Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour

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Company’s Description: “Inspired by Caviar Eye Liner, Caviar Stick Eye Colour offers way to enhance the smoky eye look. In a range of beautiful shades, this creamy formula provides endless options for a flawless smoky eye. Each convenient stick is long-wearing, transfer- and crease-resistant. The colour glides onto lids and blends easily with a rich colour payoff.”

Price: $28.00

Where to Purchase: Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, Lauramercier.com

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Swatches (top to bottom): Rose Gold, Amethyst

Review: I first became interested in this product when I heard Sharon Farrell rave about it in one of her favorites videos. I’ve recently gotten into cream eyeshadows as they are easy to use and are ideal for creating a quick and polished eye look. Despite Laura Mercier’s description, I did not purchase this product for the purpose of creating a smoky eye, but rather to use alone as an all over lid color. While I did use a primer before applying this product, I found that it held up to the claims that it is “long-wearing, transfer- and crease-resistant”. However, I didn’t find that the color glided on effortlessly; the stick tugged at my lids a bit, and I had to apply several layers to build up the pigmentation (especially with the amethyst shade). However, the color is truly beautiful and long lasting once it is built up to the desired intensity. The formula also blends out effortlessly (using either a synthetic bristle brush or fingertips), and makes for a great base should you want to apply additional shadows over top.

Final Thoughts: While overall I think the color range offered in the line and the performance of this product is impressive, for the hefty price tag, I wasn’t blown away. I’ve tested multiple cream eyeshadow sticks lately, and I feel that this product is not any more impressive than the drugstore alternatives. If you are interested in trying out a great (and inexpensive) eyeshadow stick, I highly recommend the Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Sticks, which retail for just $4.50, and are readily available at any local drugstore or ULTA.

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek Highlighters

CP1 Company’s Description: (Application tips) “Fingertips will provide the highest amount of coverage. Brush suggestions: Use a flat synthetic cheek/ foundation brush or a duo fiber brush; flat synthetic brush will give more coverage and the duo fiber brush will give a more sheer, air brushed effect. WHEN FINISHED: Close that sucker up tight! Don’t leave the jar opened for long periods of time; you may lose some of the magic that makes the Super Shock Cheek Pearlized so amazzzing. Colour builds from natural to a more intense look. … Build to your heart’s desire!”

Price: $8.00

Where to Purchase: Colourpop.com

CP2 Swatches (L-R): Lunch Money, Butterfly Beach, Highly Waisted

Lunch Money is described by Colourpop as “a soft light gold with a reflective golden duo chrome finish (pearlized)”. I find this to be an accurate description; however, it’s not overly gold, perhaps leaning a bit more toward champagne.

Butterfly Beach is described by Colourpop as “a soft peach with highlights of gold and silver (pearlized)”. This is my favorite color, as the combination of gold and silver sheen make for an extremely unique and eye catching highlight.

Highly Waisted is described by Colourpop as “a soft golden peach with pink and gold duo chrome finishes (pearlized).” This color is the most gorgeous summer blush color on my fair skin (a MAC NW-15). The golden duo chrome finish gives off a beautiful, light catching sheen without being too conspicuous when applied to the cheeks.

Review: If you’ve never tried Colourpop products, the brand offers a signature cream – powder formula which feels almost spongey/ bouncy in the pot. The soft texture and creaminess of the formula allows the product to blend smoothly and effortlessly when applied to the skin. In my opinion, Colourpop can do no wrong. The recent addition of the Super Shock Cheek Highlighter collection to their product line matches the impeccable quality of the rest of their previously released collections.  The extensive color range (15 shades) provides a suitable highlight color for any and every skin tone, and may also double as blushes. To apply this product, I dab a light amount to the tops of my cheekbones using my fingertips, and then blend it in using a damp beauty blender. A synthetic bristle brush would work just as well, however, having dry skin, I find that using a beauty blender allows the product to blend more evenly and naturally into my skin. These highlighters give off the most stunning duo chrome glow to the cheeks, and last all day long even without setting powder.

Final Thoughts: A remarkably large cult following has developed and remained loyal to this brand since it’s debut last year, and for good reason. Colourpop constantly delivers high quality products at extremely affordable prices. I’ve fallen in love with these highlighters, especially for wear in the summer months. I find that they give the skin that dewy, glowing finish that is perfect for summertime. It is important to note, however, that if you are looking for a natural, “glow from within” highlighter, this product may not be for you. I prefer a strong, eye catching highlight, and I find that this product delivers everything I look for in a great highlighter. Additionally, this product sits and lasts very well on my normal/ dry skin, but I can’t speak for those with oily skin. If your skin already gives off a natural dewiness, this product may not be for you, or may simply need to be set with a translucent powder to prevent sliding around. However, at just $8, I highly recommend that everyone give these a try. Colourpop does it again!

Current Favorite Lip Combo!

Essence lip liner in “Satin Mauve” +  Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss in “Goddess”
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Swatches (L to R): Essence lip liner in “Satin Mauve”, Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss in “Goddess”

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I have been absolutely LIVING in this lip combo the past month; I find it to be the perfect wearable and oh so popular Kylie Jenner-esque mauve. Essence Lip Liner in Satin Mauve is available at ULTA, and retails for just $1.49. The description on the Essence website reads: “Essence Lip Liner glides on smoothly and precisely to ensure perfect lip-contours and endless hours of lipstick fun. The wooden Lip Liner is ideal for smudge-proof and long-lasting lip make-up.” Truthfully, I think this is the best lip liner I have ever used, drugstore or high end. The formula is incredibly creamy, so much so that I can wear it alone without it drying out my lips or settling into fine lines. This lip pencil doesn’t tug on the lips, applying effortlessly and evenly. It certainly holds up to the claims that it is smudge-proof and long-lasting… and for under $2, I am still in awe of how well this product performs. After filling in my lips completely with this lip liner, I then apply Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss in Goddess over top. The Alter Ego lip gloss line is available at ULTA, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s, and retails for $15.00. Lorac describes this product as “a sexy and playful lip gloss [that] coat[s] your lips in highly-pigmented, glossy color with a soft vanilla scent. Alter Ego Lip Gloss contains antioxidants such as acai berry, pomegranate, grape seed extract, and vitamins C and E.” I rarely gravitate toward lip glosses, however I’ve fallen in love with this formula. It is highly pigmented (even when applied on its own), is not overly sticky or tacky, and smells divine. I find it extremely comfortable to wear, long-lasting, and a perfect compliment to the Essence lip liner. So even if this particular color combo isn’t your cup of tea, I highly recommend checking out both of these standout product lines, you won’t be disappointed!

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper

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Company’s Description: “Fill brows in an instant and hold hair in place with this easy-to-apply brow gel mascara. Formulated with a subtle tint, the gel adheres to even the finest hairs, leaving them fuller and more defined with a single application.”

Price: $6.99-$8.99 (depending on where you purchase)

Where to Purchase: ULTA, Target, Walmart, CVS, Drugstore.com

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Color shown in Light to Medium

Review: Now let’s get one thing straight, brows are VERY important to me. To be honest, I spend more time on my brows than anything else in my makeup routine. I never thought I’d feel put together without shaping my brows using my beloved Anastasia Brow Wiz…. until this product came into my life. This brow gel has been an absolute game changer for me. On days where I’m wearing minimal makeup and don’t want to spend the time shaping my brows, this product has been my go to for a quick and easy fix. As someone with sparse brow hairs that are significantly lighter than my hair color, I feel that the company’s claims are 100% truthful. The subtle tint is just enough to darken my brows without looking artificial, and the plumping technology used in the formulation truly makes my brows appear fuller and less sparse. The extremely small wand makes the product extremely easy to use, offering the most precise application of any brow mascara I have ever used. Additionally, I find that the formula holds brow hairs in place all day without looking or feeling crunchy.

Final Thoughts: Like I said before, this product has truly been a game changer in my makeup routine. This inexpensive drugstore product has blown every high end brow gel I’ve used out of the water. As a red head, it’s often very difficult to find brow products that match my hair color,  but the Light to Medium shade yields the perfect, natural looking tint. (This product is also available in Medium to Dark and Transparent.) If you’re as invested in having your brows on fleek as I am, run (do not walk) to your nearest drugstore and pick this product up, you won’t regret it!

Glambot Haul!

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Recently I placed a few orders with Glambot, an online marketplace where you can buy and sell new or gently used makeup. The site offers a huge variety of brand name products (even limited edition items!) at significantly discounted prices. The products are thoroughly sanitized, secured with a Glambot sticker which signifies authenticity, then individually bubble wrapped and sent out promptly and securely. I was extremely impressed with the quality of my products; only one eyeshadow pan showed any evidence of previous use, however it is still in excellent condition. If you’re a makeup hoarder like me, I highly recommend checking out the Glambot website to score some great deals! The site frequently offers sales and various promotions where you can save even more money (right now you get $5 back with any $50 purchase, and shipping is free with orders over $30).  In this post, I’ll simply share swatches and my first impressions of the products. I will follow up with reviews of the individual products at a later date after I have had time to thoroughly test them.

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(L: Blended out, R: Heavily swatched)

NARS Luster blush (refill pan) is a product that has been on my wish list for quite some time. A “sheer, golden apricot” color (as described by NARS), Luster makes for the perfect summer blush, especially for us pale skinned girls. The golden shimmer running throughout the blush adds a beautiful glow without being overly sparkly or conspicuous when applied to the cheeks. I have several of the NARS blushes, and the formula is one of the best on the market. This product  retails for $30, but it was listed at just $15.87 on Glambot’s site.

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Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow in the shade 16 Pink Beige is an ultra metallic waterproof cream eyeshadow. The formula has a unique, mousse-like texture which is exceedingly blendable and easy to work with. Although the color seems to be more of a frosty pink in the pot, when swatched the eyeshadow (as its name suggests) takes on more of a beige/ nude hue. In my opinion, the beige undertone makes this product quite wearable despite the intense metallic finish. (To make the eyeshadow even more wearable, Make Up For Ever suggests mixing it with a small amount of full coverage concealer to mute the shimmer.) This product retails for $23, but I purchased it for $17.18.

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(L: Swatched wet, R: Swatched dry)

The MAC Pigment in the limited edition color Mauvement was released with MAC’s “Fabulous Felines: Palace Pedigreed” collection in 2010, and is no longer available. So when I saw it on Glambot’s site, I couldn’t resist picking it up! I’m so glad that I did, this unique color is absolutely beautiful. The base color of the pigment is a cool taupe, with flecks of mauve, gold, and silver that catch the light flawlessly, giving any eye look extra dimension and interest. I would highly suggest applying this pigment with a damp brush, as it intensifies the pigmentation tremendously and minimizes pesky fallout that is often problematic when using loose pigments. Because this product was limited edition and is nearly impossible to find now, I decided to splurge on it. MAC pigments usually retail for $21, but I purchased it for $27.60.

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Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow in the shade 22 Brown Stone is a shimmering, cool toned brown.

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Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyeshadow in the shade 28 Iced Mauve is a shimmering, tan/ sand color.

I have been wanting to purchase a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow for a long while due to all of the rave reviews I have come across, however this brand is a bit out of my price range! So when I saw these eyeshadows discounted on the Glambot site, I took advantage of the opportunity and picked them up. Although I haven’t tested them on the eyes yet, unfortunately I’m not overly satisfied with the shadows thus far. While I love the neutral hues of both shadows (especially Brown Stone), when swatched the color payoff is unimpressive, and the formula is a bit chalky. I believe that these particular shades have been discontinued, however the shadows in the Metallic eyeshadow range retail for $24 each. I purchased 22 Brown Stone for $15.98, and 28 Iced Mauve for $18.92.

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Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadow (refill pan) in the color I606 Pinky Earth is a rich, warm brown with rosy undertones and an iridescent finish. Since the MUFE Artist Eyeshadow line launched last year, I have coveted the incredible formula and color options that the brand has to offer, and have been yearning to add some to my collection. Of all the products I purchased from Glambot, this shadow was the mostly highly anticipated! I certainly feel that it was worth the wait. Seriously, if you haven’t encountered this line yet, run to Sephora and give some of the shades a swatch! The formula is impeccable, arguably the best quality on the market right now. Additionally, this color is just such a gorgeous and multidimensional neutral tone, I know I’ll be reaching for it often!  The pans that hold these shadows are quite large, containing .07 oz of product (as compared to a MAC eyeshadow pan which contains .05 oz of product), so you get a good amount for your money. The MUFE Artist eyeshadows retail for $21 each, however I purchased mine for only $14.40.

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A sample size of the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara was included in my package as part of a promotion Glambot was running when I placed my order. I have heard rave reviews on this product, and I tend to prefer thick, natural bristle wands, so I’m looking forward to using this! The full size of this product retails for $24.

In closing, I’m extremely excited about all my new goodies and plan to post reviews on each product very soon! If you haven’t already visited the site, I highly suggest you head over to Glambot ASAP, as new products (and awesome deals) are posted daily. Happy shopping!

NARS Duo Eyeshadow in St-Paul-De-Vence (Limited Edition)

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Company’s Description: “Modern, unique, sometimes unexpected color combinations of eyeshadow shades. Worn alone or together, all Duo Eyeshadow shades feature micro-fine powders that are highly pigminted, longwearing and crease resistant. Color glides on smoothly, evenly and blends effortlessly. The effects can be subtle or smoldering — the options are endless. True color application, may be applied wet or dry with a dampened brush for stronger intensity, multi-function use for shading, lining, and highlighting the eyes.”

Price: $32.00

Where to Purchase: Sephora, Nordstrom, narscosmetics.com

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St-Paul-De-Vence is described by NARS as a “shimmering nectarine”. The shade on the left hand side of the duo is true to the description, while the one on the right hand side is more of a soft, orange toned brown with far less shimmer. (My skin tone is a MAC shade NW-15 for reference.)

Review: While this duo appears quite basic in the pan, and even swatched, when applied to the eyes, it takes on a completely new life. I’ve been reaching for it several times a week for a beautiful and simple summer eye look. The lighter shade is a perfect all over lid color that I think would be flattering on a wide range of skin tones (especially for those of us with warm-toned skin). The darker shade, while not completely matte, has only a slight sheen such that it makes for a wonderful crease and liner color. The only additional product I need for a completed eye look is a highlighting shade for the inner corner and brow bone. I have several of the NARS eyeshadow duos, and this has quickly become one of my favorites. While the price tag is steep, as NARS is a luxury makeup brand, the brand fails to disappoint. The quality of their shadows (and the majority of additional products in their line that I have tested) is truly incredible. The claims that the shadows are “micro-fine powders that are highly pigminted, longwearing and crease resistant, [which] glide on smoothly, evenly and blend effortlessly” are absolutely truthful. NARS has one of the best shadow formulas I’ve come across, and this particular duo features two very unique colors unlike anything I have in my collection, or have come across otherwise.

Final Thoughts: While at first glance I wasn’t overly impressed with this duo, it has truly become one of my most reached for products this summer. As it is limited edition, I highly suggest at least swatching it in stores before it is no longer available! The one thing I will say about these shadows (and the vast majority of powder shadows in general) is do NOT use these shadows wet. Dipping a wet brush into a powder eyeshadow often disturbs the top layer of the product and makes it very difficult to use afterwards. If you are looking to intensify the color payoff of these shadows, try applying a cream eyeshadow in a similar hue as a base. (I often use Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in “Bulletproof Beige” for this particular duo). If you have the money to splurge on an exceptional luxury product this summer, I highly suggest giving this one a try!

L.A. Girl HD PRO BB Cream

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Company’s Description: “This essential new addition to L.A. Girl’s HD PRO series simplifies a basic skin and makeup regimen into a single tube. HD PRO BB Cream primes, moisturizes and enhances skin tone. This product was formulated without parabens and fragrance-free to pamper sensitive skin and lavishly nourish skin with added Vitamin B3, C and E. The silky formula covers a wide range of skin tones offering eight shade.”

Price: $7.00

Where to Purchase: lagirlusa.com, drugstore.com, amazon.com

bb2Swatch: Fair

**For reference, my skin color is MAC shade NW-15, and my skin type is Normal/Dry**

Review: After testing this product for about a month, I am extremely impressed with how it lives up to LA Girl’s claims and how it performs. While my skin tends to be very dry, I did not use a hydrating primer as I usually do before applying foundation, and it lasted all day without flaking (confirming the claims that it self primes and is hydrating). I applied this product with a damp beauty blender, and I was pleasantly surprised with the coverage it gave. Despite being marketed as a BB cream, this product offers a medium coverage, effortlessly camouflaging any redness or scarring. It successfully evens skin tone without feeling heavy or sinking into pores/ fine lines. However, if you have any active breakouts, you will need to apply a concealer over top of this product. Additionally, the lasting power is very impressive for such a lightweight product; it lasted over 10 hours on my face without any setting powder or touch ups.

Final Thoughts: I can’t say enough good things about this product. As someone who prefers a full coverage foundation, I was hesitant to try a BB cream, fearing that it would not successfully even out the redness I have on my cheeks. However, even sheered out with a beauty blender, it gives a perfect amount of coverage. Additionally, I was skeptical about not using a primer underneath this product, as my skin tends to be very dry. Once again, the product lived up to its claim and is quite moisturizing all on its own. I am confident that this product will be a staple in my makeup routine this summer, as the lightweight formula allows my skin to breathe, and stays in place even in the extreme heat. The only qualm I have with the product is the inability to find it in stores. I recommend researching swatches online before you purchase to find the best match for your skin tone. However, if you are around a NW-15 like me, the “fair” shade is a perfect match. Finally, due to the hydrating nature of the product, people with very oily skin may have difficulties with the formula if a mattifying primer is not applied prior to application. However, for only $7, I think this BB cream is a must have! I will definitely be repurchasing.