Friday, February 24, 2012

Makeup Review: Essence Mattifying Compact Powder

Ever had that mid-day shine creep up on you faster than you can say, "Where the heck did that come from?" Well join the oily/combo skin club ladies and gents! I know what you're thinking, "Oh gosh, another drugstore product that fails to deliver the truly matte results I desire? No Thanks, I think I'll pass." But this time, I think I finally found something worth both your time and your $2.99.

Essence Mattifying Compact Powder

As a girl with super moody skin, one day I'm drier than the Sahara Desert and the next I'm greasier than an oil spill, I have learned to try and adapt to my skin's wants and needs. One of these needs being a good go-to blotting powder or finishing powder that doesn't break the bank and this gems fits the bill at just $2.99!

Immediately I liked the fact that it doesn't come with a sponge applicator or mirror like most low-end cosmetics do. "Why?" you ask? Because I absolutely hate wasting extra money on a product for a sponge applicator to come with it only for me to not use it or throw it away since they tend to pack on too much powder than what is needed. I also find that mirrors tend to either be too small to actually use or just add bulk to the packaging. Plus, I never use the mirror the majority of the time! Therefore, I think Essence did a great job starting with the packaging because thanks to the clear lid I can see exactly what color and product it is without having to open up the compact.


Essence also did a great job with the product in the pan too! This translucent powder feels silky smooth without a powdery finish or feel. It also lives up to its name, Mattifying Compact Powder, thanks to its incredible abilities to mattify on contact and keep me matte all day long, no touch ups required! Plus, I also love that they give ample product (0.42 oz.) for such a low priced product unlike many other low-end products that give you less than half the amount here! All in all, Essence did a really great job with this product just as they have with many of their other products and thanks to their friendly prices, I can see myself buying a couple compacts at a time to keep in my purse, my tote or anywhere nearby to zap shine at a moment's notice. 


The Stats:
 - Keeps shine at bay for a whole day!
 - Doesn't look powdery or cakey atop the skin
 - Perfect for touchups!
 - Priced at only $2.99
 - Dermatologically Tested
 - 0.42 oz. of Product

Do have any other favorite mattifying powders?
Tell me which ones you use in the Comments!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Makeup Review: Essence Lipliner in Cute Pink

This upcoming spring (which really needs to arrive faster) it is all about, bright, bold lip colors, but you wanna keep it in place all day without touchups? well this handy lipliner can help bring color and lasting power to any bold pink lips!

Essence Lipliner in 07 Cute Pink
While browsing around at Ulta looking at the Essence cosmetics selection I found this beauty tucked in with the eyeliners, just waiting for me to spot it. That I did I can promise you. The bright pink packaging definitely stood out to me and once I got this pretty pencil back home I was very pleased to see that the product color is just as bright as the packaging.


Once swatched or applied to lips, this firm semi-cream pencil glides on easily, evenly distributing pigment that stays around for as long as I need it to. Unfortunately, this lipliner isn't nearly as moisturizing as I would like to be so I always make sure to pair it with a lip balm underneath or a moisturizing gloss on top, both of which reduce the wear time of this pencil to just 3 hours. Although this lipliner is extremely great for just $0.99, I think I'll pass on them next time in favor of a more creamy, moisturizing formula.


The Stats:
 - Super Pigmented
 - Comes in 8 Shades!
 - Priced at Just $0.99
 - Easy to Use
 - Comes in the form of a sharpenable wood pencil
 - Draws super precise lines and fills in lips easily
 - Soft, Creamy Formula
 - Can be a bit drying


What's your favorite lipliner?
Tell me in the Comments!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Makeup Review: Essence Silky Touch Blush

Lately I have been wanting to grow my blush collection and what better way to try out different colors and build onto my blush collection than by to try out some drugstore blushes?

Essence Silky Touch Blush in 10 Adorable

At just $2.50 at Ulta I just couldn't pass this up! I am usually one for more coral and peach colors, but I admit I need some more variety within my blush collection so I picked up this baby pink on a whim outside of my comfort zone.

Judging by the way it looks in the pan I was hoping for a soft matte pink, natural blush with just a stroke or two across the pan. Instead I got another peachy blush and was deceived once again by how it looks both swatched and in the pan.

Besides my mess ups and mayhem with the color, this blush has quite a few redeeming qualities. One of these redeeming qualities being that it really lives up to its' name: Silky Touch Blush. This blush really does feel incredibly silky smooth when I run a finger around in the pan. However, with this comes the inevitable powdery dust left sitting in the pan after tapping the color with a brush, but thankfully this blush does not look anything on the skin like it does in the pan. By that I mean there is no obvious powdery look left on the cheeks, just a sheer veil of color. And when I say sheer, I mean really sheer! As in I have to pack this blush on my brush until my brush looks filled up to capacity and sweep onto my cheeks and still have to add another layer for a medium color buildup.


Therefore, I think this product would be great for fair ladies who are just starting out with blush, those who tend to be heavy-handed, or like the idea of being able to control the amount of color buildup. That means that unfortunately tanned beauties won't find this product as great, but remember that there are tons of other drugstore blushes out there that may be much more pigmented and have more shades to suit all skintones (some I have been dying to try: E.L.F Studio Powder Blushes[$3] and Jordana Powder Blushes[$2.50] )


The Stats:
 - Just $2.50
 - Limited Shade Range
 - Very Sheer Color
 - A Bit Powdery
 - Smooth, Silky Formula
 - 0.17 oz of Product

Do you have any affordable drugstore blush favorites?
Tell me your recommendations below!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Makeup Collection and New Storage!

I finally just got my new storage containers that I was talking about during my January Favorites so that means a makeup storage and collection post! But before we get to all the beauty-full pictures I'll fill you in on where I got my storage.

My New Storage
My Old Storage




















I purchased two three drawer acrylic containers (6.5 inches square each) and one shallow drawer organizer (3 inches wide by 2 inches depth by 6 inches long) from The Container Store online. Although I am pleased with what I received, I have some major hang ups with The Container Store online. I ordered from them on a monday and they did not even fill my order until Thursday. Now I know they must get many orders, but I would expect a much shorter time frame to just fill an order. However, on the up side my package was delivered by Saturday. When I first took the boxes out of the bubble wrap and their individual plastic wrap I was kind of disappointed to find that one of the boxes already had a scratch across the top of it and all of the drawer pulls on both of the boxes were grimy. Then I found out that because of the small footing on the bottom of the drawer organizer I bought to go into one of the drawers it was actually taller than 2 inches and would not fit into the drawers (the website does not state anything about the small footings on the bottom of the organizer and does not account them into the 2 inches height).

It is safe to say I am not too pleased with the fact that I had all of these problems, but I am just happy that now I have better storage for all of my makeup and that at least the 3 drawer boxes I ordered were the right size as stated on the website. If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely have gone to an actual store and these problems could have been avoided. However, there are not any Container Stores close to me (I think only one or two even in the state I live in!) and going through the online store was the only way unless I wanted to wait a couple of months to take a trip to where there is one.

Now to compensate you for reading through that entire debacle I present you with a tour through my new storage to see my stash!

Container #1
Drawer #1: Primer, Foundation and Powders
A few things you may find lurking around in here: Stila One Step Makeup, Essence Mattifying Compact Powder, and various Napoleon Perdis Primer Samples

Drawer #2: Blush and Bronzers
A few familiar things: N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Pressed Bronzer in Sunny, E.L.F Contouring Duo, Benfit Feelin' Cheeky Minis and LORAC Blush in Rendezvous 

Drawer #3: Random (Moisturizer, samples,
brush cleanser, pencil sharpener, sanitizer, etc.) 

Container #2
Drawer #1: Eyeshadow Primer, Eyeshadow
Singles and Small Eyeshadow Palettes
Some things you have seen before: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, LORAC Single Eyeshadows and Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Naked

Drawer #2: Mascara and Eyeliner
A whole mishmash of my favorites: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners, Essence Eyebrow Designer, L'Oreal Voluminous Million Mascara, and Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

Drawer #3: Lip Balms and Lip Glosses
Lovely Lippies: EOS Lip Sphere in Sweet Mint, Stila Lip Glazes, Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate, Essence Stay With Me Lipgloss and Bath & Body Works Lipgloss


I know I don't have a very large collection, but I have really only been collecting for six to seven months and did not originally intend on even having a makeup "collection" per say when I started my blog. Most of these products I purchase on my own with my own money or have received from friends and family on special holidays as well as a few products that were given to me by companies. This is also not my entire makeup collection and if your read my blog you may be able to spot a few things missing, especially from the lip drawer. I also try to throw away any makeup that I am just simply not using, many of those being drugstore palettes and some of the makeup I had first started out with. Currently I am quiet happy with the size of my collection and it wasn't until I started putting all of my makeup into the drawers that I realized that if I do expand my collection I may just have to actually buy a vanity and buy more of these drawers because all of them are almost filled to capacity. And in that event, I took a picture of them stacked to give an idea of what they might possibly look like.



I also realize that I do currently store my makeup within a drawer in a bathroom and because of moisture issues with a shower, makeup should in fact never be stored in a bathroom. However, the bathroom that I store my makeup in does have a shower, but it is never used and therefore I find that it is a fine place to store my makeup.


How do you store your makeup?
Tell me your organization ideas in the comments!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Very Valentine's Day Face Of The Day

In spirit of this romantic holiday I thought I would give you all a little look into one of my favorite Valentine's Day inspired face of the day that just oozes pure romantic, flirty fun for this holiday.

All the products you need!

First, start off with a clean, primed eye. I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but any colorless eyeshadow primer that works for you will be perfect to create this fun look. Next, use a flat shader brush to apply Urban Decay's Sin Eyeshadow from lashline to browbone, here I am using the Naked Palette's included Urban Decay Good Karma Eyeshadow Brush, but the Sigma E60 - Large Shader Brush would also do the job nicely. Then, I used Urban Decay's Eyeshadow in Toasted in the crease using Sigma's E30 - Pencil Brush and Blending out with Sigma's E40 - Tapered Blending Brush. After the shadow is completed, use Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in Woodstock to draw a medium thickness line on the upper lashline from the outer corner of the eyes to the middle and smudge the line if desired. Then, use Urban Decay's 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion to thinly line the upper lashline completely. After the lining is completed, use one coat of L'Oreal's Voluminous Lashes and one coat of Urban Decay's Supercurl Curling Mascara on top and bottom lashes.



Now that the eyes are done it's time to focus on the face! First, apply a primer like the Rimmel Fix & Perfect using the hands. After that, use your favorite foundation and foundation brush to apply as usual. For me, I like to use Maybelline's Mineral Power Liquid Foundation in Light 0 with Sigma's F50 - Duo Fibre Brush using stippling and circular blending methods. After the foundation is done, use your normal powder to set. If you have oily skin or find that your foundation leaves you a bit shiny, try using Essence Mattifying Compact Powder in Translucent applied using the Sigma F30 - Large Powder. Next, it is time to highlight, contour and add a lil color! First start off by applying your favorite contouring bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks, such as the NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Bronzing Powder in Sunny with the Sigma F40 - Large Angled Contour. Next, Add some color by layer Essence Silky Touch Blush in Adorable and a layer of LORAC Blush in Rendezvous on top. Then start highlighting the top of the cheekbones using Benefit's High Beam and tapping into the skin using the fingers.



For a finishing touch, use EOS Lip Sphere in Sweet Mint to moisturize and hydrate lips. Then apply a pretty pink lipstick like Maybelline's Color Sensation lipstick in Make Me Pink. To add a glossy finish, use a clear or pink tinted gloss like Bath & Body Works Liplicious Gloss in Cotton Candy.


Hope you enjoyed this very Valentine's Day Face Of The Day!

To get the brushes I used in this tutorial go to www.sigmabeauty.com and use the coupon code LOVE2012 for 10% off your order and a free gift!

Have plans with that significant other?
Tell me what you plan on doing to surprise your significant other!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Makeup Review: Essence Eyebrow Designer

If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I absolutely love Urban Decay's Eyeshadow in Naked for filling in my eyebrows, but lately I have been wanting to try out an eyebrow pencil for quicker application without the need for a brush and a setting gel.

Essence Eyebrow Designer in 03 Light Brown

I must admit that I was quite hesitent to try this product because when I picture an eyebrow pencil I think of someone with a dark skinny line drawn onto where their eyebrow should be. Thankfully, my first experience with an eyebrow pencil was not nearly as terrifying!

Knowing that most eyebrow powders and pencils tend to look darker on the skin than in the packaging I choose their light brown shade and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was very true-to-color when applied to the eyebrow area, but you would never know by swatching the pencil (see below for a picture of how terrible it swatches). Plus, if I ever feel like the color is simply too dark in a certain area I have no problem blending the color out with the included brow groomer on the cap. However, for days when my brows are just being simply unruly I find that I may need to set my brows with a clear brow gel.

Uneven, patchy swatch

I also find that I would like a little bit more of a creamier formula than that of this pencil, but for $1.49 I can't really complain. Although, if the formula was creamier it would really make the affordable eyebrow pencil the creme de la creme. Due to the formula being a bit more dry than I would like, I find that it doesn't swatch well on the hand, but when applied to the brow area with firm pressure the pencil distributes pigment evenly and provides a small amount of control for slightly unruly brows.


Although this product is great for its price, I think I may continue to look for another eyebrow pencil. This product is great for beginners and for first starting out with eyebrow pencils, but next time I think I'll be willing to put forth more cash for a creamier formula.


The Stats:
 - Slightly Dry Formula
 - Priced Around $1.49
 - Great Starter Product
 - Long-Lasting
 - Easy To Use
 - Included Brow Groomer
 - Essence products available at Ulta, Fred Meyer and HEB stores

What eyebrow pencils do you use?
Tell me your suggestions in the Comments!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NOTD: Essence Colour & Go in I Want Candy

Valentine's Day is coming up soon and it is time to get those nails looking fabulous for the day's festivities and what better way to show your love than to drench your fingers and toes with this pale pink polish pick!

Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in I Want Candy (2 coats)
and China Glaze Crackleglaze in Haute Metal

These two pretty polishes are perfect picks for the big day and are sure to look great with any Valentine's Day outfit fit for dinner and a movie or a busy night out on the town. Wherever or whomever you may be with this special day will be sure to notice this perfect pair on your nails!

Have any plans this V-Day?
Tell me in the Comments!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Makeup Review: Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish

In my recent Ulta Haul I went crazy and bought tons of products from the Essence line and when I saw the price on each of these polishes, just 99 cents each, I just had to give them a chance and I'm definitely glad I did!

Left to Right: Essence Colour & Go nail polish in
I Want Candy and Walk Of Fame

I have been looking for a new pale pink polish since my random no-name polish in "french pink" has started to run desperately low and I have been dying to try out a new grey color since my Sephora by O.P.I Nail Polish in Metro Chic tends to have purple undertones (in these pictures Walk of Fame tends to look brown, but more so looks like true grey in person). With that said, I felt these two colors were great to experiment with and for 99 cents I couldn't go wrong even if some aspects of these polishes weren't so great.

However, that is certainly not the case with these polishes. Each of these polishes go on smoothly and dry quickly thanks to the time and consideration they put into the formula as well as the wide, flat brush (much like those of an O.P.I polish). Plus, each of these polishes are decently pigmented, only taking two coats each to sufficiently coat the nail.

Left to Right (2 coats each): Walk of Fame and I Want Candy


The only thing I have to complain about with these two polishes is the fact that they are so tiny. Each of these bottles are just a mere 0.16 fluid ounces compared to an O.P.I bottle at 0.5 fluid ounces each. Side-by-side  the O.P.I looks ginormous, but when you factor in the price of each of these tiny bottles of Essence nail polishes you can get eight bottles equal to 1.28 fluid ounces for the price of one O.P.I polish.

I also find it a bit odd that none of the Essence polishes have name tags on the bottoms or printed on the bottle like most other companies do. Instead their names are printed on the barcode tags slapped around the lids which for me is a bit annoying. My solution to this problem was to print out the names in a very small font using a label maker and sticking it to the bottom of the bottles so I could take off the annoying barcode sticker which isn't a big deal, but I like all of my nail polishes to look a certain way since I display them in my room.

When it comes down to it, each of these miniature bottles of nail polishes packs a lot of punch for teeny tiny price. These Essence Colour & Go Nail Polishes are great for building up a nail polish collection thanks to their great price, quality, and pigment.


The Stats:
 - Just $0.99 cents each!
 - Mini Size (0.16 fluid ounces)
 - Decent Pigment
 - Great Quality
 - Wide, Flat Brush

What is your favorite brand of nail polish?
Tell me in the Comments!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Favorites

It's already February and that means it's time for my favorites of the new year, here's my January favorites!

Makeup

EOS Lip Sphere
Living in the North Eastern United States means that snow is a given during these harsh winter months and sometimes this weather is a little harmful to my lips, but thanks to this balm my lips are still as soft as ever. Sliding on this balm leaves my lips soft and supple with a light minty flavor and scent while moisturizing and protecting lips with various good-for-your-lips oils and without parabens.

LORAC Blush in Rendezvous
Getting through the end of the semester and mid-terms are hard enough when I stay up late studying, but looking like a zombie during my tests is even worse. Thankfully, this blush had me covered when I needed it most, giving my complexion a little pick-me-up with intense pigment and multi-dimensional shimmer that stays put until I'm ready to take it off. 

Urban Decay Travel Set of Five 24/7 Electric Eyeliner
With mid-term week comes the inevitable "I don't wanna get up so early" girl within me, but thanks to this set of five I can create a simple, but punchy look in no time! Whether I overslept or just laid too long in bed before finally dragging myself out I could depend on these liners to add color quickly (to make it look like I actually made an effort to do my makeup) without the need for multiple shadows or brushes.

Miscellaneous 

Lately I have been really into trying to organize and store my growing makeup collection and think I just found out how exactly I would like to store it, but unfortunately I have to order what I need online due to a store not being near me and currently what I want is out of stock. When I finally order what I need and get everything organized I will probably do a picture tour of my makeup collection and storage since I know that I enjoy seeing how others store their collections and that others may want to see how I store mine. Until then I'm stuck with a very big mess that stresses me out just looking at it!