Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stila Convertible Color in Peony: The Most Natural Cheek Color

When I don't know what blush to wear with a purple smokey eye or a bold red lip, chances are I'll pick up my Stila Convertible Color in Peony. It's the perfect nude blush that goes great with any look whether you prefer barely-there makeup or an edgy look for a night out. The Stila Convertible Colors are a great cream blush and Peony is the best selling shade in the line for good reason. 

The Stila Convertible Color is meant for a person who's always on the go and the creamy product can be used on the lips and cheeks. Personally I don't use cream blushes as lip products but you could do that if you're in a pinch and wanting a MLBB tint. The super slim compact is very handy and perfect for travel. I like the packaging a lot because it feels sturdy and the plastic case color matches the shade of blush. Each compact holds .15 ounces of product which is quite a lot given the tiny look of it. For reference, Make Up For Ever's HD Cream Blushes are a measly .09 ounces and Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouges are .13 ounces.

The formula of this cream blush is simply perfect. This may sound dramatic but you really can't mess up with the pigmented yet not too melty texture. I like to use a brush to get the most seamless blend but you can certainly use your fingers without making a huge mess. The cream doesn't feel sticky or uncomfortable on my usually oily skin and it lasts throughout the long work day. You can also use this as a base for powder cheek colors as well. The color is warm but it is definitely a pink rose so any light to medium skintone can pull this off. Peony enhances my cheeks without making them look ruddy or dirty like some brown toned blushes can. 

All around, I'm loving the Stila Convertible Color in Peony and highly recommend it to everyone with a skintone light enough for this to show up. You can definitely build the color up if you've got a deeper coloring than me. Stila often releases sets with Peony included so definitely check out this shade as the holiday sets are rolling out! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Basic Eyebrow Routine: Shape and Fill

My brows have never been my favorite facial feature. My brow hairs insist on growing all over the place in the middle of my brow and then they stop extending at the tail so I'm left with sad half-brows. I've settled with the fact that I will probably never have power brows and I'm perfectly fine with having unobtrusive brows that blend into my overall look. Here are the handful of tools that I have been relying on recently to groom my brows.

To get rid of excess hair above the top part of my brows, I rely on an eyebrow razor because it is much less painful than tweezing and quicker as well. I purchased my eyebrow razors in a pack of three at a local Asian drugstore and they were only a few bucks. For stray hairs under my brow, I will pluck them with my trusty mini Tweezerman tweezers. I believe these Harajuku Lovers ones were on sale years ago at Sephora and they work great. I don't use stencils and kind of wing it so my brows never look quite the same when I shape them. Just the other day I was trying to shape the top of my right brow a little differently and shaved a bit too much hair so now I have a super flat brow....

But that's what we have eyebrow pencils for! I use the Innisfree Eyebrow Pencil most days. I bought this handy little pencil for less than $4 and I barely have to use any product to get the look I want. The angled edge makes it easy to draw on my brows and the spoolie on the other end is really convenient.

Recently I got a sample of the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel and have been using it after I fill in my brows to set the pencil and to keep hairs in place. I don't have many brow hairs to begin with so this step isn't necessary for me. I like that the formula doesn't make my brows feel crunchy or dry.

My brow routine is very basic and far from perfect. But I just bought a new product to play with so I'm excited to review it once I've tested it out a couple of times. Hopefully I can step up my brow game in the future because it's definitely one of my weakest features. What do you use to groom and fill your brows?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Four New Red Lipsticks: MAKE, Marcelle and LAQA & Co.

I've been collecting a few lipsticks in my collection because I haven't had the heart to use new products with so many unloved pieces already open. But I figured it was about time I swatched and gave my first impressions on these pretties because they all happen to be beautiful red shades that I especially love now that we're heading into chillier months. I'm simply going to give you my first impressions of these lipsticks since I wore them one after the other just to see how they swatch so I can't comment on things like lasting power and comfortability over time.

I have two shades of MAKE Silk Cream Lipsticks in Hudson Red and Maraschino Cherry. A few months ago I received the Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipstick in Amour and decided to finally swatch it for this comparison post. Lastly is the LAQA & Co. Lil' Lip in Ring of Fire which I chose for my October Build Your Own Birchbox.

MAKE's Hudson Red is the deepest red out of the bunch and it's looking a bit brighter on my lip swatch than it does in real life. I picked up this shade because I wanted a deeper, sultry red that I could wear with darker eye makeup for the fall. The formula is creamy and the lipstick felt nice on my lips for the short amount of time I had it on. I actually tried this lipstick on last which is why I seem to have migrating lipstick stains around the edges of my lips. Don't worry, this lipstick didn't seem to bleed but I would probably want to buy a lip liner just so I could define my lips before wearing this out.

Maraschino Cherry was a shade I was very excited to wear because it looks like the perfect vibrant red in the tube. However, it pulled quite pink on my lips and borders on looking garish. On top of that, this formula is not moisturizing and much drier than Hudson Red even though they are part of the same line. Strange.... The jury is out on this one.

Marcelle really blew me away with Amour because I wasn't expecting the formula to be as opaque and creamy as it is. The packaging turned me away and I honestly would never have thought to purchase this on my own but I'm so glad I was given this as gratis. This particular shade is stunning and the perfect classic retro-red. The lipstick glided on like butter and the shade instantly brightened my complexion. Love this!

Lastly is LAQA's Ring of Fire which looks more like a fuchsia on my lips. The chubby pencil is easy to apply but it is quite difficult to define the edges of the lips given the rounded tip. The pencil has great color payoff and is buildable. The formula is very light so product does not settle into lines. This is one of the better lip pencils I've had the pleasure of trying.

I can't wait to sport these fun lipsticks all fall and winter long. The Marcelle lipstick is amazing and I look forward to testing it out some more. The MAKE lipsticks were okay but given the $25 price tag, they could have been a lot better. The LAQA & Co. mini is pretty good but I would probably want to use a lip brush to help me get a really even application. Which is your favorite shade out of the four? Have you tried any of these brands?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

W3LL PEOPLE Elitist Mineral Eyeshadow in Sparkling Salmon

W3LL PEOPLE is a brand I had not heard of prior to seeing them on Birchbox's website. The premise of W3LL PEOPLE is that makeup is applied onto the skin and the ingredients are absorbed by our bodies and thus, affect our health. Three people got together, a dermatologist, a makeup artist and a marketer with a passion for the environment to start the company and the rest is history. I placed an order on Birchbox recently and with a $35 purchase you can get a free full-size W3LL PEOPLE mineral eyeshadow in Sparking Salmon with code WPSHADOW. Even though I work for Birchbox, I technically bought this with my own money and highly recommend checking out this gift with purchase!

It's honestly hard to tell on Birchbox's site what color Sparkling Salmon is. The stock photo makes it look like a flat beige but in reality it is a beautiful shimmery coral. The shadow comes packaged in a simple plastic jar with a screw top lid. Everything is clearly labeled on a sticker on the top of the lid. The full size jar contains .05 ounces of product and retails for $16. This is exactly the same price per ounce for a Mac eyeshadow so I would categorize this as a mid-end product. I do think you would use up this loose shadow faster than a pressed shadow though. Compared to other indie mineral eyeshadows, this is quite pricey.

Sparkling Salmon is a very flattering golden coral which a beautiful sheen. I love this shadow all over the inner and middle portion of the eyelid with a matte brown in the crease. I highly recommend using an eyeshadow base and cream under this product to minimize fallout. When I swatched this shadow on bare skin, I found it was a bit too easy to blend the product away. I wish there was a bit more grip to this shadow so it would adhere to the skin better. 

W3LL PEOPLE prides itself on using natural ingredients and staying away from parabens, petrochemicals, silicones, glycols and sulphates. Above is the short ingredients list for those who are interested.

I am really pleased with the W3LL PEOPLE Elists Mineral Eyeshadow as a gift with purchase but I probably wouldn't spend $16 for another one. The loose eyeshadow format makes it a bit messier to use, especially when I'm fumbling around at seven in the morning before work. If you're into natural products and don't mind the extra effort, this is worthy of a look due to the beautiful color!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher: Rediscovered Drugstore Gem

Every once in awhile I go through my collection to pull items I've had for awhile and try them out again. I recently remembered I had these two Color Icon Blushers from Wet n Wild and after going through my archives, I realized I never properly swatched or reviewed these. I haven't been buying a lot of drugstore makeup recently but after swatching these again, I remembered the great quality that some bargain brands offer. The formula of these blushes are on par, if not better, than many of my high-end blushes but cost only $3!

The two shades I have are Berry Shimmer and Mellow Wine. Berry Shimmer looks just as the name would suggest, a berry pink with golden micro-shimmer. Mellow Wine is a rose nude shade that looks like a natural flush. Both shades are ultra-pigmented at first swipe and are smooth and easily blended out. Unlike the Wet n' Wild eyeshadows which can kick up quick a bit of powder when you dip your brush in, the blushes do less of that.

Here is an up-close look at Berry Shimmer so you can see the luminosity it gives the skin. Obviously you wouldn't wear such a heavy swatch on a daily basis but you can see the multidimensional glimmer it provides the skin. The shimmer does not accentuate pores and is not glittery. Mellow Wine is a beautiful matte shade and I'm glad Wet n Wild has two matte blushes because they can be hard to find at the drugstore. 

I highly recommend checking these blushes out, especially if you're on a budget. There are a total of four shades in this line and after writing this post I think I should go out and purchase the other two I don't have. Pearlescent Pink is a shimmery pink and Heather Silk is a matte mid-tone pink. I hope Wet n Wild expands this line in the future as the formula is just that good! Have you tried Wet n Wild blushes? What is your favorite drugstore blush?