Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hourglass Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting Blush Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Wednesday, July 16, 2014 15 Comments

Hourglass Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting BlushHourglass Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting Blush ($35) is a lovely medium warm pink with a satiny finish. It looks like a fairly cool-toned pink in the compact, and even swatched with the finger, but on the cheeks the pink really warms up to my skin. The color has a Spring/Summer pink vibe as it pulls pinky-peach on the cheeks. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting line of blushes are still fairly new, with the initial launch this past February. These blushes combine Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder - which is a luminous finishing powder, swirled with a natural hue. When the two are combined, your cheeks will be left with beautiful, natural glowing color that is full of dimension. Sounds wonderful, right?

Well, I haven't tried Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powders, but from what I've gathered is that it's a powder that won't highlight your imperfections (like those that tend to settle in or highlight the pores or look heavy, dull or powdery on the skin) but, it will give your skin a "lit-from-within" sort of glow and give the appearance of softer, younger skin. It also claims to make your skin look great in any lighting situation you are in (bright sunlight, candlelight, etc.) The powder took off pretty well, so Hourglass created a blush with the same concept.

I've had this blush for a few months now, and I've been using it regularly. As a die-hard blush lover, I'm a huge fan of baked blushes because I love the texture of them and how easy they are to blend. This blush is super soft to the touch and blending with it is so simple. Worst case scenario, if you didn't have a blush brush on hand, you can use your fingertips to apply this blush and it wouldn't look like it. It has a nice satin finish that isn't shimmery or frosty. It just gives a slight glow to the skin when the light hits your cheeks.

The lasting power is pretty average for me. I typically never re-apply blush throughout the day, but if I was planning on going out for the night, I would most likely have to reapply this blush mid-day as it fades pretty significantly by the evening.

Hourglass Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Radiant Magenta Ambient Lighting Blush

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chanel Surprenante (129) Rouge Allure Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Wednesday, May 7, 2014 26 Comments
Chanel Surprenante (129) Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick ($35) is a vibrant, medium watermelon pink. It has a little bit of a frost and shimmer to it, but it's pretty subtle, and actually looks matte on my lips in low lighting. I'm not really a fan of frost, but it's subtle enough where it's not a deal breaker for me. It's very pretty and I think a color that is well suited for the Spring.

The coverage is mostly opaque with one coat and applies smoothly to the lips with a satiny feel. I originally thought that the formula would be drying, but it actually feels pretty good on my lips despite the fact that it's not a moisturizing formula. It makes my lips look soft and pillowy when I wear it alone, but I like jazzing it up with a layer of glossimer over top to really make the color glisten. Unfortunately, if you apply it over dry or chapped lips, the dryness will be accentuated. This lipstick lasts a bit longer on my lips compared to some of my other lipsticks - maybe around 4 hours or so.

Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick Swatch
Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick on my lips


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Friday, April 4, 2014

Chanel Amour (166) Glossimer Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Friday, April 4, 2014 25 Comments
Chanel Amour Glossimer

Chanel Amour Glossimer

Chanel Amour Glossimer ($29.50) is a vibrant coral pink with fine multi-colored shimmer. This color in my eyes is the definition of Spring/Summer, and is a fabulous shade to rock all season long. Much like Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick (in my previous post), it's a great color for those with warm, golden undertones and will brighten the face instantly. The coverage is light but buildable, and pairs really well on top of any pink, peach or coral lipstick and it also looks great all on it's own.

Chanel Glossimers is one of my favorite formulas of lipgloss (alongside NARS and Bobbi Brown). The formula isn't thick and pasty, nor is it thin and watery. It's perfectly in the middle where you'd want it to be. It's thick enough to where it will adhere to your lips and last for several hours, and when you rub your lips together they will feel silky smooth and glossy - no stickiness what-so-ever. They are also packed with shine as most of the shades contain tiny particles of shimmer so your lips will glisten.

Also, this is one of the few lip products that I can get away with without having to moisturize my lips prior - it will keep them hydrated for however long I have it on my lips, and even a little while after.

If I had to choose, Bagatelle is definitely my favorite glossimer. It's like a softer version of Amour.

Chanel Amour Glossimer

Chanel Amour Glossimer

Chanel Amour Glossimer swatch
Chanel Amour Glossimer on my lips

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Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Friday, April 4, 2014 13 Comments
Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick

Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick

Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick ($35) which means "Smile" in French, is a soft pink with fine golden shimmer. It looks like a bright watermelon light pink in the tube, but once the color is applied, it's a sheer warm soft pink. It's a great universal shade especially on warm skin tones, as the golden bits gives the pink some added brightness, so it's not a pink that will wash you out. In fact, it's one of those perfect lipsticks that you can mindlessly toss in your bag for every day and it's so subtle that you can wear it on your no-makeup days or with any makeup look.

If you're looking for loads of pigment, you will want to look elsewhere because the color is very sheer - and although you can build the color with multiple passes, you won't reach opaque coverage. The texture is slippery like a balm and will leave your lips tinted, moisturized and slightly glossy. It's basically like a luxury tinted lip balm.

Unfortunately as with sheer lipstick formulas, the lasting power won't be super long, so you might need to reapply a few times throughout the day between meals - not that I mind. Since the color is sheer, you can just pop some on - no mirror needed.

Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick

Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick

Chanel Sourire Lipstick Swatches
From left to right: Chanel Amour Glossimer, Chanel Sourire Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick & Chanel Surprenante Rouge Allure Lipstick. (The other lip products will be reviewed shortly - I just happened to swatch them all at the same time.)


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation and Sponge Set Review and Discount Code!

Natalie Monday, January 27, 2014 28 Comments
Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation and Sponge Set

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation and Sponge Set ($55) is a newly launched foundation and application tool created by Shu Uemura that work hand in hand together to make your skin glow.

The idea behind this new foundation was to provide a foundation with high coverage, yet not taking away the beautiful natural glow of the skin. With full coverage foundations, you tend to block out the natural finish of your skin and the skin can sometimes look flat and unnatural. The goal with this foundation is to make your skin look beautiful and glowing in any lighting circumstance while concealing your flaws. It's also moisturizing and long lasting.

The consistency of the foundation is very thin and lightweight, yet creamy and easily blendable. Because of the light texture, I didn't expect it to cover much, but I was really surprised to see that with a small amount, it has a solid medium coverage that is buildable to full - or with less product, it provides a nice skin-like light coverage. It looks very fresh and glowing on the skin and to me looks like a tinted moisturizer, but with more coverage.

It lasts fairly well throughout the day even without a setting powder, although I prefer to set with a light powder because if I don't, I find that this foundation can slightly highlight my pores and by the end of the day the foundation will have faded a bit.

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation Before and After Photos
Before and after wearing one layer of Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Foundation.


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Monday, December 9, 2013

Rocksbox Review Vol. 005 + Giveaway for a FREE 1 Year Membership! ($180 value)

Natalie Monday, December 9, 2013 23 Comments
Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review Vol. 005

I know it seems like such a short time ago that I wrote about my last Rocksbox, but I've actually already had my current box for a month, so I wanted to share with you what was inside before I send it back. If you're curious about the giveaway I'll be hosting, scroll down to the end of this post!


What is Rocksbox? Rocksbox is a fashion jewelry based subscription service where members pay $19/month to rent an unlimited amount of designer jewelry. A stylist will handpick (3) pieces suited to your taste (based on your style survey & preferences) and will be promptly mailed to you. You can wear your items as often as you'd like up to 60 days. Whenever you feel like it, you can place the items in the prepaid enclosed padded mailer, and drop it in your nearest mailbox. In no time, a new package will be sent your way! There's no minimum amount of time you have to wait before sending your items back. If you decide that none of the items are for you, you can send the package back right away and you'll receive a new selection. If you love any of the items and can't give it up, you can purchase any of the items for 20% the retail price. To read more about the service, check out the FAQs.


My box contained:
  • CC Skye Heiress Necklace (retail price $275)
  • Urban Gem Pretty Tough Earrings (retail price $48)
  • Lucas Jack Frame Wire Trapezoid Ring in Silver (retail price $68)

I'm super happy with this box. I wasn't expecting CC Skye again since I had a CC Skye item in my last box, but when returning my last box I mentioned that I love CC Skye, but I didn't care for the particular bracelet they sent - So in return, for my current box they sent me a necklace that I absolutely love! I think it's really gorgeous and I've been pairing it a lot with my chiffon collared shirts or shirts with a high neckline that need a little dressing up. It breaks my heart a little bit that it's so expensive, but I don't know if I'll be able to part ways with it. 

Rocksbox Review Jewelry

Rocksbox Review

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

ShopRunner for Holiday Shopping & my new Rebecca Minkoff MAC Bag!

Natalie Thursday, December 5, 2013 8 Comments

With the Holiday season kicking in, the hunt has begun in finding that perfect gift for all of your loved ones. But if you're any bit like me and develop the biggest case of indecisiveness when you're shopping at the stores for others, shopping online this year might be what you need in order to keep you worry-free this holiday season.

Last year was actually the first year that I did all of my shopping online and I couldn't have been any happier! No running around from store to store looking for a thoughtful and unique gift, only to find that they don't have exactly what you're looking for and you'll have to run off to the next store to yet again be faced with the same problem. I purchased all of my gifts in the matter of two days several weeks before Christmas. And you know what? I was able to enjoy my Christmas more than ever. I hate to admit it, but every year I'm guilty of running around a couple days before Christmas with my anxiety in high gear.

A useful tool I'll be using this year is a service called ShopRunner. ShopRunner is a members-only service for online shoppers that provides unique benefits across hundreds of the best online stores. ShopRunner's members save time and money on holiday shopping with benefits including free 2-day shipping with no minimum order, free and easy return shipping, exclusive member offers, and easy 2-click check out. ShopRunner has expanded their network of 80+ retailers to include Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole, Tiger Direct, Jockey and Fanatics. The price of a membership is $79/year.

The concept is actually similar to Amazon Prime, which is actually the same price and you receive 2-day free shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com. I used Amazon Prime last year and the 2-day shipping feature really made things much easier on myself.

ShopRunner was kind enough to grant me with a free trial to help me out with this seasons shopping, and I tried it out by making my first purchase through ShopRunner with Neiman Marcus. The gift was for myself, but that's besides the point. Haha!

I've been on the hunt for a small cross-body bag for when I'm going shopping, running errands or going out - basically any time that I don't feel like carrying a heavy bag on my arm. The Rebecca Minkoff bags sort of grew on me, and I love the fact that they're stylish, somewhat edgy and that they are available in such a large variety of colors as well as different sizes. I ended up purchasing a Rebecca Minkoff MAC Clutch in the color Port, which is a really pretty wine/burgundy shade - perfect for the Fall/Winter! (It's actually sold out, and unfortunate for me, went on sale a couple days after I purchased it.. boo!)

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Wednesday, December 4, 2013 19 Comments
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($9) is described as a "1-step wonder" for your skin. It combines 8 skin benefits for instant skin perfection. These benefits include: bluring your skins imperfections, brightening up the skin, evening out the skintone, smoothing, enhancing and hydrating your skin, and lastly protects your skin with 30 SPF. It also doesn't contain any oils or heavy ingredients.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream is available in (5) shades: Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium/Deep and Deep.

Since the formula is so sheer, it's very forgiveable if you pick up a shade that is too light or dark. I have the shade Light/Medium, and it works really well for me when I have a light tan going on - around the MAC NC25 coloring.

It has a really creamy wet consistency - very reminiscent of the texture of Physicians Formula Super BB Cream. The very creamy consistency allows the product to glide across the skin really well like a moisturizer. 

My method of application is my fingers, applying it as I would a moisturizer, in small, light circular motions until blended. If I want to build slightly more coverage (not much, though) I'll add an additional layer on certain areas by dabbing and lightly dragging the product down my face until blended.

The coverage is sheer to light. It won't conceal imperfections, but it will tint the skin as well as make the skin look more even. I really like the way it looks on my skin. I use facial self tanners, so sometimes my skin isn't always even, and this evens out my skin color well and makes my skin look smooth, fresh and dewy. 

This is ideal for those who already have pretty good skin, but would like something extremely natural and sheer on days where you don't want to wear makeup or don't want to look like you are wearing makeup. It's great for daytime, especially if you spend some time in the sun because it has a high SPF. You won't catch me running errands bare faced, but I like to wear this and a little concealer when I want to fake it!

Now, if I don't set it with a light dusting of powder, it's just a little too dewy for my taste. I've worn it without a powder on a few occasions, and my skin felt like it was greasy and just about every area of my face looked shiny. Because of that, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this BB Cream if you have oily skin. It's actually targeted for normal skin, but I find it to be really moisturizing, so I believe it'd work well for dry skin too. 

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Light/Medium Swatches
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light/Medium swatched and blended

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Jewelmint Cyber Monday Final Hours!

Natalie Monday, December 2, 2013 6 Comments

Happy Cyber Monday!

I hope you all found a good deal or two (or three or more) today and spoiled yourself with a little retail therapy! Black Friday weekend is always overwhelming, but it's my favorite time to pick up some things for myself that I've been eyeballing throughout the season.

I skipped the mall this year and did my shopping online and scored some really good prices. I did skip a few places I planned on purchasing from, but I'm pretty happy overall.

I wanted to give a special shout out to Jewelmint, which currently is hosting a sale for 50% everything! Some sale items are even 70% off, so I took full advantage and purchased a couple of items that I've had my eyes on.

I've talked about Jewelmint many times before and I always stock up on cute pieces of jewelry when there is a good sale going on. The pieces are great quality and the presentation is really cute. If you're on a budget, or are looking for cute stocking stuffers, gifts for co-workers - Jewelmint is great! The earrings pictured above are the Fancy Fringe Earrings I just received a couple days ago. As with all of my Jewelmint jewelry, they are really well made.

*I highly recommend only purchasing items that are labeled with the "@" symbol (see below), which symbolizes that the item is a Jewelmint exclusive. In my opinion, the non-exclusive items are just overpriced junk jewelry. The quality definitely isn't the same.


Where did you shop today? I already placed a bunch of orders on Black Friday, so the only place besides Jewelmint I purchased from was The Outnet (which has some really awesome deals, btw!) and I'm contemplating putting an order through J Crew for some other unnecessary jewelry.

Let me know if you'd like to see a haul! I haven't done one of those in ages - possibly even since Black Friday last year.

Also, as you might have noticed, my blog design is going through some changes! It's not 100% up and running yet, so there may be a couple of glitches here and there until it's all complete. Let me know how you like it!

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NARS Loose Powder Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Monday, December 2, 2013 11 Comments
NARS Loose Powder

NARS Loose Powder

NARS Loose Powder ($35) is a silky, triple milled face powder provides light, natural coverage to set makeup, soften color and smooth the texture of the skin. The ultra-smooth formula blends undetectably to absorb excess oils and maintain fresh looking skin with an "imperceptible" finish. It can be used to set foundations or it can be worn alone to even out and soften the complexion.

NARS Loose Powder is available in (7) shades: Snow (for porcelain to fair skin), Flesh (for fair skin), Eden (medium yellow skin), Beach (medium deep yellow skin), Desert (light rose undertones to enhance medium skin) and Mountain (deep medium reddish-brown skin).

For my warm, medium coloring, I chose Beach and it's a perfect match. I think it's a great match for around the MAC NC30-40 coloring.

Pressed and Loose powders have come a long way and more and more companies are launching these magical powders that don't give the illusion of a powder on the skin. I fully believe in setting your liquid foundation with a powder for the best lasting power, but the problem with some powders is that they can take away the glow from your foundation, making your skin look too matte and flat; and real skin isn't truly matte, so it can look unnatural. Sometimes it can even make your makeup look heavier.

Truth be told, I like to skip powdering if I can get away with it because I don't like altering the color and finish of my foundation, but I can't deny the fact that when I do powder my face, by night my makeup always looks better. Guerlain Meteorites is a staple in my makeup collection because it soaks up the oils from my skin so I don't look shiny/oily, and leaves a naturally perfected glowy veil on my skin without adding extra coverage.

When I do want a little extra coverage from a powder, I've really been loving NARS Loose Powder.

The texture of NARS Loose Powder is far silkier than any other loose powder I've tried. It feels absolutely weightless to the touch. When applied, it creates almost a blurred effect to the skin. Pores are less noticeable and my skin looks softer and smoother. I've read a review where someone mentioned that with each additional layer, the more photoshopped your skin looks - which is very true. It has a very soft, natural finish without the powdery appearance.

NARS Loose Powder Beach

NARS Beach Loose Powder Swatches
NARS Loose Powder in Beach swatched and blended


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rocksbox Review Vol. 004!

Natalie Tuesday, October 29, 2013 14 Comments
Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review Vol. 004!

I received my fifth Rocksbox last week - So technically, this post should be volume five, but I didn't get a chance to share with you my fourth box before I returned it. I did share a photo on Instagram if you'd like to take a peek.

I'm a huge fashion jewelry and accessory junkie, so I can't help but get really excited each time I find a Rocksbox package on my doorstep.


What is Rocksbox? Rocksbox is a fashion jewelry based subscription service where members pay $19/month to rent an unlimited amount of designer jewelry. A stylist will handpick (3) pieces suited to your taste (based on your style survey & preferences) and will be promptly mailed to you. You can wear your items as often as you'd like up to 60 days. Whenever you feel like it, you can place the items in the prepaid enclosed padded mailer, and drop it in your nearest mailbox. In no time, a new package will be sent your way! There's no minimum amount of time you have to wait before sending your items back. If you decide that none of the items are for you, you can send the package back right away and you'll receive a new selection. If you love any of the items and can't give it up, you can purchase any of the items for 20% the retail price. To read more about the service, check out the FAQs.


My box contained: 
  • CC Skye Turnlock Cage Cuff in Black and Gold (retail price $175)
  • Gamine Zara Rings in Mixed Metals (retail price $56)
  • Urban Gem Pave Spike Earrings (retail price $42)

I'm pretty happy with my box. I requested CC Skye, and as always, Rocksbox delivers. I typically love all of CC Skye's designs, but the bracelet really isn't my style. I also wore the Gamine rings a couple of times, but they aren't really anything out of the ordinary. As for the earrings - I love them! Totally my style and I made sure to login to my Rocksbox account and purchased them right away! I didn't have to give much thought because they were actually the least expensive piece I received ($33.60 with the special member price).

Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review

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Monday, October 28, 2013

NARS Brow Gel Review, Photos and Swatches!

Natalie Monday, October 28, 2013 14 Comments
NARS Brow Gel in Piraeus

NARS Brow Gel

NARS Brow Gel ($22) is a new product by NARS that tidies and grooms the brows with a glossy gel formula. A unique precision tapered brush adds shape and definition to every angle while creating a fuller, smoother brow look.

NARS Brow Gel is available in (4) shades: Oural (clear), Athens (blonde), Piraeus (medium brown) and Kinshasa (dark brown).

I'm a dark brunette, but I like my brows to be at least one shade lighter than my hair, so I chose the shade medium brown which is a soft, chocolately gray-brown. All of the shades appear to be very neutral (see swatches on Café Makeup) which is very ideal for the brows.

I love tinted brow gels because my natural brows are very dark and if I fill them in with a dark brown color that matches my brows, they can sometimes look a bit harsh. So I like to finish my brows off with a tinted brow gel in a shade or two lighter than my brows to lighten them up slightly so they have a softer appearance. The lighter gel adds almost a highlight to my brow, creating texture and definition as it coats my brow hairs.

Now, if you have very light or invisible brows, tinted brow gels can work to your advantage by choosing a shade darker than your brows and lightly combing over them to bring more attention to them.

In comparison to MAC Brow Set, NARS is more of a gel formula (similar to E.L.F. Studio Treat and Tame) whereas I find MAC to be more creamy and mascara-like, and a bit more pigmented.

As with many tinted brow gel formulas, a lot of product gets dispensed on the brush - almost too much if you have very sparse or thin brows. You can try wiping off the excess on the opening of the tube, but for the most part, I like taking a separate spoolie and patting it on the wand of the brow gel so I'll only pick up very little product and comb it through my brows. I do the same when working with MAC Brow Set, as the colored formulas can deposit too much color at once.

I really like the small tapered brush. It's easy to manuever through the brows.

The hold is really good, and it keeps my unruly brows in place all day.

NARS Brow Gel in Piraeus

NARS Piraeus Brow Gel

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Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués!

Natalie Monday, October 28, 2013 7 Comments
Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués Royal Burgundy

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués ($9.99 each) are a new, limited edition collection of intricate, textured nail appliqués inspired by couture house Marchesa's signature designs. Available in 8 shades.

I have Royal Burgundy and Silk Rosette. Royal Burgundy is a beautiful deep burgundy with an intricate textured gold design. I love the gothic feel of the pattern and I think the colors are perfect for the Fall. Silk Rosette is a beautiful teal floral design on a clear background.



Directions

  1. Start out by removing any oil or dirt from your nails. You can do this by taking a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and wiping it across your nails. This will allow the appliqués to adhere securely to your nails.
  2. Select the best size appliqué per nail by lining it up with your nail bed, making sure it reaches each side of your nail wall.
  3. Remove the appliqué from the film and lightly place it on your nail, lining it up with your cuticle.  
  4. Press down from the cuticle and work your way to the tips of your nail. Use the enclosed cuticle pusher to secure the edges. 
  5. Lightly fold the rest of the appliqué over your nail tip and take the enclosed nail file and lightly buff the edges to remove the excess product. I know it's tempting, but refrain from pulling it off, as it can rip the appliqué. 
  6. Enjoy your manicure! To get your manicure to last a couple extra days, you can add your favorite top coat.



Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués Royal Burgundy

They were really easy to apply and I finished both of my hands in just a few minutes. I don't think you need too much expertise with these.

It's important to take your time with the application to avoid any mistakes such as ripples/folds or not aligning it to your nail properly.

The only problem I ran into was that they didn't fit my nails that well. My nail beds are very curved, so I experienced some slight folds in application. Also, I found the strips to be a bit narrow. The strips didn't fully cover a few of my nails. Although none of these things are noticeable unless someone was to look closely at them.

They held up pretty well with some tip wear. I'm hard on my hands, so I removed them after three days. If you are really light on your hands, I'm sure you could get about a week out of them. I really liked that the removal process is so easy. I removed all of them within a minute or so.

I really enjoyed wearing these. I think they're a really fun treat to have once in a while or when you need to do your nails quick for a holiday or event.

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués
Royal Burgundy and Silk Rosette 3D Jewel Appliques

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick Review, Photos and Swatches!

Natalie Sunday, October 27, 2013 21 Comments
NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick ($26) is described as a shimmering, warm brandy. It looks really red in the tube, but it's definitely not your average red. It's a spicy red with tones of gold, copper-bronze, orange and even a hint of brown. There's also a slight golden shimmer to it that's not very detectable, but it makes the color shine nicely on the lips.

Autumn Leaves is a part of NARS Sheer Lipstick formulation, so the color has a bit of transparency to it. It's highly buildable, and it can get fairly opaque with multiple coats. What's great about the sheer formula is that with a color like this (which can be scary for some) it's incredibly wearable - even during the day in an office setting, which something with full coverage in this color might be too bold.

This is a great Fall shade especially for those with warm and olive skin tones. I can see it being a really beautiful shade on redheads, but its looks great on just about everyone that I've seen it on. I think it looks beautiful paired with a peachy cheek and a golden highlight. Check it out on Beauty Banter.. it looks stunning on her!

I don't own many NARS Lipsticks, but I have a few and I have always liked the formula. The color glides on super smooth with a balm-like texture and a featherlight feel and I also find it to be pretty moisturizing.

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick

NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick swatch
NARS Autumn Leaves Lipstick on my lips

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

NARS Brow Perfector Review, Photos and Swatches!

Natalie Thursday, October 24, 2013 10 Comments
NARS Caucase Brow Perfector

NARS Brow Perfector

NARS Brow Perfector ($22) is described as a "velvety" adjustable eyebrow pencil for creating slender to full brows. The pencil applies with smooth precision and ease. The tip has a unique oval shape for precise application and varying brow widths. The result is natural and long-lasting.

NARS Brow Perfector is available in (4) shades: Salzbourg (blonde), Kalamata (light brown), Caucase (brown) and Suriname (black).

My eyebrows are dark brown, and I opted with the shade Caucase. It's slightly lighter in color than my natural brows, but it works well. I could have chosen the darkest shade Suriname, as even though it's described as black, it's actually a dark brown (See Temptalia's Review).

NARS Caucase Brow Perfector

The consistency of the pencil is very stiff and dry at first. You have to break it in a little bit after the first use and it will warm up the product in order for it to apply better. It's like a very waxy crayon - the best comparison would probably be the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil ($8), but it's much stiffer. Same waxy consistency though and similar color payoff.

The color payoff is never really completely opaque, so if you have a lot of shaping to do, or if you have coarse, sparse brows, I wouldn't really recommend this pencil. This pencil doesn't create smooth, fluid lines, and you have to continuously make small passes over areas to build the coverage. For those such as myself, I need an opaque product that will provide clean, crisp lines to shape my brows and then I can go in with something lighter and more natural to shade them in. This is a great product for that. It's also great for those who have minor filling in to do, or those with fine brow hairs that need to do some light filling in.

The result is really natural, which is something I really like. They don't look harsh or obviously filled in. Also, the waxy texture really holds the brow hairs in place, so I don't find a brow gel/finisher necessary. It also doesn't fade, smear or budge the entire day.

NARS Caucase Brow Perfector

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Face of the Day Walk-through | Full Coverage Face & Soft Eyes

Natalie Wednesday, October 23, 2013 27 Comments

You can call me a ride-or-die medium coverage kind of chick. I've tried countless foundations - many of which I loved and some.. not so much. The ones I love all share a common factor - they all have a solid medium coverage. That basically means that the coverage is somewhere in-between light and full - A medium coverage will even out skin discolorations, cover blemishes, yet the foundation only looks like a silky veil on the skin rather a mask, and sometimes, my freckles, sunspots and sometimes even a little redness will slightly shine through. I actually kind of like that - it gives the illusion of clear skin, while not erasing every single spot.

But of course, I love switching it up and sometimes I really like an airbrushed, blemish-free face. Recently, I've been enjoying wearing a full coverage face, especially on nights out when I really want my makeup to hold up for several hours. Light and medium coverage foundations can break down a bit with sweat, etc, but when I bust out my heavy duty full coverage makeup, I know that my makeup isn't going anywhere all night. I'm going to take you through a quick run through of what I've been wearing lately.


I like to start out with applying a water based moisturizer to my entire face as it will allow my makeup to spread and blend effortlessly without looking dry or cakey. I always apply a moisturizer liberally to my under-eyes so the skin under my eyes will look rejuvenated, giving the illusion of well rested eyes. My favorite full coverage concealer is MAC Studio Finish Concealer. I like applying it with my middle or ring finger and tapping/patting the product (not wiping) to blend.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer has been my go-to full coverage foundation. It's an incredibly dense, tacky cream and you only need the tiniest bit for the whole face. I like to dot it on each area of my face, and then with a damp Beauty Blender sponge, spread and pat the foundation into my face until it's completely blended. If I want my face to look really perfect, I'll add a second thin layer.

Now, with full coverage foundations, you need to pop some dimension back in your face as an opaque coverage can flatten the face and make the natural contours less apparent. I love using MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter and applying it under my eyes and down the bridge of my nose and blending it out with a beauty blender. It really brightens up the face and gives more of a structured look.

I always set my under-eyes with Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder, which has been my favorite under-eye setting powder for years. I love that once I apply it, it really locks my concealer in and makes it budge-proof until I remove my makeup. Creasing and setting is never an issue. If I want a seriously opaque, Kim K kind of under-eye, I'll take a sponge and pat some MAC Studio Fix Powder under my eyes. For the rest of my face, I've been really enjoying NARS Loose Powder. It adds a hint of additional coverage, while softening the look of the skin, making the face look virtually perfect.


The skin is now a blank canvas, so I like adding some warmth into my skin and at the same time exaggerating the natural contours of my face. I've been loving Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer because it's a med-dark brown matte bronzer and mimics shadows really well. If you have very pronounced features, it's not really necessary, but for those with a fuller face, it can work wonders. With a small contouring brush I like to apply the bronzer below my cheekbones and blend upward, as well as up my temples and forehead, and all around the outer edges of my face. I like going back with my powder brush to further blend any areas that look too harsh.

Then, I like popping a little color on my cheeks. I chose NARS Lovejoy Blush - a lovely shade of rosy-bronze that is a very flattering every-day shade for warm skin tones. After I've applied my blush, I'm going to apply a highlighter with my fingertips across the highest points of my cheekbones. I used Dior Amber Diamond, a subtle ultra fine powder highlight that makes the skin look like it's glowing from within.

For my eyebrows, I've used a combination of NARS Eye Paint and MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Brow. I have quite a bit of filling in to do, but I'm going to try making them look as natural as I can by not applying too much product at once. Since my natural brows are very dark, I always like to finish with a tinted brow gel to lighten them up slightly. It softens my brows so they don't look as harsh/tattooed. I'm using NARS Brow Gel.

The eyes I'm keeping rather plain today and I'm going to apply MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow all over my lid and smudge NARS Eye Paint on my upper and lower lash line. Then I'm going to line my eyes with the eye paint as well.

Lastly, I'm going to curl my lashes, add a coat of Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum and two coats of Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara. For a little extra intensity, I added some Red Cherry False Lashes.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint Review, Photos, Swatches!

Natalie Thursday, October 17, 2013 23 Comments
NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint ($25) is a multi-use eye product that can be both used as a cream eyeshadow and an eyeliner. It provides high-impact pigment with a silky, weightless feel. It glides on the skin smoothly and quickly dries down to a budge-proof finish.

So, you've tried one gel/cream eyeliner and you think you've tried them all. Well, despite the similarities between different brands of gel eyeliners, the formulas can differ quite a bit. Some formulas are drier than others, some are creamier, some are budge-proof and some smudge to no end.

I don't ask for much when I'm looking for a good potted eyeliner. My only requests are that the formula is smooth so that it will provide clean lines, opaque color and that it won't smudge/fade or crumble after several hours of wear.

I love the texture of NARS Eye Paint. The formula is more of a gel than a cream, as it has quite a bit of slip to it. Because of the slippery texture, it's very ideal for smudging and creating a smoked out eye. As with many cream products, once you apply it to your lid, you have to smudge it quickly, otherwise it won't budge. I love that fact that it doesn't set so quick that you have to worry about it drying before you're finished working with it (such as MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Creams). It really smokes out nicely with a blending or smudge brush, and the intensity can be built up with additional layers.

Mesopotamia is a very dark intense brown. I think it's a great color for every day and I actually most of the time prefer it over black as it works well with my warm coloring and has a softer look. I've actually been using it on my eyebrows as well. For the brows, a little goes a very long way and I only have to lightly touch the product with the tip of the brush to fill in one of my brows completely.

The lasting power is very good. I notice that when If I don't apply a base, I'll have some fading when used as an eyeshadow, but when applied as an eyeliner it lasts well throughout the day. On my brows, the color doesn't budge all day.

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint Swatch
Swatches of NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint
NARS Mesopotamia smudged and lined on my upper and lower lash line as well as applied to my eyebrows

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