Thursday, October 31, 2013

NOTD: Halloween Special

I love nail polish but I suck at nail art, so whenever I feel like doing something different I opt for a simple accent nail. And since today it is Halloween so I chose orange and black as the theme. As usual  along with the colors I used the Revlon Color stay base and top coat. 

The colors that I used are OPI Call Me Gwen-ever and Hard Candy Masquerade. 

The OPI shade is really nice and pigmented and gives an opaque finish in just two coats. I also used it as a base for the pointer finger under the glitter polish.

The Hard Candy nail polish screams Halloween to me. It has chucks of orange glitter in black base but goes on somewhat gritty because the base is not smooth polish but actually an accumulation of tiny black particles.  Nonetheless, it has really nice pigmentation as for the above look, I used only one coat over the orange base. 

What color did you paint your nails for Halloween? 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top 5ish Favorite: Face Powders

Settings powders add up to the longevity of the foundation while blurring out minor imperfections. Today there are so many powders in the market that it could be very difficult to pick just one, so I have decided to share my top favorites, out of all that I own. For your reference, I am NC 25 in Mac and have dry, sensitive and acne prone skin. Also, all the powders mentioned are merely setting powders and there will be a different post for the powder foundations. 

I have picked up my favorites based on the finish, staying power and frequency of use. Also, I have bundled the Korres powders together because I like all of them equally.
Korres Multivitamin Lightweight Powder; Korres Wild Rose Brightening Powder; Korres Multivitamin Powder 

1. Korres Compact Powder: This is my absolute favorite brand for everyday powders as they are very finely milled and smooth in texture. They do not get cakey whatsoever and give a very natural finish to the skin. Also, they last for 5-6 hours and keep my makeup looking fresh. 
Same order as above
Multivitamin Light Weight/Matte Finish Compact Powder in MVP3: It has some peachy yellowish undertones and melts into the skin leaving a natural matte finish. 

Wild Rose Brightening/Flawless Finish Compact Powder in WRP2: It has pink undertones and definitely provides some brightening affect when applied. 

Multivitamin Compact Powder for Oily-Combination skin in 32N: It has very slight peachy tone to it and even though it is targeted towards oily-combination skin, it works very well for my dry skin. Also, I never had any issue with it clinging to the dry patches. 

Apart from the soft and smooth finish, I love Korres powders because of all the natural and beneficial ingredients. Also, these powders are formulated without mineral oils, silicone etc. 

2. Revlon Colorstay Stay Natural Powder in 02 Light: This is the only makeup item in my entire collection that I have hit pan on and that alone says a lot. It stays on well for 4-5 hours and is really good for oil control on the t-zone.

Also, this powder can provide a light-medium coverage on layering, but, since it is not as fine as others so it can get cakey after a point. 

3. Scott Barnes Pressed Powder in Beyond Beige: This is the softest and the creamiest powder that I own. It is a light weight powder but the creamy texture makes it somewhat moisturizing. Also, it has very strong yellow undertones so it is good to counteract the redness. 

This powder works really well when I get eczema or redness on my face because its not drying at all. Also, it has the potential to provide an added coverage but I simply use it for redness as too much of it can bring out the yellow. At first I felt it is similar to Revlon Nearly Naked powder in terms of softness, but it is actually way more creamier. 

4. Benefit Get Even Powder in 01: This is another yellow toned powder but is looking white in the pictures. It is not as yellow as the Scott Barnes powder but still good enough for covering minor redness peaking through the foundation to get a natural look. 

5. Calvin Klein Subliminal Purity Mineral Based Loose Powder in 204 Translucent:  This is an amazing setting powder for a picture perfect skin. It is so finely milled that it doesn't get cakey what so ever. It has slight shimmer particles in it to help blur any imperfections such as pores, fine lines etc. 

Even though it is looking really white in the picture, it is a translucent powder so blends into nothing while giving a very skin like natural finish. In spite of being such a great powder, unfortunately it is discontinued, but you can still find it on some websites that carry discontinued products. 

What are some of your favorite setting powders? 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MUA Overview & Possible Urban Decay and MAC Dupes

MUA i.e. Make Up Academy is a very affordable UK based brand. But unless you live in UK, MUA products can only be bought from their online store. Few months ago, I bought 8 items and the shipping cost was £7.50 (fixed rate) to Canada. But recently, I have noticed that they often provide free shipping worldwide with some minimum purchase. 

I came to know about this brand because of numerous comparison posts of the UD Naked palette with their Undressed eye shadow palette. 

MUA Undressed: At the time I bought it, I had the UD Naked palette so I can say that they are definitely very similar but not the same because there has to be some difference in the quality since the naked palette is $60 and this one is just $6.45. 

 But still, with the exception of a few (e.g. gold shade in the picture), most of the shadows are soft and bendable. So, I feel it is a good option for the students, beginners and bargain hunters. 

Left: Shade 1; Right: Shade 3

MUA Blusher: These retail for $1.61 but I honestly do not like these because they are quite chalky. Also, they hardly stay on for an hour or two on my dry skin. So, I would not recommend these. 
Shade 1: Bright candy pink with noticeable golden shimmer.
Shade 3: Peachy melon shade with golden shimmer but looks more brownish in the pan. 

MUA Trio in Innocence

 MUA Eyeshadow Trio in Innocence: This is a beautiful trio of baked eye shadows that can be used wet or dry and retails for $4.03. I really like the color combination as there is a light creamy shade, an olive green and a duo chrome reddish brown with hints of bluish green tones making it somewhat similar to MAC Club. All three shades have some shimmer which simply adds up to their beauty. So, if you want to try one trio out of all then I would definitely recommend this one. 

MUA Trio in Pink Sorbet

MUA Eyeshadow Trio in Pink Sorbet: I do not like this trio because firstly the mid-toned pink is very chalky and frosty looking. Secondly, the light pink shade (which appears white in the picture) disappears into nothing on blending. So, at least for me, this trio isn't good enough to be used on its own because otherwise the end result is a frosty mess.  

Left: MUA Single Pearl Shadow in Shade 12; Middle: Darkesst shade from MUA Trio Innocence; Right: Bottom right corner shade from WnW Comfort Zone

MUA Single Pearl Shadow in Shade 12:  This shadow is absolutely amazing. It is super pigmented, smooth as butter and costs only $1.61. On top of that, it is probably a dupe or a more saturated version of MAC Club eye shadow. So, I highly recommend it to everyone. The only issue I have with MUA is they have numbers instead of names for their products.

MUA Lipstick in Shade 11

MUA Lipstick in Shade 11: This shade looks different under different lights. It is described as a brown on the website but it sometimes appears nude with reddish undertones and sometimes more of a peachy coral. But nonetheless, it is a great everyday color. The formula is very smooth and moisturizing so can be used on days when you forget to apply the balm or are in a hurry. Also, it retails for just $1.61. 

The bottom of the tube screws open to reveal extra product. And it was only after getting this lipstick that I realized NYX tubes also open in a similar way. 

MUA Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette

MUA Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette: This is a true dark chocolate brown shade which is very smooth and creamy. However, the downfall of extra creaminess is that it instantly starts smearing and does not even last for an hour. The picture above was taken immediately after swatching it and you can see how the product has already smudged. 

However, I do like the brush end of the pencil. Usually brow pencils come with a spooly or a plastic brush, but this one has a proper bristle brush. This product also retails for $1.61 but I would not recommend it. 

There are definitely some hits and misses with this brand just like with all others. But overall, I really like some of the products like the undressed palette, lipstick, single eye shadow and the innocence trio. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Have you tried this brand? What are some of your favorites?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sephora Favorites: Give Me More Lip

Each year Sephora comes out with these amazing Favorites kits that include all different brands. These kits are not only a great way to try out a variety of products but are also quite affordable. A while ago I bought the mini version called Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Lip and loved it so much that I couldn't hold myself from buying this one. 

The kit comes with 16 lip products that are divided into four color categories: Red, Pink, Nude and Mauve; and retails for $71 + taxes. 

Some of the products are repeats from the Give Me Some Lip kit but in different colors. The swatches below are in the following order: Pink, Mauve, Nude and Red. 

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Never Say Never; Too Faced La Creme in Marshmallow Bunny; Smashbox Lip Gloss in Pout; Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Never Say Never (0.12 oz): Gorgeous bright magenta pink shade. I believe this color is exclusive to the kit as I didn't find it in the regular line. This is one of my favorite products from this kit as everything about it is commendable, be it the sleek clickable packaging, pigmentation, color or smoothness. On top of all that, it is FULL SIZE and retails for $23. 

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Marshmallow Bunny (0.11 oz): Very pale marshmallow pink color that hardly shows up on my dark pigmented lips. This is one of the lipstick that I was really excited to try but unfortunately it didn't meet my expectations. It reminds me of YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks in terms of smoothness and the slip, which I personally don't like because it affects the longevity of the product. Nonetheless, it is FULL SIZE and retails for $25. 

Smashbox Lip Gloss in Pout (0.14 oz): Sheer pastel pink shade which is quite creamy and has decent pigmentation for being a lip gloss. The scent isn't very pleasant but doesn't really bother me. Also, the size is pretty good as compared to the original 0.2 oz, which retails for $22. 

Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi (0.03 oz): Bright fuchsia shade, which is described as vivid hot pink on Sephora's website. It looks glossy when applied but dries up to a matte finish. It is really long lasting and leaves a stain behind even after being washed with soap and water. The full sized product is 0.18 oz and retails for $23. 

Tarte Glamazon Lipstick in Inspired; Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Strumpet; Buxom Full Bodies Lipstick in Menace; Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Sonya

Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance 12-Hour Lipstick in Inspired (0.009 oz): Beautiful dusty rose shade which goes on very smoothly and has good pigmentation. However, the number of zeroes in the description probably gave you an idea about how small this sample is as compared to the full sized product of 0.07 oz, which retails for $34. 

Tarte Glamazon Lipstick in Inspired

I can still understand the reason behind the miniature size of the product but not the humongous size of the outer tube. 

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Strumpet (0.33 oz): This seedless grape red shade (as described on Sephora website) is from the matte collection. I am so glad that they have chose this particular shade because it will look good on a wide range of skin tones. Also, this is one product that I would have never picked up on its own regardless of the millions of rave reviews because of the nature of the product. However, now that I have used it I totally understand all the buzz. In addition, it comes with a tiny brush to facilitate the application and is a FULL SIZE product that retails for $22 on its own. 

Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Menace (0.4 oz): Gorgeous rich wine shade that requires a light touch to transfer the color on lips. The swatch in the picture is one swipe. It is very soft but can get clumpy at times. The full sized product is 0.13 oz and retails for $26. 

Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Sonya (0.03 oz): A sheer dusty wine shade that requires a couple of swipes to look close to the actual product. It is a minty scent and feel to it, which I really like. However, I am not too fond of the packaging because a major part of the balm is above the rim so each time I open the lid (which is quite tight) it damages the product. 

Stila Color Balm Llipstick in Sonya

Also, I am kind of confused about the name. I understand the balm part because it is quite sheer but I don't get the lipstick part of it. The full sized product is 0.12 oz and retails for $29. 

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Nylon Nude; Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Naked; Buxom Full On Lip Creme in White Russian; Stila Liquid Lip Color in Dolce

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Nylon Nude (0.1 oz): A true peachy nude shade which goes on very smoothly but is too light for my skin tone. However, I really like the formula and the consistency of the product so I would definitely try out some other shades. It is another FULL SIZE product that retails for $23. 

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Naked (0.01 oz): It is a beige shade with golden sheen in it, thus making it a beige champagne (according to Sephora). It goes on nicely and has a vanilla scent to it. The Give Me Some Lip kit also had one of these in the color Naked Pink. The full size 0.15 oz and retails for $26. 

Buxon Full On Lip Creme in White Russian (0.07 oz): This nudey pink shade is one of the most popular and raved about shades from this line. It smells very similar to the Laura Mercier Lip Glace. It has decent pigmentation and is good for toning down dark lipsticks because it doesn't show up on my lips on its own. The full size is 0.14 oz and retails for $23. 

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lip Color in Dolce (0.03 oz): This is described as nude cinnamon sheen and is one of the only nude shades that shows up on my lips. Just like the Kat Von D Liquid lipstick, it dries up matte but doesn't dry off the lips and feels very comfortable. Also, it has pretty decent lasting power and can easily go through a few snacks. However, I don't like the scent of this product but I can definitely look over it. The full size is 0.10 oz and retails for $29.

Kat Von D Foiled Lipstick in Adora; Hourglass Liquid Lipstick in Icon; MUFE Rouge Artist Natural N45; Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate

Kat Von D Foiled Love Lipstick in Adora (0.042 oz): It is described as a shimmering candy apple red shade and even though I didn't like it in the packaging but it looks really pretty on because the shimmer makes it look very different from the regular red shades. Also, it is quite long lasting and stains the lips. The full sized product is 0.11 oz and retails for $23. 

Hourglass Cosmetics Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon (0.03 oz): This is a blue based red shade which has decent lasting power. However, I don't like the applicator because it gives an uneven application. Other than that, I like the packaging and the concept of the product. The full size is 0.10 oz and retails for $33. 

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N45 (0.05 oz): A straight up sheer red shade. I believe the sheerness is due to the fact that it belongs to the Natural line, but still it feels more like a balm than a lipstick. I couldn't find the full size of Natural type but the Intense are 0.12 oz and retail for $23. 

Left: MUFE lipstick - 100 point perk; Middle: MUFE lipstick - Lip kit; Right: Kat Von D Foiled Lipstick

I am even more disappointed with this product because it is the exact same size and shade that the Sephora gave out as 100 points perk a while ago. 

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate (0.05 oz): A beautiful rich red shade which is super pigmented and smooth as butter. If you read my last post about the lip kit then you probably know how much I love this line so I won't say anything else. The full size is 0.09 oz and retails for $28. 

Overall, I absolutely love this kit. There are a total of 16 lip products and four of them are full sized ($93 + taxes). Therefore, I would highly recommend this kit to everyone. Especially as the holiday season is coming up, it would make a great gift for makeup lovers. 

Have you tried any of these lip products? Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!