Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Favorites

May just flew by in a flash! I can't believe we're at the end of the month already. I almost forgot to do my May favorites! But here I am with this post before the clock strikes midnight!

I have three products that I'm really digging at the moment:

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer Light 10, Essence Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light 10

I've been searching for a good medium-to-full coverage concealer. I wanted to replace my current favorite that I purchased from a store called Muji in Japan. I won't be able to replenish until my next trip and it's unfortunately TBD!

I picked up Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light 10 from the Harmon's section at my local Bed Bath & Beyond. Light 10 seemed to be the closest match for my neutral-warm-yellow skin tone. So far, so good. I would consider this to be medium coverage. I bought it mainly to cover up my under eye circles and the occasional breakout. I haven't tried adding a second application of concealer for my under eye area for fear of it looking too chalky. I like to apply my concealer after foundation in case I actually don't need as much coverage. I like to use Lancôme Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup in Matte Bisque II to lightly set the concealer and it seems to last all day. Lancôme must have added more shades in their range since I've purchased my compact a few years back because I can't find an exact match for the name on the shade list.

Essence Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Essence really has some amazing gems and affordable ones at that! Essence products are available at Ulta and now Target.

I think their Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is fantastic! This has a stiff pointed felt tip applicator that's easy to control and doesn't seem like it would fray after a month of use. It's definitely on the thicker side but I don't mind since I have to do thick lines anyway. Winged liner is my jam and I can easily achieve that look quickly by drawing the point then filling in between the lines by laying the applicator parallel to my upper eyelid. It dries pretty fast too so transferring on the rest of my upper lid or lower lid isn't an issue. I have oilier lids and this stuff doesn't budge. No raccoon eyes here! Best of all, the black color is super opaque and dries matte. I didn't have to go over any patchy spots.

Removal at the end of the day takes a little bit of effort but not too much more than a non-waterproof eyeliner. There's a non-waterproof option available. I'm curious about their eyeliner pens but I chose this one since it came with a lot more product.

Essence Lash & Brow Mascara Gel

I've been looking for a brow gel and I think Essence Lash & Brow Mascara Gel fits the bill. My brows have been getting a little unruly lately in between shapings so this helps keep things looking neater. Again, super affordable!

The wand is a traditional bristle brush. The formula has a nice consistency and is a little on the thinner side. It doesn't make my eyebrows feel stiff at all.

I tried one from Rimmel last month and it flaked like crazy even after only an hour of applying. I returned it to Target (super quick returns for makeup, by the way!) I have dark eyebrows so any flakes of any kind are way more obvious one me than someone with lighter ones.

What are your May favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, May 23, 2016

MANI MONDAY - China Glaze Agro

Today I have a lovely warm mossy green nail polish to share. It's Agro by China Glaze. It was launched a few years ago in a cross-promotion with the first Hunger Games movie. This shade reminds me so much of autumn and the glowy orange shades that get released left and right. I wish there were more shades like this during fall time. It would be nice to have some variety other than the typical oranges and reds. Although, I do love those shades, too!

China Glaze Agro
Agro has a lot of depth and dimension. I guess it has a little bit of a frosted finish but not too exessive so that there are super obvious brushstrokes. There are very subtle gold shimmers in it, too. It reminds me a little bit of dried seaweed. Great, now I want sushi :-p

Unfortunately, this along with the rest of the Hunger Games nail polish collection has been discontinued.

Did you pick up any of the Hunger Games nail polishes while they were still out? What beauty collaboration are you most excited about now? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

LIPSTICKS - Urban Decay Revolution & Matte Revolution Lipsticks Currently $11!

Many of us have probably noticed the sudden drop in price for the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks in the past few weeks at the usual UD retailers. They went from $22 to $11 and there was a lot of buzz in the online beauty community as to why and for how long. I first found out about the sale price through Nouveau Cheap and eventually the reason for the price drop in this post. The referenced article can be found here at Refinery 29.

I adore UD's iconic purple packaging!
I didn't want to wait too long to get this post up since the new UD Vice lipsticks are debuting in June. I hope this information is handy for those who want to grab some before the original packaging is long gone (as well as the discounted price!). The current shades as well as previous limited edition ones will be available with the relaunch.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks Left to Right: Naked, Rapture, Rush, Venom, Matte After Dark, Matte Blackmail
The color-matched labels were a nice touch.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks Left to Right: Naked, Rapture, Rush, Venom, Matte After Dark, Matte Blackmail
The label for Naked looks more beigey in person compared to the actual lipstick bullet.

UD Logo Embossed on Top of Caps
UD Revolution Lipstick Packaging
I think this is some of the most gorgeous lipstick packaging I've ever seen. It's quite understated yet edgy at the same time. The gunmetal casing is for the regular finish and the black casing is for the matte finish. Inside there's purple casing around the bullet itself. There's a nice heftiness to these lipsticks. I quite like how the caps fit snugly over the tubes. No worries about the caps coming off in my purse! I'm usually not one to buy lipstick for the packaging but this is really a bonus! The formula is the deciding factor for me.

As of the time of this post, there are still some UD Revolution lipsticks available at the following retailers (shade availability will vary):

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks at Macy's (free shipping w/ beauty purchase)
Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks at Sephora
Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipsticks at Sephora
Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipsticks at Sephora

Brick and mortar stores may still have a handful available if they haven't all been sold out already.

I know these lipsticks are loved by many since they are supposed to be very pigmented and moisturizing, so it was very difficult to resist picking some up to try out. A couple years ago, I received a teeny tiny tube of the shade Anarchy in my Ipsy bag. It's such a bright Barbie pink shade and I wasn't brave enough to wear it out. I was still fixated on the spicy shades that looked "safe" with my coloring. It slipped my mind and I forgot to swatch that one.

Here are some arm swatches:

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks Left to Right: Naked, Rapture, Rush, Venom, Matte After Dark, Matte Blackmail

Over the course of the past few weeks, I wound up acquiring six shades. Four with the regular creme finish and two with the matte finish. As much as I wanted to experiment with a bunch of super bold colors, I played it relatively safe with this set. I wanted to make sure that I would actually use these shades and not have them sit and collect dust. You can probably guess that Blackmail will get the least use from me, but I wanted just one shade that was really outside of my comfort zone.

If you're curious as to how I ended up with six new lipsticks, then read on!

I started out with only getting Rush from Macys.com since it was still unknown at the time if these were temporarily discounted or permanently discontinued. I didn't want to go too crazy right away with getting so many. I was lurking on urbandecay.com and put another lipstick in my shopping cart and clicked out of the window. A couple days later, UD emailed me and said that if I purchased the lipstick, I would receive a deluxe sample of All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray and 4-shade Sheer Revolution sample. I've been wanting to try their setting spray for years now so I caved and added one of the few remaining shades of lipstick left, which was Blackmail. There's also free shipping if you sign up for their UD Beauty Junkies Rewards program.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks Left to Right: Naked, Rapture, Rush, Venom, Matte After Dark, Matte Blackmail

I have a huge weakness for berry shades and have been contemplating getting Matte After Dark. I figured I'd probably wear it a lot because it would seem flattering. I went ahead and ordered a tube from Nordstrom.com with my three free samples and free shipping. I said to myself that this was it.

Of course, it was then announced that UD is discontinuing their current line of Revolution lipsticks for their relaunch this summer. There will be new packaging similar to the Gwen Stefani and Alice in Wonderland lipsticks with a pointed bullet. I don't mind the round bullet and really like the purple and gunmetal packaging of the current ones. They do feel very luxurious in the hand. Aside from Clinique and Lancome (they're all from GWPs), these were going to be the fanciest lipsticks I owned. I couldn't imagine the formula and shades being radically different anyway and figured the next relaunch wasn't going to be for another good while, so I planned to get three more shades.

I saw that Ulta.com still had quite a few shades left so I waited until the following Wednesday morning for them to announce their Beauty Break on top of their lowered free shipping order minimum of $35. If you spend the minimum, you get a bunch of bonus goodies. Often times, the minimum is $50, but through a glitch in the system, I was able to get the 8-piece bath Beauty Break and three additional deluxe samples on top of the ones they already send you. I have yet to try these, but they were a nice bonus treat.

I've swatched the six lipsticks on my lips so you can get a better idea of how they look "on".

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Naked
Naked is the palest shade I picked up. It's a light pink shade with a little bit of brown.  I'm always on the prowl for light pink shades that don't make me look washed out for when I do a really dramatic eye. I think this fits the bill.

Rapture is a mauvey berry shade. It's very flattering on my complexion. I can see myself reaching for this one a lot.

Rapture surprised me a little bit. I didn't expect it to be as berry-toned as it turned out on my lips. I am pleasantly surprised since I love berries! In person, I see a touch of brown in the bullet but it doesn't show up on the lips.
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Rapture

Rush is a warm medium pinky brown. It's a little bit darker and warmer than Naked. I love this as an everyday color. It's a lovely shade for attending class or going to work.
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Rush

Venom is a deep raspberry shade with very fine rosy shimmer. The shimmer is not gritty at all and doesn't make the shade frosty. I don't think this leans too cool or too neutral so I think it can go great with lots of different skin tones. It's so fall, I love it!
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Venom

Matte After Dark is another raspberry shade but it's a little redder than Venom. It looks magenta by comparison. There's a bit of plummy shimmer in it that makes this a very unique lipstick. Combined with the matte finish, the shimmer gives this shade a very plush and dimensional look. The shimmer is not gritty and blends well with the formula.
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Matte After Dark

Now onto the most daring lipstick I've ever purchased: Blackmail! It's a deep dark wine shade that leans cool. UD wasn't kidding, these lipsticks are loaded with pigment. I was trying really hard to get an even application with Blackmail and every time I went over a spot again, it would get significantly darker and patchy. So, I ended up with the final look below. I would highly recommend applying this one with a lipstick brush so you can build up the opacity. There is very little room for error while applying straight from the tube. I tried it again the next day and it sheered out to a very nice and wearable black cherry shade. I guess I would go through less product if I use it this way, but I can already imagine reapplying being a hassle while I'm out and about. The edges were extra tricky so the center of my lips don't look as dark by comparison. At full opacity, I think this shade leans more cool than when it's sheered out. I think that may have more to do with my pigmented lips than anything else, though.

If you're looking for a nearly black but not full on black lipstick, this is the one for you!
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Blackmail

The formula in these lipsticks were really wonderful. Even the mattes were quite moisturizing for what they are. They all applied very smoothly without skipping and were very pigmented.

The regular creme formula was very buttery but expect to reapply every few hours depending on how often you eat/drink. I don't get annoyed over this very much if the brand isn't touting the product as long-wearing.

The mattes went on very smoothly and were extremely velvety. This is where I can really see the justification of the $22 price tag. The formula was just so lush and luxe, I haven't tried anything else like that before. These are not as dry as the Milani Color Statement Matte lipsticks. Because these mattes aren't as dry as your usual matte lipstick, they're bound to fade within a few hours depending on how much you're eating/drinking. I'd like to think of the staying power to be between a regular creme lipstick and a long-wearing staining lipstick. It's actually good that it's not long-wearing because it won't get all weird and clumpy when you reapply.

I'm happy with the shades I picked up. I made sure that I chose wearable shades so the $11 per lipstick cost would be more worth it. I very rarely buy lipsticks from department stores so this was an exception since UD's doing a complete overhaul of their collection.

Although the regular formula is very nice, I'd recommend picking up at least one shade from the matte collection while the sale is still happening. I found this formula to be super comfortable on the lips and extremely pigmented.

If there are certain shades you've been eyeing but aren't currently available, keep checking back. I've seen online retailers randomly restock. However, I'm not sure how long they'll be restocking for since the UD Vice lipsticks will be released in the next few weeks.

Are you planning on picking up some Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks while they're on sale? Do you already own some shades? If so, how do you like them? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, May 16, 2016

MANI MONDAY - Zoya Lotus

I chose Zoya Lotus for this Mani Monday since I'm attending a networking event tomorrow. It's muted enough to not be distracting but it's still more interesting than a typical nude shade. I love dusty shades like these for the office.

Description from Zoya.com:
Lotus is a very soft, dusty blue-toned amethyst purple with colorful shimmer that reflects pink, red and gold. A dreamy smoky shade for purple lovers that looks both soft and luminous.

Lotus was one of my first Zoya nail polishes and I have since acquired many more bottles. The rosy shimmer is so lovely and perfectly compliments the smokey purple base. I hadn't seen any purple shades like this before. Most purples are very dark and blue-based so this was a nice change. The formula is divine and the brush size is just right for my smaller-than-average nails. The bottle is also very beautiful and sleek.

Zoya Lotus

Close-up of Zoya Lotus: Gorgeous shimmer!

Have you tried any Zoya nail polishes? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY - Bonne Bell Flip Gloss

I almost forgot about this beauty relic of the 90s: Bonne Bell Flip Gloss. Did anyone else carry around one of these wherever they went? I always had some sort of lip balm or lipgloss in my pants pocket. You never know when your lips will get dry.

Bonne Bell Flip Gloss © College Candy
If I can recall, my tube was a translucent greyish blue. I think the bullet was some sort of blueberry but it applied clear. I was probably thinking I was super edgy having a kind of blue lipstick. It was really more of a balm than a gloss since it wasn't as sticky. It was actually one of the few beauty products color-wise I tried when I was in middle school that doesn't make me shudder today when I think about it!

Looking back, this product actually performed well and the gimmicky packaging was useful. Way to go, Bonne Bell! The flip top of the tube would actually stay down when it was closed so it wouldn't accidentally open up and roll around in your purse/pocket lint. I remember opening and closing it just for fun. The action was really smooth on the track. I wouldn't mind having a lipstick like that right now.

Did you own a Bonne Bell Flip Gloss or Flipstick? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY - What Makeup Technique Did You Formerly Use A Lot But Don't Anymore?

Learning about makeup is a long and winding road. Choosing the right colors, tools, and adopting the techniques that work for you is no easy task for most novices. This brings me to today's Throwback Thursday question: What makeup technique did you formerly use a lot but don't anymore?

Back in high school, I would tightline on my upper and lower waterline every single day. I thought all that black eyeliner looked so bad ass! Sure, the smudging got annoying, but I didn't care about it enough to change my look. I didn't think it was high maintenance at all to reapply my eyeliner at least twice during school.

Between the summer after high school and freshman year of college, I took a break from eyeliner and makeup in general and went barefaced most days. When I started wearing makeup again during college, my style shifted into a very light-handed one. I hit pan very quickly on this one taupe Clinique eyeshadow single and used lots of waterproof mascara. I tried tightlining again and that was when I realized how much I had been limiting my eye space. That was when I consciously decided to stop tightlining all the way around.

Now I love doing winged eyeliner so tightlining is a bit overkill since I've learned that it overwhelms my limited eyelid space. I still love the look on other people, though. Once in a while, I'll smudge a little eyeliner on my lower lash line, but I find using a darker eyeshadow with an angled brush is much easier to achieve that soft smokey look. I also use eyeliner pencils in a totally different way now: as a dark eyeshadow base on my upper eyelid. I wonder if I'll be doing my eye makeup in the same way years from now!

What makeup technique did you formerly use a lot but don't anymore? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LIPSTICKS - Jordana Twist & Shine

This is kind of a blast from the past for me. Jordana was a brand I was into when I was in middle school. I often wore their nude lipstick and topped it off with their clear lip gloss. Up until a couple of years ago, I had completely forgotten about Jordana. Not too surprising since they don't promote as heavily as their other drugstore counterparts like L'Oreal, Maybelline, and Revlon. I don't think Jordana is as widely available as before. You can find permanent fixtures now at Walgreens and Kmart. I happened to stumble upon them the first time in years at a local nail supply store. I saw they had a line of balm stains very similar to Revlon's Balm Stains called Twist & Shine. They were only $2.99 and I ended up taking three shades home with me.

L to R Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stains: 03 Tropical Frenzy, 06 Cranberry Crush, 07 Rock N Rouge
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how smooth and pigmented the lip balm stains were. Especially at that price! Brands that don't promote heavily like Jordana are able to keep costs down due to much lower overhead. So don't let the low price tag deter you from trying their stuff. There's a lot of gems there! I thought after all this time, Jordana would have started manufacturing from China to keep costs down, but that wasn't the case! Their products are mostly made in the US, which is great! A handful are made in Italy, like their Best Lash Extreme mascara.

Top to Bottom Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stains: 03 Tropical Frenzy, 06 Cranberry Crush, 07 Rock N Rouge

All shades can be found at JordanaCosmetics.com and in stores at Walgreens and Kmart. I have three shades: Tropical Frenzy, Cranberry Crush, and Rock N Rouge.

I love the twist-up style of these. They're exactly the same as the Revlon Balm Stains and Clinique Chubby Sticks.

L to R Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stains: 03 Tropical Frenzy, 06 Cranberry Crush, 07 Rock N Rouge

L to R Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stains: 03 Tropical Frenzy, 06 Cranberry Crush, 07 Rock N Rouge

Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain 03 Tropical Frenzy

Tropical Frenzy is a fun pink shade for summer. I don't think it leans too warm or too cool.
Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain 03 Tropical Frenzy

Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain 06 Cranberry Crush

Cranberry Crush is "so me". I love these kinds of berry shades. I think it's more of a raspberry shade than a cranberry one, though.
Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain 06 Cranberry Crush

Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain 07 Rock N Rouge

Rock N Rouge is a warm-leaning red. I think this is the boldest and most pigmented of all the shades. Not ones of my faves since I'm sensing something kind of off about this shade on me and brings out quite a bit of redness in my face. I'll have to try this again when I'm paler in the Wintertime.
Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain 07 Rock N Rouge

How do these compare to Revlon and Clinique?

Jordana's leaves a light stain on the lips, but Revlon definitely has the stronger stain and is the least emollient of the three. Clinique is in the middle in terms of intensity of staining and doesn't have as much slip as Jordana.

I'm so happy to find that Jordana is still very much alive and well. They're definitely an underrated brand in the drugstore beauty world. I'm glad that during times like these, we easily can share these gems with others.

I have a few more Jordana finds that I want to share in upcoming posts.

The formula feels quite hydrating and has a good amount of slip. They leave as much of a stain as a regular lipstick does. Not quite to the same level as the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. This may be a plus for those with drier lips if you found the Revlon ones to be uncomfortable.

There's a bit of a sweet scent to these that doesn't bother me, but I don't love it either. I'm pretty neutral on this one and I don't consider myself a gourmand when it comes to scented beauty products. I actually prefer the minty scent of the Revlon ones.

The packaging is very cute as most crayon-inspired products are. The caps seem to stay on very well so no need to worry about your lippie rolling around in purse lint! The color of the tubes are not exact matches of the color inside but they're good enough to distinguish one from the other if you have multiples.

I really love Cranberry Crush. If you don't already know, I love berry tones! Rock N Rouge may be a little too warm for me.

Is It Worth Your While?:
If you want lip colors in a crayon-style packaging, then these are a great option for you if the Revlon ones aren't catching your eye. I feel like the Jordana ones are a bit more hydrating than the Revlon ones. I personally would've preferred if it stained more, but this may be a good sign if you have really dry lips. They only cost $2.99 so it'll be easy on your wallet if you want to get a few shades to try.

Have you tried Jordana Twist & Shine before? How about the crayon-style lippies by Revlon and Clinique? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, May 2, 2016

MANI MONDAY - Essie No More Film

Hi! Hi! Happy Mani Monday to you!

Today I have one of those classic dark blueish purpley aka "blurple" nail polishes to share with you: Essie No More Film. I think a lot of people have a shade like this in their collection as this is a type of shade that gets re-released in different collections every now and then. I bought it thinking it would be a more obvious eggplant purple. It's actually a very inky shade and not as vibrant as online photos.

Essie No More Film
I plucked this out from my stash because I had neglected it for a while so I decided to showcase this one today. If you're looking for a muted, dark blue-leaning purple creme nail polish, this would be a great option. The formula isn't too runny or too thick. It's a very lovely formula to work with and you can get full coverage with two coats.

Have you tried Essie No More Film before? Do you have something just like it? Let me know in the comments below!