Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Limited Edition Collections for Holiday 2013: NARS x Guy Bourdin One Night Stand Cheek Palette

i have seriously gone palette crazy this holiday season! i mean you know it's gotten real when you buy a palette that contains blushes that you already own. but that's exactly what i did....i'm weak...especially for NARS blushes.

i think most blush lovers would agree that this cheek palette is a must have this holiday season. a limited edition palette, available exclusively at Sephora, this palette is a combination of NARS' iconic blush shades and new shades created exclusively for this palette. it's a great gift for not only someone who loves NARS but also for someone just getting into makeup or the brand.

the palette includes:

Devotee Highlighting Blush -alabaster glow
Mistinguette Blush - bright pink
Orgasm Blush - peachy pink with golden shimmer
Laguna Bronzer - brown powder with golden shimmer
Deep Throat Blush - sheer peach
Goulou Blush - medium pink

the pan size of each blush is large enough to fit a blush brush into (you get .14 oz of product here; regular NARS blushes are .16 oz) and somehow the packaging remains compact and perfect for travel. as always the quality of each blush is nothing less than stellar! each goes on well, not too powdery or chalky,  and are super easy to blend. each shade will work on a variety of skin tones, although Misinguette may be a bit problematic for those with deep skin tones.

top row: Devotee, Misinguette and Orgasm
bottom row: Laguna, Deep Throat and Goulou

although the palette is sold out online on Sephora's website, i have still seen it in stores. the NARS x Guy Bourdin One Noght Stand Cheek Palette retails for $65. thank me later ;-)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Limited Edition Collections for Holiday 2013: Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow Palette

"Sensual and luminescent, the Midnight Glow collection lights up the holidays with products that create a dreamily romantic style. These 100% exclusive products offer a completely fresh approach: designed specially for the occasion, they celebrate the mystery of femininity in crystal celar, iridescent textures with the subtle glint of gemstones. Breaking away from the traditional Christmas colors, the collection mixes Gun Metal and Gold Pink."

i actually stumbled upon this palette when i stopped in Sephora during the VIB sale at the beginning of November. it wasn't at all on my radar; i stopped at the MUFE display to check out the new brushes and this palette caught my eye. i think it was the's perfect for the holiday the season!

the Midnight Glow palette is an 8-pan palette that contains 6 new diamond shadows and 2 shades that are part of MUFE's permanent range of eyeshadows. 

left  - right: Snow White, Gun Metal, Icy Blue, Icy Pink, Matte Black 04, Gold Pink, Midnight Purple and Metallic Taupe 127

left  - right: Snow White, Gun Metal, Icy Blue, Icy Pink, Matte Black 04, Gold Pink, Midnight Purple and Metallic Taupe 127

the Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow Palette retails for $42 and is available at Sephora, although for some reason it's not on the website, i've definitely seen it at several Sephora locations in Chicago.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Limited Edition Collections for Holiday 2013: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

"A limited edition palette featuring three shades of Ambient lighting Powder, the high-tec, soft-focus finishing poweder that features state-of-the-art technology to recreate the most exquisitely falttering types of light."

there's no doubt it....the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette has taken the beauty world by storm! makeup junkies 'round the world couldn't get their hands on this palette fast enough. i couldn't help but notice though, that most of the raves were coming from beauties of a fairer skintone. so, i wanted to get my hands on this palette to see how well the ambient lighting powders would work on beauties of deeper skintones.

the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is a limited edition palette for the holidays. in the palette you get 3 powders (2 are permanent, 1 is limited edition) and a sample size bottle of the Veil Mineral Face Primer all for a little over the price of one of the regular sized single ambient lighting powders.

according to the Hourglass website, each powder is designed to perform a specific task: 

Dim Light - a neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones
Limited Edition Incandescent Light - a pearlescent powder that highlights the cheekbones and brightens the complexion with a celestial glow
Radiant Light - a sun-kissed golden beige that enhances the overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth, and also extends a summer glow

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (l - r): Dim, Incandescent and Radiant

swatched heavily (left), blended out (right)

i think what i like the most about these powders is that they leave your skin with a great glow, without being too shimmery and obvious. after playing around with these for a few weeks i discovered the best way to use these for me personally:

i like to use Dim Light this as an all-over finishing powder it gives me a slight glow without the shimmer
like to use Incandescent Light as a highlight along my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose
♥  like to use Radiant Light in the same way that i would use a bronzer, on the high-points of my face, where the sun would naturally hit me for a bit more of sun-kissed glow

however, women that are of deeper skin tones (NC45 and deeper) may find it a bit difficult to work with the powders included in this palette, especially Dim, which will likely come off as ashy as opposed to a glow. Incandescent makes a great highlight for the cheekbones, but again depending on how deep your skin tone is it may come off as more ashy than anything else. Radiant is the most universally flattering shade in the palette and will give you a great all over glow. my suggestion for women of color, if you really want to get the most out of the Ambient Lighting Powders, is to go for the singles in either Radiant or Luminous (not in this palette, but featured in this post) either one would compliment deeper skintones wonderfully.

the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette retails for $59. it appears to no longer be available on Sephora's website and is currently sold out on Hourglass' website, but who knows there may be a restock before Christmas. a single Ambient Lighting Powder retails for $45 and are available through Hourglass' website and Sephora.

were you able to get our hands on the Ambient Lighting Palette?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Beauty on a Budget: Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm

Revlon recently expanded their collection of lip crayons, by adding two new finishes: matte and lacquer.  i kinda stumbled upon these a few weekends ago on my way to a hair appointment. those pit-stops at the drugstore always lead to accidental hauls. i wasn't as interested in the lacquer finish, but it was hard to pick from the beautiful selection of matte shades. i eventually selected 4, even though i really wanted to take them all home with me.

 left to right: Unapologetic, Complex, Striking and Audacious

 left - right: Unapologetic, Complex, Striking and Audacious

 clockwise from top left: Unapologetic, Complex, Striking and Audacious

as you can see from the swatches the pigmentation is great, but i wouldn't describe these balms as having a true matte finish...more semi-matte if you ask me. with the first swipe they were all pretty bold and intense, although Complex was a little patchy and took a bit more work to get an even application. these have a slight peppermint scent, but nothing too overpowering and honestly the scents fades fairly quickly. i'm able to get about 4-5 hours of wear before i need to reapply, which isn't half bad, especially for a drugstore brand.

the new Revlon ColorBurst Balms are available in 20 new shades: 10 matte and 10 laquer. they retail for around $8 and are available at your local drugstore.

have you seen these in your local drugstore? which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Benefit Rockateur Blush: Review and Swatches

Benefit Rockateur Blush

"This rockin' rose gold cheek powder gives a famously provocative flush that turns heads on-stage and off"

just in time for the fall season, Benefit Cosmetics has added a new blush to their roster of Box o' Powders! and boy is it a stunner!!! i've always been a fan of Benefit's blushes....CORALista and Bella Bamba are among my favorite blushes, so i was excited to see the gorgeousness that is contained in this box.

Benefit Rockateur Blush

i know there's been a lot of talk about this blush containing less product than the other Box o' Powders even though we're paying the same price. well, apparently Benefit has heard the questions/complaints and has posted this statement under the product information:

"Rockateur has a specialized formula that works by combining the best feature of baked, powder, cream and fluid textures to give a brighter, purer color pay off creating 1.6 times the amount of pure color payoff. This results in the usage rate of Rockateur to be an exact match to our other Box o' Powders."
i'm not sure if i buy that explanation, but i'm gonna be honest, the difference in the amount of product doesn't bother me. mainly because it's been a while since i used up a blush in it's entirety anyway, so it's just not that big of a deal to me. but, i can see how some may feel like their getting robbed of some product.

the shimmer that is on the perimeter of the blush is an overspray that quickly disappears after the first use. the formula of this blush is much different than the other blushes that Benefit offers. it's incredibly soft and feels much more like a baked blush. the feel of it is reminiscent of Estee Lauder's Gelees or MAC's Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. Rockateur is a fantastic combination of great texture and great pigmentation that blends effortlessly on the cheeks leaving the skin with a healthy glow without emphasizing pores. i've found myself reaching for this blush a lot lately. it makes such a great everyday blush because it compliments almost any eye look.

Benefit Rockateur Blush

if you're a lover of all things rose gold, if you're a fan/collector of Benefit Box o' Powders or if you're simply looking for a blush that will give you a healthy, natural looking glow, Rockateur will be a great addition to your stash.

Rockateur retails for $28 and is available at Benefit, Ulta and Sephora.

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