Friday, October 31, 2014

NOTD:Color Club's Sparkle and Soar with Penny for Your Thoughts

Glowing ember.  That's what the orange glass flecked Sparkle and Soar reminds me of, especially mattified with Julep's matte top coat.  I've been watching the news clips of the lava flow in Hawaii approaching that poor village, and Sparkle and Soar captures that vivid orange gold glimpsed under the charred black lava crust.
After a few days of matte orange, I topped with Wet n'Wild's Penny for your Thoughts, part of the Hot Rocks glitter collection from last year.  It looked perfect for Halloween, so of course I had to use it.  One coat produced more bar glitter than the octagons, but it works.
The dogs will be trick or treating at their grandmother's this evening, and Koi Lily wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween! 
Linking up with The Nail Files, hosted by Jennie Shaw:
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Estee Lauder 2014 Color Portfolio Swatches

Estee Lauder's 2014 LE Color Portfolio features 16 lipsticks, 30 eye shadows, 3 blushes/1 bronzer, and 2 lip glosses.  I've got swatches of all of them to show you, in case you are considering purchasing one of these yourself.  It's a great way to try out a wide range of Estee Lauder's cosmetics and the price is phenomenal: $37.50 with any Estee Lauder purchase.  Fair warning - these sell out fast!
A few of the lighter shades (the matte Sandbar in particular) do not show up on my arm swatches very well, but that's par for the course with nude skin tones.  I was impressed with the how nice the matte shades were in general - nicely pigmented, smooth, and not chalky or powdery.  The black matte was phenomenal (and mistakenly labeled Black Chrome, just like the charcoal shimmer below it).  My biggest disappointment was Enchanted Forest, which was not very pigmented at all.  I kept applying more hoping to get to the color in the pan, but it just wasn't happening. 
There are a selection of different finishes available in the lip colors, and I really like the choice of shades this year!  There is an attached plastic divider over both the lip colors and the blushes, with a  detached one over the shadows.  You'll want to keep all in place in order to avoid cross pollination, always an issue with mixed powder and cream palettes.
While the lip cream and shadow pans are on the small side, you are getting almost full sized blushes and bronzer.  These are the stars of the palette for me, as I love Estee Lauder blushes.  They have such lovely, skin-enhancing finishes, no doubt due to how finely milled and nicely pigmented they are. Very nice.
Brazen Berry, Wired Copper
I also am a fan of Estee Lauder's glosses, and last year's Praline gloss was heavily used.  I can see Wired Copper becoming a new favorite.  The deep black kajal pencil in Blackened Black rounds out the makeup contents, along with a few travel sized brushes that I've yet to touch (and probably won't, as I didn't last year either).  Lots of good stuff to play with!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Estee Lauder 2014 LE Color Portfolio: First Look

My 2014 Estee Lauder Color Portfolio arrived, and it's a beauty!  The design is a bit different than last year's portfolio, although the size of the items are the same.  You get a larger mirror this year, which I suppose would be useful if you travel with the portfolio.  The outer covering is a sturdy cardboard that feels quite solid.
I actually prefer the design of last years portfolio, as this one was a bit more awkward to handle, although it's esthetically pleasing.  The mirror had a tendency to fall back closed when I was first examining the contents, which would probably be less of an issue if it was sitting on a solid surface.
Lip colors:
Eye shadows:
I'll have swatches and initial impressions up for you tomorrow!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Earl Grey Wink Eye Pencil and Cream Shadow

Having not forayed much into Butter London's makeup, I recently picked up the Top of the Pops set so that I could try out a few items.  Today I've got the eye pencil and cream shadow in Earl Grey to show you.
First of all, I'm smitten with both of these and have been wearing them all week.  The quality is great and I'm getting really good wear time from them on my oily lids.

Gray is not really a go to color for me, as I tend towards warmer colors.  However, after playing with these all week, combining these with warmer colors totally works for me. 
Outside, full sun
The cream shadow can be worn opaque for a metallic silver look, but I've been wearing it more as a sheer color wash base shade.  It gives such an ephemeral look with powder shadows on top, adding a complexity that yes, I'm smitten with.
Inside, natural light
The eye pencil is a deep steel gray with shimmer that applies easily and once it sets, does not smudge at all.  I've got lots of experience with eye pencils, and this is a good one.
Above was my first attempt, and it was too much gray for me.  I needed some warmth for contrast, and decided on gold, peachy pink, and topaz shades from the 2013 Estee Lauder Color Portfolio palette.
So glad I got to try these out and will be keeping my eyes out for other colors in both the Butter London eye pencils and cream shadows ($18 each).

Friday, October 24, 2014

NOTD: Virtual Insanity by Deborah Lippmann

I've got the first Deborah Lippman polish I've ever worn to show you today, and it's a beauty!  I'd like to claim I picked it out myself, but Virtual Insanity was a GWP in the Barney's beauty bag I got last month.  Furthermore, it's an exclusive to Barney's shade that costs even more ($24) than regular Lippman polishes.
But did I mention how pretty it is?  I'm drawn to crimson polishes once the weather starts to hint at fall, but Virtual Insanity takes it a step further by being a purple with crimson shimmer, giving it an extra added dimension.  This is two coats of polish with Butter London's topcoat.
Mobile is finally experiencing that hint of fall weather right now, with gorgeous warm days, low humidity, and crisp nights.  I actually don't go by the weather to determine when fall has arrived, but by when the banana spiders make their appearance, which is usually in September.  Take a look at this beauty, which hung her web right over the spot where I usually take pictures.  As long as I know where they are, I'm okay, but I have a huge fear of walking into one of their webs and then flailing myself to death.
Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie Shaw:

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup in Medium

Disclaimer:  I received this for review from BzzAgent.  All opinions are my own.
Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup is supposed to provide flawless coverage with the powerful hydrating effects of a night cream.  Featuring the "exclusive Olay FaceFirm technology", this foundation is infused with a concentrated vitamin complex that hydrates, plumps, and lifts.  Not only that, but after two weeks of continued use, skin firmness is supposed to be improved.
Available in only 4 shades, Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, I've got Medium to show you.  It leans slightly peach in tone, and was actually a pretty good match for my complexion.  I'm surprised at the lack of darker shades, which does seem rather limiting.
Housed in a heavy plastic jar, the foundation has a whipped cream type of consistency that feels dense but light.  Not sure the jar packaging is conducive to maintaining the integrity of the skincare ingredients, although you can minimize possible bacterial contamination by not sticking your fingers in it, regardless of what the instructions say (to apply with your finger to cheeks and then use your fingers or a sponge to blend towards the hairline).  I used my usual foundation brush after transferring a dab via a clean utensil to a makeup tray, which worked fine.  I did notice some initial settling into larger pores, but using a firmer brush on those areas smoothed things out nicely for a medium coverage effect.
Billed as a hydrating foundation, my initial concern is that this would be too dewy for my oily skin.  Indeed, while the initial finish was a nice semi-matte, I had to blot my skin before even completing my morning makeup routine. Not a good sign.  After blotting and setting with a powder, I got about 7 hours of wear before I noticed fading.  Not quite as long as some of my other foundations better suited for oily skin, but given the weather was still hot and humid on my first wear, my hope was the onset of cooler weather would bring better results.   After all, I needed to wear this for 2 weeks solid to see if there really is a firming effect :-
So, it's been two weeks, what are my final impressions?  I can't really tell a difference as far as firmness is concerned, but I can say my overall impression is positive.  I like the initial semi-matte finish, although I do have to set it with powder if I want to minimize shine and extend wear.  The finish is natural looking and does not feel heavy, nor did it cause any issues with my break-out prone skin.
I do think it's on the pricey side for a drug store foundation at $18, although I do see that Walmart has it for $14.  While I do appreciate makeup that has skincare enhancing ingredients and am willing to pay more if it's effective, I'm not sure how stable the formula is given the jar packaging limitations of exposure to air and potential contaminates.  The real test for me is if this will stay in my foundation rotation, however, and I do believe it will, so that's a plus!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Moment

Moment ($24) from Lipstick Queen's Butterfly Ball line of lipstick is described as a "sexy shimmering red", but it's got a little something extra that makes it special:  a subtle flash of blue pearl that is supposed to flatter the lips and help teeth appear whiter.
The Butterfly Ball line was inspired by the shimmer from a butterfly's wing, and Moment is sheer but still provides plenty of color.  Even better, the shimmer does translate nicely.
While I like the Lipstick Queen lipsticks I've tried, I'm not sure I love them.  Something in the formula doesn't love me back, leaving my lips feeling slightly dry in spite of the aloe vera and vitamins E, C and B in the formula.  Consequently, I don't find myself reaching for them that often.  I'm going to give Moment another try, however, as it's a nice summer to fall transition color.