Tag Archives: makeup

March: Sparkle or Dull

Oh hey, friends! Halfway through April and I haven’t shared my March beauty finds! Sometimes I slack….I’m sorry about that!

I’ve been trying really hard to try out the products that a lot of people have been talking about….but lately there have been so many of them! I’ve seriously considered upping the number of products I review each month, but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

Here are the two products I chose for the month of March!

Product 1Silisponge

EVERYONE and their mother has been trying out this silicone makeup blender, which helped skyrocket it to the top of my “must try” list. A silicone sponge thing? Could it really evenly distribute my foundation??? I was skeptical.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, back in 2015 I shared my favorite finds of the year, which included the Bare Mineral Perfecting Face brush. That brush is what I have religiously used to apply my foundation ever since its discovery. I knew it would be tough to beat!

Initial thoughts on this applicator: Man, it is much different than I thought it would be! I thought the applicator would be a thinner more flexible item….this was thick and not very bendy. Look at this thing!

I tried it using my normal foundation, good ol Kat Von D, which blends really well and is a full coverage foundation. Did I like how the sponge worked? NO! I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was in this product. When you are trying to apply foundation evenly, a brush is great….you can get into every nook and cranny. With this thing…..not even close. I applied my foundation and then realized there were parts of my face (like around my nose) that were not covered, causing me to grab my brush to complete my face.

FINAL VERDICT: DULL! I know this product seems appealing (price wise they run between $4-$10), but save that money and invest in a quality brush. Trust me, it is worth it.

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Product #2: Photobalm Powder Foundation

I follow a lot of makeup pros on Youtube….there are so many great tutorials out there. One of my favorites, Christen Dominique, shared her love for Photobalm’s powder foundation, which she used as a setting powder. Since I love a matte finish, I opted to give this a try and give my trusty old Banana powder a break. I also was hoping to fall in love with the powder so it could accompany me on my upcoming trip to Punta Cana.

Right away I loved the look of this product…the packaging had a cute little pinup like girl on it, so you know I was into it! Since Photobalm is technically a foundation, I decided to try this as a foundation by itself and also as a setting powder like my gal Christen did in on her youtube channel.

Thoughts on it as a foundation: MINIMAL coverage. I felt like I just had a layer or loose powder on my face, and that wasn’t the look I wanted. However, if you like a very minimalist look, you may enjoy it.

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Thoughts on a setting powder: Surprisingly, it was very disappointing. It was a nice product…but there are lots of nice products out there. The coverage was so so on top of my foundation, and it wasn’t as matte as the product reviews claimed it would be. Is there a huge difference between this $26 product and a $4 Cover Girl compact? Nope. At least not to me!

FINAL VERDICT: DULL

Two dulls….that’s something that doesn’t happen regularly. I guess you can’t win them all in the makeup department.

Speaking of my Punta Cana trip, I have a group on facebook created where I will be sharing lots of live video, photos, and fun with a few of my best gals! The group begins on Saturday, so if you want to see what’s happening, just click HERE!

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sparkleon

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January: Sparkle or Dull?

Back at it with some makeup reviews, friends! Sidetone: Sparkle or Dull has officially turned ONE year old! Yay! I’m so glad you guys like the reviews of various beauty products and enjoy all of your feedback! I hope this segment on my blog has helped you in some way!

Let’s chat products!

PRODUCT #1: Too Faced White Chocolate Chip Palette

If you’ve been around the makeup block for awhile, you know that Too Faced is my main eyeshadow brand.I’ve always loved the pigment of the palettes, the way they smell, and I just think the overall quality is great. As someone who owns literally EVERY palette they have ever made, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about their products.

When the White Chocolate Chip palette was released, naturally it went out of stock almost immediately. Usually I grab these items asap, but for some reason I was slacking around the time it was released and wasn’t able to get it until it was restocked after Christmas….perfect timing since I had a ton of Sephora gift cards (people know what makes me tick).
Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 6.25.30 AM.pngLately I have been gravitating toward more pink hues for my eyes, a color I typically don’t do. I was excited about the colors in this palette because the majority were ones I didn’t really own in addition to the fact that the colors fell into the pink trend I was loving.

Sephora was out of stock in the store with the palette, so they ordered it online so it could be delivered to me. Oh, the anticipation!

And then I got the palette…..and my excitement somewhat diminished.

Here’s the thing about Too Faced products….as I mentioned, the quality is great, but one downfall is that they aren’t cheap. Since I own so many of their items, I know what to expect when it comes to the size of the palettes.

This thing….yeah, no where near their normal palette size.

I opened the box to find an item literally the size of a credit card. WHAT????!!!!!! Besides that fact, it was exponentially thinner . Too Faced, what is happening here?

 

FINAL VERDICT: DULL-ISH
Overall, the colors are great…..the smell of the palette is nice….but I don’t feel like it is a good value. When I can buy one of the Chocolate Bar palettes that feature way more shadows for about $15 more, why would I want to buy something this size? If you don’t care about cost then this would probably be a sparkle in your world….so really this product could go either way for me.

Product #2 Precisely, My Brow Pencil by Benefit

I know, I know….you may be asking yourself “Why is she reviewing ANOTHER brow product”…….

Well, I had to, my friends.

October’s S or D featured a random find from Target, a brow pencil from Elf. I loved loved LOVED this product…even after I realized it didn’t last long (about 7-10 uses). For a few bucks and the great color I was okay with it though…until I went to Target and they stopped carrying my color!

If you are someone who uses the lightest shade, you are still in luck. I’ve been creeping various Targets and stores that carry the Elf brand, and the color I use seems to have magically vanished. Whatever.

I needed a brow product replacement and decided it was finally time to give Benefit a chance. I’ve been hearing about their brow line for awhile but didn’t know if it would be worth a try….which is usually my hang up with a product. And, like many items, I was expecting a disappointment.

WRONG.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!

Let’s cover everything I like about this product:

-The color is spot on….and, unlike many brow products, there is a wider variety of colors to choose from.

-There’s a lot of product in here….I’ve been using this for well over a month, and we are still rocking it out.

-The precision of the pencil is great for shaping your brows with smooth lines.

-The spoolie is fantastic.

100% worth it.
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Have you tried either product? Tell me your thoughts!

sparkleon

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#Lashgamestrong

Oh, lashes…..how I love you. Let me count thy ways.

I talk a lot about consistency with workouts and nutrition and do my best to be consistent, but I’m human….so sometimes I fall off the wagon. When it comes to my lashes though….those…those I am consistent with every.single.day. I never fall off the lash wagon!

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So many lashes, so little time. 

I get a lot of questions about them….like why i love them, what ones are my favorite, why don’t I try extensions, why don’t I try this lash product or lash product, yadda yadda. Let me break down my lashes for y’all.

Let’s address extensions first and foremost…….

I was born with lovely lashes (thanks, parents) and honestly only used mascara up until about four years ago or so. Occasionally I wore falsies for a special event or wedding, but that only  happened a handful of times a year, not daily. As I got more and more into the makeup scene and doing makeup for friends, I realized I loved the look of longer, fuller lashes, so I made the decision to get eyelash extensions.

I waited a while to do this, researching Do’s and Don’ts because I had heard horror stories about lash extensions. On the flip, my dear friend and personal makeup consultant, Marenda, had gotten them done, as had my cousin, and both had fabulous experiences.

My appointment was scheduled over Fourth of July weekend in 2015, and I conveniently made it on the day of my engagement photos. In my mind it was the perfect time to get them done, and I was excited at the thought of these super glam lashes in our photos.

The place….exactly the kind of place I would usually go…trendy and modern, and my lash “expert” was the kind of person who seemed to really know her stuff….at first. I had called ahead of time to ask questions about how they did things and wanted to make sure they did not use a glue with formaldehyde, which is common in glues purchased overseas. They assured me they didn’t.

I’m going to spare you the complete details of the experience because it was wretched, but I will tell you it left me calling Marenda, who was on her way over to do my makeup for the engagement shoot, in tears.  The lashes looked terrible….wonky like Helen Keller had applied them because they were all curving in different directions, and the “expert” told me when I was paying that the glue in fact had formaldehyde in it. Cool.

Ren saved the day for the engagement photo shoot (thank heavens), but the weeks to follow included my lashes falling out and, at one point, me having barely any lashes at all. It was a sweet look, let me tell you. In order to avoid looking scary, I started applying my falsies daily. As my lashes grew back, I continued to wear falsies because they didn’t grow back the way they were before (Spoiler alert: they STILL aren’t the way they used to be). I’ve been in a serious relationship with lashes ever since.

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Thankful for a talented friend for making my lashes look great for this shoot!

What are the lash products I swear by?

I have an extensive collection of lashes ranging from drugstore brands to more expensive ones. My favorites are from House of Lashes and are the Heartbreakers, but I also love the Faux Mink lashes from Lilly Lashes…..I wear these a lot when I want a more dramatic look. My wedding look featured the Miami lashes from Lilly!

The most important thing with lashes….whether they are cheap ones or the more expensive ones is THE GLUE! Having quality glue is the most important thing. I swear by the HOL Glue and recommend it to everyone….trust me on this! It is worth the cost and is the best product out there for lashes. I carry the travel size glue with me at all times, and the full size is always stocked up. This product is formaldehyde, phthalates, and paragons free and great if you have sensitive eyes.

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My wedding day lashes.

Were lashes tricky at first? Absolutely. There were days where I couldn’t get them to stay on…or they were off centered….or I didnt let the glue get tacky enough to apply them so they were a hot mess and my fingers got sticky. It took awhile for me to get to the point where I could apply them in less than a minute per lash.

If you are new to lash wear, here are a few basic Katie tips to help you out:

1. After applying glue to the lash, let it chill for about thirty seconds before attempting application. This is important….they adhere better when the glue is tacky.

2. Purchase quality glue (as already addressed).

3. Realize you may have to trim the lashes down. Sometimes I purchase a pair and realize they are too long to fit on my lid, so I have to cut a small piece of the end off. You want to wear the lash, not have the lash where you.

4. Have a storage system for them. Guys, lashes can be reused again and again. Don’t toss them after a single use….clean them and reuse! I use rubbing alcohol to clean mine…easy and inexpensive.

5. Tweezers are the best applicator!

Here’s a quick video I made awhile back to help you with eyelash application! Give it a try…..and if you DO opt for extensions….do you research so you don’t have a horrible experience like I did.

Why do I lash? I love changing my eye look daily….the love how easy they are to wear….how inexpensive they are…and just how badass they make me feel. 

Long live the Lash!

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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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August: Sparkle or Dull?

Guys, can you believe it is September???? I’m having a hard time accepting that summer is over and before you know it Christmas will be here. This year is flying by!

And so is this month! We have been crazy busy with wedding stuff these past few weeks which delayed this blog being posted a bit more than I had anticipated, and this week we had a curveball thrown in with a death in our family. My apologies, makeup lovers!

This blog is all about the eyes!!!!

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PRODUCT #1: Tarte Colored Clay Under Eye Corrector

I think Tarte has an amazing line of products, but I have mostly stuck to their eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks. Since I have a pretty strong love affair with my Kat Von D foundation, I’ve never considered their foundations or concealers (I know…..I’m sorry!). I guess I’m one of those people who sticks with something that she knows works for her and doesn’t like to always change it up…especially with foundation and concealers.

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Shopping with Mikaele!

I recently took one of my coaches to Ulta because….well, that’s pretty much my second office….and she needed some lashes, so of course I volunteered to help her! During our trip and random perusal of the Tarte aisle I stumbled across this clay under eye corrector. Let’s be honest….I’ve been lacking in the sleep department big time lately and my under eye bags needed a little TLC. I tried the product out in the store and loved it immediately. It went on smoothly, felt like silk, and had great coverage. It was purchased immediately, and I can tell you….I am still amazed by this product. As you can see below, the coverage is pretty freaking awesome. Just an FYI, the color I use is Light/Medium.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE ALL DAMN DAY!

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Product #2: Elf Under Eye Setting Powder

This was a product that I was skeptical about. We all know I think Elf has some awesome makeup products/brushes, but for some reason every time I was in the Elf section and saw this little guy I always talked myself out of it. Yeah, it is only $3, but do I really need a setting powder?????? For my eyes????

Earlier in the month I was creeping on a few different youtube tutorials trying to master a specific makeup technique and noticed that all four of the tutorials I randomly selected to watch featured the makeup artist using this Elf product. I told myself that was a sign and decided to give it a whirl.

The purpose of this powder is to do exactly what it says: set the makeup under your eye perfectly. It claimed to leave skin feeling silky and help blend fine lines. Skin also is strengthened because of the Vitamin K and Vitamin C blend in it.

I applied this as a final step, so foundation was on, concealer, eye makeup, etc. The brush I used was another Elf product, the Elf foundation brush. The product itself comes with a small brush, but I like this Elf one better. Even though it is a foundation brush, I hate using it for that and think this one is a better option.

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Few things about this product……

1. It looks a little shimmery when you look at it in its pot. It’s very subtle. I actually used this when strobing last week and liked the look because it wasn’t as in your face as normal strobing is.

2. With that being said, don’t OVERUSE it! A little can go a long way, and if you use too much you will have cakey under eyes and possibly too much shimmer. Once you get the product on the brush, tap it lightly to get rid of the excess. Remember, you can always add to it….it is much easier than having to take it off or looking like a gothic stripper.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle!

I’ve been having lots of luck with sparkle products lately! Are there any items you have been curious about? Let me know….I’m always up for ideas to help you make beauty easier!

sparkleon

 

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July Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

This month’s beauty finds………ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I was so excited to try both and review them! I’m not even going to mess around with some kind of introduction….let’s get right into it!

Product #1: Tarte’s Swamp Queen Palette

Me and eyeshadows go together like peas and carrots…we just belong together. In recent months I have started to use more products from Tarte (not sure why I waited so long), and was extremely excited when it was announced they were going to pair with Grav3yardgirl, a youtube sensation, to create a palette.

Who is this Grav3yardgirl? A hot ass mess, that’s what, but in a good way. Bunny reviews lots of crazy products, does tutorials, and is just ridiculous….probably why I gravitate to her channel. Her style is all over the place….much like mine. I love it!

I knew that this palette would have some awesome colors that were different from my normal palettes (I love anything brown, purple, grays, etc), and, knowing Tarte’s quality, I had a feeling they would be super rich and apply wonderfully.

I’ll be honest….for a hot second I thought I may not get my hands on this palette. Initially I saw it at an Ulta in Michigan while shopping with my cousins, but since it had been released that day I thought I would just wait and get it back home. They will have ppllleeennntttyyyyyyyy of them at my Ulta, right?

WRONG. Every Ulta near me was sold out….so was Sephora (good news, back in stock if you want one). Fortunately, a girl at Ulta told me she heard through the grapevine that Macy’s was going to be carrying them for a brief time. I took advantage of her tip, found it on Macy’s website, ordered it, and performed a serious of cartwheels and somersaults when it arrived a few days later.

Look at these colors! In the palette you get 9 eyeshadows, 1 bronzer, 1 blush, and 1 highlighter. The colors are very rich (can you see the sparkle in a few of them?)!

Here’s my honest review of the product: It is fabulous BUT…..because of how pigmented the colors are I highly recommend using a little at a time….then adding a little more…and so on. I think we all know I love a strong contour, so when I started with the Sweet Tea shade (top left), I was surprised at how INTENSE it was…..leading me to wash my makeup off and start over. Same with Gator Wings (bottom left), which is a highlighter. It has a strong glittery shine to it, so start small with a fan brush and add as needed.

As far as the eyeshadow colors go, I liked them for a more natural, subtle look. Sippy Sippy (middle row, far right) was my favorite color in the palette, but I did have a lot of fall out with the shadow than with the other colors, so be careful or apply eyeshadow before the rest of your makeup.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE! It’s great for traveling since your blush and contouring friends are a part of the palette, and it can work on any skin tone (in my opinion).
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Product #2: Stila Waterproof Eyeliner

I’ve really struggled lately with eyeliners…I don’t know why! I love a strong wing, so I prefer a liquid liner for my top eyelids and use a pencil for my lower eye. This is the summer of weddings for me, and being outside at a lot of them I noticed that my trusty eyeliner (a cheap kind by Wet N Wild that I have used for years) was running faster than Usain Bolt. No bueno. Throw in a few happiness tears…and my whole eye look was ruined.

So I did something I never ever do…..I walked into Sephora and asked one of employees for a recommendation. This is big for me! I swear I know more than the majority of people in there, so asking for a suggestion….that was like taking a bullet.

Lucky for me I got one of the few Sephora employees that seems to know what is going on in the world of makeup. (Sidenote: Why does Sephora always seem to hire idiots? That don’t know what things like highlighters or primer are? Or who Kat Von D is? And who can’t even apply makeup to their own face? I swear…the last time I was in Sephora one of the girls was rocking a foundation shade that would’ve worked if you had been sunburned in Cancun, not if you had the alabaster color skin she did. She looked ridiculous! Ok, I’ll stop). The girl recommended the Stay All Day waterproof eyeliner by Stila, which made me happy. I had done a little online trolling of my own and this one popped up numerous times. Her suggestion gave me the go ahead to purchase and try, and I am so glad I did!

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This product is just like a magic marker for my eye….easy to use, great for making thick wings or subtle ones…and comes in a variety of colors. Best of all, it doesn’t run when Im crying or sweating…which is a huge plus!

Final Verdict: SPARKLE!!!! Yes, yes, a million times yes. Add this to your makeup bag immediately.

For fun I made a little tutorial with the colors I love from Swamp Queen…and I used my Stila pen, too!

sparkleon

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June Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

This month’s beauty blog led me to my favorite stores: Lush. I honestly thought I had tried everything in the store, but this month I stumbled upon an item that claimed to help hydrate dry and tired hands. Since I have had my struggles with dry hands and sometimes lizard like skin, it immediately jumped to the top of my “to try for the blog” list.

Product #1: The Golden Handshake Hot Hand Mask

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Before I go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room. THAT NAME! C’mon Lush. I don’t like buying products that could be mistaken for something in the urban dictionary. When I mentioned to a few people I was trying this item, they all said the same thing….golden shower? Um, no. Not even close.

Back to the product. For starters, let’s talk about the price. At $4.95 it’s not a bad price for Lush. I have spent a lot over the years on products that claim to moisturize hands, so I figured this was a reasonable amount if it worked well. I should state that is for ONE of the Handshakes. The name is very fitting, as you can see. A tiny oil hand covered in gold glitter (we know how I feel about glitter) that comes on a popsicle stick.

To use this product, you need to heat a bowl of water and then submerge the little hand in it, stirring as it thickens. Seems simple, right? I thought so. However, for some reason, my glittery mixture never thickened, which was a disappointment.
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After your mixture thickens (or in my case just hangs out and does nothing), your next step is to submerge your hands for fifteen minutes so the mixture can coat the hands and soften them. I did this one hand at a time because I was multitasking as always. Even though my mixture wasn’t thick like I had anticipated, I still could feel the oil on my hands and some softening did happen once I removed them from the water.

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FINAL VERDICT: DULL!

This product was okay. Did I think it was anything special? Not really. My hands felt a little softer, but truthfully many things can help with that. I didn’t like that I had to spend so much time sitting around, and the oily water was a bit messy to clean up. I will stick to my Become Hand Smoothing Cream because that always works, smells great, and it takes a quick minute to work. I’ll stick to my tried and true Lush products for the time being.

Product #2: Tweexy Nail Polish Holder

I will fess up. The ad for this popped up on my Facebook one day and I impulsively purchased it. I had to. How annoying is it to fumble with the nail polish bottle when you are trying to do your nails?!??!?!?! I wondered if this was all that the ad hyped it up to be.

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If you haven’t heard of this item, it is a silicone little ring-like device that expands to fit on two of your fingers regardless of the size of them. It has special internal grips to hold your bottle of polish and balance it. The brand claims it works with every kind of polish and bottle. There’s not much more to it than that.

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FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

Guys, I loved loved loved this item! I always have issues with where to place my nail polish bottle….I may be guilty of spilling a bottle or two in my day, too. This product totally removed that issue from the equation. It was comfortable and super easy to use. If you are a nail polish junkie like me, you need to buy this!

Have a great Fourth full of sparkle, my friends!

sparkleon

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May Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

I feel like I was just writing a review for April’s Beauty Finds……oh wait….I was!

Happy to report that I am back on track with my blog and back to my usual posting schedule!

So let’s chat about some possible new beauty additions for your collection!

I get a lot of questions about makeup every day, and lately lipstick is the hot topic. I like to think of myself as a lipstick connoisseur, and while I tend to gravitate toward certain brands that I know to be tried and true, I am always up for trying new brands. My go to lipstick is a matte finish….I’m not a huge gloss person because I don’t really like the stickiness or the fact that my hair can get stuck in it if it’s a tad windy outside. Because of this, I haven’t encountered many liquid lipsticks/glosses that have worked for me (To date, only the Melted liquid lipsticks from Too Faced have passed my test). This month I decided to give another liquid lipstick a try!

Product #1: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

I am a big Anastasia fan….I use their brow pomade and pencil as well as their glow and contour kits daily, but had never given their lip line a try. This month it was time for the liquid lipstick that they claimed had the matte finish that I love so much.

The color I selected (and that can be seen here as well as in my previous post which you can read here) was Electric Coral. I will be honest….I was hoping it would be a little more tangerine/orangey, but was pleasantly surprised when it had a reddish hue to it (we all know that I love my reds). I opted to try this out on a weekend where I had a lot to do….days when I am go go go I need a lip product that stays on without a lot of reapplication.

Let me share with you what I liked about this liquid lipstick: darn near everything! I applied it first thing in the morning and did not need to reapply until about 4pm…which was after I had eaten…I always reply after lunch. The color was rich and a true matte, so I was very happy. The only thing that I noticed was that it slightly dried my lips out the first time. When I wore the lipstick again, I applied a little plain chapstick before application and I was perfectly fine.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!!

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Product #2: LA Girl Pro Concealer Set

Concealers are always tricky. I feel like I’ve tried about a billion of them, finding some that I like, but not love. I used to rely heavily on them when I was younger because my skin would break out and do all sorts of weird things, but thankfully I don’t have those issues anymore (Shakeology and water intake….my secrets to clear skin). Nowadays I rely on concealer to help me when I don’t get enough sleep and have pesky under eye circles.

I chose this particular concealer set to review because I have been curious about the color correcting formulas that I have seen on the market and thought it could be a great cost effective solution for someone in need of a great concealer.

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Three colors for me to try!

Here’s the skinny on color correction: you may think the different colors look funny in their tubes, but they actually have a purpose. Ipsy shared this graphic with their followers awhile back, and I think it is great for breaking it down.

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Photo courtesy of Ipsy

The LA Girl concealer set I reviewed for this piece includes orange, yellow, and green concealers, colors I felt would be best for me to try out. I specifically chose to try them out for the first time on a day when I had very little sleep and woke up looking a bit wretched, and I tried out all three colors since I had a tiny bit of redness, too.


Initial thoughts: What the heck is this???? The orange color made me look strange, and I was worried the green hue would show through any foundation. The yellow was closer to what I was used to, and I applied that after I had blended in the orange hue (Note: I used a blending sponge for this). Once blended I didn’t look as scary with the colors and applied my Kat Von D Foundation and Ben Nye Banana Powder as I usually would. You can see my before and after using the concealers below. The photo on the left: zero makeup up; the right photo features the blended concealers, foundation, and powder.


I liked this product….I really did…but I am not sure if it worked any better than the Nyx concealer I typically use. Using three concealers instead of one is a bit more maintenance, but if you are someone seriously struggles with redness, dark spots, or blue tones I truly think this product will help you. I just didn’t have enough of those issues going on to truly see a difference.

The good thing about the product: the price. I purchased all three for about $9, which is great. La Girl is also a product line relatively easy to find…you can purchase it at Walmart, Drugstore.com, even Amazon.

FINAL VERDIT: Semi-Sparkle!!!!!

Off to find some fabulous products to review for June!

sparkleon

 

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April Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

Ok, first of all……I know…I know. It is mid May, and I am just now posting my two product reviews for the month of April. Cut me some slack though….these first two weeks of May have been crazy busy since my husband and I closed on our house and started the moving in process (don’t worry, I’ll share more on that later).

I am fortunate to have a lot of really talented friends in the makeup industry, so I always enjoy chatting about new products with them. The two I am reviewing today are two that have come up quite frequently  in conversation lately and both have  been presented with mixed reviews. Some people love them, some hate them….it was time for me to see for myself.

Product #1: Elf Makeup Mist

For a long time I questioned whether or not I really needed a setting spray to hold my makeup in place. Honestly, I thought it would do absolutely nothing for my face and possibly ruin my makeup, so I avoided using it.

During one of my photo shoots the makeup artist I was using misted my makeup with a setting spray from Urban Decay and my eyes lit up…..we all know that Urban Decay is my #1. I loved how it helped my makeup stay in place longer and, in my opinion, really helped cut down on that shine that happens sometimes if you have a cute T-zone like I do. At $21.00 a bottle was this really worth it? In my opinion, no, so I skipped it. When it comes to spending money on makeup, I believe some items are worth the higher price tag; a setting spray is not one of them.

I am a huge lover of the brand ELF, which is sold at Target and Walmart stores, for many reasons. Not only is it affordable (products range from $1-$10 or so), but their products are pretty darn awesome for the price tag. The majority of my makeup brushes are from their black collection, and while I was at Target to grab a few new ones I happened to notice their makeup mist, an item that I had chatted with some friends about not long before. It was time to give this little $3 bottle a try to see how she stood up to that $21 Urban Decay spray I had fallen in love with.

It. Is. Fabulous.

For a misting spray, it is light and doesn’t knock me out when I spray. It dries pretty much immediately and I felt held my makeup just as well as the Urban Decay item did. The good thing about mists? You don’t need much, so for $3, this bottle can last you a long time, giving you many many days of long lasting flawless makeup. I also noticed that my T zone shine didn’t show up as soon either! Score!

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!!
Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.43.28 PMProduct #2: Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Eye Palette

Kat Von D won me over around the time of my wedding when I finally realized that her Lock It Foundation was the best thing around in the world of foundations. Prior to that I had not given her makeup a chance for reasons unknown.

I’m always a little worried about giving a new eye shadow palette a try because I rely so heavily on my loves from Urban Decay and Too Faced. This palette was one that some of my pals loved and some hated. I knew one thing: I was the first completely matte palette that I had stumbled across and considered, so what the heck…..let’s give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised! The colors in the palette are great basic shades, and if you are someone who loves a matte finish, this is the palette you want. The quality of the shadows is great, too….rich pigments that stay on and are great to blend.

For me, I don’t usually do all matte. I know someone out there in the makeup world will tell me that you shouldn’t do a shimmery eye after 30, but whatever. I make my own rules and love shimmer/glitter/sparkle……and I will for-ev-er (in a Sandlot voice). Lately I have been using this palette for the bulk of my eye, and then I add a little pop of shimmer from another palette depending on the look I am going for that day.

Here’s a quick tutorial on the colors I love best and how I use this palette for a fun low key look! Overall, I think this is a great palette to add to your collection. Check it out!

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle!!!!

I love when products go two for two in the sparkle category!

sparkleon

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March Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

March was the month that I was determined to try one of the products I have been hearing about by Tony Moly, a brand I that I love and have written about before.I am constantly hearing about products that help get rid of dark eye circles, and after our cruise I was in need of something to help me with mine. Let’s be honest…I didn’t exactly sleep much and had some serious raccoon eyes going on.

Product #1: Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Eye Patch

I’ve always wondered if these kinds of products work, and to be honest, I really haven’t needed to try them in the past. Sleep is something that is very important to me, and I’ve always used an eye cream that I believe helped if I had a night where I didn’t get as much sleep (my favorite is Benefit’s It’s Potent Eye Cream). Of course I forgot my eye cream on the cruise……it was the only thing I forgot! Pair the missing eye cream with all of those late nights/early mornings on the ship…..and you get these lovely sight. Hello, bags! And these bags sure as hell aren’t designer.

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The day we got home from the cruise I decided to enjoy a bubble bath and try these panda things. One pair comes in this cute little packaging, and when I opened the package up I have to be honest….I was already not interested. The eye patches felt like slimy seaweed, and I didn’t like that I had to wear them for fifteen minutes. Without cutouts for my eyeballs these instantly made me want to fall asleep….and in a Lush bath bomb bubble bath, that is already pretty easy to do.

After fifteen minutes (I set my phone alarm to make sure I followed the directions perfectly), I ripped the panda patches off of my eyes and hopped out of the tub with the hopes to see absolutely no remnants of my sleepless cruise.

Not the case.

Below is the Before and After photos. Can you tell the difference? Yeah, I can’t either.
FINAL VERDICT: DULL

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Product #2: Gwen Stefani Blush Palette

We all know I love Urban Decay, so when they introduced the limited edition Gwen Stefani Blush Palette, I was pumped! I’m a HUGE Gwen fan! However, it has been my experience that product collaborations with celebrities are terrible, and I was worried that this would be the case again, thus causing a ripple effect where my obsession with Gwen would change.

Since my go to blush was already an Urban Decay product I figured that this palette was worth a shot. And then I received the email that sealed the deal: for one day only Ulta was selling the Gwen palette 50% off! Don’t you just love when they have one day deals??!?!?!? I sure do.

This palette does not disappoint one bit! Here’s what’s in it:

4 blush colors: Cherry, Angel, Hush, and Easy
1 bronzer: LoFi
1 highligher: OC

I’ve been using the color Easy (the one in the middle, top row) and LOVE it, but I have to admit…all of the colors are great. I’ve tried each on their own as well as used the highlighter and bronzer to contour with the color Easy. The colors stay put (Urban Decay is known for 8 hour+ wear with their blush colors), and they are light and sheer. Plus they are packaged into a cute little black/white/gold case that Gwen designed herself. Score!

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

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Moral of the story: Gwen rules at everything she does and Pandas should stay away from face products.

sparkleon

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