Friday, September 28, 2012

NOTD: Desert Sun by China Glaze and Butter London's Tart with a Heart

As the weather flirts with possibly, maybe, cooling down a bit here on the gulf coast, I'm indulging in colors that remind me of fall, even if it is still in the mid-80's.  And what's more evocative of fall than pumpkin pie?  So let's tie it all together - hot weather and pumpkin pie - with Desert Sun by China Glaze, one of the 3 polishes I got from the On Safari collection.

I was originally thinking Desert Sun reminded me of Werther's original butterscotch candy, but when I look at photos, it's really more of a pumpkin pie color.  Two coats were plenty, formula was good, and it does dry glossy. 

After a few days of enjoying Desert Sun, I topped it with my first Butter London polish.  I picked up Tart with a Heart along with Black Knight during the recent Ulta BOGO free sale.  Tart's a lovely girl, full of glowing gold micro glitter and slightly larger glitter for flashes of color.  Tart does dry gritty and dull, so a good top coat is a must.  I used one coat of Seche Vite.
Disclosure:  I purchased these.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maybelline LE Great Lash in Totally Teal

I picked up the other two limited edition Great Lash mascaras before they disappeared - Totally Teal and Blink of Blue.  Today I've got Totally Teal to show you.  To be honest, Totally Teal was the color I was the least excited about.  Just goes to show what I know, as it actually is quite pretty on.

I do not find Great Lash mascaras to add much in the way of length or volume.  But as a basic colored mascara, this limited edition release has worked quite well for me.  Or at least the green leaning colors have worked well, as both Go Go Green and Totally Teal show up nicely without screaming "colored lashes!" in too obvious of a fashion.  Plus, they wear nicely and do not smudge or flake on me.  For $5-$6 a pop, that's not bad!
The LE colored Great Lash mascaras were supposed to disappear at the end of August, but the display is still up at my local Rite Aid.  Can't say that these have been big sellers based on my location, which I'm guessing is why the display is still out.  But, once they're gone, they're gone!

 Disclosure:  I purchased this.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let's Dance Harmony Face Powder by Sephora

I've yet to figure out the logic with Sephora listing sale items that are no longer available.  They did that forever with the Let's Dance Harmony face powder, a CD sized container of five different shades that can be blended together or used individually as color or highlight shades.  However, the last time I clicked on the picture yet again, it was in stock.  Maybe there is reason behind the rhyme, unless it's just a ploy to keep me clicking like a rat looking for it's pellet of food.
Regardless, this mammoth sized blush/highlighter was finally mine for $7.  As you can see from the shots in the sun, there is some sparkle to this.  I did not find it to be disco ball shimmer, however, and the overall color is warm but light.  It's not super pigmented, which probably makes it more suited as a highlighter for those with darker complexions.   I can get away with using it as a blush as well, and in fact it reminds me somewhat of Benefit's Sugarbomb.  Sugarbomb leans a little more pink than Let's Dance, but the finish is  similar.
As of Monday, this was showing up as not available online, although the picture is still up in the sale section.  Tomorrow could be a different story!

Disclosure:  I purchased this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

beauty.com Gift with Purchase: Vamp Bag and $200 Worth of Products

Fact - I'm susceptible to gift with purchase offers.  I'm particularly susceptible to beauty.com when they offer designer makeup bags filled with goodies.  No surprise then that I got the sample-filled Vamp bag, where for the minimum required purchase of $100, you get the following:
Source: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images North America
The bag is fur patterned and inspired by the luxurious dressing rooms of old Hollywood.  The designers are Costella Tagliapietra, who look like two burly lumberjacks.  Love it. 

The samples are valued at $200 and include:
  • Ojon™ Color Sustain Color Revealing Shampoo
  • tokyoMilk Dark Tainted Love Parfum
  • Laura Gellar Baked Body Frosting, Honey Glow(full sized)
  • Bareminerals® Flawless Definition Mascara
  • Smashbox® Photo Finish® Hydrating Under Eye Primer
  • Murad® Environmental Shield® Intensive-C Radiance Peel
  • Nick Chavez® Angel Drops™ with Argan Oil
  • stila® Stay All Day® 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm
  • Arcona® Reozone 40 Protect SPF 40
  • DDF® Acne Control Treatment
  • Peter Thomas Roth® Mega-Rich Body Wash or Lotion
  • H2O+™ Marine Calm™ Hydrating Face Complex
  • Fekkai Advanced® Brilliant Glossing Cream
  • The Body Shop® Vitamin E Eye Cream
  • Supersmile® Professional Whitening System 
I also got a free Alterna hair mask, which was another special offer.
I'm enjoying playing with all the goodies!  The bag is nicely made and will be my new go to travel bag.  I like the various compartments and that it folds up into a nice, compact size.  From what I can tell, this offer is still live at beauty.com, if anyone is interested.

Disclosure:  I purchased this.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Skin79 Super+ Triple Functions BB Cream

For the summer months, I've been using SkinFood's Peach Sake Pore BB cream, which has a really nice warm tone to it and is made for oilier skin, which suits me well.  For the cooler months when I will presumably be a bit more pale and perhaps a smidgen less oily, I will be using Skin79's Super+ BB cream in the pink bottle.  I found this description at thebbcreamshop.com:
The fortified ingredients of Kava and Purslane provide advanced sebum control for clearer and lighter skin. The hydrating cream provides plenty of moisture through Phyto Complex and Ceramide 3. Make up lasts longer, and the benefits of non-stop skin care helps diminish wrinkles and promotes whitening.  Additionally, advanced sun protection and the added caring ingredients of Oats, Green Tea and Rice Bran make the ultimate all in one perfecting cream, beyond make up. "
I know that many US based cosmetic/skin care companies have been releasing their versions of BB creams, but for the most part, they do not stack up to the Korean versions.  Hence why I took the chance of ordering without sampling direct from Korea, as I wanted to experience the real deal.  The two brands that I have tried thus far- Skinfood and Skin79 - really are working well!  I got both from Amazon via seoulglamour.com and can say that shipping was fast and prices were very reasonable.  I've also seen some posts and youtube videos claiming that seoulglamour has sold fake Skin79 BB creams.  According to the video I watched (you can see it here), mine is authentic.  However, the letters on mine do rub off easily, which is supposedly a sign of a fake according to some posts.  So, not sure what to say about that.  Short of testing at the lab, I guess I'll never know.  I will say that if it's fake, it's working well for me:-)

At first I was a bit concerned that the Skin79 would give me a grayish cast, but it does a nice job of adjusting to my skin tone.  It has a nice slip to it and was easy to blend out.  The finish is slightly dewy but not to the point that I felt shiny.  I've been setting with a mineral foundation and the combination of the two gives enough coverage without feeling or looking cakey.

Apropo of nothing, here are before and after shots of my hair since the last time I got it cut, which I think was in March.  I'm thinking it grew 5-6 inches in as many months.  I like my hair long, but the reality is that it gets pulled into a ponytail or put in a clip most days, and the ends were pretty frayed.  It's like pulling teeth to get me to the salon.  I usually just do a walk in and get whoever is available.
And, the new cut.  The stylist thoughtfully made an appointment for me 4 months out this time:-)

Disclosure:  I purchased this.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

TokyoMilk Bon Bon Shea Butter Lotion in Kabuki

Some companies get it so right when it comes to presentation and packaging - and TokyoMilk by Margot Elena is one of them.  Designated as "objects to desire", this line of fragrances, body care products, lip balms, and candles appeals to both the eye and the nose.

For my first foray into TokyoMilk, I purchased a shea butter lotion called Kabuki.
"Unexpected essences are crushed & distilled then blended with extracts of Japanese Green Tea, Mimosa Bark & Dandelion and enveloped in moisture-rich Shea Butter to create this coveted treasure."

The fragrance features sugared grapefruit, lychee and sweet jasmine and makes me think of sunshine streaming through a window on a clear, cool day.  It's not overly sweet and has a bit of tartness to it - perhaps the lychee?  The lotion itself is of medium consistency and makes for a great hand cream, as it softens without leaving a greasy residue.  I'm a hand cream fiend, and Kabuki is one I'll be turning to throughout the winter, especially on gray, cold days.
I think these would make great hostess or holiday gifts and I planning on getting one for my mother for Christmas.  Ten different scents are available, including one called Dead Sexy, which I may have to get just for the name.  Not to mention the skull warning sign nestled in  flowers design.  These beauties need a vanity to be displayed on!
The Bon Bon Shea Butter Lotions retail for $20 and I got mine from beauty.com.  Sephora is also now carrying TokyoMilk Dark, which features more edgy and dark scents with names like Arsenic, Bullet Proof, and Tainted Love.  I recently received a sample of Tainted Love, which features dark vanilla bean, orchid, white tea, and sandalwood.  It's nice!

Disclosure:  I purchased this.
Beauty and Fashion Tech

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Luring Color Design Eyeshadow by Lancome

Luring is an interesting blueish teal/lavender duochrome eyeshadow from Lancome.  It is listed as a "sheen"and applies quite sheer, so I found myself applying several layers to get color buildup.  That may sound like a bad thing, but I'm thinking this will make a great layering shadow, both under and on top of other shadows.  The finish is smooth with a sheen that changes color depending on light and angle.  The first swatch is wet and the second dry and I did not use a primer.

In my limited experience with Lancome shadows thus far, they tend to be more on the sheer side and not super pigmented (although the Emerald Boudoir palette was quite pigmented).  It may have to do with the different finishes of the shadows.  The finished look is always pretty though, so I'm not holding it against them.  The price, on the other hand....$18 for a single.  At that price, I'd probably go with an Uurban Decay shadow unless the color was something unique.  Luring looked fairly unique and I don't think I have anything else quite like it.  Sometimes the great GWP's that Lancome offers make their higher prices more digestable.
 For this look, I used:
  • Luring from lash line up to the crease
  • Korres Shimmering eyeshadow in Grey Brown Base in crease
  • Korres Shimmering eyeshadow in White on brow bone and inner eye
  • stila Stay All Day felt tip liner in Indigo on lash line
  • the balm's shadyLady in bossy bobbi along upper and lower lash lines
  • Maybelline's Great Lash mascara in Totally Teal

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.

Friday, September 21, 2012

NOTD: Molly by Julep and Be-Claus I Said So from Sephora by OPI

Molly, Be-Claus I Said So
Yes, I broke out the Christmas glitter.  I don't know if that's because I've been jonesing for cooler weather or because it was a good complement to the deep red cream Molly.  Perhaps a bit of both.

Molly is not a color I would have sought out on my own, but I got her in a Julep mystery box last month.  Something about the color was saying "fall" to me, so I used it for both my pedicure and manicure.  Two coats were plenty and the formula was problem free.  The biggest problem I have with Julep polishes has to do with polish pooling on the wand, which is longer than your normal polish wand due to the bottle design.  I used Seche Vite base and top coats, and wear time on the Juleps has been good - 5-6 days with some tip wear but no chipping.

Be-Claus I Said So was part of last year's holiday Glitter and Sparkle 4 color glitter set from Sephora by OPI.  It's a red glitter with micro and medium hex sizes in a clear base.  You've also got a few (and I really mean a few) silver hex glitters in the mix.  They are really pointless, as I got one silver glitter amongst all ten nails, and every time I see it I think it's lint or something.  Unbeknownst to me until I took this photo, there is also some purple micro glitter peeking out in there. 

I dabbed Be-Claus I Said So on the tips, which I think gave a nice glow from within effect without screaming "glitter" on an already bold look.  Oh, and I chopped my nails off, which I do periodically.

Disclosure:  I bought these.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Gold Shimmer: Review, Swatches, and Comparisons

The limited edition Color Tattoo shades that Maybelline recently released have introduced a few new favorites to me.  The first one was Barely Beige, which has proven to be a great all over lid color, shadow base, and highlighter.  I actually picked up a backup as it's limited edition and I like it that much.  The second is the topaz colored Gold Shimmer.  I skipped over it when I bought my first two color selections from the fall displays as I already have Bold Gold, but glowing reviews swayed me into picking up Gold Shimmer as well.

The Color Tattoos can be hit or miss, with some applying smoothly and others requiring more work to avoid patchiness.  In general, Ive found the lighter colors are easier to work with. 

Golden Shimmer was smooth and easy to apply with my finger.  I used Barely Beige over my entire lid before applying Gold Shimmer, which I think made it a bit more muted in tone.  I used a liner brush along my lash lines, and the color there is more true to the pot.  Wear time on these with an eye primer is a good 8-10 hours before I start to notice fading. 

I wanted to compare Gold Shimmer with Bold Gold and Bad to the Bronze.  There are distinct differences, with Bold Gold being lighter and more of what I would consider a true gold. Bad to the Bronze has more of a rose/taupe cast to it.
Gold Shimmer, Bold Gold
Gold Shimmer, Bad to the Bronze

Bad to the Bronze, Gold Shimmer, Bold Gold (shade)
Bold Gold, Gold Shimmer, Bad to the Bronze (sun)
Color Tattoo shadows are about $6 at most stores, but frequent BOGO offers make them even less expensive. I'm hoping that the new colors make it into the permanent lineup so I don't feel the need to hoard backups!

Disclosure:  I bought these.