Monday, July 24, 2017

Golden Sugar 2 Rose Gold Ultra Blush Palette by Makeup Revolution

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I purchased the Golden Sugar 2 Rose Gold blush palette ($10) by Makeup Revolution last August, so I guess it's about time to give it a review. I mean, a year should be enough time to form a firm impression ;-)
This is my first (and only to date) Makeup Revolution product, so I don't have much experience with the brand. They are one of several brands owned by the parent company Tam Beauty, and an "About Us" section on their website says "we love disrupting the traditional beauty world with innovative and fast, exciting beauty brands."
Factor in the uber reasonable prices, and I can see the appeal. Of course, if the quality isn't there, that's a deal breaker, but plenty of drugstore priced brands are giving more mid to high end range brands a run for their money.
This particular palette has two blushes, one bronzer and 5 shimmery shades that can work as highlighters or eyeshadows, especially in the case of the darker bronze shimmer shade. None of them have names and I've swatched them left to right, starting at the top and ending with the bronzer on the bottom far right.
The least pigmented is the first shade, a pale mauve pink matte blush.  It's pretty and makes for a natural looking blush, but it took the most work to build up color when swatching. The other blush is the 4th shade on top, and it's a matte with micro shimmer, and my favorite of the blushes. I quite like the tan bronzer shade also, as it works well on fair skin and does not lean too orange.
The dark bronze shimmer shade has silver micro-glitter in the mix, and it's the one shade that I never use. I really need to try it as an eye shadow, as it swatched really well.
The highlight shades are all really pretty, with good pigmentation and smooth shimmer that looks nice on the skin. I think the range of colors is quite nice and I've got to say that I reach for this palette frequently. The only drawback for me is that the formula of the pressed powders (blushes and bronzer) contain mineral oil, which I associate with cheap makeup formulas.  The baked powders (which I'm assuming are the shimmers) do not contain mineral oil.
Overall, I think this is a really pretty palette at a great price! I've not been enticed yet to purchase any other Makeup Revolution products, but I've got to say this has definitely been a positive introduction to the brand.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lipstick Roulette v. 6: What I'm Keeping and What I'm Tossing

Time to review the 7 lip items I randomly selected for v. 6 of my Lipstick Roulette series and see what I'm keeping and what I'm tossing! If you are not familiar with this concept, I learned about it from Elle S on YouTube, and it's where you rotate through your collection with the ultimate goal of decluttering the items that are no longer working for you. I'm finding it quite useful, as I'm revisiting lots of items that have been languishing untouched for quite a while.
  1. True Love Lipsurgence Lip Gloss by Tarte
  2. All Gold E'rything Be Legendary Lip Gloss by Smashbox (LE, discontinued)
  3. Bold Blush 420 Pop Balm by L'Oreal
  4. 523 Flash Lacquer by Giorgio Armani Beauty
  5. Venezia Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick by stila
  6. Miami Lipstick by Buxom (discontinued)
  7. Julie Lip Gloss by Buxom 
True Love
I acquired True Love ($19) by Tarte in a FabFitFun box if I remember correctly, and it's a sheer but nicely pigmented watermelon gloss with shimmer. I like the formula, as it's glossy without being too sticky, and wears comfortably for a good 2-3 hours. True Love is similar to the Armani 523 Lip Lacquer - perhaps not as a glossy. The shimmer is not super obvious but does make it slightly different than 523, and it's a keeper.
All Gold E'rything
All Gold E'rything over Toujours Heureux by Paul & Joe Beaute
All Gold E'rything is a gold shimmer gloss from the Santigolden Age collection from Smashbox, circa 2014. It works best as a topper over lipstick, as on it's own it does not supply much color. I don't have many gold shimmer lip toppers and I like it, so I will be keeping this one.
Bold Blush
Bold Blush with Julie by Buxom
The L'Oreal Pop Balm in Bold Blush (~$6) is a product that looks only so so on it's own, so I typically top it with a gloss. That seems to smooth out the color better, which has a tendency to gather in my lip lines otherwise. Once it's smoothed out with a gloss it's quite pretty, so it gets to stay :-)

523 Flash Lacquer
I think the Giorgio Armani Lip Lacquer in 523 ($32) is stunning with it's juicy watermelon pink glossiness. It has enough color to wear on it's own, although I imagine it could take lipsticks to another level as well. Definitely a keeper.
Venezia Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick by Stila ($22) is a neon bright orange red that definitely makes a statement. I quite like it, although I wasn't crazy about it with the darker eye above. I think a natural eye look with Venezia would be a great hot weather look, and I will be keeping it. The formula was relatively comfortable for a matte liquid lipstick and my lips were none the worse for the wear.
Miami is a discontinued matte lipstick by Buxom, and it's my kind of color. I loved how it looked when freshly applied, but after only a few hours of wear it was a hot mess of patchy, blotchy, faded color. Perhaps it's past it's prime, as it is several years old, and it's getting tossed.
Julie over Nudite lip pencil (Le Metier de Beaute)
Julie by Buxom is a sheer peachy gloss, and I think the one I have is an older version as the current Julie gloss is described as a juicy watermelon and is a vibrant pink.  My version is rather nondescript and works best over lipsticks, and I've paired it with the Nudite lip pencil from Le Metier de Beaute above. I do love the Buxom gloss formula so will be hanging on to Julie, as it is still good despite its age. So, out of these seven items I'm only tossing one!

Now, here are the seven new items I randomly selected for v. 7 of Lipstick Roulette.
  1. Blanche by Buxom (discontinued)
  2. Crowd Pleaser Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss by bareMinerals
  3. Passion Fruit Luminous Gloss by Chantecaille
  4. Glazed Berry Different Lipstick by Clinique (field casualty)
  5. Scarlet Blaze Color Design Lipstick by Lancome (field casualty)
  6. Sahara Hydra Creme Lipstick by Le Metier de Beaute
  7. Palm Beach by Cargo Cosmetics
  8. Copenhagen Soft Matte Lip Cream by nyx
  9. 400 Lip Maestro by Giorgio Armani
I accidently knocked the table while taking pictures, and Glazed Berry and Scarlet Blaze fell into the dirt. I'm pretty sure I would have tossed both anyhow, although I wore Scarlet Blaze yesterday topped with Blanche and it looked quite pretty, so that one might have made the cut. Sadly, it's now a casualty of my clumsiness. C'est la vie, between the mosquitoes, high humidity that fogs my camera as soon as I step outside, and now this, it's always something :-)
Scarlet Blaze topped with Blanche

Friday, July 14, 2017

NYX Night Glow and Sweet Cloud Lid Lingerie Eye Tints

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
I've got a weakness for cream eye shadows, and the NYX Lid Lingerie Eye Tints are reasonably priced at $6.99 and have gotten some pretty good reviews, so I decided to try out a couple.  Specifically, the taupe Night Glow and the rose gold Sweet Cloud. Let's see how that turned out!
To begin with, you are getting a decent amount of product (.13 oz) in the tube, although I can't say I've actually finished a cream eye shadow to date.
The wands have a dip in the tips that collects the shadow, and I typically have to wipe some off in order to not deposit too much on my eye. Alternatively, you could put some on the back of your hand and use it as a palette, which is what I usually do with using a brush to apply shadow along my lower lash line.
The lid tints are described as "seductively sheer" on Ulta's site, and you can in the swatch of Night Glow that it is not completely opaque. However, it did not apply patchy on my lids and I was easily able to get smooth color using a cream shadow brush (Sephora Collection, now discontinued) to smooth out the pigment.
Sweet Cloud does have some glitter in the mix and has more of a metallic finish that Night Glow. It is also more opaque right off the bat than Night Glow, which may be why it translates as more metallic. Gorgeous color and super easy to use!
Both shades wear very well over primer on my oily lids and I experienced no creasing or smudging over the course of a very long day (10+ hrs). Considering you can usually find NYX on sale, I'd say these are a great bargain cream eye shadow!
I'm curious as to how these differ from NYX's previous cream eye shadows that I remember trying about 4 years back (swatches below), but I'm unable to find an ingredient list to compare the two. There were 20 shades of those, although I see that NYX has just released a matte version of the Lid Lingeries, which brings the shade count to 24 (12 shimmers, 12 mattes). Interesting.
From top to bottom:  Suede, Chocolate, Aqua, Pinky Beige

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 17

Time for the 17th week of my #365 Days of Samples series (inspired by Elle S on YouTube), where I'm trying to make a dent in my overflowing box of samples. I finished 7 samples this week, including one deluxe sample and a full sized item that I've been working on quite a while! Some of these products are great and two are duds, so let's investigate.
The Farmhouse Fresh Agave Nector Body Oil ($18) and Sweet Cream Body Lotion ($28) are tried and true favorites, and I enjoyed using both together. I like to use body oils on shower damp skin, followed by a body cream to seal everything in, and these are two I would definitely use again.
Collection Rouge No. 1 by M. Micallef (~$74-$242, depending on site) was launched in 2013 and is categorized as a fruity floral, with notes of peach, tangerine ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, white musk, vanilla and benzoin. While it smells nice at first spray, on dry down it goes both sharp and stale on me. Could be my body chemistry, but this is not for me so I will not be finishing the vial.
The Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum ($38) for fine to medium hair goes way back to week 4 of this series, which was in March. I had a surplus of hair samples to get through before this one, which took a good 2 months to finish. Per the web site, here are the claims for the serum:
  • System MOISTURIZES to help PROTECT chemically damaged hair FROM BREAKAGE during brushing, styling, grooming process by up to 94%
  • System REDUCES STATIC FLYAWAY by up to 71% in low humidity
  • System REDUCES FRIZZ and IMPROVES STYLE RETENTION (AFTER STRAIGHTENING) up to 28% AFTER 8 HOURS in 70% relative humidity (high humidity)
  • System REDUCES VOLUME, WITHOUT HEAT, by up to 48%
  • System IMPROVES SHINE up to 3x
My main impression was that it did not weigh my hair down at all and did help with detangling. I wash my hair every other day and used about a dime size for my short hair. I also used the amount in the picture above on dry hair and it did not make my hair clump together or look/feel oily.  A con for me was I didn't really care for the fragrance, but it's not a deal breaker.  The price is, however, as I can't see spending $38 for a serum that is primarily silicones (Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hippophea Rhamonoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, Fragrance).
The Flawless Skin Fluid by Doctor D. Schwab ($38) is a lightweight natural ingredient based facial moisturizer. I had never heard of it before receiving it in a FabFitFun subscription box, and I've got to say I'm impressed! It has a slight shimmer that helps illuminate the skin and I thought it did a good job of hydrating my oily skin. It wears well under makeup and played nice with my other skincare products, which is something I really appreciate. 
Ingredients of note include shea butter, royal jelly, sweet almond oil, sodium hyaluronate, niacin, grape fruit cell extract, hops extract, sage extract, and rosehip fruit extract (to name just a few). I would considering purchasing this, although I did think the tube was a deluxe sized sample at 1 ounce, but no, that's the full size. I used it primarily in the mornings and it lasted two months.
This shampoo by the Japanese brand DHC is designed to solve oily hair issues at the scalp level utilizing ingredients such as algae extract and licorice while collagen, olive oil and eucalyptus moisturize and condition hair. It says it is safe for color treated hair, but it does containe sodium laurel sulfate as the 2nd ingredients, so.....I did like it and thought it did a good job of removing product buildup while leaving hair soft and shiny. It's a bit pricey at $17 a bottle (although it's a hefty 17.5 oz bottle) so I won't be purchasing, but I would gladly use any other samples that come my way.
The second item that I was not enamored with was the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation.  I wore it twice and used 3 of the colors (light neutral, light medium sand, and medium honey for contour), but it was too heavy for my liking. It's billed as full coverage so that's no fault of it's own, but I'm more of a BB/CC cream wearer.
Now, let's see the next batch of samples I randomly selected for week 17 of #365 Days of Samples! I'll list the new items first, followed by those I'm still working on.

  1. Deva Curl Buildup Buster Gentle Deep Cleansing Serum (deluxe sample)
  2. Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Cream (deluxe sample)
  3. Tarte 911 Under Eye Rescue Patches (1 pair)
  4. Deva Curl Waves Ahead Low-Poo Delight (deluxe sample)
  5. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (foil)
  6. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact with SPF 50+ (deluxe sample)
  7. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream (foil)
  8. Bio Lifting Cream + Aromacologie by Chantecaille (deluxe sample)
  9. Nectarine Rose Moisturizing Body Lotion by Ulta 
  10. Ulta Beauty Mattifying Balm (deluxe sample)
  11. Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack (deluxe sample)
  12. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (foil)
  13. Sunshine Oil by Milk Makeup (deluxe sample)