Tuesday, February 26, 2013

January Favorites

January Favorites

If you follow me on Pinterest you've probably seen my board of January favorites. I decided to write this post to go into a little more detail about why some of these things are my favorites.  To narrow it down, I only included makeup items in this post, but if you are interested in seeing brushes that made the cut too, you can view my Pinterest boards under MakeupMatters1

These were my top 5 favorite makeup items during the month of January:

#1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders: These setting powders really take your makeup look up a notch, making your face look as though it is always in the perfect lighting. I've worn one of these nearly every day since I purchased them. When I first got these, I thought they were highlighting powders. However, they truly work as an allover setting powder when used with a flat brush. I have never really seen a product like this before. It's unique and does exactly what it claims. Plus, these work on every skin tone, as they come in multiple shades. 

 Pictured Above: Diffused Light is a soft, warm pale yellow. This is great for neutralizing any redness

Pictured Above: Ethereal Light is a sheer opalescent, cool white powder.  This mimics a moonlit glow.
Pictured Above: Luminous Light is a champagne pearl powder that creates a candlelit glow

#2. Stila All You Need Is Love Cheek Palette: This blush palette contains four universally flattering shades that can be used individually or swirled together to create the perfect flush. I picked this up on my first trip to Ulta Beauty, and I'm really glad I did. This is the perfect blush for Spring, and even though there is still snow on the ground, I've been using this as my transition into the next season. I think it's just perfect in every way. It's compact, portable and very pretty both in the palette and on the cheek bones. 

#3. Too Faced The Secret To No Makeup Makeup Fresh & Flawless Face Palette: The "no makeup look" is a must for Spring. Mastering it is really easy with this palette. However, if you can't figure out how to use it, Too Faced cleverly inserted a How-To Glamour Guide which shows you three different looks you can achieve with the palette. I found myself using the Luminize portion of this palette quite a bit last month. 

While this may not work for all skin tones, it worked perfectly for mine.  You get a bronzing veil, concealer, cream & powder blush, luminizer and brightener.

#4. The Balm Shady Lady Vol. 2: This is not a new palette, but for some reason, it's new to me. I must have been living under a rock to not have discovered these awesome eyeshadows sooner!  The Balm really wins in the eyeshadow department in terms of texture and pigmentation. This palette gives you 9 buttery shades ranging from light to dark plus a full sized mirror. Favorites in the palette include Bossy Bobby and Insane Jane

#5. Balm Jovi Rockstar Face Palette: Another winner from The Balm, this creatively named palette includes a nice variety of matte, shimmer and glitter eyeshadows, a blush, luminizer and two cream colors that can be used on lips and cheeks. The bottom of the palette opens up to reveal suggestions for what colors to wear together to create a specific look. If the adorable packaging doesn't win you over, the smooth texture of the shadows and blush inside will.

All of the products in this post were purchased by me. I hope you enjoyed this look at my January favorites. If you would like to see me post my favorites every month, let me know in the comments below. I am also happy to do a more detailed review of any of the products seen here, or a tutorial if you'd like to see one.

What products did you reach for most in January?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spotlight: Beautiful Creatures Eyeshadow Palette

Beautiful Creatures 

Tonight is the Oscars, so I thought I would show you a really incredible eyeshadow palette inspired by the film Beautiful Creatures. I have a lot of eyeshadow palettes, so it kind of takes a lot for me to get excited by a new one. However, this palette has really blown me away. It excites me because it is the first product I've used from the brand Purminerals. Every eyeshadow in the palette is pigmented and blends well.  All of the colors are well thought out and relate to each other well to create a variety of looks. The palette itself has the name of the film in swirly letters that help make a simple cardboard design something a little bit more special. You get a good sized mirror, and they even give you a mini gloss and full sized black eyeliner as an added bonus. 

 I purchased this palette at Ulta, but I kept the box specifically for this post. As you can see the artwork is really cool and the letters on the outside of the box are raised making this a box I really don't think I can stand to throw away! 

The back of the box shows you the colors inside as well as the names for each shade. You get eight highly pigmented blendable shadows, six of which are shimmery, one matte and one satin finish. The lip gloss is a very sheer pink and the liner is basic black, which is always handy to have. The back of the package also features the cruelty-free bunny logo.

Aside from being an awesome value ($39.00), the eyeshadows are simply amazing. I can't say enough good things about these eyeshadows. Using these shadows reminds me of the first time I used an Urban Decay eyeshadow, because I was very surprised at how pigmented, smooth and easily they blended. I personally did not experience any fallout from the shadows, but I have a lot of experience working with shimmery shades, so used the proper brushes, and always pat the shadows onto the lids rather than use a sweeping motion.

Another thing I really like about this palette, is they sort of divided the shadows into 2 quads for you. This makes it really easy if you are someone that has trouble deciding which colors to use together. You can easily do a 4 color eyeshadow look by simply using the four shades suggested on the back of the box, or four shades next to each other in the palette itself. While you can create a variety of looks, only limited by your imagination, the palette lends itself to two obvious looks; neutral daytime and smokey evening.

 Above are swatches with flash, below without.

From left to right (above): Forbidden (Taupe), Supernatural (Nude), Siren (Moss), Spellbound (Neutral-satin), Fate (Mushroom), Fantasy (Violet), Secret (matte Pink), Cursed (Plum)

I purchased this palette strictly for the eyeshadow. I consider the liner and gloss to just be an added bonus. I haven't really tested the liner for wear, but it seems to be a nice smooth black eyeliner. The gloss is very sheer (which it's supposed to be) but not sticky at all. 

Gloss in Lust (sheer Pink), Liner in Black Magic (Charcoal Black)

 Here is a look using the Spellbound, Fantasy, Secret and Cursed:

This is a limited edition palette, so I recommend you pick it up before it's gone. 
I honestly can see myself hitting pan on this so I may have to buy another as backup!  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tarte Cosmetics Spring 2013

Tarte Cosmetics - Spring 2013 
As you may know from previous posts of mine, I love makeup from Tarte CosmeticsIt's a brand I have used for a long time, and each season they come out with new products that always seem to impress me. While the snow is still melting outside, all I can think about is Spring!  For me, Spring makeup is all about fresh clean looking skin, dewy cheeks and garden inspired shadows. Needless to say, Tarte hit the nail on the head with this collection, and I am simply in love. 

Here is the line up:
  • Beauty & The Box Clay Eyeshadow Quad in Secret Garden
  • BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer 
  • Cheek Stain in Awakening 

I purchased Tarte's BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer in my shade (Fair), but also cashed in my VIB  points at Sephora to get the sampler set so that I could swatch all of the shades for you.  This BB cream/primer hybrid glides smoothly over the skin helping to create a smooth perfected appearance. Fair is the perfect match to my skin, and seems to be consistent with the color matching across their foundation line.This product contains broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, and functions well on it's own, but works best under makeup as a primer with added coverage. It's oil-free, yet moisturizing making it a product that works well for all skin types. I was able to completely skip moisturizer when using this product, and my skin felt hydrated all day without ever getting oily.

Here are swatches with flash (top) and without (bottom):

Shades: Fair, Light, Medium and Tan

To help achieve the glowy look so popular for Spring, Tarte has added a new color to their cheek stain line called Awakening. This blush is described as a glowy nude with pink undertones. On my skin, it created the perfect natural looking flush. The finish is dewy, which is great for those with dry skin. This product is a stain, which means you never have to worry about it fading throughout the day.

To help achieve a natural look, you can emphasize your eyes with Tarte's Beauty & The Box Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Quad in Secret Garden. This garden themed quad comes with four pigmented shimmery shades that blend well and compliment each other to create an effortless eye look.

 Pictured Above (from left to right): Sprout-shimmery pale gold, Goldenrod-shimmery antique gold, Fern-olive green with gold shimmer, Vine-a cool toned brown with gold shimmer

 I have a few of these boxed eyeshadows from Tarte, and I really love the packaging. Often when you get an eyeshadow quad, the outer boxed packaging that gets thrown away is pretty, but the the container that actually houses the shadows is often quite boring. Tarte does such a nice job of keeping the actual product packaging so pretty and feminine.  Although the box is a cardboard type packaging, I have thrown this in my purse and have never had it flip open on me. I just think this box screams SPRING!

I hope you enjoyed this peek at the Tate Cosmetics Spring 2013 line. If you have tried any of the new Tarte products, I would love to hear about it!

All products seen in this post were purchased by me, except for the VIB gift from Sephora mentioned above.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Liebster Award - Cruelty Free Edition

Liebster Award

Two of my friends from Twitter nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thank you Manuela from The Small Rabbit Hops and Catherine from Buying Cruelty-Free.

What's a Liebster Award? 

It’s like a chain of letters, with a difference : we share blogs that we love!
But it doesn’t mean there’s no rules!

Here they are :
1- Once nominated, you have to publish about it on your blog & of course, thank the person who nammed you by linking to his or her blog.
2- In your post, you have to tell us 11 facts about you.
3- You’ll also have to answer the 11 questions the person who nammed you left on his or her blog.
4- Choose 11 other bloggers with under 200 followers to nominate (not the person who nominated you), link to their blog and make sure you let them know they are nominated.
5- Choose 11 questions you want to be answered
6- The new nominees have to do the same, so the chain goes on!
Let’s begin!

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I love horror movies!
  2. I love animals.
  3. I love makeup.
  4. I love to sing.
  5. I used to do "extra" work in TV and movies and was even in an episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent.
  6. I've written 2 guest blog posts for PETA Living. 
  7. My favorite color is purple. 
  8. I live in Connecticut, but hate the cold. 
  9. I've been a vegetarian for nearly 16 years. 
  10. Aside from makeup, and spending time with my dogs, reading is my favorite thing to do.
  11. I feel really thankful for how far I've come, and really hopeful about the future.   

 Here are my answers to Manuela’s questions:

1- I'm sure there is a question you wish I'd ask you. What is it & what's the answer to it ?

Hmmmm. I don't know haha. I'll have to come back to you.

2- What is your favorite Cruelty Free product ?
That's a tough question to answer because all of my products are cruelty-free. I think it changes a lot because I'm always testing new products, but right now I'm obsessed with my Josie Maran Infinity Cream.

3- For what reason did you start writing your blog ?
I actually just started it because I wanted a place to showcase some of the makeup looks I've done, and to help teach women different techniques. I continue to write it, because I love helping others learn from my experience with different products, and showing people that going cruelty-free does not mean sacrificing quality in terms of beauty products.

4- Who's your celebrity crush ?
5- What is your favorite tv show and why ?
6- What are your life projects ?
I want to write a book some day. I also want to continue helping to make the world a beautiful place.
7- What would be your travel dream  ? ( no budget limit!)
I'm not really into travel that much. I'm happy as long as I'm with my dogs.
8- If you could meet with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be ? And of course, why!
Kevyn Aucoin because he was such an amazing artist, I would have loved the chance to meet him and learn from him.
9- When you were a kid, what was the job you wanted to have as a grown up ?
I wanted to be a clown, because I wanted to make people laugh.
10- If you could travel time, what would you do ?
Hmmm, never thought about that. I don't know, I think things happen for a reason, so I probably wouldn't go back in time to change anything, but it would be interesting to see certain things for sure.
11- If you were in charge of the planet & had all the powers (let's say you're a dictator), how would you rule the world & what would be your laws ? Don't forget that with great power comes great responsability!

I honestly wouldn't want that kind of responsibility! I just wish that people would be more kind to each other, but I don't think any law can really make that happen. 

Catherine's Questions
1. What inspired you to start your blog? Tell us the story of how your blog came to be.
 See above.
2. You’re going away for a month. You need to pack light so you just grab your essentials. What’s in your makeup/skincare bag?
Sunscreen is my number one thing. I love the one from Lavanilla. BB Cream, because it's a great multitasker. A good cleanser, eye makeup remover, q-tips, moisturizer, acne treatment, eye cream, waterproof mascara, A lip stain that could double as a cream blush, or cream blush that could work as a lip stain. Clear gloss. Pressed powder, blotting papers.  Yes, that's just the essentials.
3. Growing up, what did you want to be? What was your dream job?
See above 
4. What’s your favorite TV show?
See above 
5. If you could only wear one foundation for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Yikes, that's a tough one. It's a toss up between Hourglass Veil Fluid and Illamasqua Skin Base. 
6. What are your top three favorite makeup brushes?
Christopher Drummond Air Blender Brush, Bdellium Tools Green Bambu #776 blending brush, and IT Cosmetics Dual Ended Concealer/foundation brush 
7. On a typical day, how long do you spend on your beauty routine?
About an hour 
8. What’s your go-to everyday makeup look?
I don't really have one, I wear a different look every single day. However, I always try to have fresh luminous skin and highlight my eyes as much as possible. 
9. Same question but for hair – how do you usually wear your hair for everyday?
Either up in a bun, or down with my beach wave spray 
10. I’m a lip balm junkie, so I’m always interested to know – what’s your absolute favorite lip balm?
Nuance by Salma Hayek Rose Petal Hydrating Balm 

11. If you had to describe yourself in just five words, what words would you pick?
Adventurous,  caring, creative, fun, compassionate.

My 11 Questions:

  1. What is your favorite cruelty-free makeup brand and why?
  2. What's one beauty product you love that most people don't?
  3. Tell us about your blog.
  4. Who makes you smile?
  5. What one makeup item do you have the most of?
  6. What is your favorite synthetic makeup brush? 
  7. Are you a makeup artist? If not, do you want to be one? 
  8. What's the last good deed you did?
  9. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? 
  10. Holy grail skin care products; list your top 3.
  11. What's the one product you will splurge on and maybe pay a little more for a higher end brand of? 
I tag....Anyone and everyone who is cruelty free, and or thinking about going cruelty free! I want to include everyone, because I love you all!  I normally don't allow people to link to their blog in my comments, but for this post I will! If you have a cruelty free beauty blog, post it in the comments below!  Just remember, each comment is approved individually, so don't be surprised if you don't see it right away.

I hope you are having a great night. Thanks for reading, and if you like what you read, please subscribe. xoxo - LIZA

Thursday, February 14, 2013

International Giveaway! Makeup Geek


Hello my faithful followers.  I am finally hosting a giveaway open to my international followers! I will ship anywhere in the world.  The prize:

I will personally choose some Makup Geek cosmetics for the winner from the Makeup Geek online store.


How to enter:

  1. Subscirbe to my blog.
  2. Leave a comment below stating which Makeup Geek product you would like to try.
  3. Follow me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1
  4. Send me an e-mail with your email address, or leave your Twitter handle in the comment box below: makeupmatters3@gmail.com  Please do not leave your personal email address in the comments. I just want to know how to contact you if you win!


  1. You must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. By entering, you agree to the Terms & Conditions listed below.
  3. Winner will be chosen on February 28, 2013

Terms & Conditions:
Winner will be notified by email, Twitter or this blog.  Winner must respond within 5 days, or a new winner will be chosen. All federal, state, local or international taxes associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.  By entering the giveaway through this blog, you release Liza Chung and Makeup Matters by LNC from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action , related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the giveaway or delivery, misdelivery or acceptance of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of prperty, right of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional, whethero under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spotlight: Pretty Serious Cosmetics

Pretty Serious Cosmetics

One of my goals for this blog in the new year is to review more indie brands.  When it comes to cruelty-free and vegan makeup, there is a whole world out there of independent companies doing it right. I know some people may shy away from brands that are not more mainstream, and that's why I want to introduce you to these brands, so that you know which ones are really worth spending your money on.  

A fellow beauty blogger (http://www.platinumpj.com) recommended this brand to me on Twitter. I contacted the company, and they were kind enough to send me several of their loose eyeshadows to review for you guys!  Sadly, they are in the process of phasing out their current eyeshadow and lip gloss lines. So grab them while you can!  The good news is that the brand is sticking to their vegan and cruelty-free philosophy and will be offering new items this year. Aside from eyeshadows, this cruelty-free and vegan Australian brand offers a variety of beautiful nail polishes on their site for purchase. I know many of you are looking for cruelty-free polish brands, and Pretty Serious offers a pretty awesome selection of colors. All shadows seen in this post can be purchased here:  

Pretty Serious packages their loose eyeshadow in the most adorable way.  Purple is my favorite color, so A+ on packaging. Secondly, the amount of product you get is remarkable. These eyeshadow jars are literally about 5x the size of normal loose eyeshadow jars in my collection.You get 5 grams of product for $9.95, housed in a sifter jar with screw top lid.

This collection of shadows is called Hello World and contains six eyeshadows with corresponding lip glosses and nail polishes.

Here is my first impression of the loose eyeshadows from the collection:

 Each shadow came in the box pictured on the left. I think the writing, artwork and colors are unique and fun. I just love the little cartoon character with rollers in her hair blowing on her nails so they'll dry faster. Every woman who has every gotten ready can relate to the photo. I really like when indie brands go all out and give us a little something special in the packaging. I know not everyone thinks things like this are important, but it matters to me.  When I see a brand has put some effort into not only the actual product, but how it's housed, it makes me feel like they really care about what they are selling.

BSOD- This is my favorite of the shadows I tried. It's a very bright blue with turquoise shimmer.  This is extremely pigmented and blends very well. If you only try one of these shadows, this should be it. Even though I have a large eyeshadow and pigment collection, this color is completely unique and I don't own anything like it.

CGA- This is a pinky purple, almost lavender shadow with turquoise glitter. I absolutelly love this color for Springtime and can see myself using it a lot. You'll see this shadow again in future blog posts for sure. CGA, I have big plans for you my friend.

VT100- Is a vibrant grass green with gold and green sparkle. As you know emerald is the Pantone color of the year for 2013, making this shimmery green a must have for those looking to stay on trend. When used on a wet angled brush, this works beautifully as a colored liner along the upper lash line.

Tux-Is described as an inky blackened green with iridescent blue sparkle. I love using this as liner. I sprayed an angled brush with my rosewater glycerin spray, dipped it into the pigment and used it as liner. This color is very deep and pigmented, but the shimmer in it really adds more dimension to the color making it really interesting.

Forbidden Fruit- This is the most versatile of the shades I tested. It's a shimmery white that is more sheer than the other shades, making it perfect for highlighting. I used it to highlight the inner corner of my eyes, under the brow, along my cheekbones and as a lightener with the other colors.

Morning Java- This is a rich brown with copper and golden shimmer. This works well as a crease color, and blends beautifully into other shades. The golden glitter flecks play off the light creating the most beautiful iridescence on the eye.

All of the shades here are cruelty-free and vegan. I found them all to be pigmented and blend quite well.  The only shade that is a bit more sheer is Forbidden Fruit, and it's so indicated as the color is described as "delicate" by the brand. I think this shade needs to be a bit more sheer to work as a highlight.

Here are swatches of all the colors:

 From Left To Right (above): VT100, BSOD, Forbidden Fruit, Tux, Morning Java, CGA

While swatches are a good indication of color payoff, I always like to show you the colors in a completed eye look so that you can see how they work and blend together. As you can see, I was easily able to create the perfect blend using these shadows:

 For the eye look, I mixed BSOD with VT100 to create an aqua color. I mixed in some Forbidden Fruit to lighten it. In the outer corner of the eye, I used Morning Java, which I blended into the crease. I used Forbidden Fruit as a highlight both under the brow, and on the inner corner of the eye. I took my custom created lid color and took it on the lower lash line as well. I used Morning Java as liner on the lower lash line, and Tux on a wet angled brush as liner on the top lash line.

For the rest of the face, I used Forbidden Fruit to highlight my upper cheekbones, cupid's bow, and bridge of the nose. I really love this color as highlighter, and I think I'll get a lot of use out of it.

Make sure you pick these up why they are still available, trust me you won't be disappointed! 

A special thanks to TheProductJunkies, my Twitter friend for recommending this brand to me! 

And of course a huge "thank you!" to Kaz for being so sweet and sending me this whole collection to review for my readers. I really appreciate it!  

Again, if you are interested in purchasing any products from Pretty Serious, you can shop here: http://www.pretty-serious.com/ 

If you try this brand, I'd love to hear about it! Drop me a comment below. Remember, each comment is approved individually, so don't be surprised if you don't see your comment right away. I love hearing from you, but please refrain from linking to your own blog. If you have a beauty blog of your own and would like to do a collab, you can DM me on Twitter at @MakeupMatters1

*This review features products sent to me by the company for review. This in no way alters my review. All of my reviews are 100% honest. I do not get paid to write reviews, and have never accepted any money in exchange for writing a review. I only write reviews in hopes of helping my readers make more informed purchasing decisions.