Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Loving Your Unloved Choice for June: Dollskin Cheek Palette by Tarina Tarantino

After considering several items, I decided that Taran Tarantino's Dollskin Cheek Palette would be the neglected item that I'll use for the month of June.  I've had it for over 3 years (original review here), and as you can see, Feather has seen the most use, with the other three remaining relatively untouched. 
Brand new
Cool-toned pinks - which is half of this palette with the bottom two Candy Cameo and Carved Rose - are not shades I naturally gravitate towards for blush.   Using the palette should take me outside of my comfort zone and perhaps expand my range a bit.  Or show me that cool-toned pinks are really not my thing.  The other shade that has not seen much use is Parasol, although it would be my next go to with it's warmer tones. 

After 3+ years of sporadic use
So, expect a report back at the end of June on the Dollskin Cheek Palette!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Loving Your Unloved: Naked Palette by Urban Decay May Usage

The Naked 1 palette by Urban Decay was my first choice for my new "Loving Your Unloved" series, where I'll be using a neglected product for a solid month.  I'm hoping this series will help me use items that are neglected and languishing, for whatever reason.  I don't have a long enough attention span to focus on something until it's completely used up, but hopefully this series will help me put in a dent in products or convince me it's time to let them go.
Naked 1 seems to be universally loved, but mine hasn't seen much action in the 3+ years I've owned it.  After a solid month of use, I can say I've developed an affection for a little over half of the shadows, namely Virgin, Sin, Naked, Buck, Smog, Toasted and Hustle.  Creep and Gun Metal are just not colors I wear often, and Sidecar's glitter was a bit much for me.  Half-Baked is pretty but more metallic than I care for, and I had a hard time figuring how I wanted to use Darkhorse.
Now, lots of pictures of the looks I created in May using Naked 1:

But did I make any obvious dent in the palette?  I used Sin the most consistently as an inner eye highlighter, followed by Buck and Naked as all over lid shades or for definition.
Picture taken April 21st
Picture taken May 25th
The biggest difference I can tell is that the surface of most of the shadows in the May 25th picture look more mussed, which is a sign of usage, but it's hard to tell a significant difference.  Gives me an idea of how long I'd have to concentrate on any one shadow in order to use it up, which = not happening.
Most used on a daily basis as an inner eye highlighter.
Now the question is, what item am I going to focus on for June?  Hmmm.....

Thursday, May 28, 2015

NOTD: Amy by Julep and a Smidgen of Nail Art

Disclaimer:  I purchased these.
I'm not talented enough for true nail art, but every once and a while I want to attempt something, which usually reinforces my appreciation for those with true talent.  Amy by Julep is a lovely polish, both in color and formula.  This dusty turquoise cream applies like a dream and is wearing strong so far 4 days in.
The white accent nail is Butter London's Cotton Buds, another strong performer and great summertime white.  The yellow is Julep's Catrina, which I don't think I've worn on it's own before, so can't really speak to the formula.
Definitely a simple and easy look, but I did have someone ask me if it was a gel manicure and they assumed I'd had it done in a salon, so I'll take that:-)  Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw:

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Coral Candy Bouncy Blush by Maybelline

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I came across Coral Candy in the marked down bin at Rite Aid a while back, which motivated me to finally try out this blush formula.  I've read reviews on them that indicated they were not that long wearing, but given the discounted price ($3.79) I decided it was time to put it to the test.
Candy Coral is a lovely soft peach and the kind of blush color I'm drawn to over and over.  The firm but malleable mousse-like formula works best when applied with fingers, but I've got a small, dense brush that I like using to smooth out the color.  There is something about this type of formula that likes to settle in my pores, so I need to work a bit more to get smooth color.
I think of the Bouncy Blush formula as the precursor to Colour Pop's cream to powder products, except that Colour Pop seems to have perfected the formula.  Whereas Candy Coral lasts maybe 4-5 hours on me, everything I've seen about the Colour Pop blushes indicates more color impact and lasting power.  I've only tried their eyeshadows to date, but I think a blush and highlighter are in my future as well.
But wait, this review is about Candy Coral, isn't it?  And that's kind of the problem, as I can't keep from comparing it to, well, you know.  I do love Candy Coral's color, but the shorter wear time is a definite minus. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lorac Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner in Navy

Lorac's Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliners are my favorite of the liquid eyeliner category.  I've acquired three of them now, and navy is performing every bit as well as the black and charcoal versions did.
Why do I prefer these over others I've tried, such as stila or Eyeko?   Mainly because of the tip, which is not felt like the two I cited.  Felt tips have a tendency to fray over time, which compromises the precision of the line you can achieve.  I've had no issues with fraying or with the Lorac pens drying out in the 2+ years I've owned the oldest one.
I love a good navy liner, and this one is a true, dark navy blue.  You can go thin or thick with these liners, and once they dry, they are budgeproof until I remove them with an oil based cleanser at the end of the day.  If I know I've got a long day and don't want to have to deal with makeup migration issues (something that's all to common with hooded eyes), these are a go to.
Navy is also a power color for me, as I find myself gravitating towards it when I'm in a professional situation where I want to look polished but not bland.  Lorac's Front of the Line Pro liners are $23, but Ulta occasionally features them as a deal of the day at 50% off, which is when I acquired Navy.  Available in 4 colors, brown is the only color I don't have but will definitely snap up if it goes on sale.  Love.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Empties! Products I Used up in April

I thought I should post my empties for April before May was gone, so here they are, with highlights of my favorites!  There were actually quite a few more foil packets used up due to my trip in late April, but I elected to not carry the empties back with me.  The foils shown above are:
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel Body Cream:  I enjoyed this - it has a nice scent (honey and sunflower oil are featured ingredients) and did a good job of moisturizing my legs.   I would purchase a full size at $24.
  • Algenist Eye Renewal Balm:  featuring ingredients like Alguronic Acid combined with vitamin C, caffeine, cucumber, aloe and green tea extracts, this is a nice eye cream.  Pricey at $65 though, and I wasn't wowed enough to pony up at that price.
  • LA Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser:  this wet wipe type cleanser is 99.25% natural and paraben free, and I thought it did a good job of refreshing and degreasing my skin on a weekend no makeup day, which is when I typically use cleansing towelettes.  I'd consider these, for sure.
  • Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder foundation in Nude:  having this sample reminded me that I actually have a full sized bottle that I've been neglecting, albeit in a different shade (Sand).   Bottom line, probably the best matte liquid foundation I've tried.  Here's the weird thing, though:  swatched side by side Nude and Sand look exactly the same to me.  Tell me if I'm wrong:
Wearing Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder in Nude
  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn body lotion:  Eh.  A decent, lightweight body lotion that features a natural ingredient list.
Deluse and full-sized products used up in April were:
  • LaLicious Vanilla body butter:  loved both the scent and formula of this one.  Sadly, LaLicious seems to have changed formula recently (I know the packaging has, and my mother swears that the Sugar Kiss version no longer has the long lasting scent she enjoyed).
  • Josie Maran Be Spirited Sweet Citrus hand cream:  part of the Hand Healers set (review here), I liked this but not enough to seek out a full-sized version, although I think this was a limited edition scent anyhow.
  • Farmhouse Fresh One Fine Day Flawless Face Polish (full review here):  holy grail facial scrub for me here.  Initially I thought the formula would be too rich for me to use year round, but I was wrong.  LOVE this stuff, need to get another jar.
  • Dead Sexy by Shea Butter Lotion by TokyoMilk (full review here):   featuring notes of deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid, and ebony, I enjoyed using this as my nighttime hand lotion.  Nice.
  • Clarin's Toning Lotion with Camomile:  the dry skin version of Clarin's alcohol free toner, it did a nice job of cleaning without stripping my skin.  I'm using the oily skinned version now that my skin is in oil hyper drive brought on by the warmer weather.
  • Posie Balm by Benetint (review here):  I liked Posie Balm more than I was expecting to, but have more than enough lip balms in my life at the moment.
  • Firming Eye Serum by Reviva Labs:  I thought the texture and feel of this serum was lovely.  The generous size and natural-based ingredient list meant the expiration date came before I was finished, so I used it generously on my hands as well.  I'd repurchase, especially at it's uber reasonable prince of around $19.  I've seen it on sale online for as little as $8.

It will only be a few more days until it's time to post May's empties, so I'm glad I finally got these posted :-)

Friday, May 22, 2015

NOTD: Pussy Galore from The Bond Girls

James Bond: Who are you?
Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
James Bond: I must be dreaming.

Here's something I didn't know, having not read Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger:  Pussy Galore and her organized crime girl gang were all lesbians.  Of course the movie did not explicitly go there, and of course James Bond managed to seduce Pussy Galore despite her having told him "You can turn off the charm.  I'm immune."  It was 1964, and he is James Bond, after all.
So, I find it ironic that the polish in honor of Bond girl Pussy Galore is an uber feminine light pink, although the liquid sand texture does give it some grit :-)  What is not captured in the photos that is evident in person is the darker fuchsia microglitter that gives a bit more complexity to the light pink. I'm wearing two coats and I do love how quickly textured polishes dry, although I've got a small chip after 3 days of wear.
The Bond Girls liquid sand mini-set was released in spring of 2013 and Pussy Galore is the second one I've worn.  I'm still partial to Solitaire (see here), although Pussy Galore is definitely the more interesting of the Bond girl characters, IMO.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Flash Lacquer 523 by Giorgio Armani

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
Can you believe I got this Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer over a year ago and have barely worn it?  What's wrong with me, because this baby is gorgeous!
I love the glossy translucency combined with the bright watermelon pop of color.  What I wasn't expecting is the stain it leaves behind once the gloss wears off.  Better still, my lips felt moisturized even after the gloss was gone, to the point that I didn't feel the need to reapply to comfort my lips.  That's rare for me.
Work is still keeping me crazy busy, with lots of meetings that take me from campus to the hospital(s) and back again.  So, as I was rushing from the hospital back to campus for a meeting and looked in the car mirror to see my lips were still nicely colored and felt comfortable 4 hours after leaving the house (plus sipping on iced coffee and eating a granola bar), I was happy. 
No more neglecting you, Flash Lacquer 523.  You've impressed me and more than justified your $30 price tag.  You rock.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Plum Pop Cheek Pop by Clinique

Yes, I've had Plum Pop for over a year and am now just posting a review.  And yes, Clinique recently released 8 new shades to the original 4, for a total of 12 Cheek Pop blushes. 
I've been rediscovering Plum Pop and trying to decide if I need any of the new colors (ha, like I'll ever need another blush again in my lifetime).  I do love the daisy design in the clear acylic case, as they are both adorable and easy to identify in my drawer full of blushes. 
Plum Pop is a cool toned medium pink that lays down a natural looking satin finish.  While there is no visible shimmer in normal light, it's definitely not flat or chalky looking, and in bright sun you can see a faint shimmer.
Color is buildable but I find the pigmentation strong enough that a few swipes are enough for my fair/warm toned complexion.  I like concentrating it on the apples of my cheeks for a pop of color and then contouring/blending with bronzer, now that spring is turning into balmy hot days where I live.
I'm glad I dug Plum Pop out, I really like it!  Still not sure if I'll get one of the new colors, although a good Clinique GWP offer could definitely tip me over the edge.  I'm torn between Heather Pop or Rosy Pop, or maybe Pansy Pop for something different.