Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hustle Bustle Break!

Greetings, beauties!

I just wanted to let y'all know that I've been *REALLY* overwhelmed lately with new job duties I've taken on at work, as well as realizing I'm getting married in 8 months and I might need to start planning!  I apologize if I'm not able to post as regularly until things have calmed down a bit, but I have to do what feels right for me.  Anyone who blogs, for fun or for work, knows how much time is spent creating a single post.  From taking and editing the photos, testing the products, to writing up the actual review, it's pretty intense, especially if you're a perfectionist like me who proofs every entry 15 times!  I have been loathe to post about being so busy as I don't want to let anyone down by "falling down on the job", so to speak, but I've got to do what works for me.  Reading your comments always brightens my day and I love each and every one of you and think of y'all as true friends!  Thanks for bearing with me if I'm not around as much while I get my arms around everything on my to do list.

Lots of love!


Monday, July 29, 2013

REVIEW! | Illamasqua Androgen Cream Pigment

I'm a big fan of Illamasqua.  Aside from the fact that I've been 100% delighted with every product I've ever bought from them, when it comes to creativity and artistry, I think they're amazing!  Check out a few of their ad campaigns to see what I mean!
I've been intrigued by Illamasqua's cream pigments for awhile, and I finally broke down and purchased Androgen during their recent mega sale after seeing it on fellow pink enthusiast Victoria at In The Frow.  Illamasqua's cream pigments typically retail for £17.50 (about $27.00 USD), but I picked up Androgen for £7.50 ($11.50 USD)!
I smoothed Androgen onto my cheeks using my fingers and it lasted all day without fading or creasing. Pigments can be used anywhere, including the lips and lids, but I prefer to use this one as a blush to add a nice warm pop of pink on my cheeks.  I didn't love it on the lips as I found it a bit drying.
I love the sleek packaging, and the compact size makes it a great candidate for your makeup bag's new BFF!  Androgen is a lovely bubblegum pink that warms up to a more coral pink when applied to the skin.  Anyone who loves coral (ahem...Sunny...I'm looking at you!) should definitely check this out!
Illamasqua Androgen - concentrated / heavy swatch / light swatch
It's extremely pigmented so you don't need to use much to make it show up.  The fact that this cream product held up in the midst of a muggy July day really impressed me, as I usually use powder products during the summer.

If you've been itching to get your paws on some Illamasqua treats, their sale is ongoing through July 29th (that's TODAY!) at 12:00 GMT, so get ye to their website!  :)

Products used
  • Foundation: Lancome Teint Miracle in Buff 4 (C)
  • Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (Light 2)
  • Blush: Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Androgen
  • Eyeshadow: MAC Tan Pigment
  • Mascara: Benefit Bad Gal Lash in Black
My Rating: A+
Where to Buy: Illamasqua

Thursday, July 25, 2013

REVIEW! | Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

I love cleansers in general.  The feeling of fresh, clean skin after a long day is on my list of all-time favorite things.  I'm a very dedicated Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash user (it's been my face's BFF for the past 3 years!), but I decided to try out Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser for a month.

What I love: 
  • You get 12 ounces for $8.99, which is double the size of my regular cleanser for close to the same price.
  • Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser FOAMS beautifully using either my hands or a facial cleansing brush. 
  • ALL traces of makeup are gone post-cleanse, even tough to remove shadows, primers, and mascaras. 
  • It leaves my skin feeling clean and balanced, not overly parched or dried out. 
  • I had ZERO breakouts during the month and a half that I used this. 
What I didn't love:
Unfortunately, they added fragrance to an otherwise flawless formula.  It smells nice, but tastes AWFUL.  Not that I'm in the habit of sipping soap on the regular, but as the cleanser runs down my face, it gets in my {closed} mouth.  My mouth is clamped shut, and yet somehow I still manage to end up tasting that perfume.
If this product was fragrance-free, I would buy CRATES of it because it is FANTASTIC, Holy Grail material!  I will hold out hope that Neutrogena either reformulates this cleanser or comes out with a fragrance-free version.  Even with my aversion to the taste, this cleanser still tops my list of favorites.

My Rating: A-
Where to Buy: Drugstores

Monday, July 22, 2013

REVIEW! | Chanel Gri-Gri Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow

Gri-Gri, $28.50 USD, is a limited edition Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow from Chanel's Fall 2013 Collection Superstition.  To celebrate a very happy occasion (a clear screening at my recent doc's appointment), I treated myself to some Chanel!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fall Fever: it's like Bieber Fever, only with leather boots and plum lipstick.

fall fever

I suffer from S.I.D.: Seasonally Inappropriate Disorder.  When it's the dead of winter, I dream of flip flops, cool breezes, and sunshine.  When we're melting under the oppressive summer heat, I dream of crisp autumn air, hot cider, and sweaters.  Right now, it's 89 degrees and just standing outside leaves you with beads of sweat sliding down your torso (to which I say EW).  So you can imagine what I'm longing for: chilly air, trench coats, boots, and cozy cups of hot beverages!  Dark, vampy nail polish and gray eyeshadow!  Leaves crunching underfoot!  Jewel tones!  Dark wash denim!  Unfortunately, the cool temps I dream of won't become a reality here in Atlanta until late October but thankfully I have a Polyvore account and a good imagination to tide me over in the meantime.  

Are you Seasonally Inappropriate?  I know a lot of you hail from colder climates like Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Northeastern US, so I'm guessing you don't spend your summers wishing to don down parkas and play in the snow?!

Friday, July 19, 2013

REVIEW! | NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow

Surely Lana meant to croon, "Be young, be taupe, be proud" in her song American.  Because taupe is dope!  Taupe, a grey-tinged brown, is one of those universally flattering shades that belongs in everyone's makeup bag.

NARS describes Lhasa, $24.00 USD for 0.07 oz, as a "lavender grey" and that is spot-on.  It has a lightly shimmering finish that brings light to your eyes without going too far into the disco range.  MAC Shale is a bit darker and has a satin finish.  The legendary MAC Satin Taupe is more brown and metallic.
NARS Lhasa Wet/Dry/Blended - Indoor Lighting 
NARS Lhasa Wet/Dry/Blended - Flash 
Lhasa is so flattering!  It can be used as a shadow or a liner, and it lasted all day over NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (my daily go-to) on my oily lids on an extremely humid day.

For the look below, I started out by applying NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base to my lids.  I then swept Lhasa all over the lid, blending it out with a fluffy crease brush, and I lined my lower lashline with it.  I used Urban Decay Virgin to highlight the tear duct area. I lined my upper lashline with MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack and I finished with two coats of L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Blackest Black.
NARS Lhasa at the end of a long, humid day
(sorry for the shine!)
NARS single shadows contain 0.07 oz.  For comparison, the pans in Urban Decay's Naked palette contain 0.05 oz of shadow each, so you're getting a bit more product with the NARS single.  It looks seriously tiny though, in the most adorable way.  It's like the baby carrot of eyeshadow singles!
NARS Lhasa Single / US Quarter
Lhasa will be one of the offerings contained in the NARS Voulez-Vous Cheek and Eye Palette that will be on sale at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starting on July 19th.  If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, you can shop the sale now!  You can pick up the whole palette for $59.00 USD which is a REALLY good deal for four eyeshadows and two blushes.  If you'd like to see swatches and a nice review of the palette, check out Lisa T.'s post from Swatches and Whatnot here.
NARS Voulez-Vous Cheek and Eye Palette
If you're in the market for a great taupe, you should definitely consider Lhasa.  It's in my top two, or should I say my "taupe two", along with it's slightly more spangly sister, MAC Satin Taupe.  :)

My Rating: A+
Cost: $24.00 USD
Where to Buy: NARS, Sephora

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

Wish List Wednesday 071713

1.) MAC Tan Pigment: A beautiful pink/gold/champagne pigment.  @PrettyPinkAmy has been rockin' this on her eyes lately (check out one of her EOTD's from Instagram here) and I am loving it!
2.) LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub: I can maybe eek out two more uses from my beloved Bubble Gum Lip Scrub and then it's curtains.  I love the Bubble Gum because it smells and tastes just like those crazy orange circus peanuts candies but I'm going to try the Popcorn next because the sweet and salty description intrigues me.
3.) LUSH Creamy Candy Bubble Bar: Big thanks to Wolfthorn Tracy at Beauty Reflections for her Easter LUSH post; before reading that entry, I'd never even heard of a bubble bar!  After her review, and my flagrant YouTubing of how-to vids, I found myself thinking "I need an effin' bubble bar!"  Apparently you break yourself off a piece (HA!) of the bar, crumble it under the running tap, and voila!  Bubbles for days!

What's on your wish list this fine Wednesday morning?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mani Monday: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Girl Flower #340

When it comes to nail polish, I like easy, breezy, and fast.  The only top coats I use are the quick drying variety that get me from wet paint to dry enough to fish around in my purse in minutes.  I have been intrigued by nail polish strips for a long time but figured they required some level of skill to apply and I always defaulted to buying regular nail polish.  I finally decided to take the plunge with the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Girl Flower because I loved the funky floral design.  Guess what?  These are super easy to apply and remove! 
The kit comes with everything you'll need, including instructions, a dual-ended, two-sided nail file, a wooden cuticle stick, and 16 nail polish strips in a variety of sizes.
If inventory control is such a big deal, why do our Atlanta CVS stickers
say the item is intended for sale at Nashville Store 6426?  Always been
curious about that...
After unsuccessfully attempting to assemble Ikea furniture using only logic and an Allen wrench, I find reading instructions to be a worthwhile venture.  :)  According to Sally Hansen, you start with clean, dry nails,  and use the wooden stick to push back any unruly cuticles.  You then use the hot pink side of the nail file to shape your nails and the white side to gently buff the surface, following that with a swipe of polish remover to ensure a clean, oil-free surface.  Next, select a strip that best fits whichever nail you're starting with, remove the clear backing, line it up on your nail and press it on.  Smooth out the surface with the flat side of the wooden stick, smooth the excess over the tip of your nails, and then file off the excess with the light pink side of the nail file.  VOILA!  Done.  
I did my nails in under 10 minutes and there was no drying time!  No top coat necessary!  Woohoo!  You know how someone always texts you when you've just applied a coat of polish?  And your phone is at the bottom of your purse under mountains of junk just waiting to tear up your wet nails?  Not a problem with these pups!  

There were enough strips to do two manicures.  If your nails aren't super long, you could easily cut the strips in half and have enough for four!  
These were really fun and I got stopped a lot by nail lovers asking how I did the design.  These say they last up to 10 days; I got a solid 7 before I experienced some minor chipping.  For me, 7 days is quite impressive!  When it's time to remove them, you use regular polish remover and they melt right off like any other polish.  I'd rate removal A+: super easy!  These come in 40 different styles, so if floral funk isn't your bag, there's 39 other options.

Have you ever tried polish strips?  What was your experience?

My Rating: A+
Cost: $9.00 USD
Where to Buy: CVS,

Happy Monday, beautiful!  I hope you have a great week ahead!