Tuesday, July 31, 2018

One Palette, Three Looks (series) - Using ABH X Norvina Palette, Look#3

*All products in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own. 

It is with great pleasure that I present you with my third makeup look using the Anastasia Norvina palette. This was the most fun out of the looks to create, because I sat down at my makeup table and just played with color. When I purchased the Norvina palette ($42), I also bought the Violet liquid lipstick ($20) that was released at the same time.  The liquid lipstick is a very opaque, cool-toned purple that is not only cruelty-free, but also vegan!

I used the Violet lip color as a starting point for look number three. 

Look #3:

After applying my base makeup,  I started with the lips before applying the eyeshadow in order to keep the face in balance. 

My complexion is quite fair, so I need to be mindful of this when wearing a darker lip color so that I don't look too washed out.  The liquid lipstick comes with a sponge tip applicator,  but I wanted to overline my lips a bit, so I opted for the precision of a lip brush.

For the eyes, I chose Soul (matte dusty purple) & Celestial (duochrome purple shimmer) as the main focus, allowing purple to be the main focus of the look. I also used the colors Base, Dreamer & Eccentric, but wanted the emphasis on color rather than neutrals. 

Wild Child, the shimmery bubble gum pink in the palette, worked perfectly on top of Celestial, adding more dimension to the eye. 

Whenever I am working with a new eyeshadow palette for the first time, I like to really evaluate what I am working with. I generally swatch several colors to get a feel for the pigment. My experience with Anastasia eyeshadows in general, is that they are very soft.  This simply means that I am a bit more delicate when dipping my brush into the powders, and always tap off the excess (a habit I developed a long time ago anyway). 

I also like to test out new palettes with a variety of brushes to see what tools create what type of effect. For example, a more dense precision brush often applies glittery eyeshadows better than a thin flat shader brush. I found this particularly true of Celestial & Wild Child

Since I did so much playing around with this palette, I decided to include a BONUS LOOK! ๐Ÿ’œ

Here is a look at all of the brushes I used for the bonus look:

As you can see, there were many sizes and shapes of brushes used to create the desired effect. For example, I like the Furless PPM1 brush for getting into the inner corner of the eye. I used this brush to apply Wild Child, spraying it with a little setting spray for maximum intensity. 

My Bdellium Tools 776 is always a staple when I'm doing crease work. 

Here is the bonus look:

Above with flash

Above without flash

For my bonus look, I tried to use as many colors in the palette as I could. I kept the eyelid bright, but wanted a really defined crease. To achieve this, I blended a mix of  the colors Drama & Passion through the crease of my eye using a thin pointed crease brush in a back and forth motion. 

Initially, I was not going to include this look at all, but I wanted to demonstrate that despite using nearly every color in the palette for this look, the colors never looked muddy. All of the shades play quite nicely with one another, making it easy to create a cohesive look. 

I enjoy this Anastasia palette with bold or neutral lips, and honestly feel that it is much more versatile than it may appear at first glance. 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy this series, because I have more palettes, and more makeup looks that I want to share with you! 

๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’„~ Makeup Matters 

Monday, July 30, 2018

One Palette, Three Looks (series) - Using ABH X Norvina Palette, Look#2

Norvina palette,  oh how do I love thee? I just spent two hours creating a bonus look because I just wanted to play!  My bonus look will be revealed in a later post. This second look is the most natural looking of the three I created. This palette inspires me SO much and I really enjoyed thinking outside of the box, without having to go outside of the palette. The different finishes and soft powders meld the together creating true artwork on the lids. 

That being said, I also want to demonstrate that this can easily be an every day, wearable palette. When opening the palette, shimmers, duochromes, pinks and purples speak to me. 

That's how I know it's time to take a step back. I decided to show some restraint and see if I could create more of a minimalist  of a look (for me anyway). Could this palette work for a corporate job? 

I began with just four neutral colors from the palette to test the pigment, and that is how look #2 was born.

Look #2:

To start, I applied the color Base (described by the brand as a matte eggshell) from lash line to just under the brow. I did not use any eye primer underneath so that I could see the pigment in its true form. In the crease of my eye, and along the lower lash line I swept a mixture of Incense (matte dusty terracotta) and Eccentric (described as a matte dark burnt orange). For a bit of sheen, I applied just a touch of Dreamer (described by the brand as a metallic pink champagne) below the brow, and swept gently along the center of my eyelids. Dreamer packs quite a punch, so I only used the smallest amount, and blended it in creating more of an "I'm not wearing eyeshadow, this is a natural highlight" kind of look. 

I groomed  my brows using ABH brow products , keeping most of the rest of my face neutral. With the eye look as minimal as I could muster, I popped on a bold lip, and voila! 

I call this look "polished and pretty." 

If BOLD looks are your thing, make sure you don't miss look #3 in this series! 

๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’„~Makeup Matters 

One Palette, Three Looks (series) - Using ABH X Norvina Palette - Look#1

I have been OBSESSED with the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina palette.  

Anastasia has been a much loved brand for brow products for as long as I can recall. Lately the brand has been killing it in the eyeshadow department as well. Shying away from the same old colors that other brands crank out, ABH is setting the trends, not following them. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the company, Norvina is the beautiful daughter of Anastasia herself. She is active in the company, and a regular on social media. This palette is for anyone who loves purple (like me)! 

The Norvina Palette has a nice variety of finishes and textures. The bottom row contains mattes, with just a touch of shimmer in shades like Soul, a dusty purple, making it easier to blend. Matte purple is notoriously hard to blend when it comes to shadows, so adding the hint of shimmer makes the pigment in this shadow ultra smooth. I do find this color appears completely matte when actually applied to the eye.

Here are some swatches:

The top row includes a mix of shimmer and metallics, that range from super saturated (Dreamer), to more subtle eyeshadow toppers (Wild Child). Intensity can be increased with a damp brush, or glitter glue, depending on the look you want to achieve. 

I also snagged a liquid lip from the brand in the color Violet that was released at the same time as the palette. 

This lippie dries super fast, so I recommend working with it quickly when blending it on the lips. It applies easily with the applicator, but I enjoy it most with a lip brush for added precision. This liquid lip is not for one wanting a subtle look. It is a bold true-to-tube color that dries to an ultra-matte finish, without feeling dry on the lips. 

I have seen so many beautiful purple eye looks floating around social media. My series includes a bold look using the liquid lip, one in the middle with a pop of purple on the lower lash line, and a very neutral look to demonstrate just how versatile the palette can be.

I am starting with the "middle" look with details on how I created it below.

Here is look #1 in the series (with & without flash): 

How to get the look: I used the color Base (light beige) all over lid up to brow bone, over Milani Eyeshadow Primer applied with Bdellium Tools 776 Brush.

The palette does come with a double sided brush, but I have my tried and true favorites that I use for all my looks. I will say that when using this palette, the brushes you use will make all the difference in how they apply. 

Next, I took the color Eccentric (warm orange brown) and applied it lightly in the crease with a Sigma E25 Blending Brush.

Just above Eccentric I took the matte pink in the palette, called Love, and applied it to the upper crease using my Bdellium Tools 776 brush.

On the lid, I applied a light layer of Wild Child (iridescent pink) with a flat stiff dry brush.  This shadow works best as an eyeshadow topper, unless used with a damp brush. While I loved the light shimmer of this color as is, I decided to spray my brush with Milani Make It Dewy Setting Spray to amp up the metallic factor. 

On the outer 2/3 of the lid, I applied Rose Gold on same brush sprayed with setting spray, which applied like liquid metal. 

On a Too Faced flat eyeshadow brush, I then applied just a touch of Dreamer (mettalic beige) as an under brow highlight, buffed into the skin, as well as a touch to the inner tear duct and just under lower lash line on the inner corner. This color is BOLD, and does not need a damp brush for full impact. 

On an Ecotools smudge brush, I took Soul (my favorite color in the palette) along the lower lash line, blending Love just underneath.

In my waterline, I applied Urban Decay Delinquent (shimmery dark purple) Glide On Shadow Pencil. With a dry smudge brush, I gently patted on a touch of Wild Child over where I smudged Love along lower lash line & Celestial (irridescent purple shimmer) on top of Soul.

To finish the eyes, I tightlined  with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Zero (black) and added mascara. 

Dreamer is such a lovely highlight color, that I decided to use it on the face as a cheekbone highlight as well.

I hope you like my first look in my Norvina palette series. The other two looks will be up later this week, so make sure you are subscribed so you don't miss them!

๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’„~Makeup Matters

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why I Love Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Conceal & Contour (And You Should Too)!

My cousin, Sandra, who is also a makeup artist used Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer since it hit the market.  Like pretty much every person who has ever used it, she can definitely say it’s a wonderful concealer. However, the heafty price tag made her look for an alternative. She found this dupe from Makeup Revolution for only $7. This concealer hit the spot, and she knew she had to send me a tube in my shade. 

Why we love it:  Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define offers full coverage without being overly emollient. This stuff blends like a dream, and it didn't take long for us to fall in love! 

Like my setting powder, I have been looking for a replacement for my Nars concealer. Ever since Nars announced they were no longer cruelty-free I have been slowly replacing various products in my collection as I run out. Nars Creamy Concealer has been a staple in my kit since the product launched. It's full coverage and smooth texture propelled this tube to holy grail status. I purchased several colors for my kit, and have been trying out a few other brands in search of a replacement that can hold top spot. 

Wet n Wild's Photofocus Concealer is a drugstore version that I have been enjoying a great deal. However, I find the texture to be a bit too thick to earn top spot in my stash.

Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is a lovely high-end choice. It is paraben free, and its light diffusing properties make it a great choice for the under eye area. However,  I have not been able to find the right color match for my complexion. The shades seem to lean too light, or not quite brightening enough. 

Swatches (left to right): Makeup Revolution in C2 (fair with yellow undertones), Nars in Light 2 Vanilla, Nars in Light 3 Honey, Wet n Wild in Light Ivory, Urban Decay Naked Skin in Med-Light / Neutral 

I am not someone who ever leaves the house without a proper base on my face. Sometimes this is tinted moisturizer or BB cream, sometimes a powder or liquid foundation,  but always something in terms of a true base.  The other day, I realized my skin was looking pretty good. I applied the Makeup Revolution Concealer to the center of my face, under my eyes, and to any dark areas of my face. I simply dotted a few dots straight from the included wand, then blended the product out using my Sedona Lace 312 Brush

To my surprise, I just needed a touch of setting powder over the concealer, and I felt totally confident and ready to take on the day! 

I highly recommend this concealer. My cousin and I both love it. We bet you will too! For $7, what do you have to lose?

They sell this gem of a concealer at ULTA. It comes in a number of colors, so pick one up to use as a concealer, and a darker shade for contour. 

Let me know your favorite concealer in the comments below. 

The One Setting Powder To Top Them All

For about a month now, the only setting powder I reach for is Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder. At first glance, this product seems to make a lot of questionable claims. 

It boasts that it is made out of 50% water & glycerine, which accounts for the very cool feeling you get upon application. 

It does in fact feel great especially during these summer months. I find it very refreshing. 

To give really put this powder to the test, I compared it against some of my tried & true favorites.

First of all, you get a good amount of product. The container comes with 0.35 oz, vs 0.32 oz in my RMS "un" powder. 

I am glad my cousin sent me this powder by Becca, as I was looking to replace my Nars loose powder in the color Flesh. While Nars included a large 1.2 oz of powder, they are no longer cruelty-free. 

All three powders (Becca, RMS and Nars)  are made in the U.S.A. and what I consider to be high-end brands. The Becca powder retails for $38. 


Becca Hydra-Mist has a screw top lid, that opens up to reveal a unique plastic cap. This cap helps keep things neat, as upon opening the cap, we see a mesh layer topping the powder itself. My old Nars powder had a similar mesh, but I still had to pour the powder into a vessel, and sift it out. The Becca powder has a flexible mesh, that allows you to press your brush into it, dispensing the perfect amount of product. 

I like using the Real Techniques Setting Brush, or my Bdellium Tools 995 kabuki. The brand recommends using their flat top kabuki brush, but the brushes I have work just fine, and I do not see a need to purchase a separate brush. 

Comparing Becca's powder to my RMS "un" powder is not truly a fair comparison, as the RMS powder is simply meant to reduce shine.

The Becca powder is intended to set and refresh your makeup. It includes light-reflecting pigments that blur fine lines. 

For this reason, I love using it under my eyes. It makes my under eye area bright and smooth, while setting my base all day. 

For allover face application, I tap my Bdellium Tools 995 Brush, and buff the powder gently onto my face. The cool, almost wet feeling of this powder makes it truly unique, and the fact that it holds true to all the brand's claims makes this powder the one setting powder to top them all!

Charlotte Tilbury's pressed powder still earns top place in my book for pressed powders, but Becca has won my heart in the loose powder department.  

Thank you to my cousin, Sandra, who sent me this powder as a gift. It is getting a ton of use! 

Have you tried this powder yet? How is it working for you? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Looking for the perfect cream concealer, contour & highlight? Try these little guys!

Looking for the perfect cream concealer, contour & highlight?  Try these little guys!

FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna offers the brand's much loved Match Stix in Trio form exclusively at Sephora.  With four colors to chose from (Deep 400, Light 100, Medium 200 & Tan 300) each $54 set contains makeup sticks chosen by skin tone.  The Match Stix Matte Skinsticks included in the set I own (Light 100) include concealer in the color Linen, contour in the color Amber, and one Match Stix Shimmerstick in Starstruck. 

Makeup in stick format is not something new to me. In fact, for years, I used Milani's stick concealer in the deepest shade as a cream contour.  I really have to hand it to Rihanna, the packaging on these is AMAZING!  The fact that these sticks magnetize to one another for perfect display, but easily separate if you just want to carry one on the go, is part of what makes these so special. 

The formula is extremely creamy, and blends easily with a sponge or brush.  The contour stick in this set especially stands out due to is how natural the color looks on my skin.  It is a cool-toned contour which mimics natural shadow more closely than using a cream bronzer will.  The stick format makes it easy to draw the product on, and the smooth texture gives me enough time to blend without the product setting on me too quickly.  I typically use a brush with denser bristles like the e.l.f. fan brush below to blend out the contour. 

The concealer in this trio, I tend to use more as a matte highlight, which as I've gotten older I really appreciate.  The coverage is excellent, so I often use it to cover up spots with a tiny brush. When applying directly from the stick, I draw down the T-zone highlighting the forehead, bridge of my nose and chin. 

The Shimmerstick (dewy highlighter) included in this bundle looks lovely when drawn in a "C" shape from just under the brow to the top of the cheekbone. 

As I always note, capturing highlighter accurately in photographs is difficult for me to do.  In the upper right hand corner and lower left you can see the dewy effect on my cheekbones.  The other two photos above are with and without flash to demonstrate how the product looks in different lighting. This is not your typical "Instagram highlighter," but a more sophisticated glow.  It can be built up for more intensity, and layers easily over any liquid or cream foundation. 

For maximum impact, I recommend warming the product in these little guys up a bit by swiping on the back of your hand. I am really impressed with how these Match Stix stay all day on the skin, even without setting spray. While I do use a setting powder as part of my daily routine, these sticks do not need to be set with any powder products on top. They blend into the skin, and seem to set to a powder finish.  All three of these sticks are pigmented, so a little goes a long way.  They are buildable for those wanting more coverage.  This is a truly user-friendly makeup set that even beginners can benefit from.  The unique packaging and high quality pigment makes these little guys a perfect fit for my daily routine. I also commend Rihanna, the founder of the brand, for making Fenty Beauty 100% cruelty-free.  Fenty Beauty is well known for their impressive foundation shade range which is inclusive of many more skintones than your average brand. Fenty is super hot right now, offering some on-trend items and pieces that I'm sure will grow to be loved classics in time. While it seems like a lot of celebs are jumping on the makeup bandwagon, I don't view this brand that way.  First of all, Rihanna is loved by so many people all over the world.  She is a woman who puts the fun back into makeup, as she is always willing to try something new. The way she is building her makeup business is smart, and I am personally looking forward to more offerings from this brand. 

Pictured above: The unique packaging makes a great makeup table display. The magnets hold the trio together, creating a perfect display for my makeup brushes too! 

This set was a gift from my cousin, Sandra. For more on our makeup exchange, and related links click below:

*I do not get paid to write reviews. I do not accept free items in exchange for a positive review.  All reviews that I write are 100% honest.  All opinions are my own. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

If You Only Buy 1 Base This Summer...

Seriously, if you only buy 1 base this summer, make sure it's Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream from IT Cosmetics. 

This has become my holy grail foundation for daily wear. With an SPF of 50, this is the stuff for summer!  A lot of products claim to be a "one and done," but this truly hits the mark. It is super hydrating, without ever getting greasy. This works for all skin types so I am so happy I can recommend this for most of my readers. The colors do run slightly dark, but I know this from other IT Cosmetics foundations I have purchased. Fair is a perfect color match for my complexion. It comes in about 7 different shades that I could find online. 

The best part for me is that it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. This is a full coverage product so a little goes a long way. It is $38 for 1.08 US fl. oz., which is a bit more product than your average foundation. Plus, this has real skincare benefits with the anti-aging, hydrating serum mixed in.

My cousin sent me this in our beauty swap, and this just may be my favorite item out of everything she sent! Since I started using this, I have not touched my old foundation.

Although it is a squeeze tube, there is a pump style applicator with a cap making it easy to toss in your beach bag. 

I realize I am a little late to the game on this one, but better late than never! 

Friday, July 13, 2018

First Impressions - Fenty Beauty Makeup Brushes

Fenty Beauty seems to be a new makeup brand that has everyone talking. Rihanna is pretty much loved by everyone, and her makeup looks are nothing short of iconic. 

I had only tried two products from the brand (Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta & Match Stix) when I first read that eye brushes were going to be available.  Being the makeup brush junkie that I am, I quickly logged into my Sephora account and signed up for the email notification so that I could order them the second they were in stock. 

When the day came, I ended up tossing the brand's #120 Highlight Brush into my cart too. 

The two new eye brushes are stamped with iridescent print on the handles revealing the brush number and its intended purpose. They are #200 Eyeshadow and #210 Blending

I literally just got these brushes today, and while I have spent the past two hours playing with them, I can only give you my first impression rather than an in-depth review. 

The face highlight brush is raved about in the makeup world by nearly everyone who has tried it. The unique shape and soft bristles apply quite a bit of product with one swipe. Yet, I find it very easy to buff product into the skin due to the shorter tightly packed bristles that hug the face. 

The #200 Eyeshadow brush looks like a smaller version of my Sugarpill Large Eyeshadow brush. However it is larger than a M.A.C. 239s (not a cruelty-free brand). This brush is very poorly rated on Sephora's site primarily because of the hefty price tag. I am unsure why the rating only applied to this particular brush, when all the brushes in the line are expensive. Fenty Beauty is a high-end brand. That being said,  I did notice that out of the three brushes I purchased, this is the only one with a pinched ferrule (which is a good thing). I consider a brush with a crimp in the metal ferrule to be of better quality,  as generally speaking the bristles are more secure and it tends to make the brush last over time. 

The #210 Blending brush is a larger sized eye brush, with extremely soft bristles. I find it applies and blends eyeshadow with ease. I tested it out today using three different eyeshadow brands (Urban Decay,Too Faced & Jeffree Star Cosmetics) and really found it comfortable to work with. Like the other two brushes, the handle weight is super light compared to almost every other brush I own. I think for this reason, some may complain the brush feels cheap.

Generally,  customers want a little bit of weight to higher end beauty products. Don't get me wrong, no one wants bulk, but things that cost a bit more should feel luxurious. I must sadly admit the eye brushes feel cheaply made and I doubt these will last me for years like my professional brushes do. 

I can't help but compare these to my Furless Cosmetics x It's Likely Makeup brushes. Both brands have a lovely light pink handle,  and metallic colored ferrule with soft bristles.  The similarities end there. The Furless brushes scream quality to me. The high gloss finish on the handle and company name embossed on the ferrule are details that make the brushes look more aesthetically pleasing.  The Fenty Beauty brushes feel like both the handle and ferrule are made of cheap plastic. I don't know if this is the case, as I can't find what the brush is made out of on Sephora' s site, or anywhere on the box. 

Final Thoughts for Today: 

The bristles on the Fenty brushes are super soft, and from my use today, I can say they performed very well for basic application and blending. The highlight brush is a very unique shape that I like for that reason alone. 

Honestly, I cannot recommend the eye brushes due to the value. I feel that the quality of the brushes does not match the price point. The shape of the brushes is nothing special, and you can find much better quality eyeshadow brushes at a fraction of the cost. However if money is no object and you want to support RiRi and her brand, the bristles do feel lovely and the brushes work as advertised.  

Do you have these brushes? Please share your thoughts with me! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My New Favorite Beauty Sponge

There are SO many different beauty sponges on the market. I have always alternated between the original Beautyblender and the Real Techniques version. Until now. My cousin sent me the E.L.F. Cosmetics Total Face Sponge.  This has been a real game changer for me. 

Like my cousin, I love the Beautyblender but, the price point makes it difficult to justify when there is such a great alternative available. My cousin uses it as a powder applicator, but I tend to use it to apply and blend foundation. Not sure if you want to part with your current beauty sponge? This version from E.L.F. is only $4, so you can try it and compare it to your current favorite. 

Below: Left (orange) Real Techniques,  Right (pink) E.L.F.

As far as size goes, it is just slightly larger than my Real Techniques sponge. The texture however, is slightly firmer, in a good way. I have heard others complain that the Real Techniques sponge is almost too soft, making it prone to breaking. 

The shape is nearly identical, which I like because the flatter side is ideal for application,  and the pointed end makes it easy to get into the corners of the face.

The firmer texture also helps the sponge retain its shape a bit better. Sponges can absorb bacteria and need to be cleaned and replaced pretty frequently. If you are someone who uses a beauty sponge daily, the Total Face Sponge from E.L.F. will likely end up being your favorite new beauty sponge too!

*All products in this post were purchased by me or gifted to me by a family member.  I do not except money in exchange for positive reviews.  I only share products that I honestly use & love. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

3 Juicy Looks Using Buxom PlumpLine Lip Liner

3 Juicy Looks Using Buxom PlumpLine Lip Liner

This is not a sponsored post.  All products were purchased by me, or gifted to me by a family member.  I do not get paid to write blog posts or endorse any products.  All opinions are my own.

One of the products that I have been absolutely loving this summer is Buxom's PlumpLine Lip Liner in Confidential.  My cousin, who is also a makeup artist, sent me this as part of our beauty product swap.  If you aren't familiar with this product, this is not your average lip liner.

It contains the same lip plumping ingredients as other Buxom lip products such as hyluronic acid.  The chubby pencil format makes it easy to swipe on with precision, while the other end is a lip brush, allowing you to blend with ease. The color I have, Confidential, is a peachy-nude that most will find flattering and easy to wear for everyday. If you are looking for something different though, these happen to be available in 20 different colors!

The formula is a comfortable matte that wears all day on the lips.  Unlike other matte formulas, this is very creamy and not drying at all. The price point is very reasonable when you consider the versatility of this product.  At $17 each, you essentially get a lip liner that doubles as a lipstick and lip brush all in one easy to use stick. 

To demonstrate the different ways I have worn this, I created a few different lip looks.  This pencil works great on its own, or paired with one of Buxom's Full-On Lip Polish glosses that have been popular since I can remember.

Here is Look #1: To get this look, I outlined my lips with the PlumpLine Liner, then drew a line through the center of the lips, and one a few millimeters from each corner of my mouth.  I filled in the gaps with Buxom's Big & Healthy Lipstick in Sydney (a light pink-taupe). You can use any lighter lip pencil or lipstick to fill in the gaps.  The idea here is to highlight and contour the lips, using the darker color on the edges, and the lighter color where you want the lip to appear fuller. With the brush end of the PlumpLine Lip Liner, I blended everything together to eliminate any harsh edges. The resulting look is a matte, yet full pout that very on-trend at the moment. 

Look #2: For the second look, I used the PlumpLine Lip Liner in Confidential to line the lips, blending the color in slightly with the brush end.  For added shine, I topped it with Buxom's Full-On Lip Polish in the color Lauren (punk rock pink).  This helped create the illusion of an even fuller lip while still being very wearable and daytime appropriate.  If you haven't tried Buxom's glosses yet, they create a tingly feeling on the lips, which is part of their plumping properties. While the PlumpLine Lip Liners are also intended to give one a fuller lip look, I do not notice any tingling at all with this product.  Some of the other gloss colors from Buxom that I would recommend pairing with Confidential Liner are Emily (pink chiffon) and Katie (pink lemonade).  Since Confidential is a neutral, it pairs well with just about any color gloss, but I found these colors to look particularly beautiful together. 

Look #3: For my third look, again I lined the lips with PlumpLine Lip Liner in Confidential.  Then I took Buxom's Big & Healthy Lipstick in the color Miami (bright pink) and applied it to the very center of the top and bottom lip.  Using the lip brush end of the PlumpLine Liner, I pulled Miami out toward the edges of the lip and blended together creating a very soft, plush look.  This lip look is one I like to wear when I don't want to look "too done."  Instead, it just looks like your lips are stained, but the mixture of the 2 formulas creates a velvety look on the lips.  I recommend working in thin layers and blending the color out, as you really don't need much product to achieve this look. 

If you read my first impressions post, you got to see a bonus look using this product. In that post, I used this chubby pencil as a lipstick, filling in the lips completely.  To intensify the matte effect, I tapped on a matte orange eyeshadow creating this bolder look:

I really struggle finding lip products that I love.  Mostly because throughout the course of a normal day, after eating and drinking lip products generally require reapplication.  The longer wearing formulas tend to be a bit too drying on my lips.  I can certainly achieve a longer looking pout with a lip primer and some layering techniques, but that isn't something that I really want to do everyday.  This PlumpLine Lip Liner was such a nice surprise for me.  I am truly impressed with the wear time, and how creamy, blendable and easy to use it is.  I am so happy my cousin sent me this lip liner because I don't know that I would have discovered it on my own.  I have always been someone who prefers applying lipstick with a lip brush.  I also favor liners that include one, which is why I have a number of colors from Hourglass, because they sell traditional sized lip liners (thin pencils) with a brush on the other end as well.  However, this chubbier format from Buxom truly doubles as a lipstick, enabling me to achieve full coverage with very little effort.  The brush is a nice size and shape, making blending the product easy for anyone. 

I am looking forward to exploring some of the other colors offered by the brand, because I think mixing and matching different color is really the way to get the most out of this product since it is so creamy and merges nicely with other hues. I am declaring this lip product the official lippie of summer 2018!

What are your thoughts on the PlumpLine Liners?  Do you have any? Which color is your favorite?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter - Iridescence

Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter - Iridescence

I was going through my makeup, and taking inventory as part of my mid-year review process. In the summer, I go through my personal makeup and professional makeup artist kit to decide which products I want to stock up on, and which ones I should think about replacing. 

As I've gotten older, my preference in highlighter has changed dramatically. I have always loved the dewy look that can be achieved with a few swipes of shimmery powder.  As fine lines have started to appear, I find myself being much more picky about the highlighting products I use as they can emphasize skin texture in an unflattering way if I am not careful.

The right highlighter for me, is one that can work on mature skin and young alike. When my cousin and I sent a box of our favorite makeup products to one another, we both included a highlighter.  I sent her Charlotte Tilbury's Film Star Bronze & Glow compact, and she gifted me the beautiful Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Iridescence.  I told her what I loved about the Charlotte Tilbury highlighter is that it is a "grown up" highlighter.  It photographs well, and does not emphasize fine lines or wrinkles.

She sent me the Physicians Formula highlighter because in addition to loving the product, she finds the value super impressive. For only $10.95, this product truly rivals higher priced brands. The texture feels very luxurious, and the formula is extremely long lasting. I have worn it nearly every day since I got it, and I love it more each time I put it on my face. As the name implies, this cream-to-powder formula feels smooth like butter, but it sets to a powder finish. It comes in a variety of colors, each with a see-through lid that twists open and shut revealing 0.17 Oz. / 5g of product (Net Wt.). 

The color I have, Iridescence is very cool-toned.  As the name states, it imparts an iridescent finish on the skin, leaving a multi-dimensional lavender/pink shift. I tested many techniques using a variety of applicators, including a fan brush, my fingers, a sponge, and other makeup brushes of different sizes and density.  I adjusted the method of application to include swiping, buffing, patting and swirling the product on my face.  Sometimes, I find the right application method can make or break my opinion on a product.  I am happy to report that this particular product requires little to no effort, and yields lovely results if you use your fingers or a brush.  That being said, my absolute favorite way to apply this product is with a smaller, dense brush.

Some examples are; Real Techniques Bold Metals #200 Oval Shadow Brush, and Marc Jacobs Beauty The Conceal - Full Cover Correcting Brush No. 14. Honestly, I probably prefer these brushes because they mimic finger application, but oddly I do not particularly like using my hands for any makeup application. I gently touch the brush into the product, and then pat along the high points of my face, blending and buffing the product into the skin.  Due to the cream-to-powder formulation, it really blends into bare skin or foundation nicely.  It does not sit on top of the skin emphasizing dry patches the way many other powder highlighters can. 

I also find the color to be quite unique compared to other highlighters in my collection.  The lavender tone imparts a brightening effect canceling out any sallowness.  For this reason, I love taking a tiny bit on the inner corner of my eyes, or just beneath the peak of the brow. I am happy that this is not limited edition, and Physicians Formula now considers it to be a permanent part of their makeup offerings. Since they do offer other colors, I will likely purchase the rest for my professional kit, so that I can apply this to clients of all skin tones. While this particular color likely works on a variety of complexions, their Rose Gold or Champagne options seem as though they would compliment a darker complexion even more beautifully. 

I will admit when I first saw this highlighter, I was afraid that it wouldn't work on my mature skin.  However, I actually read on the company's site that it contains soft-focus pigments intended to smooth skin texture and that mature skin was considered when formulating the product. 

I really shouldn't be surprised this product was such a hit for me, because Physicians Formula is one of those brands who has always made highlighters well. In fact, their Mineral Glow Pearls have always been a drugstore favorite of mine.  This Butter Highlighter is not just a favorite drugstore highlighter, but is currently among my favorites period, regardless of price point.

Here is how it looks on my skin (over CC Cream and loose powder): 

I also swatched it next to two highlighters that I always carry in my kit.  From left to right (above swatches): Wet n Wild Blossom Glow, Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow, Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Iridescence. 

Highlighter is always a bit difficult to photograph properly, because it is a product that truly shows its worth when the light catches it at a certain angle. A good highlighter should leave you with a luminous, youthful glow that makes your skin look healthy and hydrated, never oily. It should also be easy to layer, and not something that will breakdown on your skin throughout the day. This is truly an A+ product for me, largely because of the unique texture and multi-dimensional glow it produces.

Thank you again, to my beautiful cousin for sharing this winning product with me!

Have you tried Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter? What is your favorite color/shade?

Kat Von D 10yr anniversary eyeshadow palette

Kat Von D released a limited edition 16-pan eyeshadow palette filled with textures and colors that are truly breathtakingly beautiful. This palette is one of the items my cousin sent me in our recent beauty swap.

All of these eyeshadows perform wonderfully,  but I wear them over a primer for maximum impact. 

If all of these bright colors scare you, I assure you, they are very wearable.  Kat included enough mattes and neutrals for everyday, and the metallics and pops of color can be used close to the lash line for a more polished look.

The cover of the palette features original artwork from Kat Von D, making this $52 gem a must-have for collectors.

The palette is a good size, without being too bulky, and includes a full size mirror inside. 

The back of the palette lists the eyeshadow names. Kat Von D Beauty put out a promo video for this palette where she has each person that served as a muse for the eyeshadow names & colors. 

I found a lot of the colors in here to be quite unique. I swatched some of them against my ColourPop Perception palette, and found some similarities in tone, but overall the colors have a unique shift to them. I found this particularly true of the metallics, which apply best with a damp brush.

The thing I like most about this palette is the number of different looks I can achieve without bringing in any outside shadows. It is a complete palette in my opinion,  and can be used for a number of occasions. 

Above is a fire inspired look I wore, which is vastly different from the emerald look below.

In the above look, I pressed some of the orange eyeshadow over my lip color for a more matte effect. 

What do you think of this palette? I am thinking about including it in my next 3 looks, 1 Palette post. Let me know your thoughts below

Thank you, again to my beautiful cousin for sending me this amazing gift.