Monday, June 30, 2014

Travel skincare - my major must-haves!

Skin care is an important routine for me, and it gets quite difficult trying to keep it up when I'm travelling and on vacation. Now when I'm on vacation I usually look at two things - how long I'm going to be away for, and whether or not I can make substitutions when I'm away.

Now I'll usually go very minimalistic when I travel and eliminate any frills, but some of the items I have to absolutely take with me are:

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Wash - this has become my favorite ever since I discovered it, and I love it so much this is my second bottle (a bottle lasts quite some time!). It leaves my skin feeling clean, without stripping away too much of it's natural moisture. I rather like the Tea Tree smell, though it may not be for everybody. I also feel it reduced the number of spots I get!

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner - this is a watery toner with a sort of residue in it. You need to shake it before use. It's a little on the harsher side, but is very effecting in cleaning dirt and grime off your skin. Be sure to avoid using it too close to the eye area, though. Another thing to keep in mind is the tea tree smell, which is quite strong!

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel - this is on the more expensive side, but a bottle will last a good 6 months. I love that it's lightweight and is absorbed easily. It's perfect for using under sunscreen in really hot weather (which I have in spades here!). It doesn't feel sticky or tacky. Best for truly oily skins, because it will not have enough moisture for normal/combination/dry skins.

Neutrogena Ultrasheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 55 - speaking of sunscreen, I've made it a priority to always wear sunscreen every day, regardless of whether I'm going out or not. I actually disliked this sunscreen in the beginning - I felt it made me oily. After establishing a good skincare routine, though, I tried this again, this time with success! It leaves me quite matte (although does nothing for oil control!) and it doesn't leave a white cast on my skin. It's not the best sunscreen, though, but it's good enough. (As a note, I much prefer the Shiseido sunscreen formula, but it leaves a white cast on my skin, which means I can only use it under makeup.)

The Body Shop Body Olive Body Butter - one of my favorites. It's so very moisturizing but non-greasy, and is absorbed quite quickly. It leaves my skin feeling oh-so-soft. Despite it being a body butter, I also use it for my face at night when I want more moisturization. It hasn't broken me out, but is still leaves my skin feeling plump and hydrated.

What are some of your travel favorites? Comment below and let me know!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greetings from warm, sunny India!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Brown Girl Makeup Musings is on holiday!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palette - Violet Storm

I have today another Tarina Tarantino palette. This one was a limited edition palette from, as I discovered, the Aurora collection. It's still available at the Tarina Tarantino website, weirdly enough, so... I guess it's not really limited edition?

You know by now how much love I have for the Tarina eyeshadows that I'm not going to sound like a broken record.

The Jewel Eyeshadow palette in Violet Storm has a collection of more colorful shades than her other palettes, but these are definitely some of the more unique colors I've come across.

The color on the packaging is different from the 'permanent' line - these have a more cool-pink-grey metal as opposed to gunmetal. The top of the palette has an icy white and purple combination that has a multicolor reflective shift to it. It also has an icicle-like design. lt's very sturdy, and will travel well.

The inside houses five non-neutral eyeshadow colors. Personally, I like the design and the packaging, there is hardly any wasted space. There's a good amount of product in each of the pans.

Shadow #1 is a bright matte ocean blue with silver glitter in it. This had the poorest payoff of the palette, but was fairly decent to use on the lids.
Shadow #2 is a light, shimmery lavender with a silver sheen. It had excellent pigmentation, and had a tendency to appear a little frosty.
Shadow #3 is a shimmery mint green-teal color. It is one of the most unique colors I've come across. It had excellent pigmentation.
Shadow #4 is a very shimmery beige-champagne color with a light pink sheen. It had excellent pigmentation, and quite a frosty finish.
Shadow #5 is a satin purple with pink shimmer. It had good pigmentation but had a bit of fallout.

The colors are all very pigmented and just so soft and silky to the touch. They apply smoothly, and blend out easily, with no fading. The color intensity is spot on. The color that you see in the pan is what you'll get on your eyes (some of the shimmers do tend to look frosty, though).

I'm a little sad there isn't a matte eyeshadow, something to serve as a crease/transition shade. In my view this is the only place where the palette is lacking. While it's possible to create looks with this palette, it's would have been so much nicer had they included a matte neutral shade. 

Compared to some of the other palettes though, the shadows in this were of a mixed quality - not all of them had the excellent pigmentation and payoff that I've come to expect from them. Shadows #1 and #5 in particular weren't as nice as the rest. Of course, I'm comparing them to the other shadows from this line; if I were to compare them to all eyeshadows in general, they are still above par.

Wear time is a solid 8 hours with minimal fading. Application and blending are easy, although because the shades are soft, they're almost crumbly, and so you have to be careful while applying them in order to avoid fallout (which is minor). It's best to be more careful with #1 and #5, since they have glitter in them, and will produce more fallout.

I'm not as impressed with this palette as I am with the rest of her line, but given that I love some of the shadow colors (#2, #3 and #5) I'll still get some good use out of it.

BGMM Rating: B+

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The one where I have my exam...

Clearly, I'm no artist. Also, I promise my handwriting is actually better than what it is here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Help! I'm New To The Makeup World - What To Buy, and Why.

For my 150th post here at Brown Girl Makeup Musings, I wanted to talk about something a little different. It wasn't too long ago that I started my makeup adventure, and there are a couple of things I'd like to mention in the hopes of helping some of you out there. This will be an ongoing "Help! I'm New To The Makeup World" series.

Now, I know there's a lot of makeup out there, and it can get quite confusing trying to navigate the scene. Hopefully, this will clear a couple of things up.

Before you buy anything - and I mean anything!:

1. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, and note down what you want out of makeup. By this, I mean think about it seriously - do you have skin issues you want to resolve (there's a difference between wanting to resolve oily skin - which would require revamping your skincare routine - and wanting to cover up acne, redness etc), or do you just want to look more pulled together? Try thinking of people whose looks you want to emulate, but be realistic. Don't aim to look like an A-lister on the red carpet - chances are, you're not going to be able to (at least immediately!).

2. Think about the time you're going to be able to invest in your routine on a daily basis. Personally, most days I love to sleep in, and so I have about 15 minutes for my routine.

3. Understand that makeup application is an art that requires practice. You're not going to be able to master techniques from day 1. Realize that you'll need to practice, and be willing to practice.

3. Look at yourself in the mirror, and really analyze yourself. By this, I mean, study the shape of your face, the shape of your eyes, your skin - is it warm toned or cool toned? What are the issues you have - redness, acne, discoloration?This video from Lisa Eldrige, one of my favorite Youtube makeup artists, is very helpful.

Done? Okay, let's go on to the products.

A foundation is something that should be in every kit, regardless of how often you plan on using it. This is for the simple reason that it helps you hide zits and other blemishes/discolorations, and give your skin an even color that makes it look 'perfect'. Furthermore, foundations can also help products like blushes and bronzers adhere better, as a result they will be more long lasting.

Foundations come in several formulas - cream, powder and liquid. Generally, cream and liquid foundations are better suited for dry and normal skins, while powder is better for oily skins. However, today's foundations have excellent formulas, and you shouldn't restrict yourself to one finish!

It's always a good idea to be a little on the spend-ier side for foundations - the reasoning behind this is that this will go all over your face, and is in direct contact with your skin (which is your largest organ, mind you), so you want to make sure you choose something that's safer.

Also, keep in mind that finding the perfect foundation for you is no easy task. Finding your correct shade, and a formula and finish that suits you is difficult, so be patient! Another thing to note - I want to emphasize this- If you are going to try a new product, sample it first, and do not sample multiple items on the same are at once. This is especially true of products you are going to be putting all over your face, but you should make a general habit of testing everything. This is to make sure you don't break out, or develop a rash to the product.

BB/CC creams
These creams are very popular at the moment, but what are they? BB stands for "Blemish Balm", and CC stands for "Color Correcting". Both these products provide (or claim to provide) you with a variety of benefits - they offer coverage (as they are tinted), they have SPF, and some also have skin-improving properties (although I'm not sure how effective those are).

It's worth noting that most of the drugstore BB/CC creams are nothing more than glorified tinted moisturizer, and offer little to no coverage (by 'coverage' I'm talking about how well they are able to even out your skin tone and hide imperfections). The Asian BB creams are the better ones, but that being said if you have a darker skin tone, it's next to impossible to find a match. However, that being said, some mid-end and high-end brands have some great BB/CC creams.

These are nice if you want a lighter coverage, or want something that can be used quickly. They can also be used under foundation, as a sort of primer, to boost the coverage offered by the foundation. If you had to choose between this and foundation, I'd pick foundation, since you can tweak it to better suit your preferences.

Face Primer - the pre-foundation step
A primer is a product that essentially primes your face for whatever goes on top of it, i.e foundation and/or BB cream. A good primer will help your foundation wear longer and better, and also fill in lines and cover pores and bumps on your face. This will aid your foundation in covering blemishes and/or discoloration. Different primers can be used for different problems. For dark circles, you can use a peach/orange primer. For redness, use a green primer. If you have sallow skin, use a lavender primer. If you have oily skin, go with an oil-free primer. Normal skins can use an untinted primer. Dry skins can use a hydrating primer.

Primers come in two formulations - silicone-based, and water-based (this can be determined by looking at the ingredients list, and noting what the first ingredient is). Silicone primers usually have dimethicone and cyclopentoxsilane, while water based primers will have aqua (water). Make sure you choose an appropriate primer for your foundation - like goes with like (i.e, water based foundation with water based primer) or else your foundation wear time might decrease, or it could look splotchy, etc. You might have to experiment around to find a formula that works for you.

This is primarily for covering under eye circles, and blemishes such as pimples. It is a great way to hide fatigue, tiredness and illness. Using concealer can instantly make you look more awake and perkier. Use concealer the same shade as your skin to cover up any zits/discolorations, and for your eyes, use a shade lighter than your skintone to brighten up your eye area. If you have severe dark circles, use a color corrector in peach (for lighter skins) or orange (for deeper skins). You can find some more concealer tips here.

Concealer can be worn under or over foundation. I personally wear concealer over foundation when I wear a full face, but most days I use concealer on it's own, without any foundation, only on areas of my face I think need it.

Eye Primer
I know, I know. I just spoke about face primer, and here I am talking about another one. It's purpose is pretty basic, but important nonetheless - it gives your shadows longer wear time, and makes them appear more vibrant. For oily lids, it also prevents creasing. It's a must if you wear eyeshadow. There are several options out there, both at drugstore and higher-end, and quite a good number of formulas around. Keep in mind that similar to face primers, you might have to experiment to find a suitable formula for you.

This is an area with limitless options. It's going to be hard to explain everything, but I'll try.

A. Color - eyeshadows come in a wide range of colors. You might like more neutral shades (especially for work), or you might like brighter colors. Whatever you like, it's important that you know how to use them. It's a good idea to look up Youtube tutorials on eyeshadow application and blending, because eyeshadows are a great way to get the look you want.

B. Types - there are two main types of shadow, powders and creams. Powder shadows are the most common, and are good for multi-faceted looks involving two or more colors. Cream shadows are very goof-proof, as they are typically worn all over the lid by themselves. Cream shadows can also serve as a base for powder shadows, in order to intensify the color of powder shadows.

C. Finish - there are several types of eyeshadow finishes, viz., matte, satin, shimmer and glitter. Matte shadows are 'plain' shadows - there's no sparkle to them. Despite being plain, they are excellent when you want a more natural look. Satin shadows have a sheen to them, and are a good way to open up the eye area. Shimmer eyeshadows are a cross between satin and glitter eyeshadows. They have a satin base, but also have very, very fine pieces of glitter in them. Glitter eyeshadows are usually either satin or matte eyeshadows with large (when compared to shimmer shadows) pieces of glitter in them. They can be finicky to work with, as they produce fallout.

Eyeliners help to add definition to your eyes. They can do a variety of things - they can change, or alter how the shape of your eye looks; they can bring out the color of your eye, or mute it; they can even add dimension to your eyeshadows by complementing or contrasting it. These come in various formulations as well - pencil, gel and liquid. Pencil liners and gel liners are typically considered easier to use than liquid liners.

Mascara helps to make your eyes pop. It can do lots of things, from darkening your lashes, to making them longer, they can add volume to your lashes. You can even change the color of your lashes by using a colored mascara! Most mascaras come in either black or brown. There are also mascaras that add temporary extensions to your lashes - these are called fibre mascaras. There are also tubing mascaras, that form a polymer around each of your lashes to give a more dramatic look.

Blush and Bronzer
Blushes and bronzers are a good way to add some color to your skin. When you use foundation, oftentimes the resulting look is flat and one dimensional - our face, however, has different colors on it. These can be used to give you a healthy look (akin to how you'd look if you had a great workout), or it can be used to add definition, to highlight your cheekbones. Blushes are generally applied to the apples of the cheek, while bronzers are used on the sides of the face (wherever the sunlight would naturally hit your face) to give you a sunkissed look.

They come in two formulations - powder and cream. Powders tend to be more pigmented, while creams are easier to blend out and more forgiving. You can also use cream products under powder products to prolong the wear time on your blush and/or bronzer.

Cream products are generally better suited to dry and normal skins, while powder is best for all skin types.

These help greatly in application - whether or not you're able to achieve the look you want depends, to a good extent, on the types of brushes you're using. You will need to apply and blend out your makeup, and the density, sturdiness, and softness of your brushes will make a difference. There are quite a few options out for good, cost-effective brushes - Real Techniques and Ecotools are two that I like.

Makeup Remover
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever sleep in your makeup. Always take off all your makeup before going to bed. There are a myriad of options available - be it creams, liquids, or even makeup removing wipes - so choose an option that appeals to you and use it, but don't skip this!

I hope this has been helpful as a starter guide! Remember that you don't need every single product on this list. Start with the ones you feel comfortable with. I recommend investing in a good concealer, mascara and makeup remover, along with some good brushes. That will give you a good starting point. You can then add other things like foundation, BB creams, eyeshadow, blush and bronzer, and primers.

A note on primers - some people swear by them while others find that they don't need them. It all depends on your skin, and on your personal preferences.

Was this helpful? Comment below and let me know if I missed anything!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Milani Baked Blush Review - Delizioso Pink and Bella Rosa

As I've mentioned before, Milani is a drugstore brand that has some really great products. It's one of my favorite drugstore brands for a very good reason! Their blushes are truely some of the best formulas I've worked with - I only have the baked blushes, but man, I gotta tell you, these baked blushes are amazing.

Trouble was, most of their 'old' baked blushes had shimmer in them. Now, I'm a fan of shimmer, but you can't wear it everyday, amiright? So when Milani came out with some brand-spanking-new MATTE blushes, you better believe I was all over them!

The packaging is something I consider trademark Milani - made of plastic and colored gold. It's quite big and bulky, which means it will travel safely, but it will take up space/weight.

The packaging has the blush on top, and can be flipped up to reveal a mirror and a blush below. The mirror is fairly handy, more for applying lipstick than applying blush in my opinion. The brush is quite useless - not very dense or soft, and pretty scratchy. I suppose you could use it were you in a pinch, but you would still have to blend out with your fingers or something else (which would be quite a task, as these are pigmented!)

The shades that I have are:
- Delizioso Pink
- Bella Rosa

Delizioso Pink is a matte, vibrant, cool toned blue-based bubblegum pink. If applied heavily (as in the swatches below) it will appear a wee bit chalky, but I assure you that's not the case at all. It reminds me or Nars' Mata Hari, but... if I'm being honest... I prefer this. It's very finely milled, very highly pigmented, and blends out like a dream. It's just... *mwah* the kind of blush that gives you the kind of cheeks I picture the heroines in Jane Austen novels have.

Bella Rosa is a matte, warm toned, deep raspberry pink. It looks scary in the pan (for good reason - it's very pigmented) but if you know how to use it right, baby, your cheeks will have that flush. You know, the kind of flush that tells people 'Look at me! Look at how healthy and glowing I am!". The powder is finely milled, and, as mentioned, highly pigmented - a soft tapping of your blush brush into this will be more than enough. This - this is the shade I demand (which is so rare, no?) all deeper skins have.  Blending won't be a problem with this - it's as smooth as butter.

The swatches above are a single swipe of the blush. I wasn't kidding about the pigmentation. Wear time on these is also particularly good - I get 6 hours out of these, but normal skins should have no issues with fading.

There's no discernable scent to these, which is a bonus if you're sensitive to fragrance.

I can't recommend Milani blushes enough - their older ones are just as good, albeit with shimmer, and these matte ones are my favorite ones. I've used these more than some of my higher end blushes, they're so nice.

BGMM Rating: A+

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Favorites #13

Illamasqua Powder Blush in Hussy - I was completely devastated when this shattered. I'm not even sure how it broke, and I have to still repress it (if I'm honest, I'm scared to repress it!). But, more on to the blush itself. It's a matte reddish pink coral that goes on smoothly and blends beautifully. It's the kind of blush that goes really well with bronzer to give you that 'I've been out in the sun and heated up' kind of look, but without the sunburn and the, well, ugliness of sunburn. It's the kind of shade that's made for deeper skins, because you can wear it without worrying about looking like a boiled lobster!

L'Oreal Color Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Coral Tattoo - I've found myself on a huge coral/orange kick this week, and this helps with the craving! It's a bright orange (there's no coral in this!) that perks up your complexion and sets off a tan. It pairs beautifully with bronze tones - a perfect summer's look! I like that it glides on to the lips, and sets. It's not a true non-transfer, non-fading stain, it will fade away, but the stain it leaves behind is also lovely.

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Sizzle - if stains aren't your thing, but juicy, shiny lips are, I'm going to direct you to this. It's another bright orange (with a hint of red) that leaves your lips looking shiny and plump. It also moisturizes your lips, which is a plus. The formula isn't too thick and it's not very tacky or sticky, making this quite comfortable to wear.

L'Oreal Infalliable Eyeshadow in Golden Sage - I love, love, love the Infalliable eyeshadows, they're so easy for days you don't have time, or the inclination, to go all out. This is a lovely sage green with gold shimmer in it. You can sheer it out (as I do) or pack it on for a more intense look. All I do is swirl my finger on the surface without pressing, and rub the shadow onto my eyeball, blending it out with my finger. Presto, you're done!

L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Crayon Concealer in W4-5 - this makes me feel like a little kid. I literally draw on my face with this, and then blend it out with either a brush or my finger. It gives decent coverage (nothing that will cover major zits or very dark circles) but it's been the perfect thing for me of late, now that my skin's behaving. Bonus - if you use this in shades darker and lighter to your skintone, you can use it for contouring and highlighting!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Shiro Cosmetics Intertubes Review

Shiro Cosmetics is an indie company founded and headed by Caitlin Johnstone. They produce makeup products in small batches, and are very reasonably priced. The reason a lot of people go for indie makeup is because (1) they're cruelty free, (2) they have some truly unique shades and finishes, (3) they have good quality products [note: that has been my personal experience so far] and (4) they have amazing, personal customer service.

Shiro Intertubes caught my eye first because they were touted to be highly pigmented, and very moisturizing. But what really got my attention was the packaging. You see, every Intertube is named after a meme. I couldn't resist that.

I'd put off getting these because I always thought they were permanent, but in April they announced that the Intertubes would be discontinued. That pushed me into trying them.

The packaging is just ordinary plastic; the kind of thing that lip balms come in. They difference is that these are oval rather than round. They're sturdy, and will travel well. As you can see, each of the Intertubes have their own unique design, labelled after the meme they represent.

If you want to know more about the individual memes, just Google them! I can't stop mushing over them, I think these are absolutely adorable.

It's worth noting that the Intertubes come in 'regular' colors as well as some very unique colors (blue, green, etc). Since I ever only wear 'regular' shades, those were the ones I picked out.

The shades I have are:
- Nyan Cat
- Why Not Zoidberg?
- Yo Dawg
- Smashing!
- Ridiculously Photogenic
- Rickrolled
- Shoop Da Whoop
- Three Wolf Moon
- Over 9000
- Team Buffy

Nyan Cat is a bright, cool toned bubblegum pink. It looks intense in the tube, but applies sheerly. The color can be built up with multiple swipes to the color seen in the tube. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear. It is not scented, nor does it have any discernable flavor. As it wears off during the day, it leaves behind a stain.

Why Not Zoidberg? is a bright, warm, almost neon orange-coral. This is a coral shade that will suit everybody. It can be worn sheerly (single swipe) or can be built up (several swipes). It glides easily over the lips and is comfortable to wear. It is not scented and unflavored, and leaves behind a stain.

Yo Dawg is a cool toned raspberry pink. Despite looking very deep in the tube, it applies much lighter. It's a great shade to add some color to your face, because it isn't very intense. This is another shade that will look great on everybody, regardless of skin tone. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear. This has a raspberry scent and flavor, and leaves behind a stain.

Smashing! is cool toned mauve-purple with a hint of fuchsia. The payoff with this is intense; a single swipe produces the color seen in the tube. This does not have a scent. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear, and leaves behind a deeper stain than the others.

Ridiculously Photogenic is a warm toned deep fuchsia pink. This was another of the more pigmented ones; a single swipe is enough to produce a very slightly toned down version of the color seen in the tube. This is a shade that will suit most people. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear, and leaves behind a pronounced stain. This does not have a scent.

Rickrolled is a vibrant, warm red-orange that's just a shade or two away from appearing coral. It applies with medium opacity, but the color can be built up. It is ginger scented, and ginger flavored. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear. It leaves behind a stain as it wears off.

Shoop Da Woop is a warm, bright tomato red. It applies sheerly and can be built up. It has no scent or flavor. This is a nice red for those new to red lipstick, because it's very easy to control just how 'red' the color appears on your lips. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear, and leaves behind a stain.

Three Wolf Moon is a deep burgundy red. This was surprisingly one of the least pigmented ones, applying sheerly with a single swipe. Nevertheless, the color can be built up to a deep, vampy shade. It has a cinnamon scent and flavor. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear, and leaves behind a stain.

Over 9000 is a cool toned medium pink, deeper than Nyan Cat. It had fairly decent opacity. This has a grapefruit scent and flavor. It glides easily over lips, and feels comfortable to wear. It leaves behind a stain.

Team Buffy is a deep brown red. It had the best pigmentation of the lot, applying very opaquely with a single swipe. It had no scent or flavor. It felt slightly gritty during application, but the feeling went away quickly - I'm assuming it was the wax/oils in the product melting with my body heat. It leaves behind a stain as it wears off.

A couple of points - since these formulas have a lot of ingredients that are moisturizing, the way to get the best payoff is to let them warm up a little. By this, I mean if you keep them pressed gently against your lips, your body heat will melt the formula slightly, and it will apply easily with no grittiness, and also have a better color payoff.

Another thing to note is because they are so moisturizing, they don't last very long. I get about 2.5 hours of wear time from them before they start to fade. They do leave a stain behind, but you'll need to reapply at the 3 hour mark,

Something else to consider - the intensity of the stain left behind depends on the initial intensity of application. If you choose to wear these as a sheer wash, the stain left behind will be mild. If you wear them completely opaque, they will leave behind a deeper stain (and consequently you might get a longer wear time).

The oval shape of the bullet makes it slightly awkward to apply, but nothing terribly unmanageable.

I'd also like to mention that when I was testing these out, I felt that the formula of some of these (Rick Rolled,  Nyan Cat, Ridiculously Photogenic) seemed slippery and 'off'. I contacted Caitlin about this issue, and she generously offered to replace them. Shiro has excellent customer service, and if you email Caitlin about any problems or questions, she will get back to you almost immediately (I'm talking within an hour or two at the most!). This is one of the reason I'm a huge Shiro fan, and will continue to be for a long time.

(edited to add: the replacements came in yesterday. I'm continually amazed by the customer service Shiro has. Caitlin was nice enough to send me a sample of the new lip balms, and while they're not as pigmented as the Intertubes, they smell amazing, and have a very nice subtle tint. The new batch had no issues, and in fact much more pigmented than the ones I reviewed.)

As far as the Intertubes are concerned - I think these are a nice formula, made from very moisturizing and natural ingredients. They're not the most long lasting ones, and can be a little slippery to wear (so use a lipliner with these!), and yes, you might find similar colors with a 'better' (read: long lasting) formula, but for all that.... I'm charmed by these. They're meant to be a pigmented lip balm, and at that they excel. If you're suffering from dry lips, and you want a more moisturizing formula - these are a good bet. I'm very glad I have them in my collection, and I don't regret them at all. If anything, I regret that I did not pick up Trololo, Forty Cakes and Sad Keanu while I was placing the order.

They're still available at (look under the 'Sale' section'), but will be discontinued. If you want something with the moisturizing formula but a sheerer tint, check out her new lip balms!

BGMM Rating: A-

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jouer Powder Eyeshadows - Part 2 - Review

I first spoke about the Jouer eyeshadow here when I reviewed them about a week ago. This is part two, featuring deeper shades.

The packaging is a glossy, deep brown packaging with the brand name emblazoned in light bronze on the top. It's very simple and elegant. As mentioned before, though, the glossy finish means - you got it - it's a fingerprint magnet. Honestly, I've given up trying to keep these clean, because it's next to impossible to keep wiping them down.

The packaging design ensures that these can slot into and be attached to one another.

The shades mentioned here are:
- Maple
- Pistachio
- Mahogany

Maple is a medium warm  bronze-y brown with a satin finish. It's a great color to use to in the crease, or the outer V. It also makes for a very understated daytime smokey eye. Because it's so pigmented, if you want to sheer it out it's best to use a light hand. A great shade for all skintones.

Pistachio is a deepened pistachio-olive green with a gold sheen. It has a satin finish. This is a gorgeous color if you have brown, hazel, or black eyes - it really makes them pop. It looks unassuming in the pan, but it transforms into a very multidimensional shade on the lids. The gold sheen that it has keeps it from looking completely flat. Again, this will be suitable for everyone.

Mahogany is a deep reddened brown that reflects the name. This has an semi-matte finish - it's not quite matte, but not quite satin either. It's a creamy, soft shade that's very pigmented, like Maple, so if you want to use it sheered out a light hand is required. This shade would work better on deeper skins with warm undertones because it will bring out the warmth in the skin.

These are all highly pigmented shadows that are soft and creamy to the touch. They apply easily and blend smoothly with no issues at all. Over primer, they last a good 9 hours on me with minimal fading.

Jouer makes some fantastic neutrals, but they don't have a wide color range. Their eyeshadow formula is one of the best I've encountered so far.

BGMM Rating : A+

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I need your help! What products should I be looking for while vacationing in India?

No, this isn't the Indian Ocean... but it will be soon. Bahahaha!
I'm excited to say that for the first time in, uh... two and a half years, I'm going back home! As excited as I am for eating ALL of my mom's cooking (she is an amazing cook, you guys) and listening to my dad's terrible jokes and just chillin' out with my grandpa (the man used to do back flips into the river when he was 85!), I'm also excited for the prospect of - you guessed it - 'exploring' the makeup scene! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Any suggestions? I'm interested in products that aren't available here. And it's not limited to makeup; I've been interested in revamping my skincare, so any suggestions about that are also very welcome!

Tarina Tarantino Floriculture Palette Review

I know, I know...yet another Tarina Tarantino palette review (when will I stahp!). There's a story behind this... (not really). After I reviewed my other Tarina palettes (Magical,  Dreamy,  Fantastical,  Delightful & the Emerald Pretty), I was reading up on all the palettes that she'd released, and found that I was missing a few. No big deal, right? Right. Two weeks after, I go to Hautelook (I swear that website is my weakness) and what do I find? The palettes that I'm missing. On 65% discount. I'm sure it was a sign from the universe (it's what I'm telling myself anyway!)

So, I have the Floriculture palette with me. If you think it sounds, well, floral, you're right. This is a nice spring-themed palette with some lovely shades.

The palette is made of cardboard, and has a pretty floral design on it. The silver cap in the middle is raised up, and kind of ruins it for me, because with it, the palette is not flat. You cannot stack other palettes on top of this, because of that silver knob-like thing. Why couldn't she just have, I don't know, printed her name out in silver on the surface of the palette? (Yes I know it's a minor thing but it's a wee bit annoying, mmkay?)

Inside the palette is a some sort of butter-paper like insert, with some background on the inspiration behind the palette. Interesting, but doesn't add anything to the palette.

As mentioned before, the packaging is made of cardboard, and while it is sturdy and will hold up well to travel, it is bulky. It's quite a fat palette (width-wise, that is). There's a nice-sized mirror inside, but I wish it was rectangular rather than oval - the shape of the mirror makes it a tad difficult for me to use. Of course, others might find it perfectly serviceable. Nevertheless, I must admit the shape is rather fetching, even if slightly un-functional (is that a word? I'm making it one.)

There are 8 shadows housed inside the palette. These are quite large, and come in a variety of finishes. They are also very spring like - the shades are not pastels, but soft and subdued. I can see these suiting a variety of skintones.

The shades are all named after flowers and plants, generally very garden-themed. They are:
- Hollyhock
- Trumpette
- Night Hopper
- Taurella
- Secret Pond
- Deep Dahlia
- Poppycock
- Tiny Pansie

Hollyhock is a medium, cool toned brown with a satin finish. It's got quite a grey cast running through it that makes it distinctly cool toned. If you have strong yellow (warm) undertones, the grey cast will be more prominent. Neutral and cool undertones will not have this issue.

Trumpette is a medium peach-y orange with a pearl finish. This is a warm color, and looks absolutely glorious on deeper, warm toned skins. When applied to the lid, it does brighten the eye up. It's a lovely shade and will suit most people, regardless of skin tone or undertone.

Secret Pond is a light, mossy grey-green with a shimmer finish. This is another lovely shade; despite the grey in the color, it doesn't show up harsh on warmer tones. Pair this with a deeper brown in the crease and it's very day appropriate. Paired with a deeper emerald green in the crease, and black in the outer V, and it's a twist to a smokey eye.

Deep Dahlia is a deep reddened plum with a matte finish. This is a cool toned shade, but a lovely one nevertheless. It's definitely a very 'vampy' shade; but it's wearable. For the day, use it as a liner for a twist on the regular black/brown; for the night, wear it in the crease and outer V with a gold shadow on the lid.

Night Hopper is warm-toned medium taupe with a satin finish. It has a little bit of red in it, which is probably what contributes to the warmness of the color. This is one of my favorite taupe shades; some taupes are too cool toned for me to wear (think Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe) but this one goes well with my warm tones. Most warm tones will find this lovely; cool tones may have to work a little with it. It is a nice lid shade for deeper tones, and a good crease shade for lighter skins.

Taurella is creamy off white color with a very visibly gold sheen to it. It has a frosted finish. It makes a gorgeous highlight - not just for the eye, but for the face. Try dusting this lightly over your cheekbones and you'll glow without shining!

Poppycock is a blue-purple ('blurple') with a shimmer finish. It's cool toned, and reminds me of orchids. It's a very, very pretty, very feminine color. Wear it sheered out with a medium brown in the crease to make it more wearable for the day, or use it wet to really bring out the shimmer.

Tiny Pansie is a light-medium pink with a frost finish. It's neutral, and will suit both warm and cool toned skins. It's a nice lid shade (paired with a brown), or you could use it as a highlight (it won't work as a highlight for lighter skins, because it's fairly pigmented).

These shadows are all soft and creamy. The powder is finely milled, and they are highly pigmented. Application is very easy, and blending is no problem at all.

Wear time over primer is excellent - I get a solid 8 hours with no fading. The color intensity is amazing; what you see in the pan is what you get (without accounting for your personal undertones - for example, Hollyhock will look different on different people because of the cool-toned nature).

My only gripe with this palette is that it doesn't have a matte brown shade. I feel that if they had a matte brown (maybe a medium brown and a deeper brown), this would have been a more workable palette. A lot of the shades need a matte brown in order to make them more wearable (and work-friendly). You can certainly create a multitude of looks with the shades included, but having the brown would have matte the palette better, in my opinion.

I think this is a great spring palette, especially for deeper skins. Pastels tend to wash deeper skins out, but these are very soft and subdued and create a very 'garden-y' look.

BGMM Rating: A-