Saturday, August 31, 2013

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection Lipstick in Bebot Love review

I love sleep. I mean, it's always so hard for me to wake up at 6 am every morning to get ready for classes and teaching and lab. I overuse my poor snooze button every day of the week!

Now the problem with overusing your snooze button is that you'll end up with less time to actually get ready... so what can you do to save time but look great? Slick on a great nude lipstick, of course!

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection's lipstick in Bebot love is just so easy. It's a lovely nude lipstick that's great for everyday use.

The packaging is nothing to talk about, it's a plastic silver and black cover with a clear plastic cap. It does feel cheaply made and the bullet catches fingerprints like... well, CSI? Anyway since I value quality over packaging (even if I do adore cute packaging) it's not such a big deal for me, given that it was quite low-priced.

The top of the plastic cap has some sort of sign/crest/symbol thingie that's supposed to indicate it's from the Fergie Collection (?). I thought it was cute.

My huge gripe with this lipstick is that it doesn't swivel all the way down into the tube, which makes closing it a huge task - I have to be mega careful so I don't nick the lipstick with the cap, and I don't like have to be that careful - I want something that will let me open, apply, click shut and go!

Coming to the formula this is a creme formula that applies smoothly - no tugging at the lips here. It's an opaque formula that covers the lips with one swipe. It isn't drying, but neither does it afford moisture. The one thing that I do like about this lipstick is that it doesn't emphasize lip lines, not does it stick to drier parts of my lips. Nevertheless it's always advisable to prep your lips before using any kind of lipstick.

I'm a huge fan of the color, which is a peachy-beige nude. It isn't one of those nudes that will wash me out completely, but it sort of hugs my lips, and evens them out. Perfect for days when you don't have time to think about what lip color to wear, and also for smokey eyes. 

As you can see from the swatch above it's only a couple of shades darker than my skin tone making it a perfect nude for me - lighter skins and less pigmented lips than mine would probably find this an MLBB shade.

All in all I think it's a lovely lipstick well worth investing in. I won't dock points for the packaging, but I will dock points for the fact that it doesn't swivel all the way down, which is a huge annoyance for me - others might not find it as inconvenient as I do.

If you're looking for a good nude lip color / MLBB color might I suggest this - it's easy on the pocket and lovely on the lips!

BGMM Rating: A-

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sally Hansen Colorfast Tint and Moisture Balm in Blackberry Honey review

I realize this post is up a little late, my apologies. It's been quite a busy day, I had my first teaching class and those always leave me a little anxious because I'm never sure if I've prepared enough or not!

Sally Hansen ColorFast Tint and Moisture Balms have your typical chubby crayon packaging, with the twist up swivel at the bottom, and the balm enclosed in a plastic case. The cap is transparent so you can see the color of the balm, and the plastic tube also is color coordinated with the balm shade; definitely a plus, since it makes it easier to differentiate between shades.

I purchased Get Mauve'n and Blackberry Honey. This review is for Blackberry Honey.

I'm hard pressed to describe Blackberry Honey. It's almost like a sheer, blackened plum-mauve color. It's a very unique color, and I think it could be a dupe for Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (let me point out I don't own the Clinique version, this is based off the swatches I've seen on the internet and done in Sephora). It's not, to be honest, the most flattering color for me, but that could just be because of my pigmented lips and dusky skin.

I do like the color though, and wished it worked for me!

The balm is sheer and not heavy at all, and does not tug at the lips. It feels weightless and is very comfortable to wear. My only gripe with this is that is isn't as moisturizing as the name claims; it lasts on my lips for about 2 hours and in those two hours it doesn't feel very moisturizing to me. On the other hand it doesn't dry my lips out either like Get Mauve'n did, but I still would have preferred more moisture. This is also more pigmented than Get Mauve'n.

Left: single swipe, Right: multiple swipes

Left: single swipe, Right: multiple swipes

Is it worth investing in this? If you're looking for something similar to Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, this might be worth a shot. If you're looking for a mildly hydrating, sheer lip color, this might be worth a shot. But on the whole, given the myriad of chubby lip crayons out there, I think there are definitely better options to choose from.

BGMM Rating: B-

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sally Girl single eyeshadow review

Sometimes when I look at all the shiny-ness around and then realize my wallet is close to empty, it makes me sad. I have quite a pokemon thing going on with all the lovely fall releases - gotta catch 'em all! - but unfortunately my wallet won't cooperate so I'm left hanging.

Well desperate times call for desperate measures and as a makeup junkie I'm all about finding cheap ways to get a fix; but for the sake of propriety we'll just say that I'm all about discovering new brands ;)

Sally Girl is an in-house brand of Sally Beauty, which is a beauty supply chain here. They have a range of products from hair care to makeup and Sally Girl is their makeup brand, and has products for nails, eyes and lips.

I caught sight of these one day when I aimlessly wandered into my nearest Sally Beauty (to this day I can't recall what made me go in there) but when I saw these cute little eyeshadows I knew I needed to try them out!

These are single eyeshadow pans that hold 0.04oz (1.1g) of product - not a whole lot but for the price (I paid $0.90 each) it is totally worth it.

The surface of the shadow has a rippled, wavy effect to it that I find adorable.

The shades I picked up were:

  • Taupe
  • Cinnamon
  • Expresso
  • Olive
I tried to choose more neutral shades because those are the kind I use regularly, and I really wanted to see if the quality of these shadows would incline me to use them on a daily basis.

I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and silky these were. I had fairly low expectations, but these were really good! They were soft, and blended easily. I would almost call them buttery. They are a little bit on the chalky side, but it's not very noticeable.

The best part about these singles? You can attach them together to make your own custom palette!

As you can see from the previous photo (not the one on top) the shadows have a ridge-like protrusion on one end and a groove on the other end. So the ridge on one eyeshadow fits into the groove of the next, and so on.

Here's a demo of what I mean:

See what I mean? This is awesome, because you can store all of them together, and make a palette of your own choice of colors!

Onto the swatches:

L-R: Taupe, Cinnamon, Expresso, Olive

L-R: Taupe, Cinnamon, Expresso, Olive
As you can see from the swatches above Taupe is a little chalky but rest assured it is nevertheless a lovely color. I'm particularly fond of Cinnamon and Expresso, they are easy to wear neutral shades. Olive is definitely my favorite, it's not so dark that you can't wear it during the day but it isn't too light, I can wear this as an all over color, slap on some eyeliner and lipstick and I'm all set to go.

To sum up, these aren't by any means the best eyeshadows out there. But for the price they're a lovely little pick, and should you find yourself with limited means but in need of something new I would recommend that you pick up a shade or two.

I also think these are a great way to try out a color that you have your eye on but hesitant to fully commit to - sort of a test drive if you will.

BGMM Rating: B+

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stila In The Know palette Review

When I first got into eye shadows all I used to experiment with were shimmery and satin shades (although I confess that at times I don't know the difference between shimmer and satin!). I never gave much thought to glitter shades or matte shades - glitter shades were (and are) just not worth the fallout that comes with them and as for matte shades I always felt that they looked 'weird' on my eye.

It was only later on that I realized that the reason matte shades looked strange was because once applied they looked as though nothing was on the lid. Of course, it's also very hard to find matte shades that aren't chalky. I'm still getting used to using matte shades but I do appreciate how they give an effortless, subtle look.

Stila's In the Know is an all-matte palette. It is one of the few matte palettes that I own, but already it's become a huge favorite of mine. 

The palette comes with a lookbook that demonstrates how to achieve different looks. I like how it gives step-by-step instructions.

The palette is made of cardboard material, but isn't very sturdy. I would not risk dropping this anywhere, even on carpet! The palette is a deep blue color with black font on the front. I think it looks quite charming.

Inside the box are ten matte eyeshadow, all relatively warm toned. On the other side is a mirror, with a quote by Sarah Lucero on top (Sarah Lucero is a makeup artist and the Global Director of Education for Stila Cosmetics)

Also included in the palette is a Smuge Stick waterproof eye liner in Halfmoon ,which is a charcoal grey shade.

The shades are:

  • air - matte beige
  • driftwood - mid tone brown
  • wind - soft matte peach
  • fire - matte brick
  • desert - soft matte tan w/warm undertones
  • rain -matte brown
  • clay - matte warm light brown
  • smoke - matte charcoal grey
  • earth - deep matte chocolate brown
  • ebony - matte black

Okay, moving on to the most important part - how do they perform?

In a word - amazing.

Seriously, these have to be the best matte shades I've ever come across (not that that's a lot :P) but they are buttery and creamy, and so effortlessly easy to blend, that it takes away the stress that sometimes comes with working with matte shades

There is little to no fallout, and the shades are by no means chalky. The best part is that all the shades are warm toned, so they look great on my skin.

The shades are muted; none of them are garish 'look at me' shades. They are somber without being boring, and enhance the eyes drawing too much attention to them.

I like how the shades aren't so light that they get lost on my skin. Personally I find myself reaching for this palette for those days when I don't want to spend too much effort in putting together a look, because all these shades work so well together.

If you're a warm toned gal looking for neutral matte shades, I'd say this palette has you covered.

BGMM Rating: A

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sally Hansen ColorFast Tint and Moisture Balm in Get Mauve'n Review

I'm such a sucker for lip products. They help me go from shy girl-next-door to drama queen in less than 60 seconds! There are just so many shades, textures and coverage you can play around with; from tinted lip balms to mirror-shine glosses to satin lipsticks and matte lipsticks there are so many varieties to experiment with!

I was browsing at my local Walgreens when I came across these and was kind of intrigued; after all Sally Hansen is a brand more known for their nail products than anything else. For that matter I didn't even know they had lip products! Nevertheless my one weakness is chubby crayons and when I saw these my willpower weakened and I brought a couple home to see how they performed.

Sally Hansen ColorFast Tint and Moisture Balms have your typical chubby crayon packaging, with the twist up swivel at the bottom, and the balm enclosed in a plastic case. The cap is transparent so you can see the color of the balm, and the plastic tube also is color coordinated with the balm shade; definitely a plus, since it makes it easier to differentiate between shades.

I purchased Get Mauve'n and Blackberry Honey. This review is for Get Mauve'n.

Get Mauve'n is a nude beige color with a slight pink undertone. It is a very sheer color that can be built up. This makes for a very light nude for me - I would say for my skin tone this is the lightest color I can wear without looking ghoulish.

The balm is sheer and not heavy at all, and glides on without tugging at the lips. It doesn't feel sticky, and actually doesn't feel like you have anything on at all. However my only gripe is that it isn't as moisturizing as the claims go; it lasts for about 2 hours on my lips and then disappears. However as it disappears so do the hydrating properties; by the end of the 2nd hour my lips were mildly chapped. I think that wearing this on top of a balm would reduce the issue, but I would much prefer a product that gives me both. Also, I would have like it to be a tad more pigmented.

Bottom - single swipe; Top - multiple swipes

As you can see from the swatch it is very sheer. I think this would make a great nude shade for lighter skin tones and less pigmented lips.

Is it worth investing in? Well, if you have any of the myriad other chubby sticks out there, then you can probably skip this. If you like more pigmented colors, skip this. If you're looking for a mildly hydrating, sheer lip color, this might be right up your alley.

BGMM Rating: B-

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stila In the Garden Palette Review

I have such a massive weakness for eye shadow that sometimes I'll look at a product in the store and promptly forget about the ones sitting at home... even if those ones at home are barely used! Call it a hoarding instinct or obsession, the fact is I think that a simple sweep of eye shadow can do wonders.

I had heard so much about Stila eyeshadows on the blogosphere that I just had to try them out for myself; so when Stila had their back to school sale I picked up two of their palettes. Their most famous one (I believe) is their In the Moment palette which is supposed to be a dupe for the Naked palette, but since I have quite a few neutrals I decided to give this one a skip. I picked up In the Garden, which are earth-inspired tones, and In the Know, which is a matte palette (and which I will be reviewing later)

The palette is made of cardboard material, but not so sturdy that I'm willing to take a risk and drop it (even on carpet). The palette is a light green color with gold font on the top. I think it looks quite charming, but I would have preferred a sturdier material (even plastic would have been okay with me!)

Inside the box are 10 eyeshadows, all slightly cool toned. On the other side is a quote by Sarah Lucero, who is a makeup artist and the Global Director of Education for Stila Cosmetics (to be honest I was a bit baffled by this; why does a makeup brand need a Director of Education? Do they have a college or a school or something? Anyway, I digress.)

Also included in the palette is a Smudge Stick Waterproof eye liner in Starfish (I have to add this - when I read Starfish as the name I immediately thought of Spongebob Squarepants!!) 

The shades are: 

  • Chinois - matte creamy white
  • Breeze - shimmery beige
  • Bark - shimmery taupe
  • Freesia - shimmery violet blue
  • Rosette - metallic pink violet
  • Nectar - matte creamy beige
  • Honey - metallic bronze gold
  • Sage - shimmery translucent green
  • Moss - dark olive green with shimmer
  • Juniper - deep shimmery forest green

Now onto the performance - these are soft, buttery eyeshadows that are very pigmented. You just touch your brush to the eyeshadow and the brush gets loaded with pigment! They spread easily over the eyelid and are easy to blend. I'm not joking about the ease of blending part! I did a look yesterday using Sage, Moss and Bark and it felt effortless (and I totally forgot to take a picture! Ooopsies.)

All the colors show up on my skin (if I had to take a guess I'd rate myself as maybe an NC45 in MAC? I don't know, I've never tried anything MAC.)

It was so hard for my camera to pick up the lovely duochrome that is Rosette (top row, first from the right). It is a lovely purple-pink color with a blue duochrome. It is so, so pretty.

Chinois, Breeze and Nectar make very good highlights. I like using Honey, Sage and Bark as all over lid colors for the daytime. Moss and Juniper would make a lovely green smokey eye. For a fun look I like to use Freesia as an eyeliner.

Overall, I love this palette! It's such a change from regular neutrals, and the colors are a dream to work with. I think it's worth picking it up during a sale, so you get the most value for your money!

BGMM rating: A

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ipsy August 2013 Bag!

Given that I follow quite a few blogs it's inevitable that I occasionally come across a new product that makes me drool. But you never really know if a product is going to work out for you or not, and it makes little sense to rush out and purchase it, if you're eventually going to hate it.

Which is why I think the concept of beauty subscriptions help, as they give me a chance to try out new brands and products without investing too much of my money.

Ipsy's August Glam Bag theme is Glamour Academy. The products I received are:

  • Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascara (sample) - $7
  • Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask (sample) - $10
  • Nyx Rouge Cream Blush (full size) - $6
  • Noya Lip Balm (full size) - $4
  • Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream (sample) - $5 
So let's get started, shall we?

First off, the bag itself:

Did you notice something off about the bag? The print is reversed!! It's supposed to read "Ipsy, Glamour Academy" on the crest, but the words are a mirror image - they've been reversed. I'm someone who's a little OCD about things like that, and this just rubbed me the wrong way. Isn't there someone who should be overseeing things like this? It's such a pity, given that the bag itself is a lovely rich purple color. Shame, really.

Pixi Lash Boost Mascara is a black, waterproof mascara. I like the small bristles as they help me reach all my lashes. However, the formula was so dry! It had dried out in the tube. As you can see from the swatch above, it was just unusable. It's a pity, because it was really waterproof, and didn't budge one bit. 

Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask is a lovely product. This is something worth looking into, if you're a fan of glycolic acid masks. This is the first glycolic acid mask I've used, and I'm impressed. The mask is supposed to contain high concentrations of proteolytic enzymes, beta carotene, vitamins, minerals, phytosterols and fatty acids, along with glycolic acid. It smells like pumpkin bread (is there even a thing like that?) You can use the mask every fortnight, and it's recommended that you wear sunscreen after using this product (but you should be wearing sunscreen daily anyway!)

It worked great on my oily skin, and after using it I noticed that my skin looked brighter. Even hubby noticed! It was gentle, and I didn't have an adverse reaction to it. I really like this product.

I have to admit when I saw the Nyx Rouge Cream blush in pan, I was scared. It's so orange! And I wasn't very happy that it was a cream formula... especially since I'm so oily and face products generally get eaten up my skin pretty quickly.

However when I swatched it, it wasn't bright orange, but a softer orange with pink tones. Sort of like an amplified peachy-coral shade, if you will. It looks lovely on my cheeks, is fairly simple to use, and on dusky gals it really makes your face glow! I'm happy with this, and even though it lasts about 4 hours on my cheeks, I like the formula enough to want to explore other shades from this range.

I took one look at the lip balm and thought to myself "Are they serious?" Noya is a brand I've never come across. They are a kosher, natural lip care company. I received the flavor in vanilla. It's a nice enough lip balm, nothing special about it. It's always nice to have a lip balm, but given that the alternative to this product was freakin' Urban Decay Revolution lipstick, I was pretty mad that I got this instead. It seems kind of dinky by comparision, no? Especially since I have one of the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks (reviewed here) and it pretty much blew my mind. Sigh. Oh well. Next time, Ipsy!

Partially blended

Completely blended

Oh BB creams, how you amuse me. Pacifica's Alight Multi-Mineral BB cream is supposed to even out your skin and give it a glow. 
Well, there's a glow all right - since the formula is loaded with microglitter! The one-tint-suits-all doesn't fly - as you can see it's far too light for my skin color. I gave it a shot on my face, but the fact that the microglitter settled into my pores gave me a fright and I took it off immediately.
This was a huge miss for me. The formula itself is rather runny, and leaves me even oilier than I usually am. Those with paler skins that are normal/dry might enjoy this, as long as you're looking for something extremely sheer. (It's so sheer you might as well wear your moisturizer mixed with mica or something.)

Overall... compared to the July bag this was slightly better, nevertheless the fact that I received products I couldn't use at all (the Pixi mascara) and some that didn't work for me (Pacifica BB cream) didn't really thrill me. Nevertheless the Michael Todd mask was a really great product, and I did love the Nyx blush, so it wasn't a total bust.

BGMM rating: B-