A Few Japanese Mascaras

Hey Everyone!  I hope y’all have been enjoying your weekend so far!  I have been doing exciting domestic projects like cleaning and yard work.  Not very glam, but it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment.  I need to sort out my closet, but just can’t seem to make myself go in there and face the chaos.  So, instead I am choosing to review a few Japanese mascaras.

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A Few Japanese Mascaras

I love trying out Asian cosmetics, particularly Japanese brands.  Though they cost more and are sometimes hard to find, the quality (usually) makes it worth the effort.  As you can see, I have four different types to share with you.  I have very skimpy lashes that stick straight out.  I am always trying to find a miracle worker to add some heft to my scant lash line.  These four are very popular in Japan and get rave reviews.  All four are waterproof, which helps hold the curl in your lashes.

First off is Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl and Long & Curl Mascaras.  I use both of these together.  Both formulas are made to enhance lash curl.  (That’s a lot of curl in this paragraph).

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Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara

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Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara Wand

The volume formula is okay by itself.  It does actually hold the curl in your lashes.  The wand is skinny on the inner part and gets fuller towards where your outer lashes are.  It is not a big and fluffy brush as most volumizing mascaras are, which is a plus for me.

The magic happens when you add the lengthening one to the mix.

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Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara

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Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara Wand

This wand is your typical curved deal.  It really does lengthen my lashes.  Both are fiber formulas, and contain chamomile and camellia extract to nourish the lashes.  It stays put with no flaking.  The fibers aren’t annoying.  Since it is waterproof, you will need an oil based remover to break it down, or things could get ugly.  Fast.

Next is Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara.  Majolica Majorca is made by Shiseido, targeting the more trendy makeup lovers.

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Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara

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Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara Wand

As you can see, this is also a fiber formula (no, it is not errant cat hair!!).  The strange name is supposed to explain that this mascara “expands” your lashes as the unique applicator deposits color along your lash line to look like it is “framed” – like eye liner.  Also sort of freezing your lashes “upright” for a doll-like look.  I did not notice this effect at all.  If you are one of the lucky people that already look like you have liner on because your lashes are so dense, this would probably enhance that.

Application is a two step process.  You use the fatter side (top of this shot) first to lay down the formula, wiggling between the lashes as you apply.  Then immediately go over your lashes with the skinny side, wiggling also.  Hmmmm….

I happen to like clumpy mascara.  This definitely goes on clumpy.  The fibers are also visible if you look real hard.  It really is a bit of a hot mess in my opinion.  But I like it.  Don’t ask me why.

Lastly, I have Fairy Drops Volume Burst Film Type Mascara.  There is also a waterproof formula, but this one didn’t budge, almost like it was waterproof.

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Fairy Drops Volume Burst Film Type Mascara

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Fairy Drops Volume Burst Film Type Mascara Wand

This mascara was created by a Aya Yasuda, a Japanese TV personality.  She wanted to create something to make her eyes pop and be more noticeable on television.  I had high hopes for this baby since I am such a fan of the Fairy Drops BB Cream.  As you can see, this mascara also has fibers.

The triple ball wand was designed to lift the lashes to create curl, and make the lashes thicker.  It was a total dud for me.  I found the formula very cakey and hard to work with.  I’m not sure if I just got an old tube or a dud?  It is well within it’s expiration date, so I don’t know what that is about.  I did not notice any curl at all, much less anything extra.  Very disappointing.

I really liked the Heroine Make mascaras, and will definitely repurchase.  The others, no.  Even though I like the clumpy one :)

I bought these on imomoko.com.  They can also be found on Amazon for around the same price.  These are the drugstore variety, so if you have a Japanese market in your area, they should be available there.

Do you have any international mascaras to recommend?

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation Review

Hello my worn out Santa’s helpers!  I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas filled with family, friends, overeating, drinking too much, and making great memories.  Those of you with little kiddos, I trust that your hearts were turned into indescribable mush watching the pure joy of your babies tearing into their presents Christmas morning.  One good thing about being Grinch-y is that I have nothing to take down/put up.  I’m ready for the New Year with no fuss, no muss!

I have been on a foundation kick lately.  I guess all of the new offerings have dazzled me like bright and shiny objects.  One such glittery distraction was the new YSL foundation.  I’ve been wearing it for a month or so, and thought I’d share my YSL Fusion Ink Foundation review!

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

As with all Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics, the packaging is gorgeous.

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

Beautiful right?  *sigh*

According to the box, the formula is supposed to be ultra lightweight with the color/staying power of ink.  Doesn’t sound very sexy does it?  Ink?  Honestly, it makes me think of the old school Bic ball point pens.  You know, the ones that transferred blue ink on the side of your hand as you were writing a paper if your hand happened across the paragraph you just wrote?  I personally don’t like to associate my foundation with “ink”.

Sorry for that tangent.  Moving on….

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

There are 21 shade offerings, ranging from Neutral (B), Cool (BR), and Warm (BD).  Whatever your complexion, I think they have you covered.  It also has SPF 18.

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

BD 50, Warm Honey, is a perfect match for me.  Per the label above, you need to shake, shake, shake.  The formula really is lightweight, so when you shake, shake, shake, it sounds like water (or maybe a bottle of ink).  :D

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

The bottle is frosted glass with a great deal of heft.  The gold cap pops off to reveal the applicator.

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation Applicator

I wasn’t sure what to think of this when I first opened it.  I knew I wasn’t going to touch the applicator directly to my face.  The instructions state the applicator is designed to dispense the perfect amount of product to your face or hand.  So, I plop it on the back of my hand.  Works just fine.

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation Swatch

The left is the foundation applied straight to my arm, the right is a tiny bit semi blended (you know what I mean).  Was an icky day when I took this photo, and my arm was really cold, hence the blotchiness.  I should have stood in a hot shower before this shot :)

Okay.  Now for my thoughts (finally, right????).

It has a slight floral scent.  As a rule, I prefer my foundations to be fragrance free, as I think fragrance can be an irritant.  However, I did not have any adverse reaction to it being scented (whew!).  And once it settles in, you can’t smell it.  However, if you are sensitive to fragrance, get a sample at Sephora or Nordstrom.

I have never encountered a foundation like this.  It really is ultra light weight, like water (or a feather, according to the box).  I have applied it with a Beauty Blender, my fingers, and brushes.  It seems to work best with my beloved Shiseido foundation brush.

You sort of have to work fast with this formula, as it dries very quickly once applied.  You can’t do your entire face with a couple swipes on the back of your hand.  Gotta work in sections.  I put it on the back of my hand from the applicator, dab my brush into it, and buff into my skin.  By then, the remainder on my hand has already dried. So I apply the next bit on the back of my hand, buff; next bit, buff; until I have covered my face.  It really does take a only a small amount.  But you gotta work quickly.  It is easy to apply, and it really does melt into your skin with no problem.  Could that be the “fusion”?

Once you get the hang of the application (takes a few tries), your skin has a ethereal soft-matte finish.  I would say medium coverage, but buildable if you want.  REALLY nice.  Since it is a soft-matte, you won’t look like you’re wearing a plastic, skin-tight Halloween scary mask on your face.  You can smile, laugh, whatever you do.  And know your skin is looking very good on it’s own.

So, I am not fond of the name (or brand description) of this foundation.  Not a deal-breaker.  I don’t like the applicator.  Problem solved.  I had to get my initial whining out of the way.  I have really enjoyed using this bad boy, and he is in my rotation for when I need a smooth canvas for my face that is a bit matte.

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation

Me, wearing the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation on in one of my blog photos.

That being said, my Holy Grail Chantecaille is a wide open jar of foundation.  I do use sanitized skincare “paddles” to dispense my Chantecaille.  The YSL will definitely be in my rotation, as I DO love it.  However, my Chantecaille is still my favorite.

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxosignaturenew

 

DIY Makeup Brush Holder

My last makeup storage post was one of my most popular.  In keeping with the organization theme, I present my DIY makeup brush holders!

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DIY Brush Holder

Not very original, I know.  I wanted to store my brushes like they do at Sephora (again, not very original).  I needed a way to have my brushes upright and ready to go, without having to dig through to find the right one, or having them stuck in a brush roll.  There are many DIY brush holder instructions online, but I thought I would share with you my solution :)

First off, you need a container.  You can purchase some inexpensive glass jars, coffee mugs, pencil holders – whatever tickles your fancy.  Or you can recycle one of the candle jars you probably have laying around your house, like I did!

picture of DIY Brush Holder

DIY Brush Holder

I apologize in advance, as I do not have photos for the following instructions (I had created my brush holders before I had this blog).  But it’s very easy!

Once you’ve burned your candle down, stick the whole glass jar in the freezer.  Leave it there, ideally, overnight.  This will allow the leftover candle wax, metal disks that hold the wick (yes, they’re in there, lurking on the bottom!), and any other gunk to harden.  Take it out of the freezer, and the said offenders above should pop right out.  Do NOT use a knife or any other object to try to force them out.  If they don’t come right out, you either need to freeze the jar longer, or maybe wait a few more minutes and let the jar thaw a bit more before proceeding.  Beauty is not worth a trip to the emergency room because you’ve sliced your hand open.  Just sayin’….

So, assuming you were able to get the undesirables out of the jar (without a trip to the ER) let the jar rest and come to room temperature.  Then you need to give it a good wash with hot water, dish soap and a bit of vinegar (optional) to get all the black smoke stuff off the sides.  Afterwards, you should have a pristine jar, ready for your makeup brushes!

What to fill it with?  I used “Poly-Fil” brand poly-pellets stuffing beads (comes in a plastic bag with a cartoon sheep on it).  They are used primarily in crafts for stuffing posed dolls, bean bags, etc. Close-up of the  filler below:

picture of DIY Brush Holder

DIY Brush Holder beads

I purchased mine at Michael’s.  They didn’t carry it at my Walmart at the time.  I’m sure it is available at any crafting store.  The smallest size is way too much for a couple of jars, so you may want to consider going in with some friends to share the love.

The reason I chose this filler is that each “bead” has smooth edges, as you can see in the photo. This means your brush handles will not get scratched from pulling your brushes in and out of the jars as you use them.  You can also use white rice (probably like Minute Rice, as it is polished).  Do not use any filler that has sharp edges because it could scratch the handles.  Unless you’re cool with that.

As far as decorating the finished product, I went to the scrap booking section at Michael’s, and chose the flower theme.  Not my first choice, but I could live with it.  Peel and stick.  That’s my style. And, they’re still sticking.  You can do whatever you feel like with the outside decor – Sharpie your name/design, glitter/bling/glam it up, use decals.  Or you could leave it plain.

This has worked for me for some time.  Forgive the hodge-podge brushes.  I will be doing a post on my favorite make up brushes soon!

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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*My June Drugstore Favorites*

Whew, a carnival of color in this post!! I want to feature items for the face first – a blush, concealer, and face brush.  All from your local drugstore!

Milani Baked Blush ($8.29) is becoming one of my faves! Of course, everyone is familiar with the 05 Luminoso, the stand-out coral blush with the gold tones that is incredibly beautiful on all complexions.  Below are two of my newest favorites:

picture of Milani 06 Bellissimo Bronze Baked Powder Brush.

Milani Baked Powder Blush 06 Bellissimo Bronze Baked Powder Brush.

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Milani Baked Powder Blush 09 Red Vino

The Bellissimo Bronze is more of a gold “highlight” shade on me.  I have a medium/olive complexion, so it looks like golden shimmer on my skin.  It is beautiful,and may serve as a shimmery bronzer on fairer skins.

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Milani Bellissimo Bronze swatch

Swatch of the Red Vino – on my medium/olive skin, is a nice burgundy with golden highlights.  I can actually wear this and it does not look garish.  I think it might be better for fall, or to highlight my face when it becomes darker as summer progresses. It does have a nice amount of golden sparkle.  It may be a tad too dark on lighter complexions.

picture of Milano Baked Blush 09 Red Vino swatch

Milano Baked Blush 09 Red Vino swatch

Below are L-R: Bellissimo Bronze, Red Vino, and Luminoso on the bottom.

picture of Milani baked blush Bronze Bellissimo, Red Vino, Luminoso

Milani baked blush Bronze Bellissimo, Red Vino, Luminoso

Next up is L’Oreal’s new concealer, True Match Super Blendable Crayon concealer ($8.95). My shade is medium/deep warm W6-7-8.

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L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Crayon Concealer

LOVE it!  It is truly blendable, and not heavy or cakey.  It comes in a multitude of shades, so you’re sure to find your perfect match.  Dark circles aren’t really an issue for me – I have problems with hyper-pigmentation and redness.  This covered my brown patches and redness.  The coverage is buildable, and doesn’t gunk up on your face.  Since it is a crayon, it does provide heavier coverage than a liquid, but easier to blend than a stick concealer.

Final face favorite – the Real Techniques setting brush ($7.99).  I did not know this was the line by one of the Pixiwoo sisters!

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Real Techniques setting brush

It is a small brush, about 6 inches long.  I have found so many uses for it!  It is a great powder setting brush for under the eyes.  It is also perfect for applying highlighter powder to tops of cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead.  Great solution for those small spaces on your face.

On to the eyes…..

The product I’m most excited about is the L’Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator mascara ($9.99)!  It comes in different combinations to enhance your natural eye color.  Having brown eyes, I got the “Black Quartz”.  What I love about it is that it deposits a very light shimmer on your eyelashes!  It is not “in your face” glitter.  Just a very subtle something “extra” that is very pretty!  You can kind of see the sparkle on the tube below….

picture of L'Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator mascara

L’Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator mascara

The right half of the tube is your mascara (it is black for the one I purchased).  It does a great job of lengthening and volumizing.  The left half of the tube is where the pretty sparkle comes from!  The Black Quartz is a bronze shimmer.

picture of L'Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator Black Quartz swatch

L’Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator Black Quartz swatch

Pretty effect without being over the top.  I think it is perfectly suitable for office/daytime.

Next, I think this item has been blogged to death, but I, too, am going to jump on the band wagon.  When I first read everyone going nuts for a nude eye pencil, I thought, “Huh? What’s the point??”.  I get it now.  Those days when you are dog tired, didn’t get enough sleep (insomnia has been my constant companion for the past several weeks), and are looking to your makeup drawer for a miracle, this little pencil can work wonders!  It’s the Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal pencil in “Nude” ($4.49).

picture of Rimmel ScandalEyes Nude Kohl Kajal pencil

Rimmel ScandalEyes Nude Kohl Kajal pencil

A tried and true makeup trick to wake up tired eyes is to line your lower inner lash rim with a frosty white.  I think it looks more natural to use the nude shade, and you get the same eye-opening results.  Since this formula is waterproof, it stays put. I usually line my lower rim, and then my lower lash line from the inner corner halfway.  Use my regular eye pencil outer corner to middle.   Using this every day!  Take that insomnia!

I’m going to combine the next 2 items into one paragraph.  It is Milani again!  I love the Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-Like Eyeliner pencil and their Brow Fix kit!  This eye pencil is the smoothest liner I have ever used.  It is “fluid” like a liquid, but much easier to control.  It lasts all day on me as well.  I think it gives Urban Decay 24/7 liners a run for their money!  It also comes in more color offerings now than when they first came on the market.  These are definite must-owns!  Trust me, you will LOVE them!  You can make a fine, thin line, or smudge out for a more smoky effect. The brow kit is awesome as well.  I have very sparse brows that need to be filled in and I have to draw them into a shape.  Of all the brow solutions I’ve tried, powders work best for me.  The brow kits have two different shades of brow powder, as well as a highlighter, and come with tweezers, brow brush, and applicator sponge.  I do use a full-size eyebrow brush, not the one in the kit.  They also come in 2 shades, depending on your hair color.

picture of Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-like Eyeliner Pencil

Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-like Eyeliner Pencil

picture of Milani Brow Fix kit

Milani Brow Fix kit

Final eyes item – Ardell Accent Lashes ($3.49).  These are half-lashes.  Perfect if you are new to falsies, or have small eyes like me that really benefit from half-lashes. You put them on the outer half of your eyes.  I think they look more natural than the full set falsies, and for the life of me, I cannot do the individual lashes.  I get about 10 wears per pair (if I take care of them).  Just adds that little bit of va-va-voom when you need it!  They come in all sorts of lengths/fullness/thickness.

picture of Ardell Accent Lash

Ardell Accent Lash

My final June favorite is a hair product, John Freida Clear Shine Luminous Glaze ($9.99).  It is more like a hair treatment.  It is not permanent, and won’t affect your hair color, even if you color your hair.  It makes your hair very shiny and smooth.  You can either use before every shampoo, or as a weekly treatment.  As a weekly treatment, you totally saturate your hair with the product before washing.  Let it sit for 20 minutes, and shampoo/condition as usual.  My hair is very fine, so I use it every 2 weeks, and it works for me.  How long the bottle lasts will depend on your hair length/thickness.  It smells fabulous too!

picture of John Freida Clear Shine Luminous Glaze

John Freida Clear Shine Luminous Glaze

One last DIY cute nail idea – Essie Blanc and In The Cab-ana.  Use a dotting tool for the polkas!

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Polka Dot Nail Art

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo

NARS Cheek Palette Soulshine Review

I have worshiped at the altar of NARS’ “Orgasm” for a long time.  I was ready for a change, so when NARS released some limited edition blush palettes, I decided I would invest in one.  Boy, am I happy I did!

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NARS Cheek Palette in Soulshine

 

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NARS Cheek Palette in Soulshine

I must admit, the logo mosaic in the palette is what drew me to it.  I ordered mine fromSephora.

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NARS Cheek Palette in Soulshine

This palette was available in another color, “Realm of the Senses”.  I felt that one would be too light for me, so I opted for “Soulshine” ($41.00).  It is a combination of a peachy pink, apricot, and rose, with a gold shimmer.  The gold is what makes up the “letters”.  It is very shimmery, so if you aren’t a fan of shimmer blushes, definitely stay away from this collection!  I happen to like shimmer blushes.  I think matte blushes make me look one-dimensional, and I end up using a highlighter anyways.  This covers all bases!

Initially, I was afraid the color combo was too light and wouldn’t show up on my olive complexion.  Was I pleasantly surprised!  It gave me a healthy glow along with a flush of color.  I think it would be universally flattering to all complexions, much like “Orgasm”.

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NARS Cheek Palette Soulshine swatch

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NARS Cheek Palette Soulshine swatch

This was a great addition to my makeup collection.  I think I will be reaching for this blush many times!  And it is so pretty to look at.

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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MAC Brick-O-La, Lady Danger, Film Noir Lipstick Review

Hello my lovely peeps!  I had this post completed when we were actually in “fall” weather, but he sort of got lost in the shuffle.  Then I was away from my blog for a bit, then traveled, then discovered other things that I blogged about instead.  Shame on me.  MAC is undoubtedly one of the most universally loved/available makeup lines throughout the world.  I am proud to share with you my MAC Brick-o-la, Lady Danger, Film Noir Lipstick Review!!!!  However some of you readers are starting on fall, so hopefully this will help you.

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MAC Brick-O-La, Lady Danger, Film Noir Lipsticks

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MAC Lady Danger (L), Film Noir (C), Brick-O-La (R) lipsticks

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MAC Brick-O-La, Lady Danger, Film Noir Lipsticks

Swatches:

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Swatches, top to bottom: Film Noir, Brick-O-La, Lady Danger

Ooooh, a bit carried away with the Film Noir swatch.  Oops!

First up is Brick-O-La (Amplified Creme Lipstick).  It is a pink shade, with enough berry to keep it from being a “nude” pink.  I initially thought this shade was too light for me, but I am embracing lighter colors for myself.  And didn’t think this was half bad.

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MAC Brick-O-La lipstick

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MAC Brick-O-La Lip Swatch

It is an Amplified Creme formula, so I did get decent wear from it.  Of course, reapplication after eating/drinking was necessary.  It did not settle into my lip lines.  I believe I will be adding this to my rotation!

Next up, Lady Danger (Matte Lipstick).  To me it is a coral with more of an orange side to it.  I generally like blue reds, but this shade is growing on me.  I think I can pull this one off despite my yellow undertones.  It looks like orange/coral is going to be popular again this spring!

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MAC Lady Danger Lipstick

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MAC Lady Danger Lip Swatch

Of course being a Matte formula, this baby stayed on.  I did not have problems with it bleeding out of my lip lines without any primer.  When it does fade, it leaves behind a nice stain.

Last, but not least, we have Film Noir (Satin formula).  This shade is like a brownie.  Just dark brown. No red, no orange.  Just brown.  And since it is a satin formula, it did tend to separate on my lips – pooling darker along the outer lip lines and lighter on the center of the lips.

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MAC Film Noir Lipstick

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MAC Film Noir Lip Swatch

It is very easy and comfortable to wear on the lips, but the color does separate somewhat.  Too bad, because I really think it is a dark color that would work on many complexions since it doesn’t have overt red/orange undertones.  It does look like a dark cherry shade on me, but in the tube it is BROWN.

All lipsticks have the same signature marshmallow scent.

I have gotten a lot of Birthday loot that I am anxious to review.  My birthday was on March 1, and we were gone for most of that time, so I am just now sorting it all out.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some of the previews!

I have a ton of great reviews lined up, so please check back next week!

Again, thank you so much for reading and stopping by! kxoxo

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Anastasia Amrezy and Tamanna Palette Comparison

Hello My Beautiful People!  I hope you have been having a great weekend so far.  I have caught up on all of my DVR’d shows, and have been enjoying college football all day.  Go Dawgs!  So I finally had a break to post this Anastasia Amrezy and Tamanna Palette Comparison.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy and Tamanna Palettes

ABH has released three limited edition eye shadow palettes pretty much back-to-back.  I was on the fence about the Amrezy palette because I thought it was a little too cool toned for me, but was extremely fortunate enough to win mine from the lovely Tanya from Leopard Lace and Cheesecake for her blog anniversary giveaway.  I had already planned to get the Tamanna palette as I thought it would be better suited for my complexion.

My photos do not do these gorgeous palettes justice.  Really.  I think the swatches that follow will be a truer representation of how beautiful these shades are.  So hang with me!

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Palette

The Amrezy palette was created in collaboration with the renown makeup artist Amra Olevic.  Really beautiful mix of neutrals and colors.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette

Tamanna was also conceived in conjunction with a world famous blogger/makeup artist, Tamanna Roashan.  These are stunning colors as well, with a mix of neutral/color.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy and Tamanna Palette Comparison

I thought the best way to compare the two was to swatch the first row of each palette on my fingers, then do a collective arm swatch; same with the second row.  I realized when editing the photos that I put my thumb in the first pan, pinky in the last, but when I turned my hand over to photograph, it is opposite of the order of the palette.  Same with the arm swatch.  I’m sure you will be able to get the gist of the colors, but please bear with me!  I usually don’t realize this stuff until I edit.  Just go from right to left on the swatches below.  Again, I am happy with the swatches representing the colors rather than my pics of the palette.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Palette Swatches

Thumb to pinky: Legend, Glisten, Topaz, Iridescent Purple, Emerald.

The top row of the Amrezy palette is a mix of satin/frost formulas.  Very pigmented, creamy, and super easy to blend.  I did find the purple shade (Iridescent Purple) took a bit of work to show up on me.  If you are fairer complected, it will be dynamite!

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette Swatches

Thumb to pinky:  Fresh, Blush, Venezia, Gilded, Custom.

The top row of the Tamanna palette has one matte shade (Fresh) and satin/frost formulas.  Also very pigmented, creamy, and easy to blend.

Amrezy is on the top, Tamanna bottom.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Tamanna Comparison Swatches

As you can see, I think Topaz (Amrezy) and Gilded (Tamanna) are a bit similar.  Also Legend (Amrezy) and Blush (Tamanna).

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Palette Swatches

Thumb to pinky:  Vanilla, Caramel, Morocco, Deep Plum, LBD.

The second row of the Amrezy palette (my favorite) has two semi-matte shades (Vanilla and LBD), and two mattes (Caramel, Morocco).  Deep Plum is a satin finish.  LBD is not a stark black – rather a charcoal/black.  Since it is semi-matte, it will be great on lighter complexions.  My favorites are Caramel & Morocco.  Great shades for me as far as crease/transition, and I love Deep Plum!

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette Swatches

Thumb to pinky:  Sangria, Bengal, Chocolate, China Rose, Noir.

The second row of the Tamanna palette has a semi-matte (Bengal), and two mattes (Chocolate and Noir).  The other shades are soooo gorgeous – especially Sangria!!!!  This row is also my favorite.  I love Sangria.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Tamanna Palette Comparison Swatches

You can totally see the difference in LBD and Noir.  Though Caramel and Bengal look similar, Caramel is Bengal’s matte twin.  You could actually wear them in tandem.  Chocolate and Deep Plum look similar, but Chocolate is definitely matte, and Deep Plum has shimmer.  My absolute favorite is Sangria.  Again, the formulas are very creamy, pigmented, easy to blend.

The Anastasia Amrezy Palette is no longer availble on-line.  You may be able to find a palette in an Utla/Sephora/Macys/Nordies store.  The Tamanna is available on the ABS webite, as well as Sephora.com.  Really fabulous colors to own, especially if you can find them locally.

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope this was helpful!  kxoxo

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart, Cherry Pie Review

Hello lovelies!  I am again just going to jump right into my NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart, Cherry Pie Review.  This is the part two of my previous post on the Praline and Red Velvet shades.

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart, Cherry Pie Review

If you read my initial review, you know I am in love with these glosses!  I wanted to share the other two colors I picked up.

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart, Cherry Pie Review

NYX describes Raspberry Tart as “Violet”, and Cherry Pie as “Red”.

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart, Cherry Pie Swatches

While the Raspberry Tart does indeed look violet in the tube, on me it is a pinky-berry shade.

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart Review

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart Closeup

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NYX Butter Gloss Raspberry Tart Review

I really love this Raspberry shade!

The Cherry Pie is more of an orange-red.  Again, you can see the comparison with Red Velvet on my other review.

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NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie Review

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NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie Closeup

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NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie Review

Cherry Pie is more summer appropriate, as it is a cooler red.

I think my disillusion with “lip gloss” stems from the older formulas that were thin, slippery, sticky, and verrrry sheer.  These NYX Butter Glosses are giving me hope!

PS – I had my hair colored today, and realized as I was adding the photos, I have some major dye stains on my hairline.  I normally don’t have my hair off my face, but it was so damn hot today, I decided to pull it away.  So, don’t think it was contouring-gone-wrong!!!!  My stylist usually cleans me up really well, but I reckon she was hot also!  So don’t hate!

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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My Favorite Lash Glue and Lashes

Hello everyone!  The beginning of college football season has honestly just crept up on me.  I knew it was soon, but I just realized this week that the Georgia Bulldogs first game is this Saturday!  We will be in Athens this weekend to root for our Dawgs.  I do love me some college football and I love me some Athens.  Kickoff is at 5:30, and it is going to be a scorcher.

I know football and fake lashes have nothing in common.  But I had to mention my excitement for the upcoming season as well as share my favorite lash glue and lashes.  So there you go.  No logic/rhyme/reason.  Please note that I do not wear falsies to football games.  There is a time and place for that, and an outdoor sporting event in 97 degrees/high humidity is not one of them.  How professional cheerleaders pull it off, I don’t know??

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My Favorite Lash Glue and Lashes

I am hyper-sensitive to latex.  Near my eye area, I would consider myself allergic.  Of course that realization came after many trials and tribulations with lash glue.

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Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive

Enter Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive.  It is latex free (!!!!), and comes in a clear and dark formula.  I have only used the clear (and it actually dries clear on me).

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Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive

This is a brush on formula that is easy to control and dispenses just the right amount.  It lasts all day for me and wears very comfortably.  In my area, I can only find it at Walmart, and it is like $5.  When you apply it to the lash band, it is an ectoplasmic, glowy blue.  Kinda weird.  It dries quicker than your traditional glue.  One tiny complaint – as you can see in the photo, the glue gets a bit gunky on the applicator wand, and builds up around the opening.  I’ve learned to seal it between uses, but it still gums up to the point you have to toss it before you’ve used it all up.

Now onto the lashes!  Since I am half-Asian and have small eyes, these are the lashes that work best for me.

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Ardell 120 Demi Black Lashes

My hands down favorite are the Ardell 120 Demis.  These are very natural looking – as if you  were blessed with super thick/lush lashes, and decided to curl them and apply two coats of mascara (You know who you are, Amie, Rosie, Tiffany, Tanya) .  If you are a newcomer to falsies, these are the best to practice/experiment with.  They are super lightweight, and the lash band is very thin and easy to work with.  You can buy them anywhere (drugstore/walmart/target/sally/ulta).  I usually wait until Ulta has a sale, and order online using Ebates (score if it’s Double Cash Back), especially for a multi-pack!  They can also be used multiple times, as long as you take care of them.  My Ulta never has them in stock.

My next beloved line is Red Cherry!

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Red Cherry 213 Lashes

Red Cherry also offers great lashes that are easy to use.  213 is very natural, but a bit fuller than the Ardell lashes.  One thing I love about Red Cherry is that the band is literally invisible, so if you don’t use eyeliner, no big deal.  You can do a natural eye look without worrying about hiding the band with eyeliner.

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Red Cherry 747S and 747L Lashes

Oooh, the 747. Kind of like the airplane.  Super long, super strong, but still on the natural side.  My photo is the 747S (short) and 747L (long).  There is also a 747M (medium), that I didn’t have here to photograph.  The “L” is usually for special occasions, but the “S” and “M” (puh-leese no 50 shades references!!!!) are respectable for daytime.

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Red Cherry 43 Lashes

Apologies, as this pair has been trimmed and used many times (and still going strong!).  43 is about as glam as I go.  When you have tiny eyes, you’ve got to know your limitations.  This pair is my go to for special occasions/parties/events.  As much as I LOVE Liza Minnelli, I cannot pull of her Bambi-lash glam.

Red Cherry lashes are about $2.50 a pair, and can be used multiple times (with proper care).  I order mine from Madame Madeline, and they ship super fast.

Along my journey to fake lash nirvana, I have made some missteps.

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Bundle Monster Lashes

Bundle Monster (a vendor on ebay and Amazon) offers 70 PAIRS of lashes for $25.  10 pairs of 7 styles.  My photo captures the most natural to the most over the top glam.

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Lash Band Comparison Bundle Monster Lashes

As you can see, the lash band between a Red Cherry and a Monster Bundle lash is night and day.  I personally do not have the skill to apply a thick, unyielding band to my lash line.  But that is my shortfall.  If you can, it is a great value (especially if you wear thick liner).

Oh, the fine line we tread between natural and fake!!!

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxosignaturenew

 

Jordana Easyliner For Lips

Happy Valentines Day my loves!  If you celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful day!  I personally have never been a big fan of Valentines Day.  I sort of think of it as a glorified holiday for greeting card companies and florists.  Even in my younger, more idealistic days, I never thought it was a big deal.  But to each his own, and hugs & kisses to those of you who embrace it!

I am going to keep on the drugstore makeup train that I’ve been on for the past few posts.  Today, I want to talk about the Jordana Easyliner For Lips.

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Jordana Easyliner For Lips

Jordana has a great selection of shades available in these retractable lip pencils.  And they are $1.99 each!!!

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Jordana Easyliner For Lips

The pencil is plastic, with a top that snaps back on nice and tight.  As long as you’ve popped it back on until it clicks (make sure!!!), that sucker isn’t going anywhere.  Which is a big plus, as most of my liners’ caps somehow manage to come off in my purse, wreaking havoc and mayhem in there.  Yuck.

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Jordana Easyliner For Lips

I chose Rock N Rose, Tawny, and Plush Plum.

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Jordana Easyliner For Lips (L-R): Rock N Rose, Plush Plum, Tawny

I figured these would cover a good range of lipstick shades.  Notice I didn’t get any ultra dark, vampy ones!  I thought the Rose would be a good neutral; Tawny for my browns; and Plum for my darker wines/berries.

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Jordana Easyliner For Lips Swatches (L-R): Rock N Rose, Tawny, Plush Plum

Doesn’t it look like I switched the Rose and Tawny?  I swear they are in the correct order.  On my arm, the Rose swatched very brown, and Tawny very pink.  But on my lips they were more true to the color of the packaging.

Rock N Rose was a tad too light for me, but I will use it for my lighter lipsticks.  Tawny is a good neutral on me, and the Plush Plum is awesome.  I actually wore Plush Plum on it’s own the other day, and loved it.  These liners apply very easily, keep your lipstick in check, and wear a pretty decent amount of time.  Worn alone, they do not dry out your lips, and will stay on for hours, especially the darker plum liner.

I believe I am becoming a big Jordana fan.  You really can’t beat their quality, especially for the price.  As a rule, I am not a huge snob when it comes to lipliners.  If you can find a drugstore liner that performs, by all means use it!  Especially basic colors.  If I could find a dupe for MAC Stone and Currant liners, you bet your behind I’d switch in a heartbeat!  Of course if you know of any, let me know!

Thanks for reading!  xoxo

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MAC Dubonnet, Chili, Hang Up Lipstick Review

Hello Everyone!  I hope 2014 has been treating you well so far.  I am very excited for this new year, and to making great things happen.  I look forward to sharing this year with you, and wish all things wonderful for my readers!

My MAC lipstick reviews continue to be the most viewed on my blog.  I think it is because MAC is so universal, and the color offerings are off the chain.  In the spirit of winter weather, and darker colors predominating, I present my MAC Dubonnet, Chili, Hang Up Lipstick Review!

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MAC Lipstick Review

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MAC Dubonnet, Chili, Hang-Up

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MAC (top to bottom)  Dubonnet, Chili, Hang-Up swatch

Each color is a different formulation of MAC lipstick.  First up is Dubonnet, an Amplified Creme Lipstick formula.  It is a creamy formula, very little pull on the lips when applying, and extremely pigmented.

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MAC Dubonnet Amplified Creme Lipstick

Dubonnet is a deep wine color.  It lasted about 5 hours on me, with eating/drinking.  This is probably one of my favorite shades.

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MAC Dubonnet Lipstick

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MAC Dubonnet swatch

Next up, Chili, a Matte Lipstick Formula.  Mattes are my favorite, as they last long, and don’t require a lot of reapplying.

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MAC Chili Lipstick

Chili is an orange/red with a tinge of brown.  Like most MAC mattes, this lasts forever.  It is very forgiving, and very comfortable to wear.

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MAC Chili Matte Lipstick

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MAC Chili Matte Lipstick swatch

Last, but not least, is Hang-Up, a Cremesheen Lipstick.  This is a creamy formula, with a bit of shine, but longer lasting power than a gloss.

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MAC Hang-Up Cremesheen lipstick

Hang-Up is a deep berry shade.  It is a bit sheer, but buildable.  It is shiny and requires reapplication after eating/drinking.  But it is a gorgeous color!

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MAC Hang UP Cremesheen

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MAC Hang-Up lip swatch

All three of these shades/formulas are great.  I would recommend any of them.

I have also reviewed Rocker, Diva, Cyber and Rebel, Devil’s Food, Odyssey.

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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Do you Glossybox? May 2013

Do you subscribe to any beauty sample services?  I personally did not know about them until recently.  In the past few months, I have subscribed to Glossybox, Birchbox, and Sample Society (who collaborates with Allure magazine).  So far, Glossybox is my favorite.  KPsays, “Beauty samples right to my front door?  Yes, please!!”.

It is a monthly beauty “sample’’ subscription service.  You can purchase one box at a time for $21, a 3 month service for $60.00, 6 month service for $115.00, or 12 months for $220.00.  The shipping for the boxes is free.

Once you subscribe, you fill out a beauty profile specifying your age, complexion, skin type, and main beauty concerns.  The boxes are then customized to match your needs, and BINGO!  It’s like Christmas and your birthday every month!  You also get points for referring new customers, answering surveys on the products you receive, and other promotions that can add up to get you a free box!

You get 5-6 deluxe samples in each shipment.  I did a 3 month trial, and ended up liking it so much I signed on for another 6 months.  I have actually gotten a full size product in each of my earlier boxes.  The samples are the larger size that allow you multiple uses to see if you really like the product.  On occasion, you do get the foil packets like in the magazine inserts, but those are generally products that you would only need to try once/twice to see if you like.

So, I thought I would share my most recent box.  This was the May 2013 box.  The boxes actually ship at the end of the said month.  So I actually got my “May” box at the end of May.

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June Glossybox

The packaging is super cute.  I keep the boxes to store makeup, nail polish, tools.  They are always the same size, sturdy, and stack nicely.  They include a “Glossybox Mag” that covers trends in makeup, fashion, color.  Also an insert describing the swag in your box.

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Glossybox

And here we go!  It’s so exciting to see what goodies are packed inside!

AMOREPACIFIC Color Control Cushion Compact

AMOREPACIFIC Color Control Cushion Compact

AMOREPACIFIC Color Control Cushion Compact – This is a generous sample.  Will probably last me a couple of months.  It is an all-in-one complexion powder.  You can use it alone, over tinted moisturizer, or as a setting powder over your normal foundation routine.  It is not heavy at all.  I will probably use it over my tinted moisturizer now that it is getting hot and humid in my corner of the world.

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etre belle Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask

etre belle Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask – I am a huge fan of Asian (mainly Japanese) face masks (or packs, as they are called).  This is a German one.  I am looking forward to trying it.  For those of you not familiar with these contraptions, they are a cotton fabric filled with essence, and you wear it over your face like a halloween mask.  It has cut-outs for your eyes, nose, and mouth.  It is really soothing and comfortable to wear.  You apply it for 10-15 minutes after your normal cleansing routine, remove the mask, gently rub in what’s left on your face, and you’re done.  The next day you can really feel a difference in your skin.  This sample is just one mask.

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MY PRIME Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer

MY PRIME Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer – This is a generous size tube.  Will last me several applications.  I love a matte look in the summer.  This is really lightweight, has no fragrance, and feels really good on your skin.  It is a moisturizer/primer all in one!  Will definitely buy the full size.

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NICKA K NEW YORK Absolute! Perfume Stick

NICKA K NEW YORK Absolute! Perfume Stick – I got the Parc de 59.  There were a couple of other fragrance sticks circling around out there.  I haven’t used a fragrance stick since Junior High!!!!  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but I would consider this a full size (Glossybox did not describe it as such).  I will get just as much use from this as a full size spray cologne/perfume.  The scent is just gorgeous!  If you can imagine what “green” would smell like (and I don’t mean organic produce!!!)….it is crisp, clean, light.  I ADORE it!  I just slicked some onto my wrists as I’m writing this.  Oh, where is smell-o-vision when we need it!  KPsays, “smells like green heaven”.

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European Wax Center The Exfoliate, and Slow It Body Wash

European Wax Center The Exfoliate, and Slow It Body Wash – also included a coupon for a complimentary wax at the European Wax Center.  The closest location to me was, of course, Atlanta and Charlotte.  So will not be taking advantage of that.  If I did live in those metro areas, I definitely would be marching my little coupon up there and getting KP waxed!!!  These are those “foil” packet samples I referred to earlier, but, like I said, they are an exfoliant and wash, so I will probably get 2 uses out of them, enough to know if I like it or not.  I am a huge fan of body exfoliants, so we’ll see how it goes……

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Sebastian Professional – Volupt Spray

Sebastian Professional – Volupt Spray – This is a volumizing  spray gel.  You can spritz it on your roots before blow-drying, or mist it throughout your hair and air dry for waves/curls.  It has a nice scent, and doesn’t leave my hair “crunchy”.

All in all, I am always pleased with my Glossybox booty.  I will do a review on my other sample programs soon.

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo

January Favorites

Happy February loves!  I must share, as much of the Christmas grinch that I am, I am equally not a fan of Valentine’s Day.  I think it has become too commercial as well.  Just love up your love, and do something special for the both of you!!!  The first month of the year is behind us now, so I am sharing my January Favorites.

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January Favorites

I decided to try some products from Kiehl’s, as this brand is so highly regarded (I’ve never experienced them before).  I now see why!  I did purchase a “sampler” box, so my products were deluxe sample sized.  Out of all the items, I want to highlight two of my faves:

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Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

The body lotion is WOW!  Fragrance free, absorbs easily into the skin, and you feel so soft.  For hours.

The overnight concentrate – LOVE!!!!  For you younger girls, you don’t need this quite yet.  It does visibly reduce lines, makes your complexion even, and so soft in the morning!

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Lush Santa’s Lip Scrub

I FINALLY purchased some Lush products on-line after Christmas.  They had some great deals.  I got all the good bath products (bombs, melts), but they had the Santa’s lip scrub buy one, get one free.  I’ve never tried their lip scrubs.  I AM hooked!!!!  This one tastes like a Coke Slurpee, and look at the little hearts in the balm!!!  Sorry for the photo – my camera chose to focus on the formula rather than the label!  Also, it took two weeks for me to get my order.  It shipped from Canada.  Well worth the wait.  But I am an instant gratification kinda girl.

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OPI Gwen Stefani collection – I Sing In Color and Love, Angel, Music, Baby Nail Polish

The OPI Gwen Stefani collection is wonderful!  I share my manis/nail polishes on Instagram.  If you don’t follow me, please do! (link in sidebar).  I am going to apologize for the below photo – it’s from my phone camera, and I couldn’t enlarge it without distortion.

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OPI Gwen Stefani Collection. I Sing In Color and Love, Angel, Music, Baby

“I Sing In Color” is a creme gloss, and “Love, Angel, Music, Baby” is a satin finish.  I love Gwen so much, am into whatever she does!

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Milani Liquid Eyeliner Pencil in Black and Brown

These eye liner pencils are fantastic!  And from the drugstore!!!  They blend easily, make a sharp line, or smokey line, and LAST all day.  They accommodate any look you want.  As you can see, I use the brown more than the black.

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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My Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow Picks

Hey everyone!  “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is one of my guilty pleasures.  As if that wasn’t lame enough, I actually cried watching the season finale tonight (via the magic of the DVR).  Another one of my shows is over for the season, and I am quickly running out of things to watch.  MUST figure out how to integrate Netflix with my TV.  Just thought I’d share that bit of info with you.  Now onto the important stuff…..

I believe Milani is one of the most beloved drugstore makeup lines.  I honestly can’t think of anything I’ve tried from them that I didn’t like – with the exception of the smell of their lipsticks.  I think I am the only person in the world that has an issue with the scent.  So when they introduced their eyeshadow line, the beautiverse went berserk.  My Walgreens has THE absolute sweetest makeup lady, and she told me her phone was ringing off the hook with people calling to see when they would have these in stock during the launch.  Here are my Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow picks!

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Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow

They have some truly gorgeous nude shades, but since I have soooo many nudes (I know, they are all different), I chose colors that I didn’t already have a ton of.  Are you ready???

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Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow

Whoa.

There are a great variety of hues that come in three formulas – satin matte, shimmer, and metallic.  I picked two satin mattes and two shimmers.

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Bella Navy and Bella Fuchsia

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Bella Navy and Bella Fuchsia

My two satin mattes, Bella Navy and Bella Fuchsia.

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Bella Violet and Bella Emerald

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Bella Violet and Bella Emerald

My two shimmers, Bella Violet and Bella Emerald.

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Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow Swatches

I was going to just wash my hands after swatching on my arm, but thought, “Hey, this is too pretty”.  Wasn’t so fun trying to hold the camera in my left hand (I’m right handed) to snap this photo.  I believe every cuss world I know came out of my mouth.  Really.  However, this is a true picture of the shadow.

Pinky to index finger: Bella Emerald, Bella Violet, Bella Fuchsia, Bella Navy.

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Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow Swatches (L-R Bella Navy, Bella Fuchsia, Bella Violet, Bella Emerald)

Above swatches on my arm are over primer.

Now for the down and dirty.  *Again, this is my experience with these shadows, with my medium/olive skintone*.  As pigmented as these look, they took a bit of work/experimentation in terms of using them.  All the shadows were very soft, with no fallout.  An eyeshadow primer is a must.  I did find that my choices were better suited for application with fingers vs brush.

My standout was Bella Navy (satin matte).  It was pigmented, easy to blend, and worked with a brush or fingers.

My fail (that I had such hopes for!) was Bella Fuchsia (satin matte).  You see how it looks in the pan.  I was hoping it would be a very pigmented pink.  Did not work at all with a brush (I had to load it up, and apply over and over with no good result).  However, it applied much better with my finger.  So, as a lid color, good.  As a crease/transition color, not so good.

My next favorite is Bella Emerald (shimmer).  This one was so/so with a brush, but gorgeous applied with a finger.  I will keep working on ways to incorporate this, as it really is a beautiful shade.

Last, but not least, is Bella Violet (shimmer).  For me, a total fail with the brush, but worked fabulously with my finger.  Again, a good lid color.  Not that you would put this in your crease anyways.

So there you have it.  At $4 a pop, I think it’s a great investment.

Have you tried these shadows, and how did you like your choices?

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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Anastasia Beauty Express Brow Kit Review

Hello beautiful people!  Sad to see my birthday month pass (it was a fabulous month!), but Happy Birthday Aries!  I am still testing out all the great stuff I got for my birthday.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a bit of it.  I am indeed a very lucky/happy girl!  I am also super excited for great things happening with my besties:  Amie, renewing her wedding vows on the beach in the Dominican Republic after 20+ years of marriage; Tiffany for buying an adorable new house and moving in this past week; and my Aussie Patty being here for the Masters (it’s a little golf tournament).  Life is good on Planet KP!

So, my current thing is eyebrows.  Last week I posted about the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade.  This week I thought I’d share my Anastasia Beauty Express Brow Kit review, since it was the first thing I tried out from Anastasia.  My next post will be on the Anastasia Brow Wiz.

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Anastasia Beauty Express For Brows and Eyes

This is a complete eye kit, contained in a cardboard compact with a mirrored lid, and the goodies below.  You get 5 eyebrow stencils, pot of brow wax, duo brow colors, and an eyeshadow duo, along with a very good eyebrow brush ($39.50).  This kit has been in my rotation for quite a while (before I started blogging!), so it is very used.  I tried to clean it up the best I could!  There are two colors available: Blonde and Brunette.  Of course I chose the Brunette!

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Left, brow wax; center, brow powder duo; right, eyeshadow duo

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L to R; brow wax, brow duo powder, eyeshadow duo

The kit comes with 5 stencils:

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Anastasia Brow Stencils in Brow Express Kit

I have never attempted to use them, as you all know I have wimpy brows.  If I shaved them, I believe I could paint on the Slim High Arch and feel very Gwen Stefani.  But, no.  I will just make the most of my skimpy brows.

So, there you have the complete kit.  Honestly, I only use the brow powder.  Never use the stencils, the wax, eyeshadow duo.  But I will use this kit up completely before buying another.  I think the basic Anastasia Brow Powder Duo  ($23.00) will suffice for most of you beauts.  That is what I will purchase next.  Unless you want the stencils, wax, etc.  The powder is where it’s at!

Here are my naked brows – sorry for all of you following my brow posts.  But, yes, it is another…

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Naked Brows

What I love about the powders are the ease of use.  There are two shades of brow powder, and you can use the darker to set the brow line/shape, and the lighter to fill in.  I think it looks very natural.

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Oh, I had my own wind machine for this shot baby!!!! Half brow.

That’s half the brows done.  Voila, the complete brows!

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Brows Done!

I did go over my brows with the Anastasia Brow Gel to keep them in place.

Overall, I love all the Anastasia Brow products.  The powder was the first thing I tried.  What I think sets Anastasia apart is the formula of the powder.  They are very pigmented, and blend very easily, and last on your face.  They can actually help give you stronger, fuller brows.

Stay tuned for my next post – Anastasia Brow Wiz!

Again, thanks for reading!!!!! kxoxo

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BECCA The One Perfecting Brush Review

Happy New Year my lovely people!!!  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday, and wish every good thing for you all in 2014!  I’m sure we are all on the diet/detox train now after all the pigging out and drinking, but I’m not going to talk about that.  That will be another post on another day ;) – or maybe not…..

I have been a huge fan of BECCA forever.  One of my holy grail products is from them.  Their foundations are oh so lovely as well.  So, when they introduced a makeup brush, I was excited to try it out.  I present to you, my BECCA The One Perfecting Brush Review ($49.00).

They claim to be able to replace the foundation brush, powder brush, highlighter brush, contour brush, precision brush, and THE sponge.

This is a pretty hefty size brush.

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BECCA The One Perfecting Brush

It is approximately 3.5 inches across (the handle is plastic):

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Top of the BECCA The One Perfecting Brush

Look at all the fluffiness!  They are natural bristles.  I really didn’t understand how I could use a liquid foundation, finishing powder, blush (powder or liquid) and bronzer.  I did not attempt to use if for undereye concealer.  I’ll stick to my small brush/finger for that.

My first use, I used liquid foundation, powder bronzer, powder blush, and finishing powder.  How it all didn’t end up a hot mess I don’t know. Each time I used the brush for a different type of makeup.  It didn’t end up in strange colors all over my face.

The next day, I used a different liquid foundation, powder bronzer, cream blush, and finishing powder.

You use the broad side of the brush for foundation, narrow surface of the brush for highligher, narrow surface again for contour/bronzer, and the corner of the blush for blush.

It takes a bit of practice, but it does work well.  I am still scratching my head as to why I don’t end up with all sorts of weird textures on my face, but miraculously this brush can handle all consistencies.  Wonderful!  It really does take the place of a few major brushes.

I have been using this for about four weeks, with various kinds of makeup.  It is amazing.  I wash it out, shape it, and let it dry naturally.  It has held it’s shape with minimal shedding.

I do love this brush, and would recommend to anyone who has a lot of experience with brushes.  If you are new, maybe practice on the standard brushes, and later incorporate this beauty into your collection.

BECCA does it again!

What are your favorite brushes?  Have you tried this BECCA brush?

Again, thanks for reading! kxoxo

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear BB Cream and Blush

Hello beautiful people!  I just got back from the most wonderful birthday trip, and I’m recharged and ready to go!  The trip home was awful because of flight delays/cancellations, but we got home eventually at 2:00am Monday morning.  Ugh.  Then we went to see Elton John the next day here in Augusta!  Sir Elton has made frequent stops here in my town when he’s on the road.  I have a special place for him in my heart because he was the first “rock” artist I ever heard.  I grew up in Japan until my Dad got stationed in the US when I was 9.  Until then, the only music I was exposed to was my Daddy’s classic country & western (which I love to this day!), and my Mom’s Elvis.  When we got to America, there were tons of FM radio stations that played music I had never heard.  Back then, when you lived overseas, you only had American Forces Radio, which played very limited music.  So, when “Honky Cat” came on the radio, I was like, “What is this?????”.  And my love for Elton was forever cemented in that moment.  One of my cats is named Levon after one of his songs.  Whenever I go to concerts, I am so blown away by the fact that an artist writes music/lyrics, and people sing back to them in unison; word for word.  Music does join us all together!  That’s why I love it so much.

I had planned to do a review on the Physicians Formula Argan Wear BB Cream and Blush before I left, but it didn’t happen.  So, here it is!

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear BB Cream and Blush

I am a huge fan of the Physicians Formula bronzers, concealers, and blushes, but had never tried any foundations.

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear BB Cream and Blush

I gotta admit the packaging is what drew me into the Argan Wear line!  The blush in itself is like a work of art!

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear BB Cream

The BB Cream is available in Light and Light/Medium.  Of course, I chose Light/Medium, and hoped it would work for me!  *Spoiler Alert* – it did.

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear Blush in Rose

The blush is offered in Natural and Rose.  I picked Rose.

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear Blush Rose

The compact separates into lid, product (with mirror underneath), and a brush in the base.  The mirror is awesome.  The blush is very, very pink – my camera (probably my fault) makes it look more mauve/purple.  It is very disco pink in color (as you will see in swatches).

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear Blush

The gold flecks you can see is an over-spray.  After a couple of swipes with a blush brush, it’s gone.  Though it does blend into the surrounding blush.

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Physicians Formula Argan Wear BB Cream and Blush Swatches

Yay!  You can see the color of the blush!  It is a true pink.

My thoughts:

The BB cream is awesome!  It actually feels like a skin treatment when you apply it.  The package claims to “even out, smooth, moisturize, protect, and condition”.  It does.  It has moisturizer, argan oil, and SPF 30.  It is very light, and gives a dewy finish.  The coverage is a bit sheer, but it does even out your complexion.  Perfect for when you don’t want to do the whole foundation/powder thing, but want to look presentable.  I apply with a Beauty Blender.  I have a lot of redness, and this did not completely cover it up.  But again, I feel like I am presentable.  Albeit a bit red :D  My skin feels really soft and smooth after removing it also.  Because of the sheerness, light/medium worked perfectly for my skin tone.

The one tiny thing I don’t care for is the fragrance.  The back of the box claims it is an “exotically scented formula”.  It’s not chemical-y or perfume-y.  It’s an strange exotic scent alright.  It does fade after a while.  But very noticeable when you first apply.  But I love it, so I will deal with the smell!

However, I am not quite so enamored with the blush.  It is very pigmented, and is a bold pink shade.  But I find it very hard to blend.  I tend to be a bit heavy handed with blush, so I always buff with a complexion brush after applying.  This formula tended to just wear off rather than blend into my skin.  And the gold over spray glitter is a bit chunky.  I’m not sure if it will eventually disappear after using it longer?  We shall see.  Oh, and the blush has the same strange exotic fragrance.

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Murphy

My sweet photography assistant Murphy is happy his Mommy is home.  I’m sure he will be joining me in the photo session scheduled for tomorrow.

>> Also visit my friend’s blog – Folding Picnic Table Reviews

Thanks for reading!  xoxo

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A Few Red Lipsticks – Drugstore

Hello there beautiful people!  Before I begin writing about something as frivolous as beauty, I would like to take a moment to remember my fellow Americans who perished in the Twin Towers on this fateful day in 2001.  While in New York with my Aussie friends this summer, we visited the 911 Memorial and Museum.  My gals from halfway around the world were just as moved as I was taking it all in.  It was a tragedy felt worldwide.  As I fought back tears, I came away with a profound respect for the amazing people of New York City;  banding together through devastation, fueled by love for their community; and rebuilding in spite of the obstacles.  And pride for my great country – The United States of America.  She is mighty, she is strong, and her people persevere.  We Must Never Forget.  I can only wish for peace during this time of turmoil in other parts of the world.

As summer melts into fall (actually kicking and screaming here in Georgia), I think red lipstick is a perfect transition shade.  Of course, I wear red lips all year around, regardless of the season.  But for my people who are encountering cooler weather, and want to add a bit of color without going over the top dark, here are A Few Red Lipsticks – Drugstore!

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A Few Red Lipsticks Drugstore

I have chosen L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick in “Ravishing Red”, Maybelline Color Sensation Vivids in “On Fire Red”, and Flower Beauty “Get to the Poinsettia”.

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(L-R) L’Oreal, Maybelline, Flower

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(L-R) Maybelline On Fire Red, Flower Get To The Poinsettia, L’Oreal Ravishing Red

The Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in “On Fire Red” is a true blue/red.  As with all the Color Sensation lipsticks, it is very glossy, shiny, and comfortable to wear.  A small hint of vanilla scent.  Nothing overwhelming.

The Flower Beauty Kiss Stick Velvet Lip Color in “Get To The Poinsettia” is more of a subdued orange/red for those of you who may not care for a true “red”.  “Velvet” is a good description, as it is not a true matte, nor glossy.  It is almost like a “powder” in application.  It is also very comfortable to wear, and has no discernible fragrance.  Flower Beauty is a creation of Drew Barrymore, and exclusive to Walmart and walmart.com.

I am a huge fan of the L’Oreal Infallible line (my absolute favorite drugstore lipstick!) – this shade is “Ravishing Red” (also a blue/red).  This is more of a matte finish, comfortable to wear, and long lasting without drying.  Big note – it has no smell – nothing like the Colour Riche that many people find offensive.  Mine has been well used, so please excuse the nub.

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A Few Red Lipsticks Drugstore

As you can see, the Maybelline and L’Oreal shades look very similar.  The difference is in the formula.

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Top to Bottom: Maybelline On Fire Red, Flower Get to the Poinsettia, L’Oreal Ravishing Red Swatches

Swatches melting a bit, as it was 87 degrees here in Georgia when I went outside to photograph :(

First up:  Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick in “On Fire Red”.

*I have had allergy attacks from hell for the last week and a half, leaving my skin raw, from under my nose to the top of my lip, and sides, and under my lips, from my nose running non-stop.*  My Aussie PaPaw cream is remedying this horrid situation.  But bear with me.  Was going to leave the closeups out, but what the hell.

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Maybelline On Fire Red Lip Swatch

I LOVE this color.  It is a beautiful fire engine red.  However, even on a good day, I like to use this one with a clear lip liner (or red).  Since the formula is so silky and soft, it does tend to bleed outside of my lip lines.  Plus I had the added crusty lip from my allergies.

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Maybelline On Fire Red Lipstick

So beautiful and pigmented.  Since it is a glossy formula, I get 3 hours tops on wear after eating/drinking.  But it is very comfortable, and your lips feel very moisturized.  The bleeding may be due to the darker color, or the fact that I am just plain old, regardless of my allergies.

Flower Beauty Kiss Stick Velvet Lip Color in “Get To The Poinsettia”.

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Flower Get To The Poinsettia Lip Swatch

To me, this is an orange/red.  I prefer more of a blue/red, but I do like it.

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Flower Get To The Poinsettia Lipstick

I do love this color as an alternate for my “really red” hues.  The formula was interesting.  It applied very smooth without skipping or pulling, but it was not as pigmented as I’d hoped.  It sort of reminded me of a “grease pencil”.  If I have to explain, you don’t know.  It did last several hours, after eating and drinking, and it faded into a nice even color.

L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick in “Ravishing Red”.

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L’Oreal Ravishing Red Lip Swatch

Again, the L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick line is my favorite drug store lipstick!  (The actual tube, not the two-step kit, or gloss – just the traditional lipstick).

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L’Oreal Ravishing Red Lipstick

This does have a bit of a sheen, but it lasts through all of my copious water drinking, and eating lunch.  Then I have to reapply.  It is long lasting, but not drying,

My face is healing every day from my allergies, and I haven’t had any new attacks (*knock on wood*).  So, stay tuned for a few red lipsticks – high-end, next post!

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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Anastasia Lavish Palette Review

Hey everyone!  The cooler fall temps have yet to arrive here in Georgia (not that I am complaining!).  It is always hard to get into the spirit of autumn when you are still wearing shorts and flip flops (again, not complaining!).  So while I may not be digging out the flannel sheets and changing out my home fragrances to anything pumpkin/cinnamon scented, I have been checking out all the pretty makeup collections being launched for the season. I LOVE the new Anastasia Beverly Hills “Lavish”eye palette!!

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Lavish Palette

It is a well constructed cardboard palette with a mirror in the lid and magnetic closure.  The bottom layer holds a pair of tweezers, small brow pencil in brown/black, waterproof eyeliner crayon in black, and a dual sided shadow brush.  The next layer is the eye shadow palette (10 shades) enclosed in a plastic sleeve, as well as an instructional booklet to create various eye looks for the season ($38.00).

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Lavish Palette

I prefer brow powder to pencils, so I have not tried the brow pencil.  The eyeliner is creamy and long lasting, but nothing “rooftop singing” worthy.  The tweezers are actually very well made with a slanted tip and a nice heft to them.  Will they replace my Tweezerman?  No.  But they are a good backup.  The brush is nice.

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Top to bottom: Eyebrow pencil, tweezers, waterproof eyeliner crayon, dual ended shadow brush.

The standouts of this palette are the eye shadows!  I hate my camera can’t capture how rich and beautiful the colors are.  I’m hoping if I’m extra good, Santa will bring me a better camera :)

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Anastasia Lavish Palette Colors

If you have been curious about this palette, definitely try to see the colors in person.  The three matte colors are Cream, Orange Soda, and Sienna.  Antique and Rum Cake are more of a shimmer/frost.  Ballet, Moss, Truffle, Pink Sapphire, and Black Diamond are definitely extremely sparkly, flecked with gold sparkles, especially the Black Diamond.  There really wasn’t heavy “glitter fallout” on me when I applied.  Swatches are top row of palette to bottom row.  Again, my photos are not great.  I considered not including them, but thought, “What the heck?”.

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Colors correspond from bottom to top on photo to left to right on top row of palette.

Bottom row of palette:

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Colors correspond from bottom to top on photo to left to right on bottom row of palette.

Ballet is a very pale pink.  It is more sparkle than color, but if you look REALLY hard you can see the sparkles.  The shadows are not super pigmented, but easy to build.

I look forward to experimenting more with this palette.  Hopefully I will do a post soon featuring a look created with this palette.

Again, thank you so much for reading!  kxoxo

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Kat Von D Bachelorette, Wonderchilde, Motorhead Lipstick Review

Hello My Lovely People!!  For those of you who watch “American Horror Story” – what about this creepy season?????  I am really into it, especially since Halloween is right around the corner.  I have always had a crazy fear of clowns, even before Stephen King’s “It”.  I really enjoyed last season, since it was witch-y (homage to my favorite Anne Rice novels, starting with “The Witching Hour”), and my gal Stevie Nicks was on it (and her songs!!!!).  I’m excited that this year looks like it’s  going to be more scary, and, well, creeeepy!!  Damn clowns.

Again, I am going to jump right into my Kat Von D Bachelorette, Wonderchilde, Motorhead Lipstick Review!!!

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Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick Set

I purchased the “Studded Kiss Lipstick Set” from Sephora that includes 9 fabulous mini-lipsticks that are a part of Kat’s permanent line.  I knew there was no way I could do a single post and feature all 9 lipsticks (too much of my mug at one time), so I randomly picked 3 for this post.  I will do 2 more posts of 3 shades to cover the rest of these babies.

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Packaging of Kat Von D Studded Lipsticks

The lipsticks come in a “studded” black case, as you can see.  Awesome packaging!

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Kat Von D Motorhead, Wonderchilde, Bachelorette Lipsticks

And these colors!!! DOPE.  Meet “Motorhead”, “Wonderchilde”, and “Bachelorette”.  The descriptions from Sephora:

Motorhead – “Matte black cherry”.  I know it looks black in the tube, but it is not.

Wonderchilde – “Iridescent neon lilac”.

Bachelorette – “Matte reddish fuchsia”.

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Kat Von D Motorhead, Wonderchilde, Bachelorette Swatches

For once, I completely agree that the written descriptions are right on.  I cannot believe I’ve waited so long to try these!  They are truly one of the best lipsticks I’ve ever used with the sweetest Creme Brulee smell (not overwhelming at all).

Motorhead:

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Kat Von D Motorhead Lipstick

Of course, this is my favorite of the 3!

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Kat Von D Motorhead Lipstick

Being the darkest out of the whole set, this did apply a bit patchy, like most super dark lipsticks do (on me at least).  I think you can sort of see from the arm swatch.  But with a little smoothing out with my fingers, it was all good.  I can honestly say this is the most comfortable matte formula ever.  You can’t even feel it on.  It applies without skipping and feels like a lip balm when you’re applying.  The staying power is unreal.  This actually lasted through eating lunch and drinking (water) all day.  When it finally does start to fade, it leaves behind a nice stain.  L-O-V-E this one!

Wonderchilde:

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Kat Von D Wonderchilde Lipstick

I worried this would pull a weird pinky/lavender craziness on me.  You might be thinking, “Um, yeah it did Karen”.  I don’t think so though.

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Kat Von D Wonderchilde Lipstick

I actually like this one!  This is more like a satin formula.  It actually retains it’s iridescence after applying.  This was just as great, but naturally it didn’t last nearly as long as the matte formula.  Don’t get me wrong, it has great longevity considering the formulation, but didn’t last through eating.  It faded evenly, and left behind a nice shimmer.

Bachelorette:

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Kat Von D Bachelorette

Another fantastic matte!  And it truly is a “matte reddish fuchsia”.

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Kat Von D Bachelorette Lipstick

Bachelorette has the same wonderful-ness as Motorhead.  So ditto that paragraph.  I think this color would be flattering on many different skin tones.

So there you go.  There are 2 nude shades in this set that I am not sure will be great on me.  Stay tuned!  I really did just pick 3 tubes out of the bunch, and I think it just so happens I got the vampy-est/crazy colors out of the way.  So far, I am really in love with these!  I noticed they are no longer available on the Sephora site, but if you find this in your local store, definitely check it out.  It’s a great way to test out a bunch of different colors and a great formula.

Again, thanks for reading!  kxoxo

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