Happy New Year!! My first post in 2015 is on some products that I’m really happy about.
OH MY GOD I was excited for this order, but Ten Three Labs has exceeded my expectations! I ordered the Rocky Blogger Sample Show, which includes 1 salve stick and 4 smudge sticks. I asked Cara, the owner of Ten Three Labs, for any Hunger Games samples if she’s got some left over. She sent me THREE FULL SIZE shadows instead! Incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever leave indie makeup now.
The order also came with some candy and a snap bracelet. Remember those? Helloooo my 90s childhood! Everything is shrink wrapped, which I appreciate (PRO TIP: don’t be a dummy like me and rip off the shrink wrap on the salve/smudge sticks all the way. Its perforated at the top so you can just take off the cap part and keep the rest protected).
Cara of Ten Three Labs is really amazing with customer service. I emailed her with a concern about the salve stick, and she responded within the hour! I’m also impressed with Ten Three Labs’ TAT, especially during the holiday season.
Ordered: December 18, 2014
Shipped: December 23, 2014
Received: December 26, 2014
The Rocky Blogger Sampler Show (smudge sticks edition) cost $18 plus shipping.
I’m so psyched that these shadows were thrown in as freebies; I still can’t believe it since they’re all full sized. The names of these shadows hit me right in the feels, especially Real and Not Real (OH MY GOD PEETA BABY!). I think Ash On Leather comes from this quote, from Mockingjay:
“I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.”
All shadows are swatched with Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer on the right and bare on the left. In my opinion, the pigmentation is pretty good even without the primer (especially Ash On Leather), although the staying power is much better with.
“I need tissue. I can’t deal.”
Ethereal white with multicolored shifts. Lip safe, contains glitter!
The glitter in this is very subtle, and the color as a whole definitely feels ethereal, like fairy dust.
“Right in the feels, man.”
Dark brown base with a green shift. Lip safe!
On me, the ‘green shift’ is really noticeable, lending a camo green feeling.
ASH ON LEATHER
“No spoilers here since this is from the very first page. Wait. Maybe spoilers if you haven’t read Mockingjay yet. Okay, I will avoid spoilers somehow. But Katniss walking around spoilers and looking around at spoilers, the ash on leather remark stuck with me.”
Whoops. I guess I spoiled it already 😛 BUT it’s the first sentence from the first page so… please forgive me. Ash On Leather is even more beautiful in person, because the camera fails to capture the full spectrum of shimmer. To me, the shimmer is primarily green-blue-purple.
Salve sticks are lip balms, and they are made with avocado oil and mango seed butter. I have very dry lips and most lip balms don’t cut it for me (yes, I have tried them all). So far, the salve stick is smooth without being oily and tacky. I find the texture of the salve stick unlike any other lip balm, and I really love it. There is a little tingling from the mint on application, which goes away quickly. There is a slight graininess (which I think is from the way different oils cool; e.g. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy and Julep Luxe Lip is like this too), but this goes away immediately after being warmed up on the lips. I emailed Cara about this, and she said that it’s due to the temperature fluctuations during shipping, and is not harmful.
If my lips are already peeling, then the salve stick doesn’t really help (unlike the Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, which makes lip peelies go away), but it doesn’t exacerbate it either (damn you Burt’s Bees!). Out of everything I received, salve sticks are what I want to get more of immediately, to make sure I always have one handy!
Gingerbread Haus has a light sweet Gingerbread scent with a touch of peppermint. This scent was part of the 2014 Holiday Limited Editions.
Smudge sticks have the same base formula as salve sticks, but are tinted. With the ones I got, especially Nice List and La Maison Derriere, they were so pigmented that I think they are more like lipsticks. Because the smudge sticks are in a moisturizing base, they feel great on the lips, but their wear time is short, and with some formulas, may get patchy over time (for me, Naughty List did this).
Nice List and Naughty List are part of the holiday collection, and La Maison Derriere is a Simpsons reference. Cara says that the main collection of smudge sticks, including Princess, will be phased out on January 15 so that they can focus on the limited edition collections, so I’m glad I grabbed it now.
I like the oval shaped tube because it keeps it from tumbling around my desk, but I had a hard time applying these properly because of the oval shape. I’m getting better with practice. I actually don’t recommend using a lip brush with these. The formula has a lot of slip for moisture, and when I tried using a brush the colors were just pushed around but not spread evenly. With the non-sparkly colors, I found that they actually make a nice matte lip after blotting.
All the smudge sticks are swatched straight out of the tube, with two coats.
Peach with gold flecks, peach flavored
Because this one is not opaque, there is a noticeable difference between top and bottom lip. I wish the base color was stronger so that it would look less like a gloss and more like a lipstick.
This is a great everyday color for me, mellow but cheery. It actually has pretty good coverage, even with just one coat.
LA MAISON DERRIERE
Put the spring back in Springfield while wearing this dark vampy color!
The Simpsons episode that it references is hilarious, and wearing this color definitely makes me feel a little burlesque-risque. This is my favourite color of all the smudge sticks! It takes two coats to get even and opaque. This tube was actually overfilled (more product, whoop). In the swatch picture, it looks patchy because the tube was overfilled so not flat on the top like the others. I promise that with two coats it looks perfect on the lips.
Deep violet with a red sheen
I found that on me, Naughty List actually shows up closer to black. This one is really hard to get an even color on, even after applying a few coats with a brush. Because of it’s moisturizing formula, it seems to slip a lot, and it’s very noticeable because of the color. It also makes any cracks and chapping more noticeable. I think it looks better after blotting, but then it looks a little grey and loses its sheen. I’m a little disappointed in this one, but I think I have finicky lips, so YMMV.
This was my first ever purchase from Ten Three Labs, but it won’t be my last!
Performance Colors is an indie makeup brand that many people love for their super saturated and nondrying lipsticks. They also sell eye colors (pressed, cream, and pencil), pressed foundation, pressed blush, and cream concealer. I decided to go with the tried-and-true and placed an all lipstick order. Their lipsticks come in two types, restorative and matte, and there is a HUGE range of colors. I had a hard time narrowing down to what I wanted! Not every color on their Etsy store has a lip swatch though, which would have been helpful, as the colors in the tube look darker than they do when swatched.
My order came in two separate baggies, each with a label about the type of lipstick they are, with ingredient lists. I received a sample of Vertigo, in a little clamshell. I appreciate how nicely labeled everything is!
Overall, these lipsticks are true lipsticks and not tinted lip balms. They are super pigmented and both formulas have pretty good staying power, even through drinking and eating. Lipsticks feel nice and smooth. Every color I got stained the lips in a nice way that doesn’t settle into cracks. They also do well with added lip balm underneath or on top of the color, if you have dry lips like me and would like a little extra moisture.
Ordered on December 21, 2014
Shipped on December 26, 2014
Received on December 29, 2014.
TAT was really great during the holiday season, and the price was right too! Performance Colors offers a pack of three lipsticks for the price of two ($12), and on top of that if you spend $20 they will throw in a free lipstick! I also used a 10% Reddit discount, and in total I paid $21.60 plus shipping. Tiffany was a great communicator too, and responded to my question about stacking the discounts within a day.
Feels like a balm, looks like lipstick
While these lipsticks do feel like a balm, I wouldn’t say that they are restorative in the way a balm is, especially in comparison to a tinted lip balm like the Ten Three Labs smudge sticks. Each has a pearlescent sheen, and of the four colors I got, Zombie Bride and South of France are the shiniest. I was a little iffy about Zombie Bride because it is such a dark color in the tube, but I picked it up because everyone who raves about Performance Colors seem to adore it. They were right! It’s a very unique vampy color and I was impressed by the full dark plum base with blue shimmer, plus, it leaves a beautiful stain. My favourite restorative color of the bunch is Orchid, it goes on as a pinkish lavender that gives a ‘fresh’ look.
Extended wear formula feels great on – stays put won’t dry out your lips super saturated color
As you can see in the picture, the matte lipsticks are more opaque than the restorative formula. Vertigo and Neon Flamingo took two swipes to reach opacity, and Hibiscus and Pink Choco only took one swipe. I found Neon Flamingo to be difficult to apply properly, because one coat looks patchy and is not quite opaque, but two coats can look a little heavy. I definitely had to blot it to make it look right. Hibiscus and Pink Choco however, are amazing. Easy to apply evenly, and Pink Choco is a fantastic MLBB color.
These matte lipsticks live up to their claim of not being drying, but because of that there is a slight sheen to these lipsticks due to moisture. As they dry the sheen goes away and the lipstick becomes truly matte. Although they are not drying, they are not as moist as the restorative formula.
I only learned about e.l.f. a couple years ago, when I moved to New York. In Canada, it’s not popular at all, because (as far as I know) e.l.f. isn’t sold there. In case you don’t know, e.l.f. – as in, eyes, lips, face – is a cosmetics line that strives to sell professional grade products at a great value. Great value is kind of an understatement, in my opinion, because e.l.f. is so budget friendly that I had a hard time taking it seriously. When a blush and bronzer duo is only $3.00 (compare to NARS blush/bronzer duo at $42.00), you expect it to suck, right?
I haven’t had the chance to test drive these products around town, but my first impression is positive. I admit that I’m pretty impressed by most of these products, given the low low low price (Next thing you know/Shawty got low low low low, low low low low/I ain’t never seen nuthin’ that’ll make me go/This crazy all night spendin my dough). My favourites so far:
Studio Kabuki Face Brush ($6) – soft and full. It’s a little smaller than some Kabukis, but that’s actually a plus for me because I like smaller tools than most. It arrived with some stray hairs, which I snipped off.
Mineral Face Primer ($6) – Thank you e.l.f for using a pump! Standard clear silicone formula, feels like the original Smashbox Photo Finish on first application. Not better than Benefit Porefessional or Laura Mercier’s Primer, but oh so good for the price. Plus, the bottle is reusable (yes I already took it apart to investigate), which is a HUGE plus for me, as I like to depot non-pump products into pump bottles.
Studio Moisturizing Lipstick in Ravishing Rose ($3) – I like the color indicator on the bottom, and the formula is so smooth and actually well pigmented (which is my fear when it comes to lipsticks advertised as moisturizing – sometimes the color payoff is not so good). The twisting mechanism of the packaging is really tight though, kind of annoying, but the lipstick itself is awesome enough that it doesn’t matter much. Totally MLBB lippy.
High Definition Powder ($6) – translucent powder with a puff. I like the packaging (I’m looking at you, Cover FX setting powder that arrived with a broken lid) and I’m hoping it’ll turn out to be a dupe for Make Up Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder.
Overall I’m really happy with the performance of these e.l.f. products, especially considering my entire haul together was around the cost of a single Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.
Hi~! A few days ago I received my August Julep Maven box, in Boho Glam. August’s collection is named The Art Walk, so of course, being an art historian, I had to have it.
I’m really loving these colors for fall, and grey is one of my favourites year round. I’m sure these two polishes, Erin (grey) and Mary Lee (burgundy) will star in one of my upcoming Manicure Mondays, so I won’t talk too much about them today.
The plush pout lip crayon is an interesting hybrid. It is a twist-style crayon, with a moisturizing core in the middle and lipstick on the edges. First off, I know crayons are trendy, but I don’t see any advantages lip crayons have over conventional lipstick tubes, especially when they’re twisties and have a cap (if someone makes a capless crayon, then I’m on board). The color and saturation of Plush Pout is really great, buuuuut that moisturizing core in the center really throws me off balance. On one hand, with the moisturizing core, this is a nicely smooth medium-wear lip color. On the other hand, the colorless core makes even application of the lip color tricky. In my opinion, the way to achieve the most even coverage is by using a lip brush – which defeats the point of a carry-all crayon. I’m not sure how much this Plush Pout retails for on its own, but as part of this fall set, I’m glad to have it.
If you love what you see here and want to sign up for your own fully customizable Julep Maven box or check out their full selection of great beauty products, I have two great deals for you!
Calling all One Direction fans: this sneak peek review is for you! I received one of three exclusive makeup sets from The Looks Collection by One Direction, thanks to Brandbacker and cosmetics company Markwins. I got “Up All Night,” a fun cobalt and pink centered set. If you’re curious about the other limited edition tins from The Looks Collection, be sure to see my overview of the collection.
First, let’s look at the collectible tin the products are housed in! The picture of the band is on a transparent plastic sleeve, and after you slip it off, you get a grunge-chic black and white brick design.
Nestled inside the tin are 7 products. A great feature is the inside of the lid, which gives you suggestions on fun ways to use the set.
The first thing I picked up was the 5 Color Eyeshadow Palette.
‘More Than This’ is a soft coral cream, which is great as a base and for highlighting the inner corners and brow bone. ‘Save You Tonight’ is an icy turquoise which would work on its own for fresh eyes (for a modern look, follow the lash line and don’t wing out or touch the crease) or to illuminate the ball of the lid. ‘Gotta Be You’ is a taupe with a light shimmer, and would be best used in the crease and outer V of the eyes. ‘Another World’ is a royal blue shimmer, and I think it looks very chic as part of an updated smokey eye. The last color is ‘Up All Night,’ what the box sleeve describes as “sapphire glitter creme” but it’s really a lot of glitter without much creamyness.
The staying power and saturation of these eyeshadows are just average, although the colors are vibrant. You will definitely need to use some primer or setting spray with these eyeshadows; since every color has a shimmer/glitter element, there is some fallout. All the colors in this palette would work well with ‘Stand Up,’ a dark denim eye and body chubby crayon. I really like the color of ‘Stand Up,’ as this kind of blue brightens the whites of your eyes and is a great alternative to black or brown liner.
The greatest downfall of the palette’s packaging, IMO, is that there is no built in mirror, and the ‘brush’ end of the included applicator sucks at picking up pigment – I would much rather prefer to have 2 sponge ends.
The next product is ‘Na Na Na’, an aqua blue metallic chrome nail varnish. To me, this polish is way more green with blue shadows and is not aqua blue as described. It is a very high shine metallic, and while it applies smoothly, is strangely thin. It took me 5 coats to reach opacity, and since it’s not colored glitter in a clear base, it’s not really suitable as a glitter coat on another color. Hm. On the plus side, it’s easy to remove.
The ‘Little Black Dress’ volumizing black mascara is not so much volumizing as it is lengthening. I do like its dense applicator brush and smooth formula, which managed to hold onto my stick straight lashes and keep them in place.
‘Taken’ Liquilights Glow Gloss was my absolute favourite product of the bunch! It has a great flat round edge applicator and the formula is smooth and feels good on the lips. The color reminds me of one of my favourite glosses of all time, Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Passionfruit. I love ‘Taken’ so much, I threw it in my purse right away!
The box sleeve says that this “powerhouse glitter pink lip gloss” has a secret feature: it “glows to neon orange under UV light”! After reading that I was thinking, “Where and when would I ever be in a place with UV light?” And lo and behold, that very day, I found myself in a glow-in-the-dark blacklight-only store on Jersey Shore. Lucky!
The other lip product in the tin is ‘I Should Have Kissed You’ a bubblegum pink creme lipstick. This lipstick feels more matte to me, and while the color is fun, I don’t really think it suits me.
Finally, the last ‘product’ is the One Direction Stencil Kit. You could use these 5 cards as stencils to decorate yourself a la temporary tattoos, or use with some sharpies to personalize your tin.
I hope you had as much fun reading about The Looks Collection as I have had playing around with the products! These three limited edition tins are not for sale quite yet, but when they are, but sure to pick up your favourite set!
US RELEASE DATES:
Macy’s – August 11th Stage Stores – August 25th Dillards – August 25th Beauty Brands – August 25th Lord and Taylor – August 25th
I was just having fun playing around with some products that I normally don’t get to use in my everyday looks. One of my favourites is this highly pigmented copper lipstick, Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick No. 17.
Depending on what you’re going for, this copper can be used to add a little bit of shimmer or it can take center stage. The best thing about this lipstick is its versatility; I especially love dotting this in the middle of a pink or red lip. Here, I went full out with the copper lipstick, and used a bright fuchsia (my beloved Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense No. 36 Satin Fuchsia) to line the edge and inside center of the lips, blending slightly inwards to create dimensionality.
Unfortunately, this color was a limited edition from a few years back (as you can see on their website, they skip from No. 16 to 18!) and they never issued a similar product. If you’re looking for a similar metallic, No. 1 Honeymoon from the same line has the same high shine, although it is nowhere as saturated as No. 17. The most pigmented and truely metallic lipstick right now is Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense 17 Pearly Gold, which is a longer wearing but less creamy formula than Sephora’s. But both lipsticks have the same color code number, so it has to be a sign!
Do you have a favourite metallic lipstick? Would you wear this look on a regular day around town or for parties only?