Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint Review

Are you surprised that my search for a fun, new foundation continues?  Well, it has, and I have recently tested and reviewed the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF.  So what did I think?

 

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Let me start by saying I was so intrigued by the descriptions of this Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (I tested the color Groeland) product (matte, skin like, long lasting, packed with SPF), and I do LOVE Nars products – even at their elevated price ($44 for this product)!  In fact, one of my favorite foundations is the Nars Sheer Glow!  I also recently have started discovering their blushes and lipsticks but that is another posting.

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Quick backdrop for this review.  I have dry skin right now (due to my use of Retin A).  I have quite a bit of hyper pigmentation on my lower cheeks and easily get redness in patches on my face especially around my nose.  And, of course, I have fine lines and wrinkles…

Did it live up to my expectations?……….Ummm – sadly – no.  The greatest fail for this skin tint is that it never became one with my skin.  Instead, it just sat on top and looked like something on my face.  I tried numerous primers and no primer and various application methods all with different formulas of moisturizer – should one have to work that hard though?  The second greatest drawback for this skin tint was that it ITCHED my skin so much that I could not wait to wash it off!  Ugh…this was not a fun test and a less fun review.

I do not know what happened because I hear such wonderful glowing reviews from others.  Perhaps it is my sensitive skin?  For example, I cannot wear BareMinerals powder foundation as it makes my skin crawl and itch like crazy.  I have never before had itching from a liquid foundation (like) product however.  Even without the itch factor though the appearance it created was not flattering and just sat on my skin – no blending or marriages between my skin and the product at all.  I even experimented with different setting sprays to see if I could get it to work.  Nothing seemed to make it both look flattering or feel comfortable.  On top of it all, I am not thrilled to purchase a product that you have to stand on one foot, hold you hand at a 37 degree angle, and say “pretty please” ten times!

Any thoughts or recommendations?  What are your experiences with this product?  Sorry that I could not be more favorite to it. Regardless, I still LOVE Nars products!

If you want to see my video review and demo application, click below.

Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder

I have been hot and cold to contouring but mainly because it never worked for me. Another hypothesis (and a very viable one) is that I did not know how to do it well and have the right products. To end this turmoil and resulting muddy looking cheeks, I started on a quest – a quest to find the right contour for me and to learn how to apply it on MY face.

I have followed the craze of buying the multi-color palettes out there such as the Kat Von D Shade & Light contour palette, the Tarte Tartest Contour Palette, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour palettes. I even ventured to trying the Nyx contour products. In the end, they all ended up not quite working as well as I had hoped OR only two of the colors in the palettes worked for me. Have you encountered this?

So…that is the history behind my pursuit of a contour palette. And, now, I ventured into a different quest. Contour palette – yes; but the focus here is on finding the compact that holds only the powders that I really like and work for me (sometimes those two goals are not mutually exclusive!).

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IMG_0837It is beautiful, isn’t it? The case feels so rich and wonderful and who does not love that little button to open it? The size is quite large but it is so thin – sort of reminds me of my 13” Mac Book Air! And the mirror inside is wonderful and large enough to actually use! The feel of the compact reflects the price tag though – at $49 it is pricy – but on par with the other palettes that I had purchased and not used all the products inside (well the Tarte one is rather nice all around!). Okay, so the compact is divine but that is not what I bought it for, right? How does it work and how are the powders?

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There are three different color options with this palette: Mirage Filter 40 – light gold/ light bronze; Dream Filter 20 – soft pink/ medium bronze; and Hi Fi Filter 60 – warm peach/ deep bronze. After consultation with the Sephora associate, I opted for the Dream Filter 20 with the subtle pink highlighter and medium bronze contour. This actually surprised me because I intended to purchase Mirage Filter; however, after trying them on we decided that the yellow toned highlight was aging on me! See, I told you I am not great at picking out the colors!

I was so excited to try this out on my own after seeing how wonderful the contour powder looked on my skin! And the powders were so smooth and blendable but still showed up on my skin without looking muddy. The real test though is whether I can make it look right as well and…it worked! I was so thrilled with the result of the contour! The highlight however works for me color-wise and helps sharpen up the color I apply under my cheeks (mega chisel look) but does not play well with my under eye area unfortunately. That is okay though as I am starting to shy away from applying anything to that delicate (and aging quickly) area.

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Overall, I am very happy with this palette and can definitely see me using it and ALL of it! The size worries me a bit though in regards to traveling but I will see what happens there and let you know. Although I am thrilled with the Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder, I do have the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder on its way to me…the search has not officially ended I guess..

Here is my video review so you can see it in action too!

Thanks for taking part in this quest! What is your favorite contour palette or compact?

Hourglass Modernist Eye Palette in Atmosphere Review

To be honest, I have been drooling over the Hourglass Modernist Eye Palettes for a LONG time! I held out testing it out for a few reasons: very expensive and mixed reviews of the product.  As you can see, however, the magnetic pull to this palette won out and here it is!

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Hourglass Modernist Eye Shadow palette is beautiful but does it work well as an eye shadow?  There are seven available Hourglass Modernist palettes :

  1. Obscure is earthy tones and includes: cream, smokey brown, rose gold, coffee, and cool bronze
  2. Monochrome is rose tones and includes: warm ivory, rose nude, peony pink, light mauve, and dark chocolate
  3. Infinity is warm neutrals with warm ivory, dusty rose, bronzed mauve, cool taupe, and dark cocoa
  4. Graphite includes smokey tones warm ivory, copper gold, deep brown, gun metal,and silver
  5. Exposure is plum based with champagne, aubergine, bronze, black violet, and lilac shadows
  6. Color Field is olive and has warm ivory, champagne gold, taupe brown, golden olive, and forest green
  7. Atmosphere has cool neutrals such as pale ivory, pale pink, taupe, espresso, and charcoal – this is the only all matte palette

I chose the Atmosphere selection – and if you know me you would have guessed that since it is the only all matte palette. The colors in the palette are so appropriate for me and, in reality, the only colors that I really wear.

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So…what did I think about this palette?

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I LOVE it!!  It is so beautiful to view and that does not end there.  The colors are so creamy-ish and apply/blend flawlessly.  There is definite fall-out but that happens in almost all my palettes and does not bother me at all!

The fact that there are no true dividers between the colors may not appeal to all.  I find it as a non-issue with me and lends to the beauty of the palette.  What I do not know, however, is whether it will crack when you start to hit pan in an area.  Does anyone know?

Some reviews I analyzed reported that the lighter colors did not hold much pigmentation and/or were more dry than the others.  I did not find this with my palette at all.

Another question is longevity.  I use eye shadow primer with my Mac Paint Pot (in painterly) my favorite item to use to serve this purpose.  Using primer (I also tested it out with a Smashbox and Urban Decay primer), the shadows last all day (10+ hours) with little, if any, fading or creasing.  So happy!!

A lingering question is…how much?  Okay – take a seat because this is startling (at least it was to me).  The Hourglass Modernist palettes case $58 but before you shut the door, remember that you can (hopefully) find a palette that has all colors that you will USE – not one of those loaded palettes that you typically use only 1/3 of the colors (at least that is what happens with me!).  The quantity of shadow for each color is also greater than what you often receive in larger eye shadow palettes, which is important when they are colors you love and use regularly!  The colors in this palette also lend to creating several different looks even though there are only five options.  Do I sound convinced that this is a good buy?  Well, for me it really is!  I adore it and am so happy with my leap of faith to purchase it!  Hourglass rocks again!

See my video review in the link below and then let me know what you think!!

Thanks so much!!  Enjoy!

 

Best of 2015!

Happy new year!!  As promised, here are the products that fall into the category of Best of 2015!  Did any of these make your lists?  If not, what products did you love across 2015?  So excited about 2016!!!

Miscellaneous Items:

 

Skin Care

Makeup:

What were your favorites across 2015???

Tarte Timeless Beauty Essentials Review

Holidays and limited edition sets are starting to show up everywhere!  The Tarte Timeless Beauty Essentials is a beauty and is exclusive to Ulta.  I hope this helps you decide if you should add to your holiday shopping list (for giving or receiving!).  Click here to go to the link on Ulta for the Tarte Timeless Beauty Essentials.

The Tarte Timeless Beauty Essentials limited-edition set ($36) that is exclusive to Ulta includes:

  • Timeless Smoothing Primer (0.067 oz.) – Deluxe sample
  • Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Timeless (peach melon) (0.2 oz.) – Full size
  • Blush Brush
  • Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Angelic Nude (0.1 oz.) – Full size
  • Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara (0.16 oz.) – Deluxe sample

So what did I think?  This set of products from Tarte is amazing and so worth the money – actually it is a great value!

The Timeless Smoothing Primer really surprised me.  It has a thicker consistency (reminded me of the new Make Up For Ever primers and Benefit’s Porefessional) but applies easily.  My foundation glides right on top and the finish is matte but alive – if the makes sense.  I cannot say it makes my makeup last any longer than any other primer but I am on board with it!

I love Tarte blushes and this blush in Timeless one was no let down.  I love how well they apply and blend and they remain consistent throughout the day.  Timeless is a peachy-melon shade that will probably work well for anyone?  I love, love it!

The blush brush is not only beautiful – look at the design on the handle (!) – but it applies blush flawlessly.  It is somewhat soft but full bristled, which is perfect for me for applying blush.  I also adore how pretty it is!

I have had very limited experience with Tarte lipsticks but that will not last!  I love the feel of them!  The Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Angelic Nude that is part of this set is a beautiful pinky-nude color.  What I love the most, however, is the feel of it.  It is so moisturizing and glides on your lips!  I am not as fond of the cardboard lipstick tube but at least it is cute.  As for longevity – it last but not for a long, long time.  I do not mind this though because I love applying it!

Finally, the mascara…I have not had much luck with Tarte mascaras before.  That means, that I never thought they out-performed any of my other favorites, which typically are from the drug store (e.g., L’Oreal Butterfly mascara is amazing!).  I also prefer waterproof mascaras.  The Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement mascara from this kit is different.  I really like it!  It is a bit “wet” in consistency but between the product and the brush it does some magic!  I definitely will use this sample, but I am not sure yet if I will purchase a full size any time in the future.

So, big “thumbs up” to this limited edition set!  I love it and am so happy with each piece included in the limited edition collection.  I would highly recommend it as a gift or as a purchase for yourself.  Has anyone else tried it?  I would love to hear your thoughts!  What other kits are on your gift list?

Until next time, I will keep my eye out for other potential gift items!  If you want to see my video, please click below (and sub too!).  I have a new goal of getting to 500 subscribers!  Share as well!!

Hoping all is well!

 

 

Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette

It is hot and it is amazing! The NEW remix eye shadow palette by Kat Von D – Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) Remix Eye Shadow Palette. An incredible assortment of 24 shadows (matte and shimmery) for $59. Click here for a link

This palette features 24 eye shadows in the following colors:

  • Muse (lilac purple),
  • Echo (purple glitter),
  • Dark Wave (deep navy),
  • Synth (electric blue),
  • Hyperballad (sea blue),
  • Lemmy (grass green),
  • Misfit (kelly green),
  • Vinyl (neon green),
  • Legend (golden yellow),
  • Fran (deep mustard yellow),
  • Analogue (burnt orange),
  • Harpsichord (metallic bronze),
  • Rewind (aubergine),
  • Destroyer (bright strawberry),
  • Swoon (fuchsia),
  • Love (shimmery rose),
  • Anthem (purple),
  • Vox (chocolate brown),
  • Moulder (butter yellow),
  • Noble (nude),
  • Skulls (iridescent pearl),
  • Black Metal (matte black),
  • Lyric (white pearl),
  • Strutter (taupe)

Beyond the beautiful colors, what do I think about the palette?  Well, it is amazing but may be a bit outside my comfort zone!  I love neutrals, browns, brick colors, and some plums (deep ones), but this has some colors that are probably not going to work for me.  I will definitely give it a try to use them however!  The shadows themselves are right on par with what you expect from Kat Von D – smooth, blendable, but with some fallout in the tray.  The pigment is perfect.  The one that did not transfer well was such a dark purple (Echo) that I was glad it did not layer too heavily!

On the down side, the packaging is heavy duty cardboard, so I am not sure about its durability.  It also is rather large and would never travel with me.  I also had a tough time finding a place to store it!

In the end, I will highly recommend this palette to anyone who likes to be creative and appreciates the colorful assortment offered!  The shadows are wonderful.

What do you all think? Will you be purchasing this palette? It is out of stock right now but should be back – fingers crossed! A holiday mix of vibrant colors and a few neutrals.

Here is my YouTube video where you can see the swatches and view one of my eye shadow looks created with the palette – very unlike me with purples!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing September 2015


It is that time of the month – unboxing of subscription boxes!  I have been getting Ipsy boxes for about three months now and am enjoying them quite a bit.  There always seems to be something fun.  If not, the bags are always adorable (not that I really NEED any more bags though!).

In case you do not know about Ipsy – It is a monthly beauty subscription box – $10 month and you can cancel when you want. You get 5 products each month and a (usually very cute) bag! If you are not signed up and want to investigate, click here. It is a really fun subscription service (one of the only ones that I consistently keep).

Here is what I got this month and what I think of the product:

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub – Nice face scrub that left my skin feeling refreshed.  Not sure of the impact of it yet but it felt like it was doing something good!

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

Pixi by Petra Brow Powder Trio – When I first opened my Ipsy bag, I thought this was an eye shadow trio and wondered why it did not transfer well.  But, of course, that was wrong.  It is a brow trio and a rather nice one too.  The neutral color is a nice addition to help clean up around the brow area.

Pixi Brow Trio Colors

tre”StiQue Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude – This is a very neutral or nude color that just does not show up on my lips in a flattering way.  I have found that it works well as a base for other colors though!

Tresique Lip pencil

 

Temptu Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer – A very shimmery liquid highlighter.  So very pretty but too pink/peach for my coloring and also probably too shimmery.  Pretty none the less!

Temptu liquid highlighter

Nyx Cosmetics Eye Shadow Trio – This was a surprise to me – it is really nice!  The colors are rather pigmented, not much fall out, and they blend fairly well (but not as nice as some other higher end ones).  The colors are very pretty and work well for me as long as I go light on the shimmery shade.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Nyx eye shadow trioNyx eye shadow trio                                 thumb_IMG_0283_1024

 

The bag is also adorable! Isn’t it!   thumb_IMG_0277_1024

So what did you all get in your Ipsy bags this month?  I am also going to share my first BirchBox soon!

Here is my video review of my Ipsy bag.  Please sub to me on YouTube too!

Thanks All!  Until next time…have great days and evenings!

Fall (or Autumn) Favorites Tag Video

It is almost Fall or Autumn depending on what seasonal reference works for you.  I have never made a TAG video before so I hope this works well.  I also filmed the video I included below at the beach so feel free to watch if you need the scenic version!

I have 12 questions listed below that serve as the foundation for the TAG video.  I have answered them, tagged a few others to join in, and hope that this will be shared several times over with all new viewpoints on fall favorites!  Here are the dozen questions for the Fall Favorites Tag.

Favorite Fall Things TAG Questions:

  1. Favorite thing about fall?
  2. Least favorite thing about fall?
  3. Favorite fall holiday?
  4. Favorite clothing item for fall?
  5. Favorite makeup trend for fall?
  6. Sweaters or sweatshirts?
  7. Do you change your makeup or skin care routine for fall? If so, how?
  8. Favorite fall food/drink?
  9. Favorite fall scent?
  10. Fall TV show premiere you’re looking forward to most?
  11. Favorite sports team (if any)?
  12. Favorite fall tradition?

I am TAGging:

Geeks and Beauties From Geeks and Beauties Google+ Community:

      Laney Estell from Zaney Laneyhttp://tinyurl.com/n9pbrzo

Sasha from FizzyFreeze – http://tinyurl.com/qxgnrdw

Desiree D from Desiree Dhttp://tinyurl.com/pjw6s5m

 

 

 

Women Supporting Youtube forumFrom Women Creators Support Forum Google+ Community – who did a great job explaining TAG videos on her community page. Thanks Cecily!

Cecily Jamelia from Cecliy Jameliahttp://tinyurl.com/nv4yrmt

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the Fall (Autumn) Favorites TAG Video.  Enjoy!

Click below to:
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Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Laura Mercier Colour to Go Portable Palette: Is it travel worthy?

 

Laura Mercier Colour to Go Portable Palette in Warm Neutrals. Is it travelworthy or just plain fun? See what I think and let me know what you think!

Although not available via typical beauty retail stores, which is why I hesitated in even reviewing it, this palette is amazing and keeps up to the expectations that I hold (very high ones) for any high end product and especially any Laura Mercier products.  What is included in this palette?  I LOVE this collection of shadows, blushes, contour, and lip gloss – although the lip gloss is the least exciting part.

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As you look at the palette, you may notice the accordion structure for the palette.  The bronzer and blush are housed in the bottom section while the eye shadows are offered in the top section.  A smallish mirror is included but it really is rather small and not something I would ever use unfortunately.  A lip gloss (clear color) cuts through both levels but is most easily accessed through the top (shadow) level.  The casing is study plastic and has yet to even sustain a scratch despite many trips that has taken with me!  Not only does this fit well in a travel case, it also is very purse friendly!  Overall dimension are 3.75 inches long by 2.25 inches wide.

As for the colors:

The bottom level of the “double decker” holds one matte medium bronzer and one blush (second skin cheek color) in Sweet Mandarin.

The top of the palette is devoted to eyes and includes a matte light color in Butter Cream, a luster (shimmery) brown/bronze color in Rosewood, a sateen shadow in Cocoa Brown, and a liner cake pan also great for tightlining in Chocolate Brown.  The lip gloss is a very sheer color called “Sweetheart”.

All the products have great depth and transfer beautifully to the skin.  There is some powder dispersion during application but it is very, very minimal and much less than some of my other favorite palettes such as any Kat Von D or Too Faced palettes.  Blending is also quite easy but they are not as “buttery” as some other products the best I can think of for having that “buttery” feeling is Make Up Geek products, right?  Longevity is nothing special but all the product stay true to their color throughout most of an 7 hour day.

So…what do I think?  I adore this palette and although it is limited in its color selections, it is perfect for short trips or trips where makeup is not a priority but wanted for evenings for example.  If I were planning to take this for a longer trip, I might tag along one more blush and another small eye shadow palette just for the sake of mixing things up a bit.  For the purse though – fabulous as it has all the basic essentials.  See my ratings below:

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As I mentioned earlier, this is not a product that is found in our typical makeup retail stores.  I found it on Ebay (and for a very nice price)!  But buyer beware as you never know the authenticity of the products you find on some of these outlets.  In short, here are some places where I recently found Laura Mercier Colour to Go Portable Palette in Natural Nudes:

* Amazon – http://amzn.to/1EL6zhp – $48

* Ebay also had several listings

* Bridgette’s Boutique – $39.50

* Also try used beauty products websites such as Poshmark  or Glambot

Final Look using Laura Mercier Colour to Go Portable Palette

If you are interested in watching my video review and a demonstration, here is my YouTube review (please subscribe too!).

Bath and Body Swap with Geeks and Beauties Google Community Forum

 

Swap time for Bath and Body Products! See what amazing things I got from the Geeks & Beauties Google Community swap we just held. I was partnered up with Sasha from FizzyFreeze (see her contact information below) and got some over the top items! I loved this swap experience as I had fun shopping for Sasha picking out some of my favorite items and also exploring for things that I thought she would like based on characteristics she said she likes in bed and bath products. What fun! I also had so much fun opening the package that she sent me and have found some new extra special products that I never knew about before (and I love them!).

Click here to see Sasha’s FizzyFreeze video review of the unboxing of the swap box I sent her. Be sure to check it out and sub too!

Also, check out the Geeks & Beauty community on Google+ and take part in one of our future swaps, join in on the discussions, or just meet others with similar interests.

Please also check out FizzyFreeze on her other social media venues!

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/fizzyfreeze
Instagram/Twitter: @omgitssmk

FizzyFreeze also has a wonderful product company to check out.  Here is her website for THE FROSTING COMPANY.  If you want to order anything, she also has a
10% off coupon code.  Just enter “SHOPSASHA”

 

Finally, here is the video link to the unboxing for the amazing products that Sasha sent me!