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Review: Candii Blossom’s Mean Girls Collection

13 Jun

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If there is one movie that is dying for a makeup collection, it’s Mean Girls. It might just be the defining movie of my teenage years (head to head with Superbad we all know who the true champion is), and I can think of dozens of colors off the top of my head. Glen Coco: a frosty white with a bright red shift. Too Gay To Function: a deep royal purple, the color of Damian’s prom suit. She Doesn’t Even Go Here: a white highlighter with a surprising rainbow shift. Ahhh, now I’m all nostalgic.

Thankfully, one brand is here to fill the Mean Girls shaped hole in my heart: Candii Blossom Cosmetics, with their “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” quartet of shadows.

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I’m sure no one is surprised that these are all variations of pink! Or, you know, in the pink family–some have shifts toward red or purple.

Life Ruiner is a hot hot pink loaded with sparkles

The Rules of Feminism is a soft salmon pink

Cool Mom looks similar to The Rules of Feminism in the jar, but it’s a champagne frosty rose when applied

Get in Loser, my favorite of the bunch, is a pearlescent lilac with a blue duochrome. In some angles, it’s full-on bright pink!

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Swatches are wet over bare skin, as always. From bottom to top it’s Life Ruiner, The Rules of Feminism, Cool Mom, and Get In Loser.

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The sun was really fighting against me today, so while I tried to capture these babies in action it’s hard to tell how pretty they are. You can at least see the dramatic shift in Get In Loser! While these colors all look pretty similar in the jar, they give a wide variety of shades when you swatch them. This is definitely a full-look collection! You’ve got a highlight (Cool Mom), soft lid shades (Rules of Feminism and Get In Loser), and a bright accent pop (Life Ruiner). Plus, you know, Get In Loser is the bet thing ever.

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Since my previous Candii Blossom order also featured heavily on pinks & purples (and I got full sizes of Candy Corn & Miami Rose in this order, yay!), I decided to try samples of some of their neutral shades. From bottom to top: Lotus, Cafe Au Lait, Macchiato. Of course these swatches look totally perfect. Thanks, camera!

I really wasn’t expecting so much pigmentation for these, they’re gorgeous! I want to order more right now. Especially of Lotus: it’s an AMAZING highlight shade. And not just for your eyes: it’s got a very, very soft shimmer which makes it a perfect face highlighter. My love for Candii Blossom is only growing stronger.

Memebox Mini #2

7 Jun

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So I actually got Memebox Mini #1 in the same shipment as #2, and to be honest I opened #2 first,  but I decided to go for chronological order and will be tackling this one second. Like #1 it comes in a happy pink box, but this time there’s no cute bag holding all the contents. Which is probably good, I don’t need any more tiny cute makeup bags to hoard.

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The contents! Some of the samples are significantly bigger than the ones in Mini #1, but others are smaller… so I guess it balances out?

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At first I thought these were just one sheet of  Blacklees Nail Stickers and was kind of bummed, but I opened the little sealed plastick wrap and found 3! And the middle one has OWLS. I am obsessed with owls right now so I kind of squealed a little when I saw them. However, apparently they were selected randomly so I doubt everyone got these amazing owls. Which are perfect. I love them.

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Next up is a tiny TolyMoly Delight Tony Tint #2 Red! The top is actually a little heart, it’s so cute. And it smells AMAZING. Like fresh squished berries. But be careful, this is a pretty strong stain (for lips and cheeks!). Not like I accidentally got a ton on my nose when sniffing it or anything and ended up with a giant red nose stain.

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I am fairly certain that under no circumstances could this Caolion Pore Mool Pool Deep Cleansing be classified as a sample. Maybe a mini size, if you are not feeling generous. It’s just really big. AND it’s an oil-free makeup remover/cleanser! It’s got a weird sticky texture that they describe as “spiderweb-like” which sounds kind of gross but is actually awesome. I’m in love with this product already.

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Another item I’m excited to try out! It’s Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil, a generous size of it to boot. While it is meant to be a moisturizer I think the mixture of sunflower, jojoba, green tea, argan, olive, macadamia and camellia oils will work perfectly for a gentle oil cleanse method.

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Last and, yeah, kind of least is Kocostar Nail Therapy, which is basically a face mask… for your nails. I have really healthy nails already so I guess I will try this out, but it’s not a product I really need in my life. Also you have to leave it on for 30-60 minutes. What am I supposed to do for an hour that doesn’t use my hands? I’m a hardcore multitasker. I can’t just watch tv or a movie. I need to be reading or browsing the internet or something. This is just a terribly inconvenient product.

Unlike Mini #1, this didn’t come with an extra bonus sample, but given the super large sizes for the cleanser and oil I’m not complaining. And right after I finished writing up the first post and was bemoaning missing Mini #3 I got an email stating that Memebox was preparing to ship…. my order of Memebox Mini #3! Which I forgot ordering. Haha, I don’t have a shopping problem, what are you talking about?

Memebox Mini #1

5 Jun

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Memebox, a Korean beauty box that runs on individual purchases instead of subscriptions, has had my attention for some time. But it’s got a pretty high base price, ranging from $25-60 depending on the type, plus a steep shipping fee of $7. I mean, it is shipping from Korea, but still! I like cheap beauty boxes, which is why I am still subbed to only Ipsy and Birchbox. So of course the Memebox Mini, priced at $15 including shipping, was right up my alley. I ordered #1 and #2, and used points for both of them so they came to around ~$10 each. No way to be disappointed, right?

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Such cute packaging! You also get a card full of info on all your goodies… which is nice, because I’m not nearly as familiar with Asian cosmetics as I wish I was.

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Item number one, Verikos Ultra Matte Velvet Primer! This is a tinted primer that melds right into my skin and leaves a satin-soft finish. It reminds me of Smashbox’s famous primer, but that tends to leave me feeling sleek but also… greasy? This is basically a matte version. A full size is pretty expensive at $39 (and small at 30ml) but aside from all its other virtues it’s also scented like roses soooo I kind of need it. Right now.

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These are not on the card, so I assume it’s some kind of bonus free sample? Witch’s Pouch Real Skin Moisture Ampoule Base! Basically a moisturizing primer. I have yet to try these out but apparently they have glitter in them (whyyy) but it rubs out.

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This is a duo set, but they don’t seem to be designed to be used in tandem. Botanical Hill Boh Moist Youth Ampoule & Boh Radiant Youth Ampoule. These names are so long. I have been wanting to try some ampoules, basically because it’s a fun word to say. But also because, you know, they’re like serums only… different somehow. In a way I suppose I will find out when I use them!

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More face stuff! This box is actually all skincare, which is fine by me. It’s Holika Holika Skin & Good Cera Super Cream. Apparently it’s super hydrating and lasts for 72 hours! How does that even work? Do you not wash it off for 72 hours? Ew. I’m really hoping it’s more of a “the essence soaks into your skin” kind of thing.

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More creamy stuff. For your health! This is A True Black Tea All Day Long Sun Cream. Tea-based skincare? Sign. Me. Up. This is only SPF 50 so of course I wouldn’t use it as a sunscreen, but I’ll certainly use it as lotion! Because, you know, it smells like tea and other wonderful things. The texture is fantastic as well.

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Okay, so I said there was only skincare and no makeup, but this is kind of a fusion. Also umm I didn’t count the primers. Basically, I am a total liar. This is Hanskin Bio Origin Royal Ampoule BB SPF 30 PA++. Basically, it’s an ampoule AND a BB cream? And one drop gives you basic coverage? And it comes in the world’s cutest bottle? That seems like a huge claim, way too good to be true, but it does function as a pretty basic tinted moisturizer with lots of skincare benefits.

I didn’t do value breakdowns of every single thing because I don’t want to math, but it’s well over what I paid. Lots of new skincare to try out and tiny bottles and jars to coo over! Though now I am tempted by some of the larger bottles, which is not good for my wallet…

May 2014 Beauty Favorites

2 Jun

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While I originally intended the “Lipstick” half of this blog to focus on reviews of indie products and beauty boxes, I’ve recently found myself drawn to… well, more standard beauty blog-style posts. Hauls, reviews of commercial products, and monthly favorites! So let’s dive into what I’ve been putting all over mah face this past month.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep Palette: While the name of this product might be a mouthful, it’s pretty simple. A blush palette with, well, blush in it! Two blushes: the radiant orchid you’d expect from this year’s lineup, and a gorgeous rose gold that doesn’t match anything in my collection. The middle champagne is more of a highlighter, like a powder version of Benefit’s Watts Up. Both of the smaller blushes also make gorgeous shadows! I love blush. I love purple things. I love highlighter. I love rose gold. This palette is basically my life right now.

MAC Pink Poodle Glaze Lipstick: I am a sucker for limited edition colors. And cutesy names. This was an impulse purchase that I regretted horribly until I actually got it in the mail: it’s a gorgeous, vibrant fuchsia with an irresistible blue sheen. Perfect for summer! Okay, it’s not summer yet and to be honest I HATE summer (spring and fall are my jam) but I don’t even care hot pink lips all the time

Dreamworld Hermetica  Mystical Sunset Eyeshadow: About 6 or 7 months ago I went through a lavender & mauve eyeshadow craze. I then promptly “organized” them all and proceeded to forgot where they were. While looking for my rose golds I stumbled upon my lilac treasure trove and the obsession started all over again. Mystical Sunset is my flavor of the moment: it’s a perfect soft wash of color for the lids, springy and sweet.

Oopsie Daisies Up & Away Nail Polish: I pretty much got a 3DS just to play Animal Crossing New Leaf (and SMT IV… and Pokemon Y….), so I was pretty much forced into buying this polish. By my brain. It’s actually kind of hard to work with: the white cream base is a little thin and it’s VERY chunky glitter (well, it’s matte, so not “glitter”), so it’s best to start with a white base from another company and use this as a glitter topcoat. Once you get the hang of it, it’s *totally fabulous*

Michael Todd Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliating Scrub: I got this in my March Birchbox, but didn’t really start using it until this month. It’s a very, VERY gentle exfoliant: probably gentle enough to use every day, though of course that’s not something I’m really willing to do. But I use it every other day in the morning and it’s been working wonders. I slacked off on my skincare for a few months and payed a heavy price, so I have been fighting a battle to bring it back to a more presentable level and this is my new best friend. Great for both the flaky dry skin on my forehead and my acne-prone chin. Marry me, enzyme scrub.

Bonus item: Aquaphor! I have perpetual dry lips. Basically nothing helps. Not Vaseline, not lanolin, not chapstick. Well, they mitigate the problem, but never stop it. Enter Aquaphor. I went to get a tattoo and the artist insisted on using Aquaphor for aftercare instead of Vaseline. Of course I have a ton left over, so I’ve been using it as an overnight lip mask. Suddenly, I can wear drying lipsticks without painful cracking and flaking. It’s a miracle.

Review: Aromaleigh’s Ancient Magick Eyeshadow Collection

31 May

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I am a huge mythology buff. It was a passion of mine as a kid, and I have shelves upon shelves of books dedicated to the subject. My favorite pantheon? The Egyptian Gods, which is why I may have screamed a little when I saw that Aromaleigh was running a 50% off sale on their Egyptian God themed collection. I snapped up the full sample set (for only $10!) and a jar (based on my favorite god, not the color–I know, I know), and I’ve been waiting for a sunny day to swatch them. Seriously, the weather in NYC has been such shit. Just horrible.

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Since there are 20 shades in this collection, I’ll be dividing them into sets of ten, starting with warm & neutral tones. And unlike usual shade descriptions, I’ll include what they are the god/goddess of! And as an added bonus, their non-Greek names (since, y’know, that’s not what most people know them by). Also I won’t be mentioning finish because these all have a STRONG satin finish, verging on glitterbomb.

Seth (also known as Set-God of the desert, storms, disorder, darkness and violence): a bright ruddy red with silver sparkles

Thoth (arbiter of disputes, associated with writing, magic and science): a soft tan-gold

Re (also known as Ra, god of the Sun): a brilliant, metallic gold

Aten (also known as Atum, the creator-god): a metallic taupe-y champagne

Apophis (also known as Apep, serpent-god of darkness): a bronze-khaki that can’t make up its mind about what color it really is

Bast (also known as Bastet, cat goddess of the moon or the sun, depending on the time period): a deep olive-tinted gold

Ma’at (goddess of truth, balance, and justice): a deep brown with rosy hues

Selkis (also known as Serket, a healing goddess): a metallic copper

Horus (god of sun, war, protection, among various other things): another metallic copper, deeper than Selkis

Anubis (god of mummification and protector of the deceased): a deep gray, almost black, with rainbow sparkles

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From top to bottom: Anubis, Horus, Selkis, Ma’at, Bast, Apophis, Aten, Re, Toth, and Seth. Swatches are applied with a wet brush to bare skin, no primer or glitter glue.

I feel like this would make SUCH a fantastic neutral palette (minus Seth, of course). They are very complex and so shimmery. A lot of them have very taupe-y feels, which is certainly on trend now and fits the line’s desert theme. But of course Egypt isn’t all sand, so let’s move on to the more cool, colorful shades.

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Khepir (also known as Khepri, a god of creation and rebirth): a bright, vibrant palm tree green

Hequet (also known as Heqet, frog goddess of fertility): a rich mossy green

Tefnut (goddess of rain): a brilliant aqua

Nut (goddess of the sky): a soft sky blue

Isis (goddess of motherhood and nature): a beautiful deep lavender

Hathor (goddess of love, beauty, joy, and a million other things): a gorgeous frosty mauve

Shu (god of wind & air): a pale, almost silvery taupe

Osiris (god of the afterlife): a deep blackened blue

Khonsu (god of the moon & youth): a very pale tan

Tawaret (ancient goddess of birth and fertility): a stunning deep rose gold

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From top to bottom: Tawaret, Khonsu, Osiris, Shu, Hathor, Isis, Nut, Tefnut, Hequet, Khepri.

This time I took pictures with and without direct sunlight so you can see how much they come alive in the light

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Wow, shimmer! I love the lovely, vibrant contrast between this “half” of the deities and the first half. There’s nothing neutral about these: even Tawaret, a more muted shade, is packed full of gorgeousness. And the more vibrant colors like Khepir and Tefnut are just STUNNING.

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I mentioned that I did get a full size, and it was of Bast. Because she’s my spirit animal. Seriously, I wish I was Bastet. Sigh. Thankfully, as you saw in the swatch, it’s a gorgeous color: golden olive with aqua shimmer. Check it out, ya dingus! I do want a few more full sizes from this collection, mainly Tawaret, Isis, Hathor, Ma’at, Toth, Anubis & Horus. Okay, so maybe more than “a few.”

While these are all high on shimmer they aren’t really glitterbombs, and go on quite smooth. But I adore Aromaleigh’s formula, so I expected as much! Seriously, everything about this collection was tailor-made for me. Tons of unusual neutrals? Check. Bright, cool-toned vibrants? Check. Insane mythological themes? HELL YEAH. I’m just so happy to have these, and the samples are pretty decently sized. Of course, I wish I bought two sets… sigh. I always need more makeup!

Review: Sleek’s i-Divine in Del Mar Vol. 1

29 May

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Sometimes I sit around and think about the drugstore makeup available in the UK and cry a little bit inside. Because let’s face it, they have it way better than the US in that regard. But we have Sephora, so I suppose it evens out. And Sleek, my favorite UK drugstore brand, ships to the US for insanely cheap. I mean under $2 cheap. Shipping & handling on this palette was a whopping $1.34, bringing the whole shebang to a shockingly reasonable $13.33.

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If I had one complaint about Sleek, it’d be the packaging on the limited edition palettes. They always have SUCH beautiful box design, but the actual palettes are just the usual black cases. Sigh. They’re the only makeup items of mine I keep in their original packaging, aside from Paul & Joe. Also, they use a black, rubber-ish material similar to NARS but it somehow manages to be even more prone to picking up fingerprints. I swear I rubbed most of them off before taking this picture, but yet some remain…

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Del Mar follows this season’s super-bright matte trend, but for a much more reasonable price than, say Urban Decay’s Electric Palette or some of the other mid to high end brands. It’s also got a lovely, fresh selection of shades–not exactly neons, but definitely not ordinary colors.

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My other Sleek pet peeve is that the names of the shadows are on a plastic insert. I think their makeup naming is pretty creative and I so wish they just stamped it on the back of the box. I really hate having to keep these stupid things, sigh.

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Mm, yeah. Look at those colors. We’ll start descriptions with the top row!

Lounge Lovers is a very shimmery silver with taupe undertones, it has the most glitter of any in the palette

Poolside is a deep, matte teal

Sunset Strip is a lovely matte clementine

Ambience is a basic matte eggplant

Chilled Out is a matte white, and one of the only shades in Del Mar with pigmentation issues

Blue Marlin is a stunning matte peacock blue

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Why is the mirror so dirty?! It’s all a dust magnet, I tell you.

Opening Party is a navy blue with just a hint of satin finish and a teeeny bit of pink shimmer

On The Rocks is a perky coral with a shimmer finish

Talamanca is a matte cocoa brown, and one of the only “normal” shades in Del Mar

Feel Euphoric is a pink-leaning coral with a bit of shimmer

Balearic Beat is a matte kiwi green that looks a bit sickly in the pan

Paradise is a gorgeous matte lilac

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Swatches, one swipe applied wet onto bare skin (as always, I should just make a little disclaimer about this).

As you can see, pigmentation is pretty intense on most of these. Chilled Out falls a little flat, but since it’s basically a highlight shade and I have enough white shadows in my collection to last me several lifetimes it gets a definite pass. I was also not that impressed with Talamanca, which looks much darker and richer in the pan. But, again, it’s really the common colors that fall short.

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The surprise favorite for me was Lounge Lovers. From online shots I expected a straight silver, but it’s really a lovely taupe! And, of course, Blue Marlin has a special place in my heart because of my intense love for peacock blue. But I think in general the bottom row has better pigmentation than the top: probably because of all the shimmers, which performed better than the mattes.

While this might not be a wearable palette for a lot of people, I’m a color addict: I love brights, I love playing around with color combinations and contrast. There are a lot of relatively unique shades in here, and the mattes definitely make it more refined and less “night club.” While it’s in the same family as UD’s Electric, I don’t think there is a single shade overlap. Which is great, because I plan on combining them into a color explosion on my face.

So if you are scared of Electric’s pricetag or the colors in Sleek’s Acid & other matte palettes, this might be one to try! It’s summery, it’s tropical, it’s bright and refreshing, it’s insanely cheap. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with any Sleek palette. Except for the damn dust-attracting packaging.

Makeup Adventures: De-Potting & Re-Potting Liquid Cosmetics

27 May

Are you guys ready to come on an adventure with me through some truly terrible photos as I attempt to destroy my Rimmel concealer and put it in another jar? Of course you are. Because, you know, who doesn’t want to look at blurry, grainy iPod photos of my squished makeup?

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Here we have the surgical tools: a spatula, a jar to transfer the concealer into, scissors, and of course… the makeup itself: Rimmel Match Perfection 2-in-1 Concealer & Highlighter in 125 Fair. I actually LOVE this concealer. It’s pale enough for me (which is rare), it’s got lovely coverage but it doesn’t look cakey, and it has a great highlighting effect that makes it perfect for undereye circles. However, it has one of those annoying bristle applicators where you squeeze out a little at a time into a faux-brush. I don’t have time for that shit. I’m going to be blending it in with my Beauty Blender or a concealer brush anyway, and all the applicator does is waste product as it dries it all up between uses. The solution? De-pot and then Re-pot!

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As I’m sure you can tell from this super detailed closeup in high definition (I am soooo sorry, it was very late, I don’t know what I was thinking with these pictures), I hit a bit of a bump almost immediately after cutting the bottom off. The damn thing is less than half full. And I’ve used it maybe 4 times? So there was no way it was fitting into my picked re-potting jar. BUT I have a million tiny jars lying around, so I just swapped the taller one out for your basic 5 gram cosmetic jar.

Because the damn tube for this was so long, and there was so little product for it given the size, it was easiest to cut into sections and then scoop into the jar. Behold, the carnage.

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It filled the 5g jar right to the brim thankfully, and considering how much I use in a week (yeah, I don’t use it daily, I have so many concealers I like to switch it up), this will last me a long time. I managed to get almost all the product out, but sadly with anything liquid you are never really going to get 100%. There’s always some stuck to the walls of the container. Damn you, Rimmel!

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If you attempt any kind of de-potting, I highly suggest keeping a record of the item’s full name & shade. I just take pictures so I have a visual catalog of all my abused products: it’s an easy way to keep track of them all.

De-potting can be scary. You’re ruining packaging and taking a big risk by taking your precious makeup babies out of their first homes. Makeup babies? I mean, it’s not like I think of my eyeshadow palettes as an extension of my family or anything! Everyone calls them that. I swear. Ahem, anyway. De-potting can really be a HUGE space-saver for liquid products like foundation, highlighter, liquid blush, face primer, or shadow primer (one thing I depot immediately after getting it–SO much easier to apply!). Just, you know, do it during the day. When you can take halfway decent shots of all the gory action.

My Beauty Addiction’s Tropical Escape Collection

25 May

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Sometimes I feel like I should have a corner of shame to go sit in for all my impulse purchases. I make far too many of them, and of my recent ones this is by far the most egregious. I have yet to try anything from My Beauty Addiction, and I’m not sure why I thought a full set of insanely bright summer shades was the way to go for the first purchase. It was the sale fever! The shadows worked out to $2.37 each!

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The thing is, I don’t usually wear bright colors in warm tones like orange, red, or yellow. Which is… basically this whole collection. OOPS.

Hawaiian Tropics is a cool chocolatey tan

Beach Bum is a coppery brown–very similar to Hawaiian Tropics, only a bit warmer

Papaya Punch is a warm, pale orange that is less bright than other shades in the set

Island Sunshine is big bird yellow

Lava Flow is a dramatic, brilliant red with pinkish undertones

Aloha Rose is a vibrant mangenta

Kiwi Kiss is an odd, kind of flat green reminiscent of carrot tops

Bahama Mama is a bright, happy aqua

Notice that I didn’t note the finish on any of them? That is because they are all insane glitterbombs.  Every. Single. One.

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See that glitter? Yeaaah. Swatches are, per usual, done with a wet brush over bare skin, one swipe each.

From bottom to top we’ve got Hawaiian Tropics, Beach Bum, Papaya Punch, Island Sunshine, Lava Flow, Aloha Rose, Kiwi Kiss, Bahama Mama. And the lovely molten gold on top? Sadly not part of the collection, but my free sample: Aged Gold. It’s gorgeous, and I am very sad that the Tropical Escape falls so short of its quality.

I suppose these shadows are nice enough for what they are: cheap, bright summer shades. But I am so used to complex, muti-faceted and super-pigmented shades from indie companies. Here, that’s just not what you get. Everything comes off fairly sheer and many pale in comparison to their in-jar colors (Lava Flow in particular, what happened to that bright red?).

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However, I am OBSESSED with Old Gold. Look at it! It looks like liquid gold! Which, of course, means that I have to go place an order for it… and the rest of the Molten Metals collection.

Review: Siren Cosmetics, Part 2

23 May

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I think my eternal love for Siren Cosmetics was solidified in my first review of them, which consisted of more samples than a single human being should ever be allowed to purchase. Shortly after I purchased all of the remaining samples of Teenage Kicks (because I love it like a child and need it in my life for the rest of time). Imagine my surprise when I got the package in the mail and found all of these goodies! Teenage Kicks, which I now own in glorious full size, is not pictured because I keep it on my person at all times whispering “my precious” and stroking it. Just kidding! Haha, I’d never do something like that. Probably.

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Siren’s full size shadows come in lovely sifter jars with a rotating insert, so it doesn’t all fall out of there at once. It’s similar to Little Sparrow’s blush jars, and makes traveling with them much easier. Also, these babies are stuffed to the brim. Probably the most generous fill level I’ve seen on an indie full size shadow, because these are BIG jars! The colors I got were:

Gold Digger, a glittery warm gold

Heart of Glass, a soft pink with gold glitter and a very slight lavender shift that comes out in direct sunlight (I could not capture it on camera, damn you endless rainy days of NY!)

Cherry Bomb, an insanely pigmented bright red

Static, a crisp white with hints of gold and pink

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From bottom to top: Gold Digger, Heart of Glass, Cherry Bomb, Static. Swatches are done with a wet brush onto dry skin, one swipe each. I had a bit of trouble with Siren’s matte shades the last time, so I was SHOCKED at how well Cherry Bomb swatched. I mean, look at it. It’s almost radioactive.

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Cherry Bomb is lip (and cheek!) safe, so the first thing I thought was “I have to make this into a gloss.” I mixed some up real quick (I mean, 5 seconds quick) with my lip balm base from TKB, and LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY. UUUUHNF. This is with only a tiny hint of the pigment, so you can bet I’m going to be whipping up a jar of this asap.

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Next are the glitters! This is actually my first experience with cosmetic glitter (gasp, I know!). The jars for these are HUGE, twice as tall as the shadow ones. The colors I got were:

Sugar Kisses, a deep, almost plumy mauve-pink with warm brown tones

Love Triangle, a bright turquoise

Miss America, a snowy white with a strong blue-violet interference

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Application took a bit of work, but I figured it out! They’re done over my home-brew glitter glue, which picked up the glitter perhaps a bit too well. That’s just one layer of patting it on, and it came out pretty heavily glittery. You’ll notice that from this angle, Miss America looks very pale and the shift is only slightly noticeable. But this shade is literally magic.

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SUDDENLY, glowing! This is not from post work. That’s literally what the glitter looks like in person. Luminous. I mean, the other two are really pretty but I feel like Miss America is outshining them. And every other color I own. It’s literally the white companion to Teenage Kicks: in-your-face, insane sparkle. And it might have started a total obsession with cosmetic glitter.

[Thanks to Siren Cosmetics for providing Lipstick & Libraries with these review samples! <3]

Impulse Cosmetics’ Once Upon A Time Collection

21 May

For my birthday back in April, I got a rather large gift certificate to etsy. My general rule for gift cards is “splurge on things you wouldn’t get with your own money” and a full collection from a company I don’t usually buy from usually definitely falls under that. I only own two shadows from Impulse and I really like them so, past ethical issues* from the company aside, I decided to jump on their Once Upon A Time themed collection. Mostly because it’s insanely, over-the-top girlie.

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I rarely have trouble ordering from indies but this purchase was a pain in the ass. I ordered during a 15% off sale (or 20%, I honestly don’t remember) but the code didn’t go through–something I didn’t notice until after I placed my order. So I contacted the owner, asking if it could be applied retroactively. Note that this is something I’ve dealt with before and other owners have had no issue with it. But this time, I got a big fat no. So I asked if my order could be cancelled instead, so I could re-order with the coupon. Then I waited, for a very long time. On the last day of the sale, I finally got an order cancellation. But gift card balances can take 48 hours to go back to your account. UGH.

Thankfully it got put back in my account on time, but one of the full-sized shadows I ordered was not in stock AND the clamshell samples were out of stock (only baggies). Well, beggars can’t be choosers, and after the drama I still really wanted all the pinks and purples here.

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Glass Mountain is a sheer, soft and glittery pink-purple

Wish Upon A Star is a super-pale baby blue loaded with gold sparkles

Drawbridge Dreams is a deep purple with a golden aqua shift

Damsel is an almost matte hot pink with gold interference. It’s my favorite from the whole collection!

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The Huntsman is a milk chocolate brown with a very unique gold-green shift

Gallant Prince is a sky blue that swatches almost matte. I originally ordered this in full-size but it was out of stock the second time around and was switched for Wish Upon A Star

Rags to Riches is a rich, pigmented pale gold with hints of a lilac shift

Sugarplum is a paler, cooler version of Drawbridge Dreams with a more metallic finish

Magic Beanstalk is a hunter green with blue glitter. Color-wise it feels out of place but thematically it works

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From bottom to top: Wish Upon A Star, Gallant Prince, Glass Mountain, Sugarplum, Drawbridge Dreams, Damsel, Rags to Riches, The Huntsman, Beanstalk. Swatches are done with a wet brush on bare skin, one swipe each.

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I took a deliberately out of focus shot to capture the shift in Huntsman: it’s SO gorgeous! I’m really torn about this collection because the shadows are absolutely beautiful. Some of them are very unique (Wish Upon A Star, Damsel, Huntsmen and Beanstalk in particular) but even the more “common” mixes like Drawbridge Dreams and Rags to Riches swatch like a dream and are crazy-pigmented. There’s also the downside of not knowing if this is really the full collection: the whole thing is never in stock at the same time, but I’ve never seen more than these 9 so I’m just assuming this is it… though 10 would make more sense. Plus, the customer service is lacking.

But were these worth it, with all the bumps in the road? Hell yes. Not only are they gorgeous, but I feel like it’s a really cohesive collection. All of the shadows work together very well, with Beanstalk being the lone outlier (though it looks fantastic with Huntsman and Rags to Riches).

[*Past ethical issues from Impulse involve briefly stealing photos from other companies, though they did take them down once called out (still super shady). I can overlook this if it is a color I absolutely need, but be aware if this is something you care passionately about!]