empties | out with the old #5

3:41 PM

Dove Replenish + Care Dry Shampoo
This is raved about so much but it's "eh" at best. While it smells good and provides hair with texture, it is totally temporary. There are also no oil-absorbing properties. I will not be repurchasing. 

Mary Kay Timewise Replenishing Serum + C
Ummmm this was an alright product. I did not see a huge difference in my skin; it was not brighter, nor did it imporve texture, but there was nothing wrong with it. It had kind of a funny cookie-dough type scent, and abosrbed in my skin very fast, but the retail proce is over $50 and for a serum that I found did nothing, I will not be repurchasing.

Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask
I always raved about this mask, although nobody else had even ever heard of it. I found that it really calmed down my skin whenever it was irritated and was quite gentle. It definitel
y doesn't do wonders but is a great product for taking things a notch down. If I find it again I will repurchase, but since I haven't seen it anywhere in a long time I doubt I will..

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen - Pure Lavender
I really liked this sunscreen before it went to shit. One day it was fine, and the next it had pretty much melted to some weird, liquidy oil. I might have left the bottle outside in the shade for a few hours which might be the culprit, but I don't think I'll be repurchasing simply because there are other natural sunscreens.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment
I quite liked this eye cream, which contained shimmery particles. I thought it made for a great morning eye cream since it sunk in well and sat beautifully under makeup. The full size of this is a hefty $32 dollars, but if it goes on serious clearance I will repurchase.

Almay Softies Eyeshadows
Bleh. Had great potential and sounded incredible, but there was simply no color payoff. They were sheer, did not apply well with tools, and did not seem to want to leave fingers when applied with those. They also faded pretty quickly on the rare chance that I got them to show up.

Pixi Extra Eye Bright Liner
I only used this on my waterline once or twice. It was simply too hard. However, I loved the pinky-lavender color and instead used it on my browbone for a very subtle and sharpening brow lift. I love the color so I may repurchase, but unless it's on sale I probably won't.

Pixi Lash Line Ink
I really loved this eyeliner. The long nib made lining my eyes easy, and winging it out would take no time at all. The formulation was pretty decent, although it wasn't entirely waterproof. I may repurchase sometime in the future - not anytime soon, however. But I would recommend this to people!

NYX Cream Shadow in Suede 
Man, this shade is beautiful and oh how I wished it had worked out. This set in about .12 seconds and would pill up and rub off if you tried to blend/smudge it out after it set. I would say that I could work with this, but I couldn't. It didn't have that sort of half-set tacky mode where some cream shadows get right before they set, it seemed to go from wet to bone dry immediately, so there's no way you could blend it out. It would also crease within 5 minutes, and the oil would eat up the shadow and an unattractive line would appear in my crease. Such a shame. Will not be repurchasing.

NYX Eyebrow Marker in Medium
I totally dug the formula of this, but the shade was just totally wrong. This is probably a shade for people with red tones - whenever I wore it it would look obviously wrong and very very bad on me. However, I did really love the simplicity of applying and the lasting power. If a neutral toned brown was released I would probably be all over that shit.

Sonia Kashuk Brightening Powder
Simply put, this was too easy to overdo on. It was pretty much impossible to not overdo. The shimmer would look very pretty in proportion, but it's extremely difficult to get the perfect amount and you end up looking like you'd just been glitter-bombed.

No7 Lash Adapt Mascara
While this mascara was a fine product, it didn't hold my curl very well. I actually really loved it on my lower lashes, as it really doesn't clump no matter how many layers applied, but I hardly ever wear mascara on my skimpy lower lashes and buying another for the lower lashes just doesn't seem justified. Those with naturally curly lashes might really enjoy this product. It never smudges or

Burt's Bees Evening Glow Lipgloss
This is a pretty shimmer sheer red lip gloss. I really liked it, it wasn't sticky and was a great low-maintenance red shade, but I've had it for ages and figured it was time to toss it. I may repurchase, and I'll probably get other shades whenever possible.

e.l.f. studio small angled liner brush
I loved this brush! Until it just randomly pooped out on me one day. The glue loosened up and the bristles came flying out. Altho these are $3 and repurchasing them wouldn't hurt, I do not want to spend more money on yet a third broken brush. 

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Rollerball
Hoooooly crap, this smells so good. This perfume smells exactly like oranges. While it's awesome, the scent barely lasts and I began to see stuff in the perfume, like skin and dust. I will repurchase eventually, but after I go through some of my perfumes. 

Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat
While I loved this, it got super goopy and useless. The finish was very matte and lasted up fairly well. 

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner | Review

10:27 PM

Holy crap, I've been gone since October! I've just been so caught up in school, busy applying to colleges! I've been accepted to two out of my eleven choices so far (: Anyways, I'm back today with a review on this liquid liner.

What it is: liquid eyeliner
Where: Ulta and the UD website
Price: $19 but several of the shades are on sale for $10 on the UD site today (12/4/14)!
Note: Urban Decay is cruelty free and this product is vegan friendly!
The description that UD provides is basically a novel. "Draw liquid lines so sharp they could cut glass. Our slender brush lays down long-lasting matte, slick and shimmery shades sure to satisfy your color lust. Achieve clean, sharp WATERPROOF lines with shocking ease. The newest addition to our 24/7 franchise is available in a veritable rainbow of long-lasting, highly-pigmented, WATERPROOF color options – shades ranging from matte to glossy to shimmery! (And why would you only buy one? Try them all!) Use the ultra-fine brush tip to create lines that are razor-thin or thick, even and bold. The brush is also short and easy to control, making it ideal for liquid liner newbies. The slim pens are convenient – go ahead and pack 'em all into your makeup bag – and are color-matched to each shade." To sum it up, the super fine brush tip makes it easy to draw thin or thick and sharp lines. It claims to have a waterproof formula with several different finishes according to the shade. There are 11 versatile shades, ranging from a jet black (Perversion, which is what I have and am reviewing today) to a bright yellow. 

Let's talk packaging. It's simple and very functional, and I quite like it. (Above is a NYX single eyeshadow for size reference) Each tube matches the shade inside. As you can see, my black liner has black packaging. The brush is a thin, brush-tip applicator. It's on the shorter side of applicators. Despite how thin this is, it's surprisingly easy to use. It's very easy to control where the product goes and how thick/thin you want your line to be. I think the packaging is great! This product contains 1.7 mL (.058 fl oz) of product.

Perversion is a black-ass black. I think this shade is supposed to be matte, but it's not - there's a sheen to it. This used to irritate me a little bit since I like my liner matte as possible, but I'll let this pass since this liner is so good. This liner has a very thin and watery formula, and needs shaking before usage. There's a mixing ball inside the tube. Despite how thin it is, it dries almost immediately. Wear time is wonderful - this liner is nearly 100% waterproof. I tend to ignore waterproof claims because basically nothing is totally waterproof, but this one almost passes the test. I'll explain in a little bit. After it dries, this liner will last you all day and night with no budging. I've worn it on 16 hour days with hardly any issues. There is no flaking or smudging or transferring. But back to the waterproof front, if the liner gets wet and the water is dabbed off (versus rubbed off) it will stay fine. Rubbing with water can cause flaking. This liner removes surprisingly easily, despite the longevity of it. It will not come off with an oil-based remover, but using a wipe or a water based remover will cause the liner to flake off and it removes quickly without much hassle. 

I think this liner is a lot like the NYX Studio Liquid Liner in terms of pigmentation and longevity, but I like the thin, fast drying formula of this, not to mention the much more manageable packaging. If you're on a budget, the $4.50 NYX offering is definitely worth a shot. It contains more than double the product for less than a quarter of the price, but you have the weigh the other factors. All in all, I'm a little annoyed that I love this liner so much - I do not like the idea of dishing out $19 for an eyeliner. That being said, I do think it's worth the rather high price tag. I highly recommend. 

what's in my beauty bag

3:50 PM

  • bag: the body shop makeup bag
  • the body shop satsuma hand sanitizer - because i always seem to get my hands messed up at school and this smells nice.
  • taylor swift wonderstruck rollerball perfume - because sometimes i forget to put on perfume, so having this rollerball is really handy and nice.
  • nyx butter lipstick in little suzie - because a bright lipstick is exactly what i need on days when i forget to put lipstick on at home; vivid lipstick distracts anything and i'm usually running late when i forget to put on lipstick!
  • ecotools retractable kabuki brush - to apply powder
  • bareminerals ready touch up veil in translucent - the powder to apply
  • yes to cucumbers facial towelette - in case i ever need to take off my makeup
  • tide to go instant stain remover - because i'm clumsy and get stains on everything
  • l'occitane shea butter hand cream - because sometimes my hands get real dry

September Favorites | Recently Loving #9

3:42 PM

Long time no see, everybody! Blogging is a side hobby for me and I started school again so it's quite easy for me to push blogging onto the back burner. I'll try to blog more often during the school year but it's rather difficult. Anyways, today I'm back with a favorites post. 

These shadows are discontinued but are still easily available online. They have a great great formula that is soft, blendable, and this specific shade has the perfect amount of shimmer. It's kind of a sandy brown.  I think I'll have a review up on the shades I have soon. Anyways, I've been popping this all over the lid and blending it out to above my crease. It gives a subtle wash of color that looks more like a stain than makeup. The longwear crease resistant formula is wonderful and I'm just obsessed with this product.

There are two types of this available, I have the white, sensitive version. This is a konjac sponge, which is essentially a sponge with cleansing properties because the material it's made of, konjac, is really good for the skin. I use this in the morning and buff it over my skin after I've massaged my cleanser in. I love how this feels on my skin, it has a light, porous texture that makes me feel like I'm promoting circulation and very very gently exfoliates, but it's not harsh or uncomfortable on the skin.

I've brought these two back into my rotation and I don't think they're ever leaving. THis concealer is just so light and easy to blend and it looks so skinlike and illuminating. Although the coverage isn't the fullest, the concealer is so brightening that it just blends out imperfections and bounces light away. A wonderful wonderful concealer.

Lately I've been wearing this eyeliner on my upper waterline. I never used to do this because I always thought removal was a hassle, but I've been rimming my waterline with this and pairing it with lashings of mascara and it just makes my lashes look so thick, full, and natural. I've got a review on this eyeliner up here, but I'll reitoriate - super smooth and easy to apply, so unbelievably pigmented, and so long lasting. This waterproof pencil lasts 8/9 hours without smudging on the inner rim. 

I parted from this for a few days to go back to an old liquid liner favorite but since then I've just realized how much I love this. It's waterproof as hell and doesn't smudge, flake, or fade. The long nib makes application very easy, and mine is coming to the end of it's tenure and I will soon be needing new one. I am very very sad over it ):

These are my newest brush additions. This is a duo of double ended eye brushes, intended to give you all the eye brushes you need for a look. Like all other Ecotools brushes, these are soft, synthetic, and dry quickly. They apply product beautifully and really are enough for a look. My favorites are the shading and blending brush, but the smudger and angled liner are just as good.

Jenna Hipp Nail Polish in This Is My Jam
I've never really been one for bold nail colors, I usually paint my nails with my beloved Essie Buy Me A Cameo, which is a bronzed rose gold. This burgendy/maroony shade is a great autumnal color; it's bold but not statement, and looks great matte or shiny.

Unnecessary Necessities | Tech

3:32 PM

I'm so cool with my paradoxical titles. Today I wanted to talk about those pesky pieces of tech that you just can't seem to live without, although you secretly know you'd be perfectly fine without.

I talked about this in my favorites post a few days ago. Basically, it's an activity tracker. You wear it on your wrist and it tracks how much movement you do, and with that, estimates things like number of steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, etc. It's totally unnecessary, but very cool and motivational. It pushes me to exercise when I can see just how little I work out. It has apps for the iPhone and Android (I have Android) and there's one for PC and Mac too. I blocked out my weight but it goes in the blacked out area.

These days, design-oriented headphones are taking the world by storm. Beats, Frends, etc. Headphones are not only about quality, but also design and appearance. I think these Sol Republic ones are so cool looking. This is a brand that hasn't gotten much publicity like Beats by Dr. Dre, but I think are easily comparable. Michael Phelpes has been seen sporting them, but that's about the only well-known person I've heard of wearing them. They're this ultra cool design where everything is an independent clause, meaning it's highly customizable and replaceable. The sound is nice and bright. Although to be honest, it doesn't sound particularly natural, not like if you were in the studio with the artist. Think more of in the middle of a concert.

This is an app that essentially saves pages for later. It's available on most of the platforms on the market - Apple, Android, and web! If you saw something while browsing your phone and didn't have time to read it, you could save it in Pocket and go back to it later on your phone, computer, or tablet - it even saves stuff offline, which makes it convenient for those on-the-go. I apologize for not having a screenshot, but check it out if it interests you.

This is a brand that makes pocketsized portable speakers that play unreasonably loud for their size. I have the V.1.1. Capsule speaker, but most of them resemble something along the lines of mine (although some don't have a cap like this one) - a plastic spring-like thing that condenses down and locks to save more room. These are really great because the battery lasts forever and there's a great sound quality. The bass booms and the treble is crisp and clear.


Pixi Flawless Vitamin Veil | Review

9:42 PM

Hi, everyone! Today I'm writing a review on a new foundation I've been trying out. Read on to see my thoughts!

What it is: cream-to-powder foundation
Where it is: Target and online
Price: $10 for the mini that I'm reviewing, $24 for the full size
Pixi products are not tested on animals.

Pixi says that this product "miraculously evens out skintone and makes it look like you have no foundation on. It also treats your skin to a host of vitamins, minerals and skin-enhancing goodies. It plumps lines, hydrates, nourishes and protects while perfecting skin. Hypoallergenic. Fragrance free. Suits all skin types." There are three shades available; this is the shade Medium.

The product I have is a mini size that comes in a simple compact with a snap-shut lid. The regular sized product comes in a sizeable compact with a mirror and a drawer with a puff. My mini contains .105 oz of product, or 3 grams.

Pixi claims that this is a "neutral medium tone" but I'd describe it as more of a yellow toned medium. It matches my skin tone perfectly and cancels out redness to a pretty good degree. It offers light/medium buildable coverage. I'm not sure if this is the deal with everybody, but whenever I use a cream product with a brush (rather than a sponge) it just looks patchy and bad. Anyways, I'm sure that you can infer what I'm about to say: when applied with a damp sponge, this looks natural and skin-like, but when applied with a brush, it's visable on the skin. This product is a lot longer lasting than expected. I'd say it starts fading around the 8/9 hour mark on my normal/dry skin. I find that this does set down to a powder finish, but it's not particularly powdery, nor does it help with oiliness, so I'd recommend a setting powder.

Honestly? While this product isn't bad, it's not remarkable in the slightest. Pass.

NYX Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Gold | Review

9:31 PM

Hey guys, I'm really sorry for the inconsistent blogging. I keep forgetting that I do't have anything queued up. Anyways, today I have a review on a liner that I have quite a lot to say about.

What is it: colored liquid liner
Where it is: Ulta and online
Price: $4.50
NYX is proudly cruelty free!

I've seen an image floating around Pinterest for ages now of a girl with black liner with a thin gold line right over it, and recently I started lusting after a gold liner to be able to recreate the look. NYX says, "transform your look in seconds with this super-pigmented eye liner that highlights eyes with an electrifying stroke of color. The fine brush tip allows for precision application, and can be used to create lines of varying thickness. Go subtle or go glam." This product comes in ten shades, ranging from a classic black to an electric blue. The shade I'm reviewing is Extreme Gold.

I am not a fan of the packaging. It comes with a long, thin brush that is floppy and not exactly easy to control. Inexperienced eyeliner folks will not have a fun time with this, but if you know your way around a good liner you'll be okay.The well that the liner comes out of is also much too large, and you're forced to wipe the brush off before application, thus wasting liner. It contains .19 oz of product.

Holy me oh my. This liner is unbelievably pigmented. It is a light, bright gold with an extremely metallic and shiny finish. It's an eye-catching shade that will leave you in awe of how pigmented it is. Wear time is practically infinity. This fool will not come off without a battle. You gotta go down with your cotton swabs and oil and just go to town on your eye getting it off. It's not marketed as waterproof, but oh man oh man this is so waterproof. It's also smudgeproof, budgeproof, and bulletproof. It does take a moment to set, but I think those 20-30 seconds are worth 12+ hours of perfect liner.

Recently Loving #8

3:10 PM

I've not written a favorites post in quite some time. I tend to use the same products over and over again, in case you haven't noticed, haha. Hence, I don't discover a lot of new loves. However, I've got a few things to talk about today so let's dive into it!

Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Pressed Powder
Now that it's summer and I'm so shiny you could see my reflection in my forehead, I've been really appreciating a lightweight powder. It covers up the shine but let's my skin breathe. I've written a review here. I love tossing this into my purse with my EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush for applying on the go.

Real Techniques Starter Set
I picked up this set a few days and I have to say, I'm really impressed. The only brush that I'm not obsessed with is the Fine Liner Brush, but that's mostly because I prefer using an angled brush for eyeliner application. However, these are high-quality, soft and fluffy. They wash and dry so well. My favorite is the Base Shadow Brush. I also really like the Accent Brush. The case that it came with is also really cool.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
I have a teeny tiny size of this that I got in the Beauty Blogger Darlings kit at Sephora. I've not tried many eyeshadow primers, but two of the best did absolutely nothing on me so I gave up a little bit, but this is phenomenal. It has no effect on intensifying or length of eyeshadow, but it prevents creasing like something special. You could probably power a motorcycle with all the oil from my eyelids. However, with this primer, my eyeshadow stays crease free and looking fine all day.

e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium
I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I do, but the gel is just a perfect color match for me! This ashy dark brown is a perfect brow color for me, since I have black hair with a hint of brown. The gel is easy to use, lasts up well under sweaty runs and humid days, and looks so damn good.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo
This lip product has made many appearances on my blog. It's a dark plummy-pink that is bold without being very attention grabbing. Hard to explain, but basically it makes your lips look plump and full and the color is gaaaaawgous.

NYX Gel Liner and Smudger
I just wrote a review about this yesterday, so I'm gonna keep this short and sweet. Super pigmented. Stays put. Application is smooth and creamy.

I tried Spotify when it was brand new a few years ago and I think it was only a premium feature then or something; either way, I didn't have a good impression and stuck with Pandora, but I've fallen just head over heels in love with Spotify. It's like YouTube specifically for music. There are playlists for every occasion and every artist imaginable.

Orange is the New Black
This show is ridiculously amazing. It's about a relatable character, Piper, who goes to a women's prison for drug trafficking from her past and has to survive. I started three days ago and I finished the whole show. Granted, it's only two seasons, but all I did for three days was hunker down and watch.

Bates Motel
If you've ever seen Psycho, this is supposed to be a prologue, but in modern times. It's about Norma and Norman Bates living in an insane town with insane people. There's good screenwork and decent acting/writing. I recommend you check it out.

Fitbit Flex
I got this a few days ago, and it is so mofoking cool. There are tons of these activity trackers on the market, but I saw this at Costco with some extra bands and figured "hey, steal!" and picked it up. Basically you wear it on your wrist and it tracks your movement. Think a glorified pedometer, but with a less condescending implication. You set a goal online or in the free app, and it tells you when you've reached it. I definitely recommend to anyone looking for a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Thirty Seconds to Mars
I watched Mr. Nobody the other week, a sci-fi film starring TSTM's lead singer Jared Leto and immediately developed a crush on him. That led to binge listening to the band, who I'd of course heard of but never really listened to the music. I don't have a definite taste in music, so I can't really tell you what kind of people would like this, but it's alternative pop/rock style music. Excellent songs will excellent instrumentation.

NYX Gel Liner and Smudger | Review

7:59 PM

Hey guys, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts lately. I've been writing too many essays for schools and just the thought of writing something else exhausts me.

What it is: Gel eyeliner
Where it is: online and Ulta stores
Price: $8.99
NYX is proudly cruelty free!

NYX says that this "ultra-smooth formula is both extremely precise and easily blendable. Perfect for a bold cat-eye or a sultry smokey look." There are five shades available; I have the black shade, which is called Betty. 

This product has very simple packaging. It's in a small, glass jar with a plastic lid. I always wonder why lids are plastic and jars are glass. Does it preserve the product better or something? Anyways, while this lid shuts securely, it's recommended that you store it upside down to keep air from getting in and drying out the product. This liner contains .11 oz (3 grams) of liner. That's about $90 per oz. For reference, MAC Fluidline contains the same amount and retails for $16, making it $160 per oz.

This liner is as black as my soul. It's a deeply pigmented, true black with a matte finish. While this sets down to a matte finish quickly, the product is super duper creamy. The texture is much more like a cream than a gel. When dipping the brush into the pot, it's almost like dipping it into Cool Whip. It applies easily and smoothly without dragging. While this liner doesn't smudge or fade or flake off on its own, it's not waterproof and will smudge when it comes in contact with tears. All in all, I really do recommend this, but if you have eyes that tear up easily like yours truly, you might want to keep your eyes dry.

Thanks for reading!

Mini Haul

3:44 PM

I popped on into some stores today and bought a few products I've been lusting over! The Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush is such a cool concept and I'm very impressed with it. The nib is flexible and makes for great lining. The NYX Gel Liner and Smudger is my first proper gel eyeliner and I'm really excited to test and review this. Same with the NYX Studio Liquid Eyeliner in Extreme Gold! I've been eyeing up the Pixi Flawless Vitamin Veil Foundation in Medium for a while now and finally decided to pick it up. I've used all of these and have a lot to say so look forward to reviews!


Sephora Cream Lip Stain | Review

4:58 PM

I accidentally went an entire week without posting anything. I took all the pictures and everything but I guess forgot to upload them to the posts and didn't queue them. Ah, sorry about that. I don't even do much during the day - I go to work for the morning and then spend the rest of the die lying in bed with my computer resting on my boobs. I like to refer to it as "the Tumblr position."

What it is: a liquid lipstick that leaves a stain
Where: Sephora stores and online
Price: $13
Sephora is not a cruelty free brand. I am disappointed.

Sephora says that "this high-coverage lip product features avocado oil for a texture that transforms as you wear it: when applied, the initial cream texture becomes a silky, lightweight stain. Lips achieve stunning color and feel soft and comfortable." There are ten shades available, and about half of them have matte finishes. The one I'm reviewing is #3, Strawberry Kisses.

This liquid lipstick is packaged in a slim tube that contains .169 oz (about 4.7 grams) of product. It has a doe foot applicator, which is on the thinner side. I've noticed that lately brands have been opting for wider, paddle shaped doe feet. This doe foot applicator is great for precise application however, and I find it really easy to work with. It does tend to pick up a bit too much product and needs to be wiped off, but I'm okay with that.

Strawberry Kisses is a beautiful pinky-red. I'd call it an electric dark pink, if that makes sense. It's a really pretty color and flatters my skin, although I thought it might be too pink for it it looks great. This is available in a great variety of shades; there are classic reds and nudes, and also purpley mauves. The cream is very creamy and soft, and sets down to a matte finish almost immediately. It is suuuuuper pigmented. The swatch was one swipe with very little product on the doe-foot. Honestly, when I wear this I usually only use the tiny drop of product that I wipe off of the applicator.

I wanted to talk about how comfortable this is to wear. Obviously, as a long-wear matte color this isn't going to be hydrating, but it doesn't make your lips look flaky and dry like the NYX ones do. It won't emphasize any dryness on the lips, nor does it hydrate. I find that this is pretty comfortable to wear on the lips, although you can definitely feel that you have lipstick on. I actually noticed towards the end that my lips feel a little tacky, but nothing some blotting can't fix. As of the lip stain claim? That's bullshit. It's simply a super pigmented liquid lipstick.

Freshly applied.

Four hours and a nap later.

This is my 4 hour wear test. On a regular day I would've worn it for longer, but I was feeling grubby and wanted to wash my face. It doesn't even look like these pictures were taken at two different times. I did notice some bleeding on the bottom lip, but this could be stopped with the use of a lip liner. I didn't eat anything during this, but I was constantly drinking water. Although I didn't leave any lipstick prints on my water bottle, I did smooch the back of my hand and saw that it left a lipstick imprint. Interesting.

Would I recommend this? Well, yes - but to be honest these aren't that much better than the $6 (and with more product) NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. If you have a bit more cash to spend definitely consider getting these, but in all fairness they're quite similar to the drugstore brand's.

e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit | Review

6:30 AM

Hey, everyone. How are you today? I'm okay, I've been watching lots of Community lately and I'm very depressed that it's been canceled. I'm hoping Hulu will pick it up as a Hulu exclusive, but that may not happen. UPDATE: YAHOO HAS PICKED IT UP! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

What it is: an eyebrow gel/powder duo
Where: Target stores and other places that sell e.l.f. products, and online
Price: $3
e.l.f. is proudly cruelty free!

I've actually never tried anything from this budget brand before, other than a few brushes. Not for any particular reason; just never got around to it. However, I've been itching for a new brow product and decided on this over the $32 Benefit BrowZing.

e.l.f. says you can "create brows that are fuller, thicker, and more defined! The pigmented wax defines and shapes brows and the color complementing setting powder keeps them looking arched and perfected. The doubled sided taklon brush has one side to help arch your brows while the other side aids in filling them in. This duo provides lasting color definition for a naturally beautiful look." This product comes in four shades, I'm reviewing Medium.

The packaging for this is quite NARS-esque. The e.l.f. studio line seems to copy the NARSpackaging, expect instead of the grippy material NARS compacts are made of, these are made of a matte plastic. There's a little window to let you see the product shade, which would be handy if you have multiple. The top flips over 180 degrees, which makes me very happy. There is a small but usable mirror included, and a little double sided applicator that is usable but pretty flimsy and crappy. I quite like the packaging; it's very sleek. The gel contains .0042 oz (1.2 grams) of product while the powder contains .0081 (2.3 grams). I'm a bit afraid I'll go through the gel very quickly; dipping the brush in for the very first swatch already left a pretty sizable dent. However I find that the gel isn't a very soft gel; it's a denser gel and I have to work my brush in a bit to get some product.

Let's talk shades. The gel is a darker shade than the powder, which is the case will all the shades available. The idea is that the brow gel is the one that shapes your brows and the powder just sets the gel and gives it a natural look. I get that reasoning, but the colors don't quite correspond with this one. The gel is a nice cool toned dark brown; the color is pretty much spot on with the powder that I currently use for my brows. The included powder, however, is a smiiiidge too warm. I feel that this powder would be better in a shade made for people with red hair. It doesn't go well with the gel. I have what I like to call soft black hair, which is really just black hair that looks brown in certain lights. Because of this, I don't like to use gray eyebrow products or brown ones, but rather cool-toned browns are my favorite. I think the gel in Medium would be good for people with similar hair colors; as you can see from the picture it's a pretty good color match.

I with that the gel would last a little bit longer. Alone, it lasts perhaps 6-7 hours, but when powdered/penciled and set with gel, it will last all day. It's not a big problem for me personally since I always set my brows with gel before leaving the house, but I'd imagine this to be a nuisance for others.

Overall? I'm pleasantly surprised. I know e.l.f. can be a huge hit or miss brand, and while this product isn't ahmaaaaaazing it's enjoyable to use and is pretty much a hit (:


What's in my Makeup Bag? | Everyday Makeup #3

12:46 PM

Taking this picture took nine years. After I got all my products all sorted out neatly, I put my foot on the table (I was standing on a chair) for stability and all the round products rolled out off place. It was irritating.

Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer | NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Gleam | NYX HD Photogenic Concealer in Medium | Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Pressed Powder | e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium | Sonia Kashuk Brow Definer in Haze | No7 Lash & Brow Perfector | Pixi Extra Eye Bright Liner | Sonia Kashuk Pearlescence Cream Shadow in Moonstone | Boots Botanics Eyeshadow Quad in 30 Golden Brown | NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skintone | NYX Slide On Liner in Brown Perfection | Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighting Stick in Shimmering Sands | Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush in Blossom | NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo | Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Strawberry Kisses | NYX Butter Lipstick in Little Suzie

I'm not the biggest fan of wearing bases. I have a fear of transferring products, and in my mind foundations are always associated with transferring. However, I do like to go through all my products and since I work in an air conditioned building, I'm okay with wearing a base product. Right now I'm mixing a tinted moisturizer and a liquid highlighter together to create a lit-from-within glow. I like the naturally radiant finish that these two products give together. Since there's barely any coverage, I also like to go in with concealer around my nose, chin, and undereyes. I then set everything with a weightless powder.

I always try to get my brows done as quickly as possible, so if I'm not wearing any foundation or TM I go straight to brows. I always fear I'm running out of time and brows are most important to me. Anyways, using an angled liner brush I'll sculpt out the arch and underside with a tinted brow gel and then fill in the rest with a pencil. Before applying brow gel to set them in I will highlight with a pinky-nude shade, right under the arch, and then gel them in. 

Now that my eyebrows are sorted out, I can relax and move onto the eyes. These days I either do nothing or do it all. When I'm doing it all I prep by putting an eye base on the corners of my eyes, as the NYX one tends to crease with oil but prevents product from settling into corners. Then I like to pop Moonstone, which is an icy taupe, all over the lids. Then I like to run the shimmery brown from the quad on my lashlines. Then, I like to highlight the inner corners with the  bottom left shade. I then draw on a kitten eye (baby cat eye liner, get it?)  with a brown eyeliner. And there are eyes finished.

We're almost at the end. Stick with me! I like to highlight first; I'm not sure why. But I swipe onto the high points of my cheekbones, a little bit on the nose bridge, and a dab on the Cupid's Bow and blend out with my finger. After that I like to pop on a bit of blush just for a little bit of color. 

And finally, lipstick. Depending on what I'm doing and how long I'll be doing it, I'll pick a shade from one of the lovely three colors I use. 

Thanks for sticking with it, that was quite a bit haha. Have a good day!

Winged Liner Tips

10:43 AM

I don't know what happened. One day I was almost an expert at winger liner, and the next that expertise was just... gone. I'm relearning the do's and don'ts of winged liner and I thought I'd share some tips that I've picked up both times around.

  • Practice makes perfect. Seriously. No videos or blogposts or tutorials can be perfectly tailored to you, as your eyes won't be the same shape and dimension as the person making the video. You could even get a cheap liner (maybe the $1 e.l.f. one) just for practicing with!
  • Variance helps. You might think winger liner looks terrible on you, but trust me - winged liner looks great on everybody. You just have to get your shape right. Do you want a sharper angle? A longer wing? Thicker? Thinner? Try out a bunch of shapes, angles, thicknesses, etc. You won't know what looks great until you try it.
  • Powder beforehand - if you want. I find that it really helps to take some eyeshadow and an angled brush and stamp out the shape of the wing before you fill it in. It's not only significantly easier, but much more forgiving because you can go and redo the stamped shape easily.
  • Try different liner types. Winged liner can be done with pencil, powder, and gel along with liquid, don't forget that. Not to mention the different types of liquid - felt tip, brush tip, etc. Give them all a try and see what you're most comfortable with!
  • Winged liner can be a statement or a staple, depending on how you do the rest of your makeup. 
  • Keep some eye cream and cotton swabs around. If you make a mistake, dab a bit of eye cream onto the sore spot and gently rub away with a cotton swab. This is much gentler than a makeup remover and don't disturb the rest of your makeup.


Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Pressed Powder | Review

11:02 AM

I write too many reviews on Sonia Kashuk products. What can I say? I just adore the line. I'm not sponsored by the brand in any way; the company probably isn't even aware of my existence. This product came out in the Spring 2014 line (which was launched fairly recently actually, in early May if my memory renders me correct).

What it is: pressed powder
Where: Target stores and the Target website
Price: $9.99
This brand is cruelty free!

I have dry skin that gets shiny. It's not oil, it's just shine. Sometimes I get confused and annoyed at this because without a powder there's no real way to get rid of this, as I can't blot it away because there's no oil. Because my skin is on the drier side, I'd never really felt the need to powder. But now that it's summer and I'm sweating all over the place the shine is more and more apparent, so I picked up this powder.

Sonia Kashuk says that "this weightless formula glides on effortlessly; delivering even coverage while a soft focus complex reflects light to minimize skin imperfections. This formula also contains a natural polymer that helps to regulate sebum production for a shine free, flawless complexion. Powder puff included for on the go application." This product contains .17 oz (5 g) of product and only comes in one translucent shade.

The packaging is nice and sleek. It comes in a matte black flip-top compact that has a magnetic closure and two levels, one for the product and one for the included brush. There is a decent sized mirror inside. The included brush? Thin. Flimsy. Weak. Very soft. Much like my biceps, or lack thereof. It's much too flimsy to be of much use. I don't think the mirror flips out far enough, but to be honest this is because the mirror I use for my makeup application used to be a powder compact and the mirror flips out to 180 degrees. This one flips out to maybe 150. Totally eyeballing it, but you can tell from the picture that it doesn't go out entirely.

In the pan, this powder appears a little peachy. This initial color sheers out to translucence when it is applied and blended out, so this powder would be suitable for all skintones. While it doesn't cover shininess entirely, it takes out enough to make your skin look semi-matte, and rather natural. I find that some powders are so mattifying that your skin doesn't look like skin. This matteness doesn't stay all day, but it lasts for a good three/four hours. I would recommend carrying it around to touch up with if you usually do something like that.

As you can see from my powder, it looks a little worse for the wear. I have like, a film over the product. Sometimes powder products (eyeshadows, face powders, etc) can tend to have some sort of film over the product, and that film prevents you from getting annnyyyyyy product. I scratched it off. As you can see, where the product isn't scratched there's no product on my finger but where it is there is. However, the film seems to refilm over the scratched off product after a few days and I have to scratch off another layer. I'm very annoyed by this. I might just crush it into a loose powder. When it works, this powder claims to be weightless and weightless it is. There's zero cakiness, no powdery face, nothing. It just seems like skin.

Overall, totally conflicted. I would be in love with this if there wasn't the issue of the film. That pisses me off to no end. This is the first SK product I've had any sort of beef with, and honestly I wasn't expecting to ever encounter this magic crappy SK product.

Please, please, please wash your brushes

10:53 AM

A blogger once posted that she didn't wash her brushes. When they got too grubby to use she just tossed them and bought some more. That makes me cringe to my very soul. The price of the brush is irrelevant; if it's a good quality brush and you take care of it, that brush can last you many many years. Using dirty brushes can make you makeup look runny and awkward, can make you break out, and is just plain nasty. When you wash your brushes you're removing old dirty makeup, skin cells that have settled, and bacteria that can grow on your brush. Robyn posted a study of what grows on unwashed makeup brushes here, if you don't believe that bacteria shit.

I wash my brushes once a week. It's important that you do the same, even if you use it once during the week and it's barely dirty. After every use I run the brush over a baby wipe to get off any of the gunk that I can. 

Please, for the love of god, wash your brushes. You can save money and your skin. 

On a much lighter note, if you've ever heard the song December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) by Frankie Valiie and the Four Seasons, my middle school band teacher is the guy playing drums and singing main vocals. I work with him at a music camp. We tease him endlessly about it, although it's pretty awesome. He's a fantastic drummer. You can watch him singing here.

Out With The Old | #4

7:12 PM

I'm back today with another OWTO/Empties post! I finished my last exam on Thursday so I should have a lot more time open to relaxing, watching tv, and blogging (:

Bath & Body Works Volumizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner in the Warm Vanilla Sugar scent
Neither of these did anything except smell good. Oh my god, they smelled fantastic. However, they just weren't good as hair products and it's no use keeping them around, as I don't even use them.

After faithfully using an entire big bottle of this through and through, I have deemed this... useless. On me. I think this, while also claims to be good for scars and dark spots, is mainly targeted for developing stretch marks. Mine have been in place for years, as have my dark spots, so this might not be the thing for me. I wasn't a big fan of the scent and it was a very oily oil, if you catch my drift. I will not be repurchasing.

Nivea Soft
I'm sad to see this go. I actually really enjoyed this product, despite all the nasties and animal testing involved. This is a lightweight moisturizer that is great for the body and the face, but it contains a lot of mineral oil and alcohol denat, along with petrolatum. I would recommend for those who don't mind these things, but I will not be repurchasing.

Yes to Cucumbers Calming Facial Mask
Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope. This stuff? Sensitive, my ass. It burned my skin and did nothing. It smelled waaaay too strongly of cucumber. The product hardened and dried up in the pot a few months after its first use. A lot of other people are reporting the same issues. I do not recommend and will not be repurchasing.

No7 Rapid Spot Rescue
At first I really liked this product and while it is good at reducing whiteheads and spots that have risen to the surface of the skin super fast, it's no good for blackhead and deep under-the-skin spots, which are what I suffer from. It's good for a pinch, but not for the long run. If that's what you're looking for, definitely look into this. I, however, will not be repurchasing.

Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Age Defying Hand Remedy
This is a lovely hand cream with a lovely scent and a nice formula. However, the packaging leaked and I just couldn't bring myself to keep it around when every time I used it it oozed out way too much product. I could've just squeezed it out into a tub, but there's not much left and I've got a billion other creams to work through. Will not be repurchasing, although there's absolutely nothing wrong.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick
Blech. I got this after seeing how much the potted and famous Reve De Miel Lip Balm costs, expecting it to be good. Eh, that's all I have to say. This doesn't moisturize at all. I think it's good as a protective layer over a moisturizing balm, like for those who like to run in the winter. However, as a lip balm on its own (which is the intended purpose), it's next to useless. The balmy feeling leaves the lips after just moments and I don't like the lemony/honey scent. Will not be repurchasing.

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips for Green Eyes
These are wonderful eyeshadows, pigmented and soft, but they just don't compliment my eye color and I've had this around for several years and have never worn it out. I recommend and will probably repurchase eventually in a shade that's good for me.

Bath & Body Works Sea Island Cotton Hand Cream
I loved this hand cream, sigh. It smelled so damn good! It sunk in super fast and was deeply moisturizing and especially good for elbows. While this is an excellent hand cream, I will not be repurchasing purely because there are plenty others.

3!!! Eyelash curlers (one NYC, one F21, one generic)
None of these were good for my eye shape. Just no use keeping them around.

Essie All in One 3-Way Glaze, Sephora Nail Polish in Teeny Bikini, Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Rosy Pink
These nail polishes are all almost empty and goopy and gross now. There's just no reason for keeping them.

Thanks for reading! What have you finished up recently?

[My] Summer Red

1:21 PM

Last week Alix put up a post on the perfect summer red lip color. It's been on my mind literally day and night since then, and today I made a quick stop to Sephora and picked up one of their Cream Lip Stains, available in 9 colors and retail for $13. The shade the immediately caught my eye was 03, Strawberry Kisses, a "matte bright pinky red." My boyfriend thought it was a really nice shade as well. This is a lovely pop of a summer filled shade of red that wears well and comfortably. I highly recommend you pop into your local Sephora and pick up this shade. 

(A proper review of this product will be up after I test it thoroughly. Stay tuned!)

By the way, have you been watching the World Cup? Who are you rooting for? I originally thought Croatia was going to beat Brazil out, but that didn't turn out....


Influenster Vow BoxBox | 2014

6:27 PM

I don't know why I got this particular box. I signed up for the graduation box, but all's well (: This is the first one of these boxes I have ever gotten and I was so excited that I cheated and looked at the products right when I found out I'd be receiving this box. This one is designed for those who are going to be at a wedding soon, but I think these products are pretty versatile, haha. Terribly sorry for the crap phone photo - y'all know I usually only stand for high quality shots.

Olay Regenerist Tone Perfect Cream | EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge Sensitive Version | Pure Silk Shave Cream | Tide-To-Go | Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda | Riley and Grey Coupon

Olay Regenerist Tone Perfect Cream
I would've been so excited to receive this had Olay not tested on animals. I don't use any products that are, so I'll probably pass this onto my mom or a friend.
"Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream is a lightly-scented, fast-absorbing moisturizer that hydrates your skin. Over 8 weeks, its formula with a brightening complex fades the look of dark spots, age spots, sun spots and discoloration – evening your overall skin tone. Simply massage the moisturizing cream into your skin each morning before applying make-up and at night after cleansing.Experience bright, beautiful, healthy-looking skin every day with Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream. 
  • Hydrates skin quickly and, over time, evens overall skin tone appearance as a part of your daily routine. 
  • Reveals bright, beautiful and healthy-looking skin. 
  • Fades the look of dark spots, age spots, sun spots and discoloration in just 8 weeks. 
  • Lightly-scented, fast-absorbing and non-greasy. 
  • Formulated with advanced ingredients that penetrate deep into your skin's surface to help re-energize skin’s appearance." 

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge Sensitive
I've actually been thinking about getting this for a while now. Right now I'm using a cream and oil cleanser, and I have a feeling this is targeted for foaming cleansers, so I'll save this until I can get a foaming one. Until then, I look forward to this product!

"The new, unique Pure Complexion Facial Sponge is handmade with 100 percent natural ingredients, including Konjac vegetable fiber, for a better clean that reveals smooth, refreshed skin. It is dermatologist tested for use both morning and night to wash away dirt, oil and makeup, leaving skin glowing without over-drying or causing redness."

Pure Silk Shave Cream
I usually use coconut oil to shave my legs but it's quite a hassle so I'll try this out and see how it is! 
"Pure Silk moisturizing Shave Cream is available in a variety of deliciously scented fragrances. It's rich lather contains added aloe and moisturizers that help give you the smoothest most touchable legs without irritation. Pure Silk Shave cream, for legs like Pure Silk."

I mess things up. I spill things. I ruin my clothes in the laundry with mysterious stains. This will be helpful.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda
I actually have a couple of these and while the colors are incredible, they never really dry to a hard finish and are easy to dent and ruin. I'll try this one out and see if I like it but if I don't I'll pass it on.

"Skip the salon, get the results. Don't settle for just color when you can get a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, salon-inspired color, top coat, chip-resistance and a gel finish all in 1 bottle. Featuring the unique precision brush for a flawless finish and patented Vita Care technology for advanced 10 day wear, more shine and nourishing care. Choose from 56 gorgeous shades."

Overall, this box was not for me, but not because there was anything wrong with it, I just wasn't excited to receive these products. I think lots would definitely enjoy it, but not I. I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skintone | Review

4:35 PM

I realized that I haven't had a blog post up in a while. For some reason I thought I had queued a bunch of posts, but I was sorely mistaken. Anyways, look forward to a few posts coming your way soon. Today's is on the NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skintone.

What it is: an cream eyeshadow primer
Where: Ulta, Target, select CVS stores, and online
Price: $7
NYX is cruelty free! 

I was hoping this product would be similar to a MAC Paint Pot, something you apply either alone to cancel out redness or underneath product to make it stand out more. NYX says to "maximize the intensity, longevity and brilliance of your eye shadow statements with our eye shadow primer pots. Each of the three NYX Eye Shadow Bases—for vibrant, pearl or neutral tones—creates a smooth canvas for color, increases its durability and prevents fallout." There are three shades available, a white, a shimmery white, and this one, Skintone.

The packaging is typical for a cream eye product, albeit a little bland. The product comes in a plastic jar with a white twist off cap and contains .25 oz, or 7 grams of product. This is a unhygenic but totally normal for a cream product.

The color of this is definitely visible on the eye. It's a super warmtoned (almost orangy) medium skintone. Those with medium to medium-light complexions could definitely pull this off alone but if you have a very fair or dark skintone someone will be able to see the product.

This is so creamy it's ridiculous. It's easy to smooth and blend out over the eye and definitely makes colors pop, but the downside is that it tends to crease when you use even the smallest bit too much. There's a weird algorithm for applying this; I find going in two thin layers is best as it won't crease but is enough to make the colors pop. I think this base is great for holding shadow on the lids longer and I've heard good things about the other two colors making bright shades pop, but for those looking to prevent creasing this is definitely not it.

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Hi there, I'm Emily. It's nice to meet you. I'm a beauty blogger who also happens to be very interested in photography/film. Chat with me, let's be friends!