Saturday, October 26, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette: Review + Swatches

Hello! Today I'll be reviewing the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.  It's something I passed on for quite a while, but I found myself picking it up a few months ago because I needed more matte neutrals in my artillery. 

A size comparison with the original Naked palette.

Overall, I give this palette a 7.5/10.  While I love the idea of it, there are just too many frosty shadows for my skintone.

Naked Basics is available for $27.  Will you be picking it up?

Flower Beauty Foundation Stick in SF5

As you guys know, I love the Flower Beauty line by Drew Barrymore.  I'm in love with affordable, cruelty free cosmetics, so I decided to pick up a foundation stick to try out.  I love my Bobbi Brown foundation stick in Warm Honey, and I wanted to find a cruelty free option.

The packaging has rose gold accents like many of the other flower beauty products.  It's fairly compact and fits in the palm of my hand.

This is all the product that they give you - roughly an inch of product.  I feel like that's not a lot, but with a drugstore pricetag I can't really complain.

I have to say, this foundation matches my skintone perfectly, even through the above swatch doesn't quite reflect that.  My face is a tad lighter and yellower than the rest of my body, and the stick seems to match well when blended out.

It has a moderate wear time, about 5 hours for me when wearing a primer underneath and setting it with a powder.  HOWEVER, this product broke me out terribly.  I don't usually have those kinds of reactions to foundations, so I was surprised that this gave me that kind of result.  Apparently those on MakeupAlley have experienced the same thing as well, so it's not just me!  It's important to keep in mind that everyone's skin may react differently to products, so this review isn't a guarantee that it'll work for you or not.

I can't give this product a quality rating because of the acne aspect - however, I cautiously recommend that you guys try it for yourself.  But - if you have sensitive skin, stay clear!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tarte Cream Blushes: Review + Swatches

Today I will be reviewing two Tarte cream blushes:  one in Achiote, and one in Shimmering Poppy!


Left and right:  Achiote, Shimmering Poppy

These are amazingly bendable.  They're rather sheer, but I think that's a good thing for cream blushes because it's easy to overload them.  I give them an 8/10.

Tarte cream blushes retail for $23 and can be found wherever Tarte products are sold.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nars Blush/Bronzer Duo in Sin and Casino: Review + Swatches

Hi!  Today's review is of the NARS blusher and bronzer duo in Sin/Casino.  It's one of my favorite products to use, and I hope this review will be helpful for you.

I was on the fence about NARS products for a while, because I've heard varying things about their cruelty free status.  Ultimately I learned that NARS itself is cruelty free (YAY!) but owned by L'oreal, just like Urban Decay.  This means that your products aren't tested on animals, but a portion of your money does go towards the notorious L'oreal.  Some have conflicting feelings on this kind of policy, but I'll leave the decision to support NARS or Urban Decay up to the individual, because it does venture into gray territory.

So without further ado. . .

The packaging is like your typical NARS blush, but it's a little bigger in comparison.  It has the general rubbery black NARS packaging that is great to touch, sturdy, and compact, but it retains the tendency to get dirty and powdery.

I love the mirror here.  Since it's a touch larger than a regular NARS blusher, the mirror is larger as well.  It's sturdy and it stays open on its own!  I love it when products stay open on their own, because it isn't very practical to have to hold your mirror steady when you're doing your makeup on the go.

The pans are equal size, but I know I'm definitely going to hit pan on Casino first.  I've found myself using Casino to warm up my face if I'm wearing a bb cream or foundation that is slightly too pale for me.

Can you see the subtle gold shimmer in Sin?  I have never used a product quite like it.  It's gorgeous and absolutely perfect on the skin, and I know it'll look great on a range of skintones - from fair skin, to the deepest skin, and everyone in between.  It doesn't look ashy on me - it gives me a healthy, warm glow.
Casino looks a little orangy, but it doesn't translate that way on the face.  I wouldn't use it for contouring, because it doesn't have a gray tone that mimics facial shadows, but it's great for warming up the complexion.  It has a bit of subtle shimmer but I didn't find that to show up on my face.

Overall, I give this product 9.5/10 stars!  The Sin/Laguna duo retails for $41 and can be found at Sephora, Nordstrom, and wherever NARS products are sold.  Are you interested?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Flower Beauty Creme Eyeshadow: Review, Swatches and Thoughts

Today's review is of the Flower Beauty Creme Eyeshadows in Flirty Floret and Wild Geranium.  I've been dying to try out Flower Beauty since it launched earlier this year - Drew Barrymore's line is affordable and cruelty free, two things I completely adore.

The packaging is bulky, but the rose gold accents are to die for.  I think these are the prettiest creme eyeshadows I own.  I also love that you can get a good idea of the product color through the glass container - a lot of drugstore products can have opaque or slightly tinted packaging, leave you guessing about the color because you can't swatch in store.

I LOVE the bottoms of these.  I store them on their side, or sometimes upside down.  Storing your cream eyeshadows upside down will prevent them from drying out quickly.  There's quite a bit of excess, unnecessary packaging - something most Flower products are guilty of, but I think it's gorgeous so I'm willing to overlook that.

These products come with a stopper on the top of them.  It makes sense to have them there, because these are a very whipped, mousse like consistency that can get very messy if you're not careful.  The stopper reminds me of that in the L'oreal Infallible eyeshadows - I have never used them, but judging from pictures I've seen, I think the packaging design is very similar.

This is what the products look like open.  Look at how rich and whipped the consistency is!  I usually just use my brush on the stopper of the product - there's quite a lot there and a little bit goes a very long way.

Left and right:  Wild Geranium, Flirty Floret.

The downside to these colors is that they are only sold at Walmart.  While I understand Drew's desire to make these products accessible, a product advertised at cruelty free should not be restricted to a shady, unethical business.  I was on the fence about buying these for a while, because I do not support Walmart's ethics.  For that reason, while I love these products, I will not be purchasing any more of them.  In total, I got a few lip butters, a foundation stick, and these shadows, but I will not buy any more even though I'm pleased with the Flower Beauty line.

I really wish Drew would consider expanding retailers.  It would garner more interest in the line and I'm sure others wouldn't be very turned off by having limited ways to acquire this product.

In total, I give these shadows a 7.5/10.  Flower Creme Play Eyeshadows retails for $7.98 and can be found at Walmart locations across the United States.  Are you guys interested?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes: Review + Swatches

Hello everyone! Today I'll be reviewing the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blushes.  I know all of you guys have probably heard of them - they're super hyped up in the beauty community, and for a reason!  Tarte Cosmetics is a cruelty free brand, and a lot of the products from Tarte are vegan as well.  They use natural ingredients, and a lot of people with skin sensitivities really enjoy their products.

Without further ado, here we go!

Top row:  Flush, Frisky
Bottom Row:  Tipsy, Splendor, Blushing Bride.
The blushes are about 3 inches in diameter and come in a multitude of colors.  Be aware that the color on the outside of the package doesn't necessarily match the shade of blush on the inside - be sure to swatch and see!

Splendor, the tiny blush in the bottom center, is a mini-sized product that came in a gift set.  I haven't seen it sold individually, but it occasionally pops up in a small Tarte set from time to time.

Here's what they look like opened.  They have a lovely pattern on the top, which unfortunately disappears as you use more product.  I love the mirror on the cover:  they're a great size and I wish other blushers would follow suit and come with large mirrors too.

From left to right: Tipsy, Flush, Frisky, Blushing Bride, Splendor.

Although these don't quite last 12 hours on me, they usually wear for about nine, with only a little bit of fading at the end of the school or work day.  They come in a multitude of colors, and while they are super pigmented (be careful you don't pick up too much product on your brush!)  they are easily blend able and natural looking.  I use my Real Techniques blush brush to apply and blend the product on my skin, and it's a perfect combination!

Overall, I give these a 9/10.  Definitely pick them up if you can!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild Comfort Zone Palette: Review + Swatches

Hi everyone! Today I'll be reviewing the Comfort Zone palette from Wet'n'Wild.  I know you guys have probably heard a lot about this palette - it's pretty well liked in the beauty community, and for good reason!  Initially I was really skeptical of the quality of this palette, often when people suggest that drugstore products are identical in quality to higher end products, I'm a little skeptical.  While a lot of drugstore products work really well on me, I haven't had success in finding pigmented, blendable eyeshadows at an affordable price.  So the more I saw this product raved about, the more curious I was about it.
I finally picked up this palette at CVS along with a few Wet n Wild lipsticks (review coming soon!).   The brand is often on sale (for buy one get on 50% off or something comparable), so I recommend waiting for a sale.

You get eight shadows here: four neutrals in the left hand column, and four green-based shadows on the left.  The shades don't have individual names, but are labeled "Browbone, Eyelid, Crease, Eyeliner."  I've tried out the suggested combination, but I find that they look best when experimented with.

The packaging is plastic - a little flimsy, but acceptable.  I love the clear cover, however - I like seeing the colors I have to work with.  I've heard that these can break very easily, so be careful!  They may not be the best for travel, although the packaging is small and compact.

The shadows don't have individual names, but I swatched the columns from left to right here without a primer.  Only one swatch per shadow!  As you can see, the eyeshadows are INCREDIBLY pigmented and rich.  I noticed no visible fading when I wore them with a primer.  The last shadow is an awesome duochrome, and it looks fabulous on the lids.  The photo does no justice.  It reminds me of a lot of the duochrome glitters from Fyrinnae.

Overall, I give this palette a 9.5/10.  It's a fantastic palette for it's value.

Wet 'n' Wild Comfort Zone is sold for $4.99 and is available at CVS and Walgreens in the US.  Will you be picking it up?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stila In the Moment Palette: Review + Swatches

Hi guys!  Today I'll be reviewing the Stila "In the Moment" palette. This bad boy was on sale at Ulta earlier this year for 50% off. It's still available at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, and the Stila website if this palette interests you some more!

It comes in a beautiful purple palette, in the same design as the rest of the Stila "In the..." palettes.  Every palette in this line has the same sort of design, but with a different color scheme.  I've noticed that a lot of the other palettes have mirrors, but for some reason this one doesn't!  That makes me disappointed, because there's a good amount of cover space for a really large, workable mirror.

As cheesy as it is, I really like the quote on the top. It says, "Cherish the beauty of the moment." -Sarah Lucero.  If there's not going to be a mirror, at least this is cute.

It also comes with one of their smudge sticks.  This one is a purple in "tetra," great for layering eyeshadows on top of.  As you can see, the top row is mostly purple and the bottom is full of warm-toned neutrals.

Top row:  Instinct, Impulse, Glance, Improvise, Catalyst
Bottom Row:  Desire, Wonder, Spontaneous, Whim, Captivate
Eyeliner:  Stila smudge stick waterproof eye liner in "tetra."

Pros:  These are some amazing, pigmented shadows.  You can easily use the top row of shadows for a fun going out look, a sultry smoldering look, or any sort of fun event.  Purple shadow looks good on almost everyone in my opinion!  The bottom row is full of colors that are great for every day, but can certainly be smoked out for a nighttime look too.

Cons:  Two underwhelming shades in the palette are Improvise and Catalyst.  As beautiful as it is, the cardboard packaging is also very flimsy and cheap feeling, which is very unfortunate.

Overall, I give this palette a 6.5/10, with points taken off for the terrible packaging.  The shadows themselves are buttery and wonderful, so I suggest depotting this if you purchase it!

The Stila In the Moment palette retails for $39.  Will you be picking it up?