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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Collection and Swatches: Browns Palette



First Row: Stars Makeup Haven Bohemia, Mac Bronze, Coastal Scents ME06, Mac Mulch, Stars Makeup Haven Cashmere, Mac Sable, Mac Twinks
Second Row: Mac Patina, Coastal Scents S05, Stars Makeup Haven Primal, ELF Moondust, Stars Makeup Haven Breathless, Mac Satin Taupe, Stars Makeup Haven Frenzy
Third Row: Mac Amber Lights, Coastal Scents ME23, Mac Woodwinked, Coastal Scents ME22, Mac Romp, Stars Makeup Haven Couture, Mac Tempting
Fourth Row: Mac Antiqued, Mac Sorcery Limited Edition, Coastal Scents S28, Stars Makeup Haven Dominatrix, Mac Dark Soul Pigment, Mac Carbon

Favorites: I love using Patina, Breathless or Woodwinked on my lids, and Twinks, Satin Taupe, Tempting or Antiqued on my crease. Carbon also adds depth and the finishing touch to any look.



Skip:  Bohemia and ME22 are very chunky and glittery. Moreover, they are too hard to work with. I would definitely not repurchase.

I would also skip Sorcery
if you already have Mac Sketch. Sorcery is a dark brown with burgundy undertones and has a semi-matte, satin finish. Sketch is more pigmented and darker. 

Dupes: Amber Lights and ME23 are very similar. If you take a quick look at both eyeshadows, they look exactly the same. The only difference would be the undertones. Amber Lights has a more orange undertone, while ME23 has a more reddish, copper undertone. I would only buy one of the two and not both.

Sable and Cashmere are close dupes; however, Sable has a more taupe undertone. Also, the texture of Cashmere is smoother and has more fall outs. If you are on a budget, I would definitely get Cashmere, but if you want a higher quality eyeshadow, I would get Sable.

S28 and Dominatrix are also exact dupes. They are a dark brown with burgundy undertones. They have a shimmer finish and are very easy to blend. They are nice colors to define the outer v and to work with.

Satin Taupe and Frenzy may look a little bit alike in the pictures, but I wouldn't call them dupes. Satin Taupe is a true taupe color, whereas Frenzy is much darker and has a more brown undertone.

Romp and Couture may also look similar, but they are not dupes. Romp has a more golden undertone, while Couture has a more brown undertone.

Dark Soul is very shimmery, while Carbon is matte. I usually prefer to grab Carbon for my outer v to balance everything out, since I use shimmery colors for my lids and crease. I don't want my eye to look like it got pounded by a glitter ball.

Note: Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Stars Makeup Haven eyeshadows cost $6.00 for 1.3 grams. Coastal Scents eyeshadows cost $1.95 for 1.5 grams. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.



What are your favorite brown eyeshadows? 

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Collection and Swatches: Plums Greens Blues & Silver Palette



First Row: Coastal Scents S13, Stars Makeup Haven Wine Not?, Mac Hepcat, Mac Plum Dressing, Mac Star Violet, Mac Cranberry, Coastal Scents ME15
Second Row: Mac Humid, Stars Makeup Haven Regal, Mac Greensmoke, Stars Makeup Haven Black Forest, Mac Sumptuous Olive, ELF Sage, Coastal Scents ME01
Third Row: Mac Cornflower Pigment, Stars Makeup Haven Dress Blues, Mac Star By Night Limited Edition, Stars Makeup Haven Walkin' After Midnight, Mac Deep Truth, Mac Contrast
Fourth Row: Mac Silver Fog Pigment, Mac Electra, Stars Makeup Haven Electra-Fied, Mac Silver Ring, Mac Knight Divine, Stars Makeup Haven Smoke and Mirrors


Favorites: I love using S13, Wine Not?, Hepcat or Cranberry for my crease. 

To create a smokey look, I love wearing Humid or Regal on my lids. To make it look less dramatic, I use Sumptuous Olive on lids and pair it with Humid or Regal on my crease. 

Sage and ME01 look like they're in the browns family, but they have gorgeous olive undertones; however, my camera isn't picking it up.

Skip: Electra-Fied has too much glitter.

Dupes: S16 and S13 look similar, but I wouldn't call them dupes. S16 has a more violet undertone, while S13 has a more plum undertone.

Star By Night and Walkin' After Midnight are dupes. Star By Night is a more navy blue color, while Walkin' After Midnight has a slight purple undertone, but you can barely tell. Deep Truth is more frosty and is a true blue. Contrast is the darkest among them and has a purple undertone.

Note: Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Stars Makeup Haven eyeshadows cost $6.00 for 1.3 grams. Coastal Scents eyeshadows cost $1.95 for 1.5 grams. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.


What are your favorite blue and green eyeshadows? 

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Collection and Swatches: Pinks and Purples Palette



First Row: Stars Makeup Haven Aurora, Mac Da Bling, Mac Swish, Mac Pink Venus, Stars Makeup Haven Protege, Mac Perky Limited Edition, Mac Sushi Flower
Second Row: Stars Makeup Haven Cat's Meow, Mac Fuchsia Pigment, Coastal Scents ME12, Mac La La Limited Edition, Coastal Scents S06, Coastal Scents S16
Third Row: Mac Paradisco, Mac Expensive Pink, Coastal Scents ME03, Coastal Scents ME05,Stars Makeup Haven Foxy, Mac Violet Pigment, Stars Makeup Haven Ultra Violet
Fourth Row: Stars Makeup Haven Vintage, Mac Circa Plum Pigment, Stars Makeup Haven Chic, Stars Makeup Haven Raisin' Cane, Coastal Scents S14, Stars Makeup Haven Plum Crazy


Favorites: I absolutely love wearing Cat's Meow or S06 on my crease. I've already hit pan, but good thing I have a backup. =)

Skip: Aurora is a light wash of pink with chunks of glitter. It is blendable, but the glitter gets all over your face.

ME12 also has lots of glitter. I would definitely skip it because I have trouble applying it and blending it.

Dupes: Perky and Sushi Flower are not dupes. Perky has a more coral undertone, while Sushi Flower has a more hot pink undertone.

Cat's Meow and Fuchsia look very similar in the picture. However, Cat's Meow is a true pink, while Fuchsia is a more hot pink color.


Note: Violet looks a little bit yucky in the picture because I spilled some water on it. That's what happens when moisture gets on the eyeshadows; therefore, I don't recommend swatching using your fingers because of the natural oils that your hands produce.

Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Stars Makeup Haven eyeshadows cost $6.00 for 1.3 grams. Coastal Scents eyeshadows cost $1.95 for 1.5 grams. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.

What are your favorite pink and purple eyeshadows?

 
*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Collection and Swatches: Highlights and Pigments Palette



First Row: Mac Blanc Type, Stars Makeup Haven Creme D'Nude, Mac Brule, Mac Vanilla, Mac Vapour, Mac Rosy Outlook, Mac Ego
Second Row: Stars Makeup Haven Southern Belle, Mac Shroom, Mac Tissueweight Limited Edition, Mac Naked Lunch, Stars Makeup Haven Sin-Sational, Stars Makeup Haven Guilty as Sin, Coastal Scents ME13
Third Row: Mac Jest, Mac All That Glitters, Mac Kitschmas Pigment, Mac Naked Pigment, Mac Tan Pigment, Mac Tea Time Pigment, Mac Chocolate Brown Pigment
Fourth Row: Mac Solar Bits Bronzescape Limited Edition, Mac Solar Bits Impassioned Limited Edition, Mac Heritage Rouge Pigment, Mac Vintage Gold Pigment, Mac Golden Olive Pigment, Mac Antique Green Pigment

Favorites: I love to use Shroom and Tissueweight for the inner corners to brighten up my eyes. Since I usually wear shimmery colors on my lids, I don’t use them as a highlight for my brow bone because they have a shimmery finish. 

I love to pack Naked Lunch, All That Glitters, or Tan onto my lids and pair it with a brown color on my crease to create a neutral look.


Skip: Guilty as Sin, ME13, Kitschmas, Bronzescape, and Impassioned are filled with chunks of glitter that get all over your face. I have a hard time applying them and blending them.

Sin-Sational is a nice champagne color that goes on very creamy and blends really smoothly. However, a lot of product falls out when I apply it. It also does not last all day long (even with my Too Faced Primer) like a lot of my other eyeshadows do.

Dupes: Blanc Type and Vanilla may look a little bit similar in the pictures, but they are not dupes. Blanc Type is a light beige color with a matte finish, while Vanilla is more white and has a little bit of shimmer. Vapour and Naked both have a little bit of shimmer, but Vapour is a pale pink color, while Naked has a peach undertone.

Crème D’Nude looks peachier in the pan, but when swatched, it looks like a beige color. Brule has a deeper beige color with a satin finish. I applied Crème D’Nude on my left brow bone and Brule on my other, but couldn’t tell a difference. However, Crème D’Nude had a more powdery application and more fall outs, while Brule went on smoothly with no fall outs. 

Rosy Outlook and Southern Belle may look similar, but Southern Belle is a much darker pink and cannot be used as a highlight, while Rosy Outlook can.

Ego has a more pink undertone, while Jest has a more peach undertone. I wouldn't call them dupes.

Note: Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Stars Makeup Haven eyeshadows cost $6.00 for 1.3 grams. Coastal Scents eyeshadows cost $1.95 for 1.5 grams. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.


What highlight color do you use the most? 


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Mac 109 Small Contour Brush vs Mac 187 Duo Fiber Brush

Mac 109 Small Contour Brush
I bought the Mac 109 Small Contour Brush and the Mac 187 Duo Fiber Brush together about 3 months ago. I use both solely for liquid foundation. I find the 109 easier to use than the 187 because the 109 gets into small areas easier than the 187. I also get the same coverage with both brushes; however, I need to use a little bit more foundation to cover my entire face with the 109. I do notice that the 187 gives me a slightly more airbrushed look, but it also takes me longer to stipple than to buff out my foundation.

Neither of the two brushes shedded at all during the first month's use. Now, the 109 sheds one strand of hair each time I use it. If you stipple and swirl with the 187, then the foundation will touch the bottom part of the bristles where the natural fibers are, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you only stipple with the 187, which is its intended use, then there will be no shedding.

Also, there is no difference in the finish if you stipple and swirl with the 187 and buff with the 109. If you're doing that with the 187, then you might as well just save your money and buy a buffer brush because you'll get the same results.

The 109 was designed to apply and blend powder products. It is made of natural fibers; therefore, I try not to use it as much for liquid foundation. Liquid and cream products may be too harsh for the bristles.

Mac 187 Duo Fiber Brush
The 187 is made from a blend of goat and synthetic fibers. The top white part of the brush is synthetic. Therefore, it is safer to use liquid and cream products with the 187.

Some foundations stain the 187, while others don't. The Make Up For Ever HD Foundation doesn't stain the brush, but my Dior Forever foundation did.

Although the 109 is $10.00 cheaper, I would recommend buying the 187 if you plan on using the brush for stippling and solely for liquid foundation. The 187 may last longer for that purpose since it has synthetic fibers. Also, I find that it leaves a better finish.

The Mac 109 brush is a little over 7 inches long and costs $32.00. The Mac 187 brush is a little bit shorter than 7 inches and costs $42.00. They are available at Nordstrom.

This is a big investment for a brush, but I personally believe that it will save you money in the long run by purchasing a high quality brush. 

Which brush do you prefer to use for liquid foundation?


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara Waterproof


The CoverGirl Lash Blast Waterproof Mascara was one of the first mascaras that I used. I bought it in very black. I also tried the original and non-waterproof version, but it left black smudges under my eyes after a few hours. The waterproof mascara doesn't do that. In addition, it doesn't drip down your face when it's raining.

It claims to volumize lashes, but it did not do that for me. The mascara only lengthened my lashes. However, I love the fact that I only need one coat. It also does not flake or clump at all. It lasts all day. So in order to remove it, I have to use my Sonia Kashuk eye makeup remover.

It costs $6.50 at drugstore.com, Target and Ulta.

Did this mascara work for you?


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Review: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion


I usually break out a week before my period starts. I would get two to three pimples and a few blemishes all over my T-Zone. 

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion claims to reduce breakouts in 8 hours and prevent new breakouts. It contains 2.0% salicylic acid.

I started to use it the week before my period for seven days straight, after I washed my face in the morning and night. This product is amazing! I had one small pimple and two to three very tiny blemishes on my T-Zone. When a huge pimple pops up on my face, I put the lotion on that spot. About 12 hours later, the size of that pimple reduced. 

It did dry the area around my nose a little bit when I first started using it, but now it doesn't. Although I still have acne, it minimized it.

It contains 1.7 fl. oz and costs $8.49 at Ulta and drugstore.com. I may try other products from the same line after getting such good results from this product.

Did you get the same results I did?


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
 

Damaged Coarse Hair


In October 2009, I had to chemically strip my black hair dye in order to dye my hair a different color. I did that and then a couple of months later, I dyed my hair a different color. I did not wait long enough, so my hair got fried and excessively damaged. There was no treatment out in the market that could have fixed my damaged, coarse hair. All those pills, hot oil treatments, shampoos, and conditioners that claim to fix damaged hair are deceptive. The most that they can do is mask the damage, but not fix it. 

I had hair that reached down to my breasts and it was damaged from scalp to the end of my hair. I decided to cut it up to my chin. I then started taking Nature's Bounty Biotin 5000mcg supplement to promote hair growth and hair strength. I took one pill each day with food. The pills are so small and easy to swallow. The first thing I noticed within 3 weeks was that my nails were much stronger and grew so much faster than before. After 6 weeks, I noticed my hair was growing faster too.


I stopped using shampoo all over my hair because most contain harsh ingredients, such as ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc. They strip away the natural oils that your hair makes and cause it to become dry. Therefore, I only used a nickel size of shampoo on my scalp where it produced the most oils. I did this depending on how greasy my scalp looked. I did not use shampoo all over my hair because the midsection part and the ends were excessively dry.

Afterwards, I used Wen Cleansing Conditioner (10 pumps) and left it on my hair for about 15 minutes and then rinsed. (I do not recommend this conditioner if you have healthy hair because it will make your hair look greasy.) It costs $32 for 16 fl. oz. 

After I got out of the shower, I sprayed John Frieda Frizz-Ease Heat Defeat Protective Styling Spray (6 fl. oz $5.99) all over my hair and used a quarter size dollop of John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme (5 oz. $5.39) on the ends of my hair. Then, I blow-dryed my hair straight. Finally, I straightened it with a flat iron and it looked healthy and not as damaged as it originally was. The creme really did make a difference. Without it, my ends would curl out and look fried.

All the steps that I took only made my hair look heathy. It did not magically fix my damaged hair. If I washed it with a regular conditioner like Tresemme and did not use John Frieda's styling products, my hair would look so damaged and feel so dry. 

The only way I fixed my damaged hair was by getting a trim every 6 weeks. After 10 months, my hair is not as damaged as before. It looks healthy and feels less coarse now. 

I stopped using Wen's Cleansing Conditioner and John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme. I now use Dove Intensive Repair Daily Treatment Conditioner (8 fl. oz. $5.99). If I use too much, my scalp would look so greasy a few hours later. So, I only use a quarter size dollop and place most of the conditioner on my ends.

If you have excessively damaged hair, my advice would be to be patient and keep trimming your hair. Hair grows much slower if it is unhealthy and damaged. You could also prevent this from happening by limiting the use of heating products and chemicals. 

Have you experienced any hair disasters? 


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
 
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