Friday, October 24, 2014

NOTD: Virtual Insanity by Deborah Lippmann

I've got the first Deborah Lippman polish I've ever worn to show you today, and it's a beauty!  I'd like to claim I picked it out myself, but Virtual Insanity was a GWP in the Barney's beauty bag I got last month.  Furthermore, it's an exclusive to Barney's shade that costs even more ($24) than regular Lippman polishes.
But did I mention how pretty it is?  I'm drawn to crimson polishes once the weather starts to hint at fall, but Virtual Insanity takes it a step further by being a purple with crimson shimmer, giving it an extra added dimension.  This is two coats of polish with Butter London's topcoat.
Mobile is finally experiencing that hint of fall weather right now, with gorgeous warm days, low humidity, and crisp nights.  I actually don't go by the weather to determine when fall has arrived, but by when the banana spiders make their appearance, which is usually in September.  Take a look at this beauty, which hung her web right over the spot where I usually take pictures.  As long as I know where they are, I'm okay, but I have a huge fear of walking into one of their webs and then flailing myself to death.
Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw:

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup in Medium

Disclaimer:  I received this for review from BzzAgent.  All opinions are my own.
Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup is supposed to provide flawless coverage with the powerful hydrating effects of a night cream.  Featuring the "exclusive Olay FaceFirm technology", this foundation is infused with a concentrated vitamin complex that hydrates, plumps, and lifts.  Not only that, but after two weeks of continued use, skin firmness is supposed to be improved.
Available in only 4 shades, Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, I've got Medium to show you.  It leans slightly peach in tone, and was actually a pretty good match for my complexion.  I'm surprised at the lack of darker shades, which does seem rather limiting.
Housed in a heavy plastic jar, the foundation has a whipped cream type of consistency that feels dense but light.  Not sure the jar packaging is conducive to maintaining the integrity of the skincare ingredients, although you can minimize possible bacterial contamination by not sticking your fingers in it, regardless of what the instructions say (to apply with your finger to cheeks and then use your fingers or a sponge to blend towards the hairline).  I used my usual foundation brush after transferring a dab via a clean utensil to a makeup tray, which worked fine.  I did notice some initial settling into larger pores, but using a firmer brush on those areas smoothed things out nicely for a medium coverage effect.
Billed as a hydrating foundation, my initial concern is that this would be too dewy for my oily skin.  Indeed, while the initial finish was a nice semi-matte, I had to blot my skin before even completing my morning makeup routine. Not a good sign.  After blotting and setting with a powder, I got about 7 hours of wear before I noticed fading.  Not quite as long as some of my other foundations better suited for oily skin, but given the weather was still hot and humid on my first wear, my hope was the onset of cooler weather would bring better results.   After all, I needed to wear this for 2 weeks solid to see if there really is a firming effect :-
So, it's been two weeks, what are my final impressions?  I can't really tell a difference as far as firmness is concerned, but I can say my overall impression is positive.  I like the initial semi-matte finish, although I do have to set it with powder if I want to minimize shine and extend wear.  The finish is natural looking and does not feel heavy, nor did it cause any issues with my break-out prone skin.
I do think it's on the pricey side for a drug store foundation at $18, although I do see that Walmart has it for $14.  While I do appreciate makeup that has skincare enhancing ingredients and am willing to pay more if it's effective, I'm not sure how stable the formula is given the jar packaging limitations of exposure to air and potential contaminates.  The real test for me is if this will stay in my foundation rotation, however, and I do believe it will, so that's a plus!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Moment

Moment ($24) from Lipstick Queen's Butterfly Ball line of lipstick is described as a "sexy shimmering red", but it's got a little something extra that makes it special:  a subtle flash of blue pearl that is supposed to flatter the lips and help teeth appear whiter.
The Butterfly Ball line was inspired by the shimmer from a butterfly's wing, and Moment is sheer but still provides plenty of color.  Even better, the shimmer does translate nicely.
While I like the Lipstick Queen lipsticks I've tried, I'm not sure I love them.  Something in the formula doesn't love me back, leaving my lips feeling slightly dry in spite of the aloe vera and vitamins E, C and B in the formula.  Consequently, I don't find myself reaching for them that often.  I'm going to give Moment another try, however, as it's a nice summer to fall transition color.

Monday, October 20, 2014

NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Pumpkin

October is probably my favorite month of the year for a variety of reasons.  It's when the weather starts to cool down here in Mobile and the humidity drops, leading to some beautiful days.  It's also my birthday month, when I take a week or two off from work to unwind and do much needed home and yard projects. 
I can't think of a more appropriate color and name for this time of year than Pumpkin, and the NYX lip pencil of this moniker is very nice!  I like using lip pencils for all over lip color, and Pumpkin's deep orange with gold shimmer applied smoothly and wore comfortably for a good 4 hours, which is about tops for me.
Pumpkin has a slightly glossy finish, but gere I'm wearing it mattified with MAKE's Matte Pencil.  Matte lips have definitely been my lip finish of choice recently, especially now that I've found a way to comfortably mattify my lipsticks.
NYX lip pencils are a very reasonable $3.49 and come in a variety of colors (I counted 36 shades on Ulta's site).  Very nice!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Noteworthy: Rescue Beauty Lounge Sale!

Disclaimer:  Links provided for convenience only.
Rescue Beauty Lounge (RBL) is having a buy two get one free sale until Monday, 10/20 noon EST, with free worldwide shipping to sweeten the deal!  There are some limitations, with two collections not available for the sale:  Italian Summer and Anatomy of a #KDrama.  Given the rarity of RBL sales, however, still worth a look.  For those with a birthday falling within the sale date range, you can also use your 25% birthday coupon, which translates to $10/bottle, or half off :-)  I qualified for that, and treated myself to:
Naked without Polish, Fan Collection 2.0
“It would be a pure carnation pink base. Very basic and very creamy, no jellies (as much as I love them). I want a polish that is opaque in 2 coats. I want the pink base to be filled with a gold shimmer, for the sun to catch the gold and just make it shine! I want my polish to be soft and girlie, but still make an impact and stand out. I want it to be a color people can wear year-round, a color that cheers you up on a bad day."
Scrangie 2.0, Blogger 2.0
 "it is the color of an oil base that floats on water with rainbow sparkles, it shifts from shade to shade depending on the light that is cast on it."
Abi (gomm)
"Clusters of brushed desert plants sway mesmerically with the wind. After a thunderous rain that cleanses off dust and sunburns, Abi captures the moment when that first sunbeam appears and flashes them with a warm kiss."
 Happy shopping and let me know your picks if you do indulge!

Noteworthy: Estee Lauder LE Color Portfolio Now Available

2014 Color Portfolio:  Source:  Estee Lauder
Just wanted to alert you that Estee Lauder now has their limited edition Color Portfolio available for $37.50 with any purchase.  I bought the 2013 edition, and am seriously considering getting this one as well, even though there are some repeat eyeshadow/lip colors.
2013 LE Color Portfolio
Why am I considering getting it again?  Well, it's a fabulous deal, and I really, really like the one I got last year!  I love (LOVE) Estee Lauder blushes, and I don't have Alluring Rose or Mauve Mystique, two of the shades featured this year.  Considering Estee Lauder blushes are $32 each, the price of this palette is less than I'd pay for both blushes.  Plus, about half of the eyeshadows, 2/3rd of the lipsticks, and both glosses would be new to my collection....I may have just talked myself into getting this....
2013 Color Portfolio eyeshadows
Anyhow, in case you are wondering about the quality of the 2013 palette:  it was very good.  The blushes in particular are top of the line:  finely milled, smooth, nicely pigmented, skin enhancing, and long wearing.  The shadows are good:  while not intensely pigmented, they apply smoothly and wear well.

I'd say the main benefit of the lipsticks is the opportunity to try a variety of colors at a fraction of their price.  The downside is not being able to reapply during the day, given that the palette is not exactly portable.
2013 Color Portfolio lipsticks
I also really like Estee Lauder's Pure Color Intense Kajal liners, although I'm disappointed to see that this year's palette only includes black.  Last year's palette had a dual ended black/brown.  I also am loving the glosses from last year's set, in particular Praline shown below.  So some new shades to try out are another draw...
As of right now, I'm only seeing the Color Portfolio palette at esteelauder.com.  Last year several retailers featured it and I was able to get mine with a stackable GWP set.  I do remember this selling out quite quickly, however!  Update:  I'm now seeing the Color Portfolio available at Belk, Nordstrom, and Dillard's, and Belk and Nordstrom have Estee Lauder GWP's going on as well!
Included in the 2014 Portfolio:
•30 Pure Color EyeShadows: Ivory Slipper, Sandbar Beige, Nude Sunset Frost, Sugar Cube, Polished Platinum, Pink Flash, Sugar Biscuit, Hot Cinnamon, Riviera Rose, Tempting Mocha, Amazing Grey, Lilac Whimsy, Nude Fresco, Enchanted Forest, Wild Truffle, Candy Crave, Peacock Blue, Smoky Ember, Safari Green, Pretty Penny, Berry Burst, Razzle Dazzle Matte, Nocturnal Blue, Garnet Desire, Deep Berry Satin, Wild Sable, Amethyst Spark, Razzle Dazzle Frost, Intense Violet, and Lavish Mink
•16 Pure Color Lipstick shades: Vanilla Truffle, Coral Sun, Pink Parfait, Beige, Sugar Honey, Bois de Rose, Sunstone, Blushing, Hot Copper, Nectarine, Rubellite, Barely Nude, Autumn, Scarlet Siren, Fuschia Fever and Hot Kiss
•3 Pure Color Blush shades: Lover’s Blush, Alluring Rose and Mauve Mystique
Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer in Medium
•2 Pure Color Glosses (deluxe travel size) in Brazen Berry and Wired Copper
Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner in Blackened Black (great for smoky eyes)
•4 Travel Size Applicators: Blush, Eyeshadow and Lip brushes.
•2 Look Cards to get started right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Makeup Reorganization

My collection of makeup has grown to the point where it was becoming unorganized, making it difficult to locate items quickly.  I'm a bit of a dawdler and prefer taking my time in the mornings, so it's best not to add frustration to what is an enjoyable morning routine.  Clearly, a makeup reorg was in order!
Foundations and BB Creams
Liquid luminizers
Finishing powders and primers
To begin with, I repurposed what used to be my computer desk as a display table for my foundations, primers, powders, and highlighters.  So many things were getting overlooked because I could not see them.  Well, that problem is solved.
Next, I repurposed a container that used to house my tube pushup cream/gel blushes (Tarte, NYX, Sula Beauty, etc.) for lipsticks.  I swear, lip products have been breeding in my drawers while I'm at work, and I was having the hardest time keeping track of them.
Enough space was freed up from reorganizing the above that I now have clean space on my makeup space, which makes me feel calmer.  I organized my remaining lip items by type (lip pencils, lip gloss, lipstick) so I should be able to find things easier.  I hope.
If I had enough of the same brand/type, they got their own box.  My Buxom glosses fell into that category, and taking stock of what I have curbed my desire to buy any of the new holiday sets.  I have PLENTY.
My blush drawer is stuffed to the gills, but keeping cream blushes and smaller compacts in boxes means I can lift them out and see the powder compacts below.
Eyeshadows take up two drawers, with cream shadows and singles in one and smaller palettes in another. 
The eye pencil situation is out of control, and another reason why I needed to reorganize.  I previously had eye pencils in glasses, but they were so stuffed it was hard to see them.  Putting them in drawers means I can now leaf through them.  Urban Decay pencils (and these do not include the 24/7 Pencil Vault items) got their own drawer, with another drawer for stila, Tarte, Milani, and various other brands.
Urban Decay eye pencils
On top of this container sits the lip balms and eye shadow sealants. 
On top of my makeup table are my brushes, my makeup mirror and another container that houses loose mineral shadows, tweezers, and eyelash curlers.
My makeup table is actually an old stereo unit, including individual spaces for albums.  Don't see those much anymore, huh?  I've got a few books stored in them as well as larger eyeshadow palettes.
The middle shelf contains lipsticks in their container, eye/face primers and mascaras, and my lip tar collection.
OCC lip tars
Skincare samples are stored in a Lancome traincase, and a small chest houses a variety of miscellaneous items.
Next on my list of to do's is to somehow organize my perfume samples.  They've been multiplying as well, and it would be nice to know what I've actually got and would wear.
At some point I'll probably need to invest in some better storage options, but for now, this will work!