Monday, September 22, 2014

Coastal Scents Revealed Palette Review

Everyone know about the infamous Urban Decay Naked palettes. Everyone also knows about their infamous price. Everyone wants to own these palettes, but not everyone can afford to buy them.

Ergo: Houston, we have a problem.

Or do we?

A while ago, Coastal Scents came out with a 'dupe' for the Naked palettes. While the Urban Decay palettes have 12 shadows each, the Revealed palette has 20 shades. The Revealed palette is supposed to be a dupe for the Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes, but of course, not all the shades are copied between the two (it's a numbers game; N1 + N2 have 24 shades while the Revealed has 20).

What is important, though, is the price point. The Naked palettes each go for $54. But the Revealed palette retails for $19.99 (and is often found on sale!)

Still, no point in having a cheap dupe if the quality isn't there, right? So how does the Revealed palette do?

The palette is made of cardboard. It isn't terribly sturdy, so while it won't withstand a fall, it will survive travel (provided it's packed adequately). Looking at the shades, it's clear that there's some overlap with the Naked palettes. Still, excluding the fact that it's supposed to dupe the Urban Decay palettes, it still looks like a rather nice neutral palette.

Since the shades have no names, I'll be labelling them numerically.

The palette is a nice mix of cool toned and warm toned shades. It also has a mix of mattes, shimmers and metallic shades.

Top row

Shade 1 is a matte cream shade. It's rather chalky, but performs better over primer.
Shade 2 is a matte light pink-y peach. Again, it's a little chalky but works better when a primer is used.
Shade 3 is a shimmery, almost frosty light pink. It's very nicely pigmented.
Shade 4 is a matte medium cool-toned brown. It has decent pigmentation.
Shade 5 is a matte cool-toned plummy brown. It has good pigmentation, and is a lovely shade!

Shade 6 is a metallic pink with purple undertones. It's very pigmented.
Shade 7 is a matte neutral brown. This makes a really nice transition shade for deeper skintones.
Shade 8 is a true, warm-toned, bright metallic gold. It has very good pigmentation.
Shade 9 is a shimmery warm-toned light taupe. Again, it has good pigmentation.
Shade 10 is a metallic silver tinged with a hint of blue. It has very good pigmentation.

Bottom row

Shade 11 is a shimmery, almost metallic warm-toned bronze with good pigmentation.
Shade 12 is a shimmery deeper bronze with a hint of khaki. It has good pigmentation.
Shade 13 is a metallic taupe grey with lovely pigmentation.
Shade 14 is a shimmery khaki. It has good pigmentation.
Shade 15 is a shimmery rose shade with a hint of brown. The pigmentation, again, was good.

Shade 16 is a shimmery neutral taupe brown with good pigmentation.
Shade 17 is a metallic peach gold with wonderful pigmentation.
Shade 18 is a shimmery, cool-toned deep brown. Again, the pigmentation was good.
Shade 19 is a metallic, cool-toned gunmetal grey, with lovely pigmentation.
Shade 20 is a matte black. It was a little chalky, but performed decently over primer.

Swatches of the top row

Swatches of the bottom row
Phew! With the swatches out of the way, let's talk about quality, pigmentation and performance.

These have surprisingly good quality. They feel smooth, and soft to the touch - not quite 'buttery' territory, but good enough for me to classify them as (almost) creamy. They don't feel gritty, and while they do have some fallout, if you tap the excess shadow off your brush, and use a patting motion (as opposed to swiping the shadow onto the lids) it goes a long way in minimizing it. If you're still worried about fallout, do your eyes before the rest of the face, so that cleanup will be easier!

Pigmentation actually isn't bad. The shimmery and metallic shades are much more pigmented than the matte shades. All my swatches are NOT over primer - so you can clearly see how the pigmentation is! (They're also single swipes; only the mattes had two swipes each). The mattes are a little chalky, but do better over primer. The shimmery shades are nice, and don't veer into frost territory.

Performance is also good. Over primer, they last a good 8 hours on me, with some fading. So, yes, they won't last 'all night', but they do last a typical workday, which is good enough for a lot of people. Application and blending are quite easy, and don't require excessive effort.

Finally - how do these stack up to the Urban Decay Naked palettes? Well, for starters they're not exact dupes. I also think the Naked palettes are a little more pigmented, and blend easier. Their shimmery shades seem to have a little finer shimmer.

But, you know, given the enormous price difference, the differences are minor.

To sum it up - they really are a very good, very viable, very economical option to the Naked palettes. They're definitely worth picking up (especially when they're on sale!).

BGMM Rating: A

Monday, September 15, 2014

Behold the cuteness! Etude House Missing Me Hand Cream Review

I'm a sucker for cute packaging.

There, I said it. 

As much as I like the clean and simple lines of, say, NARS products, or the beautiful aesthetics of a YSL lipstick, there's a part of me that will always melt when I see something cute, or kawaii.

And having stumbled into the world of Korean and Japanese makeup, I've definitely fallen into the rabbit hole!

I came across these Etude House Missing You hand creams on a Reddit forum, and I was so curious I had to try them...because, I mean... for science?

The Missing You line refers to certain animals that are currently endangered, and how they would 'miss us' if they, well, went missing :-/

The variants are:

  • Panda Story
  • Fairy Penguin Story
  • Harp Seal Story
  • Pink Dolphin Story

Each of these have their own signature scent, as indicated on the bottle.

The Panda has a peach scent. It's a lovely soft, peachy scent that lingers for a little bit after application, but not too long.

The Fairy Penguin has a baby powder scent. I thought I would hate this scent, but it's actually one of my favorites! It smells just like a baby!

The Harp Seal has a mint scent. This isn't your run-of-the-mill mint fragrance. It reminds me of mint leaves muddled with some flowers? In any case, I'm very meh about the scent.

The Pink Dolphin has a floral scent. It smells heavily of rose to me. And not a sophisticated rose, it's the rose scent that reminds you of grandmas. It's heavy, cloying, and not very pleasant to my nasal palate.

The cream itself is light and airy. It spreads very easily, but it doesn't feel greasy. It doesn't feel like it's loaded with silicones, either. It feels quite cooling.

Most importantly, it's absorbed quickly and doesn't leave any weird residue behind. This means you can reapply and go about your day. I absolutely loathe any cream or lotion that feels like it's sitting on top of my skin, and this doesn't feel that way at all. My hands also don't feel slick when I have to wash them at some point (usually indicative of the product not being completely absorbed).

It leaves my hands feeling moisturized, and soft and smooth. The scent is quite heavy and as previously mentioned, does tend to linger for a few minutes. If you are bothered by heavily scented products, this one is not for you.

However, if you're looking for a hand cream that's light, easily absorbed, and comes in the cutest packaging ever, then you need to give these a try!

BGMM Rating: A

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lust List - The Holiday Edition

It's barely September but brands are already coming out with their holiday sets, which is making me SO excited (and my wallet so terrified). Still, given that the quality on holiday sets can be kind of iffy, I've decided to be a lot more discerning this year over the holiday sets.

First off we have the Tarte Brushed With Destiny 5- piece Bamboo brush set. This set includes
• contourtionist™ bamboo cream blush & contour brush
• the balancing act™ bamboo foundation brush 
• the buffer™ airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush
• double-ended bamboo eyeshadow brush
• undercover lover™ bamboo concealer brush
• limited-edition collector’s brush & makeup bag

I love how the set looks, especially with the bamboo handles! I've also heard good things about Tarte brushes, so I'm looking forward to this set in my grubby little hands.

Next, we have the very, very droolworthy Lorac Pro Mega Palette. Details about this palette are few, but rumor has it it will be out sometime in November at a price point of about $59. Given that the Lorac Pro palettes are $42, this is a great deal!

A few days ago there were whispers in the wind about a new Vice palette from Urban Decay. Well, those have been confirmed! The Urban Decay Vice 3 palette will be out on September 13th on the Urban Decay website. Sephora and other online retailers will have the palette on the 25th of September. I was unfortunately not makeup savvy when the original Vice palette was released, but I have the Vice 2 palette and really like it, so this definitely goes into my stash!

I'm not sure I've spoken about my love for the Tarte blushes often on this blog, but suffice to say they are one of my favorite formulas ever, which is why I'm completely thrilled about the Tarte Chic to Cheek deluxe Amazonian Clay blush set! It has four new and limited edition shades, which are
• amour (candy pink)
• classic (soft apricot pink)
• prim (plum nude)
• daydream (rosy pink)

Umm yes please with a cherry on top!

I'm sure my list is going to get longer the closer we get to the Holidays, but in the meantime, these are definitely things I'm asking Santa!

Which of the Holiday releases have caught your eye? Comment below and let me know!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Help! I'm New To The Makeup World - Let's Talk Concealers.

As part of my 'Help! I'm New To The Makeup World' series, I'm going to be talking about *dun dun dun* concealers today.

So, what's concealer?

Concealer is a product that looks similar to foundation - in that it's a tinted product - but it's main purpose is to cover under eye dark cicles, and blemishes. It's a great way to hide fatigue, illness, or just to brighten up your face.

Concealer can be worn under, or over foundation. Most of the time, I wear concealer over foundation, because I find that foundation gives me a certain amount of coverage, and I can use concealer only on those areas where I want more coverage. However, certain formulas of concealer and foundation might need tweaking - that is, sometimes applying concealer over foundation causes the concealer to slip and slide about, or causes the foundation to wear off, in which case it needs to be worn under foundation. You'll know how a foundation and concealer work together only with practice.

That being said, concealer can also be worn on it's own! This is what I do most days, as I don't have the patience to put on a 'full face'. I use concealer under my eyes, over blemishes, and I'm done!

Concealers come in two main formulas - liquid and cream. Liquid concealers will either come in a pump (like the MAC Pro Longwear concealer) or in a tube with a doefoot applicator (like the NARS Creamy C\concealer, or the Maybelline Fit Me concealer) or even as a brush-type concealer (Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer). Cream concealers tend to come in a pot (theBalm Time Balm concealer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage). Some cream concealers even come in stick form (L'Oreal True Match concealer crayon).

Neither formula has an advantage over the other. Cream formulas tend to be more moisturizing and easy to blend, but they can also be prone to creasing. Liquid formulas are easy to blend and (in my personal experience) less prone to creasing, but they offer slightly less coverage than cream formulas.

I do tend to prefer liquid formulas over cream formulas for the under eye region, because it's easy to apply and blend out. That being said. I have cream formulas I adore, too!

Let's move on to some concealer tips and tricks:
  1. Different parts of your face require different shades of concealers.
    Under eye concealers tend to be a shade lighter than your skin tone - this helps to highlight and brighten up the area. I also use this 'highlighting' concealer under my brows, and wherever else I might want a subtle highlight (down the bridge of the nose, and my cupid's bow).
    On the other hand, if I want to cover up any blemishes, I use a concealer the same shade as my skintone. As an example, I use MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NC35 under my eyes, and NC42 (my skin tone) to conceal blemishes.
  2. Certain issues may require color-correcting.
    Some people are prone to really dark circles under their eyes. Others are prone to redness. Depending on your issue, you might need to apply a color corrector before concealing. This helps to neutralize the color, so that your concealer is better able to conceal.
    Let me explain. For example, I have dark purple-y blue under eye circles, and sometimes my concealer can't cover them. In that case, I use an orange color corrector to neutralize the color of my dark circles. Once that's done, my concealer is better able to hide them!
    As a general rule:
    Purple, or blue (usually in under eye dark circles) require an orange corrector (opposite on the color wheel). Light skins should go for a peach, or salmon color, while deeper skins need a more vibrant orange shade.
    Red (usually in inflamed areas, certain bruises, or even regular skin) require a green corrector.
    Yellow (called 'sallowness', usually comes with illness) requires a lavender/purple corrector.
  3. Prep, prep, prep!
    Your under eye are also needs some TLC! Try to prep the skin with a moisturizer, or hydrating primer. This helps to 'plump up' the skin, making the concealer less prone to creasing (or pooling up) in the fine lines under your eyes (hey, everyone has them!)
  4. It's all about the location.
    Under eye concealers don't go only under the eye. Apply it in a triangular pattern under your eye, and also to the inner eye corner .
    Here's a picture to give you an idea:

    Yellow - highlighting concealer; Red; to cover redness
    And yes, I've never looked more appealing!
    As you can see, 'under eye' concealer is more than just under your eye.
  5. Apply concealer all around the area to be concealer for easier blending.
    Concealer can be thick sometimes, and hard to spread. The easiest way to get the coverage you want, without much effort, is to lightly tap a little bit of concealer all over the area to be concealed, wait a few seconds for your body heat to warm up the concealer, then pat to blend out.
  6. Pat, not smear!
    Concealer should always be patted out, not smeared around! Patting will ensure that the concealer stays in the area its supposed to, and won't reduce coverage. Smearing will reduce coverage, and also isn't good for the delicate skin under your eye.
  7. Make a cocktail of concealer!
    Okay, so this one isn't necessarily a must-do, but sometimes I mix my concealer (if it's too thick) with some hydrating primer. This helps me to give some moisture to my under eye area, which can be a little drier than the rest of my face. You can also mix in a little bit of your color corrector, for when you have dark circles that aren't very pronounced.
  8. Set your concealer with powder.
    Powders help to set your concealer and help it last longer, but you can also use different powders to brighten up your undereye area (e.g the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders) or you can use colored powders to give some additional color correcting (Ben Nye Banana powder). So don't skip the powder!
  9. Concealers make a great subtle, everyday-appropriate highlight.
    In the picture above, you can see all the areas I apply concealer - under my brows, down my nose, on my chin. Using concealer is a great way to add a subtle highlight for your face. This is especially helpful for those with oily skins like myself - using concealers allow for a matte finish for your highlighting, so there's a lower chance of your 'glow' being attributed to excessive sebum production! Alternatively, use a concealer in a darker shade for contouring!
  10. Play around with tools and applicators to discover what's best for you.
    I used to apply my concealer with my fingers (still do!) but I've discovered that the Real Techniques deluxe crease brush is really great for blending out concealer (for me, at least). Some people use fingers, others use concealer brushes, and beauty blenders, and most people use a mix of fingers and brushes. That's okay. Try different things to see what works for you, and what doesn't.                        
I hope this has been a helpful post! Comment below and let me know if I missed out anything!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

BGMM is now on Bloglovin!

That's right! You can now follow my blog on Bloglovin. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner - I'm a little rusty when it comes to social media, I suppose!

You can find the button on the side. See you there!



Friday, September 5, 2014

MAC A Novel Romance Blushes Review

As the final part of the MAC A Novel Romance collection, I'm reviewing the blushes. I have both the blushes from the collection here for review. The shades are:
  • Animal Instincts
  • Fun Ending

 Now, if you've seen my preview, you know that my first impressions of the blushes was not the best. I thought that Animal Instincts was a little hard to work with, and did not pick up color easily, while I thought Fun Ending had a great texture. After using them for a while, I have a better idea of how they work, and how to work with them.

Animal Instincts, Fun Ending

Animal Instincts
 is a lovely muted plummy-mauve shade, with a slight sheen finish (there's no glitter or sparkle in it - it's just a soft sheen!). It's a very pretty shade, and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it (heh, a fitting sentiment for a collection titled 'A Novel Romance', yes?). At first, I had a hard time picking up color when I was swatching it, but when I used a slightly scratchy brush to 'swirl' around the surface, it became easier to pick up color. This did not give me any issues with application or blending, and wore for four and a half hours on me.

Fun Ending is a pretty, light, warm-toned pinky-peach blush with a satin finish. I was impressed with the texture when I was swatching it, but then I discovered, when using it, that it kicks up a lot of powder when you take a brush to the pan. The texture, though, was soft, and it applied smoothly and blended out easily. I expected it to be a lot lighter on my skin than it actually was; it seemed to darken a little bit once it was on the skin (in about ten minutes or so). This means that it's actually quite appropriate for deeper skins, since the color in the pan is lighter than how it appears on the cheeks. It also wore for four and a half hours on me.

Animal Instincts, Fun Ending
Here's how it looks on me:

Left: Fun Ending; Right: Animal Instincts

Overall, I'd recommend Animal Instincts for deeper skins, and Fun Ending for lighter skins. Don't be put off by the initial hard texture of Animal Instincts; once you get a little bit of the top layer off, it works fine. Fun Ending has a great texture, if a little on the softer side (which means fallout) so make sure to tap off your brush to get off any excess.

BGMM Rating: Animal Instincts - B+
                    Fun Ending - B+

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yes, you heard right - Urban Decay will be coming out with a Vice 3 palette!

Howdy, beauty junkies!

Back in 2013, Urban Decay released their Vice 2 palette for the holidays, and it looks like they're keeping with the trend by coming out with a Vice 3 palette! The palette is supposed to be out sometime in November, and going by previous prices, should be around $59.

All I can say is, this holiday season is going to be OFF THE HOOK with all the beauty brands coming out with some stellar stuff!

Edit: Urban Decay has confirmed the rumors! As seen on the Urban Decay Instagram:

Here are some previews!

Image credit: swantjebernsmann Instagram

Image credit: Les secrets de M Facebook

Image credit: udwende Instagram, modified by Brown Girl Makeup Musings
Image credit: pretaeloira

Image credit: pretaeloira

Image credit: pretaeloira
What do you think? Will you be picking up this palette during the holidays?

A Very Givenchy Birthday!

(Note: This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I got my scheduling wrong. I'm posting it a day late, sorry!)

My birthday was, uhhh, about 6 weeks ago. So this post is horribly post-dated. Still, in my defence, it took me ages to review and decide what I wanted, and then some more time to get to me, so I'm going to go with 'hey-it's-your-birthday-so-do-what-you-want.'

I've heard so much about Givenchy Le Rouges (you know where this post is going, yes?) and they tend to come out with some limited edition items every so now and then, which meant I used the opportunity to get my first Givenchy products.

Reviews to come soon, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of what I got:

Add caption

Have you ever tried Givenchy products before? What did/do you like?

Monday, September 1, 2014

MAC A Novel Romance Lipsticks Review

A while ago, I put up a preview of a few of the MAC A Novel Romance products. After having them for a bit, I feel I can properly review them.

Today I will be talking about the lipsticks from the range. The shades I have are:
  • Yield To Love
  • Hearts Aflame
  • Lingering Kiss
Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss

Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss

Yield To Love [Creamsheen finish]  is a medium plummy pink with a cool undertone. I was most excited about this lipstick when I got it, but I find that it's not my favorite. It's a nice enough daily shade, if a little light for me. One swipe yielded almost complete coverage, but two swipes gave opaque coverage. It went onto the lips smoothly, and wore comfortably. It lasted for four hours on me, and left a very mild stain. I did not find it providing any sort of moisture to my lips, but on the other hand, it wasn't drying either.

Hearts Aflame [Matte finish] is a deep red-brown shade. This was surprisingly the favorite of the three for me, and I think those with deeper skins will find this to be a very flattering shade of red. One swipe yielded complete coverage. It did tug at the lips a little during application, but I think this is due to it's matte finish. It wasn't uncomfortable to wear, but like most matte formulas, it was a tad drying. It wore well for five and a half hours, and left a stain behind. Because of the intensity of the color, it's best applied with a lip brush (to get more precise edges) and a lipliner is also a good idea.

Lingering Kiss [Matte finish] was the biggest surprise for me! This is a very deep plum red that really does look rather dark in the tube. I was afraid of it initially, but I liked how it looked on my lips! This actually went on my lips smoother than Hearts Aflame, despite being a matte finish as well. It was, however, a little patchy, and needed touching up in some areas during application. After the initial application, however, there were no problems. This was also a little drying on the lips, nothing uncomfortable though. I definitely think a lip brush and a lip liner are required with this shade! It lasted a very good amount of time, almost 6 hours, and left a stain behind.

Here are the swatches I posted initially:

Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss
And here is how they look on me:

L-R: Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss
Overall, I'd say these are some really nice shades. If you're deeper skinned, I would totally recommend Hearts Aflame! It's a gorgeous shade. Lingering Kiss was a surprising hit, but I feel that there are quite a few lip products out there that are similar to Yield To Love, so it's something that I wouldn't necessarily go for.

BGMM Rating: Yield To Love - A
                      Hearts Aflame - A
                      Lingering Kiss - B+