Tuesday, October 29, 2013

REVIEW! | Urban Decay Junkie 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

UD's Junkie 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, described as a metallic teal shimmer with gold micro-sparkle, is $19.00 USD of WORTH IT.  The color is gorgeous and so unique.  Is it blue?  Is it green?  Is it sparkly?  Does it have the subtle intrigue of Ariel's tail?  Yes!  All of the above!  Junkie is one of the most interesting (and pigmented!) teals I've come across.  It glides on like Crisco.  No tugging, skipping, or swearing! ;)
The creamy consistency will have you fearing a mid-day case of the creasies chorus line, but you have nothing to fear with this bad boy!  I struggled to remove it (after a full day of wear on oily lids) armed with a Clarisonic, Olay Fresh Effects cleanser, and fierce determination.  Ok, ok, maybe fierce determination is a bit dramatic since truthfully, I just washed my face like I do every night.  I wasn't thinking this would be hard to remove as the usual one-two punch of a brush and cleanser removes most of my eye makeup.  Not this little champ!  I looked in the mirror and honestly?  It looked untouched!  My eyebrows shot up.  I was impressed!  I removed it easily with L'Oreal Clean Artiste Waterproof & Long-Wearing Eye Makeup Remover (AKA "the green one") and a cotton ball, so it isn't one of those products that has to be chiseled off.  But will it outlast April showers, summer humidity, autumn allergy eyes, and the dreaded "Wintry Mix"?  You best believe!
If you have watery eyes or just tend to tear up at heart-string tugging TV shows, books, and movies, you may want to check out a liner from this extensive color collection (40 shades!!!!!) because it's definitely waterproof!  
My Rating: A+
Where to Buy: Urban Decay

Friday, October 25, 2013

REVIEW! | MAC Scene to Be Seen Divine Night Mineralize Skinfinish

While I've never been intrigued by bad boys, I certainly get the phenomenon that we are often attracted to what's not the best thing for us.  For me, my "bad boys" are makeup related.  I am hopelessly drawn to MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, like a moth to a very sparkly flame.  I think it's high time I drop the "combination" fantasy and get real.  I have oily skin.  I've spent hours of time over the years blotting my face with oil absorbing sheets and translucent powders trying to beat back the sheen, like an out of control wildfire.  Why would someone who does everything they can to combat shine, be interested in a product that adds shimmer?  I can't really answer this reasonably.  All I can say for myself is I find the MSF's GORGEOUS.  So when my eye spied the mauvelous Scene to Be Seen, part of MAC's 2013 Divine Night Holiday collection, I was determined to have a Tim Gunn-approved make it work moment.  
 The Divine Night collection packaging is matte black with gold lettering.  Classically festive!
 Why hello there!  MAC describes Scene to Be Seen as a "Mauve with pink sheen / Brick rose with gold reflects."  When you swirl your brush across the pan and combine the two shades, what you get is a beautiful pinky mauve with shimmer.  I'd definitely take care to avoid applying it too close to your nose or else it will emphasize pores on your inner cheek.
I applied it over matte finish liquid foundation, translucent setting powder, and kept my eyes matte with the help of the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.  I finished off the look with a mid-tone plum lipstick, MAC Private Party cremesheen (review coming soon!).  Wearing Scene to Be Seen without any other forms of shimmer on my face really helped keep me from sashaying into disco ball territory.  It wore well for about 6 hours on me and then it started to fade.  
I don't know why this photo looks airbrushed!  Scout's honor - the only edit I made to the photo was cropping it.  I think it's a combo of the lighting in my room and the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation!

I think this MSF could be improved a bit with a more refined shimmer so as not to emphasize pores and a longer-lasting formulation, but overall I'm a fan!  If you're oily, you can definitely rock this product without regrets.  Just be sure to do a mid-day cheek check and blot with oil absorbing sheets if your natural sheen has started to bump up the shimmer factor too much.  Hey - if this oily gal can wear Scene to Be Seen, anyone can!

My Rating: B+
Where to Buy: MAC

In other news...HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!  Do you guys have anything fun planned?  I got to take the today off and I'm going to hang out with my mom and enjoy the chilly weather.  It's 40°F (that's 4.44°C - I looked it up, lol) here this morning so it's time for fleece and a scarf!  Woohoooo!  Also...Christmas?  It's only 60 days away!  Can y'all believe that?!  Have you started your shopping yet?

Monday, October 21, 2013

in the {beauty} bag: Melissa from Kiss & Make-up Beauty Blog

in the {beauty} bag is a series that gives you a peek into the makeup and skincare lives of some of my favorite ladies!  Today we're chatting with Melissa from Kiss & Make-up Beauty Blog.  Grab a mug of coffee or hot tea and enjoy!  
A bit of introduction: My name is Melissa and I’m a 26-year-old beauty addict from Belgium. I currently live and work in Switzerland together with my high school sweetheart Tom who I’ve been together with for more than 11 years now. I love writing about make-up and beauty, but I am also a passionate skier and I love hiking. When I’m not working for the Kiss & Make-up blog or making my way down or up a mountain, I like to go out for dinner and a few cocktails, but I also enjoy just staying in watching movies or playing games. Today I’m being featured here on Kristen’s lovely blog, and I am so excited! Aangename kennismaking iedereen*! * nice to meet you all! 
1. You are told you're going to be left on a deserted island and you have 5 minutes to pack a beauty bag (because this is totally possible!). What do you grab? 
Good lord, what a scary scenario! Let’s see… I would definitely grab black eye pencil, mascara and at least one of my eyeshadow palettes. I like to put the focus on my eyes and without eye make-up I feel really naked, so eye make-up would definitely be the first thing I’d throw in my beauty bag. I’d also take concealer and mattifying powder with me. I figure this deserted island you’re shipping me off to is going to be somewhere tropical - if not then you’re being really cruel - so I will need all the mattifying I can get. And last but not least I’d grab some tinted lip balm. My lips get dry really fast, so I need to keep them moisturized as much as I can. And I’d definitely go for a tinted version, even if there’s no one there - deserted island and all - to appreciate my pretty lip color. 
2. If you could have a $1,000 beauty shopping spree, a) where would you go and b) what would be the first item you'd buy? 
Ah, now this is a scenario I like! I’d probably go to a store like Sephora, because that way I’d have access to all my favorite brands and I would have a great variety of choices. I really love brands like Too Faced, Urban Decay, NARS, Illamasqua,… basically all the brands that I don’t have easy access to here, how ironic. And the first item I would buy? Maybe the new Urban Decay Black Market Pencil Set? Or the new NARS Sheer Matte foundation? Ooh, or maybe something from TheBalm or Bare Minerals, I’ve always wanted to try those brands!

3. What's the first makeup you remember wearing? 
Black eye pencil. I think I started wearing eyeliner when I was about 15. Soon after that I started experimenting with eyeshadow, and it was then that dark smokey eyes kind of became my signature look. And they still are! They look better now than when I first started playing with make-up though. I had a little Avril Lavigne thing going on as a teenager… *stares down in shame*
4. If you had to give up lipstick or nail polish for a year, which would you choose? 
That’s an easy one: nail polish. I am more or less in that situation right now. I started a new job in October and I can’t wear nail polish anymore. Hygienic reasons, ugh. I think it’s a silly rule, but there is nothing I can do about it so I just keep my nails bare during the work week. I go all out on Saturday and Sunday though!

5. What was your last beauty purchase? 
The Catrice Prime & Fine translucent powder. I was using a translucent powder from MAC Pro to set my foundation and to mattify my skin throughout the day, when one day I ran out without a back-up in stock. I needed a quick solution, so I ran to the supermarket, bought this cheap budget-proof powder, and lo and behold: I absolutely loved it. It’s just as good, and dare I say maybe even better than my MAC Pro powder. It does a great job setting my make-up and getting rid of shine. I have repurchased it several times now.
6. What movie/tv show/song/actor/singer/band inspired you to try something different with your makeup? 
I get inspiration everywhere, really. Magazines, movies, celebrities,… I just take bits and pieces here and there and put them together in a way that works for me. But there is not really one particular person who has inspired me to do something different with my make-up.

7. Name 5 of your absolute favorite HG products and why you love them. 
My absolute HG foundation is the Inika Liquid Foundation in the color Beige. The formula is just amazing, the finish is incredibly natural and the color is a perfect match for me.
I also love the Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof eyeliners. They have this neat little built-in sharpener which I just looooove. Every time you take the cap off the tip gets sharpened. And the color is really long-lasting and intense.
As far as skin care goes I really love Estée Lauder’s new Advanced Night Repair serum. I am going to sound like a bad commercial here, but seriously: I could already see the difference after just one night! Thanks to this serum my skin looks smoother, plumper and healthier, it’s amazing.
My all-time favorite lip color is the Smashbox Megatint Longwear Lipcolor in Whirl, a gorgeous matte pinkish red shade. The formula is kind of drying though, so I do have to wear lip balm underneath it. But that’s fine. I am so in love with the color that I don’t even mind that the formula isn’t perfect.
Sisley’s new L’Orchidée Rose highlighter blush is also a big favorite of mine. It’s gorgeous to look at, obviously, and I think it just looks sooo pretty on my skin. It adds warmth and light to my cheeks without being overpowering, and it gives me a really nice healthy glow.

8. What was your gateway product? You know, the one that took you from beauty curious to beauty junkie! 
I don’t think that there was one product in particular that made me turn into a beauty junkie. It was a gradual process. I started using make-up quite young, and over the years I’ve experimented with different things. I’ve always liked make-up, but it wasn’t until a year or three ago that I realized that make-up had become more than just a hobby and that I really wanted to do something with it.
Smoky eyes - my signature look!

9. What beauty-related thing are you not so great at? 
Applying false eyelashes. Always ends in disaster. I’ve glued my eyes shut on more than one occasion, and I’ve done it to other people as well… So yeah, if you see me coming at you with a set of fake lashes and some glue: RUN!

10. The holidays are right around the corner and everyone's releasing their seasonal bounty. What do you hope Santa brings you this year? 
Maybe some Sisley skin care? I think Sisley has amazing skin care products, but they’re so darn expensive. I have always wanted to try the Sisley Pore Minimizer, but the ridiculous price tag is holding me back. So I’m counting on you, Santa!

11. If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice when you were just learning about makeup and skincare, what would you tell yourself? 
Don’t sleep in your make-up. And it’s never too early to start moisturizing or to start using anti-aging creams.

12. One palette to rule them all. What's your can't-live-without-it palette? 
I am fickle when it comes to make-up, so favorites tend come and go with me. But a palette that I am really loving right now is the Smashbox Fade In palette from this season’s Fade To Black collection. It has some great neutrals and browns in it, as well as a gooooorgeous olive shade and a sparkly black.

Be sure to follow Melissa on bloglovin so you don't miss any of her fabulous beauty posts!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

REVIEW! | Lancome Baume in Love #130 Urban Ballet

Lancome's Baume in Love is a collection of four sheer tinted lip balms.  Urban Ballet, described as a translucent neon pink, caught my eye earlier this year because I love anything neon pink, which I believe stems from growing up in the 80's and 90's.  Neon pink was the pinnacle of rad back in the day!  I used to have these awesome hot pink shorts made of parachute material that I liked to pair with my fish-shaped belt pack.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've had the good fortune of seeing this amazing look showcased a few weeks ago on Throwback Thursday.  Good times!  ;)
Anywho, after months of hem-hawing, I finally purchased Urban Ballet and the beautiful Blush In Love in Pommettes D'Amour.
 The color reminds me of an extremely sheer version of one of my favorite pinks, NARS Roman Holiday.  However, once applied to my lips, the pink disappears and it looks like any clear balm.
The balm has no discernible scent or taste, and glides on effortlessly.  However, I found myself reapplying every 15 minutes!  It was as if the balm was evaporating in the blink of an eye.  Balm-like products usually last me about two hours.  I just did not find this balm to be that hydrating, and while I typically don't mind frequently reapplying, four times an hour is extreme.
Another thing I wasn't wild about was the tiny size of the tube.  This combined with the high rate of reapplication means it's going to be gone before you can say "jeté".  While the design of the product is attractive, it's not enough to make up for the under-performance of the balm itself.  I want super hydrated lips AND a well-designed tube for $26.00 USD!  Substance before style!

For me, Urban Ballet was a miss.  There are so many more affordable options that work so much better.  Nivea Lip Butters, I'm looking at you!

My Rating: D
Where to Buy: Nordstrom

Monday, October 14, 2013

REVIEW! | YSL Volupté Sheer Candy #8 Iced Plum

Sheer lip color lovers, this bud's for you!  Volupté Sheer Candy is a line of 14 ultra glam sheer color balms from YSL, which as you know stands for Yep, Super Lovely.  I kid!  It's Yves Saint Laurent ("eaves", not "ya-vez") and this French brand knows a little sumpin'-sumpin' about luxury.
I feel like everything awesome comes from France.  Wine.  Cheese.  Eclairs.  Fashion.  Some of my favorite English words were borrowed from the French language (premiere, genre, montage, aubergine, petite, surveillance).  Aubergine means eggplant.  Eggplant!  I mean, in English, that is not a pretty word.  Translate it over to French and you have "oh-bair-zheen"!  Gorge!  Ok, moving on from my deep-seeded love of all things French and getting back on track, let's discuss how the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy stacks up on my list of Awesome French Stuff!
Volupté Sheer Candy #8 Iced Plum is a sheer cool-toned plum with shimmer.  It can certainly be built up to medium coverage but it's impossible to overdo.  You'll never worry about needing a mirror to apply it, it's just one of those easy breezy lip products that will never go sideways on you!  I do find it nicely hydrating, lasting about 2 hours on my lips (which is on point with other silky, non-sticky balms).  It has a touch of a pleasant fruity floral scent and a sweet but indiscernible taste.  The scent fades shortly after application.  Subtlety is this gem's middle name.
The packaging of this lippie is the stuff beauty lovers swoon for.  The colored band beneath the decorative gold YSL logos reflects the color of the product inside, and the metal tube has a bit of heft to it which adds to the luxurious feel.
I wouldn't be surprised if my two lovely maids of honor each discovered one of these in their 'Thank You' clutch bags the day of my wedding!  
My Rating: A
Where to Buy: Sephora, YSL

Monday, October 7, 2013

REVIEW! | Lancome Blush in Love Pommettes D'Amour

Hello beautiful people!  I hope you've all been doing super groovy!  Today I wanted to share with you something I feel truly passionate about.  BLUSH, YO!
I've been well...in love with Pommettes D'Amour Blush in Love, a limited edition blushing beauty from Lancome, ever since I saw Rema at The Burgundy Book's post back in April.  After months of dutiful resistance, I gave in and picked it up.  After all, it is limited edition, folks, so it won't be waiting by the phone forever!
Pommettes D'Amour ("love cheekbones"), $49.00 USD, is made up of a matte peach encircled (ensquared?) by a sheer shocking pink.  Mixed together, it becomes a beautiful pinky coral that would suit anyone!
Outer ring, inner ring, mixed - heavily swatched
It's an impressive size, too!  It would take you quite some time to hit pan!  
It comes in a cardboard compact and the mirror slides completely out.  Some have grumbled that the compact should be made of something more sturdy for the price, but I think the paper packaging adds to it's artistic appeal.  Bottom line: it's pretty!
Blush in Love comes in two shades, Pommettes D'Amour and Peche Joue-Joue, which is more of an apricot peach shade.  If you've been in lurve with either of the Spring 2013 Blush in Love offerings, get 'em before they disappear from Lancome shelves forever.
Wearing Pommettes D'Amour Blush in Love 
Wearing Pommettes D'Amour Blush in Love 
My Rating: A
Where to Buy: Lancome

I have been itching to write a new post, but lately I've been quite busy getting ready for the move this Friday and watching ALL FIVE SEASONS of Breaking Bad!  We just reached season 5 last night and are now on episode 3...I do NOT know what's going to happen next and I'm really loving the show!  I just wish I'd been watching it in real time when it came out in 2008!

I'm SO ready to be in our new place!  We got to go by and see our actual apartment last week and now I'm even more excited!  Right now we're living in box paradise.  It's so stark in here without any pictures on the walls or curtains hung.  I can't wait until Friday!  

Lots of love, guys!