Heeeello to anyone that has magically, by magically I mean through the power that is the internet, come across this blog.
I'm starting this with the intention to provide product reviews and swatches to anyone looking for them. Nothing irritates me more when there aren't swatches of some product I'm looking into and I have to go in and buy it with the hope that it's not complete rubbish. Hopefully I can alleviate some of that stress for you people. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NYX: Round Lipstick in Frappacino (632)

The Breakdown

Color- Frappacino (632)

Thoughts- This lipstick is the epitome of opaque. One swipe and your natural lip color is annihilated. This is due largely to the creamy consistency of the lipstick and the high pigmentation of the lipstick itself.

Unfortunately, since the lipstick is so creamy, the staying power isn't the best. I can go about 3 hours without having to reapply, but if you are eating or drinking you can kiss the lipstick goodbye. 

Overall- The color definitely doesn't suit me nor does the lipstick last long enough so it's a miss for me.

Star Rating- 1.5/5

NYX: Round Lipstick in Pumpkin Pie (630)

The Breakdown

Color- Pumpkin Pie (630)

Thoughts- Pumpkin Pie has a light creamy consistency. When swatched on the arm/hand it is very opaque and nicely pigmented. However, when applied on the lips it swatches very sheer and unevenly and tends to highlight the imperfections. Also, the wear time is only about 2 hours w/o eating or drinking so it's definitely one that needs to be reapplied constantly.

Overall- As nice as it is in the tube, the color show more creamy orange than anything else in real life and I find that unless I pair it with a peach-pink gloss I won't wear it.

Star Rating- 2.5/5

Revlon: Moon Drops Lipstick in Peach Silk (704)

The Breakdown
Brand- Revlon

Color-  Peach Silk (704)

Packaging- Shiny green tube that is sure to catch your eye

Thoughts- Peach Silk is a creme lipstick that feels very moisturizing and comfortable to wear for hours on end. It truly does moisturize your lips and glides on like a dream. Though a creme color, it doesn't settle as a milky creme, rather it has a lovely brightness that is a pleasant departure from other creme lipsticks.

I can squeeze about 4-5 hours out of this lipstick even with the addition of lunch and a few drinks, which is surprising since other lip products that are as moisturizing rarely last as long. This is likely due to the fact that you can turn it into a slight lipstain by massaging it into your lips.

Overall- I love this lipstick and tend to wear it in the Spring/Summer when I feel like being bright. It feels amazingly comfortable and I love the way it looks against my skin tone.

Star Rating- 4.5/5

Revlon: Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick in Smoked Peach (07)

The Breakdown

Color- Smoked Peach (07)

Packaging- Matte lipstick tube with a silver label

Thoughts- Smoke Peach has a very small peach-pink micro-shimmer running through, so small that it's almost invisible. I've found that of all the Revlon Matte lipstick I own, this is my least favorite. The color itself is very milky and the finish when swatched is very chalky in appearance. The chalkiness highlights the imperfections in the lip and prevent it from applying evenly. However, this is wearable when paired with any gloss as the chalkiness then disappears.

Overall- I find that it's a little too chalky for the natural texture of my lips but I love the staying power and the combination of it with Revlon's Superlustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef.

Star Rating- 3/5

With Revlon Coral Reef Lipgloss over

Lypsyl Intense Protection Lip Moisturizer

The Breakdown
Brand- Lypsyl

Color- Colorless

Packaging- Instead of the traditional twist up packaging, because of it's shape there is a sweet little bee that you slide up/down to move up some product.

Thoughts- The Lypsyl lip balm has a nice minty scent and flavor, similar to Burt's Bees but slightly more intense. Though slightly yellow in color, the balm itself does not impart any color onto the lips.

I found Lypsyl to be extremely moisturizing and I that could go up to 4 hours between reapplication. The oblong oval shape of the balm made it perfect for one-swipe applications without the need for a mirror. The motion sliding mechanism is smooth and what I liked best is the secure "click" you feel when you retract the balm all the way.

Overall- I like how moisturizing this is and how easy the balm is to apply to the lips. I found that it works better on my lips that Burt's Bees Wax or Carmex, especially when my lips are dry/cracked. I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it's a bit on the pricey side.

Star Rating- 4/5


Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Travel Bag

So I'm went out of town for four days to watch my best friend graduate and I thought I might share what I brought in my makeup bag and for my skincare. Enjoy!

Makeup Bag

Rimmel Fix & Perfect primer
Clinique Almost Makeup in 04 Deep
MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed in Medium Plus
Maybelling Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfecter in Medium
e.l.f Blush in Tickled Pink
MAC Powder Blush in Prim & Proper (LE)

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
BareMinerals i.d Weather Everything
e.l.f. Lash Curler
Personalized MAC Quad w/ Satellite Dreams, Brule, Amber Lights & Sable
Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Waterproof

Jack Black Lip Balm in Lemon & Chamomile
Revlon Colorstay Liner in Blush
Revlon Colorstay Liner in Clear
Wet n Wild Creme Liner in Berry Red
MAC l/s in Viva Glam V
MAC l/s in Bust Out (LE)
MAC l/s in Impassioned
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Lilac Pastel
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef

Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer in Normal/Dry
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Baby Oil for Makeup Removal
Contact Lens Solution
Eye Drops
Cotton Squares
Dove Ultimate for Sensitive Skin

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cetaphil- Moisturizing Lotion for All Skin Tyes

The Breakdown
Brand- Cetaphil

Oil Free- No, contains Macadamia oil (who knew?)

SPF- None 

Packaging- A large bottle with a standard (non-airless) pump.

Thoughts- This is a lotion meant for the entire body so it is definitely thicker in consistency that a standard daily facial moisturizer. It starts out opaque, as all lotions do, but blends in to a nice non-colored surface.

This is meant to be a body lotion, but I find that it works great as a facial moisturizer as well. I have a "strawberry nose" despite my skins lack of acne based problems, meaning that I have a plethora of blackheads that stubbornly reside on my nose. I was using an Aveeno body lotion, convinced that it did the same thing as the facial moisturizers, only to find that the Aveeno was a major cause of my issue. I have very dry skin and I didn't trust a daily facial moisturizers to get the job done, so I went on the hunt for an all over lotion. Since using this, my strawberry nose situation has decreased about 80% and I'm liking the results.

Despite the fact that it does contain oil, it works great under ALL liquids foundations both water and oil based. It absorbs so quickly and thoroughly into the skin that I haven't had any issues with my foundation separating or the wear time being affected. 

Overall- I love that this stuff has a pump almost as much as I love how quickly it absorbs into the skin. It's a bit on the thicker side of facial moisturizers so I wouldn't go mixing it with my foundation, but this is awesome as a prep step under foundation. Also, I find that I have to put this on once after I leave the shower (I'm a morning shower person since I gym it up at around 5am) and then once again 5 minutes before I put on foundation to keep my skin moisturized the entire day.

Star Rating- 4.5/5...It's almost perfect, if only I needed just a single layer of product.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Olay: Complete All Day UV Moisturizer - Normal

The Breakdown
Brand- Olay

Packaging- A bottle made of thick plastic, somewhat hard to squeeze but the moisturizer is thin enough not to need too much pressure

Oil Free?- Yes

SPF- 15

Thoughts- This is a light moisturizer that has a slightly thinner texture than more day moisturizers I have seem. It is definitely a lotion and not a cream and is very easy to work into the skin, it only takes a few seconds of massage. It also has a slightly cooling effect, which is nice when you're doing your makeup while half-awake/asleep in the morning.

This is the formula for "Normal" skin. I have also used the "sensitive" version and have found no real difference in how they work. This also happens to be oil free, so for those with slightly oily skin or skin prone to breakouts, this might work in your favor.

If you own oil free foundations, this is a great moisturizer to mix in with it. I have learned that you mix like with like, so an water-based foundation + oil-containing moisturizer and vice versa doesn't really work out. It's nice if you want the coverage of a tinted moisturizer but you don't want to shell out any extra dough to have one.

Overall- I find that this works best being mixed in with my foundations. I have really dry skin and this didn't work well enough for me that I can use it as my only daily moisturizer. That being said, this is what I use to doctor my own tinted moisturizer.

Star Rating- 3/5...Great to mix with foundation, not so great for all day moisture.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

My MAC Palette

I have finally finished up my MAC 15 pan palette. It took a lot of time, internet research (for reviews and swatches) and up close looks at the shadows to figure out the best combination for my skin tone and my 'look.' Just a little reminder, I have Asian tan/olive-y skin with a yellow undertone and am matched anywhere from NC35-NC40. So here is my list, complete with swatches. :)

Column 1

1. Brule
2. Arena (highlight)
3. Woodwinked

Column 2

4. Wedge (brows)
5. Espresso
6. Satin Taupe

Column 3
7. Black Tied
8. Sable
9. Amber Lights

Column 4
10. Humid
11. Satellite Dreams
12. Twinks

Column 5
13. Club
14. Contrast
13. Sketch 

As you can tell, there are a lot of neutrals and the colored shadows I own are deep and somewhat muted. This emphasis on the neutral goes along with my love for bright pink, show stopping red and deep purple lipsticks. Pairing this colors with a neutral eye is how I can get away with wearing them on an everyday basis.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ulta.com Online Shopping Review

The Breakdown

Order Processing- The site claims same day processing if ordered prior to 12pm M-F or the next day prior to 12pm for orders processed on the weekend. Reality? I placed an order before 12pm on a Friday and it was not marked as processed until the following Tuesday.

Shipment- Ulta.com states that it uses wither USPS or UPS for shipment. My tracking number indicated that it was being shipped by UPS

Shipment Origin- I always wonder 'Where is my order shipping from?' In the case of Ulta.com, it seems that their warehouse is based in Illinois (at least this is where my order was shipped from)

Shipping- Once my order was processed, it entered the UPS system on the Tuesday and came to my house on Friday. The UPS tracking system is really nice, though it doesn't indicate stops between the initial scanning and the arrival at you local UPS facility. They keep customers up to date with weather issues that could affect shipping time, which I thought was a nice extra.

Overall- I think that if the order processing actually stuck to its claims, I'd be a lot happier. Otherwise, waiting about a week from when my order was placed was pretty darn good. I would just appreciate it if companies would stop making unrealistic claims. I think given the fact that most products offered by ULTA are available at drugstores (with better sales) or Sephora I don't know that I would go out of my way to order from them again. That being said, whenever there is a store where I am, I definitely make time to wander the aisles.

Star Rating- 4/5...Good, but not great

Sunday, April 24, 2011

L'OREAL: Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Roaring Russet

The Breakdown

Color- Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Roaring Russet

Thoughts- I can't quite figure out how to describe this shade. It's an interesting mix of rusty-orangey goodness with a fine shimmer running through it in a similar shade. This shadow looks great against warm toned asian skin and bring a nice bit of interest to otherwise common brown eyes. The shadow itself is fairly smooth to apply, despite the noticeable microshimmer that is present throughout. I did experience a bit of fall out with the shimmer, though it was less noticeable than Golden Tigress. It holds on my lids quite well, I usually go about 8 hours before I wash my makeup off and it can make it the whole time without fading. I also found that it was the easiest of my Wear Infinite Eye Shadows to blend and it works really well layered both under and over other shadows. (Golden Tigress + Roaring Russet= WIN!)

Overall- I really like this shade and I find that its easy to create a look that makes your eyes pop, but is still subdued enough that you can wear it to class.

Star Rating- 4/5...Really good quality.

Single swatch on the left, multi on the right

Saturday, April 23, 2011

e.l.f. : Eyeshadow Quad in Nouveau Neutrals

The Breakdown

Color-  Eyeshadow Quad in Nouveau Neutrals

Packaging- Dinky little plastic packaging, a fall to the floor would definitely destroy it.

Thoughts- I'm going to keep this point short and simple seeing as I don't have much to say about this palette. The shadow is chalky and there is loads of fall out from the tiny glitter running through each shadow. It is impossible to build up the color so that it is true to pan, even with eyeshadow bases or wet brushes. The color combination does not work for me as I could not fathom how these four would work in a look together. I normally love elf products, but I couldn't find anything good to say about this quad.

Overall- I'm just not into this quad. From the color combination to the color payoff to the shadow quality. Nothing about this quad seems right. I picked it up for $0.40 during an elf sale though, so I can't complain too much.

Star Rating- 0/5...This is a big NO WAY to this quad


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

China Glaze: Mistletoe Kisses

The Breakdown
Brand-China Glaze

Color- Mistletoe Kisses

Packaging- Standard packaging, but with a silver cap as it was an LE holiday shade

Thoughts- This polish is a green base with a significant amount of light green and silver glitter. It is definitely glitter and NOT micro shimmer. The shade of the green base is the iconic Christmas green, one that matches it's namesake quite well. I like the multicolored glitter as I found that having two shades helped to add dimension to the polish.

This polish, along with many of China Glaze's other glitter polishes needed at least 3, maybe even 4, coats to get the color on the nails to match the color on the polish. Because of the noticeable glitter, you do need a good quality topcoat (I recommend Out the Door) if you want to smooth out the bumpy texture.

Overall- In normal day-to-day life, I find that China Glaze polishes last between 1-1 1/2 weeks on my nails. I've found that the ones with sheer bases, such as this, tend to veer toward the shorter end of the spectrum. That being said, I definitely recommend this polish, though finding an occasion to wear it outside of December might be difficult.

Star Rating- 4.5/5...I love this shade as it seems like the perfect polish for the Christmas season