Sunday, November 24, 2013

NYX Bohemian Chic Nude Matte Collection - Matte Smokey Eye Tutorial

All Products in This Post Purchased By Me

Matte Smokey Eye-Tutorial

One of my favorite palettes is the NYX Bohemian Chic Nude Matte Collection It's filled with a collection of smoothly pigmented matte eyeshadows in neutral colors.  The bottom drawer slides out to reveal 2 blush colors and 6 darker shadows with a slightly more satin finish.  This palette is ideal for those with more mature skin, as the texture of the shadows will not emphasize fine lines and wrinkles.  

Matte makeup is very popular this season, and with all of the matte palettes out now, I thought I would share with you this more budget friendly version. NYX makes some of my favorite eyeshadows, because they offer a large selection of colors and textures, the formula is super pigmented, and the price is unbeatable for the quality you are getting. This palette isn't new to the brand, but it's one I've loved for a while now and even given to others as a gift.  The palette lends itself to numerous looks from nude to smokey.  One of my favorite looks to create with this palette is a matte smokey eye.  I think you'll find this look quite simple to create, and we only need 4 shadows for the completed look.

Here is how I create a matte smokey eye:

Step 1: Prime the eye with your favorite eye primer.  Just a little will do to help set the base for our look. 

Step 2: For this look you will need 4 eyeshadows. One that matches your skin tone, a medium brown, a darker brown, and black. Since this palette contains a nice assortments of nudes, creams, peaches, and browns, you will want to choose the shades that work best with your skin tone. Those with a deeper complexion may want to experiment with the jewel tones in the slide out drawer. Choose a color in the palette that most closely resembles your skin tone. Apply it from lash line to brow using a flat shadow brush.

 I chose a light peach shade from the top row for my base color

Step 3: Choose a mid tone color and apply it to the eyelid using the same brush.  Apply the color pressing it into the crease.  You want to slowly build up the color, applying a light layer at first, and then building more as needed.  I chose a medium brown shadow from the same column. This color is also available in a single from NYX called Tryst.  Many of colors in this palette are also available as singles from the brand. 

 It helps to turn the brush upside down so you can get 
close to the lash line.

Above left swatch from the Bohemian Chic palette, right swatch is NYX Nude Matte shadow in Tryst
As you can see, these shadows aren't completely matte, and have a slightly satiny feel
 to them. However, when applied to the lid they do appear matte and no shimmer can be seen.

Step 4: I picked up the middle shade in the same column to create more depth to the look. This deep brown reminds me a lot of NYX Dark Brown, though it is slightly deeper. Using the same brush, apply this shade to the outer corner of the eye and along the upper and lower lash line.  You want to draw a line up from the lower lash line using the edge of the brush to help create shape to the eye. 

Don't worry if this isn't neat, we will blend it out in the next step

Step 5: Blend, blend, blend!  Take a blending brush and just blend out and clean up any harsh edges around the edge of the darkest shadow.

It's so important to always keep a clean blending brush handy

Step 6: Using a very small shadow brush, pick up some of the black shadow from the slide out drawer in the palette.  You'll want to pick up the color on the tip of your brush rather than the flat side. Draw around your top and bottom lash line, really smoking out the shadow. This is the key to getting the smokey eye look.

Step 7: Go back in with your blending brush, and blend the black shadow up and inward to define the outer corner of the eye. 

Step 8: Apply your favorite black eyeliner to the lower lash line and waterline. I used Tarte SmolderEyes Skinny pencil in Onyx. Be sure to get the spaces in between your lashes as well.

Step 9: Go back in to your black eyeshadow, this time using an angled brush. Line over the black pencil you just applied with the eyeshadow. Also line your upper lash line with the black eyeshadow.

Step 10: Finish off your look by curling lashes and applying several coats of your favorite mascara. I layered NYX Faux Lashes mascara over Flower Beauty Extreme Measures Lengthening Mascara.  For a pop of color, I used the darker blush color from the palette along my cheekbones. On lips, I used NYX Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm to keep the look entirely matte.

Here is the final look!:

I hope you enjoyed this simple matte smokey eye using the NYX Bohemian Chic Nude Matte Collection.  Do you own this palette?  
Let me know your favorite matte shadows in the comments below.

Thank you for reading, and please don't forget to subscribe!

*All products seen in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: Indie Lee Skincare

This post contains both products purchased by me,
and samples sent for consideration 


 A couple of months ago, I attended an event hosted by Beautylish.  At this event, I got to meet Indie Lee, who was also there a guest.  She comes across as one of those people that just loves life. Her friendly, warm personality makes people instantly gravitate toward her. I soon learned that Beautylish would be selling her skincare line as one of their online boutiques. Since I frequently shop the site, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to try some of the products from her line. If you've read my post about my skincare routine a couple of months back, you'll know that I am obsessive when it comes to taking care of my skin. 

If you missed that post, you can read it here: 

One of my biggest skincare concerns is the delicate skin under my eyes.  For this reason, I have tried countless eye creams, and I am religious about always hydrating this area.  I had just run out of the Tarte eye cream I was using, and decided to replace it with the Calendula Eye Balm from Indie Lee. I also purchased Indie Lee Moisturizing Oil in Lavender Chamomile, and received the CoQ-10 Toner as a gift as well as a sample of the Squalane Facial Oil from Beautylish.   I noticed a difference in my skin almost immediately after I began using Indie Lee skincare. The day I received my order I could not wait to try my new products out. I began testing everything out that evening. When I woke up the next morning and looked in the mirror, my skin looked smoother and more hydrated than normal. Of course I wanted to run to my computer and write a blog post right away. However, I decided to hold off, and try the products continuously for a bit longer so that my review would be more helpful to those considering purchasing any items from the line. 

Here is a look at the products I've been using from Indie Lee: 

Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner:
Unfortunately I was not able to attend the DIY beauty event hosted by Beautylish and Indie Lee, last month, but Beautylish was kind enough to send me this gem that guests received in their gift bags anyway. I've been using it for about a month now morning and evening after cleansing my skin. I simply pump some out onto a cotton round and sweep it over my face and neck. This toner is alcohol-free and contains the antioxidant CoQ10.  It also contains hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and Hyaluronic acid.  
Toners tend to get a bad rap because of the overly drying astringents once found on the market. This one is actually hydrating and the perfect way to refresh the skin.  I find it quite soothing, and it is honestly one of the best toners I've ever used. This is ideal for normal to dry skin types, which is exactly what I need as we head into the winter months. Once I run out of this I will definitely be buying another bottle.

Indie Lee Moisturizing Oil in Lavender Chamomile: 
I knew I wanted to try a facial oil from this brand when I was placing my order and decided to purchase the Lavender Chamomile one based on the reviews I'd read online.  The scent of this is just amazing.  What surprised me most about this product when I received it is how much you get in the bottle. 
When I compare it to previous oils I've used such as Josie Maran's Argan oil, the size is truly impressive. I'm really glad you get so much, because I use this not only on my face, but also in my hair and as a body moisturizer. I tend to use this product only at night, because of the calming effect lavender has.  
Again, the bottle has a pump-style dispenser and one pump is enough to do my full face and neck.This absorbs easily into the skin, and when applied in the evening, I wake up with glowing, smooth and hydrated skin. I do tend to suffer from breakouts on occasion, but this oil does not irritate my skin at all. It's formulated with jojoba, which works for all skin types.

Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil:
Beautylish sent me a little sample bottle of this product in an adorable little bag that says "try me!"  This facial oil is olive-derived and intended to promote elasticity and increase cell regeneration.  Some have even noticed a reduction in age spots after long term use. I used this product mostly in the morning, applying a few drops to my face and neck after cleansing and toning my skin.  I absolutely love this before makeup. It's extremely hydrating, and absorbs quickly.  It works especially well when applied before mineral foundation.
The small sample size I got came with a medicine dropper style applicator, but I believe the full size has a pump like the other products in her line do. I personally did not notice a reduction in the small spots I have around my eyes after using this, but I only tried this small sample. However I purchased the full size today, so I'll be sure to report back after I've used the product for a bit longer. What I have noticed, is how light and fresh my skin felt after I applied this oil. It is not as thick as argan oil, and seems to absorb more easily into the skin. If you haven't enjoyed other face oils in the past, this might be a good one to try because of how weightless it feels on the skin.  This oil is non-comedogenic, which makes it ideal for those with acne prone skin. 
Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm:
I just looked on Beautylish, and this product is actually sold out now!  I'm not surprised at all because it is AMAZING. This is the one product I recommend to everyone. The smooth balmy texture just melts into the skin creating the perfect layer of moisture around my eyes. It leaves the skin with a dewy appearance wherever applied. In the colder months I am sometimes prone to dry patches on my skin.  I apply a tiny bit of this balm to the dry patch at night and the next morning it it significantly better. I am completely in love with this product, and will repurchase once I run out. Though I suspect this little jar will last me for a long time, because you really only need the tiniest amount for your under eye area. I use this both morning and evening, and have already noticed that my dark circles seem much less noticeable. One of my biggest complaints about other eye creams is that when I apply it in the morning, by mid day, my under eye area looks dry again, making my fine lines more noticeable. This balm not only hydrates the area, but the hydration is actually long lasting, making my lines far less noticeable. 

If you are interested in purchasing any of the products listed in this post, you can do so here: Indie Lee

Have you tried any products from Indie Lee? If so, what are your favorites? Tell me in the comments below. 

As always, thanks for reading! Don't forget to subscribe.  It's free, and helps support the site. 

*This post contains products sent for consideration. This in no way alters my review. I do not get paid to write reviews, nor do I get any commission if you purchase any of these products.  Any links provided are simply for the benefit of the reader. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Top Ten Blushes for Fall/Winter 2013

This post contains both products purchased
by me, and samples sent for consideration

Top Ten Blushes for 
Fall/Winter 2013

Last month, I shared with you my favorite lipsticks of the season.  This month, I thought I'd share my favorite blushes. When the weather outside gets colder, I swap out my bronzer for blush. Nothing gives that natural flush to the cheeks like the perfect blush. The right blush will look like you just stepped in from the cold, and help brighten the face. 
From creams to powders, I've got you covered. While I favor peachy blushes in the summer, and pinks in the spring, fall/winter blushes lean rose, orange and nude for my picks.  I've included shades for a variety of skin tones, skin types, budgets and from various brands so you'll be sure to find one that works for you. 

Here are my top ten blushes for Fall/Winter 2013:

  1. Milani Baked Powder Blush in Red Vino - the newest blush in my collection
  2. Milani Romantic Rose Powder Blush - limited edition
  3. NYX Mauve Blush - budget friendly
  4. NYX Cinnamon Blush - great for darker skin tones
  5. NYX Cream Blush in Orange - good choice for those with dry skin
  6. Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Blush in Nude Glow - excellent for those with sensitive skin
  7. Everyday Minerals Girl Friday Blush - matte finish
  8. Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush - favorite from last year
  9. IT Cosmetics Vitality Flush Color Stain Stick in Je Ne Sais Quoi - works on cheeks & lips
  10. e.l.f. Blush in Blushing Rose - my most worn blush so far this season
Milani Baked Powder Blush in Red Vino: This is the newest blush in my collection. On a trip to my local pharmacy, I checked out the makeup (as I usually do).  Although the last thing I needed was more makeup, this blush was calling my name! This smooth, pigmented powder leaves the most beautiful glow on the skin. It's a red wine color with gold veining running throughout.  When your blush swirls the colors together, you are left with beautifully flushed and highlighted cheeks in one swoop. No matter what your skin tone is, be sure to use a light hand, because this is super pigmented. This is a great choice for deeper skin tones, but those with fair skin, like me can still wear it well if you are careful to use the right tools, and always be sure to tap off the excess. 

Milani Romantic Rose Powder Blush: This limited edition blush is a dusty mauve shade. The pigmentation is fantastic, and the powder is silky smooth. This blush really leaves the skin with a youthful glow, despite the fact that it's a matte formula. If you are looking for a cruelty-free drugstore blush, that is just a little more special, this is a great one to try. The petal pattern of the product is just so pretty and feminine, you won't want to use it at first for fear of ruining it, but trust me it's worth it! 

 Above (left to right): Red Vino, Romantic Rose
Above (left to right): Swatch of Romantic Rose, Swatch of Red Vino

NYX Mauve Blush: Like the Milani blushes above, this is a budget friendly pick. This is a soft dusty pink powder blush that gives a sheer wash of color to the cheeks. The finish is completely matte, which is often difficult to find in a budget friendly blush. This shade is particularly beautiful on fair skin tones, but the color can be built up in intensity to flatter medium skin tones as well. I've found this blush to be long lasting, and a nice compliment to the burgundy lip trend of the season. 

NYX Cinnamon Blush: This bright matte orange looks amazing on those with a deeper complexion.  This shade is very pigmented, and blends well onto the cheekbones. I use this color frequently both personally and professionally. If you have fair skin, you will want to use a very light hand with this one. On occasion, I have even used it as an eyeshadow to compliment my blue eyes. 

NYX Cream Blush in Orange: If you are interested in NYX Cinnamon, but have a drier skin type, you may want to try this one instead. This color is a bit softer than Cinnamon and while it doesn't have any added shimmer, it does leave a dewy finish on the skin since it is a cream product. It blends beautifully into the skin, and you can easily get a good 10 hours of wear time before any noticeable fading. 

Above (left to right): NYX Orange, NYX Cinnamon, NYX Mauve 

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Blush in Nude Glow: This is my pick of the season for those with super sensitive skin or allergies to talc or parabens. This is one of the few blushes I own where I have actually hit pan. I am finding this shade increasingly difficult to find in stores, and I really hope the brand doesn't or hasn't discontinued it. This is a very light mauve shade that looks beautiful on those with super fair skin. It has a marbleized design that blend together to create the perfect flush. Whenever my skin is breaking out, this is the blush I use, because I know it won't further irritate my skin. 

Everyday Minerals Girl Friday Blush: Matte skin is very much in for Fall/Winter 2013. Therefore, in many of my looks, I am reaching for a matte blush. Sure there are still days where I want to add a bit of a sheen, but on those where I want a truly matte look, this is one I reach for. Though it is matte, it still leaves a healthy glow on the cheeks. This is largely due to it's reddened-pink shade which leaves that lit-from-within look that I love so much. This is a great choice for every skin tone, and another good choice for those with sensitive skin. 

 Above (left to right): Physicians Formula Nude Glow, Everyday Minerals Girl Friday
Above (left to right): Everyday Minerals Girl Friday Swatch, Physicians Formula Nude Glow Swatch

Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush: This blush became a favorite of mine toward the end of last year, and I continue to use and love it. This is one of the pricier blushes on this list, but it's worth every penny. This matte nude shade just looks so natural on my skin and is perfect for no-makeup makeup looks. Plus it's paraben free and made with amazonian clay, which helps balance out the oil and moisture levels in the skin making it work well for all skin types. Tarte's blushes in general are super pigmented, so I usually apply them with a fan brush for a lighter application. I own many of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes, but this one is hands down my favorite from the line. A must have for those with a fair to light skin tone.  Try it with the Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Exposed for a monochromatic makeup look.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Flush Color Stain Stick in Je Ne Sais Quoi (sample):  Speaking of monochromatic looks, this chubby stick from IT Cosmetics blends beautifully onto the lips and cheeks making it the perfect multitasker for those with a busy schedule. The kind folks over at IT Cosmetics sent me this a while back as part of a kit.  However you can try this sheer pink flush as part of a duo available here: 
Prior to trying this I was a huge fan of the Je Ne Sais Quoi lip color, so I was super excited to see this shade available in a format that works on the cheeks as well. This creamy formula is very hydrating, making it ideal for those with a drier skin type, or those who suffer from seasonal dryness or flakiness of the skin. It can be applied straight from the tube, applied with fingers, or a small stippling brush. 

e.l.f. Blush in Blushing Rose: Last, but certainly not least is the blush that I've worn most this season. It's the perfect rose shade with subtle shimmer running through it. At only $3, this blush is super affordable and you really can't beat the quality for the price. I love this color so much, and the pigmentation is impressive. As I've mentioned, it does have a lovely shimmer to it, but it's not heavy glitter by any means. This is inexpensive, and works great, period. What more can we ask from a blush? For this reason it's quickly becoming a favorite among my collection! This is a total steal, and although the packaging is simple, it is still quite sturdy, so you don't have to worry about it breaking in your makeup bag. Just buy it. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at my top ten blushes for Fall/Winter 2013.  Have you tried any of the blushes mentioned? Please share your favorites in the comments below!
*This post contains both products purchased by me and samples sent for consideration. This in no way alters my review. I do not get paid to write reviews. Any links are only included for the benefit of the reader. I do not get any commissions if you purchase any of the products mentioned in this post.