Wednesday, February 29, 2012

7 Beauty Sins Tag

I got this fun tag from Lilit's blog, Makeup and Macaroons. If you haven't checked out her blog before, you really should. Fab pictures & great reviews!

1. Greed: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?
My most inexpensive beauty item would have to be my NYX lipliner pencils. I believe they are around $3 each (even cheaper if you buy a few and use an Ulta coupon!). 

My most expensive beauty products would probably be my skin care products. I feel like I can justify spending extra money because taking good care of your skin is so important. I'm always trying out new products looking for my HG but currently I am trying out/using Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream as a night cream ($38) and their It's Potent Eye Cream ($32). 


Left to Right: NYX Lip Liners in 835 Pinky, 817 Hot Red, & 860 Peekaboo Neutral

2. Wrath: What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been hardest to get?

I used to have a love/hate relationship with foundation. For years, I stopped using liquid foundation because I hate the heavy feeling of  (some) liquid foundations. I recently started using liquid foundation again and found that Makeup Forever HD foundation is light (feels like I'm not wearing any!) yet still gives me coverage. 

The hardest product(s) to get would have to be certain items in limited edition MAC collections. Most recently, Pink Pidgeon from the Iris Apfel collection. It wasn't sold at counters and sold out on the website very quickly but I finally got my hands on it after it was randomly restocked on the site about a month later. 

Makeup Forever HD Foundation & MAC Pink Pigeon lipstick (LE)

3. Gluttony: What are your most delicious beauty products?

Obviously I don't eat my beauty products so I'm assuming this tag question is referring to scent ;) I don't like heavily-scented products and usually try to shop for unscented or lightly- scented products. However, I do enjoy the scent of Jack Black's lip balms in Black Tea & Blackberry and Fresh Sugar's lip treatment (it smells like yellow pez!).  Another product that I don't mind a sweet scent in is hand sanitizer. Bath & Body Works mini hand sanitizers smell great and don't leave a heavy alcohol scent behind.


Left to Right: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (Sephora's VIB birthday gift!), Jack Black Lip Balm in Black Tea & Blackberry, BBW PocketBac in Pink Sugarplum

4. Sloth: What beauty products do you neglect, due to laziness?

If I'm running late or feeling a lazy makeup day, I usually skip bronzer. 

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

5. Pride: What beauty product gives you the most self-confidence?

It's a tie between mascara & lipstick (I'm addicted!) but if I had to choose one I'd say mascara. I love how mascara brings attention to my blue eyes.

Left to Right: Benefit Badgal Lash, Benefit Badgal Blue Lash , MAC Zoom Lash,
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! & Benefit They're Real

6. Lust: What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex? 

Not sure how this is considered a beauty/makeup question per se but I'd say a great personality (kind, funny, etc.)

7. Envy: What item would you most like to receive as a gift?

I'd love to receive a YSL lipstick. Hint, hint boyfriend ;) They are beautiful and I hear the quality is amazing but I have yet to bring myself to pay over $30 for a lipstick (not that I haven't come close!).

Link in the comments below if you did this tag, I'd love to read it!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Would I Buy Again?

I love reading beauty posts where bloggers discuss what products they have finished up so I've been collecting a few items here and there to share with you!

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product

I've always been a loyal fan of John Frieda's Frizz-Ease leave-in conditioner (mini review here). However, when I received It's a 10 Miracle as a reward from Ulta's Beauty Club, I am now questioning my leave-in conditioner loyalty. It's a 10 promises to do "10 things instantly" including:

repairs dry, damaged hair  adds shine ❤ detangles ❤ control frizz ❤ seals & protects hair color ❤ prevents split ends ❤ stops hair breakage ❤ creates silkiness ❤ enhances natural body ❤ flat iron spray & thermal protector. 

I do notice a difference between the John Frieda conditioner vs. the It's a 10 conditioner. The It's a 10 leaves my hair feeling softer and healthier vs. John Frieda. However, both products leave my hair feeling softer, healthier and they detangle vs. no product. I really like that It's a 10 claims that it seals and protects hair color. I dye my hair light blonde and I try to use hair products that will (or claim to) extend the life of my color for as long as possible. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is the difference in price. JF is about $6 for 8 fl. oz making It's a 10 more than twice the price for half as much product. The only thing that is preventing me from running out and re-purchasing It's a 10 is the steep price. 

Cost: approx. $17.99 for 120 mL/4 fl oz.
Where to Buy: Ulta,
Would I buy again? Maybe

Say Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelletes

I've been trying a lot of different cleansing/makeup removing wipes over the past few months hoping to find a favorite. I mainly use them for makeup removal and they do not replace my cleanser. When I shop for a new brand, I try to find wipes that are eye-safe, hypo-allergenic or a sensitive formula, and I like to have a formula that you don't have to rinse off (just in case I'm lazy one night and don't want to cleanse my face/remove my makeup. I know, bad! It doesn't happen often though). 

These towelettes are very light, smell fresh, contain 30 wipes vs. the seemingly-standard 25 wipes and you don't need to rinse off the formula. I was really impressed that the cloths were biodegradable because I do feel guilty and wasteful throwing out the wipes every night. The only con I had was a personal one. These wipes aren't made to specifically remove eye makeup (the packaging states to avoid eye contact) and I only realized after I had opened the package. This probably will prevent me from re-purchasing just because it doesn't fit my personal product needs. However, these wipes are a good product overall. 

Cost: $6-8 for 30 wipes
Where to Buy: Ulta, Walmart
Would I buy again? No (but good product overall!)

Benefit They're Real Mascara

If you like lengthening mascaras, Benefit They're Real is worth a try. It's one of the best lengthening mascaras I've used yet. I wouldn't say this mascara gives you extreme length like some false lashes do, however, it does noticeably increase lash length. I did notice some volume and curl, however, it wasn't as dramatic as the lengthening power of this mascara. Sephora now has a smaller size (here) for $10 for .14 oz that you can try if you don't want to spring for the full size just yet. Want to read my full review with pictures? Click here.

Cost: $22 for 0.3 oz 
Where to Buy: Ulta, Sephora, Benefit
Would I buy again? Yes (already did!)

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment claims:

Intense nourishment for tangle & frizz free  Hair that is ultra-smooth, manageable & shiny Natural ❤ UV protection extends the life of color treatments  Reduced drying time by an amazing 40-50%

Before I received this as an Ulta reward, I had been on my second large bottle of Moroccan Oil. I decided to choose this reward to see if it could compare to Moroccan Oil as the Macadamia is much more easy-accessible being sold at Ulta. Overall, I would say that the two are comparable. I notice slightly better results when using the Moroccan Oil- my hair dries more quickly and seems softer and healthier looking. If you find that oil treatments are too heavy for your hair, Moroccan Oil has a light formula which I don't believe Macadamia offers (please correct me if I'm wrong). Correction: Macadamia Oil contacted via comment (see below post) stating "We actually have a spray version of the Healing Oil Treatment for fine hair." Moroccan Oil is generally more expensive than Macadamia, however, Moroccan Oil prices vary depending on which salon you buy from. Macadamia Oil is by no means a bad product. I just personally prefer Moroccan Oil. 

Cost: $13 for 1.0 oz        
Where to Buy: Ulta
Would I buy again? No (but good product overall!)

What products have you finished up lately? Would you buy them again?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shop MAC Lipsticks

Here are some of the lipsticks from the Shop MAC collection. I bought 4 of the 6 shades.

Innocence, Beware: Light Yellow, Pink (Cremesheen)
Naughty Saute: Bright Pepto Pink (Cremesheen)
Quick Sizzle: Bright Pink (Matte)
Runaway Run: Rich Blue-Red (Satin)

The collection also includes:
Watch Me Simmer: Bright Pink Orange (Amplified)
Dish It Up: Berry Pink (Lustre)

Love the packaging!

Left to Right: Quick Sizzle, Naughty Saute, Runaway Red, & Innocence, Beware!

Quick Sizzle
Left to Right: MAC Quick Sizzle/Show Orchid

Naughty Saute


Right to Left: MAC Naughty Saute/Snob/Viva Glam Gaga/Pink Nouveau

Runaway Red

Left to Right: MAC Runaway Red, MUFE Moulin Rouge, Urban Decay F-Bomb

Innocence, Beware!

Left to Right:MAC Innocence Beware!/Creme D'Nude/Viva Glam Gaga 2

As of right now, Runaway Red is the only Shop MAC lipstick available online. The other five shades are listed as "coming soon" so I am assuming they will restocking more. 

Where to Buy: MAC stores/counters, online (launched 2/9/12 in US)
Cost: $14.50 each
Limited Edition

Did you pick up anything from the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection? What are your favorites?

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Revlon Lip Butters

I'm not sure if reading other beauty blogs help me make informed decisions about beauty products or just makes me want to purchase more products in general. In this case, I'm really happy I was "convinced" to buy (although it doesn't take much to convince me to pick up makeup in general, especially when it's inexpensive). I've been reading nothing but great things about the Revlon Lip Butters so when I finally found them at Ulta I was pretty excited especially because they were buy one, get one 50% off.

I love the packaging- the pretty frosted colorful caps and the quilted design.  The top of the caps have a clear little "window" as well. Makes finding that shade of lipstick super easy!

Aren't they gorgeous?

Left: Tutti Fruti
Right: Strawberry Shortcake

 Strawberry Shortcake is a gorgeous bubble gum pink and Tutti Fruti is a bright orange. Both colors are pigmented in lip butter terms. I had to layer Tutti Fruti a few times to build the color.  

Like so many other bloggers, I am amazed at these lip butters. I've been wearing Strawberry Shortcake non-stop all week (I'm saving Tutti Fruti for the summer). They are pigmented like a lipstick but feel smooth and moisturizing like a lip butter. Best part is, they are affordable! Prices vary depending on where you buy them, however, I paid $7.50 each at Ulta (although the second was 50% off on promotion).

Have you tried these lip butters? If so, which is your favorite shade? 

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Monday, January 9, 2012

MAC Daphne Guinness Blush

It seems as of late, I've become more obsessed with anything ombre. (See my original ombre-themed post here). When I saw the new Daphne Guinness for MAC collection, the two blush ombres immediately caught my attention.

I choose Azalea Blossom because Vintage Grape seemed a little too dark for my NW 20 skintone. I am surprised that both blushes are still in stock online, however, I read that it is actually a repromote (originally appearing in the Spring Colour Forecast) so maybe many picked it up then?

Left to Right: Pink Section, Purple Section, Mixed

Azalea Blossom is a cool-toned (blue-based) pink. When swatching, I noticed the pink tone is actually less cool than the purple section. Both sections of the blushes are large enough to "customize" the blush.  Personally, I like evenly mixing the two together.

Did you pick up anything from the Daphne Guinness collection? I was tempted to pick up two of the lipglosses in Japanese Spring & Narcissus but decided against it and picked up a brush instead. I chose the 168, a large angled contour brush which I used to apply this blush.
Where to Buy: MAC Cosmetics
Cost: $26 for 9g/0.31 oz
Limited Edition

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Handmade Love Vol. VI: Jewelry Edition

 Here is another edition of my handmade love posts, where I post lovely handmade items I find on Etsy. These one seems to be themed as I've chosen all jewelry pieces. Aren't they gorgeous?

     Gold Dust Shake Bracelet
$32.20 by helloberry

HelloBerry is a handmade jewelry shop run by three girlfriends, which I think is so much fun! I've been buying a lot of chunky chain jewelry lately and this shop is further fueling my current jewerly obsession. The lace part of these bracelets also come in other fun colors like silver, white, and fog gray. I've been debating between the all gold bracelet above or the black/gold combination.

$47 by tinygalaxies

Aren't these earrings gorgeous?! Almost all the jewelry in this shop is made with glitter and if you've been following my blog you know by now that I'm pretty much obsessed with things that sparkle. When I stumbled upon the fabulous earrings above, her shop immediately went into my favorites. If you want to add a bit of glimmer to your life, definitely check out tinygalaxie's shop.

$28 by juliegarland

In my opinion, whoever said that mixing gold & silver is a no-no was very mistaken. Over the past few years, my jewelry collection has been growing with pieces that mix the two tones which is why I'm loving these gold nugget on silver hoop earrings. 

Do you shop on Etsy? What's your favorite handmade item you've purchased?


Zoya nail polish has a promotion going on now until 1/9/12 at Basically you get 2 FREE nail polishes, you just pay for shipping. Enter code ZOYA2012 at checkout. 

If you're curious, here are the 2 shades I choose:
Left: Layla 
Right: Hayden 

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Favorite Products of 2011/Beauty Resolutions

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a fabulous NYE weekend. I forgot to take a picture of my eye makeup, however, I used UD's gunmetal (charcoal gray) with MAC's Idol Eyes (silver frost) over the top then added MAC's Pink Freeze (medium pink frost) in the crease. I ended up loving the look and I'm sure I'll recreate it at some point and post a picture.

2011 Beauty Favorites

❤ Urban Decay 15 Anniversary Palette
I was hesitant to add this to my favorites as I know many cannot find this palette any longer. However, it is a favorite so I figured it deserves a spot on the list. I wish Urban Decay would make more palettes like this. This palette has something for everyone as it has a great mix of brights, nudes and 'smokey-eye' shades all of which are new. Only downside to this palette is the packaging. The palette is not very travel-friendly as it's lid lifts off and doesn't have a locking mechanism. If I decide to bring this palette somewhere, I will likely be rubber band-ing this palette shut. Full review/swatches here.

❤ MUFE HD foundation
I haven't written up a full review of this foundation but here's a short overview. I was previously using MAC satin finish foundation in what I now believe was the wrong shade for my skintone. However, that wasn't the only problem with my MAC foundation. Yes, it had decent coverage, however, that came with a price. This foundation feels so incredibly heavy and thick on your face. I finally decided to replace my foundation when I got 20% off during Sephora's F&F sale. This HD foundation is so light in comparison and honestly I think I'm in love with it just for that reason. I apply it with the beauty blender for a flawless look. 

❤ Anastasia Beverly Hills Express Brow kit
Before this kit, I'm ashamed to admit that as a makeup addict, I barely paid attention to my brows. Now I can't go a makeup day without reaching for this brow kit. I love how everything you need is in one little kit: a brow wax, two brow powders, brow stencils and a brush (also includes a highlighter which honestly I've never used). I wish I discovered this kit sooner, because I now realize how groomed brows can really help define the face. Full review/swatches here.

❤ Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes
highly recommend these blushes. I have never tried a blush that is so easily blendable and they are amazingly pigmented. I convinced my friend to purchase one of these blushes (she picked up Dollface) and I'm really excited to hear her thoughts on it. Full review/swatches here.

❤ Jack Black Lip Balm
I've been a loyal fan of Burt's Bees chapstick. I can't tell you how many of their chapsticks that I went through (either actually finishing a tube or losing then re-finding) over the years. However, after hearing a few beauty bloggers rave about Jack Black lip balms, I felt the need to try them. All I can say is: move over Burt's Bees! These lipbalms are very moisturizing which I desperately need during the cold, dry winter months and they even contain SPF 25! I have the lavender & vanilla scent and the blackberry & black tea scent. I prefer the fruity scent of the blackberry balm over the lavender scent which overpowers the vanilla.

❤  Benefit They're Real mascara
I usually stick to drugstore mascaras but after all the hype about this mascara, I decided I really wanted needed to try it. It is one of the best mascaras I've tried for length and makes my lashes appear that I'm wearing natural-looking false lashes. Even though I love the results of this mascara, the price ($24) is likely going to stop me from repurchasing once it's dried up. My beloved Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes mascara has similar results (but requires two steps: primer/mascara) for less than half the price. Full review here.

Favorite Lipsticks

Left to Right:
MAC Creme Cup
MAC Angel
MAC Creme d'Nude
MUFE Moulin Rouge
Urban Decay Crush 
Sorry about my messy/previously melted Creme d'nude. 

Favorite Nail Polishes

Top Row (Left to Right)
OPI Got a Date to Knight
China Glaze For Audrey
OPI Mad as a Hatter
Zoya in Cynthia
Bottom Row (Left to Right)
OPI Shorts Story
Butter London in HRH
Essie in Sand Tropez

2012 Beauty Resolutions
1. drink more water
2. nail polish spending limit

The first resolution is pretty self-explanatory but I'll explain number two a bit more. My nail polish collection is getting quite large. I hate to confess this but I'm almost at 70 polishes (which is small compared to some collections I've seen here on blogs and youtube). I do paint my nails up to twice a week, however, I realize I can't possibly use up every polish before they eventually become unusable. That is why I've decided to put myself on a nail polish buying limit for 2012. I think I've decided that two polishes is my limit per month. This will hopefully control my impulse nail polish buying habit as I'll have to think about whether I really love that polish enough to use up my monthly polish limit.

What are some of your beauty favorites or resolutions?