Sunday, July 5, 2015

Loves & Lemons | June 2015

What is Loves & Lemons?  A compilation of the best - and worst - products that I encountered during the previous month.  Read on to see what I loved and what didn't quite measure up!  Be sure to share your loves and lemons in the comments below!

Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in Pecan | Review
This beautiful MLBB pink has been in heavy rotation this month.  The ultra creamy formula delivers full opacity without being drying.  A true lip treat!

JAS├ľN Calming Lavender Body Wash
Such a beautiful, tranquil scent; I look forward to using this every evening.  It soothes the senses and the skin with natural lavender and marigold extracts and nourishes with vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5.  I really do feel like this calms my nerves.  The scent lingers on the skin post-shower in the lightest, loveliest way.  I will definitely be purchasing the matching hand & body lotion A.S.A.P.  Shout out to Hannah / Gold Glitter Diaries for convincing me to buy this dreamy body wash!

NAILS INC. NAILKALE Superfood Base Coat
My mom introduced me to NAILS INC. a few years ago.  She dug their Caviar Top Coat for it's thick, glass-like finish and 45-second dry down.  I decided to try their anti-oxidant rich NAILKALE Superfood Base Coat when it was time for a new bottle of base.  Staining has been a huge problem for me in the past as I lurve my bold blues and reds.  I've been using the Superfood Base Coat for about 3 months now and my problems with staining are OVER. My nails are stronger; no breaking, splitting or peeling.  The Superfood Base Coat is the only thing I've changed in my home manicure routine, so I'm giving it all the cred!

Smith & Cult Birdie Num Num | Review
This polish is gorgeous both in formula and bottle design.  For me, there's nothing more summery than azure blue nail polish to remind me of clear, sunny skies!

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar
Why I felt like I didn't need this palette when it debuted, I'll never know.  My friend Sarah / Tatt2s and Warpaint sent it to me after she did a major stash decluttering and I've used it nearly every day!  Nougat and Peanut Butter are the most amazing matte crease shades.  I love swiping Pudding or Rum Raisin on my lids and darkening the outer v with Hot Fudge for a super easy brown smoky eye.  Thank you for sending me this gem, Sarah!

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk
This slayed my eyes.  I started thinking of it as the Take Your Eyes Off Cleansing Milk.  My eyes burned like a grease fire at Hardee's every time I used this.

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Eyeliner
I can only eke out a blip of a line on my lid before the brush tip runs out of juice.  I've tried getting the brush working on the back of my hand first and it still nets the same results on the lid.  This thing has no flow.  My LORAC Front of the Line PRO Liquid Eyeliner is around 2 years old and flows with perfection.  I bought this to replace the LORAC since it's so old, but the LORAC made the Maybelline look like a complete fool.  What's your favorite pen-style liquid liner?

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita | Review
While the shade is lovely and the pigmentation is unstoppable, the dry, powdery texture is just not my cup of tea.

What were your June Loves & Lemons?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review! | Smith & Cult Birdie Num Num Nailed Lacquer

This stunning bottle looks like a couture perfume, but the awesome doesn't end there.  The formula is divine!  Birdie Num Num is an opaque turquoise blue with one coat coverage.  My mom gifted me this little beauty for my birthday last month, and I see it being a gateway polish into more beauties from Smith & Cult.

Fun Fact: Smith & Cult was created by Dineh Mohajer, who also co-created Hard Candy back in the mid-'90s with her sister.  In 1995, Hard Candy Sky nail polish sold out in record time after Clueless's reigning teen queen Alicia Silverstone revealed it was the polish she was wearing on the Late Show with David Letterman. :)

W H E R E  T O  B U Y

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review! | Bite Beauty PECAN Butter Cream Lipstick

Think a pigmented lipstick can't possibly be as creamy as pudding and as comfy to wear as your slinky modal pajama pants?  Let me introduce you to the most amazing full pigment lipstick I've ever owned: Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in Pecan.  Not only can she leap tall buildings in a single pass, she also reaches 100% color opacity in a single swipe!  While still remaining comfy!
These are not the kind of high pigment lipsticks that leave your lips feeling parched and powdery.  Pecan feels like a cushion of creamy hydration has just been locked and loaded on my lips. Hours later, when most of my other lipsticks have faded and my lips start alerting me to seek balm immediately, my lips are happy.  But sure, they'd love it if I reapplied Pecan.  Because to them, lip balm and Pecan have the same consistency and results: hydrated lips that are quite pleased with life!
All of the Butter Creams are "Hand Cut".  Bite literally cuts each lipstick by hand and places a little wax paper seal over the end.  They do this because they want you to start the lipstick experience at the rich, creamy core of the tube, not at the waxy tip of the bullet.  The lipstick is supremely creamy (but never so slippery that it maraudes outside of my lip lines), so maybe they're onto something here.  I will say that without a traditional bullet point, it could make these harder to maneuver on smaller lips.  Check them out in store if you're not sure.  I haven't had any issues with application, but you guys know I have pretty big lip honkers. ;)

I was a little concerned that Pecan, described as a "warm, dusty pink", would be a bit too light for me, but it turned out to be a perfect MLBB shade.
I did a few comparison swatches since this type of dusty pinky-brown color is well represented in my stash for it's ease of wear and ability to match any makeup look I decide to do.  Pecan is warmer, less pink, and more luminous than NARS Anita Audacious Lipstick.  Pecan is creamier and more opaque than Urban Decay Naked Revolution Lipstick.
Bite Pecan | NARS Anita | UD Naked | UD Rush | MAC Viva Glam V | UD Fiend

Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipsticks come in 8 gorgeous MLBB shades ranging from neutral pinks to cocoa-riffic browns.  If you've ever avoided full coverage lipsticks because you have dry lips, Bite Beauty Butter Creams are definitely worth checking out.

W H E R E  T O  B U Y
Have you tried anything from Bite Beauty?  Y'all know I have the serious feels for their Agave Lip Mask.  What's your favorite creamy, full-coverage lipstick?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review! | NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita

Saying you don't like NARS Anita Audacious Lipstick is like saying you don't think Michael Jordan was good at basketball.  AUDACIOUS IS AMAZING!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!  NARS AUDACIOUS = NOTHIN' BUT NET!

Revealing that you're not a fan of NARS Audacious Lipsticks is like saying you don't find Keanu Reeves memes funny.
Well, I love Michael Jordan and think Keanu memes are hilarious.  But when it comes to NARS Audacious Lipsticks, Anita at least, I'm not in the fan club.
I know.  The beauty world's going to throw soiled Beauty Blenders at me for this one, but hear me out.  My lips live for hydration, so I tend to favor creamy, smooth lipsticks.  Anita feels dry and, dare I say, gritty.  To me, wearing it feels like I've pressed powder eyeshadow over lip balm.  I know this shade in particular is well loved as a universally flattering dusty pink.  I agree, the color is beautiful and the pigmentation is absolutely off the charts.  The swatch picture above?  That's 1 swipe.  Unfortunately, I can't get to a point where I find wearing Anita enjoyable due to the dry, powdery texture.

What was the last lipstick that didn't get along with you?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review! | Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

As most of you know, I just turned 35.  Hydrating the skin is only going to get me so far, and I decided a few months ago to start looking for a retinoid product that wouldn't destroy my skin but would still give me the wrinkle-fighting, skin smoothing results I wanted.  After much research, and coinciding with the Sephora VIB sale, I picked up the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil.  After 6 weeks of use, I have nothing but raves!   
How many times have you tried, and subsequently given up on, a retinol product because it dried out your skin, made it peel, or caused redness and burning?  If you're sick of riding the retinol rollercoaster, you should take a chance on LunaLuna is a genius product; it's a retinol ester OIL.  So while the retinol ester is penetrating your skin, working it's magic to reduce fine lines, dark spots, and large pores, the cold pressed chia, avocado, and concord grape seed oils hydrate your skin and keep the retinol from aggravating it.  
Luna is a blueish green oil that disappears into the skin.  It soaks in beautifully, and I don't wake up with an oil slick on my face.  This stuff is pretty amazing.  I've been using it for about 6 weeks and my skin is smooth and bright, and looks better than ever before.  I've noticed a reduction in dark spots and fine lines around my eyes and mouth.  All this without any of the usual skin reactions I've experienced in the past with retinol products (redness, burning, itching, peeling, flaking).  
It's pricey but after seeing the results, Luna is worth every penny.  The bottle is HUGE.  I've used 6 drops each night (3-4 drops on my face and 2 drops on my neck) for 6 weeks and I've hardly made a dent.  I think the bottle will last me 9-12 months!  I've never been happier with an anti-aging skincare product.

Have you tried Luna, or anything else from Sunday Riley?  Have you used a retinol product before?
W H E R E  T O  B U Y