Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BEAUTY RAVE: My MAC Eye Shadow Collection

Recently, I went on a huge de-potting spree on all of my MAC eye shadows.  I had way too many and could not justify lugging around all of those individual shadows, especially with my trip to Paris coming up soon.  I'm going to be studying there for about four months, so I feel like I will want to have all of my make up with me.  It seemed more convenient to put all of my shadows into palettes, so they would be much easier to travel with.  I thought this would also be the perfect time to do a MAC eye shadow collection since all of my eye shadows will be in one place, making them easier to photograph and swatch.

Top row: Blanc Type, Arena, All That Glitters, Honey Lust, Soba
Middle row: Woodwinked, Romp, Tempting, Mulch, Bronze
Bottom row: Twinks, Brown Down, Carbonized, Mystery, Carbon

Left to right: Blanc Type, Arena, All That Glitters, Honey Lust, Soba

Left to right: Woodwinked, Romp, Tempting, Mulch, Bronze

Left to right: Twinks, Brown Down, Carbonized, Mystery, Carbon

Top row: Patina, Sumptuous Olive
Middle row: Shimmermoss, Parfait Amour

Left to right: Patina, Sumptuous Olive, Shimmermoss, Parfait Amour

Obviously, I am a huge fan of neutral eye shadows.  I basically only use neutral shadows with any eye shadow look.  I usually leave the color for my cheeks or my lips.  I do occasionally like to do a bright liner on my lower lash line, but it's pretty rare.  The first palette is my most used palette.  The second palette definitely does not get as much love as the first one does.  However, I've found that now that I have my shadows organized in palette form, I tend to use my shadows more, especially shades I may have previously overlooked.

My favorite shadows from my collection are probably: Arena, Woodwinked, Tempting, Bronze, Brown Down, and Mystery.  I use Mystery every day for my eyebrows, so it's definitely my most used color.  For an every day look, I will only use Arena on my lids with some eye liner.  If I am going for a real eye shadow look, I typically go for Bronze or Brown Down in the crease with something like Arena or Woodwinked on the lid.  


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY: Birchbox June 2012 'Jet Set'

Yay! I got my first Birchbox in the mail today and I immediately took it into the living room so I could shoot some photos. So, let's start the unboxing!

The theme was "Jet Set" and the box is "devoted to products that will indulge your inner jetsetter, from hardy formulas that can last throughout a long-haul flight to imported finds that we've picked up on our global adventures." 

Okay, let's start off by saying they got my whole products card wrong.  I literally...got none of these things. Besides the thing that everyone got in their Birchbox, everything else is wrong.  I mean, I honestly don't mind this because MyGlam did a whole lost worse.  MyGlam kind of built up my patience for these beauty boxes. So, you're forgiven, Birchbox.  

This was what the box looked like when I opened it up.  I was pretty excited that there was another little package to open up so I didn't get to see what everything was right away.

And...here is everything I got in the box!

The first thing I got was the Winks by Georgie Faux Lashes in No. 2 L'Avant-Gardiste.  I am a huge fan of fake eye lashes and these look really, really nice so I can't wait to give these a try.  I might even try the lash glue, though I usually hate anything that isn't the Duo Lash Adhesive.  I love that these are thicker at the ends because I like to usually wear false eye lashes only at the corners of my lashes anyway, so this is right up my alley. 

This product typically runs for $28 and this is a full size sample, so I'm pretty happy with that!

The next item I received, which I think everyone got, was the theBalm Stainiac in 'Beauty Queen', which is a lip and cheek stain.  The color is a really beautiful, cherry red, but it stains a bit of a rasperry kind of red.  It's really pretty and I'm a big fan of lip stains so I can't wait to try this out.  I doubt I'll use it as a cheek stain, to be honest.  The product is quite small, but after I did the swatch above, it stained my arm so that I literally cannot rub it off.  

A full size of this, which is 0.3 fl oz. is $17 and the sample size is 0.04 fl oz. so this sample is worth $2.27.

Next were the LA FRESH Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser wipes.  These are paraben-free and fragrance-free, so that is pretty nice.  I'm a huge fan of make up wipes, so these will definitely come in handy.  The packaging is quite cute, as well.  I was a little like "eh" when I saw these, but now I'm actually pretty excited to give them a try.  Hopefully they don't break me out!  

A full size of this includes 30 wipes and goes for $9.99.  My two samples are worth $0.67 together. 

The next product is the Hair Rules Lift Volumizing Shampoo.  I'm actually really excited about this product.  It's a pretty decent size, almost like hotel shampoo sized and will probably be good for a few showers.  It smells REALLY good, like super super fresh.  I have fairly flat, limp hair so I'm pretty excited to give this volumizing shampoo a try.  One of the best parts about this shampoo is that it is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and does not test on animals.  I have a feeling that if I like this shampoo, I'll probably end up purchasing it because it seems like it has so many benefits.

A full size of this is $15 for 8 fl oz., and the sample is 2 fl oz., so this sample is worth $3.75.

The "Lifestyle Extra" was this Tili Bag. Let's be honest here.  This is a sandwich bag with some leopard print on it.  Seriously? Seriously. Anyway, I guess this is kind of cute.  And I mean, I feel like the "Lifestyle Extras" are always kind of silly.  At least from all of the Birchbox videos I've seen, they all seem pretty ridiculous.  I probably will never use this.  I'll probably throw it away, to be honest.  

A full pack of these is $8.49 for 12 bags, so this bag is worth $0.71.

The total for my Birchbox comes out to: $35.40.  Not bad, Birchbox!

I'm pretty pleased with my first Birchbox.  I can't wait to try some of these products out and keep getting more Birchboxes every month.  This is the beginning to a beautiful friendship, Birchbox.  


Monday, June 11, 2012

MONTHLY FAVORITES: May 2012 (Mega late!)

I apologize for the super, super late May Favorites! I just got out for summer break from my school so I finally have time away from exams, projects, and whatnot to keep blogging!

Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Transluscent

This has become my holy grail setting powder.  It's quite expensive, for about $35, but it's definitely worth it.  It sets my foundation perfectly and helps it not budge for the whole day.  It definitely does not look powdery on the skin.  It blends into my foundation so you can barely tell I powdered.  My old setting powder made it kind of obvious that I was wearing powder, in my opinion.  This is exactly what I've always wanted in a setting powder and I'm glad I finally found it!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher in Pearlescent Pink

After hearing rave reviews about this blush from a bunch of beauty gurus, I decided go get it.  I mean, it's like $3. And for $3, it is AMAZING.  I am not a huge fan of pink, like I always mention, but this is a mauvey, dusty pink with a bit of shimmer in it.  The color pigmentation is really great.  Better than I expected from Wet n Wild, for sure.  I've been reaching for this a lot since I purchased it. 

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey

This has, hands down, been my favorite lip product for this month.  Though I purchased it in the middle of the month, I've worn it almost every single day since.  I recently did a review about this product, if you'd like to read more in detail about it.  This shade has been my favorite of the ones that I've purchased because it is basically the same shade as my lips, but it just adds some shine and a bit more pigmentation.  It's been a really great every day shade for me.

Blistex Lip Medex

I'm obsessed with lip balms.  My lips get chapped fairly easily and I've tried a million and one chapsticks.  I love Burt's Bees, but this has been amazing.  It's very effective at helping my chapped lips.  It has that very medicated kind of feeling, so some people may not like it, but it definitely makes me feel like it's working.  It gives a bit of gloss to the lips so I've been enjoying using this over my lip products.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

I've had this mascara for a while because I purchased it when I heard all of the hype about it.  To be honest, I didn't really like it when I first bought it.  The brush is pretty painful because it's plastic so I feel like it poked me in the eyes every time I applied it.  But, I've been using this at the end of my mascara routine and it's been perfect.  It's great for thickening my lashes, but still keeping them separated.  A lot of volumizing mascaras can be quite clumpy, but the bristles on this brush help keep the mascara from getting too clumpy. 

Revlon Colorstay Overtime Mascara

This has become another staple in my mascara routine.  It's great for separating and lengthening and does not clump at all.  I use this right before the Benefit mascara and right after my lash primer.  It's also extremely black, which I really like in a mascara.  This mascara also helps hold the curl of my lashes.  I do have very droopy and straight lashes, so anything that holds curl is best for me.

MAC Powder Blush in Peaches

Now that it's summer, I've been using this blush a lot.  It just gives the perfect, peach flush to the cheeks.  I love the way peachy tones look on my cheeks because I think it looks really healthy and fresh, especially during the summer.  It's also a matte blush, which I really like for an every day look.  I don't own many matte blushes, but I am thinking of getting more because I like that this does not clash with my highlight.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

OUTFIT OF THE NIGHT: Playing With Colors

Blouse: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21
Bag: A gift from my boyfriend from Italy
Earrings: Urban Outfitters
Rings (Left to right): Asos, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21
Shoes: Hautelook
Nails: Essie 'Fiji', China Glaze 'Flip Flop Fantasy' (on toes)

You will rarely see me wearing color.  I tend to stick to my neutrals, mostly greys and blacks.  However, last night, I felt like injecting a little bit of color into my life after a long couple of weeks of exams, projects, and stress. I'm finally out for summer and I think that that feeling of summer finally being here inspired me to go dress a little bit brighter.  

This bright coral Forever 21 top has to be one of my favorite purchases from Forever 21.  It's great quality and looks like it is worth a lot more than $18! My favorite part about it is the slit detailing the arms. I was a little weary at first when I picked it up to try on because I had this visual in my mind of a terrible, awkward looking mess.  But as soon as I tried it on, I fell in love! It has this very 70's-esque quality about it that I love.   It was from the Love 21 section of Forever 21 and I bought it a couple of days ago, so you may be able to still pick it up!

Also, a May Favorites post is coming soon! It will be SUPER late, but I'm dedicated to get it out!  Now that I'm done with school, I'll have the time I need for it!


Friday, June 1, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY: Essie, Revlon, and theBalm

First thing's first: I need to stop buying things.  Second: that's never going to happen. Now that we have that out of the way, let's get on with the haul!

Revlon Colorstay Overtime Mascara in 'Blackest Black'

I am a huge fan of drugstore mascaras.  I really think that drugstore formulas are quite good and comparable to a lot of more expensive mascaras.  I have fairly straight and droopy lashes so I try to focus on lengthening and trying to hold curl.  Waterproof mascaras usually are the best with holding curl for droopy lashes.  I bought this mascara on a whim because I wanted to try out a new lengthening mascara and I am usually a big fan of Revlon products.  I think this is a really great mascara that holds curl for forever and does not flake at all.  The brush has normal bristles, which I prefer because I find that a lot of more plastic bristles to poke my eye and whatnot.  The brush is quite long, but the bristles are small so they catch every eyelash.  It definitely lengthens, but can get a little clumpy. 

Essie Nail Polish in 'A Crewed Interest'

I've been on a bit of a pastel kick lately, which probably has a lot to do with the weather and the seasons.  I've been eyeing this nail polish for a while, but never really thought it was worth it to buy.  But the other day...I just jumped the gun and did it.  It's a gorgeous pastel, milky peach shade that I think will look gorgeous with a tan.  I haven't tried it on my nails yet, so I am not sure how it will look on my skin, but typically peachy shades work well on me.  I will have Lacquer Lust posts coming soon with all of these polishes so keep an eye out for those!

Essie Nail Polish in 'Clambake'

I have a very love/hate relationship with red nail polishes.  I think they look gorgeous on everyone else...but me.  I think red on the nails can look really sexy and classic, but I just can't stand it on me.  On me, I feel like it looks very mom-like and old.  But, I recently realized my love for bright, orange-y reds and decided to give this shade a try.  It is a very bright red that definitely leans more to the orange side, so it is a fresh twist on the classic red nail.  I think my red nail problem was with blue-toned reds.  But now that I've found a shade that I like on me....it may spark a new obsession with red nails for me, who knows!

Essie Nail Polish in 'Fiji'

I've seen and heard of this nail polish for years and years and years.  Many of my girl friends from home swear by this shade.  And recently, I've noticed that ViviannaDoesMakeup on youtube has been raving about this nail polish.  However, I never thought I would like it on me.  I hate blue-toned shades on me..especially when it's pink.  I don't know what came over me the other day, but I just decided to get it.  I immediately painted my nails and I fell in love.  It's a gorgeous milky, baby pink shade that makes me look super tan and doesn't clash with my yellow undertones.  I totally succumb to the hype, I admit it.

theBalm 'Mary-Lou Manizer' Highlighting Powder 

I have a crazy love for highlighters.  I think they look beautiful on everyone and just make every make up look fresher and more radiant.  I own a few highlighters, but definitely crave more.  I know that Hautelook regularly has theBalm sales, but I never really bought anything from them.  I watched a haul a couple months ago that featured this product and instantly was like, "I need this in my life."  So, as soon as I realized Hautelook was going to have a theBalm sale...I jumped at this highlighter.  I waited about two weeks for it, basically forgetting that I bought it and as soon as it got in the mail, I freaked out.  It's a beautiful champagne, gold shade that could definitely be multipurpose as an eyeshadow as well as a highligher.  It looks amazing on the cheekbones and definitely looks glowy instead of glittery like a lot of other highlighters.  It's got a lot of product in the pan, which is great because I feel like I will never run out.  The best part about this product?  I got it for $8.  Eight. Dollars. STEAL!