Monday, December 9, 2013

Rocksbox Review Vol. 005 + Giveaway for a FREE 1 Year Membership! ($180 value)

Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review Vol. 005

I know it seems like such a short time ago that I wrote about my last Rocksbox, but I've actually already had my current box for a month, so I wanted to share with you what was inside before I send it back. If you're curious about the giveaway I'll be hosting, scroll down to the end of this post!

What is Rocksbox? Rocksbox is a fashion jewelry based subscription service where members pay $19/month to rent an unlimited amount of designer jewelry. A stylist will handpick (3) pieces suited to your taste (based on your style survey & preferences) and will be promptly mailed to you. You can wear your items as often as you'd like up to 60 days. Whenever you feel like it, you can place the items in the prepaid enclosed padded mailer, and drop it in your nearest mailbox. In no time, a new package will be sent your way! There's no minimum amount of time you have to wait before sending your items back. If you decide that none of the items are for you, you can send the package back right away and you'll receive a new selection. If you love any of the items and can't give it up, you can purchase any of the items for 20% the retail price. To read more about the service, check out the FAQs.

My box contained:
  • CC Skye Heiress Necklace (retail price $275)
  • Urban Gem Pretty Tough Earrings (retail price $48)
  • Lucas Jack Frame Wire Trapezoid Ring in Silver (retail price $68)

I'm super happy with this box. I wasn't expecting CC Skye again since I had a CC Skye item in my last box, but when returning my last box I mentioned that I love CC Skye, but I didn't care for the particular bracelet they sent - So in return, for my current box they sent me a necklace that I absolutely love! I think it's really gorgeous and I've been pairing it a lot with my chiffon collared shirts or shirts with a high neckline that need a little dressing up. It breaks my heart a little bit that it's so expensive, but I don't know if I'll be able to part ways with it. 

Rocksbox Review Jewelry

Rocksbox Review

Thursday, December 5, 2013

ShopRunner for Holiday Shopping & my new Rebecca Minkoff MAC Bag!

With the Holiday season kicking in, the hunt has begun in finding that perfect gift for all of your loved ones. But if you're any bit like me and develop the biggest case of indecisiveness when you're shopping at the stores for others, shopping online this year might be what you need in order to keep you worry-free this holiday season.

Last year was actually the first year that I did all of my shopping online and I couldn't have been any happier! No running around from store to store looking for a thoughtful and unique gift, only to find that they don't have exactly what you're looking for and you'll have to run off to the next store to yet again be faced with the same problem. I purchased all of my gifts in the matter of two days several weeks before Christmas. And you know what? I was able to enjoy my Christmas more than ever. I hate to admit it, but every year I'm guilty of running around a couple days before Christmas with my anxiety in high gear.

A useful tool I'll be using this year is a service called ShopRunner. ShopRunner is a members-only service for online shoppers that provides unique benefits across hundreds of the best online stores. ShopRunner's members save time and money on holiday shopping with benefits including free 2-day shipping with no minimum order, free and easy return shipping, exclusive member offers, and easy 2-click check out. ShopRunner has expanded their network of 80+ retailers to include Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole, Tiger Direct, Jockey and Fanatics. The price of a membership is $79/year.

The concept is actually similar to Amazon Prime, which is actually the same price and you receive 2-day free shipping on millions of items on I used Amazon Prime last year and the 2-day shipping feature really made things much easier on myself.

ShopRunner was kind enough to grant me with a free trial to help me out with this seasons shopping, and I tried it out by making my first purchase through ShopRunner with Neiman Marcus. The gift was for myself, but that's besides the point. Haha!

I've been on the hunt for a small cross-body bag for when I'm going shopping, running errands or going out - basically any time that I don't feel like carrying a heavy bag on my arm. The Rebecca Minkoff bags sort of grew on me, and I love the fact that they're stylish, somewhat edgy and that they are available in such a large variety of colors as well as different sizes. I ended up purchasing a Rebecca Minkoff MAC Clutch in the color Port, which is a really pretty wine/burgundy shade - perfect for the Fall/Winter! (It's actually sold out, and unfortunate for me, went on sale a couple days after I purchased it.. boo!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Review, Photos, Swatches!

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($9) is described as a "1-step wonder" for your skin. It combines 8 skin benefits for instant skin perfection. These benefits include: bluring your skins imperfections, brightening up the skin, evening out the skintone, smoothing, enhancing and hydrating your skin, and lastly protects your skin with 30 SPF. It also doesn't contain any oils or heavy ingredients.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream is available in (5) shades: Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium/Deep and Deep.

Since the formula is so sheer, it's very forgiveable if you pick up a shade that is too light or dark. I have the shade Light/Medium, and it works really well for me when I have a light tan going on - around the MAC NC25 coloring.

It has a really creamy wet consistency - very reminiscent of the texture of Physicians Formula Super BB Cream. The very creamy consistency allows the product to glide across the skin really well like a moisturizer. 

My method of application is my fingers, applying it as I would a moisturizer, in small, light circular motions until blended. If I want to build slightly more coverage (not much, though) I'll add an additional layer on certain areas by dabbing and lightly dragging the product down my face until blended.

The coverage is sheer to light. It won't conceal imperfections, but it will tint the skin as well as make the skin look more even. I really like the way it looks on my skin. I use facial self tanners, so sometimes my skin isn't always even, and this evens out my skin color well and makes my skin look smooth, fresh and dewy. 

This is ideal for those who already have pretty good skin, but would like something extremely natural and sheer on days where you don't want to wear makeup or don't want to look like you are wearing makeup. It's great for daytime, especially if you spend some time in the sun because it has a high SPF. You won't catch me running errands bare faced, but I like to wear this and a little concealer when I want to fake it!

Now, if I don't set it with a light dusting of powder, it's just a little too dewy for my taste. I've worn it without a powder on a few occasions, and my skin felt like it was greasy and just about every area of my face looked shiny. Because of that, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this BB Cream if you have oily skin. It's actually targeted for normal skin, but I find it to be really moisturizing, so I believe it'd work well for dry skin too. 

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Light/Medium Swatches
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light/Medium swatched and blended

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jewelmint Cyber Monday Final Hours!

Happy Cyber Monday!

I hope you all found a good deal or two (or three or more) today and spoiled yourself with a little retail therapy! Black Friday weekend is always overwhelming, but it's my favorite time to pick up some things for myself that I've been eyeballing throughout the season.

I skipped the mall this year and did my shopping online and scored some really good prices. I did skip a few places I planned on purchasing from, but I'm pretty happy overall.

I wanted to give a special shout out to Jewelmint, which currently is hosting a sale for 50% everything! Some sale items are even 70% off, so I took full advantage and purchased a couple of items that I've had my eyes on.

I've talked about Jewelmint many times before and I always stock up on cute pieces of jewelry when there is a good sale going on. The pieces are great quality and the presentation is really cute. If you're on a budget, or are looking for cute stocking stuffers, gifts for co-workers - Jewelmint is great! The earrings pictured above are the Fancy Fringe Earrings I just received a couple days ago. As with all of my Jewelmint jewelry, they are really well made.

*I highly recommend only purchasing items that are labeled with the "@" symbol (see below), which symbolizes that the item is a Jewelmint exclusive. In my opinion, the non-exclusive items are just overpriced junk jewelry. The quality definitely isn't the same.

Where did you shop today? I already placed a bunch of orders on Black Friday, so the only place besides Jewelmint I purchased from was The Outnet (which has some really awesome deals, btw!) and I'm contemplating putting an order through J Crew for some other unnecessary jewelry.

Let me know if you'd like to see a haul! I haven't done one of those in ages - possibly even since Black Friday last year.

Also, as you might have noticed, my blog design is going through some changes! It's not 100% up and running yet, so there may be a couple of glitches here and there until it's all complete. Let me know how you like it!

NARS Loose Powder Review, Photos, Swatches!

NARS Loose Powder

NARS Loose Powder

NARS Loose Powder ($35) is a silky, triple milled face powder provides light, natural coverage to set makeup, soften color and smooth the texture of the skin. The ultra-smooth formula blends undetectably to absorb excess oils and maintain fresh looking skin with an "imperceptible" finish. It can be used to set foundations or it can be worn alone to even out and soften the complexion.

NARS Loose Powder is available in (7) shades: Snow (for porcelain to fair skin), Flesh (for fair skin), Eden (medium yellow skin), Beach (medium deep yellow skin), Desert (light rose undertones to enhance medium skin) and Mountain (deep medium reddish-brown skin).

For my warm, medium coloring, I chose Beach and it's a perfect match. I think it's a great match for around the MAC NC30-40 coloring.

Pressed and Loose powders have come a long way and more and more companies are launching these magical powders that don't give the illusion of a powder on the skin. I fully believe in setting your liquid foundation with a powder for the best lasting power, but the problem with some powders is that they can take away the glow from your foundation, making your skin look too matte and flat; and real skin isn't truly matte, so it can look unnatural. Sometimes it can even make your makeup look heavier.

Truth be told, I like to skip powdering if I can get away with it because I don't like altering the color and finish of my foundation, but I can't deny the fact that when I do powder my face, by night my makeup always looks better. Guerlain Meteorites is a staple in my makeup collection because it soaks up the oils from my skin so I don't look shiny/oily, and leaves a naturally perfected glowy veil on my skin without adding extra coverage.

When I do want a little extra coverage from a powder, I've really been loving NARS Loose Powder.

The texture of NARS Loose Powder is far silkier than any other loose powder I've tried. It feels absolutely weightless to the touch. When applied, it creates almost a blurred effect to the skin. Pores are less noticeable and my skin looks softer and smoother. I've read a review where someone mentioned that with each additional layer, the more photoshopped your skin looks - which is very true. It has a very soft, natural finish without the powdery appearance.

NARS Loose Powder Beach

NARS Beach Loose Powder Swatches
NARS Loose Powder in Beach swatched and blended

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rocksbox Review Vol. 004!

Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review Vol. 004!

I received my fifth Rocksbox last week - So technically, this post should be volume five, but I didn't get a chance to share with you my fourth box before I returned it. I did share a photo on Instagram if you'd like to take a peek.

I'm a huge fashion jewelry and accessory junkie, so I can't help but get really excited each time I find a Rocksbox package on my doorstep.

What is Rocksbox? Rocksbox is a fashion jewelry based subscription service where members pay $19/month to rent an unlimited amount of designer jewelry. A stylist will handpick (3) pieces suited to your taste (based on your style survey & preferences) and will be promptly mailed to you. You can wear your items as often as you'd like up to 60 days. Whenever you feel like it, you can place the items in the prepaid enclosed padded mailer, and drop it in your nearest mailbox. In no time, a new package will be sent your way! There's no minimum amount of time you have to wait before sending your items back. If you decide that none of the items are for you, you can send the package back right away and you'll receive a new selection. If you love any of the items and can't give it up, you can purchase any of the items for 20% the retail price. To read more about the service, check out the FAQs.

My box contained: 
  • CC Skye Turnlock Cage Cuff in Black and Gold (retail price $175)
  • Gamine Zara Rings in Mixed Metals (retail price $56)
  • Urban Gem Pave Spike Earrings (retail price $42)

I'm pretty happy with my box. I requested CC Skye, and as always, Rocksbox delivers. I typically love all of CC Skye's designs, but the bracelet really isn't my style. I also wore the Gamine rings a couple of times, but they aren't really anything out of the ordinary. As for the earrings - I love them! Totally my style and I made sure to login to my Rocksbox account and purchased them right away! I didn't have to give much thought because they were actually the least expensive piece I received ($33.60 with the special member price).

Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review

Monday, October 28, 2013

NARS Brow Gel Review, Photos and Swatches!

NARS Brow Gel in Piraeus

NARS Brow Gel

NARS Brow Gel ($22) is a new product by NARS that tidies and grooms the brows with a glossy gel formula. A unique precision tapered brush adds shape and definition to every angle while creating a fuller, smoother brow look.

NARS Brow Gel is available in (4) shades: Oural (clear), Athens (blonde), Piraeus (medium brown) and Kinshasa (dark brown).

I'm a dark brunette, but I like my brows to be at least one shade lighter than my hair, so I chose the shade medium brown which is a soft, chocolately gray-brown. All of the shades appear to be very neutral (see swatches on Café Makeup) which is very ideal for the brows.

I love tinted brow gels because my natural brows are very dark and if I fill them in with a dark brown color that matches my brows, they can sometimes look a bit harsh. So I like to finish my brows off with a tinted brow gel in a shade or two lighter than my brows to lighten them up slightly so they have a softer appearance. The lighter gel adds almost a highlight to my brow, creating texture and definition as it coats my brow hairs.

Now, if you have very light or invisible brows, tinted brow gels can work to your advantage by choosing a shade darker than your brows and lightly combing over them to bring more attention to them.

In comparison to MAC Brow Set, NARS is more of a gel formula (similar to E.L.F. Studio Treat and Tame) whereas I find MAC to be more creamy and mascara-like, and a bit more pigmented.

As with many tinted brow gel formulas, a lot of product gets dispensed on the brush - almost too much if you have very sparse or thin brows. You can try wiping off the excess on the opening of the tube, but for the most part, I like taking a separate spoolie and patting it on the wand of the brow gel so I'll only pick up very little product and comb it through my brows. I do the same when working with MAC Brow Set, as the colored formulas can deposit too much color at once.

I really like the small tapered brush. It's easy to manuever through the brows.

The hold is really good, and it keeps my unruly brows in place all day.

NARS Brow Gel in Piraeus

NARS Piraeus Brow Gel

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués!

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués Royal Burgundy

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués ($9.99 each) are a new, limited edition collection of intricate, textured nail appliqués inspired by couture house Marchesa's signature designs. Available in 8 shades.

I have Royal Burgundy and Silk Rosette. Royal Burgundy is a beautiful deep burgundy with an intricate textured gold design. I love the gothic feel of the pattern and I think the colors are perfect for the Fall. Silk Rosette is a beautiful teal floral design on a clear background.


  1. Start out by removing any oil or dirt from your nails. You can do this by taking a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and wiping it across your nails. This will allow the appliqués to adhere securely to your nails.
  2. Select the best size appliqué per nail by lining it up with your nail bed, making sure it reaches each side of your nail wall.
  3. Remove the appliqué from the film and lightly place it on your nail, lining it up with your cuticle.  
  4. Press down from the cuticle and work your way to the tips of your nail. Use the enclosed cuticle pusher to secure the edges. 
  5. Lightly fold the rest of the appliqué over your nail tip and take the enclosed nail file and lightly buff the edges to remove the excess product. I know it's tempting, but refrain from pulling it off, as it can rip the appliqué. 
  6. Enjoy your manicure! To get your manicure to last a couple extra days, you can add your favorite top coat.

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués Royal Burgundy

They were really easy to apply and I finished both of my hands in just a few minutes. I don't think you need too much expertise with these.

It's important to take your time with the application to avoid any mistakes such as ripples/folds or not aligning it to your nail properly.

The only problem I ran into was that they didn't fit my nails that well. My nail beds are very curved, so I experienced some slight folds in application. Also, I found the strips to be a bit narrow. The strips didn't fully cover a few of my nails. Although none of these things are noticeable unless someone was to look closely at them.

They held up pretty well with some tip wear. I'm hard on my hands, so I removed them after three days. If you are really light on your hands, I'm sure you could get about a week out of them. I really liked that the removal process is so easy. I removed all of them within a minute or so.

I really enjoyed wearing these. I think they're a really fun treat to have once in a while or when you need to do your nails quick for a holiday or event.

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués
Royal Burgundy and Silk Rosette 3D Jewel Appliques

Sunday, October 27, 2013

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick Review, Photos and Swatches!

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick ($26) is described as a shimmering, warm brandy. It looks really red in the tube, but it's definitely not your average red. It's a spicy red with tones of gold, copper-bronze, orange and even a hint of brown. There's also a slight golden shimmer to it that's not very detectable, but it makes the color shine nicely on the lips.

Autumn Leaves is a part of NARS Sheer Lipstick formulation, so the color has a bit of transparency to it. It's highly buildable, and it can get fairly opaque with multiple coats. What's great about the sheer formula is that with a color like this (which can be scary for some) it's incredibly wearable - even during the day in an office setting, which something with full coverage in this color might be too bold.

This is a great Fall shade especially for those with warm and olive skin tones. I can see it being a really beautiful shade on redheads, but its looks great on just about everyone that I've seen it on. I think it looks beautiful paired with a peachy cheek and a golden highlight. Check it out on Beauty Banter.. it looks stunning on her!

I don't own many NARS Lipsticks, but I have a few and I have always liked the formula. The color glides on super smooth with a balm-like texture and a featherlight feel and I also find it to be pretty moisturizing.

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick swatch
NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick on my lips

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NARS Brow Perfector Review, Photos and Swatches!

NARS Caucase Brow Perfector

NARS Brow Perfector

NARS Brow Perfector ($22) is described as a "velvety" adjustable eyebrow pencil for creating slender to full brows. The pencil applies with smooth precision and ease. The tip has a unique oval shape for precise application and varying brow widths. The result is natural and long-lasting.

NARS Brow Perfector is available in (4) shades: Salzbourg (blonde), Kalamata (light brown), Caucase (brown) and Suriname (black).

My eyebrows are dark brown, and I opted with the shade Caucase. It's slightly lighter in color than my natural brows, but it works well. I could have chosen the darkest shade Suriname, as even though it's described as black, it's actually a dark brown (See Temptalia's Review).

NARS Caucase Brow Perfector

The consistency of the pencil is very stiff and dry at first. You have to break it in a little bit after the first use and it will warm up the product in order for it to apply better. It's like a very waxy crayon - the best comparison would probably be the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil ($8), but it's much stiffer. Same waxy consistency though and similar color payoff.

The color payoff is never really completely opaque, so if you have a lot of shaping to do, or if you have coarse, sparse brows, I wouldn't really recommend this pencil. This pencil doesn't create smooth, fluid lines, and you have to continuously make small passes over areas to build the coverage. For those such as myself, I need an opaque product that will provide clean, crisp lines to shape my brows and then I can go in with something lighter and more natural to shade them in. This is a great product for that. It's also great for those who have minor filling in to do, or those with fine brow hairs that need to do some light filling in.

The result is really natural, which is something I really like. They don't look harsh or obviously filled in. Also, the waxy texture really holds the brow hairs in place, so I don't find a brow gel/finisher necessary. It also doesn't fade, smear or budge the entire day.

NARS Caucase Brow Perfector

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Face of the Day Walk-through | Full Coverage Face & Soft Eyes

You can call me a ride-or-die medium coverage kind of chick. I've tried countless foundations - many of which I loved and some.. not so much. The ones I love all share a common factor - they all have a solid medium coverage. That basically means that the coverage is somewhere in-between light and full - A medium coverage will even out skin discolorations, cover blemishes, yet the foundation only looks like a silky veil on the skin rather a mask, and sometimes, my freckles, sunspots and sometimes even a little redness will slightly shine through. I actually kind of like that - it gives the illusion of clear skin, while not erasing every single spot.

But of course, I love switching it up and sometimes I really like an airbrushed, blemish-free face. Recently, I've been enjoying wearing a full coverage face, especially on nights out when I really want my makeup to hold up for several hours. Light and medium coverage foundations can break down a bit with sweat, etc, but when I bust out my heavy duty full coverage makeup, I know that my makeup isn't going anywhere all night. I'm going to take you through a quick run through of what I've been wearing lately.

I like to start out with applying a water based moisturizer to my entire face as it will allow my makeup to spread and blend effortlessly without looking dry or cakey. I always apply a moisturizer liberally to my under-eyes so the skin under my eyes will look rejuvenated, giving the illusion of well rested eyes. My favorite full coverage concealer is MAC Studio Finish Concealer. I like applying it with my middle or ring finger and tapping/patting the product (not wiping) to blend.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer has been my go-to full coverage foundation. It's an incredibly dense, tacky cream and you only need the tiniest bit for the whole face. I like to dot it on each area of my face, and then with a damp Beauty Blender sponge, spread and pat the foundation into my face until it's completely blended. If I want my face to look really perfect, I'll add a second thin layer.

Now, with full coverage foundations, you need to pop some dimension back in your face as an opaque coverage can flatten the face and make the natural contours less apparent. I love using MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter and applying it under my eyes and down the bridge of my nose and blending it out with a beauty blender. It really brightens up the face and gives more of a structured look.

I always set my under-eyes with Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder, which has been my favorite under-eye setting powder for years. I love that once I apply it, it really locks my concealer in and makes it budge-proof until I remove my makeup. Creasing and setting is never an issue. If I want a seriously opaque, Kim K kind of under-eye, I'll take a sponge and pat some MAC Studio Fix Powder under my eyes. For the rest of my face, I've been really enjoying NARS Loose Powder. It adds a hint of additional coverage, while softening the look of the skin, making the face look virtually perfect.

The skin is now a blank canvas, so I like adding some warmth into my skin and at the same time exaggerating the natural contours of my face. I've been loving Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer because it's a med-dark brown matte bronzer and mimics shadows really well. If you have very pronounced features, it's not really necessary, but for those with a fuller face, it can work wonders. With a small contouring brush I like to apply the bronzer below my cheekbones and blend upward, as well as up my temples and forehead, and all around the outer edges of my face. I like going back with my powder brush to further blend any areas that look too harsh.

Then, I like popping a little color on my cheeks. I chose NARS Lovejoy Blush - a lovely shade of rosy-bronze that is a very flattering every-day shade for warm skin tones. After I've applied my blush, I'm going to apply a highlighter with my fingertips across the highest points of my cheekbones. I used Dior Amber Diamond, a subtle ultra fine powder highlight that makes the skin look like it's glowing from within.

For my eyebrows, I've used a combination of NARS Eye Paint and MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Brow. I have quite a bit of filling in to do, but I'm going to try making them look as natural as I can by not applying too much product at once. Since my natural brows are very dark, I always like to finish with a tinted brow gel to lighten them up slightly. It softens my brows so they don't look as harsh/tattooed. I'm using NARS Brow Gel.

The eyes I'm keeping rather plain today and I'm going to apply MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow all over my lid and smudge NARS Eye Paint on my upper and lower lash line. Then I'm going to line my eyes with the eye paint as well.

Lastly, I'm going to curl my lashes, add a coat of Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum and two coats of Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara. For a little extra intensity, I added some Red Cherry False Lashes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint Review, Photos, Swatches!

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint ($25) is a multi-use eye product that can be both used as a cream eyeshadow and an eyeliner. It provides high-impact pigment with a silky, weightless feel. It glides on the skin smoothly and quickly dries down to a budge-proof finish.

So, you've tried one gel/cream eyeliner and you think you've tried them all. Well, despite the similarities between different brands of gel eyeliners, the formulas can differ quite a bit. Some formulas are drier than others, some are creamier, some are budge-proof and some smudge to no end.

I don't ask for much when I'm looking for a good potted eyeliner. My only requests are that the formula is smooth so that it will provide clean lines, opaque color and that it won't smudge/fade or crumble after several hours of wear.

I love the texture of NARS Eye Paint. The formula is more of a gel than a cream, as it has quite a bit of slip to it. Because of the slippery texture, it's very ideal for smudging and creating a smoked out eye. As with many cream products, once you apply it to your lid, you have to smudge it quickly, otherwise it won't budge. I love that fact that it doesn't set so quick that you have to worry about it drying before you're finished working with it (such as MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Creams). It really smokes out nicely with a blending or smudge brush, and the intensity can be built up with additional layers.

Mesopotamia is a very dark intense brown. I think it's a great color for every day and I actually most of the time prefer it over black as it works well with my warm coloring and has a softer look. I've actually been using it on my eyebrows as well. For the brows, a little goes a very long way and I only have to lightly touch the product with the tip of the brush to fill in one of my brows completely.

The lasting power is very good. I notice that when If I don't apply a base, I'll have some fading when used as an eyeshadow, but when applied as an eyeliner it lasts well throughout the day. On my brows, the color doesn't budge all day.

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint Swatch
Swatches of NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint
NARS Mesopotamia smudged and lined on my upper and lower lash line as well as applied to my eyebrows

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Million Dollar Tan Cabana Tan Extreme Face & Body Lotion Review!

Million Dollar Tan Cabana Tan Extreme Face & Body Lotion

Million Dollar Tan Cabana Tan Extreme Face & Body Lotion ($66) is Million Dollar Tan's Best Selling Formula for long-lasting, natural, ultra-bronzed color. It's made with organic ingredients and is paraben free.

I jumped on the Million Dollar Tan bandwagon after it seemed like every Youtube beauty guru was raving about it and deeming it their all-time favorite self tanner. Despite the hefty price tag, I gave in with expectations of a beautiful, deep tan.

I really like the consistency of the lotion. It's thin - therefore it smoothes on the skin easily and doesn't leave a heavy feeling on the skin. Also, the lotion isn't tinted, which has it's advantages as well as disadvantages. I really like the fact that it isn't tinted because it allows me to apply the lotion to my neck, chest and body in the morning after my shower, and I can look forward to bronzed skin hours later. The only disadvantage is that since it isn't tinted, you can easily miss areas of your body since it goes on clear. To avoid streaking/missing areas, work in small areas at a time.


I don't typically like using my bare hands to apply self tanner, but it's my preferred method with this particular tanner. Latex gloves streaked the product on my skin and wouldn't properly blend, and a mitt seemed to absorb too much product. To apply, I would just simply pump some product into my palm and apply it to my skin as I would a normal body lotion - in circular buffing motions. To make the product go a little further, I'd like to add a pump of regular body lotion to every two pumps of self tanner. For my neck/chest, I like to be a little darker, so I usually apply around two layers of product. It dries pretty quickly, so once dry, you can apply another coat of product for a darker result.

*To avoid orange knees, elbows and feet, I will use a small amount of body lotion and rub it into those areas before and after applying the self tanner.

To avoid over-tanned hands and palms, I typically wash my hands a couple of times through the application process.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Estee Lauder Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches!

Estee Lauder Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer

Estee Lauder Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer ($25) is described as a full-impact liquid lipstick with high lacquer shine. This new collection of Lacquers is part of Estee Lauder's Fall '13 Metallics Collection that is centered around highly reflective and glass-like finishes for multi-dimesional color. So, if you're looking for a product with loads of color and a high gloss shine, these are it! The formula is also creamy and hydrating with a blend of Vitamins C, E and Conditioners. Available in (12) shades.

Liquid Petal is a medium-dark neutral peach with a hint of pink. It also has a some flecks of very subtle shimmer.

Chrome Kimono is a cool, medium rosy pink with bright pink shimmer.

Fuchsia Flash is a bright blue pink with purple and pink iridescent shimmer.

Hot Cherry is a true cherry red with shimmer. It's a beautiful holiday red that will flatter all skin tones.

Ruby Glow is a deep black cherry with no shimmer.

Electric Wine is a deep ripened plum with shimmer.

The consistency of these lip lacquers are really thick - maybe somewhat comparable to MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass, but they aren't at all sticky. Because of the consistency, sometimes adding a lip balm prior can help add a bit of slip to your lips for these lacquers to glide across, as you might find that you'll need to re-dip your wand a couple of times. Luckily, but you don't have to apply much for full-on color. They are opaque with one coat.

From left to right: Liquid Petal, Chrome Kimono, Fuchsia Flash, Hot Cherry, Ruby Glow and Electric Wine.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand Review, Photos, Swatches!

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand ($5) is a lightweight concealer that covers under-eye circles and imperfections on the face without looking cakey or obvious. It's non-comedogenic, so it won't clog your pores. Available in (8) skin shades and (3) color correcting shades.

The NYX HD Concealer is actually one of NYX's best selling products and it's a product that I've seen recommended countless times.

I purchased the shade CW05 Medium, which is described as a medium beige with olive undertones. I don't know about olive, but the shade is very peachy with a hint of pink. In MAC concealers I always use the shade NW25 and it's a pretty good equivalent - NYX has a stronger peach tone though, which works really well for counteracting under-eye darkness. Don't judge the shade by what the tube looks like from the outside because it looks much lighter than it really is. I also find that the color oxidizes a bit shortly after application.

The concealer has a light/thin, creamy, velvety texture and dries to a semi-matte finish. It smooths on easily and blends out really well. Some compare the texture to MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer, but it's definitely not as wet/liquidy. I find it to be most comparable to Nars Radiant Concealer, but it's not as budge-proof as Nars. Nars dries down quickly, whereas NYX doesn't fully set without the help of a powder.

The first few times I used this concealer, I didn't like it. It looked dry, almost ashy and obvious. With all of the positive reviews, I was persistent to get it to work for me. It turned out that all I needed was some eye cream (or any moisturizer) prior to applying the concealer. The results were a day and night difference.

I always make sure to apply a moisturizer to my under-eye area and then I wipe a generous amount of concealer under both of my eyes straight from the applicator. I don't blend it out right away - I'll usually dot my foundation all over my face and then take a beauty blender and blend my foundation in and then lastly, blend in my concealer with light, patting motions. I blend my concealer last to give the concealer a little time to set on my skin so when I finally blend it out, the coverage is a bit fuller. Also, the foundation residue from my sponge will help blend the concealer with my foundation. Sometimes I'll add an extra layer of concealer and blend with my finger tips and set with a powder (Ben Nye Neutral Set, of course!)

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand Before and After Photos

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Estee Lauder Mirrored Orchid and Glow Fuchsia Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches!

Estee Lauder Mirrored Orchid and Glow Fuchsia Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick

It's official - Fall is around the corner, which just happens to be my favorite time of the year! With Autumn comes all of the beautiful warm colors and the prime time to rock berry/plum and vampy hues. Similar to last year, metallic finishes for the Fall are still very popular.

This Fall, Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director at Estée Lauder created The Metallics Collection that features the cool sheen of metal and the liquid light of lacquer.

"To create the makeup collection, I got inspired by the city, architecture, metal and glass." explained Pecheux. "I think it's nice to look pretty, but it's much better to look amazing."

You all know I love my lip products, so I'll be talking about the new lipsticks first. Estee Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick (Chrome Metal Effect) ($26) provides vivid color with a metal sheen. Amplified gold and silver pearl complex creates dimensional luminous effects, diamond-like reflections and intense chromatic color. As the pearls combine they neutralize liptone. All shades look great on every skintone. Available in (6) shades.

I'll be showing you two of those shades today - Glow Fuchsia, a beautiful shimmery rose and Mirrored Orchid, a lightly shimmered ripened plum. Both shades have a mirrored metallic finish, but they aren't a frost overload and don't look outdated.

Despite all of the fine glitter, the lipsticks glide on super smooth. You can slightly feel the shimmer when you rub your lips together, but it's not at all gritty.

The color is buildable from light to full with a couple of coats. Once worn off, the lipstick leaves behind a pretty shimmery stain.

Estee Lauder Glow Fuchsia and Mirrored Orchid Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick

Estee Lauder Mirrored Orchid Lipstick (left) and Glow Fuchsia (right)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi Premium Cleansing Beauty Oil Review!

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi Premium Cleansing Beauty Oil

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi Premium Cleansing Beauty Oil ($37 for 5 fl. oz.) is Shu Uemura's most popular cleansing oil. It targets dull skin caused by daily environment stresses, and for those concerned with anti-aging. There are (6) different cleansers to target the needs of specific skin types, but they all commonly remove makeup gently and effectively while maintaining the skin's natural level of moisture. Not only will the Anti-Oxi cleanser remove makeup, but it will work deep in your pores to remove dirt and sweat as well as pollutants that can speed up the aging process of your skin.

When searching for a cleanser, I usually opt for gentle cleansers because my skin type is very "normal" and if I use anything too harsh, it dries my skin out. It might sound a little foolish but most gentle cleansers bore the heck out of me because many of them lack all of the lather, which I feel makes cleansing somewhat fun or gratifying. Although the suds are sometimes what make us feel clean - Well, the suds are typically a factor in what causes the skin to become stripped of oils and dry in the first place. I'm trying to be a bit more mindful of the ingredients in my skincare products, and I've become more accustomed to using different oils in my routine. The word "oil" can be scary at first for beginners because when some of us think of putting oil on our face (especially those with acne-prone or sensitive skin), the words break-outs and clogged pores come to mind. That's not exactly the case. Some oils might not agree with your skin, sure. But there are many that are excellent for your skin in many different ways. If you wear face makeup regularly, especially medium and full coverage formulations, you can most certainly benefit from using cleansing oils.

I went through the ingredients list in the Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil and found that it's combined with some pretty great things. The first ingredient is Mineral Oil - one of the most common oils used in cosmetics and skincare for it's moisturizing capabilities without irritating the skin or clogging the pores. It also contains Cornstarch, which is used to absorb excess sebum and oil on the skin (so you won't be left an oil slick) as well as many great moisturizing oils and antioxidants. Some include: Safflower oil, Jojoba oil, Macadamia Seed oil, Moringa oil (great for purifying and rejuvenating the skin, aids with moisture retention and anti-ageing), Green tea extract and Gingko Biloba (antioxidant, helps increase blood flow, etc).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish Review!

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish ($9.50) is a fabulous soft purple with a blue pearl that makes this purple appear as more of a cool-toned purple/violet. I love purple nail polish, especially dark purples during the Fall/Winter and pastel purples during the Spring/Summer, but I rarely ever really wear mid-toned purples - I'm not quite sure why, but I think it has something to do with it being one of my most worn nail polish colors when I was a kid. I can't help but see purple as a very adolescent shade, but nevertheless, I think it's a really fun color and one that could be enjoyed all year round.

I found the formula to be a bit thick with this color and I couldn't get completely even coverage until I applied three coats. Despite this, each coat dried fairly quickly. You can surely get away with two coats, but I thought three looked best for full opacity. In the photo of my nails, I applied three coats to my pointer finger and two coats to the rest.

Sometimes square shaped bottles can be a little awkward to handle when painting the nails, but I love that the cap has grooves on each side for your thumb and pointer or middle finger to sit comfortably in as well as ridged grooves on both sides of the cap for a good grip. Really effective design.

I'm hoping my manicure will hold up for at least 5-6 days. I'll edit this post later letting you know how well it held up without chips.

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish

If you live in Europe, Alessandro might be a familiar brand to you, as it's one of the leading European luxury nail polish/nail care brands. It wasn't until just recently they launched their extensive line of gorgeous nail polishes in the USA. They are actually a sister brand to Tweezerman, so you can find their products on the Tweezerman website (by clicking the Alessandro tab at the top of the screen) or by visiting You can also find some of their products at

Have you ever heard of, or tried this brand? Let me know! I'm interested in trying some of their other shades.