Friday, December 31, 2010

My Accomplishments!

It's the end of another year, and I have to wonder - what have I done this year? Well, I got a slightly better job (less stress, the same amount of pay, though). Adopted 2 cats (one moved out of our house as soon as he could - he's around the corner. He left his poor brother behind, though). And... um... that's about it.

Well, that's not fair to me. I've gotten close to finishing a couple of things. And, I've done a great job at sticking to my mascara no-buy. Using up all of the freebies I've accumulated feels great! Let's see what else I've finished, or almost finished, or.. at least hit pan on! These are my daily eyeshadows. I couldn't live or breathe without them. From the top left, there's Sumptuous Olive (I had to repress it, so *now* there's no pan, but I swear it's 50% or less). Then there's Shroom (top right), which I've had for a bit over a year and it's almost gone!
Finally, Wedge (bottom) - it's the perfect, soft, neutral crease color for me. Loves it.

So I haven't finished either of these, but seriously. Look at the size of them compaired to the stand MAC eye kohl cap. On the top is Clinique's Chocolate Luster Cream Shaper pencil, on the bottom is MAC's Teddy eye kohl. The Cream Shaper is okay, but Teddy is sooo much better. The perfect bronzey-brown for green eyes!

So this still has a ton of life left in it, but... hey, there's a significant amount of pan showing! It's Stila's Convertible Lip and Cheek color in Gerbera. This has been my go-to blush (obviously).

There are other products, too, like several Dazzleglasses, a bottle of MAC's brush cleaner, and a bottle of Chanel's Mat Lumiere Foundation.

What've you finished?

Cover Girl NatureLuxe Lip Balm - Review

I'll admit it. I love a good lip balm - I mean, who doesn't? So when I heard about Cover Girl's new line of "Natural" cosmetics, and the balm, I was really interested. I was really hoping they'd partner with Bzzagent and I'd be able to try this line for free, but that didn't happen. Since I had a fairly good coupon, however, I bit the bullet and purchased two different colors at my local Target, Marble (#255) and Coral (#230).

Cover Girl says: "Get the sheer color and shine of a gloss with the soft, lightweight fee of SPF Balm. Fortified with mango and shea butter, this feel-good formula leaves your lips feeling decadent and delicious." I should've read this a little closer, as I'll explain in a bit.

We'll start things on a positive note - these don't cost much. I believe they retail for $5.99 at Target, and The packaging is nice - a soft minty pearlized green tube, and a clear top with a soft wavey-green design. The part of the tube where the balm lives is clear, so you get the idea there may be a lot of product here (you'd be wrong, though).

Looking carefully, you'll see right above the light green a bit of clear plastic, which is the bottom of the balm. Yeah, not a ton of product there. 0.07 oz, according to the label. Although, I suppose this isn't a bad thing, since this product is pretty poor.

As a balm, this fails miserably. It feels gritty on my lips, which thankfully only lasts about 5 minutes, which is how long this balm stays. Who wants a balm that short-lived? When I think of a lip balm, I think of a balm that is thick, moisturizing, and the feeling of protecting my lips (ie, Labello's Good Night Kiss, or the Philosophy Very Emollient Balms).

Maybe you were thinking - "hey, the colors are pretty, right?" Well, in a word, no.

Cover Girl knows exactly what sheer means - although maybe transparent would've been a better adjective. Marble, which is a pretty pink in the tube, is essentially clear on my inner wrist (and my lips are a bit more pigmented than that). Coral is marginally better, however this is probably half a dozen swipes to get that little color. Considering these wear off extremely quickly, the lack of pigmentation is really the least of my concerns.

These *look* good, but they are a poor product. I won't repurchase, and am at a loss as to what I should do with these.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Etsy Find: Moonrise Studio

One of my weaknesses is eyeshadow, as you'll probably find out. I love eyeshadow. Shadows probably total 90% of my stash. Recently, I've found myself trolling Etsy, to find the next big mineral makeup brand (or, to satisfy my needs for sparkly eyeshadows, which is far more likely). Over the last few weeks, I've taken the plunge, and ordered from several different sellers, both well-established, and the newer shops. Today we'll talk about one of the latter.

Moonrise Studio, run by a great girl named Kim, offers several shades from the bold to the neutral. I selected two colors, # 15 Neverwhere, and #12, Snow, Glass, and Apples. Kim sent along a free sample of #01, Charlotte.

The full sized shadows are $4.00 each for 1 gram of color packed in a 5 gram jar with sifter, and shipping is a reasonable $1.75 for the first shadow, plus $0.50 for each additional selection. The jars have a matte black lid, and the color name, as you can see, is handwritten on the bottom of the jar. I hope paper labels in are in the works, because I know in time the handwriting will wear off and I'll be left wondering where I got these shadows from. The same I received was in a flip-top plastic jar. My order arrived quickly in a bubble mailer.

#15 Neverwhere is a warm taupe. Kim describes it as "warm, dirty, pink-grey with pink and gold reflect," which I would completely agree with. It's a great lid shade, if you like warm taupes. #12 Snow, Glass, Apples is described as "soft off-white that rubs down to a golden-ivory with red shimmer," and while I don't see the red at all, I love this as a brow-highlight. In some respects, this is like MAC's Shroom eyeshadow with a little more pigment. Loves it! #01 Charlotte, a free sample, is described as "dusty mauve with flashy copper and gold highlights" by Kim, a very pretty burgundy that reminds me a bit of MAC's Heritage Rouge pigment, only a touch more purple.

Overall, I firmly believe you MUST purchase Neverwhere. You will thank me. Snow, Glass, and Apples is lovely, as well, as is Charlotte. I would absolutely recommend Kim's eyeshadows!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

NOTD - Christmas Edition- OPI's Visions of Sugarplums

I'm trying to use up a nail polish, but with so many options, I find myself overwhelmed, so I go back to my favorites. This, my friends, is one of my favorites. One of the Ulta exclusives from 2009, Visions of Sugarplums is a gorgeous deep purple with shimmer. I love it. It took me forever to get it (darn my Ulta and selling out of things!), but it was worth it. I realize there's some tip wear going on, but hey - I unwrapped presents and cooked a Christmas dinner with this mani! I think it's earned a little wear!

Alas, however, it will be removed tonight and changed to... well, something else!

Clinique's Strawberry Fudge Holiday Palette

I love it when my husband actually bothers to use my Christmas list when shopping for Christmas presents. It's a great feeling to know the time I put in to writing it down actually paid off. This year, I had been admiring Clinique's holiday palette - and I'm glad I asked for it, and even more glad I was able to open it early.

This palette includes a full sized eyedshadow trio in "Strawberry Fudge," and a fully sized Soft-Pressed powder blush in "New Clover." It also includes a brush and double ended applicator, as well as a card to help you create the signature look for this collection. This is available for $36 many places Clinique is sold (currently available at Nordstrom, as it appears to be sold out on Macy's website. I believe Sephora doesn't get Clinique collections).

I'm a bit of a trailblazer (okay, not really), so I ignore the tip card, and just care about the goods. The three shadows are fairly neutral (not warm or cool), and the blush (on me) leans ever-so-slightly to the cool side, but it's wearable for me. Clinique doesn't seem to be touted as an extremely pigmented brand, however I found these shadows (like most of the brand's shadows I've used) to be of decent quality. The largest eyeshadow pan, the recommended highlighter, is a very pretty pink with gold sparkle in the pan. On the skin, however, it imparts a soft, glowly highlight. The middle shade is probably my favorite part of the palette - an almost metallic (no where near over the top, though) pink-brown shade, with a kiss of grey. The final eyeshadow is a slightly-chalky matte dark brown. This color leans a bit cool. All of the shadows blend well.

The blush, "New Clover," is described as a "soft blue violet" by Clinique. I don't believe this description matches the color. It looks more like a mauvey-nude type tone. This blush, while soft, isn't incredibly pigmented. It's nice, and using a MAC 169 blush brush gives a light, easy application.

This is a great all-in-one palette. I think most skin tones could easily wear this. With the exception of the matte eyeshadow, this palette is definately worth the price of admission. If you want a quick-and-easy travel palette, I'd recommend taking a look at this!