Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Revlon Colorstay Matte Balm Stain in 'Sultry'

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There has been a lot of hype on youtube about all of the new fall drugstore releases. This includes the Revlon Colorstay Matte & Lacquer Balm Stains. I spent the last month scouring every drugstore & supermarket in my area for ANYTHING new...and came up empty handed each and every time. Then last week I was in my local Kroger buying groceries with Ryan and saw the display from afar. It felt like the world was going in slow motion as I approached the display, I clutched a fist-full of balm stains in my sweaty little hands, fell to my knees and cried tears of joy.

Okay, maybe not. But I was really excited. I also picked up a few L'Oreal La-Laques & I think I'll review them soon.

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But back to the new Revlon Balm Stains...I only bought one matte one because I was unsure of what colors would look good on me and I've heard A LOT of mixed reviews on these. A lot of people really like the matte formula and hate the lacquer one because some of the shades have large chunks of glitter in them. Since I'm not a huge fan of glitter I decided to go for the matte color 'Sulty'. You can tell the difference between the matte balm stains and the lacquer ones because the matte packaging is...well, matte & the lacquer ones are shiny.

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'Sultry' is a reddish brown cranberry sort of color and seemed perfect for the fall and winter months. I was a little worried it would look too dark with my fair complexion but I really love the way it looks on. When I initially applied it, I was amazed at how velvety it felt on my lips & that it didn't pull on my lips or feel really crayon-y like some matte lipsticks can feel. The application & feel of it reminded me a lot of my NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil which has SUCH a wonderful formula. But since it's both matte & contains menthol which is what gives it that lovely minty taste and smell, I assumed it would be pretty drying on the lips. I was surprised when I rubbed my lips together it felt smooth and velvety/buttery for the first hour or so. The color stayed on my lips for around three hours and faded to a stain on my lips for the rest of the day. I definitely felt like my lips were dry after a few hours & re-applied it along with some lip balm. It didn't feather or smudge or move anywhere after I applied it, so you don't need to babysit it really. I hate lip products you have to babysit. No thanks.

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So basically, if you don't mind re-applying lip products-- I think 'Sultry' is a nice addition to any lipstick collection. It looks and feels really amazing for the first few hours & leaves a nice even stain afterwards. I personally feel like it's a unique color but maybe I'm making that up... I never thought to buy a color like this until now & I just think it looks really beautiful on and totally puts me in the holiday spirit!

Have you tried any of the new drugstore products that have come out for the fall/winter? Any faves?


Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: OCC Lip Tar in 'Anime'

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip tars are something I never saw myself purchasing since they seemed difficult to apply & looked lip-glossy to me. Can't deal with my hair getting all caught on my lips. No no no not for me. That all changed when I saw 'Anime' in a local Sephora & thought to myself "a lipstick named after anime?? gotta buy it--PLUS IT'S PINK". I know, it's really not hard to get me to buy something. I'm a sucker for names and themes. And luckily, it's nothing like a lip gloss!

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what it looks like right after application

Basically you squeeze the tiniest bit out onto a lip brush and carefully apply it to your lips. It starts out as a liquid but dries to a more matte feel on your lips while leaving a matte-satin looking finish. Hopefully that sentence made sense. DO NOT try applying it straight out of the tube, this is incredibly pigmented & liquid-y at first--use a brush (and they come with their own little pouch and brush which is perfect for when you're out and about). Be careful not to go outside of your lips or you might have to get out the makeup remover wipes because this stuff will STAIN ANYTHING IT TOUCHES. Apply a little concealer around the outer edges of your mouth for clean-up and you should be good to go. Once the lip color dries, it doesn't move unless you TRY to rub it off or something. My lips were hot magenta pink long after the actual lipstick faded. It lasted nearly all day even through eating, I just had to do a touch-up reapplication. And you use so little each time, it'll take you forever to go through an entire tube. Lip Tars are 100% vegan & cruelty free and OCC has a huge range of colors (including blue and green!) Definitely check them out if you're looking for a long-wearing, super pigmented, and cruelty free or vegan lipstick!

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this is what it looked like on my lips after a good 20-30 minutes of wear

OCC lip tars retail for $18 USD & are available to purchase here & here.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall/Winter 2013 Lips: Berry

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left to right: 'raspberry pie' revlon lip butter // 'blissful berry' maybelline color sensational lipcolor // 'berry smoothie' revlon lip butter // 'plum perfect' maybelline color sensational lipcolor // 'berry ready' maybelline color whisper // 'toundra' nars velvet matte lip pencil

I'm super excited about fall and winter (as are most people I think) so I've come up with a  few posts that list different products I'm planning on using as soon as the temperature drops! This is my second lip post and it features berry toned lipsticks! I'd never been much of a fan since I used to think they were too bright for my personal taste and style. But now it's all I can think about when planning my outfits for the fall and winter seasons!

raspberry pie
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Raspberry Pie comes across as an almost hot pink but it has that bit of blue in it to bring it back to berry. As with all of the original Revlon Lip Butters it has a bit of micro-shimmer but once it's applied to the lips you really can't see it. It's very hydrating and leaves a really beautiful stain afterwards. Easy to apply and can be sheered down by applying it with your fingertip for a more subtle look. Raspberry Pie is easily one of those colors I feel should be an easy intro to berry lipstick shades.

blissful berry
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This lipstick looks a bit frightening in the tube since it looks sort of like an electric purple but once applied on the lips it's far less terrifying. I feel like this is the shade I would call a "true berry" shade, it looks like you just got through smearing blackberries and raspberries all over your lips. It has a smooth satiny finish and doesn't have any shimmer in it at all. I was able to apply this straight from the bullet without any real issues or feathering. The only thing I don't love about this lipstick range is the smell. I own a few and they all smell the same. Like play dough.

berry smoothie
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Ah, another Lip Butter from Revlon. This is the lightest shade in my berry collection & almost comes off as a nude. You could definitely build it up if you wanted, but I like to have subtle versions of different colors. This way you can wear a berry or red or rose or plum lip without having to commit to checking your lipstick all day. This has micro-shimmer that's visible in the bullet but once applied it just makes your lips look a bit shiny or glossy which I can appreciate because I really hate glittery lipstick. This is the first berry lipstick I purchased in an attempt to become more comfortable with wearing the color. I recommend it for anyone who's wanting the look but afraid to take the plunge.

plum perfect
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This is a "plum" lipstick but I consider it to be in the berry family since it reminds me more of dark cherries or raspberries than plums. Not enough purple to be plum in my opinion. Regardless, this is a nice semi-sheer way to get a deep raspberry/cherry lip without it feeling so dark. Fairly sure you could apply more and get a more opaque coverage but I haven't really tried as this is pretty dark for my complexion. This is the same formula and comes from the same range as "Berry Blissful" and again, I'm just not a fan of how they smell. Love the lipsticks but the smell reminds me of play dough.

berry ready
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This is my newest lipstick. I bought it because CVS has a "spend $10 get $3 in extra bucks back" deal and I had a bunch of coupons. I own two other colors from this range & they're both amazing. This went on smooth but I wish the shape was a bit different since this is so pigmented it wasn't very forgiving. Next time I think I'll apply it with a lip brush to make things easier on myself. It stains your lips a nice berry as it fades and it feels super smooth on the lips.

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This is by far the darkest lipstick I own & I've only worn it a few times. NARS 'Toundra' is a metallic burgundy--it reminds me of really dark black raspberry jam. And as the name "velvet matte lip pencil" suggests, it really does feel like velvet when you swipe it over your lips. It's fairly forgiving even if you have mildly dry lips but I would definitely suggest exfoliating and hydrating before wearing anything so dark and matte. It's got blue undertones that suit me fairly well & I imagine this would look SO beautiful on anyone with really dark skin. You could also use this underneath a more intense lipstick like 'Plum Perfect' and it would look so intense and beautiful. I bought it because it was on clearance at Sephora & I will buy any NARS lip or cheek product on clearance--I don't care what it is. It was only $10 and while I've really only worn it a few times, I really do enjoy it. I wore it last Halloween when Taylor & I went out for the night as "goths". I'm hoping to get some more use out of it this fall/winter.

I hope you enjoyed this & it wasn't too boring! Nearly all of these are widely available at drugstores & within the range of $5-$10 with the exception of the NARS lip pencil (though I DID pay $10 for it at the time). Stay tuned for my fall/winter blushes posts!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: OCC Nail Polish in 'Chalkboard'

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics 'Chalkboard' is my dream winter nail polish. I've been looking for a true forest green non shimmer or glitter nail polish for way longer than you'd think. At night it looks like a really beautiful and glossy black nail polish but in the sunlight or indoors it looks like what it is-- a deep deep forest green.

It applies super smooth and glossy & has a fairly large brush. I only needed two coats to get it completely opaque. The polish is already fairly shiny but I used my seche vite top coat on top to give it that super glossy finish. After wearing this a total of 3 times in a row--each application only lasted about three days before starting to wear & chip at the tips of my nails. Therefore this is NOT a long-wear nail polish. I still love it because I think it applies great, doesn't stain your nails & looks so beautiful on. But if you'd rather keep your eye out for a longer lasting forest green polish, be my guest. Since this color seems to be fairly popular this season, maybe another brand will release one. Until then, I'm going to keep using 'Chalkboard'.

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Another plus is that this nail polish (along with all of OCC's products) is 100% vegan and cruelty free!

'Chalkboard' retails for $10 USD at Sephora & OCC's official website. These are the only two online retailers I know of but you might be able to find it on eBay for less?

Have any of you tried any of OCC's other nail polishes? I love the references to sci-fi movies! It's all I can do not to buy all of the Blade Runner themed polishes.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall/Winter 2013 Lips: Nude/Natural

So fall & winter are my favorite seasons for makeup (and most everything else too, who am I kidding?) and I would say the lipsticks I find myself wearing the most are simple nude & natural looking lipsticks and liptints. So I thought I would recommend the ones I find myself reaching for most often. This will be a small series on my blog including other tones of lipsticks, blushes and nail polishes I'm predicting I'll be using most this fall/winter.

Ok, let's get to it!

dolce vita

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Dolce Vita is my go-to lipstick when I'm unsure of what I want to wear. I always know it will look good with whatever blush or outfit I pick out. It's sheer and just dresses your lips up a little. It would fall into the range of "medium-nude" because often times true nude shades can wash you out. This is a really versatile lipstick that I think would flatter most anyone. While this formula is not particularly long lasting, it feels really great on the lips and hydrates fairly well. It lasts a bit longer if I wear a lip primer underneath it. NARS lipsticks retail for $26 USD.


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Exposed is basically the same color as Dolce Vita but more opaque and goes on matte. I find this shade is so flattering and lasts for a pretty long time on my lips. It can make dry patches look a bit worse for ware since it's a matte shade, but a little exfoliation before applying can easily solve that. I own multiple tarte LipSurgence lip tints but 'exposed' is by far my favorite. It goes on smooth and feels creamy on the lips--it also smells and feels minty while you're wearing it. Last year around the holidays ULTA had a gift set of these for $32 dollars. I bought it and came out with 5 or 6 (including 'exposed') of these bad boys in different shades and formulas (in full size too) so keep your eyes peeled for that this year if you're interested in tarte products. These regularly retail for $24 USD. Yes, I paid for one and a half lip tints and got 4 for free basically. It was amazing.

pure zen

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I've written about Pure Zen before here & here so I won't go on and on but suffice it to say this is the only light or pale nude lipstick I've ever bought that looks flattering. I have a feeling it's because it leans more peach than anything else but it's such a pretty lipstick. If you're thinking about purchasing a light nude lipstick, definitely go to a mac counter and try this one on. MAC lipsticks retail for $15 USD.

pink truffle

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This is another "medium-nude" shade that's fairly sheer. This is a nice semi shimmer wearable nude that's really affordable. If you like the look of 'Dolce Vita' or 'Exposed' but don't want to shell out much money, 'Pink Truffle" from the Revlon Lip Butters range is the lipstick for you. It's very much a "my lips but better" shade in that I would imagine it looks flattering on most anyone. My good friend Taylor recommended it to me at some point but it took me nearly a full year to pick it up. It just amps your lips up that little extra bit and doesn't break the bank. Lip Butters are all fairly moisturizing and very comfortable on the lips. You can find this shade and the rest of the range at your local drugstore or supermarket.

Hopefully you enjoyed this post, nude/natural lips are a little boring to talk about so my next post will be berry tones! Much more exciting.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Budget Buys: NARS 'Albatross' VS E.L.F. 'Gotta Glow'

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left to right: NARS 'Albatross' // E.L.F. 'Gotta Glow'

As most of you should know, I'm NARS obsessed. I's the one higher-end brand that I'll allow myself to splurge on & I truly feel like they have really great products. HOWEVER, I'm also a penny pincher so I love finding cheaper alternatives to expensive things I love or want. Many of you may be asking "why the hell would you buy two products that are so similar?". Well one, because I can. And two because I had the expensive version first & when E.L.F. was having a sale I decided it might be fun to see if they were dupes of things I already owned. And at $3 a piece, why the hell not!?

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close ups of each on my cheekbones

Color: Both are a cream colored powder with gold micro-shimmer and golden undertones. They look nearly identical in the pan.

Consistency: Both are powders that apply smoothly over the skin and require very little blending to look natural. The ELF version actually seems to be a bit more intense on the cheeks but I think that may have to do with the amount of product that comes off with each swipe of your brush. It appears to be much softer and less tightly packed.

Fallout: NARS Albatross has nearly zero fall out. When you swish your brush across the color it only goes onto the brush. ELF 'Gotta Glow' has a LOT of fall out. When swiping it, use a super light hand or you'll end up wasting a ton of product.

Similarity on cheeks: They look identical on the cheeks. I applied one to each side of my face and was unable to tell the difference. When swatched on my arm the ELF version appeared more opaque when applied heavily.

Price: NARS 'Albatross' is a whopping $29 USD in comparison to ELF 'Gotta Glow' at $3 USD. You could buy nearly 10 ELF blushes for the price of ONE NARS blush. Ridiculous.

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top to bottom: E.L.F. 'Gotta Glow' // NARS 'Albatross'

In conclusion, you might run out of the E.L.F. blush faster due to fall out and softness but you could replace it 9 times before paying nearly what you would pay for a single NARS blush. Ultimately, I would choose 'Gotta Glow' over 'Albatross' if you're looking for a beautiful highlighter with a seriously expensive counterpart. Plus they look identical on the cheeks & nobody will know the difference.

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