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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Natural Neutrals Look

Really simple look (at least compared to more smokey looks I tend to gravitate towards!) I used mainly matte eyeshadows and wanted to focus on really glowy pink cheeks!


Eek! Sorry liner is a bit uneven! Mac brule on lid, Mac wedge in crease and outer v, Nars Galapagos in outer-v, Mac shroom to highlight
Products Used:
Face:
Tarte Smooth Operator in Agent 14 (had to use a darker tinted moisturizer I had since I'm more tan now! I miss my Laura Mercier though, I like the coverage better.)
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Amused
Mac Refined Golden Bronzer
TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
Anastasia Brow Powder in brunette

Eyes:
Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Wheat
Mac Brule, Wedge, Shroom
Nars Galapagos
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in chocolate shimmer ink
Covergirl Lashblast

Lips:
Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Blush

Simple, but I hope you like it! Maybe I should have added a bright lip? Oh well, next time! :)

Anastasia Brow Powder

I've come a long long long way with my brows. Up until 2 years ago I had never touched a pair of tweezer or got them threaded or waxed. I was not blessed with nice, clean arched brows. I had crazy thick, shapeless brows with stray hairs everywhere. In college I finally plucked them myself but it was a slow process because I was determined to avoid over plucking! Only the last few months have I FINALLY gotten a handle on the shape I like my brows to be. I started using Anastasia brow powder about a year ago to really define my brows and it makes a HUGE difference, I wish I had paid attention to my brows so much more. They really do frame your face more than anything. If you need something new to fill in your brows, take a look at Anastasia brow powder here:
I use "Brunette." I believe there are 5 other color options!

Here's why I love this powder:

Pigmentation & Texture: For some reason, the texture and pigmentation of this powder make it impossible to go overboard with application. I definitely need to dip my brush in a few times to build up color, but thats exactly what I want. It applies very smoothly and lightly. I feel like I have total control on how much product I want to use. Also, since it's a powder, I feel like it goes on a bit more natural (in my opinion! I think i'd be too heavy handed if I ever tried using a pencil). It really doesn't look like they are filled in with product!
Color: This is definitely subjective since everyone has different brow colors. Brunette is really a perfect match for me. I have medium brown hair and the colors match really well. I usually use a mixture: a few taps of the brush in the left side, then one tap on the right. Brunette is also not too warm or cool toned, its perfectly balanced for my taste (probably a touch more red/warm toned). If you are a brunette and your hair is more ash brown this might be too warm for you.
Staying Power: I have combo/oily skin so I really need products that will withstand my oils. This powder is really fantastic, it literally does not budge! I've been wearing it everyday in the summer heat and it always stays on. I really love that about it!

The only thing I don't love is the price tag. I believe it retails for $22. I think that's pretty pricey for a brow powder. However I've used this for two years and you can see I've made the tiniest dent on the left side. It definitely has another couple years to go. If you can get it at a discount I'd definitely go for it (that's what i did!lol) I'm sure other powders or eyeshadows can do the job just as well, but this is just what I like to use for the time being ;)

I can't really say how it compares to other brow products since this is pretty much it for me. It's the first brow product I ever bought and I haven't felt the need to try anything else since I'm so happy with it. If you've been wanting to try filling in your brows or want to try Anastasia brow powder, I definitely recommend it! I've seen them sold at Sephora and Ulta, so you can swatch for your color match.

Have you tried Anastasia brow products? What do you prefer to fill in your brows with?

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm back and Giveaway reminder!

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I just got back from vacation in Mexico with my boyfriend and his family. It was so beautiful and relaxing, I miss it already! I'll get back to posting more often this week ;)
Here's a few pictures:



Also a reminder that my Giveaway is ending this Friday on July 1st, 2011! If you're in the US make sure to enter HERE!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink

This is the best eyeliner I have ever used. Hands down. I've decided to dedicate a post to it since I have recently finished my first pot of eyeliner EVER. 
I bought Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in black ink in the Winter of 2008 when I got sick of using eyeliner pencils. I wanted a more precise line and something that was easy to work with. After reading reviews online, I decided to splurge (I believe it costs $21, which was more than I had ever spent on eyeliner before.). After finding the right brush to use with it (see here) it was love and instant holy grail material.



Here's what I LOVE about this eyeliner:

Texture: It's a gel, so it is pretty lightweight and thin in terms of consistency. However, at the same time, it's also very creamy. The consistency is SO easy to work with and I am able to pick up as much or as little product as I want. It also doesn't dry too fast or stay wet for too long. I have the perfect amount of time to manipulate the eyeliner into the shape I want without it drying too fast! It also goes on sooo smoothly!
Color: "black ink" is the perfect black. It does not turn grey or blue like some black eyeliners. It's deep and rich. I also own the color "chocolate shimmer ink" which is a gorgeous brown. There are tons of other colors I would love to try (i have been eyeing "ivy shimmer ink" for a while now). The pigmentation is really amazing: one swipe gives me rich color.
Staying Power: This stuff does. not. budge. Seriously. I apply it in the morning and by the end of the day, the rest of my makeup might be creasing and melting away, but not this eyeliner. It stays on until I take it off and it has never smudged. It is also incredible on the waterline and the only eyeliner that stays there as well. I like to dip an eyeliner pencil in the pot, then apply to the waterline.
Quality/Price: Initially the price does seem like a lot. You get 0.10 oz for $21. The thing is, this little pot lasted me nearly 3.5 years. That is a shmillion uses, right? lol So i would say the price was most definitely worth it. I've heard of gel eyeliner drying out fast but I didn't have a problem with that. I always made sure the cap was closed, but that's about it!

Here's the (basically) finished pot! Can't believe it!
In all honesty, I have not tried a lot of other gel eyeliners. I've tried Benefit, Smashbox, and Stila Smudgepots (along with numerous eyeliner pencils) and Bobbi Brown is my favorite, no question. I have no bad things to say about this eyeliner. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone because I really think it is a fantastic product. I will definitely continue to repurchase this eyeliner, but I probably won't have to worry about doing that for another 3 years ;)

Let me know what your favorite eyeliners to use are or if you've tried Bobbi Brown's!?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Nars Dogon Smokey Look

Ahhh Nars Dogon, you are so lovely to work with. Decided to smoke out the duo-chrome taupe with the  dark blue/black.

Light side of Dogon on lid, Dark side of Dogon on outer-v, Rock & Republic Diffused to blend crease (a little), & Mac Phloof to highlight




Products
Face:




Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer & a little bit of the mineral powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Powder
Revlon Age Defying Spa Illuminator in bare light (mixed a little bit with my tinted moisturizer)
Bobbi Brown Corrector
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
Mac Refined Golden Bronzer
TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
Nars Mata Hari

Eyes:
Mac Painterly Paint Pot
A little bit of Benefit Skinny Jeans
Nars Dogon
Mac Phloof
Rock & Republic Diffused
Anastasia Brow Powder in Brunette
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in black ink
Covergirl lashblast volume

Lips:
Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Petal
Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Pink Ice









Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think or how you'd wear Dogon!




Also, if you're in the US don't forget to enter my giveaway here before July 1st!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nars Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

I finally got my hands on Nars Dogon last week with a gift card! This is one of the stand out items from the Nars summer 2011 collection and I have to say...it definitely did not disappoint. I am absolutely loving this duo.
Nars describes this duo as "metallic taupe with icy green sheen & charcoal black" That description is much to simple for the actual complexity of the colors.
No Flash
With flash, but this looks pretty close to real life
Please be patient as I attempt to describe the color, you are more than welcome to laugh at me! haha Dogon features a somewhat icy rosy/taupey/grey/silver base that flashes green/teal/gold? Yeah...that makes no sense in writing. But trust me, it IS beautiful. The pictures really don't capture it. On the right is a darkened charcoal/navy/teal blue with a hint of glitter. It's definitely not a plain black. The colors are wonderfully complex and the left side especially looks different in various types of lighting because of the "duo-chrome." If you google swatches of this duo the left side looks different on every skin tone! They look beautiful separately and especially layered on top of one another for a unique effect.

The left side does blend a little better than the darker right side, but as usual with Nars shadows the pigmentation is excellent and they are very easy to work with. Only thing is that the right side comes out more matte if you do not apply it carefully (blending it out too much diminishes the micro shimmer so make sure to pat!).

Now here's some comparison swatches. I don't have anything similar to the left side of Dogon so the comparison is a bit useless. I have no dupes to show you. I have read that Mac Club is similar because of the duo-chrome, but I don't own it so I can't tell you for sure. Anyway, you can definitely see how there is a green sheen in comparison to more typical taupe shades pictured.
Left: Nars Cairo is a light brown taupe. It's a staple taupe and has a bit of the rosy hues from Dogon but it's not similar at all really.
Middle: Bare Escentuals Night Owl is a darker more purple taupe. No icy green sheen here either!

Middle: Urban Decay Oil Slick is a shimmery black with silver shimmer. It's not similar to Dogon at all but I wanted to compare so you could see that Dogon definitely has a blue/teal tinge to it!
Right: This is the left column "crease" color in the Wet n Wild Blue Had Me At Hello Palette that you can see swatches of here. Wet n Wild is not as dark and is a much clearer, more shimmery blue. Dogon seems more navy/teal than blue in comparison.
Dogon is in the center! Very unique colors to my collection!
Dogon is limited edition (why, Nars, why!?) so if you're interested, definitely check it out soon! It's such a unique duo, I can see getting so much use out of it (especially for smokey night time looks!) Will post a look soon! Let me know your thoughts on the duo or what kind of look you'd do with it!?


Also, if you're in the US don't forget to enter my giveaway here before June 31st!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Most Used Eye Brushes!

I've been wanting to do a post on my most used eye shadow brushes for a while now. Brushes are definitely something that I really love to collect. I don't know what it is about them, but i love trying new brushes all the time! The ones in this post are definitely favorites out of the ones that I own!


Sephora Professionnel Angled Liner Brush #15
-Sephora Professionnel Angled Liner Brush #15: I bought this brush a few years ago when I just started getting more into makeup. I originally bought this intending to try it with gel eyeliner and i HATED it. The line came out too thick for my taste and did not apply as smoothly as I would have liked. However, this brush has worked perfectly for filling in my eyebrows with my Anastasia brow powder. It may not be precise enough for some ladies since it's not particularly stiff, but for me it works well since I fill in my eyebrows with the tiniest amount of product.

Top: Loew-Cornell 7300 Shader, Bottom: Mac 210
 -Loew-Cornell 7300 Shader: I found this brush at Michael's almost 2 years ago when I wanted to find a better brush to use with my gel eyeliner (since I disliked the Sephora angled liner brush for the liner!). I can't say enough good things about this brush. It applies the liner as thin or as thick as I want it. The best part about it? It was sooo inexpensive. I can't remember how much it was exactly but I don't think I paid more than $3 or $4!!
-Mac 210: I found this brush recently at my Cosmetic Company Outlet and couldn't pass it up at such a discounted price! This brush applies the liner a little more precisely than my Loew-Cornell brush so it's a bit easier to do thinner or winged eyeliner. It applies the liner perfectly. I love both of these brushes equally and like to alternate them so I have a clean one when the other is dirty!

ULTA Professional Eyeshadow Brush
-ULTA Professional Eyeshadow Brush: I really like using this brush primarily for applying a highlight to the brow bone. It also works for applying one color lightly all over the lid, but I tend to use it for that only if all my other brushes are dirty lol. I got this brush because I wanted something similar to the Mac 227 which Mac labels as a large fluff brush. To be completely honest, although I don't own the mac brush, I doubt this is a dupe. I think I would like this brush a lot more if the brush was more dense. For something so simple as applying and blending a highlight, it works perfectly. I'd probably like to replace it with a different brush someday, but at the moment it works!

Top: Real Techniques Shading Brush, Bottom: Mac 239
 -Real Techniques Shading Brush: I own a few Real Techinques brushes and so far, I think the quality of the brushes are fantastic. I am a huge fan of this shader brush. It picks up a lot of eyeshadow, lays down color, and applies very smoothly!
-Mac 239: I've owned this brush for a few years and it's a great eyeshadow brush. It packs on eyeshadow really well and very precisely! It picks up color very well--sometimes I do have to realllly pack it on, but overall it picks up and deposits the color nicely. Because of the size and shape I feel like I'm able to apply color exactly where I want it: it helps put specific colors on certain parts of the lid (for example if i want an inner corner color, one on the lid, and one on the outer lid). You can also use the tip of it to apply color to the outer-v or crease! Definitely an eye shadow brush to consider if you need a great, versatile brush!

Mac 219 Pencil Brush
 -Mac 219: This brush literally changed the way I apply my makeup. I got this brush as a gift in December and have used it every single day since I got it! Before this brush I felt like I always struggled to define my outer-v. I just couldn't do it! My shadow would just look messy and muddy with no definition. The Mac 219 applies the eyeshadow perfectly to define the outer-v and crease. It also works great to put eyeshadow on the lower lash line. It's essential for creating a smokey eye. I really can't say enough good things about this brush and am yet to find one like it at a lower price. I truly think this is a must-have and probably my favorite brush of the bunch!

Top: Rock & Republic Blending Brush, Middle: Sonia Kashuk Blending Brush, Bottom: Mac 217
-Rock & Republic Blending Brush: I mentioned this brush when I first got it one of my Rock & Republic Haul posts from March. This brush is my largest crease brush and super soft. It's great a blending out the crease to soften the transition between the crease and brow bone.
-Sonia Kashuk Blending Brush: This was my first blending brush from a few years ago and I still love it! It blends the crease out really well. It's not as soft as my R&R brush but I still love it! I alternate between my this and my Rock & Republic brush since they both serve similar purposes.
-Mac 217: This is another one of my favorite brushes ever. I use this together with my Mac 219 for perfect results. First I apply eyeshadow to the crease and outer-v with the 219, then blend what was applied with the Mac 217. Another way I use it is to apply color to the crease since it fits perfectly in my socket! It also works great to apply color to the lid (a little lighter than the mac 239).

I really hope you found this post helpful! Out of all these brushes, I think the ones that I couldn't live without are the mac 219, mac 217, mac 239, and either one of the eyeliner brushes I mentioned (leaning more towards the mac 210). Mac brushes are really expensive and it's taken me years and years to build up my collection but I genuinely think that there are fantastic eyeshadow brushes at all different prices!

What are some of your favorite eye brushes that you like to use!?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Heavy Browns with Nars Galapagos and Mekong

Here's my first try at a smokey eye using my recent purchase, Galapagos. Definitely too dark and heavy for the daytime, but perfect for a night out!



Sorry I look a bit tired, this was taken when I got home!
Products...

Face:


Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer & a little bit of the mineral powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Powder
Bobbi Brown Corrector
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
Mac Refined Golden Bronzer
Benefit Coralista

Eyes:
Mac Painterly Paint Pot
Stila Smudgepot in Bronze (i think this intensified the look and made the sparkles show up more. I'm going to try this look w/o it and see how different it looks!)
Mac Femme Fi & Soba
Nars Galapagos & Mekong
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in black ink
Covergirl Lashblast volume
Anastasia Brow Powder in brunette

Lips:
Estee Lauder Coral Kiss (found at a CCO a few months ago, I think it was Limited Edition)
Mac Enchantress Lipglass

Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 3, 2011

May Favorites!

Can't believe it's already June! It seemed like May just completely flew by! Here's a few favorites I had from last month...


Jack Black Lip Balms: These are my favorite lip balms EVER. Seriously, if you have terribly chapped lips, you NEED to try these! My favorite is the mint, then the lemon chamomile. They are just fantastic lip balms: your lips not only feel moisturized immediately, but once the balm wears off they really stay smooth (unlike some balms I've tried where you have to keep re-applying a million times in an hour). I especially like to put it on right before bed so I wake up with nice soft lips!

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: This powder is fantastic! I use this to set my tinted moisturizer everyday and it's fantastic at keeping my combo/oily skin under control. I love that it's translucent, blends really well and it's undetectable!

Nars Laguna: It's pretty obvious by the amount of pan showing that i LOVE this bronzer! Clumsy me dropped it a week ago so although the product didn't break, the hinges did. It gives a very natural glow to the skin and the fine sparkles in it are undetectable once you apply. I'm also a fan of the darker one Nars Casino, but I need to apply that one more carefully to avoid looking too fake tanned and dark. Laguna is definitely a favorite...I'm trying to use up some other bronzers I have before repurchasing since it's a bit pricey, but I know I'll come back to it!

Mac Soba: I rediscovered this in my eyeshadow stash in the beginning of the month and found myself reaching for it quite a lot. It's a medium brown/tan/caramel color with gold shimmer. Sort of looks like a boring color in the pan but it really works well in the crease or on the lid smoked out with darker browns. Perfect if you're in a rush or if you want a soft neutral look.

TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer: You can see my post here on this highlighter. I really have no bad things to say about it, I've been wearing it nearly every single day since I got it!

Let me know if you've tried any of these items or what products you loved most last month!

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