Wednesday, March 28, 2012

MAC Tres Cheek and Extra Dimension Swatches

Hey Dolls! Today I have a treat for you! The MAC Tres Cheek and In Extra Dimension collections launch in-store next Thursday, April 5th, but I have swatches for you today!

The Tres Cheek collection includes 6 springtime blushes that are super pigmented.

I think all these colors are super pigmented and perfect for the spring/summer. The shades are:

  • Pink Tea - Neutral beige pink (Satin)
  • Lovecloud - Bright mid-tone pink (Satin)
  • Peony Petal - Bright blue pink (Satin)
  • Modern Mandarin - Red-orange (Satin)
  • Immortal Flower - Bright peach (Satin)
  • Full of Joy - Lavender (Frost)

Here are the swatches:

Top: Pink Tea, Modern Mandarin, Immortal Flower
Bottom: Lovecloud, Peony Petal, Full of Joy

Top: Pink Tea, Modern Mandarin, Immortal Flower
Bottom: Lovecloud, Peony Petal, Full of Joy

Top: Pink Tea, Modern Mandarin, Immortal Flower
Bottom: Lovecloud, Peony Petal, Full of Joy

Although the pinks aren't that unique, Modern Mandarin and Full of Joy aren't shades we see frequently so I think they will definitely sell out. My personal favorites are Modern Mandarin, Pink Tea, and Lovecloud. I do want to mention that the Reel Sexy collection also launches on the same day and includes two blushes, Pink Cult and Magenta, which look just ok in the pan, but are beautiful on. Unfortunately, I don't have swatches of those, but if you like blush you have to check those out too! (I almost like those shades better than these!)

The In Extra Dimension collection includes 3 skinfinishes that are multi-use highlight powders. The texture of these is completely different from mineralize skinfinishes. These skinfinishes are are super smooth, almost creamlike, metallic powders with an extremely shimmery finish. The good part is they are not glittery. The collection also includes 12 shadows with a similar texture and finish. 

Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish

Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish

Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish

Here are swatches of the 3 skinfinishes:

L-R: Whisper of Gilt, Superb, Glorify
(top row is blended, bottom is a heavy swatch)

L-R: Whisper of Gilt, Superb, Glorify
(top row is blended, bottom is a heavy swatch)

L-R: Whisper of Gilt, Superb, Glorify
(top row is blended, bottom is a heavy swatch)

These skinfinishes are described as liquid-powder highlighters that are supposed to wear 10 hours. I haven't worn them on my skin so I can't vouch for that. These are each 9g and cost $29. A regular mineralize skinfinish (MSF) has 10g and costs the same, so these new ones are pretty on par with the MSFs. Because these are so shimmery, less is more, but I think these new skinfinishes are a fun new multi-purpose product.

Are any of these products on your wish-list?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20 Review

Enabled by fellow blogger Suka and Spice, I decided I needed the Josie Maran Argan Matchmaster Powder Foundation SPF 20 in my life.

This powder foundation is self-adjusting, so it goes on white and changes color to match your skin tone. It really is pretty amazing how this works! The powder goes on white then transforms as the product is blended.

I like that it has a separate compartment for the sponge applicator and also includes a mirror.

I was skeptical whether or not this would work for me because it only comes in 3 shades. The middle shade Light/Medium seemed like the obvious choice, but when I swatched it at Sephora it was way too orange for my NC25 skin. The lightest shade Fair/Light was a touch lighter than my wrist so I went with that. It turns out that the color is actually a great match for me, so I wonder if it really is suitable for very fair skin tones. It is pretty neutral in tone, neither too warm or too cool.

Swatch straight from the sponge


Isn't it cool how the powder magically blends into the color of my skin? In terms of application, the product does powder up a lot, especially when you use a brush. I prefer to just use the sponge applicator included in the compact. However, since the white parts of the powder are not evenly distributed throughout the compact, the sponge sometimes picks up too much white and requires more blending so it doesn't look ashy.

The feel of this powder foundation is what I really love. It is super silky and my skin feels so soft afterwards. The SPF 20 makes this a perfect swipe and go face product for those days when one is running late or in a rush. The coverage is light - enough to even out the skin tone but not enough to hide blemishes or dark spots. This would be a great summer/beach day foundation. However, and this is a big however, this powder does not last all day. It starts fading after about 4-5 hours. I wore this a few times and when I used a makeup wipe to remove my makeup at the end of the day, the wipe was practically white...there was so little face makeup on that there was nothing left to remove! This was the case even when I used a face primer underneath. Therefore, this powder foundation is going back. Although I really liked how this looked and felt on my skin, I need something that will last all day, and unfortunately, this isn't it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blending Shadows

There are some shadows that I can always rely on to help with blending...these are what I like to call blending shadows. I use these shades to blend harsh edges, to create a gradient for smokey looks when going from a dark color on the lid to a light color on the browbone, and correcting mistakes. Sure, I use these for other purposes too, like on the lid or in the crease, but I use them most for blending and bringing a look together.

Top: Orb, Wedge
Middle: Soft Brown, Texture
Bottom: Cork, Espresso

Yes, all of these shades are from MAC. I really believe that MAC does the best neutrals. They have a HUGE range of shades, finishes, and tones. 

L-R: Orb, Wedge, Soft Brown, Texture, Cork, & Espresso

I know what you are thinking, these all look very warm. Perhaps, but bringing warmth to the eyes really brightens the eye area. Plus, my philosophy is like that of Bobbi Brown: all skin tones naturally have warm tones in them, so warm colors are very complementary.

My absolute favorite for myself is Texture. This shade works wonders for medium-dark skin tones and also looks great on mature skin (especially auntie types). I highly recommend all these shades, whether or not you use them for blending.

Do you use and love any of these? What is your favorite blending shadow?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara Review

With a name like Extreme Party Mascara, I expected Bobbi Brown's latest mascara formulation to give me that va-va-voom that I always crave.

The brush seemed promising: large, full, lots of bristles, and easy to use. Even the application was a breeze, and there was no smudging or clumping.

So are you ready to see my extreme party lashes?

Lashes with no mascara

Lashes with Extreme Party Mascara

Wah. Wah. Waah. 

You might be thinking they look pretty good, but that isn't the mascara as much as the fact that I curled my lashes. The mascara didn't add any drama or length....there was nothing extreme or party-like about it. I thought maybe this would be decent to use up for day-today use for casual outings. But, this mascara didn't hold the curl for more than 3-4 hours. After that time my lashes looked like their naked selves again. 

Thanks Bobbi, but I will pass on this one. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Body Shop Wise Woman Vitality Serum Review

I know, I know, I haven't been the best blogger this past week. Life was just super busy and although I snapped a bunch of pics in hopes of writing some posts, I kept getting sidetracked. But this week will be better!

I always use a serum before my moisturizer, both in the morning and evening, and since they long discontinued my favorite Lancome Cell Defense, I have been forced to search the market for something just as effective and suitable. That search led me to The Body Shop Wise Vitality Serum. 

The reason I picked this up is because it is not that expensive, $36 for 1oz. However, since The Body Shop always has sales you can often get this for an even better price. The online reviews were pretty good, and since this seemed good for mature skin I thought it would be good since for me (since mature skin is inherently dry skin and I have very dry skin, especially during winter).

The serum itself is clear and very fluid-like. It absorbs quickly without feeling sticky or leaving behind any residue. Although this felt good on the skin, it didn't do anything positive for me. I used up the whole thing, which lasted about 2 months which 2x/day use. Even though I knew I wouldn't see any dramatic change, like wrinkles going away, most good serums at the very least give my skin some luminosity and brightness. I really saw no improvement in my skin whatsoever, not even in terms of moisture retention. I will definitely not re-purchase this.

So back to the drawing board. Do you have any good serum recommendations?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Per-fekt Brow Perfection Gel Review

The last time I ordered something from Sephora I chose my free samples, and with just my luck, they sent me completely different samples. It all worked out though because I ended up liking a product I never would have thought of trying: Per-fekt Beauty Per-fekt Brow Perfection Gel:

I tried the Caramel shade, which is a dark brown color.
First off, the product is natural and doesn't have any of the bad stuff: 

- No Parabens
- No Sulfates
- No Synthetic Fragrances
- No Synthetic Dyes
- No Petrochemicals
- No Phthalates
- No GMOs
- No Triclosan

This is also supposed to be transfer-resistant, smudge-resistant, water-resistant, and sweat-resistant. I didn't go swimming with it or anything, but I found that this brow gel did last all day without fading or smudging.

The brush is really great and adds enough color without being clumpy or looking fake. The product dries to a natural finish, without looking glossy. This is one of the better brow gels I have tried, though it is pricey at $22 for 0.15 oz. There are 4 shades available, which I think are good enough to match any hair color. Overall, I think this is a good product for taming and filling in brows. If you have very sparse brows or literally have to draw them in with a pencil then this might not be for you.

Have you tried anything from Per-fekt?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

21 Days of Makeup Deals!

Starting today is the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta!! Woohoo!!!

So what does that mean? For the next 21 days there will be special promotions, free gifts, and beauty events at Ulta stores and on Also, everyday there will be one Beauty Steal, and today's deal is the Too Faced Naked Eye Palette for $20 (retail $36). Click on this 21 Days of Beauty link for all the latest on this beauty event.

Do let me know if you get any good deals or attend any cool beauty sessions! Happy Shopping!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Makeup Health Alert: Does Your Favorite Lipstick Have Lead In It?

In December of last year, the FDA published the expanded version of a study in which they tested 400 lipsticks, form drugstore to high-end, for lead content. I know we have all heard that lead in cosmetics is really bad for you, but is it really a safety concern? Well, here is what the FDA said:

"Although we do not believe that the lead content found in our recent lipstick analyses poses a safety concern, we are evaluating whether there may be a need to recommend an upper limit for lead in lipstick in order to further protect the health and welfare of consumers."

That being said, if you want to find out whether your favorite lipstick tops the list for lead content, click here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Sue Devitt Face of the Day with Product Reviews and Swatches

A few months ago I wrote about my love for the Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil in Kenya, and I was fortunate enough to recently receive the olive green color Bangalore, along with a few other Sue Devitt goodies:

Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil in Bangalore

Just like with Kenya, the Bangalore shadow pencil is opaque enough that it can be used as a liner or shadow, and is a quick and easy way to add some color to the eyes. The Eye Intensifier Pencils are creamy, easy to blend, and when used with a primer they last all day. 

Sue Devitt Gel-to-Powder Blush in Marion Reef

This is definitely my favorite product of the bunch. I mentioned it in last month's favorites, and this is a standout product. When you touch the blush it feels like a creamy gel and is soft and very easy to blend. When you start blending it on the cheek it starts to settle in to a powder but without being ashy or cakey. This property really allows the product to look natural on the skin and it lasts all day. The product itself is very pigmented and can be sheered out or layered for more intense color. I usually layer powder blushes on top of cream blushes but I don't have to with this one. I also like that the packaging is very slim and has a mirror....perfect for traveling.

Sue Devitt Lip Enhancing Gloss in Golden Triangle and Costa Del Sol

According to the Sue Devitt Website, these glosses contain Marine Filling Spheres that are supposed to "smooth out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and work in tandem with Peptides that promote collagen production." All four shades are sheer and give the lips a smooth, full appearance. Personally, these are nice, but nothing special. I like that the gloss formula is non-sticky and the brush applicator holds a lot of product so the bristles don't splay like some brush applicators do. I didn't notice any plumping effect or anything extraordinary. On my lips, this gloss lasted only 2ish hours. I also think the tube is a little hefty compared to most gloss tubes, and considering how sleek the blush packaging is, this is not sleek at all.

L-R: Kenya shadow, Kenya blended, Marion Reef blush, Marion Reef blended, Costa Del Sol gloss, and Golden Triangle gloss

Here are snaps of the shadow, blush, and Costa Del Sol gloss in action:

Bangalore Eye Intensifier Pencil with no primer

Bangalore Eye Intensifier Pencil 7 hours later

You can see how badly the Eye Intensifier Pencil creased when worn by itself. When used over a primer this shadow lasts all day without fading or creasing. 

Overall, I really like the Eye Intensifier Pencils and the Gel-to-Powder Blush. The glosses are meh. I have only seen Sue Devitt cosmetics in-person at Macys, but they might be available at other retailers too. You can also purchase them online on the Sue Devitt Website, which is currently offering a free Eye Intensifier Pencil in Golden Triangle, an exotic jungle green, with any $25 purchase. 

Disclaimer: The products in this post were provided by PR for consideration. As always, my thoughts and review reflect my honest opinions. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Beauty Blog Link Love

Beautifully Addicted To.... shows you how to create">Galaxy Nails.

Musicalhouses takes a look at Benefit's latest boxed blush offering,">Benefit Hervana!

Tigers get frisky on Valentine's Day as Addicted to Beauty enjoys">London Zoo's viral campaign. 

At Musing on Beauty, Mariella tries two of the">Edward Bess Quad Royale and is positively surprised!

Dry skin got you down? Kajal Couture lets you in on an AMAZING new">body moisturizer collection from Burts Bees.

Beautywoome's response to the Kate Upton's Sports Illustrated cover is that">real boobs have rights too!

Valentine's Day may be over, but here at">My Funny Valentine, we love pink lippies all year round!

The Pink Sith has found yet another TAUPE eyeshadow to drool over.  This time it's">Rouge Bunny Rouge Loose Glitter Pigment in Caress Of Mink!

Curious about the new">NARS Cosmetics Spring Collection? Check out Krasey Beauty's swatches and review!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed would like to escape the cold weather for a resort. But, since that's not happening, she's brought it to her fingers with the">essie Resort Collection! Check it out and see if it brings you warm thoughts too!

Looking for the ultimate baby pink lipstick? Amy Antoinette reviews">Clarins Joli Rouge Baby Pink Lipstick.

At theNotice, Rae takes you through">The BB Cream Breakdown, with bare-faced (!) and full-face swatch comparisons of Garnier and Marcelle's BB Cream offerings. 

Tracy at Beauty Reflections shares her">secret beauty habit and wants to know yours!

Has Pammy Blogs Beauty discovered a new Holy Grail eye shadow? Check out her review of L'Oreal's new">24 hour Infallible Eye Shadow in Iced Latte.

Phyrra debuts her first video tutorial of the year, a vibrant">sapphire blue look with Makeup Geek & Sugarpill.


Every woman wants soft, luscious, plump lips. Win a tube of">3Lab Perfect Lips from Prime Beauty and perfect YOUR pout!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 2012 Favorites

This February I discovered a couple amazing new (to me) products, and fell in love again with some classics:

1. Lush The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask - I have used this before and it's definitely my favorite mask from Lush. Although I can't vouch for its anti-aging benefits, this leaves my skin super soft, moisturized and smooth, not tight and dry. 

2. Gud by Burts Bees Hand Cream in Floral Cherrynova - I love how fast absorbing this cream is, yet it still manages to infuse a solid amount of moisture in my skin. When I use this at night I wake up with super soft hands. I love floral scents and this smells soooo fresh and floral, but there are other scents available too. My full review of this line is here

3. Sue Devitt Gel-to-Powder Blush in Marion Reef - This blush is AMAZING! It has a velvet feel to it and it applies like a gel/cream but sets on the face as a powder. It feels so silky and lasts ALL day on me. I normally layer powder blushes on top of cream blushes but I don't have to with this because it is so pigmented and long lasting. I will do a full review soon. 


4. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation - This is such a popular product in the blogosphere so I just had to try it for myself. My verdict? It does live up to the hype! Nars has done a great job with the shade selection and the formula sets beautifully. Although it is called sheer glow, it has medium coverage and a natural finish. I will do an in-depth review of this product too, but so far I am loving it.

5. Kirkland Makeup Wipes - I have re-discovered my love for makeup wipes and these are by far my favorite. I love the thick texture, the moistness of each towelette, the fact that one towelette removes ALL my makeup (including mascara and gel eyeliner) and the price! Check out my full review here

Hope you all had a great February! I am glad it's over because that means we are one month closer to spring and warm weather! Oh, and in other news, the Too Faced Vintage Sale started today so check out the Too Faced Website for some great deals on soon-to-be-discontinuted products and sets.


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