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!

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.

Image

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:

Ratings Image

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!).

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow Review

So the minute you see “Charlotte Tilbury” you may be thinking of the price tag associated with her products, but hopefully you also think of the quality of the products.  I thought of that too and this is the first of my high – high end purchases that I have made.  So is it worth it?  What do I think?

First, here the description of the Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($68) from the Charlotte Tilbury website:

This is a secret that silver screen sirens have kept to themselves for years – and once I share it – so will you! With FILMSTAR BRONZE & GLOW you can slim, sculpt, shorten, trim and highlight your features. It’s amazing what clever shading and highlighting tricks can do to your facial framework – it’s an illusion that I use all the time, particularly for red carpet scrutiny, and my clients can’t get enough of it. Take what you were born with and maximize your assets with FILMSTAR BRONZE & GLOW!

• The bronzer is the perfect universal blend of pearl and pigment to contour features and mimic a sun-kissed complexion.

• The highlighter is built up from a golden base that flatters any skin tone, and uses Light Flex Technology to capture light and radiate it out for a luminous complexion.

• Colour-rich pigments are rolled into elastomer pearls that smooth & buff the skin for excellent blendability & perfect color uniformity.

Another quote describes this pair of products as “fool proof.”  I have to admit that I often fall for these types of descriptions – beauty in a quick and easy step that cannot be messed up!  Now the question hangs in the air – is it fool proof?  Does it look as good as stated above?  Will I be sad about having spend this type of money on it?

First of all, it is lovely!  The packaging is gorgeous and feels very fancy.  It does not stop there either.  When you open the duo, you are treated to a beautiful pairing of colors!  Upon review, however, you may wonder if the colors will even work of you as they seem so light – granted I purchased the Light to Medium duo.  As you can see in the swatches below, the bronzer barely shows up at all on my arm, although my arm is quite a bit darker than my face.  The consistency of the powders are amazing – so soft and blendable!  They just glide on the skin!  No, they actually melt into your skin!  I can see how they say they are foolproof because they are definitely not harsh colors!

So do they pack the punch that you would expect from a high-high end product?  For me, yes they do because I really wanted an every day bronzer and highlighter that I can use and not have to think too much about in its application.  In other words, I wanted fool proof, and I got it!  This duo will definitely make it to my everyday makeup routine!  The bronzer is a soft color that does not produce harsh lines (on my skin) but seems to just become one with my skin.  The highlighter, on the other hand, glows but without harsh sparkles.  Definitely not a “I can see you” highlighter but a more subtle but definitely there highlighter. As you can see, this is a no-brainer duo.  You could almost use this in your sleep and not look odd or out of place, but I would not suggest applying any makeup product in your sleep!

Here are my ratings for it:

Ratings Image

 

Of course, price is a big piece of this “should I buy” decision!  I feel it is worth it as there are two products in one, and they are amazing products!  However, you may choose to skip this product if: 1) you are on tight budge; 2) you want a bigger impact from your bronzer and highlighter; or 3) your skin tone is well outside the range of mine or of the one that would work for the medium to dark version.

By the way, I have heard that the Charlotte Tilbury blushes are amazing…

So…let me know what you think!  Here is a video review and demo of the pair.  I hope you like it and find it informative!

Click below to:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

 

 

 

 

Kat Von D Shade+Light Eye palette Review

Slide1

 

I jumped the fence to the side of buying the Kat Von D Shade+Light Eye palette!  I have been deliberating about this purchase for a while and finally decided to buy it.  Not only was it expensive ($46) but it also seems so close to my Too Faced Natural Matte palette (click here for review of that palette), and I wanted to make sure there was not too much overlap.  I also really did not NEED this palette…but I finally decided that I WANTED it.  So how did it do after I played around with it?

First of all, the colors are divine and so rich both in pigmentation and in the ability to blend flawlessly.  This is a goIMG_0063od thing because they colors can be intense and not for the heavy handed unless you plan to blend a great deal!  There also is a bit (maybe a lot) of fallout, so be prepared.  As I was at Sephora (this palette is exclusive to Sephora), I asked for some feedback as I was also trying to decide between this palette and the Tartelette (also matte).  I definitely received some good advice.  The Sephora SA defined the different in very easy terms.  The Tartlette palette is softer colors that although pigmented do not hold the bang that the shadows in the Shade+Light palette.  If you want a softer eye, you may want to Tartelette palette, but if you want to create and sculpt, you will cherish the Shade+Light palette.  These were very wise words!

So what do I think?…Was the plunge to buy worth it?  Is this staying in my stash or being returned?

First, here are the color swatches and a bit about the palette. There are three quadrants to this palette: Warm, Neutral, and Cool.  In each quad, there is a base, contour, define, and highlight shade.

Neutral Quad

  • Laetus – creamy nude
  • Lazarus – cool taupe
  • Ludwin – peachy bronze.
  • Samael – dusty fawn

Cool Quad

  • Solas espresso brown.
  • Lucius – soft beige
  • Saleos – smoky brown
  • Shax – jet black

Warm Quad

  • Liberatus – pinkish ivory
  • Succubus – rich rust
  • Sytry – chocolate brown
  • Latinus – golden bisque

So what did I think?  I LOVE this palette!!  It is a wonderful collection of colors that lead to a great deal of creativity!  The colors transfer so well (but there is fall out) and blend beautifully!  No lingering color falling into my (not so) fine lines under my eyes and no creasing throughout the entire day – but I do always recommend some type of eye primer.  I like to use my Mac Paint Pot in Painterly.  Even without eye shadow primer, however, the colors applied well, blended easily, and lasted more than 8 hours without creasing or fading.

Here is my rating of the Kat Von D Shade+Light eye palette.  If you are on the fence about whether to buy this palette, I would recommend taking the plunge knowing that you can always return it if it does not live up to your expectations, but I think this is a high probability bet that you will keep it!

Ratings Image

Here are a few photos of me wearing the warm quad.

IMG_0053

Warm Quad

IMG_0052 (1)

Warm Quad

So what do you think?  If you want to see my video review and demo application, click below on the video (and subscribe too please!).  I would love to hear your feedback!

Click below to:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Lorac Pro to Go – Review, Demo, and is it travel worthy?

Lorac Pro to Go thumbnail

Lorac Pro to Go palette ($38) holds a pretty combination of blush (2), bronzer (1), and eye shadows (3 matte and 3 shimmery).  It has a handy way of folding up so that you can open the shadows, blushes and bronzer or have it all open at once.

thumb_IMG_4146_1024 thumb_IMG_4141_1024thumb_IMG_4142_1024

The eye shadows span a neutral range:Pearl (Shimmer), Chai (Shimmer), Mink (Sparkle), Shell (Matte), Café (Matte), and Black (Matte).  See the swatches below:

Lorac Pro to Go Shadow Swatches

While the matte bronzer aligns well with two blushes: shimmery coral and a matte pink.

Lorac Pro to Go cheek Swatches

 

So how do they perform?  What do I think?  Do they play well with mature skin?  Should I buy it?  Is it travel worthy?

So many questions!  So, what do I think…  I love the eye shadows in the palette!  They are beautiful colors that transfer well, have only minimal fall out, and blend so nicely (just not as buttery as for example Make Up Geek shadows – but still really nicely).  The colors leave lots of room for creativity even though there are only six colors. I really enjoy blending the shimmery with the matte colors!

As for the bronzer and blushes.  Slightly different review here.  The cheek colors are all nice and bendable but the colors are kind of boring to me.  The blushes are standard pink and coral.  I tend to prefer mixes across colors.  The bronzer is very nice as well but just not anything fabulous.  It does apply well and seems to be a suitable color that will work for most skin colors; however, when I put it on it did not make me go “wow”!  Good – maybe very good – but not amazing.

As for working for mature skin – no problems at all.  The products all blend well and given the minimal fall out, they do not stray into off limits territory (under eye lines).

Is it travel worthy.  First, would I be happy taking just this palette for my cheeks and eyes?  Yes, I would but if i was traveling for more than two days, I may want to bring another cheek color.  The palette itself is constructed so well, and I love the way it opens up!  It also comes with two very small brushes, but I found those to be useless to me.  This compact also is rather rugged so I think it could handle some rough and tumble in the baggage claim.  All in all – yes!  I would travel with this especially because I LOVE the eye shadows!!

Here is my overall rating:

Ratings image

 

If you want to see my “live” review and application, check out my video on YouTube.  I would love to hear what you all think as well!

Click below to:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Contouring, Brightening, and Highlighting – Does it Make a Difference?

Half and Half  Thumbnail

 

 

Does highlighting, brightening, and contouring really make a difference in how you look?

 

That was the question I wanted to answer.  To do this, I opted to do a “half face” look with half of my faced being adorned with all the extra goodies and the other with only typical blush.  

 

Here is what I used on all of my face:

 

Face:
Foundation: Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation – $48 – http://goo.gl/HPPwJi
Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – $37 – http://goo.gl/brjoca
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush in Glisten – http://goo.gl/YHA9K – $28

Eyes:

Shadow: Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette Unearthed blush – http://goo.gl/kvPhup – $38
Shadow Primer: Mac Paint Pot in Painterly – http://goo.gl/QyYUWh – $22
Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof – http://goo.gl/0vp44j – $8.99
Brows: Urban Decay Brow Tamer in Neutral Brown – http://goo.gl/TjUA2C – $20; Nyx Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe – – http://goo.gl/QVYbtE – $9.99; Milani Brow & Eye Highlighter in 01 – http://goo.gl/yPJZ3X – $6.99

Lips:

Lipgloss: bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Maverick – http://goo.gl/rovQJH – $18

 

Here are the extra goodies I added to the left side view of my face (your left):

 

Bronzer: Nars Blush Bronzer Duo in Laguna and Orgasm – http://goo.gl/yLt9Hz – $42

 

Contour:  Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette – http://goo.gl/i3E5rJ – $40

 

Highlighterthe balm Mary-Lou Manizer – http://goo.gl/OTjPIY – $24

 

Brightening under eyes: Under Eye Cream: Pixi Color Corrector Cream – http://goo.gl/91tU4a – $12; Under Eye Powder: Besame Brightening Violet Powder – http://goo.gl/qBxL4f – $22

 

And here is the result – Can you see a difference?  Is the extra time and money invested in products worth it?  Or is the extra pampering that results from you applying the products the underlying benefit?  

 

 

What do you think?  Do you see a difference?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments and then I will add mine!

Here is my video of the entire process.

 

Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette Review

Tate Energy Noir palette

 

It is here – a NEW Tarte palette!  This is the Energy Noir Clay palette, which retails for $38, and let me tell you about it!  The palette contains eight shadows, one highlight, and one blush.  Here are names and brief descriptions:IMG_0026

Top Row on Left:

  • Full Moon (matte beige)
  • Charged Up (silvery taupe – shimmery)
  • Dark Drive (matte dark chocolate)

Second Row on Left:

  • Stone Unturned (matte taupe)
  • Up Too Slate (smoky plum- shimmery)
  • Misty Mauve (matte mauve)

Bottom Row on Left:

  • Power Plum (matte dark plum)
  • Lunar Eclipse (matte black)

Top Upper Right:

  • Unearthed blush

On Right Under Blush:

  • Crystal spark (champagne highlighter but could be a shimmery shadow)

So now the question is — how are they?  Well, let me put you at ease…they are wonderful!  The shadows are a nice mixture of holding color but blending evenly (something I have not always experienced with Tarte palettes) and the colors are wonderful.  I love using them individually and also mixed!  There is a balanced mixture of matte and shimmery.  As you may know, I tend to favor matte shadows but these shimmery colors are rather nice and easily toned down.

The cheek color is just perfect – a bit darker than I would have thought I would like but when applied – I LOVED it!  The only piece of the palette that may not get much use from me is the highlighter.  I have become tied to the Charlotte Tilbury bronzer and highlighter palette I just got and cannot use anything else right now (this might just be a phase however).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other than the highlighter jut not catching my eye at the moment, the palette is a home run!  No settling into fine lines around my eyes – meaning there is minimal fall out when applying since that often is what happens and catches in my lovely crevices!

Here is my overall rating.  I bet you will not be too surprised by it!

Rating Image

And now for the link to my video review.  Oh, I am trying really hard to reach 100 subscribers by the end of August.  Can you subscribe if you have not already?  Thanks so much! 

Click below to:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel