Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sephora VIB Rouge and VIB Holiday Sale

It's time for the Sephora annual VIB Rouge and VIB sale again! Starting this Thursday (6th November 2014) all VIBs and VIB Rouges can get 20% off their purchase with code GIFTROUGE (for Rouge members) and GIFTVIB (for VIBs).

The sale ends 11th November 2014.

VIB Rouges can check in with their local Sephora stores for an exclusive event to be held on Wednesday, 5th November between 7pm and 9pm.

VIB and VIB Rouges will also be receiving a coupon code for a friend, so if you know someone who's VIB, check with them!

Here are a few things I have my eyes on:

1. Beauty Blender - I think it's time that I pulled the trigger on this and finally get myself one! After hearing so much about it, it's time to test it for myself. This one comes as a set with a mini Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, which makes it a great deal.

2. Kat Von D Autograph Liner Set - I've heard good things about the KVD liners, and this is a chance to try them out in different colors!

3. Nars Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret - Mini versions of their famous matte and satin pencils? Check. Limited Edition colors? Check. What's not to love?

4. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights - the Becca Shimmering Silk Perfectors are quite well known, and this gives me a chance to try them out, and try out different shades, and actually give me a chance to finish them up!

5. Bite Beauty Mix N' Mingle Set and Singles - a mixture of various Bite Beauty products, including their matte lip pencils, cream lipstick, and lip glosses.

I'm also flirting with the idea of getting the YSL Kiss and Blush, the Naked Basics 2, and a couple of KVD liquid lipsticks. Choices, choices!

What about you? Do you have any plans for the VIB sale? Do any of the holiday sets interest you? Comment below and let me know!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette Review

I reviewed the first Revealed palette (here), where I thought it was a very nice 'dupe' for the Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes.

When the Naked 3 came out, everyone ooh'd and ahh'd over the rosey tones of the shades. Soon after, Coastal Scents (among other brands!) came out with their take on the Naked 3 palette - only it's so much more. Where the Naked 3 palette has 12 shades, the Revealed 2 palette has 20 - and, if truth be told, I might actually prefer the Revealed 2 palette just a little bit more than the Naked 2.

The palette, much like the Revealed palette, is made of cardboard. It won't withstand a fall, but it will survive travel (be careful about how you carry it, though!). Now, as far as the shades are concerned, it's clear they have the rose tones similar to the Naked 3, and I've found some similarities between the individual shades, but nothing I can call an outright 'dupe'. That being said, I think it's a lovely palette, and a great complement to the first Revealed palette. Between the two, they form a fantastic set of neutral palettes.

They still haven't named the shades, though, so I'll be using the numbering system like I did with the first palette.

Again, despite the fact that these are rose-tinged shades, there's a nice mix of warm and cool tones in the shades. However, I'd consider these to be slightly more warm toned than cool toned.

Top Row

Shade 1 is a pearly warm toned cream color. It feels smooth and is nicely pigmented.
Shade 2 is a neutral matte white. It's a little on the chalky side but builds up well.
Shade 3 is a shimmery peach-y apricot. It's got good pigmentation.
Shade 4 is a glittery warm toned baby pink. It's rather chunky and produces the most fallout out of all the shades in the palette. It does work well over primer, though.
Shade 5 is a warm toned, shimmery rose shade. It has nice pigmentation.

Shade 6 is a matte, neutral-leaning-cool toned mauve shade. It's surprisingly smooth and not chalky.
Shade 7 is a shimmery, light gold shade. It's got nice pigmentation.
Shade 8 is a shimmery mid-toned pink shade. It feels rather creamy, and is very pigmented.
Shade 9 is a shimmery warm medium brown. It has lovely pigmentation.
Shade 10 is a shimmery light warm bronze. It's nicely pigmented.

Bottom Row

Shade 11 is a matte taupe. It's a little bit on the chalky side but it's still decently pigmented.
Shade 12 is a rose-y bronze shade with a shimmer finish. It has good pigmentation.
Shade 13 is a warm matte red-brown. It's a little bit on the chalky side, but worked fine over primer.
Shade 14 is a pearly warm taupe-y brown. It's got lovely pigmentation.
Shade 15 is a shimmery cool toned taupey bronze. It's very smooth to the touch, and is nicely pigmented.

Shade 16 is a demi-matte taupe. One of my favorite colors in the palette!
Shade 17 is a warm, matte cranberry. It's definitely a gorgeous shade. It's supposed to be a dupe for MAC Cranberry, but since I don't have the MAC version, I can't really compare them.
Shade 18 is a cool toned matte medium brown. It's a little chalky, but makes a great transition shade.
Shade 19 is a matte black with red and gold glitter. It's chalky, and the glitter produces some fallout and the glitter doesn't translate onto the lid, even with primer. It's definitely the most problematic shade in the palette.
Shade 20 is a matte black. It's decently pigmented, and not too chalky.

Onto the swatches!

Okay - Now that we have the swatches, let's talk about the quality, pigmentation and performance!

The quality is similar to that of the first Revealed palette - surprisingly great. They feel smooth and soft, and kick up a little bit of fallout if you dig your brush in, but once you tap the excess off your brush, there's minimal fallout under the eyes. Some of the shades do feel gritty, and the glitter shade was quite problematic, but if you pat on the shadow, and do your eyes first, you shouldn't have too much of an issue using these.

Pigmentation is, again, surprisingly good. The shimmery and pearly shades had the best pigmentation, but even the mattes weren't too bad. All my swatches are NOT done over primer - so that gives you an idea as to how pigmented they are!
The shimmery shades veer slightly into frost territory, but they're still lovely. The mattes are a wee bit chalky, but still easy to use. They work well over primer, and blend out without too much effort.

Over primer, these last a good 8 hours on me with minimal fading, which is par for the course. They're not super long lasting but will take you through a regular workday.

Now, I like this palette over the Naked 3. Why? It's simple - because while the Naked 3 does have a little better pigmentation, and does last a little longer, 2 of the 12 shades are just awful, which, given the price you pay for it, is just frankly terrible and unacceptable. This palette has 2 of the 20 shades which have issues, which isn't bad, especially considering this palette is less than half the price of the Naked palette. It also has a better variety of shades overall, and just seems more complete to me.

So, you know. More shades, good quality, good pigmentation, good performance. What's not to like?

BGMM Rating: A

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Compare: Bare Minerals Ready Convertible Palette 2013 vs 2014

This is a comparison post, not a review post. Full review of the 2014 palette will be up soon!

For the holidays, Bare Minerals came out with a Ready Convertible Palette, similar to what they did last year. If you've been here for sometime, you know that the Ready formula is one of my favorite formulas, and so I had to get this year's palette. It's a really great value for money, as you get 12 shades for $39 (similar to last year). For reference, a Ready duo costs $20, and a Ready quad costs $30.

I wanted to do this comparison to let you guys know whether it was worth buying the 2014 palette if you have the 2013 version. Short version - yes! The shades are quite different, so it makes it worthwhile.

Let's get into it!

1. The palette exterior

Left: 2014 version, Right: 2013 version

The palettes are the same size, but the exterior has different designs. They're both made of the same sturdy plastic, and I think that they're really portable and travel-friendly.

The 2014 version has a striped design with gold lettering.

The 2013 version has a sort of snowflake-y, star-y design, with white lettering.

2. The palette interior

Left: 2014 version, Right: 2013 version

While there looks like some overlap between the two versions, I feel that the 2013 version has deeper shades while the 2014 version has lighter shades. I think the 2013 version is more neutral overall, and personally I feel that the 2013 version will look better on deeper skins. The 2014 version is less neutral, with that mustard color, the khaki, and the violets and burgundies. It's also a good palette is you're lighter skinned.

That being said, the 2013 version has more matte shades than the 2014 version, which I like.

The 2013 version is definitely what I would call a neutral palette with lots of browns and beiges, with a few pops of color.

The 2014 version is less neutral, and more color. It's got some nice olives and khaki shades, and some violets and purples. It also has fewer matte shades.

3. Swatches!

The 2013 version. Swatches go clockwise from the top left corner shade. You can clearly see the number of matte shades.

The 2014 version. Swatches go clockwise from the top left corner shade. It's less classically neutral, but still very work appropriate. Note that the shade after the mustard yellow doesn't show up clearly because it's the same shade as my skintone!

I really like the 2014 version and I think they have some great shades. It's still worth picking up the 2014 version if you already have the 2013 version, and if you don't have it, this is still a nice palette to have!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bare Minerals Ready Bronzer in The Deep End Review

A couple of months ago I was on the lookout for a good bronzer. Prior to that, I never really thought about it because, I mean, why would a brown girl want to add more brown to her face? I'm already sunkissed enough, thankyouverymuch. I was convinced otherwise after reading online, and so the hunt began. I found it tough to find a bronzer that actually showed up on me; most of them were the same shade as my skintone and disappeared into my skin. Shrutilaya pointed me in the direction of Nars Casino, which is one of my favorites, but it has some gold glitter in it, which I wasn't a fan of. I wanted a matte bronzer!

I'm already a fan of the Bare Minerals Ready formula, and so when I saw their bronzer in The Deep End I decided to give it a shot. Surprisingly, (or unsurprisingly, really) it turned out to become a real favorite!

The packaging is minimalisting, a black rubberized cover similar to those by Nars. Which means, of course, it attracts dust like flowers attract bees. It's frustrating to say the least because I like my makeup to look clean, and this is so hard to keep clean!

It's sturdy, and will travel well - but a word of caution, the formula is soft so if you drop the compact, the powder will shatter. I have dropped it onto carpeted floor, and that didn't damage it, but wood or tile floors won't be kind to it!

The Bare Minerals Ready formula is one of the nicest ones I've come across, and this bronzer is no exception. It's soft, smooth and satiny to the touch, but it's matte. It blends out easily without too much fuss. It applies a little on the lighter side but can be built up very easily.

The Deep End is a deep, warm brown without any red undertones. It's great for warmer skins because of that! I've found that sometimes the darker bronzer shades have red tones, which make my face look muddy, and this doesn't have any. It does have yellow tones, so I think this is good for olive skins as well. Lighter skins can use this with a lighter hand, but they might be better off using the lighter shades in the range.

L- light swatch; R- heavy swatch
This has become my go-to bronzer. I wore it most days on summer, and despite the heat and the oil slick that is my face, it lasted a good 5 hours. It's also comfortable to wear, and didn't clog up my pores (but your mileage may vary!).

I do think the Bare Minerals Ready products aren't as well-known as they should be. It's a fantastic formula, and the range houses some real gems, this bronzer being one of them. If you're on the lookout for a good bronzer for deeper skins, I'd recommend you try this!

BGMM Rating: A

Friday, October 17, 2014

Milani Constellation Gel Eyeliner Review

For Fall 2014, Milani released their Bedazzled collection consisting of 3 matte lipsticks, 3 gel liners and 2 nail polishes, all limited edition.

I wasn't able to get this collection in store, but I managed to snag parts of the collection online from the Milani website.

Now, I like gel liners. They do well on me, despite my oily lids. I've tried several brands - Maybelline, L'Oreal, Tarte, Inglot, MAC and Makeup Geek - and all of them have been great on my eyes.

So, of course, I didn't doubt for a second these would perform any better. Plus, have you SEEN how pretty they are? I had to get them!

These liners come in three shades:
  • Enchanted Lapis
  • Enchanted Black Opal
  • Enchanted Emerald
The liners all come with brushes for application, which are surprisingly good quality. I really like the brushes and found it quite easy to apply the liner with them. There wasn't any noticeable scratchy feeling or discomfort.

The packaging is plastic and feels a little flimsy. It's also quite bulky - the size appears to be quite big, but the pan holding the actual liner is quite shallow (I pressed the brush into it to determine how far it went down, and it went about 3/4 of the brush tip in).

The liners look SO gorgeous - they have a lovely glittery, very galaxy-looking appearance. Unfortunately, the glitter is an overspray, which makes me sad. Give me galaxy gel liners! I'm actually debating whether or not to mix in some loose pigment to turn them into a glittery gel liner (I have several indie eyeshadow samples I think I can use for this purpose!).

Enchanted Lapis is a satin-y deep navy blue shade. The glitter overspray consists of purple, light blue, pink and silver shimmer.

Enchanted Black Opal is a satin-y black shade. The glitter overspray consists of gold, blue and red-pink shimmer.

Enchanted Emerald is a satin-y deep green shade; it basically looks like a green shade over a black base. The glitter overspray consists of blue, pink and gold shimmer.

I'm not sure if everyone will get the same pattern and shimmer in their liners, so your mileage may vary.

Onto the swatches!

The liners go on smooth, and they are very creamy. I tried swatching them twice - once with the glitter overspray, then again after digging the brush into the liner where there was no glitter. I don't think it made much of a difference - you can see from the swatches above that they all look the same.

Here's a better look at Enchanted Lapis. It's a gorgeous blue shade, but I couldn't detect any glitter, even when I used it for the first time and disrupted the overspray.

Enchanted Black Opal actually is sheer and requires two passes to appear black. Otherwise it looks like charcoal!
Here the shimmer is very pronounced - even after I cleaned the brush between the overspray use and the subsequent swatches, there is a healthy dose of shimmer. I've noticed the shimmer on my eyes, as well, and suspect it may have the shimmer loaded throughout? 

Enchanted Emerald appears a little on the gunmetal side in the swatches, but in real-life it looks green, with a pronounced black base. I'd really like a true green gel liner - most of the once I have seem to have the black base beneath the green shade. Recommendations welcome!

Here, too, I had the same issue as Enchanted Lapis - I couldn't detect the shimmer, I think it was because of the green.

Now, remember how I spoke about how gel liners have always worked on me? Good.

Recall how I said these were really smooth and creamy, and glided on with ease?

Remember how I told you these don't set? Uhh.. didn't I? Take a look for yourself then:

Yeaaaaah. So that happens.

That was taken after I had given a minute for the liners to set. They never set, they always seem to move and slide around on my eyes!

What's even stranger is that where I originally apply the liner (see the swatch lines above), the liner stains the skin black. Yeah. It comes off with soap and water, and makeup remover, but it looks so strange, with a smear all around your eyes, and a faint ring around your lashlines where you originally applied the liner.

These aren't totally a loss, though - they work decently as eyeshadow bases, and work as gel liners over eye primer (to be on the safe side, if you plan on using these as eyeshadow bases, use them over a primer!)

I find it surprising that something from Milani - which happens to be one of my favorite drugstore brands - is the first gel liner product to not work on me. It's quite disappointing!

Now, to be perfectly fair, there are people out there who have had success with these, so again, your experience may be vastly different from mine.

But I can't, in all good concience, recommend these to anyone. If you still want a galaxy liner, buy a black gel liner (Maybelline or L'Oreal make good ones!) and mix in lots of loose shimmer. It won't look as pretty, but it'll be better quality than these.

BGMM Rating: D