Friday, August 22, 2014

Project Make A Dent a/k/a PAN POWAH! | #1


I was inspired by the witty Lily of Chloe Ash to join Project Make A Dent.  Basically, you round up a few makeup items you want to see some pan action on and you use the damn things like there's no tomorrow!  If you have a larger makeup stash than most, you know how enjoyable it is to see that lovely silver lining in the form of fresh metal pan peeking out at you.  I want this glory!

One of my selections has already revealed a wink of pan so that might be cheating, but let's face it: I am the slowest powder consumer known to man.  I hit pan on my purse compact months ago and there's STILL a ton of powder to be used up.  The lipsticks look close to empty, but to put it in perspective, that's how they've looked for the last nine months.  So, without further adieu...here are my 7 nominees!

  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Shade 01 Rose Shimmer
  • Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Bamboo Pink
  • Dior Addict Lipstick in #260 Rose Deshabille (review here)
  • NARS Deep Throat Powder Blush (review here)
  • Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (review here)
  • Urban Decay Virgin Eyeshadow (Naked Palette review here)
  • YSL Matt + Radiant Pressed Powder 

I'll keep you posted on my pan power progress!  

If you participate in any pan-hitting project escapades, let me know in the comments!  If not, will you join me in Project Make A Dent?  What's the last product you hit pan on?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EMPTIES! | Summer Edition (April - August 2014) ☀ PART 2


"Back again with the second verse, it's all clean so I'm not gonna curse..." - Freak Nasty  Here's Part 2 of my epic summer of empties!  If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

HAND & BODY CARE //
"Everybody, yeah!  Rock your body, yeah!" - Backstreet Boys

1. Jergens Original Scent Cherry-Almond Moisturizer, $6.99 USD: I love the light yummy scent of this and the fact that it hydrates really well and soaks in quickly.  There's a reason this lotion has been popular since the 1920's!
Would I repurchase? Yes.

2. Nivea A Touch of Happiness Moisturizing Body Wash, $3.99 USD: While I am a ride or die bar soap gal, I occasionally find myself intrigued by a genuine body wash.  This one was a winner!  It smelled so incredibly good, like a thousand nectarines exploded in my shower, and left my skin soft enough after using it to skip lotion.  Party time!  Excellent!  If this came in bar soap format, I would buy crate loads. 
Would I repurchase? Yes.

3. Weleda Calendula Soap, $8.00 USD: This was a nice gentle soap that foamed well and had a pleasant and subtle herbal scent.  I think the price is a bit steep for the size, but you can find it online at various health food retailers for about half the cost.
Would I repurchase? Yes.

4. Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Body Butter, $48.00 USD fo 6.8 oz: This has been on my wish list ever since Laurie of 312 Beauty featured it on her blog back in January.  I was lucky enough to win a deluxe sample of Tatcha's Moisture Rich Silk Cream from a giveaway Tatcha sponsored with Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book.  I was also able to try 3 samples from their line, and I jumped at the chance to try the Indigo Body Butter.  It was just as luxurious as I'd hoped, moisturizing deeply and sinking into the skin almost on contact.  Truly lovely!
Would I repurchase? Yes.

5. *Magnolia Foaming Sugar Scrub, $7.00 USD for 2 oz: Full review here.  I love this foaming scrub/cleanser hybrid!
Would I repurchase? Yes.
*press sample

6. L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, $28.00 USD for 5.8 oz: It took me about a year to finish this monstrosity!  It was a beaut.  If you're overwhelmed by the endless options available in the hand cream game, go with this.  It's a best-seller because it leaves the hands remarkably soft and smells fresh and clean.
Would I repurchase? Yes.

7. Nivea Extended Moisture Hand Cream, $3.99 USD for 1.7 oz: I really loved this one!  It soaked in lightning fast and left my hands feeling like the smoothest of criminals.  The 1.7 oz size tucks nicely into any bag.
Would I repurchase? Yes.


HAIR CARE //
"Bit--es lookin' at me strange but you know I don't care, step up in this motherf---er just a-swinginmy hair" - Snoop Dogg (I'm in a musical mood, can you tell?)
1. Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong Shampoo, $4.29 USD: This was my HG shampoo until my scalp went bananas after the blonde ambition experiment.  Now my scalp, and hair as a whole, needs moisture so I had to start hunting down a new shamp champ.  I hope that someday, when my hair recovers from the bleaching, I can go back to this shampoo!
Would I repurchase? Yes.

2. L'Oreal Color Vibrancy Instant Shock Treatment Lightweight Melting Mask, $6.99 USD: This stuff rocks!  Wait, do I sound too much like Vern Yip from Trading Spaces?  Moving on, this deep conditioner sinks into my fine hair quickly and leaves it feeling slippery-soft but not a bit weighed down.  I honestly think it's VERY similar to Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle (my HG for life!), only the L'Oreal smells more like Finesse shampoo.  
Would I repurchase? Yes.

3. Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo, $5.99 USD: LOVE.  This is my favorite dry shampoo ever, and this was my 4th or 5th bottle.  It is very lightly scented and does a great job of de-oiling my roots without any adverse reaction from my scalp (it raises the roof often).  Other dry shampoos I've tried have had the most overpowering scents that lingered ALL DAY LONG.  The one from Drybar being the most heavily scented of them all, to the point where I got nauseated.  If strongly fragranced dry shamps turn you off, give this one from NYM's a whirl.  
Would I repurchase? Yes.  Already have!

4. Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo, $4.74 USD: This one smells (and feels) minty, which I wasn't a fan of at all, and did absolutely nothing to soak up oil.  I tried it numerous times.  I liked that it didn't leave a white residue, but my hair seemed oilier afterwards.  I also didn't find it volumizing.  This one is not empty, but it's going to the bin.
Would I repurchase? No.

5. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, $2.97 USD: What can I say about this product?  It's my hair's very fave and they've been besties since 2000-ish.  It never leaves my fine hair weighed down, hydrates to perfection, and leaves my hair shining like a new dime once it's dry.  I also adore the packaging.  There is a little pressure-sensitive valve on the bottom of this; you squeeze the tube, you get conditioner.  I love not having to fumble with a cap!  This stuff works better than any high-end conditioner I've ever used and it's STILL UNDER $3 BUCKS!  Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is in my Desert Island Beauty Bag.
Would I repurchase? Yes.  Always!

6. Lush Daddy-O Shampoo, $9.00 USD for 3.3 oz: I do think this deep purple shampoo helped fight brassiness a little during my brief period of blondness, and it smelled really good, almost masculine. 
Would I repurchase? No.  I'm back to brunette so I don't need brass-fighting shampoo any more!

7. Bumble & bumble Gentle Shampoo, $8.00 USD for 2 oz: I found this and the mini Super Rich Conditioner at Sephora during my last visit there before my wedding.  They were perfect travel sizes for the h-moon, so I snagged them.  I really liked the shampoo, I found it did a good job of cleansing without drying out my scalp.
Would I repurchase? Yes.

8. Bumble & bumble Super Rich Conditioner, $9.00 USD for 2 oz: Like but not love.  The only conditioner to ever come close to my HG Aussie 3 Minute Miracle was the L'Oreal Instant Shock Treatment.  The Super Rich Conditioner worked fine, but I didn't find it as softening as I like.
Would I repurchase? No.

9. Bumble & bumble Creme de Coco Tropical-Riche Shampoo, $8.00 USD for 2 oz: True love!  This shampoo is wonderful!  It hydrates my hair and scalp without leaving it oily or weighed down with conditioners, and it smells like paradise.  It's actually a bit difficult to find the travel size version of this one, but I was lucky enough to snap up 2 for $3.99 (!!) from ACW when they had them in stock.  I love B&b's minis because they allow you to test drive a shampoo before committing to a full sized 8 oz bottle.  
Would I repurchase? Yes!  A full sized bottle is on my wish list!

Thanks for sticking with me through this extra long empties journey! :D

What's your HG shampoo and conditioner?  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

EMPTIES! | Summer Edition (April - August 2014) ☼ PART 1


I have been putting this post off for so long that the little paper Nordies bag I use to house my empties has overflowed.  Procrastinating on an empties post is rather pointless since the longer you wait, the more tubs and bottles accumulate!  I've been thinking about doing my first ever YouTube video (I thought empties would be a good candidate!) but have never recorded or edited a video in my life and feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole process.  I love seeing blog friends come to life on video, so I will keep on truckin' with the YT idea.  There were so many empties this time that I've had to split the post into 2 parts.  Part 2 will be up on Wednesday!

Onto the magical bottles and tubs of empty air!

MAKEUP & NAILS //
Holy shizballs!  Actual makeup empties, you say?!  Yes!  *heart swells with pride*
1. Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, $5.75 USD: My #1 favorite top coat ever.  I've tried many quick dry toppers including Out the Door, Orly Sec N' Dry and Seche Vite, and I prefer the Revlon.  It dries faster than Christmas dinner, doesn't cause shrinking or early chipping, and adds a high gloss shine.  
Would I repurchase? Yes! Already have.

2. NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, $25.00 USD: This is my #1 favorite eyeshadow primer, followed closely by Urban Decay Primer Potion.  I love this one because it has a doe foot applicator that pulls out just the right amount of product to do both of my eyelids.  It dries clear and has a slightly grippy texture that encourages shadows to stay put all day while feeling completely weightless.  This product pulls out the vibrancy of eyeshadows like nobody's business.  I use this every day without fail, even on mornings when I'm not wearing shadow because it keeps my oily lids in check.  This 0.26 oz tube lasted me around 15 months with daily use!  
Would I repurchase? Yes! Already have.

3. NARS Risky Business Lipgloss, $26.00 USD: Though it doesn't look it in the picture, this tube is half-empty.  I ADORE this gloss.  It's a transparent plum with shimmer that's as gorgeous on it's own as it is layered over lipstick.  Risky Business also subtly darkens lipsticks that are a little too light on me.  I purchased the reformulated version of this gloss and I'm happy to report there's no plastic scent and absolutely no tackiness.  
Would I repurchase? This formula has been discontinued, but the reformulated version is part of the permanent line up.  

4.  Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil, $7.99 USD: Aw!  I loved this so much.  This nub was actually my second one.  This pencil has a slightly waxy consistency so it works as a pencil and brow wax to keep untamed hairs in check.  I also LOVE that it has a spoolie attached for blending.  Thank you, Maybelline.  This is truly the best drugstore brow product I've ever used.
Would I repurchase? Absolutely. 


FACIAL SKINCARE //

It appears that I was cleansing round the clock this summer!


1. Avène Thermal Spring Water, $18.00 USD for a pack of three 1.76 oz cans: I'm going to be completely frank.  Some people think this product is total B.S.  I, however, am solidly in the "it's not B.S." camp!  I love this stuff!  Keep a can in the fridge to mist onto your face, neck, and decolletage when you're hot.  Slip one into your bag for an on-the-go cooling spritz.  Spray a bit onto your face prior to applying serums, moisturizers, or masks to aid in absorption.  Both of these cans accompanied us on our honeymoon to Puerto Rico and they were fantastic!  I kept one in my purse and the other in the cooler so we had chilly refreshment everywhere we went.  Let me tell you, walking uphill in the Puerto Rican rainforest to gaze upon the world's largest single aperture telescope featured in The X Files and Contact?  One gets...toasty.  I was basically showering with the Avene spray when we reached the summit!  They really need a dunking pool at the top of that thing.  Or a log flume to ride back down the hill in!  
Photo credit: Wikipedia 

Anywho, suffice it to say I loved having the Avene on hand.  I also got sunburned on a 3 inch panel of my leg (???) and would mist the angry spot with this before applying aloe.  It felt wunderbar!
Would I repurchase? Yes!

2. NARS Makeup Removing Water, $28.00 USD.  This was only my second foray into micellar water-esque cleansers (the first being Bioderma).  I liked it.  It removed face makeup very well, but was just okay at eyeliner and mascara removal.  It was unscented and didn't leave any residue behind.  
Would I repurchase? No, but I certainly don't dislike it. I find Bioderma works better for me.

3. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser With Cottonseed, $23.00 USD: Love this cleanser.  This is my second tube.  It does a fab job of removing makeup, never breaks me out, leaves my skin feeling balanced, and smells like fresh clean laundry, hot out of the dryer.  Though I've been testing out some other cleansers with good results, this one will be on my favorites list for the foreseeable future. 
Would I repurchase? Yes.

4. RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream, $18.00 USD for 2.5 oz: What a stunning, multi-tasking product this is.  It sings, it dances, it acts!  I'm writing up a full review to go with a fun "how to use" pictorial I made when I had blonde hair, so I'll save my in-depth thoughts for that.  Stay tuned! ;)
Would I repurchase? Yes.

5. Lush Santa's Lip Scrub, $8.95 USD: I'd never felt pissed off by a lip scrub before using this.  Yes, it tasted like cola and it did exfoliate my lips, but the mega dose of red coloring stains your lips, the skin around your lips, and your fingers bright clown red and has to be washed off with cleanser.  I also felt like the formulation was off; the sugar grains didn't seem as chunky as other Lush lip scrubs I've used.  I would recommend getting the Bubblegum Lip Scrub over this all day long!
Would I repurchase? No.

What was your favorite makeup, nail care, or facial skincare product you finished this summer?  Are you close to hitting pan on anything?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

FOTD: 90's Neutrals


I just finished doing a light blog makeover using my old header in emerald green (shout out to Kristin at Craftiments for the adorable free social media icons!) and changed my About Me picture (--> over yonder).  I really loved the way that makeup look turned out and it was beyond simple to do.  I'd watched a bunch of Living Single episodes the night before and was inspired by all of the neutral makeup and classic 90's brown lipsticks.  Born in 1980, I was 10-19 during the 90's so I definitely came of age makeup-wise during the era of playing up the features softly using neutral earth tones.  This picture of Winona Ryder with makeup by the legendary Kevyn Aucoin kind of summarizes the 90's look in a nutshell for me.
The 90's influence is still very present in my makeup routine all these years later.  I still gravitate toward softer, more diffused looks using pinky brown lipsticks and brown eyeshadows.  Below is a *beautorial* (ha ha!) for a soft neutral look that plays up your natural features.  Put down your pager (143 - that's for you 90's kids!), stop staring at your poster of JTT, and join me for a little face of the day tutorial!

Here's some sweet 90's music to get you into the spirit!
FOTD: 90's Neutrals


1. Apply a medium coverage matte base.  I used Lumene Time Freeze CC Cream in Medium {review here} applied with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

2. Apply a matte bronzer like Too Faced Chocolate Soleil {review here} to the hairline, tops of cheek bones, jawline, and down the bridge of the nose.  You're bronzing here, not contouring, so hit the high points of your face where the sun would naturally fall.

3. Using an eyeshadow blending brush (I love this one by Sonia Kashuk), apply a bit of powder luminizer in a C from the top of your cheekbones to your temples.  I used MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade.  I prefer to apply highlighter with a domed shadow brush because it allows for more precision and helps you keep the product away from areas you don't wish to spotlight (hello beside-the-nose pores!).

4. Apply a neutral blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend upward toward the temples.  I used the lovely and impossible-to-overdo Dallas by Benefit.  A few of my other fave neutrals include Tarte Exposed, MAC Blushbaby, and Clinique Plum Gorgeous.

5. Apply a red-toned shimmery brown shadow like Clinique Black Honey to the lid and diffuse the edges with a blending brush dipped in the same matte bronzer you just used on your face.  This is such a saver of time and space and delights this lazy gal like you wouldn't believe.  No need to hunt down a matte brown shadow when you've already got one sitting right in front of you in the form of a matte bronzer!

Don't own Clinique Black Honey shadow?  Here are a few similar shades and combos from my stash:
Anastasia Beverly Hills: Rum Cake topped with Pink Sapphire (from the Lavish palette)
Estee Lauder: Raisins Pure Color EyeShadow Duo (right side)
LORAC: Sable topped with Garnet (from the Pro palette)
MAC: Swiss Chocolate topped with Cranberry
Maybelline: Pomegranate Punk Color Tattoo
Too Faced: Hazelnut topped with Cherry Cordial (from the Chocolate Bar palette)
 
6. Curl your lashes and apply two coats of black mascara.  I used Maybelline Volum Express The Mega Plush Mascara in Blackest Black.

7. Fill in your brows and soften any edges using a spoolie.  I used Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde.

8. Pinky brown lips finish the look and balance out the eyeshadow without overpowering anything.  I find Maybelline The Buffs Lipstick in Touchable Taupe flattering on my neutral light-medium complexion (for reference, I'm NW25 in MAC foundation).  A lot of people write off brown-toned lipsticks as unflattering or aging, but when you find a shade that truly flatters you, it enhances your lips without competing with the rest of your makeup.  If I was wearing bright coral lipstick in this photo, would you even notice my eyes?  Your eyes would go straight to my lips.  Pinky browns allow your lips to say hello without shouting, "HAI!  I'M POPPIN' LIKE A GREASEFIRE AT BURGER KING!".

What decade most influences your makeup style today?  What's your favorite neutral lipstick?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette | Review, Swatches, EOTD


I was pretty stoked when I first heard about Maybelline's new The Nudes eyeshadow palette.  Twelve neutral shades ranging in finish from matte, satin, and shimmer all for the budget-friendly price of $8.99 USD.  I know I've griped before that it takes MONTHS to get the "new" drugstore products in-stock at any of my local retailers (Walgreens, CVS, Target) here in Atlanta.  It's like we really are Terminus.  Anywho, the reason I mention it here is to explain what took me so long!  I picked this up as soon as I saw it at my local Target.
I think it's AWESOME to see a nice eyeshadow palette of this magnitude from a drugstore brand!  When drugstore quads are going for $7.00-$9.00 USD a pop, it's pretty amazing to get 12 shadows for the price of 4.  Not everyone wants to drop $52 on an Urban Decay Naked palette, so it's wonderful to see Maybelline release a neutral option at a very reasonable price point.
The Nudes is a very well thought-out palette.  If palettes ever leave you Googling for ideas, you can safely step away from your laptop with The Nudes.  On the back of the palette you'll find instructions for how to use the shadows as quads, trios, and duos!  Super simple, handy, and helpful!  I think the quads and duos are especially fantastic.  Mega props to Maybelline for the thought that went into arranging the colors so they make sense.  While the included skinny sponge tipped applicator may not be great for applying color to the lid, it's quite perfect for smudging out liner around the eyes.  
Is there anything I don't love?  Well...yes.  I always like shadows to have names and love for the pans to be labeled.  However, that's certainly not a deal-breaker at $8.99.  The pigmentation on a few of the shadows is not stellar.  The matte ivory and matte black shadows are a bit patchy with or without primer, and the shimmery white shade needs to be packed on to get true-to-pan color.  Aside from those three, the shadows are pretty fantastic.  The shimmers are especially beautiful and apply like absolute butter! 
Maybelline The Nudes Palette - Left Side
Maybelline The Nudes Palette - Right Side
Swatched first...photographed after.  DOH!
For the swatches below, all shadows were applied over NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.  I have oily lids so eyeshadow primer is a daily do.  Even if you don't have issues with fading or creasing, I would recommend wearing a base to unleash the full fury of these shadows.
Top row of Maybelline The Nudes Palette
Bottom row of Maybelline The Nudes Palette
Maybelline The Nudes Palette
Overall, would I recommend this palette?  Absolutely!  I think it's a fantastic budget-friendly neutral option and I can't say enough how much I love the color arrangement!  

Where to Buy: Drugstore.com, ULTA

Quick and easy bronze EOTD:
Bronzey-gold on the lid, medium mauve in crease, shimmery white on brow bone
All makeup worn:
1. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz
2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla
3. MAC Golden Bronzer
4. NARS Madly Blush
5. Maybelline The Nudes Palette
6. MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara
7. NARS Angelika Lip Gloss
Have you tried Maybelline The Nudes?  What's your favorite drugstore neutral shadow palette?  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's On My Nightstand?


Hello and happy Sunday!  I enjoy seeing "what's in my makeup bag"-type posts because they offer you a peek into what people love and actually use.  In that vein, I thought I'd share my nightstand essentials!  

THE PRODUCTS //
While writing this post I realized my favorite nightstand products all share 2 important qualities: mega hydration and a-little-goes-a-long-way longevity.
1. Southern Hospitality Sunday's Best Foot Creme, $8.00 USD.  I am quite enamored with using this decadent moisturizer on my hands every night.  It smells so clean and leaves my skin feeling softer than baby lambs the next morning.

2. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin E Active Moisture Eye Balm, $48.00 USD.  This thick, divinely hydrating waterless shea butter balm melts effortlessly into the skin.  It's also a gem for morning use if you wake up with puffy eyes due to the inclusion of organic fennel as a natural anti-inflammatory.  If you're thinking the price is a bit steep for half an ounce, I've had this pot since early April 2013.  I use it every night without fail, I scooped out a bit to share with my mom, and I've yet to finish it!

3. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $26.00 USD.  Slathering on a layer of this intensely hydrating balm ensures the lips of a 3 year old the next morning.  I cannot recommend this enough.  As a balm junkie and sampler of what seems like every balm in the known world, this is my HG for life.  I've actually gotten up out of bed at night to go retrieve it from my purse or off my desk.  It's that good!

4. Southern Hospitality Cuticle Salve, $6.00 USD.  This adorable sliding tin holds a quarter ounce of the most pleasing honey lemon scented salve that keeps my dry cuticles in check.

THE ACCESSORIES //
Bath & Body Works Gelato Candle // The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt // Silk Peony Bouquet // Pier 1 Baby Roxie Plus Owl // Round Glass Ring Holder (similar) // Crackle Glass Lamp Base and Gold Beetle Dish originally from Target, now discontinued

What are some of your HG bedside table products?  What book are currently reading?