Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara by Elizabeth Arden: Ocean Blue and Black

Blue mascara.  While not something I reach for everyday, I've definitely got a soft spot for it.  So, when I saw Ocean Blue was part of Elizabeth Arden's (EA) spring Beautiful Color collection, in my basket it went.  What I didn't realize is that it's got something a little different going on that makes it unique from the other blue mascaras I've tried.
Housed in a shiny gold rectangular container, the Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara ($24) is new to the EA line.  Featuring a tri-peptide enhanced formula designed to protect and enhance lashes with continued use, it is supposed to be a clump free, flake free formula that enhances lash length, density and curl.  I also received a deluxe sample in black, so I'll be showing both Ocean Blue and Black today.
Can you tell what makes Ocean Blue different yet?  There are little flecks of mica in the mascara that give it some sparkle and shine!  The downside of the flecks was a bit of clumping, although nothing too terrible, and I like the overall effect. 
Ocean Blue Lash Enhancing Mascara
I've been wearing the black version of this mascara for the past few weeks, and my final verdict is - I really like it!  At first I thought it looked rather dry in the tube, but it applies easily and makes for a very natural eyelash look:  my lashes are darkened, defined, and lengthened.  I notice some slight smudging along my lower lash line at the end of the day, but with my oily skin that's not unusual.
Given that  I was not impressed with a previous EA mascara that I received in a GWP, these Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing mascaras are a pleasant surprise!  Ocean Blue is limited edition, with Black and Black Brown as the permanent colors in the collection.
Black Lash Enhancing Mascara
Factor in the Ceramide Cream Blush in Nectar that I recently reviewed and a few other items I've yet to post about,  my overall impression of Elizabeth Arden's cosmetics is moving firmly into the smiley faced category :-)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sun Club All-In-One Bronzing Highlighter for Blondes by Essence

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I don't use powder bronzers often, although I've been on a bit of a highlighter kick this spring.  So I admit it, the pretty design of Essence's Sun Club is what initially sucked me in.  Factor in the uber friendly $4.49 price tag at Ulta, and I figured this was a relatively painless gamble. 
Turns out this is a really nice palette for both the face and eyes!  I've swatched each of the individual colors, and as you can see, they are sheer but do each have their own distinct color.  Blended together you get a rosy bronze shimmer finish. 
You can also swirl just certain colors together as well, going either lighter or darker depending on the colors picked up.  After applying the color with a smaller brush, I buffed with a larger more dense brush in order to blend out any frostiness.  It's too shimmery for me to use solely as a blush, but that's more of a preference thing.  It really has a lovely glow to it, as you can see from this shot taken in the shade.
There is also another version available for brunettes, which features darker bronze colors and some lovely peach shades.  I'm curious about it, even though it's for darker skin tones. 
It looks like Essence releases a different Sun Club series each year, so I'm guessing these are limited edition. 
As eyeshadow
I used the darker shades in the hollows of my cheeks and along my hairline, the lighter shades along the bridge of my nose, and a swirl of everything on top of my cheeks.  I like!
On my lips I'm wearing Essence's Wish Me a Rose lip liner topped with Estee Lauder's Praline Paradise lip gloss.  Essence continues to impress me:-)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

NOTD: Pastel Racing Stripes with Julep

Disclaimer:  I purchased these.
I didn't do an Easter themed manicure, although this one would have worked well.  Using pale yellow Blake as a base, I decided to do alternating racing stripes down the center of each nail using Bess, Martha, Shenae, and Alice.  Since my nail art skills are sorely lacking, this is about as fancy as I get.  I topped everything off with the iridescent glitter Portia, which reminds me of cellophane.
I received all of these polishes as part of my monthly Julep Maven subscription, which has been a great way to collect polish colors I might not gravitate towards on my own.  Pastels fall into that category :-)  I've got to give Julep props for coming out with a complete polish collection each and every month - that's no small feat.  You can see the current array of colors here.
Blake had all of the issues I associate with yellow polishes - streaky on the first coat and a few bubbles on the second.  All the other polishes were easy to work with and I like the final look!  Sorry I missed you last week, Easter Bunny - I'll have to remember this for next year.
 Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ceramide Cream Blush in Nectar by Elizabeth Arden

Nectar ($24) is my first cream blush from Elizabeth Arden, and I've got to  admit, I'm impressed.  The lightest of the four shades available, Nectar is a soft peach that packs a surprisingly amount of color.  It takes only a few blended swipes to produce a smooth finish that enhances the skin - really quite a lovely formula!
Not only does Nectar enhance my skin with realistic looking color, it also features Elizabeth Arden's patented Ceramide Triple Complex, with vitamins A, C, and E providing antioxidant protection to the skin. 
I may be in the minority, but cream blushes wear well on my oily skin.  I don't completely understand it, as I've read plenty of reviews that comment on the relatively short wear time of cream blushes.  My skin is in oil overdrive now that the temps are warming up, and I got about 7 hours wear from Nectar before I saw fading. 
Nectar cream blush

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting Blush by Hourglass

I'm a big fan of the Ambient Lighting powders, so when Hourglass released the Ambient Lighting blushes, I knew I'd get at least one.  I waited a while so that I could read reviews and decide on the color, which turned out to be Radiant Magenta.  Was it worth the wait and $35?
For me, absolutely!  Radiant Magenta is a mix of bright pink blush combined with Radiant Light Ambient Lighting powder, which gives a golden coral pink glow.  No two blushes will be the same due to variations in the baked powder striation:
Just like the Ambient Lighting powders, Radiant Magenta provides a healthy looking luminosity to the skin.  The color leans warm in spite of the cool pink blush pigment, as it's tempered by the golden Radiant Lighting powder.  I find lightly swirling my brush picks up plenty of color, and intensity can be built up without looking cakey.  Yes, there will be powder dust kickup evident in the pan, which is why a light touch works best. 
This is the kind of finish that makes your skin look better, which is the magic of the Ambient Lighting powders.  Hourglass calls it "Photoluminescent Technology", or optically transparent particles to amplify the color to a multidimensional level. 
Click to enlarge and see glow
Call it whatever you want, the result is a lovely finish that is incredibly long lasting on my oily skin.  In fact, I'd say this is a great blush option for oily skin.  At the end of the day the color is still there and I don't see the disintegration of makeup that is common for me after 8-9 hours. 
Dust kickup
Of the six available colors, three look very close in color (Luminous Flush, Radiant Magenta, Vibrant Poppy) in the reviews I've seen.   Two more look better suited for pale complexions (Dim Infusion, Ethereal Glow).  which leaves one other (Mood Exposure), that I may pick up at some point in the future.  The Ambient Lighting blushes are proving quite popular and only Luminous Flush is currently in stock at Sephora, no doubt a result of the recent BI/VIB sale.  I'm sure they'll be back soon.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Sweety

I guess I should be happy that I got Sweety ($24) back in March when I did, as it's currently showing as "not in stock" at Sephora.  Hopefully, more will become available, as this coral pink matte lip pencil is quite nice!
When I started my spring makeup buying bonanza, I noticed I was gravitating toward this hue with almost every single lip product I purchased.  I just love this color, as it connotes warm weather and swaying palm trees and flamingos and tropical drinks to me. 
Beyond the color, however, there's a natural ingredient based formula that doesn't dry out my lips.  No small feat for a matte lipstick!  I found Sweety comfortable to wear with a respectable wear time (for me) of 3-4 hours.  I'm tough on lip products, as I'm never not drinking/eating/licking my lips/blowing my nose/you get the picture.
After I realized how close in color the lip products I was buying seemed to be, I did comparison swatches to see if indeed I'd been buying dupes all along.  Fortunately, they are slightly different in tone or finish so that I didn't feel like I'd wasted my money, but I have started forcing myself to BUY OTHER COLORS.
Do you have a lip color that you find yourself buying over and over again? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rouge Ecstasy in 501 Peony by Giorgio Armani

Well hello there, you big red lacquer'd tube of delight.  You say your name is Peony?  I'm so happy to make your acquaintance.  Truly.
Honestly, I wouldn't have even known that Armani had a beauty line if I wasn't addicted to reading beauty blogs.  My consciousness first became aware of Armani primarily through 1980's American Gigolo, which apparently helped to established the line in Hollywood.  Ah, the decadent '80's, the era I came of age in, for better or worse. 
First, let's talk about this tube, because it's luxury all the way.  It's got nice heft, and the top connects with a satisfying magnetic "thump".  For some reason I get a kick out that.  

Second, let's talk about the formula.  The Rouge Ecstasy line is billed as the first "CC" lipstick, with the C's standing for care and color:
  • Care: Rouge Ecstasy offers the comfort and softness of a lip balm, leaving lips repaired and beautifully enhanced day after day.
  • Color: This velvety soft, everyday lipstick coats the lips in saturated, ultra-luminous shades with impeccable hold. Application is simple, precise and effective.
Third, let's talk about how Peony feels and looks on the lips.  In one word:  lovely.  It's surprisingly lightweight but doesn't skimp on color or shine.  Just smooth, glossy color that enhance my lips without leaving them feeling parched. 
Fourth, let's talk about the price:  $34.  I'm fortunate that I like this as much as I do, and that's all I'll say about that :-)  I could see treating myself with another one at some point.
What's your price cut off point for a lipstick? 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The One Blush by bareMinerals

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
One of the specials during Ulta's recent 21 Days of Beauty Steals were bareMineral all over face colors and blushes for $10.  Having really enjoyed bareMinerals READY pressed products, I decided to add another blush to my collection:  enter "The One".
The One is a satin finish warm leaning pink (bareMinerals calls it a nude pink) and makes for a great everyday type of blush.  It's not loud, but there is plenty of color to warm up your face without clashing with stronger hues on your eyes or lips.  My favorite part of The One is the finish - there is no visible sparkle but there is a lovely glow.
This is the type of finish that makes my skin look healthy and that I'll keep returning to over and over again.   Factor in bareMineral's proprietary SeaNutritive MineralTM Complex with antioxidants and cold-pressed camellia oil, and you've also got the potential for true skin enhancement.  I get a good 7-8 hours of wear on my oily skin and still see color at the end of the day, although my makeup has usually started to break up by then.  Overall, a really solid blush and a steal at $10!  Did you take advantage of any Ulta beauty deals?