Archive for May, 2008

Tarte Spring Fever Kit

May 31, 2008
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A $92 for only $40!!!

I remember the first time Sephora had Tarte’s Spring Fever Kit on their site it sold out within a matter of hours! I was bummed that I’d missed out on it, but it looks like it’s back in stock and just as cute as I remembered. I LOVE Tarte’s Lip Sheers and the mini blush is just calling my name (I LOVE miniature anything!) but I’m forcing myself to resist temptation for once since I know I’d never really use any of the products.

But that shouldn’t stop you from getting in on this great deal!

The kit includes:

  • Mini Blushing Bride (0.17 oz)
  • Mini Spring Fever SPF 15 Lip Sheer (0.098 oz)
  • Waterlilies Eyeliner (0.044 oz)
  • North Island Eyeshadow Duo (2 x 0.06 oz)
  • Brush with Greatness double-ended eyeshadow brush

This is an online exclusive so if you’re interested, go place your orders!!

If any of you have this or have tried any of the included products, I’d love to know what you think!

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Another Naughty Nauticals FOTD

May 31, 2008

I wanted to play around with my new pressed pigments (and to match my cute blue top for today) so of course I decided to use my blues from Naughty Nauticals along with a few other goodies! I’ve been trying to experiment with colors that aren’t pink, but it’s hard. I LOVE PINK!

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It’s hard to tell in this photo, but I used Mutiny pigment for the inner half of my lids, Bell-Bottom Blue pigment for the outer half, and then blended some Golden Olive pigment onto the center of my lids.

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Don’t mind all the pigment on my lashes. I was actually wearing a different look this morning and so had to work on top of mascara I was already wearing, which was a little messy!

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MAC Hey, Sailor lustreglass from Naughty Nauticals. I haven’t used this since I bought it. I love the color but it’s a little on the bright side for me.

See my Mutiny and Bell-Bottom Blue swatches here and my Hey, Sailor swatch here.

Check out my illustrated pigment-pressing tutorial here! 🙂

MAC Colour Form-A Nordstrom Exclusive

May 30, 2008
Colour Form is slated to be released July 18, 2008. Enjoy the images!!

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I’ll definitely be picking up at least one of these! I love the MAC brush sets because they’re perfect for traveling with, and make great gifts for your favorite makeup lovers!!

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I’m intrigued by these lipsticks. Can’t wait to swatch them!

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Has anyone tried Richmetal Highlighters before? I haven’t but I’ll definitely be giving them a close look this time around!

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I’ve been a little pigment-crazy lately, but none of these are calling my name. We’ll have to see how I feel after the swatches 🙂

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See swatches from MAC’s Neo Sci-Fi collection here.

An Illustrated MAC Pigment-Pressing Tutorial :)

May 30, 2008
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Want to learn how to turn you messy pigments into gorgeous pressed shadows (that you can’t spill-you know you’re afraid you will!)?
Then read on! 🙂

List of Supplies:

  • Phase 1
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Small dropper (old bottle of eye drops, etc)
    • Empty eyeshadow pans (I get mine here)
    • Small spatula or other mixing implement and a little spoon
    • Small mixing bowls (optional)-I used the bottom half of those little plastic containers you get out of the 25 cent machines 🙂
    • Pigments (DUH!) 3/4 teaspoon per eyeshadow (aka 3 samples if that’s what you’re using)
    • Paper towels
  • Phase 2
    • Small squares of fabric (preferably something sturdy like denim)
    • Lots of quarters (and nickels and dimes!)
    • Some very heavy books (you know you’ll never read them anyway!)
    • Slim magnets with adhesive on the back
    • Labels (optional)
Phase 1
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1. Lay down a paper towel and get together all your supplies for Phase 1 of pressing (Pigment pressing can get a little messy!)

2. Fill up your dropper bottle with rubbing alcohol. I used 70% but different concentrations are fine. Just keep in mind that the lower your percentage, the longer it will take for the alcohol to evaporate! And yes mine is citrus scented, meaning my eyeshadows have a faint citrus scent 🙂

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3. Place a few drops of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of your mixing bowl (or directly into the empty pan if you choose not to mix in a separate bowl).

4. Spoon in a few little spoonfuls of pigment.

5. Mix mix mix!!!

6. Keep adding more pigment and more alcohol until you’ve used about 3/4 teaspoon of pigment (approximately 3 samples for those of you working from sample containers) and your mixture has reached a cake icing-like consistency. You can go for a runnier mixture, but that again means your eyeshadow will take longer to dry and set. Also, I’ve found that while you’d think that having a runnier mixture would be easier to transfer to your eyeshadow pan, it’s actually more difficult. After a few tries you’ll figure out what consistency works best for you!

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7. If you were working out of a separate bowl like me, place 1-2 drops of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of your eyeshadow pan now (it helps your pigment mixture to adhere to the pan).

8. Scoop your pigment mixture into the pan. Make sure you get it all in there!! At this point it should look like you have a big pile of poop in your pan 🙂

9. Repeatedly pick up and drop your eyeshadow pan (from a distance of about an inch or two in the air) onto your tabletop to create a smooth even surface (if you can’t get it perfectly even no worries-pressing takes care of that!). Also do this every once in awhile while your eyeshadows are drying to pack them down.

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10. Set your mixtures aside to dry (anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight)! I like to place them in a warm/sunny spot so that the rubbing alcohol evaporates more quickly. You’ll know your eyeshadow is ready for phase two when you lightly tap touch the surface of your shadow and nothing comes away on your finger. Also, check out how Bell-Bottom Blue, Tan, and Golden Olive have sunken into their pans, whereas Fuchsia and Violet which I mixed up last (and which aren’t ready for pressing) are still somewhat overflowing. This is another indication of whether your pigment is or isn’t ready for Phase 2. Don’t forget to keep packing down your shadows whenever you remember to!

Phase 2
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Got all your supplies for Phase 2 together? Then let’s get to pressing!!
Make sure you have at least as many quarters as you do eyeshadows, and a good amount of change on top of that!

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1) Top each eyeshadow with a square of fabric (I cut up an ancient pair of denim shorts), and then center a quarter on top. You should be able to feel the quarter get caught within the confines of the eyeshadow pan-makes sure it’s actually in there!

2) Repeat however many times you need to 🙂 I like to use two quarters plus a dime for every eyeshadow, since the pressing causes the pigment mixture to compress a good amount. If you only use one quarter, it’ll sink and you might not get as good a press as you’d like.

3) Stack a few heavy books on top of your eyeshadows (I used my casebooks-those things are massive!) and press down HARD! You can also use a small flower press to speed up the process. Now walk away and let those babies compress (I give them at least an hour or two. And if you’re patient, overnight is great!). NO PEEKING!!!

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4) You couldn’t resist peeking could you? I never can! If the bottom quarter has sunken so that its top is about flush with the top of the eyeshadow pan, your new shadow is probably ready. Your fabric swatch should have sunken into the pan like in the photo.

5) Remove the quarters and fabric and marvel at how gorgeous your new eyeshadows are. Doesn’t the denim leave a beautiful texture?!

6) Now if you’re going to pop them into your palette, stick a magnet on the back (I have magnetic scotch tape so just use that), and pop a label with the name of the pigment on top of that.

And voila, you’re all done!! A rainbow of pigments, conveniently pressed and ready to be used!

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Top row: Tan, Rose, L’Oreal HIP pigment in Valiant
Middle row: Quick Frost, Fuchsia, Golden Olive, Bell-Bottom Blue
Bottom row: Vanilla, Pink Pearl, Violet, Pastorale, Mutiny

I’d love to hear what you think of my tutorial in the comments! Any suggestions for improvement would be most appreciated 🙂

See swatches of Mutiny, Bell-Bottom Blue, Violet, Fuchsia, and Vanilla pigments here.

Read about my little pigment-pressing experiment here, and learn that yes you can press L’Oreal HIP pigments!

See swatches of Pink Pearl, Rose, Quick Frost, Pastorale, Golden Olive, and Tan here.

Benefit Silky-Finish Lipstick Review and Swatch

May 29, 2008
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From Sephora: This innovative formula slides on silky smooth for the softest, sexiest lips ever. Sheer coverage with buildable color – wear as little or as much as you like. Lipstick glides on effortlessly with the slant tip for flawless, even coverage. [$16]

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never tried MAC’s Slimshine lipsticks, but I’d imagine that they’re pretty similar to Benefit’s Silky-Finish lipsticks. I was walking around Sephora looking for things to spend my gift card on when the slim/sleek packaging of these lippies caught my eye. After swatching them on my hand and realizing they were quite similar in consistency to my beloved Dior Addict Ultra-Shine lipsticks (and almost $10 cheaper!!!), I decided to give them a shot. These are a cross between a gloss and a lipstick-they feel ultralight and somewhat glossy going on (no waxiness here!) and leave a pleasant sheen on the lips. If you hate the stickiness of gloss but don’t really like wearing lipstick, something like this is a great alternative!

Overall I’m relatively pleased with the lipstick, but I don’t love it nearly as much as I do my Dior. Although some of the Silky-Finishes have a good amount of glitter/shimmer to them, they lack the shiny, almost wet-looking finish that my Dior gives me, and the glitter in my Benefit lipstick seems to congregate on certain areas of my lips which drives me a little crazy!

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I picked up this lipstick in Candy Store, which is a rosy pink shade with copper/gold shimmer. It’s a little rosy for my taste (I was hoping for a lighter pink), but gorgeous nevertheless! The color goes on relatively sheer, but it’s definitely buildable (although this definitely doesn’t qualify as a full coverage lipstick). As with any glittery lipstick it can be a tad drying, but no more so than any other lipstick I’ve tried.

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Swatch of Candy Store

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Candy Store on Lips 🙂
(The color is actually much rosier in person-the color in the tube is a pretty accurate representation of what it looks like on)

Tried Benefit’s Silky-Finish lipsticks before? Loved them? Hated them? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

Read about Laneige’s Ideal Glossy Rouge (which is similar in shine/consistency) here!

My MAC Pigment Samples Are Here!!!!!! Swatches and Review

May 29, 2008
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So a little while ago I ordered some MAC pigment samples from a great site called The Body Needs. If you’ve ever wanted to try a pigment but didn’t to purchase a full size, or didn’t feel like purchasing the full size of LE pigment on ebay, this site is definitely the way go! A lovely woman named Cheryl will e-mail you to let you know when your order ships, and each pigment is carefully bubble-wrapped meaning no messy mishaps in transit! I even received a free sample of Quick Frost with my order!!! I’ll definitely be ordering from this site again and again in the future 🙂

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Left to right: Tan, Rose, Pink Pearl (just for comparison)

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Left to right: Quick Frost (it’s a shame you can’t see the green), Pastorale, Golden Olive

The colors I got (and yes I know I have some of these already-but I love having sample sizes to travel with!):

  • Mutiny
    • A gorgeous sky blue. A bit chunky in texture which makes it difficult to work with, but hopefully pressing will take care of that!
  • Bell-Bottom Blue
    • A deep dirty blue with silver shimmer (white pearl). Very pretty for a smoky look and to emphasize your outer V.
  • Pastorale
    • This was much more finely milled than any of the other pigments. A pretty pale mint green with hints of gold (and IMO a tiny tiny bit of a pale blue undertone)
  • Golden Olive
    • Frosty green/gold. From the swatches I’d seen of this online I was afraid it’d be quite similar to Pastorale, but it’s actually much darker/golder and a much deeper green.
  • Rose
    • Rose with gold/copper sparkle. When wet it looks almost red-it’s a little too gold for my liking but I may learn to love it. (and as reader Julie reminded me-it’s very chunky and difficult to work with when not pressed!)
  • Fuchsia
    • Bright pink (well that’s what fuchsia is!). A gorgeous shade-LOVE!!!
  • Violet
    • Bright frosty violet-another gorgeous one and one of my favorites.
  • Tan
    • Pinky bronze. It photographs very bronze, but actually has much more pink than is apparent in the swathes. Beautiful as an everyday shadow.
  • Quick Frost
    • I’m loving this sample! It’s a white base with green pearl and it’ll go beautifully with both Pastorale and Golden Olive. Can’t wait to play with this one more!

I pressed all of these pigments, so be on the lookout for step-by-step photos tomorrow!

See my swatches of Bell-Bottom Blue, Mutiny, Vanilla, Fuchsia, and Violet pigments here!

MAC Tendertones Now Online :)

May 28, 2008
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The Summer 2008 Tendertones are now available through MAC and Nordstrom. Hurry on over and grab yours now!! Hopefully I’ll have a chance to head to MAC this weekend so I can check these out in person (along with the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator!).

Let me know what colors you end up with in the comments! I’ve never actually tried these, so have no idea what they look feel like but they look absolutely delicious!

By Terry Light-Expert Foundation Mini-Review

May 28, 2008
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From Sephora: “This genius foundation brush sweeps away imperfections, dull skin, and shadows to reveal a flawless complexion with every stroke. Its featherweight texture, illusion-effect coverage, and multi-active skincare advantages win top honors with makeup artists. With its new-generation, hydra-smoothing hyaluronic acid microspheres that blend into the skin tissues, this skin-plumper targets hollow areas (expression lines, crow’s feet, creases, etc.) and expands with water to recreate volume. The result: Wrinkles and fine lines are filled out and subjacent tissues are plumped up for an immediate lifting effect. The unrivalled soft-focus complex, composed of five specific corrective prisms, relaxes the features leaving no room for imperfections. This antiaging youth catalyst is also intensely protective as it’s composed of seven antiaging substances which defy time.”

I’d been wanting to try By Terry’s Light-Expert foundation since I first saw it on Eluxury years ago, but it’s nearly impossible to purchase foundation without having tried it on, and at $48 for 0.57 oz I didn’t want to be making an expensive cosmetic blunder. So I managed to put it out of my mind until I noticed recently that it had popped up on Sephora’s site. I played with all the testers during my next visit to Sephora but they didn’t have my shade, so it was back to wanting and waiting. Lucky for me, Sephora recently had this the Light-Expert foundation as one of their sample options during checkout and so I snatched it up (you should’ve seen how happy I was-kinda sad really!).

To be honest, I didn’t like it so much the first day I used it. I think my skin was having an off-day (it may have been in the middle of or right after finals), but regardless the foundation felt a little funky going on and just didn’t look quite right. So I zipped it up in a little plastic baggy and forgot all about it until a few days ago when I decided to give it another try. And it’s BEAUTIFUL! Of course I’m not using the built-in applicator brush since I’m working with a sample, but using my MAC 187 I get a beautiful finish-it really gives your skin a luminous even look. It has a rather siliconey feel to it (so it applies really easily and feels great going on), obviating the need for any sort of primer and like the site mentions, it contains many many wonderful skin conditioners in it!

The color selection, however, is severely limited (it only comes in 4 shades!) but I’ve found that 101 Beige Light works perfectly for my NW20ish complexion.

Now onto the one negative (other than the fact that this is quite pricey for the tiny amount of foundation you get)-this product is quite strongly (and strangely) fragranced! I know this seems to be a complaint I have with a lot of products, but I promise it’s the products and not me! Light-Expert has a very very strong scent, reminiscent of baby powder and lavender. I happen to hate both those scents, so I have to hold my breath while applying this, but the results are well worth it.

I’m forcing myself to wait until I’ve gone through at least one of my current foundations (I think I have 10 or so I’m currently using :\) before picking this up, but it’s definitely next on my foundation list!

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No foundation on the left, By Terry on the right

Have you seen this at Sephora (or anywhere else)? Tried it? Loved/hated it? Purchased it? Tell me all about it! 🙂

Read some of my other foundation reviews (including SK-II, Paul & Joe and Sally Hansen) and see what they look like on my face here!

MAC Tendertones Available May 29th

May 27, 2008
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Tendertone Lip Balms SPF12 ($14.50) in 10 gorgeous new shades drop May 29th!!

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It might be the influence of Neo Sci-Fi, but I feel the bright orange one calling my name!

Want them all? Thinking of abstaining? Share in the comments!

See my Tendertones swatches here!

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder Review

May 26, 2008
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Remember when I mentioned wanting to try this supposedly miraculous oil-absorbing powder here? Well I’ve been using it for the past few days now, both alone and on top of foundation, and I’m here to say that it definitely lives up to all the hype!

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Like many others I was initially suckered in by the pretty pretty packaging. I’m not so much into skulls, but purple is one of my favorite colors and the packaging reminded me or a yummy grape candy-I do love my sweets!

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After tearing into the little box I noticed that my compact was slightly ajar. Suspicious little person that I am I thought that someone had opened my powder, but everything looked pristine and new so I snapped it shut and popped it back in the box. I went to test it out a few hours later and I noticed that once again the compact had popped open on its own. I think the applicator puff was a little too puffy for the compact and was causing it to open on its own, but my first use fixed that little problem!

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As you can see, the powder is a pale pale pale lavender shade-not nearly as lavender as I thought it would be, which probably works out well for those of you with tanner complexions! I had worried that the lavender-tint meant it would only work for the paler ladies, but I have to agree with Urban Decay on this one-this definitely seems to be suitable for most skin tones as it really is almost invisible on! I was attempting to swatch this on my hand at Sephora, but nothing! Hence no swatches for you ladies-you can’t swatch what you can’t see 🙂

But the lack of a truly lavender tint means it really doesn’t do anything in the way of covering any flaws, which is fine since that isn’t what the powder purports to do in the first place. BUT it truly is amazing for controlling any excess oils your skin may produce during the day, especially in the warmer summer weather. My skin gets super super oily in the summer (I’m usually oily within an hour or two or three of having showered/applied makeup), but if I apply this powder either on its own or on top of my foundation, I have no need to blot for the next 5 hours or so. After the first 4-5 hours I have a tiny tiny bit of a shine appearing, but still no real need to blot for the rest of the day unless I really want to! It makes my life so much easier, as it’s really a pain in the butt to have to blot literally every hour or so :\

The product goes on smooth as silk and really is weightless. When I applied it on bare skin I had the hardest time telling if I was actually wearing any powder-it’s that silky smooth!

I only have two little quibbles with the product. First is the filmsy (and strangely crinkly) flocked applicator they include with the compact, but it’s not really an issue for me as I just use a fluffy powder brush with it at home and don’t really need to use it again throughout the day. Plus it’s not that the applicator doesn’t work well, it’s just that I don’t like the way it feels. And second is the strange smell of the powder. I can’t quite put my finger on what it smells like, but suffice it to say that it’s not pleasant! I suspect it may be one of the oil-absorbing ingredients, as I once had a similar powder that smelled just like this, but I definitely wouldn’t mind a more pleasant-smelling powder.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think this is a little overpriced at $28, but to me it’s definitely worth it!! Check it out for yourself on Sephora.com!

If you’ve tried this product or have been curious about it I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Have any other favorite oil-absorbing products? Please tell me about them!