Tag Archives: #makeupaddict

June: Sparkle or Dull?

When it comes to the beauty items I review, I always try my best to not just review the higher end brands but also the cheaper items that can easily be found at your local drug store. Some of the cheaper products I have reviewed have become staples in my makeup collection, beating out those that are more expensive by a long shot….and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t excite me! It’s always a great thing to save money!

Last July I reviewed a waterproof eyeliner by Stila (read that review here) after having a disastrous time with the cheapo eyeliner I had been using for awhile. I loved it…it was essentially an easy to use magic marker for my eye, and it stayed on like a champ. However, one negative thing about it…..well, about me….is that I use A LOT of eyeliner, and I felt I was going through this pen like crazy. At a little over $20 per eyeliner, I wanted to see if I could find a more cost effective product.

Product #1: Nyx Super Skinny Eye Marker

Whenever I am trying to find a more cost effective beauty product, one of my go to brands is always Nyx. Nyx can be found at Ulta, but also Target, Walmart, and various drug stores. Ulta often has buy one Nyx item, get one half off, so I timed this purchase up with another Nyx purchase (Im a huge fan of their HD powder), making it about $5.

As I mentioned, I loved that the Stila pen was like a large marker…that helps with precision when drawing on your eyeliner and also draws on a cleaner line in my opinion. Since this item had “marker” in the title, I figured it would be a great one to try.

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For starters, I wanted to share with you the two side by side. Not only is the Nyx product cheaper, but it is larger. I like that. I like that a lot. Once you remove the lid, the items look basically identical. Like Stila, the Nyx liner comes in a variety of colors for those of you not into jet black liner like I am.

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I was really impressed by this product. Everything I loved about the Stila liner I loved with this one as well. The only negative: the color wasn’t as bold as the Stila, but it was still enough for me to be satisfied…I think I’m just used to that super black in your face color.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle! Use the money you save by buying this product and hook yourself up with something else fun!

Product #2: Elf Makeup Remover Pen

Elf is a lower cost brand that is right up there with Nyx. I’ve reviewed their products many times before and am always pleased. They are extremely affordable, great quality, and can be found in most stores, including Target and Walmart.

A while back I was watching a youtube tutorial when the girl in it mentioned she always carried an Elf makeup remover pen with her. Surprisingly, I had never heard of or tried this item, and immediately went to Target to snag one. At $2.99, I hoped this product was as good as she claimed.

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Here’s the thing with me: I know I know what’s going on with makeup application, and during the application process I rarely make a mistake. Buuuutttt……I always seem to sneeze right after I put on my mascara and/or lashes, so I am constantly ending up with black dots or lines that aren’t attractive. Sometimes this means having to redo the entire eye, which is such a pain in the ass. I hoped this product would be a little lifesaver. Fortunately for me the day I wanted to try this product I went on a sneezing binge.

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See those cute black dots? Thanks mascara/liner/whatever. Instead of freaking out, I opened up my makeup remover pen and simply ran it over the mess. It immediately was gone. There was a very small area that needed touched up….easy with a little concealer…..but other than that my eyes were safe from destruction.

The only negative thing I see with some Elf products: they don’t last nearly as long as others. I’ve only used this pen a handful of times and am wondering how much life it has left…I’m guessing I’ll know the answer this week when I take it to New Orleans and will be using it for photo shoots and other fun things.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle. It’s definitely something you want to have on hand for emergencies and can save you a lot of makeup aggravation.

I always love 2/2 months! If you try these items, let me know….I always love hearing from you guys!

Hope your day (and beauty routine) is full of sparkle!

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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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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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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January: Sparkle Or Dull?

It is no secret that I love me some makeup.

I tend to accumulate a ton of beauty products….it’s almost like they multiply when I’m not looking (think of the scene from the movie Gremlins….it’s kind of like that).Because of this, and because of the fact that I just love to share my opinions on things, I’ve decided I will start doing a beauty review monthly on two products to determine whether they are worth buying or not.  I don’t know about you, but I purchase a lot of items based on reviews that people I know share, so my hope is that I can help you find some cool new things or save your money if something is downright terrible.

I’m not doing anything crazy with a rating system or anything like that. An item will either get the SPARKLE seal of approve from me, meaning you definitely should look into purchasing it for your collection. If I review a product as DULL that means it isn’t worth the money. Of course, these are strictly my opinions. I’m not compensated at all by the companies whose products I am reviewing. Therefore, the reviews are 100% Katetastic.

Let’s get to my January products.

Product #1: Thank Me Later Eye Primer

Back in December I fired Ipsy after they sent me pretty much the same stuff two months in a row. I love samples and all, but I don’t like getting the same stuff back to back, especially when they include products I won’t use like a gross seaweed mask (more on that another time). Anyway, my final bag with Ipsy included a primer by Elizabeth Mott called Thank Me Later that i finally decided to try. When it comes to primer, I have always had a difficult time. Some change the color of my eyeshadow, some make it impossible to blend eyeshadow, and some just make my eyeshadow look greasy and strange. For the past year or so I have been in a committed relationship with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and I must say….it will be difficult to break us up.

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I decided to try Thank Me Later for a few days on its own with my eyeshadow, and one day I used it on one eye while I used my Urban Decay on the other eye to compare. I have to be honest….I didn’t see a difference on the day I wore both brands. Thank Me Later has a good consistency to it, eyeshadow colors don’t change at all, and there was absolutely no creasing. The day I opted to wear it with the Urban Decay I wore my makeup for about thirteen hours, so I really put it to the test. It is similar in price to Urban Decay (about $20) for those of you wondering.

This is definitely a product worth investing in if you are looking for a primer (or if you hate Urban Decay). Will I make a change? Probably not. Had it blown me away, maybe. I liked it and all, but I have been loyal to my Urban Decay which never disappoints and since it was so similar, I will stick to what I know never lets me down.

Final Vote: SPARKLE.

Product #2: Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo

One of my all time favorite stores is Lush……I’ve written about my love for their bath bombs in the past….and their lip balm….I just love them and think they are a solid company. If you don’t know much about their company or philosophy, check them out.

Earlier in the month my mother got to experience Lush for the first time when she and my aunt came to town for a concert and decided to do a little shopping before the show. Of course she fell in love with the bath bombs, but I fell in love with a product she purchased for me while there: Lush’s No Drought Dry Shampoo.

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If you recall, a few months back I wrote about dry shampoo and a few of my favorite brands. Both of the ones I wrote about came in aerosol cans and contain butane and propane, two ingredients that not every wants on their hair or can have in their hair. If you fall in this category, check out No Drought by Lush. This dry shampoo is made up of various oils and fresh ingredients, such as grapefruit oil and lime oil (if you click the link above you can visit the Lushopedia to learn exactly what every ingredient is), so not only is it a great chemical free option, but it smells incredible. I personally love the smell of grapefruit, so this is makes me very happy. I have been using this for a few weeks now and can report that I don’t need to use as much product, meaning more bang for the buck.  Is this product enough to make me fire my Batiste and Big Sexy? Absolutely.

Final Vote: SPARKLE!

Never let a product dull your sparkle. Fortunately, this month, neither do.

sparkleon

 

 

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