Then I blended Presto onto the outer half of my eye and into my crease. I finished of this simple look with a brow bone highlight shade: Adagio. Then I added liner and mascara.




On my face I used the Solid Gold luminizer that the panel also suggests using (this shade is also known as Mary Lou-Manizer in theBalm's regular line). This is shimmery gold is such an awesome shade for highlighting.

Finally, on my lips I used the Vanilly lip/cheek shade. It gives a natural-looking red tint to the lips, but it can be built up for more opacity.

What do you think of this look? Which has been your favorite so far?