Monday, April 27, 2015

Easing back into blogging

Hello everyone!

It has been a very long time since I've last updated my blog, and I wanted to give you all a small update of what's been going on with me, and let you know why I've been on a major hiatus. 

I started my blog back in 2009, and for a few years, I pretty much dedicated most of my time to my blog. Writing was something that has always interested me, and of course, beauty is another thing that I have always loved. But I guess with any passion that one has, there are times where you can feel a lack of motivation, or inspiration, or even interest in something after it has become so routine in your life. So basically, for a while I lost interest in the beauty world and became a little more focused on other things in my life. And truthfully, I barely wear makeup anymore since I work from home. 

George and me bought a house a little over a year ago, and I dedicated a spare bedroom to be my office, but now that a year has flown by, I still haven't bought a desk for what was suppose to be my blogging sanctuary. With my personality, I'm very easily distracted, and I've been so focused on getting my home together, that it has been hard for me to focus on anything else. I'm a perfectionist by nature, and when something isn't finished, it will drive me nuts until whatever it is, is completed to my satisfaction. At the same time, there have been a lot of other things going on with family and friends (exciting things), so there are sometimes weeks that go by where I don't even get a chance to get on the computer.  

I guess now that so much time has passed, I don't feel as productive anymore, and I simply miss putting my camera to use and writing. And of course, I miss connecting with all of you!
I've received a bunch of messages from some of you that have been asking where I've been and if everything is okay, and I'd like to thank you so much for your messages! Everything is great, and I miss being connected to all of you. Hopefully some of you still stuck around, and I can't wait to start blogging again. I'm totally out of the loop right now, as I haven't kept up with the latest in beauty, but I'm getting back into it, and I'm really excited! I have loads of photos from months ago of products I was planning on reviewing, so I'll probably start off with those. If there are any new, amazing products out that I have to try, please share in the comments section! Also, if you have any ideas for posts, I'd love to hear them. 

I was thinking about incorporating lifestyle posts as well, such as home decorating, cooking, etc. What do you think? 

Talk to you soon!!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sigma 20% Off Individual Makeup Brushes Flash Sale!

Sigma Brushes 20% Off Coupon

I know 20% off might not be a huge deal, but for Sigma Brushes it's a pretty big deal since there are rarely ever sales aside from the monthly 10% off codes. For two days, Sigma's brushes are all 20% off when you use the code BRUSHCRUSH at checkout. This does not include brush sets - individual brushes only. It's a good time to purchase back-ups of your favorites! I'm picking up a few!

Click here to shop!

Giorgio Armani #24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches!

Giorgio Armani 24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($33) is a black with glistening copper and gold. When the colors mix together, it turns into a beautiful dark khaki/olive green. It's a fabulous color, and the type of shade that I gravitate towards, as it flatters my hazel eyes and warm skin really well. It's a bit of a chameleon color, as it shines differently depending on the lighting and angle. Sometimes the color looks like a glistening warm brown and other times it looks like a golden olive. In the sunlight, the golden hues really shine through. It reminds be a bit of MAC Gilt by Association Mineralize Eyeshadow, a shadow I frequently wore in the past.

I know these eyeshadows are old news, as they've been out for a couple of years and I don't hear much about them anymore, but recently, I went through my makeup stash and dug out shade #8 Champagne, and have been using it multiple times a week. Naturally, it sparked my love for this product again, and I wanted more. So, #24 became my newest addition to my makeup bag.

The texture of the eyeshadow is like a very finely milled pressed/compacted pigment. It's incredibly silky and blends effortlessly. My favorite application tool is my fingertip or an old-school sponge applicator, as they both pick up the most product and apply the product in an opaque layer. A small flat brush also works well, such as a small concealer brush. You can also dampen the brush and apply the product wet for an almost metallic finish.

Giorgio Armani 24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani 24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow swatch
Heavy swatch of #24

Swatched on my arm the color looks more brown, but on my lids it's a glistening khaki green!

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length + Volume Mascara Review & Photos!

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length Volume Mascara

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length + Volume Mascara

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length + Volume Mascara ($8) is a newer mascara by Revlon that provides length and volume and has lustrous black fibers so the result is super dark lashes with a hint of shine. It's available in water-proof and non-waterproof, as well as three colors; Blackest Black, Black and Blackened Brown.

In the past, Revlon's mascaras haven't worked that well for me. None of them provided enough length and volume for my liking. From all of the Revlon mascaras, Revlon Photoready 3D Volume Mascara performed the best, but still, it didn't replace my other Maybelline and Covergirl favorites. I've seen many bloggers using this new mascara recently, so I was really curious to try it out.

The mascara wand can totally make or break the mascara, and for this mascara, it's a win. No weird "innovative" shape, just a large fluffy tapered brush. I really love it. It's a good size for reaching all of the lashes, and it isn't too big to reach the smaller corner and bottom lashes.

The formula appears to be pretty wet and you can see the loads of shiny black fibers. It doesn't apply clumpy which is really nice, and it dries fairly quickly so you don't have to wait too long between coats.

The result with one coat is super pretty. It adds slight length and separation and makes the lashes look dark and noticeable. With many mascaras, one coat doesn't look like anything on my lashes. The formula builds really nicely and quickly, and by the second coat, my lashes look a bit longer and slightly volumized. It's not dramatic like some super voluminous formulas, but I really like the result. I don't think I'd apply more than a second coat, as the lashes can start to clump. It seems like the more I apply, the formula feels slightly sticky. I notice that when I blink sometimes my top and bottom lashes may stick together for a mili-second. Very annoying, but it can probably be fixed by applying a lash primer first.

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length Volume Mascara

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length Volume Mascara

Revlon Bold Lacquer Length Volume Mascara Before After Photos

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guerlain Sun Blondes Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches!

Guerlain Sun Blondes 04 Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Sun Blondes Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Sun Blondes Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder ($52) is a lightweight 5-shade mosaic bronzing powder consisting of beautiful bronzed pinks and tans. When all of the shades are swept together, a warm, glowing tan is created.

God only knows I probably don't need any new bronzers, but when I saw this bronzer in Sephora I couldn't resist swatching it (among all of the other product swatches smeared all over my hand) and tossing a box in my basket. Guerlain is easily one of my favorite luxury cosmetic brands, and for ages it's been said that Guerlain makes some of the best bronzers.

I use Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer #3 regularly and I really enjoy it. On a daily basis I really enjoy using MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powders probably more than anything because it's a really soft powder that blends really well and is great for contouring since there is no shimmer.

Sun Blondes is slightly different than both because it's not your standard brown bronzer. When applied, it has a slight rosy sheen to it. When I apply a few layers of this product, I don't feel that I necessarily need any blush as this seems to add a nice flush of color to my face. For my medium skintone, it's very light, but it can be built up with multiple layers or by using a denser blush brush. I typically apply it with a fluffy powder brush around the outline of my face and then use blush brush to apply it to my cheeks. On the cheeks it's a luminous bronzed rosy-apricot.

It may look shimmery in the compact, but it applies with a gentle luminosity and healthy glow. No obnoxious shimmer.

Guerlain Sun Blondes 04 Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Sun Blondes 04 Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Sun Blondes 04 Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder Swatches
Swatches from left to right: Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer #3, NARS Laguna Bronzer, Guerlain Terracotta Sheer Bronzing Powder #04 Sun Blondes (swatted heavily) and applied lightly. You can see from the comparisons that Sun Blondes has a very warm, rosy tone compared to the others.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

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

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

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

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.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

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

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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

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

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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

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 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!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Review, Photos, Swatches!

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

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jewelmint Cyber Monday Final Hours!

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!

NARS Loose Powder Review, Photos, Swatches!

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rocksbox Review Vol. 004!

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

NARS Brow Gel Review, Photos and Swatches!

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

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués!

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.


  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