Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Patrick Guest Review: They Hate Pimples Concealer for Men

3 They Hate Pimples shades clockwise from the top: Pale Ale, Medium Lager, Amber Ale

Now and again I'm approached by companies that would like a male opinion on a product or service, which Patrick is all too happy to be a good sport and provide! Recently we were approached about a brand that creates concealer made specifically for men. While you ladies won't turn to lumberjacks by using it, everything from its packaging to the content on the site is geared towards men. It also includes tea tree oil in the formula, which is great for helping to clear up blemishes.


Keep in mind, these formulas do include paraffin and petrolatum so if you're not a fan of petroleum you may not want to use these.

Patrick attempted to put this on himself, but this being the first time he's ever worked with concealer, he did require a little additional instruction/assistance. Patrick is fortunate and does not often have blemishes or issues with his skin, so he actually attempted to cover up a mole on his face instead.

Before:

Before: This mole is actually a tiny bit darker in person, but for some reason it photographed lighter.


After:
You can see here that the concealer hasn't quite set here, but looks as though it's oxidized a bit.


Consistency
He was immediately surprised by the consistency, which is some of the smoothest, softest concealer I've ever seen personally. He described it as "wicked smooth" and pleasant feeling. Sorry, we're originally from Mass so for those of you unfamiliar with our characteristic use of "wicked" up here, he means very ;)

Application
This was very easy to dab on, but being a first-timer made it a little confusing as to how to apply it to one specific area while blending it in to the skin around it. One issue Patrick had was that this never seemed to really set, but remained slick and transferred if touched for some time after application.

Skin Tone Match
Unfortunately, this was one area that didn't work for Patrick. He has a fairly tanned medium complexion, but with some pink undertones. None of the 3 colors he reviewed quite matched his skin. I did mix a few together and finally get a near match, but on his own this is not something he could do.

Price
Each They Hate Pimples concealer is priced at $19.95, but is on sale as of this post for $14.95. It comes in the 3 colors Patrick received for review.

Where to Buy
They Hate Pimples can be purchased on the brand website HERE.

Final Thoughts
Patrick said, "I think if you have the right skin tone it's a good product. It felt like a high-quality product to use, but not knowing how to use it it's hard for me to judge a concealer for men. If I had lots of blemishes and I wanted to cover them up I'd attempt to use this again if it set and matched my skin tone better."

So what do you think? Will you be trying these out for your boyfriend, husband, or self?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MAKE Colour Swatches & Review

I had the pleasure of recently reviewing some cosmetics from MAKE Colour, which is a cosmetic brand that is entirely new to me! Here's a little bit about MAKE Colour's purpose as noted on the brand's website:

We See Beauty is a for-benefit marketplace of ideas, stories and products that support the cooperative movement. A movement that believes that through shared ownership we can establish a more equitable and beautiful society for all. We believe in starting local with the hope that these ideas spread globally. By selling beautiful ideas and products, including MAKE - the first for-benefit brand of We See Beauty - we can empower local economies and strengthen communities, starting with our own in New York.
 According to the website, 1/3 of all profits from the site go directly to the We See Beauty Foundation, which is a non-profit that supports the development and success of co-op's. I'm personally a huge fan of co-op's and love cosmetics with further purpose if both the cosmetics and efforts are good ones.

All products reviewed below can be found on MAKE Colour's website HERE. I love that they're not tested on animals, cruelty-free, vegan, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic. Definitely HUGE pluses in my book, but then again you know how ingredient-conscious I am.

Clockwise - MAKE Colour Soft Focus Foundation in Cool #3, MAKE Colour lipstick in Scarlet, MAKE Colour shadow in Star Anise, MAKE Colour shadow in Ivy

MAKE Colour Soft Focus Foundation in Cool #3

 

As you can see, MAKE Colour Foundation in Cool #3 is a fairly deep tan color.


Here I've blended the MAKE Colour Foundation in Cool #3 into my hand. When testing out new face products I always try them out on my hand first as my skin is extremely sensitive. The first thing I noticed was that a little goes a long way. The dollop shown in the picture above was far too much for just the surface of my hand, but once I took a good portion of the foundation away and blended it in I was impressed by how well it blended in.


MAKE Colour Soft Focus Foundation in Cool #3 on my face. I used a moisturizer prior to applying it, but did not use a primer (though this is recommended by the product packaging). I used a foundation brush to apply as that is my preference, though the packaging recommends a sponge. This blended smoothly over my face and blended in well.

Thoughts on MAKE Colour Soft Focus Foundation in Cool #3

I am pretty impressed by the formula and coverage of this foundation. Granted, I don't suffer from any serious issues with my skin (other than extreme sensitivity), this provided moderate coverage and really evened out the color of my skin, especially when it came to photographing my face. I did notice slight oxidation (very faint) on my nose, but where it's the end of winter and I've been sick on and off for the last 3 months I'm not sure it would be an issue if my skin were as moisturized as it normally is. I didn't find this irritating to my skin as of yet. I can't predict whether or not this would start to bother me long-term or during the summer when my allergies are at their worst, but so far so good!

This foundation does include dimethicone, which is not something I personally choose to use on a daily basis in my cosmetics. Occasionally I will, but for personal reasons I choose not to constantly. That being said, I find dimethicone or some form of silicone is in most face products that are meant to provide an even appearance--for obvious reasons since it's made up of spherical particles. So if dimethicone isn't an issue for you or you're like me and want something for special occasions then I definitely recommend giving this a try.



Finish

I did find that this had a "dewy" finish, which I often prefer, but if you prefer a matte finish you may want to dust on some finishing powder.

Shade Match


I would say that if you're on the lighter side of medium that Cool #3 will probably be too dark for you. I was actually surprised to see that Cool #3 is meant for "light complexions with pin undertones" as I'm definitely not light and this is probably half a shade darker than a perfect match for me at the end of a long winter up here, but definitely right on for spring/summer! I'm a fairly neutral olive around MAC NC30 for the most part. MAKE offers a wide variety of shades--16 in total. Since I'm fairly neutral I'd be interested to see how the comparable "warm" shade #3 would match my skin as well. I wish I could compare #2-4 in both cool and warm shades as I'm interested to see how they range! I have 3 younger sisters and they all vary in skin tone, but I'm by far the darkest of us. I know one of them is so fair she can rarely find something that matches her well. I wonder if #1 in cool would work for her if #3 is so close to me. The shades do look as though they go fairly deep so for girls with darker complexions sick of having difficulty finding a match you may want to check out MAKE Colour's selection.

Price: This retails on MAKE's site for $32.50 for 1 fl oz.



MAKE Colour Lipstick in Scarlet

Scarlet is a bright, slight orange-toned red with a matte finish. MAKE's lipsticks come in an interesting shape, which I found fun to look at! Note: my tube was a tad dented, probably due to shipping, so that is what you're seeing on the edge there.

MAKE Colour Scarlet lipstick is amazing. It's matte, but not flat--just perfect! I had shared this swatch on instagram earlier this week and quite a few people were taken with it.

Thoughts on MAKE Colour Lipstick in Scarlet

I am in love! The consistency was creamy and even though it's a matte, it was not in any way drying and remained creamy on my lips for hours while I wore it. I also loved that it is light as a feather on your lips. This may sound odd, but I am very particular when it comes to lipstick formulas and I hate lipsticks that feel "heavy". This was so beautifully pigmented and provided full coverage on my lips (as you can see above), yet it had a barely-there feel to it.

I noticed that on the website Scarlet is described as a blue-toned red. I may be crazy, but I find on my lips it is slightly more orange-toned than blue-toned, though it's so close to be right in the middle perhaps it varies from one eye to the next. 

Application

I always find that lipsticks with non-traditional shapes can be a bit tricky. One the one hand, because this lipstick had angled corners it almost made it easier to keep within the lines of my lips. On the other hand, I personally found overall that it was easier to use a lip brush for application. Keep in mind, I have no issues using a lip brush regularly and tend to make my choice depending on the lipstick formula as I find some simply apply better with a brush and some better from the tube.

Price: This lipstick retails for $18 for a .12 oz tube.

MAKE Colour Satin Finish Eyeshadow in Star Anise and Ivy

MAKE Colour eyeshadow in Star Anise is a chocolate-colored brown with tiny flecks of bronze shimmer (which for some reason wasn't caught in this picture). Note: this cracked during shipping, but despite that hasn't turned into completely powder like other compacts I've received with a crack in the pan.

MAKE Colour eyeshadow in Ivy at first glance looks like a dark emerald, but on further inspection you can see it actually has a slightly blackened base. It is more shimmery than this picture depicts.

Left to Right: Star Anise, Ivy

Thoughts on MAKE Colour Satin Finish Eyeshadow in Star Anise & Ivy

First of all, the consistency and formula on these was amazing! They are buttery-smooth and reminded me of a cross between TheBalm shadows and Urban Decay, though a tad more feather-light. They were both very pigmented. Ironically, I found these applied better with a makeup brush on my lids than they even swatched--which is rare in my experience. Sometimes I'll swatch and then during application on my eye find they're not quite as easy to work with, but these were amazing to work with. They applied well by patting and swiping and blended well. They're not heavy on your lids, yet they're pigmented.

According to the packaging they can be applied wet or dry. I've only used them dry thus far, but as I love foiling I will definitely try these wet in the near future.

Keep in mind, these are talc-based, so if you prefer to avoid talc these may not be a good fit for you. If that isn't an issue then I highly recommend giving these a try. The shadows I reviewed came in the satin finish, but there are multiple finishes available on the site--they look fabulous!

Price: These retail for $18 per 2.8 gram pan.

Final Thoughts

I am thoroughly impressed with the purpose and performance of these cosmetics by MAKE Colour. While a few of the ingredients in the products aren't ones I use on a daily basis, they also steer clear from using chemicals I stay away from such as fragrance and parabens. I love that they're cruelty-free and don't do animal testing as well. I loved perusing the site and seeing all of the fabulous products they offer. My overall first impression is that these are comparable to other high-end brands I regularly prefer and are worth giving a try, especially given that these are for-benefit cosmetics.

What do you think? Will you be giving MAKE Colour a try?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2 Heads are Better than 1: January Head-Turners

Happy Saturday, lovelies!

I mentioned a while back that my bestie/fellow makeup-obsessed chicky, Beelex of Spanglelime Connection would begin collaborating with me monthly on a series of posts.You can read my original post HERE. Well, that time has come! Here are a list of products that caught our attention at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 and our thoughts on them:


Juice Beauty CC Cream 
Price: $39
Where to buy: https://www.juicebeauty.com/store/stem-cellular-repair-cc-cream.html 

D's Thoughts: I recently had the pleasure of reviewing this HERE. Having had near-perfect skin since high school, the fact that age is starting to catch up to me at almost 30 is really bothering me and I see it a lot in my complexion. It's less even and bit splotchy! Being ingredient-conscious, when I saw Juice Beauty produce a CC Cream I was immediately excited and the prospect of finding something that suited me! I think I immediately shared it with Beelex because I know we share similar skin backgrounds and similar concerns now. I think that the slightly darker shade will be find for my complexion as long as I don't get super tan--and I'm not planning on baking in the sun anytime soon. 

B/A's Thoughts: My skin has been basically perfect most of my life (save a few years in childhood but I think those are best left to parents, agreed?) so when I saw it start to fail me I kind of freaked. Mind you, only people who know me really well saw what I saw but that's still not exactly a self-esteem booster. My Neutrogena-advert skin was showing signs of my real age. When Doria sent me the link for Juice Beauty we both did the 'virtual-awesome-internet-beauty-find-dance' (imagine the Snoopy dance in your head then two people not actually physically doing it, just showing that level of 'ZOMG THRILLED'). They have a really kickarse range but the CC cream was our joint first pick. I was really impressed with the clinical results page on Juice Beauty (http://www.juicebeauty.com/about-us/clinical-results/) That sealed the deal for me and I wanted it all...a slight Verucca Salt moment I admit! 


Illamasqua Speckled Polishes 
Price: $16
Where to buy: http://www.sephora.com/speckled-nail-varnish-P377106?skuId=1481373 (also available on the illamasqua site but shipping is cheaper to purchase in the US from Sephora)

D's Thoughts: I'm a bit on the fence about these. I really like the overall effect and I love that they remind me of Cadbury mini eggs, but I feel like the speckles make them a tad less versatile and aside from an "easter egg" mani or regular mani, I'd personally be less likely to pair them with anything else. That being said, I like the way they look on their own. 

B/A'S Thoughts: Let me admit this first and foremost: I don't have any nails, finger or toe. I've picked and pulled at them since I was tiny. That's probably never going to stop. Anyway!...; back on track, I have no nails so I live vicariously through you lucky people who can grow your nails and make them pretty. When I saw these new polishes from Illamasqua I just thought, 'I want mini-egg nails!'. Loving the pastel neutrals, like Mottle, Scarce and Freckle, a creamy olive green, beige-pink and grey-brown (I could be wrong, remember, Ms. NoNails here can't get any in-person swatches!) and the speckles make it that much cooler for me. I like my beauty products bright and bold and in-your-face so these are special to make me lust for them.


I am the sort to buck trends and wear what I want when I want to, so if I had nails to decorate, I'd probably pull these babies out quite a bit to switch up my hypothetical mani bc I like looking at the speckles. 


Honey Bee Holistics Moisturizers 
Price: Varies
Where to buy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneyBeeHolistics 

D's Thoughts: I've been using Honey Bee Holistics moisturizers for ... over 2 years now easily. I absolutely love them. The ingredients are amazing, they're long-lasting moisture-wise, and Melissa (the owner) is lovely. We purchased the Naked Bee lotion and an ointment this past winter for my older guy who has really sensitive skin and often develops dry patches on his face. Using these lotions every night has not only cleared the patches (which were awful), but has left his skin so soft and smooth. I intend to start using it on myself at night as well! I recommended them to Beelex not too long ago because she was having some skin difficulty. She can share her experience as well! 

B/A's Thoughts: I had psoriasis as a kid and dont remember much except a gross prescription cream that smelt really bad. I thought I'd grown out of it for good but over the last year it hit my face hard, first the left eye, then the right and then down the sides of my nose. For a person who thrives on makeup of some sort and doesn't leave the house without some sort of eye makeup (usually liner, I am the queen of eyeliner bc I run so late constantly!), making the decision to leave the area product free was very difficult but necessary since the skin is so delicate.


I tried foundation and concealer when it did get worse (on the face, not the eyes!) but it accentuated the problem areas and I found myself despairing to Doria constantly over this. She'd suggested Honeybee Holistics before, but when her son had a similar skin issue and Honeybee products were able to reverse it entirely I was sold. I ordered the same products Doria was using for her son and when I got them I applied them and fell in like, now love.

I tell everyone that Honeybee is the best moisturizer in the world bar none (unless you use vegan products, then it cannot help you, sorry! All the beeswax!). I cannot and will not go back on using Honeybee for skincare, I am now obsessed. The best part is how inexpensive such amazing products are, and all created by a stay-at-home mum. There is nothing I regret about using Honeybee...my 1.5oz pot of face cream (totally eye-safe btw, I haven't tried it as a primer yet but I'm going to!) has lasted 1.5 months so far and I expect another 1.5-2.5 months to come from it.
This is a long thoughts section but like I said, I cannot say enough good things and it saved me many expensive dermatologist visits and a faceful of chemicals. BUY FROM HONEYBEE! 


Upcoming Sugarpill Cold Chemistry and Sparkle Baby Palettes 
Price: I would assume each palette would be the typical retail price of $34
Where to buy: Not yet available, but when they are I'd assume they'll go up on Sugarpill.net

Portrait of Mai blog did a lovely post from IMATS that includes a great shot of the soon-to-be launched Sugarpill loose and pressed shades including the 2 new palettes that I've been oogling: http://www.portraitofmai.com/2013/01/imats-la-2013-friday-and-saturday.html 

D's Thoughts: I love Sugarpill and will almost certainly find myself purchasing both palettes, but I'm undeniably more drawn to Sparkle Baby! Why? Well, while I'm definitely a color-drunk makeup lover I really love that Sugarpill (while notorious for insanely colorful cosmetics) has put out a softer palette. I can see myself going to this palette on a daily basis easily. So excited, I cannot wait for its release! Let's hope it's soon! I had tweeted Sugarpill regarding this palette back at the end of January and Shrinkle had been lovely enough to tweet me that they were hoping to release it in a month or so--fingers crossed!!! 

B/A's Thoughts:I love Sugarpill (well really who doesn't?) but I feel like we've been waiting an age for these palettes. I cannot wait for them to release on the website finally (though I am feeling a bit miffed because Sparkle Baby originally included a dupe of MAC Vellum, a white with a violet duochrome, and it's been reformulated since the debut of the new pressed shadows and chromalusts in 2011. I wanted a Sugarpill-sized Vellum dupe!)


Cold Chemistry is the dark, black sheep sibling of the pressed Sugarpill range and obviously designed for some smokey eyes Sugarpill-style. I love the packaging and Amelia Arsenic, and Urban Decay's Black Palette is my all-time favourite for anyone who asks (why did they discontinue Black Dog? It's a black shadow that swallows light and I only have one shadow blacker than it-a cosmetics brand that retired itself so I'm treasuring all my loose shadows from there. OFF TRACK!). Anyway, SWATCHES: http://www.confessionsofaglitterholic.com/2013/01/sugarpill-cold-chemistry-swatches.html

Sparkle Baby is the softest side of Sugarpill we've seen yet (for the record, Candycrush was the shadow that got reformulated from its original Vellum dupe-iness and is making me sad. I still want it but I am sad!) and I'm really interested to see people create looks with this palette since before Sugarpill's lightest shadows have been Tako (a stark matte white) and Lumi (a glowing white/turquoise duochrome loose shadow).
Wrapup-can't wait for these to be for sale on the website finally, it's been forever since the first sneak peek debut and I know Amy's a perfectionist when it comes to formula and colour but COME ON HURRRRRRY!




OCC new Liptars (Metallurgy)
Price: $16
Where to buy: http://www.occmakeup.com and http://www.sephora.com (several exclusives)

D's Thoughts: I have a love/frustration relationship with OCC lip tars--I'm sure you've seen swatches of some of my favorites on the blog before! I absolutely love the range of colors (pink heaven!) and I love that the ingredients are pretty good for lip products. Yet for some reason, despite many consultations with OCC staff, lip tars do not always stay on my lips. I have what I refer to as "teflon" skin and nails. Rarely does anything stick on my lips, nails, etc. This is not exclusive to OCC, but given their oil-base it makes them a tad more likely to feather on me than wax-based lippies. Even with incredible care, primer, liner, etc. this is an ongoing issue for me. That being said, when I work out the formula to make each lip tar work on me for a few hours (that's a long time for me) without it seeping off my lips into the tiny lines beginning to form around my mouth (oh age, why do you hate me so?) I am in love! I refuse to give them up because the colors are too fabulous and the new metallic range is just heaven to me! I've been going back and forth on which to buy and I think I've narrowed my favorites of the Metallurgy ones down to Yaoi, Super NSFW, and Electric Grandma. But they're all gorgeous.

OCC had tweeted not too long about the new metallic emerald "Power Plant" lip tar, which will launch exclusively to Sephora on February 15th. While I don't see myself wearing it out and about despite green/aqua being my favorite color (I'm more of a pink, coral, red lip person) I would definitely be tempted to purchase it simply because of its unique, amazing color. I can definitely see Beelex being really into it--she loves the shock-factor of nontraditional lip colors as much as I love the shock factor of super insanely bright lip colors! See it here: instagram.com/p/Ur6drBy0Tj/

What about you? What caught your eye in January?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Look Using Prestige Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Kit and Juice Beauty CC Cream

I received some really fabulous products recently that were absolutely perfect for a Valentine's Day look! So here it is...

Normally I wouldn't pair a dark eye with bright red lips, but I thought I'd be a bit dramatic for V-Day this year ;)
Here's a closer shot of my lips--love this combo of gloss over lipstick. For some reason my skin is a bit lighter than it really is, probably due to the horrible lighting the day I took these shots because of all the snow outside and the overcast sky, but the lips themselves are very true to color. See below for product names.


Here's what I used:
  • Benefit Stay Don't Stray Original Primer (there's a new shade now that I need to try!)
  • All 4 of the shadows and the dark brown brow pomade from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful kit (previously reviewed HERE).
  • Juice Beauty CC Cream in warm glow (previously reviewed HERE).
  • Prestige Cosmetics Fuchsia Freefall Vinylwear Extreme gloss over Romantic Red lipstick
  • Prestige Cosmetics Lipiner in 210 Amore
  • Prestige Cosmetics Fresh Glow Baked Mineral Blush in 01 Pink 
The Prestige Cosmetics products that I used were ones I had never previously tried. Here they are...


Here's a quick review of these products:

Prestige Cosmetics Fresh Glow Baked Mineral Blush in 01 Pink
This blush was very finely milled and surprisingly pigmented. The one downside for me personally was that those pretty shimmer splotches throughout create a good deal of highlighting shimmer once applied. If you like fairly highlighted cheeks then this is definitely for you. I typically prefer matte cheeks with a little highlighter on the highest points of my cheek bones only. Again, super pretty and I love how finely milled this is (and I am insanely picky about that--one of my odd quirks), but just a bit too shimmery for me for a blush. This would, however, make a nice highlighter in my opinion!
Prestige Cosmetics Fuchsia Freefall Vinylwear Extreme
This is a really pretty gloss that I would call more watermelon pink than fuchsia (note enough blue in it to me to be a fuchsia but that's just my opinion). It is extremely pretty! It is a tad sticky (for those of you that mind that sort of thing--you all know sticky glosses don't bother me in the least) and has a pleasantly sweet fragrance. Again, super pretty if you like pink gloss!


Prestige Cosmetics Romantic Red lipstick
This lipstick on its own is a really pretty slightly blue-toned red. When you think red lips this is probably the color red that comes to mind. I loved it! It has a semi-matte finish on its own that is extremely pretty and I'd recommend wearing it on its own or with a gloss over it depending on your preference. 

Prestige Cosmetics Lipiner in 210 Amore
This lipliner complemented the lipstick well, though I think it's a tad more orange toned than blue. It wasn't incredibly soft and I tend to prefer soft lipliners. At the same time, it wasn't difficult to work with so it may just come down to personal preference.

All in all I'm quite pleased with the quality and colors of the Prestige Cosmetics products I tried for this look. Again, the baked blush was too shimmery for me personally, but if you like shimmery blushes this would be a good fit. It reminds me to a degree of one of my Laura Geller blush-n-brighten compacts. 

What did you wear on your face for Valentine's Day? 


Products in this review were provided by PR. All opinions are my own and 100% honest based on my personal experience.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Juice Beauty CC Cream Review ... and naked face pics!

For those that have followed me for a while you know I have super sensitive skin and that I'm very picky when it comes to my cosmetics in terms of performance and ingredients. That being said, it makes finding products I love a bit hard!

The second I saw that Juice Beauty had released their CC Cream (color correcting cream) I was dying to try it and thankfully they send me a sample of the darker of the two (warm glow) to try!

This is a sample tube, a normal tube comes in a 1.7 oz tube.

Okay ... time to get brave. I hate my naked face. Well, I hate my eyes, cheeks and lips naked ... and brows. I've just never been a huge fan of my face completely "clean", but for the sake of this review it's getting naked and I'm posting it here for you guys.

Here is my face in all of its nakedness. Oy vey, I'm cringing.


Keep in mind, I'm actually slightly more olive in person (a medium olive neutral like in my header above), but the super dark day and insane amount of snow we have here is literally throwing off the color like you would not believe even inside with my normal daylight bulbs on.

As you can see my skin is fairly even. I have a little bit of discoloration that's popped up as I've neared 30 (crap is that this year?!) on my cheeks and near my mouth, but I can't complain too much. I have to admit though, I had really good skin when I was younger so even this small amount makes me sigh.

This was taken at a slightly odd angle from below apparently lol. Not so flattering! Here's my skin after applying the CC Cream. I'm not sure how much of a difference you can see, but in person there was a slight difference. But again, I don't have super uneven skin to begin with.





Using the CC Cream
The CC Cream was fairly thick, but not difficult to blend into my skin at all. It does have a smell to it that isn't unpleasant, but if you're used to heavily perfumed products (I try to steer clear of synthetic fragrance whenever possible) you may want to smell it prior to purchasing as it has a more "natural" smell to it. Once I had applied the CC Cream to my face I could see a difference. The Warm Glow shade is definitely a warm shade. I'm neutral so I can swing warm or cool, but if you're a cool-toned person, I'm not sure how this would work with your skin. It may blend in just fine, but I can't say given that that's not something I have to worry about. The Warm Glow shade is definitely too dark in my opinion for someone that's fair. I would say it's best for a true medium to darker complexion. If you're a light shade of medium you may want to try the lighter shade as this may be a tad too beige for you.

Effect on My Skin
I never wear anything on my face without moisturizing first, so I applied a light layer of an organic moisturizer from Honey Bee Holistics first. I'm happy to say that CC Cream did not irritate my overly sensitive skin and it did even out my complexion a bit, but where I don't have too too much discoloration I can't say how effective it would be on someone looking for more of an effect. I wouldn't say this offers a high level of coverage, but then again if you want a lot of coverage you're probably looking for a combination of primer, concealer, foundation, finishing powder, etc. It did even out the slight discoloration under my eyes to a degree, but not quite as well as under eye concealers I've used in the past or currently use. I don't feel as though the CC Cream looked caked on by any means. There was no flaking or dry spots and it does provide a slightly "dewy" finish to your skin, so if you prefer a more matte look you'll want to try Juice Beauty's Refining Finishing Powder or something similar. I wouldn't say that the CC Cream is so light you can't feel it at all if your skin is sensitive. I could definitely feel that I was wearing something all over my face (remember, super sensitive skin here) but it wasn't bad.

Price
A 1.7 oz tube of CC Cream retails for $39. 

Where to Buy
You can purchase CC Cream on Juice Beauty's website HERE.

Final Thoughts
I think this is a great alternative to many of the chemical-filled BB Creams out there if you're looking for a healthy, more even looking complexion. I think it's important for those looking at CC Cream to understand its purpose so that those looking for a good deal of coverage won't be disappointed. I look forward to trying this again a few times more before coming to a final conclusion, but so far I think it's pretty good and worth trying.

JuiceBeauty.com offers a number of different products. Juice Beauty organic skincare is definitely worth looking into if you're ingredient-conscious like me. You can also keep tabs on their facebook page HERE.  

Products in this review were provided by PR. All opinions are my own and 100% honest based on my personal experience.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Kit Swatches & Review

Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Kit
Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Kit - As you can see it looks almost like a mini book set. I love it!
I was given the opportunity to review and swatch one of Anastasia Beverly Hill's newest kits--Bold & Beautiful Kit. This is a combo eyes and brows kit that is beautifully packaged. I absolutely love, love Anastasia Beverly Hill's attention to detail when it comes to their packaging. Generally I prefer nice sleek palettes and packaging, but I find myself really impressed with whatever Anastasia Beverly Hills comes up with for their palettes/kits.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Vol 1: Bold Brows

Vol 1: Bold Brows includes - dark brown pomade, taupe-y gray brow powder, mini tweezers, dual-ended brow brush/spoolie
Review
I liked that even though the pomade comes off a tad lighter in this picture, it's actually a fairly deep brown that I was able to use in my black brows without it looking odd. I find red-browns and lighter brows do NOT work in my brows at all, but this blended in nicely. The brow powder just didn't work for my brows, but I'd imagine someone with brown or lighter hair would find it really useful. I love the mini tweezers (can you ever have enough tweezers?) and the dual-ended brush was really convenient as well.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Kit Vol 2: Beautiful Eyes

Inside Vol 2: Beautiful Eyes - This includes 4 shadows and a dual-ended brush. The shadows were a bit hard to capture color-wise because it's so overcast here today and with all the snow it's really throwing off the lighting, but in person they're matte light beige, shimmery golden apricot, matte light brown with gold flecks, matte black with multicolor flecks.

I swatched these in the same order you see them above in the palette. The first color is so close to my skin color on my inner arm that I had to use a decent amount to make it show for you! As you can see, the mattes are a tad less creamy texture-wise and a bit softer.


Review
The second I opened up the palette I was drawn to the apricot color. I love colors like that. One thing Anastasia Beverly Hills always does well in my opinion is formulate buttery-smooth shadows. Oddly, I found the mattes in this kit a bit more "dry" than usual. They were fairly pigmented, but application and pay-off wasn't quite what I usually get from their kits. That being said, for someone that wants a more subtle look these would actually be a perfect fit. One of my younger sisters comes to mind. She likes a softer look and loves Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes like mad so I think she'd really like this.

I did a Valentine's Day look using the shadows and brow pomade in this kit, but I"m only revealing the eye part for now. Sorry the color is a bit off. Again, it's so dark here and the snow is throwing everything off so unfortunately this is as good as it gets!

Price
This is priced at $36 retail.

Where to Buy
This can be purchased on Anastasia Beverly Hills site HERE.

Final Thoughts
I really love the packaging for this kit and I like the brow portion. I don't dislike the shadows, but I did find them a bit "drier" and softer looking than usual. That being said, you can easily create a pretty look with them. I would highly recommend this for anyone that prefers a softer, more subtle eye look and who wants a gorgeous little kit that covers both eyes and brows all in one!

Products in this review were provided by PR. All opinions are my own and 100% honest based on my personal experience.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Wet to Dry Flat Iron Review

I'm really excited to share this flat iron review with you today because I personally think good straighteners are hard to find. I have been straightening and curling my hair since ... middle school? I have extremely thick, textured hair that's primarily influenced by my Japanese and Italian genes. It is difficult, fickle and has a life of its own. You know Merida in Brave? Swap the curls for texture, make it black and that is my hair!


Straightening Experience
I have tried all kinds of flat irons that have gone in and out of vogue from metal (so long ago) to glass and beyond. And since I absolutely hate putting any strain on my hair I'm incredibly picky. I will not use anything that pulls or "scrapes" along my hair. The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Wet to Dry Flat Iron thankfully did not of that! It glided through smoothly and didn't leave my hair looking or smelling burnt (yes, I have had flat irons that have done that in the past). I separated my hair out (which was dry) into manageable sections and made a steady pass through and it straightened my hair easily.

Along with this straightener I received a bottle of KQC Thermal Shine Spray. If you're used to using hot tools on your hair you're likely familiar with products like this that add shine to your hair while protecting it from damage due to the heat being applied. I have several products I've used and I'd say this was fairly comparable, though I'm personally more of a fan of things that spritz or have to be applied using your hands to your hair than aerosol cans as I tend to avoid them generally. If you're interested in checking it out you can view it HERE.

Features

The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightener that I received was 1.5" wide--perfect for someone with long hair like me. This can be used on either wet or dry hair, which I think will appeal to quite a few people. I personally prefer to straighten my hair dry or slightly damp so I haven't used it with wet hair yet. Like most straighteners I've used, it had a temperature dial, on/off switch and indicator light. I was a little confused as to whether the indicator light meant it was heating up or on (I've had hair tools in the past that had lights that meant either). The light did switch off midway through me straightening my hair so I'm guessing it means it's heating up? I also love that the section where the cord attaches to the flat iron swivels. I hate when you get your cord all twisted around so that's a nice little feature.

Performance

This heated up quickly! I would say I waited maybe 1 minute or so before it was ready for me to use. It maintained its temperature well and I'd say it allowed me to straighten my hair in really good time considering how long and thick my hair is. 


Before: As you can see I have very textured, thick hair.


After: I think you can definitely tell the difference. I had a little bit of difficulty taking a picture that captured as much of my hair as possible because I have short arms (and long hair) but I think you can see a reasonable enough amount ;)

Price
This particular model is priced at $199.95, but is on sale at the time I created this post for $129.95.

Where to Buy

This can be purchased at FlatIronExperts.com. The specific model I reviewed can be seen HERE

Final Thoughts
This is definitely a great flat iron. It's priced around what I'm used to seeing for flat irons of this size and doesn't take forever to heat up. It also didn't rip down my hair (huge plus to me) or fry it. My hair is definitely smoother and silkier after using it. I think this 1.5" size is great for someone with medium to long hair. When I had shorter hair (I've probably had my hair at almost everything length except pixie at this point) I preferred a thinner straighter, so that's something to keep in mind if you have shorter hair, though I know that FlatIronExperts.com offers a number of widths. I'll have to ask
Beelex of Spanglelime Connection, my occasional co-blogger, what her thoughts are on this as she's gone from a pixie cut to medium length and I believe will be going back to pixie some time soon. All in all I'm very pleased with it and look forward to using it!

Do you currently have a favorite flat iron model or are you in the market for a new one? Would you consider giving this one a try?