Monday, September 15, 2014

Fizzies & Little Susie Butter Lipsticks by NYX Cosmetics

Little Susie
My foray into NYX Cosmetics territory continues to go well, this time with the Butter lipsticks Fizzies and Little Susie.  Per usual, I gravitated toward medium bright pinks/coral pinks, and these two are similar but not quite the same in color.  The hazards of shopping online, I gues
First of all, I love that the tubes match the lipstick and that there is a small clear area that lets you see the color without taking the cap off.  Mine came sealed, but that's a nice feature when shopping in store.  On the downside, I could see the tops coming off easily in your purse, as they do not "click" into place. 
Fizzies leans slightly more coral than Little Susie, although it still resides firmly in pink territory.  I bought so many lip products in this shade this spring/summer, that it's getting a bit ridiculous.  I really need to branch out.
Little Susie
Little Susie is a vibrant fuschia pink (I blotted my lips to tone down the color a bit).   Both have good pigmentation, a nice glossy finish, and feel lightweight and comfortable on.  There is quite a bit of slip with these, which means a shorter wear time of about 2-3 hours.  Also, I found exfoliating my lips well before applying was important, otherwise skin nubbies were rather obvious.  I'd consider getting more of these, especially considering their $6 price tag.  With 25 shades, I should be able to branch out a bit color wise.

Friday, September 12, 2014

NOTD: Do You Have Have this Color in Stock-holm? from the Little Northies OPI Set

Little Northies is the mini-polish set from the OPI Nordic collection.  I love mini-polishes and prefer them to full-sized polishes, so if the colors are even semi-appealing I usually pick them up when OPI releases a new collection.  Fortunately, all of these appeal to me!
There is a nice mixture of bright, bold, neutral, and glitter in this set, and I can't say I've got anything quite like the vivid blue/purple of Do You Have this Color in Stock-holm?  So of course that was my first manicure color pick from this set, with the retro 1950's kitchen appliance green of My Dogsled is a Hybrid on my toes.  The formula on both was good, although two coats were a must for both.
I used My Voice is a Little Norse as an accent on my ring finger and quite liked how it turned out.  Just enough bling to catch your eye but not enough to overwhelm.  I'm going on day 7 of wear with no chips and some tip wear, most impressive!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apricot Powder Blush by NYX

Having heard pretty good things about NYX powder blushes, I decided to try out a couple.  Of course I veer towards warm peach, coral, and pink colors, so I chose Apricot and Rose Garden as the ones to introduce me to the line.  Today I've got Apricot to show you.
To begin with, I like how these look with their quilted/raised squares.  The compacts are a bit bulky but look nice and feel sturdy enough.  Another plus is the cruelty free status of NYX, although there's been a bit of confusion on if they will remain cruelty free since they were acquired by L'oreal for a reported $500m+ in June.  There is a part of me that feels a bit sad when smaller companies are gobbled up by the big guys, but I guess that's how it goes.
Quality wise, Apricot is quite nice!  Pigmentation is about average, but color builds easily and never looks powdery or cakey.  Apricot will probably work best on light to medium complexions, and I think it's a great every day blush for those who like warm tones.  I like that there is no obvious sparkle yet it's not flat or chalky looking at all. 
At about $6 each and with frequent BOGO offers at Ulta, definitely a great bargain blush option!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Creamy Beige Leather Color Tattoo 24/7 by Maybelline: Love!

My love for Maybelline's Color Tattoo 24/7 cream eyeshadows is no secret, and Creamy Beige from the recent Leather collection is taking a place of honor.  Here's why:
It's a fantastic base shadow and all around work horse.  While it may look "blah" in the pot, neutrals like Creamy Beige are great building blocks for creating long wearing looks that vary from everyday work looks to complex stunners. 
An added plus, Creamy Beige features the formula that elevates the better Color Tattoo cream shadows.  Not all have had it, with a few that were noticeably more slippery and hard to achieve smooth color, but not this one.  Factor in Creamy Beige's subtle shimmer that keeps the color from falling flat, and I'm in love.
I'll go ahead and say it:  if I had to chose just one Color Tattoo shade to keep, Creamy Beige would be it.  I could wear this alone with mascara and face the day.  So glad they added this one to the permanent line of colors! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baby Boo Cheek & Lip Gel Stain by Vincent Longo

Baby Boo is a lovely rose red/pink gel stain that gives your lips or cheeks a realistic looking flush of color.  I've been really impressed with the entire color line of Vincent Longo gel stains, as they really do work well as both a cheek or a lip stain, which is not always the case with items purporting to be multi-taskers. 

I put a few dots on my cheek and then blend out with my regular blush brush.  I haven't had any issues with the gel disrupting my foundation, and I get all day (8-9 hours) wear with these. 
For lips, I exfoliate first, apply the gel with the applicator, let dry, and then reapply again.  Top with a clear balm and you're good to go.
Available in 7 different shades ($24), Baby Boo is one that I gravitate towards on a regular basis.  The gel stains were recently reformulated and are now gluten and paraben free.  Good stuff!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Current Skin Care Boosters I'm Using: Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish and Bright White Mask

If you are looking for a gentle exfoliant with natural ingredients, Boscia's Smoothing Facial Polish might be a good contender.  There's a whole slew of good for your skin ingredients in this baby, with no scratchy granules in sight.
Instead of sand like granules, I'd describe the little bits in this scrub as more cooked oatmeal like in a lightly lathering formula.  In fact, I was a bit skeptical initially due to the lack of scrubbing granules that I normally associate with facial exfoliators, but my skin feels soft, clean, cooled (yes, cooled), and refreshed after I use the Smoothing Facial Polish.  This is currently on sale for half off ($12.50) at Boscia.com, and I think it's well worth it!
I follow up the Smoothing Facial Polish with Boscia's Bright White Mask ($38), an antiaging mask designed to brighten, hydrate, and smooth the look of skin.  According to Sephora, these are some of the ingredients that help do that:
  • Sea Fern Algae: Helps in suppressing the synthesis of melanin and reduces the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation. 
  • Stay C-50: Brightens the skin, supports the natural production of collagen, helps in suppressing melanin production, and repairs the appearance of skin damage caused by UV radiation.
  • Matrixyl 3000: A peptide blend that fights the appearance of wrinkles and makes skin look more lifted. 
  • Salicornia: Hydrates and limits water loss.
It is indeed bright white, and has the added bonus of being a peel off mask.  I learned the hard way that a thin layer of the mask is almost impossible to peel off, so a thick layer is definitely the way to go.  Even then, it's a rather time consuming process as the mask peels off in smallish bits, so think "leisurely" when using this.
The peel is strong enough to remove small facial hairs, but not strong enough to extract blackheads (more's the pity, that would have been awesome).  Still, my skin looks smaller pored and smooth after I use this, without a doubt.  I've been using the scrub and mask together about once a week as a booster to my regular skincare regime, to good effect.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Empties! Products I Used Up in August

I used up more than a few skincare items that I've been using for a long, long time.  There is something quite satisfying about that - plus it frees up spots for items that I've been itching to dive into.  I'm also happy to report that there really wasn't any duds in this group of used up items. 
I've even been searching for a comparable replacement for the Shea Sugar Scrub cubes I picked up on my trip to Albuquerque, NM last October, to no great success thus far.  These are the perfect consistency for pinching off a smaller portion if you want to just wash your hands, or using whole in the shower to scrub legs and arms.  The scent was fantastic as well.  Sadly, they seem to only be made/sold in Albuquerque.  I went on Etsy in quest of a similar item, but the ones I bought are much harder and more like a soap with sugar granules in it and not near as moisturizing. 
The Shea Terra Rose Hips Black Soap was part of a set I got from Birchbox.  Billed as anti-acne and deep pore cleansing, it's not something I recommend for sensitive skin, but did work well with my oily skin.  Shea Terra has several different formulations of African black soap and I've enjoyed everything I've tried from them so far.  Good stuff!
Lancome's DreamTone 1 (review here) is not something I would have sought out on my own due to price ($98) and a bit of skepticism at I consider to be overpriced department store brand skincare.  However, I had the opportunity to try it for free thanks to a Lancome sponsored program via SheSpeaks.  In general, I liked it - but almost a $100 is a LOT of money.  On the plus side, it lasted a long time and was a good day time treatment that smoothed out my skin nicely in preparation for foundation.  On the negative side, the price, obviously.  In that price range, I'd probably go with Miracle 10's retinol serums instead ($82-$87).  If you don't want to spend that much, I think Neutrogena's Rapid Repair serum ($21) is quite good.
Origin's A Perfect World SPF25 (review here) works really well with my oily skin, and is probably one of the few moisturizing sunscreens I like.  Period.  I would repurchase, although I'd wait for a good GWP offer as it's a bit pricey at $39.50.
I'm a fan of Clinique mascaras, and the Lash Doubling version (review here) is a good everyday mascara that is fuss free.  Good stuff.
The Amika dry shampoo was nice, but something in me won't pay over $10 for a dry shampoo.  My favorite is Pssssst!, which fortunately both smells good and is inexpensive.  Best of both worlds. 
I also finished two foils and a package of inexpensive facial wipes that I quite liked, will look for those again.  Now, on to September!