Monday, December 31, 2012

FOTD: Holiday Treasure

Hi Guys! Happy New Year's Eve! Do you all have special plans for this evening? I'll be spending some time with friends from work! I haven't decided what to wear yet, and I don't know how I'll do my makeup, but I'm definitely itching to play with Meow Cosmetics' Egyptian Treasures collection again after reviewing these photos from a Christmas-inspired look I did last week just before the holiday!

I've had a handful of Meow Cosmetics' eyeshadows for quite awhile now; in fact, some of my earliest posts featured these products. I won't be linking you to those early posts, as I've learned a lot since then (and still have more to learn, admittedly), but you can go take a look if you're curious about which colors I picked up. I have exercised incredible self-control and haven't placed an order since then. I blame Meow Cosmetics' ability to make eyeshadows that are so good, I'm still excited to use them, even two years later!No need for new beauties, the excitement from the original batch is still going strong. You can use these dry, but they really come to life when used damp; they glow, with the metallic shades looking like liquid metal on the eye, and the burgundy shades looking like flocked velvet. They're really spectacular.

Here's the finished look:

Of course, while I'd consider Meow Cosmetics' eyeshadows to be the star of the show, I used lots of other products to get this look. I decided, why bother focusing on eyes? I went super-dramatic for the cheek and lips as well. Hey, it's been awhile since I've had time to really play around with makeup! Cut me some slack.

Here's what I used:

Lips: Urban Decay Lipstick in Confession, Revlon Colorburst lip gloss in All That Glitters.

Eyes: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded, Korres Eyeshadow in 775 Plum (wet on lid), Meow Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Tutankhamun (wet on middle of lid and into crease), Meow Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Reincarnation (dry in crease), Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten (in inner corner blended into crease), Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Vintage Lace (blended from top of crease up to brow bone, used to blend outer edge of eyeshadow), Meow Cosmetics eyeshadow in Ra (wet on lower lash line), Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil (smudged on top lash line), Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Revolver (on upper lash line), L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, Prestige brow pencil, Anastasia Brow Gel in Caramel

Cheeks: Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Nyx Blush in Raisin, NARS Blush in Douceur, Hard Candy Blush in Pin Up, The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Powder in 01.

Face: (not pictured) Prestige primer, Make Up For Ever Face & Body Makeup, Hard Candy Glamoflage concealer

Natural Light:

Indoor Light:
Look at how glowy Ra looks on the lower lash line!

Look at what happens where Reincarnation is dusted over Tutankhamun! It creates this really fiery burnished orange.

I had a lot of fun playing around with some products I don't reach for that often. I don't have very many excuses to wear heavy or dark makeup looks, especially since I'm supposed to do "understated" makeup for work (turns out brides like the be the center of attention...), so the holidays provide the perfect excuse to play with metallic shades, textures, and glitter!

What are you guys doing for New Year's Eve? Have you been playing around with makeup more than usual during the holidays?

Monday, December 24, 2012

NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Cinna-Snap

Hi Guys! If you celebrate, hope you're enjoying your Christmas Eve! I am having a low-key Christmas this year; I'm spending Christmas Eve cooking, baking, wrapping presents, cleaning the house, and watching Christmas movies, and tomorrow my boyfriend and I are spending the day with his parents. I miss spending the holidays with my family, but I'm the only one left in California anymore!

Just a quick post right now, I wanted to show you all Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri nail polish in Cinna-Snap, a color I've had for a long time but haven't worn in awhile. Frankly, I was sure I must have posted about it before now! It's not a particularly exciting color, but it's a very nice deep burgundy-red cream, perfect for a classic red manicure through the holidays. The Insta-Dri formula isn't my favorite; it's on the thick side, and chips about a day sooner on me than most other nail polish formulas. That being said, it does have its advantages; the brush is wide, which coupled with the thick formula means that it is a great choice for a fast manicure; not as many brush strokes per nail, and it's easy to get away with one coat if you're in a pinch (although I used two here just to make sure things were nice and even). Because it's a fast drying formula, that cuts down on the time you usually have to devote to a manicure as well. I keep buying these because I like some of the colors that are released in this line, and it's nice to have a few go-to polishes that I can slap on if I only have a few minutes to devote to a fresh manicure.

Direct sunlight

Indirect natural light

Summary: It's not the greatest nail polish formula that's ever been, and while Cinna-Snap is a lovely color, it is particularly dupeable; I'm sure most of you have a version of this color in your collection already. That being said, it's a nice go-to polish when you're in a pinch and need a particularly quick manicure.

Do you guys have polishes with less than stellar formulas that you find you appreciate for their other qualities? What are your holiday plans?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NOTD: Love & Beauty in Mauve

It's been awhile since I've shown you guys a nail polish from Forever 21's beauty line, Love & Beauty. I always take a look at the nail polish selection when I'm in a Forever 21; the colors are only $2.80, the formula is of decent quality, and they sometimes have really unusual, very pretty shades!

I picked up Mauve fairly recently, and it's a really pretty warm greyed berry-plum color with loads of pink and gold shimmer and flashes of ice blue shimmer throughout. The formula was just fine; I have no problems with application, and I get a few days of good wear out of it, which is average for me. I think it's really comparable to some of the better drugstore nail polishes out there. The brush is on the small side, but is definitely usable.

Summary: This color isn't spectacularly unique, but I think the shimmer really sets it apart from similar shades in my collection. I've worn it a few times since purchasing it, and I find myself reaching for this bottle more than I would have expected; it's a versatile shade that looks really put together but is still interesting, and it's perfect for the colder weather!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

e.l.f. Evil Queen Palette

So, you may or may not remember me posting when I acquired the e.l.f. Disney villains palettes a few months back. If not, you can re-read that post here. I promised you all swatches, and here they finally are! It took me a little while to work my way back around to these, but now I have some more thoughts for you all regarding the formula and wear. I'll be doing separate posts for each of the palettes, and I'm starting off with the Evil Queen's palette!

Here are swatches of the top row. From top to bottom are One Bite, Vanity, Narcissistic, and Potion. I swatched each color twice; first on bare skin, then over the included primer. You can barely see Vanity, but I promise it's there.

And here is the second row of colors swatched in the same manner. Top to bottom are Fairest of the Land, Majesty, Peddler's Cloak, and Poison Apple.

And finally, here are the two lip/cheek color pencils, blended out on the left, and then swatched more heavily on the right.

Summary: I'm honestly not very impressed with the quality of the products in this kit. The eyeshadows are powdery, patchy, and aren't particularly pigmented. They do slightly better on the eyes than swatched. I'm sure I'll still use them from time to time despite this mediocre formula; they're not terrible. I can't see myself using the lip/cheek pencils as cheek colors, but they smear very easily when worn on the lips. I am glad I picked these up when I had the chance since I am a big Disney fan and I love them as a collectible item, but I wouldn't recommend the products inside; this is an inexpensive set, but unless you want every single color you'd still probably be better off buying a single from the drugstore. The sheer shadows and packaging would actually make this perfect for a young girl looking for costume or play makeup. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LOTD: Sparkly red lip

Hi guys! Thanks for being patient with me, it looks like I got the Picasa fluke fixed. It certainly took long enough! I have a few fun posts planned, so hopefully it was worth the wait.

As for this post's featured look, I wanted to play around with a few new and new-ish things that I hadn't had a time to really get to know. I used some new eyeshadows from The Body Shop, and boy, I have to say... they are creamy and beautiful! It's not my go-to makeup brand, but I think there are definitely some hidden gems. Some of the eyeshadows I swatched in the store had a drier consistency, but I picked up some of the creamier, more densely pigmented shades. In addition to that, I used a new MAC blush, Small Vanity, and two lip products I have swatched for you but haven't had a chance to wear yet. Take a look!

Eyes: MUFE Aqua Cream in 13 as a base,The Body Shop 07, 32, and 41, MAC Fluidline eyeliner in Catch My Eye

Lips: NYC lipstick in 309 Sheer Red, Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in All That Glitters

Cheeks: MAC Small Vanity

I'm also wearing my usual "basics"; foundation, powder, mascara, and brow gel.

Full face, natural light

Natural light

Natural light

Indoor light

Lips in indoor light

I'm glad to be able to blog again! I know I wasn't gone for too terribly long, but I had so many things I wanted to share with you all! I am still not sure what happened with my pictures not being able to be loaded, but in case any of you have had the same issue, the problem was not that I had reached my photo limit and needed to pay for extra storage space; it was just a glitch in the system that worked itself out. The error message I was getting on this end was that I was out of storage space, but when I went into my Picasa account, it showed I still had plenty left.

So what do you guys think of these products? Have any of you picked up the same items? I'm still figuring out how to make Small Vanity work with my coloring; I purchased it because it looked like it might be the  same color my cheeks get when they flush naturally. While it is very close, I am starting to wonder if that's a good thing; sometimes when I use it I just look really ruddy, and I have to be very careful about the placement so it looks intentional!