Tag Archives: glam

October: Sparkle or Dull?

My makeup peeps…..why are there so many new and fabulous products being released???? Seriously! There are so many that I want to try out for you guys!

This month I decided to review a purchase I had made while redeeming some points at Ulta earlier in the month, the Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe boxed set, and a brand new item from the Elf line, the instant brow lift.

Let’s start by chatting about some brows!

PRODUCT #1: Elf Instant Brow Lift Pencil

This was one of those random finds as I was trolling around Target one day. You know those trips….the ones where you go in for one thing and end up leaving with a cart full of things you really didn’t need???

Anyway…..I have been toying around with changing up my eyebrow routine for awhile now because I have not been 100% satisfied with the Anastasia brow products I have been using. If we are being honest….quality eyebrow products seem to be expensive, so when it comes to me purchasing a new one I really try to do a lot of research and get friends’ opinions so I don’t waste my money. I mean….I know this blog is about determining if a product sparkles or if it is a little lackluster, but my hope is to always have more sparkles than dulls….a dull product means money down the drain!

I was leaning toward trying out a product from It Cosmetics and was actually en route to Ulta when I stopped to make the previously mentioned unnecessary Target stop. It proved to be a smart move on my end, because the new brow pencil from Elf had just been released and came across my line of sight. At $2.00, its price was very attractive, and since I have always had good experiences with the Elf line, I decided to give it a chance.

Let’s talk about brows for a second. Do you need a product? Not necessarily. I never used to use one. Then one day I had an eyebrow wax that left them looking a little wonky and uneven if I didn’t use a product. For me, the product is more about shaping my actual eyebrow as opposed to filling them in. Depending on your brow, you may do the same, or they may be thin and you may need to spruce them up a bit.

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A look at the product in action. 

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

For $2.00, I was extremely pleased with this product. It went on smoothly and was easy to use, kind of like a mechanical pencil. I also loved that it included a spoolie brush on the opposite end to help blend and mute the color if you got a little crazy. I definitely recommend this product, especially if you want to try something cheaper before moving on to a higher price brow product.

***I do need to state this. The one thing I wasn’t super pleased with when it came to this item was the fact that it only came in three colors. I used deep brown because of my coloring, but it also comes in a taupe and neutral brown. I’m not sure if this is just because it is newer, but hopefully they expand the palette soon…the taupe, which is the lightest of the three, may still be too dark for you if you have very blonde hair, and there aren’t any options for my ginger friends. Fingers crossed for you guys!

PRODUCT #2 Too Faced Grand Hotel Cafe Palette

If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen me unbox this purchase live after redeeming my Ultamate rewards points at Ulta. When I saw this product, I had to have it….they claimed the three palettes smelled like coffee, and you guys know me…..

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Look how cute the packaging is!

What all comes in this boxed set?

-3 palettes that include 6 eyeshadows each, as well as one blush: Peppermint Mocha (top), Gingerbread Coffee (bottom left), and Egg Nog Latte (bottom right).

-Deluxe size of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara aka best mascara in the damn land.

As you can see from the picture below, the color palettes are great for all people, as there are colors that compliment both warm and cool undertones. I personally love them all, however, I have been using the Gingerbread Latte more frequently for the eyeshadow colors than the other two. The blush in that palette, called Gingerbread, is great for contouring if you are a contour lover like me. I’ve been using it for that purpose, then using the blush from the Egg Nog palette over top of it. As with any Too Faced eye shadow, the colors are incredible and great quality…some with some shimmer, some with a matte finish…but all able to be blended beautifully.

When it comes to the mascara…this is the kind I use every day. I always put one layer of mascara on before applying my lashes, and with some lash styles actually apply a layer after to blend my lashes and the falsies together. It is great on its own for you non lash wearers!

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A look at what you get with the Grand Hotel Cafe box, photo courtesy of Sephora. 

Here’s a look at a basic eye that I did last week blending three colors from the Gingerbread palette on my eyes: Maple Syrup on the lid, Ginger Cream on the upper lid to blend, and Cup of Joe to smoke it out a bit. I used the Peach Cobbler blush from the Egg Nog palette. Absolutely love it!

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Love the simplicity of this look….add lashes and a bright lip to make the eyes pop. 

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

This boxed set is a great value…it is only $49, and you get a ton of great items with it. The only bad thing about this item…it is limited edition because it is seasonal, so if you want it get it asap!

Be on the lookout for great deals coming up at Ulta and Sephora….they always have awesome items that are great for gifts or stocking stuffers that surface this time of year!

sparkleon

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February: Sparkle or Dull?

I think I could literally test out makeup and beauty products all day, everyday and never get sick of it. It is so fun to me to try things out and just share an honest opinion on what I like/dislike about them!

This month I decided to try out two products that I’ve had friends chirping about more than usual, and I’m excited to share with you my findings! Before I go any further, I must reminder you that my Sparkle or Dull opinions are strictly my own, no one else’s. I don’t get paid by any of the companies for the products I review. With that being said, you may love/hate products that I feel the opposite about, and that is okay! I do these segments to hopefully help people learn more about a product before buying them. After all, no one likes wasting money on a product they will use once or twice.

Product #1Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

I certainly hope by now you have realized that I love lashes….like really, really, really love lashes. Even though I rock falsies most days, there are still days where I opt for good ol’ mascara. I won’t pretend that I have one mascara that I am committed to; there are so many great ones out there! My top two favorites have been Too Faced Better Than Sex Masacara and Urban Decay Perversion, but I am always open to trying others just in case one strikes my fancy.

A couple of my friends kept mentioning this mascara by Smashbox, so I finally figured it was time to give it a try. I’ll be honest: of all of the makeup brands that trend, Smashbox is probably the one that I have tried the least. I love their Photo Finish Primer, but that’s about as deep as my investigation in their products goes.

When it comes to mascara, I look for how easily it goes on (aka the clump test in my world), how it lengthens/volumizes, and overall quality. I’m not one who wants a natural look with lashes…..ever…but I’m not one who wants to look like I am wearing tarantulas on my eyes either. Immediately upon applying my first coat of the Smashbox mascara, I already knew how I felt about it: I was not a fan. In my opinion the brush didn’t provide the volume I like to see in a mascara, and after a second, then third, then fourth coat I didn’t see the look I like. Honestly, I would’ve picked Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara over this and saved myself the money. For the price I thought the quality was terrible and it did absolutely nothing to my eyelashes. I took one picture because I was so annoyed by it and had to move on to one of my go to mascaras.

Final Vote: DULL

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Product #2Younique’s Splurge Cream Shadow

Anything that has to do with eyeshadow, and I’m down. I’m serious. Eye shadow is like paint for your eyes, and every day you can create a new painting. I love the freedom and creativity it brings into my life!

One of my online pals, Kim, suggested that I give the cream eyeshadows a try. She had mentioned that she was obsessed with them and that they had great staying power…..and sold me when she told me that they stayed on without an issue when she taught her spinning classes. Spinning is no joke, so I figured it was time for this splurge stuff to try out an Insanity Live class!

I did have some concerns initially when I received the shadow in the mail. I’ve never been one that liked cream eye shadows….mostly because the ones I tried in the past did not stay on my lids, even with primer. There is nothing worse than creating a beautiful masterpiece on my eye, then having it vanish into nowhere within hours. However, I was open to trying it. Since Kim sells Younique, I’ve seen her makeup looks and knew she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction.

She didn’t.

I tried the Splurge Cream Shadow by itself first, using only a basic liner and some lashes for a low key day look (yes, I do participate in low key every now and then). One thing I noticed immediately was the quality of this product. For a cream shadow, it felt like I was putting something rich and decadent on my eyes, and I liked the silky feeling it had when it hit my eyelids. The color I am wearing below is Elegant, which I figured would be a great neutral option. I loved that it had some shimmer to it; that gave it enough pizazz to wear on its own. I put this shadow on around 9am and wore it all day long, which included an Insanity Live workout (if you have done one of these, you know you sweat like a beast). When I returned home I was pleasantly surprised to see that my shadow was still in tact and looking as great as it did earlier in the day. Previous cream shadows often had noticeable creases after some wear, but not this Splurge shadow.

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The nice thing about this shadow is that you can wear it by itself or you can jazz it up and do a more dramatic eye, using this as the base shadow. Earlier in the week I had to record some training videos for my team of rockstars, so I decided to do a smokier eye. I used Elegant as the base shadow to provide the shimmer I wanted, and used some of my other eye shadow palettes for the rest. I loved the final look. The cream shadow held the other pigments well, showed no creasing, and provided a dressier look. When I reviewed the footage I had shot, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle sparkles that would hit the light as I moved my head. When you serve as the leader of The Sparkle Squad, those are the little details you fall in love with…gotta have a sparkle! I actually love this product so much I am going to purchase it in another color. Thank you so much, Kim, for insisting I try it!

Final Vote: SPARKLE!

I’ve got a whole bevy of products in the hopper for March…it’s going to be hard to narrow them down! I may have not to a few more than two……we’ll see.

sparkleon

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