6 Lip Products for the Holidays

With Christmas looming a mere 12 days away, this coming weekend is bound to be filled with holiday parties galore.  Winter is when we break out darker colors, smokey eyes, and bold red lips.  While I’m not usually a bold-lipped kind of lady, being in a show and rocking a bold red lip in Pippin has forever changed my opinion of red lippies, and I now have faith that I can rock them.  Here are 6 lip products I’ve been using this holiday season.

Smith & Cult Lip Gloss in The Warning:  This is the sheerest of all of my picks, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect look for the holidays.  This bright red gloss brings a pop of Santa red to your lips without forcing you to panic about getting red lipstick everywhere. It’s hydrating, not sticky, and even has a little bit of subtle glitter in there for an extra pop of party bling. ($22 @ Smithandcult.com)

Too Faced Melted Berry Liquid Lipstick: Melted berry is a stunning shade of berry red (almost deep, dark pink.  Almost.) that will surely pop on your lips this season.  I’ve found that I really enjoy the formulation of the Too Faced Liquid Lipsticks, and this is a bold shade I found I wasn’t afraid of even on the very first wear. ($21 at Ulta)

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic Stained Gloss in Nomad: I’ll be honest, at first I thought this shade appeared to be far too dark for me to even consider trying on. Turns out that this deep colored gloss sheers out into a great winter maroon. It can be sheer or be built up for a more intense coverage.  I was incredibly surprised by how much I liked this shade, and have been wearing regularly. ($18 on Amazon)

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Matte Lipstick in Dolce Flirt: I got a mini of this lipstick from an Influenster campaign a year or so ago, so I had to try it for review purposes. This was another product that really surprised me by how much I liked it.  This matte formula was very comfortable and non-drying. The shade “dolce flirt” was such a beautiful, flattering true red color that I loved wearing it to my husband’s office Christmas party. I felt sexy, feisty, and very festive. (available at Nordstrom $38)

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella: This lip pencil is in a shade that feels like it was inspired by Miss Cruella DeVil herself. This is a deep scarlet red that definitely feels like the perfect bold winter lip in a long wear, top rated formula by Nars. ($26 @ Sephora)

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate: This lip product is the one I used in my show that made me accept that I could pull off a bold red lip color.  Pomegranate is a gorgeous rich red that made my lips pop on stage, made my teeth look a bit whiter, and made me feel like a sexy little vixen going out on stage.  This is definitely a shade I will now rock on a regular basis. This product felt great on, stayed put, and lasted my entire show ( and afterward) without needing to be reapplied. This baby is the reason I’m no longer afraid to rock a bold lip, so shoutout to Bite Beauty to opening my eyes to a world beyond nudes and light pinks. ($24 @ Sephora)

What are some of your go-to lip products for the holiday party season? Do you wear the bold statement lip, or do you have some deeper neutrals that you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below. 

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links*

 

Exuviance Purifying Cleansing Gel

Exuviance Purifying Cleansing Gel Review

At the base of any good skincare routine is a solid cleanser.  After all, you need your skin to be squeaky clean so all of your lotions and potions can work their magic.  When I got this new cleanser in the mail, I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Exuviance was kind enough to send me their Purifying Cleansing Gel to review, and while I did get it for free, you know that my reviews will always be honest.  Let’s dive in and see what it’s all about.

About the Product

The Exuviance purifying cleansing gel is an anti-aging face cleanser with Alpha (AHA) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA).  The acids offer chemical exfoliation and help clarify the skin. The gel is soap-free which is gentle and prevents the skin from drying out. Conditioners soothe the skin and help improve the skin’s texture.  It’s also allergy and dermatologist tested (in case that’s important to you).  

Basically,this cleanser foams up to wash away makeup, impurities, and surface oils without stripping the skin or altering skin’s natural moisture balance and is suitable for all skin types .

My Experience

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Too Faced Merry Macarons Palette | Holiday 2016

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The second edition of my Too Faced holiday 2016 review (I also reviewed the Grande Hotel Cafe set) is the Merry Macaroons palette.  This is an Ulta exclusive and retails for $39.  Of all of Too Faced’s holiday palette releases, Merry Macarons is hands down my favorite.  

The packaging of the entire line is stunning, featuring a Christmas in NYC theme. All of the palettes feature packaging decked with beautiful pastel pinks, purples, and mint, and is accented with gold foil.  Merry Macarons takes place ice skating next to a pretty famous tree in NYC, only this one is made of colorful macarons.  Next to our skater is a deluxe mini of Too Faced’s best-selling Better Than Sex mascara.

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The 12 eyeshadows ( 0.03 oz each) are an excellent balance of mattes and shimmers in a mostly neutral color range (aka my perfect palette), save a purple shade. I’ve had to resist using this palette in order to focus on using the other palettes from the line to review for the blog.  

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Coconut: Matte beige

Champagne Rose: Champagne Rose gold shimmer

Praline: Gold shimmer

Dulce de Leche: Matte milk chocolate brown

Mint Chocolate: Matte,  cool, dark mauve

Honey Lavender: Lavender purple shimmer

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Banana Cream: Dark brown shimmer

Tiramisu: Deep peach nude

Violet Cassis- Bright purple with shimmer

Almond Mocha- Dark chocolate brown, satin 

Chocolate Raspberry- Maroon shimmer

Cookies and Cream- Matte black with silver micro glitter

As I said, the Merry Macarons palette is my favorite of all the Too Faced holiday releases this year.  I find that the quality of these shadows is somehow better than the quality of the shadows in the other two sets.  Seeing how this is the least expensive set of the 3, that is both a positive (for those wanting to buy only one of the sets) and a negative (for those that spent more money and got poorer quality).  Granted, this is just my personal opinion, but it is an opinion formulated after using all 3 sets pretty thoroughly. 

Like the other Too Faced sets, Merry Macaroons is scented (vanilla), but like my statement in the Grande Hotel Cafe review, don’t let the scent be a big selling point for you, as it isn’t very strong to begin with, and it fades over time.  The real stars in Merry Macaroons are the shadows themselves.  I love the neutral shades and the variety of finishes this palette offers. It’s very easy to create many looks suitable for every day with this palette.

I always use an eyeshadow primer before applying shadows, and I find the longevity of the shadows in the Merry Macarons palette reasonably substantial. These shadows are also soft and blendable.  While some shades are powdery, none of them are dry. Overall, I really have been enjoying this palette, and it’s something I’ve been reaching for frequently since it’s arrival.  

The Too Faced Merry Macaroons palette is an Ulta Exclusive for $39.  

Have you purchased any of the Too Faced Christmas in New York collection?  What are your thoughts?

 
*I purchased all Too faced Holiday 2016 with my own money. All opinions are my own*

Too Faced Grande Hotel Cafe Review | Holiday 2016

grande-hotel-cafe-review

I’m a sucker for the holidays in pretty much any way, shape, and form, and the holiday releases from my favorite beauty brands are most definitely my weakest spot.  Since I wasn’t overly impressed with Too Faced’s releases from holiday 2015, I swore I wasn’t going to get hooked this year..and then I saw the holiday collection.  Christmas in New York is like a dream to me, and with the stunning shades and adorable packaging, I quickly broke my vow. I knew the collection had to be mine.  I ended up buying all 3 eyeshadow sets, as I couldn’t decide on one.  Today, we’re taking a look at the Grande Hotel 3 palette set.  

The Too Faced Grande Hotel is a collection of 3 individual eyeshadow palettes (Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and Gingerbread Cookie) that can be given as gifts (there’s even a To/From label on the back of each one) or can be kept as a set and includes a deluxe mini of Better Than Sex Mascara.

grande-hotel-packaging

First, let’s talk about the packaging.  Grande Hotel Cafe comes in a gorgeous box that’s shaped like a hotel you’d find in the heart of NYC.  When you remove the roof and open the doors you see the stunning interior decorated with Christmas trees (complete with famous Too Faced products underneath them) and you’re clearly meant to be sitting at the hotel’s coffee bar, where you would order one of the holiday beverages the palettes are named after. It’s genius packaging, and I’m not going to lie, the packaging definitely helped sell me the products.   Read more

August Favorites 2016

August Favorites Blog

Guys, tomorrow it’s September!  Can you even believe it??  This month I have a few favorites I’ve been dying to share with you.  

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palettes: I rediscovered both of my Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes and fell in love all over again.  The matte (and two subtle shimmers) shades in the palettes are great for everyday wear.  I found that when I didn’t really want to do my eyes, but want to have the no makeup look going on, creating an eye look with the shades in these palettes made my eyes look amazing without looking “done up.”  I’m very pleased that I decided to dig these out of my drawers and I know I’ll be getting a lot more use out of them.  The Naked Basics 2 is more cool toned than the original Naked Basics palette, but they’re both outstanding additions to any collection. 

Bare Minerals Pro Powder FoundationI wanted a new quick and easy foundation that (much like the eyeshadow) efficiently gave some coverage to flaws without making me look like I had a mask of face makeup on, and this new foundation by Bare Minerals did the trick. I did buy the brush that was released with this foundation. It’s a nice retractable brush that’s densely packed for better coverage.  Do you need it? No, but I like that it’s covered so I can easily throw it in my purse. 

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Products- I have a new lip obsession, and it’s the Bare Minerals Gen Nude Line.  They have 3 different formulas, and I’m obsessed with them all.  The product I’m loving least of this trio is the matte liquid lipstick, and it’s simply because I am not convinced that my lips  can use matte liquid lipsticks, period.  After trying quite a few formulas, this Gen Nude formula is light, smooth, and doesn’t feel the least bit drying. There is minimal transfer after it dries, and it’s comfortable to wear. Bonus: it smells amazing! Like a chocolate pudding pack I used to put in school lunches.  My only issue is that I feel like it settles into my lines and defines them more, but I’ve had that issue with every single liquid matte lip I’ve tried, and it’s not nearly as bad compared to others. 

The Gen Nude Radiant Lipsticks are absolutely divine.  They go on buttery smooth, feel amazing, and have great shade options(medium coverage), and a glossy finish.  I would reach for this product when I wanted to hydrate my lips, not just put on a dose of color.  I love love LOVE these lipsticks. Read more

Sephora Play! August 2016

Sephora Play August

It’s always a happy day when my Sephora Play! box comes in the mail.  I didn’t do any posting about it last month, but I discovered a few new things that I love thanks to that box, so I figured why not start telling people whats in the subscription?  Since I canceled my Birchbox subscription last month, my Sephora box is currently the only beauty subscription I currently have. 

Each month Sephora has a theme, and August’s theme was “The Eye Openers.” As one who currently struggles with things like under eye circles and puffiness, I was anxious to see what was inside my box.  Here’s what I found:

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544

I am a huge fan of the MUFE Artist Shadows.  They’re smooth, buttery, and blendable, so I was super excited to see this beautiful pink granite shade in my box.  I was a little less excited when I discovered it was a shade I already had in my MUF Artist Palette Vol 1.  Either way, it’s a beautiful color.  

Full Size: 0.07 oz @ $21

Sample Size: 0.02 oz

Sample Value: $6.09

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Benefit Cosmetics New Brow Collection Review

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I haven’t always been on the brow game train.  It wasn’t until rather recently that I started paying attention to my brows at all, and at first it was only because my sister complained about how lame and sparse they were.  After finding my discovery and use of the original Benefit Gimme Brow and the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil, I truly began to appreciate how much better done brows made me look and feel.  While I don’t think I will ever have the skills to make my brows “on fleek,” I do pay attention now, and because of that I managed to obtain a few of the items in the new brow collection from Benefit Cosmetics, and I wanted to give you my two cents about them. 

While there are 10 products in the brow line (who knew we needed 10 different products?!), I am only going to be talking about 3. These happen to be the 3 that I think are most practical to own: Gimme Brow, Goof Proof Brow Pencil, and Ka-Brow cream-gel color.  While I purchased the Goof Proof pencil because I needed a new brow pencil, but I obtained the other two in sample sizes,; one from my Birchbox and one from a bonus with a Sephora order.  While they aren’t all full size, I feel this gives me enough experience with them to justify a review.

The way I want to talk about these 3 products is in terms of coverage, like with foundation. I actually really like all 3 of them for various reasons, but I found it very easy to classify each as a light, medium, or full coverage eyebrow product, and I find all 3 to be useful for different reasons Read more

June 2016 Favorites

June Favorites
Styling MousseLush Facial Scrub | Lancome Juicy Shakers | Champagne Pop Palette | Buxom Eye Shadows | Yogurt | Waitress | It’s Not Okay

Guys..we are halfway done with 2016!  What kind of craziness is that??  Anyway, I’ve been way busy with non-blog related things, so my favorites are a little late, but since there were some things I’ve been dying to tell you about, I figured better late than never was appropriate here.  Enjoy!

Surface Curls Firm Styling Mousse: During the summer I like to let my hair air dry and let the little bit of natural wave do its thing.  This mousse is one of the more sticky foaming products I’ve tried, but it really gets the job done.  I just put a little leave in conditioner in my hair and then flip my head over and scrunch a golf ball sized amount at the ends and I get separated, textured, and curly looking locks that are perfect for that natural, air dried look we love for summer. 

Lush Smugglers Soul Facial Scrub ($13.95): I hate to mention this because this product is a limited edition for Father’s Day (but as of this post it’s STILL available!!), but I want you all to be aware of this for next year.  This is a scrub that was actually geared towards men (at least that’s what I’ve been told) as a facial exfoliant, but once I touched it in store, I knew I had to have it.  There are bamboo granules ground up in here and it reminds me of the fine ground feel of a paste made with baking soda (which I’ve used as exfoliant in the past), which really gets the job done without feeling too abrasive.  My skin feels amazing after using this.  Bonus: it has the faint smell of sandalwood, which is so nice.  Be ready for it next year, because it’s definitely worth picking up.    Read more

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box | May 2016

I finally got off the waitlist for the coveted Play! by Sephora subscription box.  Yes, a subscription box by Sephora.  It’s a beauty addict’s heaven! For $10 a month you get 5 or so deluxe sized samples (roughly 100 point perks) delivered to your door. Anyway, I got my first box this month, and I filmed the unboxing.  To keep the post easy, I’m going to post the video below, but I mentioned pricing the products to see if I got my money’s worth, so those are below.  Enjoy!

Orange Sanguine Cologne: $5 value

Briogeo Hair Mask: $9 value

Origins Maskimizer: $0.34 ; Masks $0.76 each.  Total: $1.86

Korres Rose Mask: $12.06

Tarte Lip Crayon: $1.80 value

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick: $8.66

Total Value: $38.38

 

April 2016 Favorites

April Favorites

Colour Pop Shadow | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush | Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rebel | FitBit Alta | Jade Citrus Mint Tea | Gilmore Girls

 

I can’t believe it’s already May!  We’re in the second quarter of 2016, the weather has finally started to warm up, and we’re getting ready for the glorious joys that summertime promises to bring.  In the meantime, I have a few things that I loved using and enjoying during the month of April.  Check them out!  Read more