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Friday, April 17, 2015

Sunlit Palm Quick Eyes Cream Shadow by Clinique

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Sunlit Palm by Clinique is a discontinued product, so why am I showing it to you?  Well, because I love this shade of green and finding a good cream shadow in this color has proven somewhat elusive.
And just look at the color and complexity of shimmer in Sunlit Palm! 
I apply initially with the applicator and then use a brush to blend out (fingers work as well).  Over primer I get a good 8 hours of wear before I notice fading, which is pretty good for me. 
Sunlit Palm can be worn opaque or sheered out, as shown below. 
Or built up in thin layers as worn here:
Sunlit Palm as base with RBR's Olive Violetear in crease
I purchased Sunlit Palm at allcosmeticswholesale.com when they were having a 40% off sale items discount (making it about $5), something they do periodically.  You can sign up for email to alert you to these sales.  I've seen some discussion online regarding if the products at allcosmeticswholesale.com are legit (those discussions typically revolve around Mac products, which I've never purchased), and all I can say is the brands I've purchased have been. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Natural Passion Pop of Passion Blush Balm by bareMinerals

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
bareMinerals released 3 limited edition cream blushes, or blush balms as they are calling them, for Spring 2015.  They are supposed to be lightweight, buildable, and skin nourishing with a blend of passion fruit seed oil with vitamin E.
Natural Passion ($22) is described as a sunwashed-rose, and was the more muted shade among the 3 blushes.  It is indeed a subtle and natural looking blush that blends well over cream/liquid foundations, which is what I primarily wear.  While fingers work for application, I prefer using a small but dense brush to build up and smooth out the color. 
The glow or sheen provided by the blush comes from the balminess of the formula.  This is not a cream to powder formula, as Castor Seed Oil is high in the list of ingredients.  However, it's creamy as opposed to greasy, and I say that as someone with oily skin. 
I've got a weakness for cream blushes, and this is a nice one.  I like that bareMinerals continues to experiment with new formulas, as I don't remember them having a cream blush before.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring 2015 FabFitFun Box

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I've treated myself to a year's subscription of the FabFitFun subscription service, and was quite curious to see if I'd regret this impulse buy or not.  The Spring box did feature several spoilers, including a choice between the two scarf designs offered, so I wasn't going into it completely blind.  Now that I've had a while to play with the items, here are my thoughts.
 













I enjoy exercise DVDs, specifically yoga and Pilates, so was quite happy with the 3 disk Pilates dvd from Merrithew ($35.95).  Each disc features a different challenge level, with disc one being relatively easy and disc 2 challenging enough (for me) that I've yet to try disc 3.  Also included in the box was a $25 Merrithew gift card.  I used it to buy a yoga dvd and yoga block.  I thought the shipping charges were ridiculous (about $13), so the gift card is really more about offsetting the shipping charges, but it's still something.
 
The two Orly nail polishes were initially not that exciting to me, but after using them I'm more enamored.  Cake Pop ($8.50) is an almost white pink cream, whereas the BB Creme ($15) is a clear peach tint that is supposed to mimic the look of natural nails.  I thought the BB Creme did indeed look like nicely buffed nails, natural but with a waxy sheen that set it apart from just a clear topcoat kind of product.  The BB Creme is meant to be used on it's on, not as either a base or top coat, and I think it will appeal to those who prefer a natural, but enhanced, nail look.
The Bon Voyage Coaster Set from Rifle Paper Co. ($16) is a nice touch of retro chic, featuring vignettes of Tokyo, New York, Paris, and London.  I've been using them in my office, where they come in handy for my breakfast smoothies and subsequent iced-coffees.
I chose the Jules Smith Watercolor Scarf ($42) over the Modern Art version (see here).  Made of lightweight cotton viscose, it's definitely something that can be worn during warm weather and I wore it at my family's Easter get together, which we held the week before Easter to accommodate out-of-towners.  My dog Lulu then wore it for our Easter Egg hunt/birthday party.  That's putting it to good use:-)
The other spoiler were two Ofra brushes, brush #11 for eyeshadow and brush #20 for foundation application ($45 for both).  Made from Capra (goat) and natural hair, these brushes are 100% cruelty free.  I've come to appreciate investing in good makeup brushes, and these seem nice. 
The Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster and Restoration Serum ($48) is an item that's got me excited, as I love a good serum.  This one is clear and slightly thicker than water.  It absorbs quickly into the skin and plays nicely with both moisturizers and foundations.  Crossing my fingers that it does indeed increase the collagen levels in my skin.
I've planted this baby and am eagerly awaiting some basil sprouts.  It's supposed to rain every day this week (boo), but on the plus side, that's probably good for growing green things.
The Bling Tattoos ($22) are the one item I've yet to try.  I'm guessing these were substituted for the advertised Yasi tattoos ($36), but both prices seem rather arbitrary to me, so, there ya go.  I do want to try them, perhaps I'll decorate my feet :-)
The Cosmos Creations Salted Caramel Premium Puffed Corn ($1.49) were yummy, and I loved that they did not contain kernels.  Just yummy.  Also included in the Spring box were two other gift cards which I will not be using:  Vow to be Chic ($125) and Hello Fresh $40 off first week of delivery.   Overall, I'm enjoying my first FabFitFun box (total value ~$270), and look forward to more!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rose Gold Caviar Stick Eye Colour by Laura Mercier

I've wanted to try one of Laura Mercier's Caviar Sticks for the longest, having heard such good things about them.  The travel sized Rose Gold was part of the Flawless Eyes set exclusive to Saks (review of eye shadow palette here), and it's a beauty.
This is the kind of color that I love for an all over base shade on it's own, or as an inner eye and lower lash line brightener.  The formula is so easy to work with, as the color lays down smoothly and wears well on my oily lids for a good eight hours over primer.
I did a comparison with Vasanti's Rose Gold eyeliner pencil. Urban Decay's 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin (discontinued), Rimmel's ScandalEYES in Bulletproof Beige, and Tarte's SmoulderEyes in Champagne (LE).  No exact dupes to speak of, and all of these are good performers.  I'd say the Caviar Stick fomula is one of the easier ones to use an an all over eye shade.
At $28, these are on the higher end of the spectrum, but I'll be keeping my eye out for any future sets of the Caviar Sticks.  Very nice.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Natural Beauty Long Lasting Lipstick by Essence

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Looking for a budget friendly lipstick that doesn't feel like it has an inexpensive formula?  Well, you may want to consider the Long Lasting Lipstick line from Essence Cosmetics.  I recently picked up Natural Beauty, a medium rose pink, and it has more than a few things that recommend it.
First of all, this $2.99 lipstick has some style to it with the engraved E, something you usually only see in higher priced brands.  Plus, see the colored band in the middle of the plastic black tube?  It matches the lipstick color inside. 
Next, I find the Ricinus Communis (Castor) seed oil based formula comfortable to wear.  There is a slight smell to the lipstick and I do see fragrance listed in the ingredients, but it is not strong nor is it anything I can identify.  I'd say wear time is about 3 hours, so not particularly long lasting, but not terrible either.
Natural Beauty is definitely a safe, wearable pink for me. Despite being a cream, it has a certain luminescence in photos that I really like.  If you want to express your goth side (or for Halloween), the 15 shades in the line does feature a black called Black Gossip.  Just so you know.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wink Colour Mascara in Brown Sugar by Butter London

Let's start off on a positive note, shall we?  Look at how pretty the inside of the Butter London Wink Colour Mascara ($20) box is....I love little touches like that. 
Now, onto the not so positive aspects of this mascara, which I really wanted to love.  You see, I like wearing brown mascara, and was hoping this would fill that void for me.  However, the formula of Brown Sugar, at least, is a pain in the butt on several levels.
I found it hard to apply, in that no matter how many times I brushed the applicator over my lashes, the mascara just did not want to go on.  Hence why I have so much on my upper lid, as I was determinedly trying to get some on my lashes.
Most of my mascaras, including waterproof ones, remove fairly well with my facial oil cleanser.  Not this one.  It does not want to come off, and even when I thought I had removed most of it, I wake up in the morning with lower lash raccoon eyes.  The final strike against Brown Sugar is that even though it does not want to be removed, it smudges on my lower lash line.  No, just no.