Monday, January 30, 2012

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

As someone who has struggled with acne and acne scarring, foundation has been an important part of my routine for a long time, but it's only been about a year that I've been trying out foundation primers. So far, I haven't really found one that has completely wowed me.

When I saw the Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer in CVS, I figured it was worth a shot. It cost $13.29 and contains .91 oz of product.

Going off of first impressions, the packaging is nice. It is in a glass bottle with a pump, which I know a lot of people prefer. I would rather have a squeeze tube that makes it easier to get the last of the product out and to make it more travel friendly, but I don't hate the pump.

The pump itself does a good job of dispensing the right amount of product. One pump gives me what seems to be the right amount for covering my face. The feel of this primer is less slick than Smashbox's Photofinish primer  or Tarte's Clean Slate primer. It feels soft and a little powdery to me, and, thankfully, it doesn't have any of the shimmer associated with the PhotoReady line.

One pump of product.
Blended out.
 I don't notice a huge difference in pore size or in how my foundation applies after using this primer. It does, however, seem to add about an hour or so of extra wear to my foundation. I tested it on back-to-back days, going the first day without it and the next day with; I purposely checked the condition of my foundation right after work. On the day that I wore the primer, my skin was less oily and my foundation looked better overall.

When I first started testing this product, I was worried that it was breaking me out. I seemed to be getting a couple of pimples popping up every day I wore it, but after giving it a break for a few days and trying it again, I haven't noticed any extra breakouts from it.

Overall, I think this is a decent primer. Like the other primers I've tried, it hasn't wowed me. I doubt I will repurchase it because I want to keep looking for a primer that does really impress me, but I'm not annoyed that I spent the money on it. If you are looking for a drugstore primer, this one might be worth checking out.

Have you tried this primer yet? Do you plan on it? What are your favorite foundation primers?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail eye liner

I picked up the L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail eye liner in Navy last week to get to the $15 mark required for an ExtraBucks deal at CVS. I figured it was worth a shot since I only had one blue pencil liner that is brighter than I prefer for everyday looks. The full retail price for this liner was $9.79.

  • Rich creme formula for smooth application
  • Smudge-resistant, up to 16 hours
  • Built-in sharpener and smudger
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers

 I thought the smudger was interesting because it was rubbery instead of the typical sponge tip. I'm guessing that might make it more sanitary because bacteria can't build up in it, but that's just a guess. I would also assume that it would hold up better than the sponge-tip smudgers.

When I swatched this liner for the first time, I wasn't thrilled. It didn't swatch very well.

In the above picture, the top swatch is one swipe with the pencil. As you can see, there isn't a lot of color payoff, especially when you compare it with something like Urban Decay's 24/7 liner pencils. The second swatch is two swipes, and the third is multiple. The last swatch was lightly blended out with the smudger tip.

Note: I just swatched this liner again, and the color-payoff with one swipe is a lot better than the above picture, so it appears to have softened up a bit with some use.

Now on to the standard staying-power test. After letting the above swatches sit on my hand for a few minutes, I rubbed them with my fingers with a good amount of pressure and speed. Here are the results:

Not exactly outstanding results for something that claims to be smudge-resistant (notice that it doesn't claim to be smudge-PROOF).

On Monday, I wore this liner to work, and here's how it looked when I got home (sorry there isn't a before picture):

This picture was taken after about 9-10 hours of wear. I do still have color on the outer corner of my eye, which is good. That tends to be where liner disappears on me. However, you can see that it looks faded and the color has smudged down a little bit under my eyes. From a normal distance, this wouldn't be noticeable, so I was happy enough with it. If I were going out to dinner in the evening though, I would probably feel the need to do a quick touch-up before heading back out the door. While I can imagine that there would be a decent amount of product left at the 16-hour mark, I don't think it would hold up well enough to live up to its 16-hour claim.

Overall, I would say this is a decent liner. I will continue to use it because I do like the color of it, but I don't plan on repurchasing it. There are better liners out there. From my somewhat limited collection of pencil liners (I used to almost exclusively wet-line with eye shadows), I much prefer the Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips eye liner trios. They are more smudge-resistant and you can get a pack of three for about $1 more than I paid for the L'Oreal liner.

What are your favorite pencil liners? Have you tried these L'Oreal Infallible ones? What was your impression of them?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer

I am constantly battling with dark under eye circles. Being fair, they tend to make me look like a zombie. Think I'm exaggerating?

Here's my eye area without makeup:

Zombie eye - Eeek!!!
Okay...maybe not quite a zombie, but I swear they are darker in real life.

I have been testing out the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in Radiant to see if it can keep me from looking like I want to eat brains for lunch. 


Heavy swatch on the right; Blended out on the left
Aside from offering Radiant, which is their peach correcting shade, this line also has 5 other shades that are more flesh toned. The name of this product implies that there might be shimmer in it, but, thankfully, I can't detect any shimmer at all.

Here's the results:

The only products I've applied here are my Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer and the Maybelline Lumi concealer. It, of course, blends in a better around the edges once I apply foundation.

 This concealer is packaged in the click up brush applicator like the one used for Stila lip glazes.

I don't particularly care for this type of packaging. I find it harder to get the correct amount of product out, and it also tends to be packaging where you get less product. This particular concealer only comes with 1.5 mL/.05 oz of product. My Hard Candy Glamoflage concealer has .71 oz, and my Maybelline Super Stay Concealer comes with .18 oz. That's a pretty big difference in size, and I think (it's been a long time since I bought the Glamoflage or Super Stay concealers), that the Lumi concealer was the most expensive of the three.

As you can see from the pictures above, this concealer has a pretty thin consistency. It doesn't have completely opaque coverage, but I think it does a decent job of covering the circles under my eyes. I do get a little bit of settling into the fine lines under my eyes, but because the formula of this product is so thin, the settling isn't really obvious like it is with a thicker, creamier product.

I also get pretty good staying-power with this concealer. I still look human when I get home from an average work day. I would want to touch up under my eyes (and a little bit everywhere else) if I was doing something else in the evening because I wouldn't trust it to last all the way through, but it would probably make it through part of the evening as well.

Overall, I like this product enough to overlook my annoyance at the packaging, and I will probably end up repurchasing it when I run out unless I happen to run across something better before then.

Do you struggle with looking like a zombie? What helps make you look human again?

Kreative Blogger Award

I was just awarded a Kreativ Blogger Award by Kori from The Musings of an Awkward Panda. Thanks Kori!

Rules for People I Award, if they choose to do it:
1. Link back to the person who gave you this award. 
2. Complete the form below/answer the questions.

3. Award ten other bloggers, and let them know.

4. Share seven random thoughts about yourself.

The form..
1. What is your favorite song? This is going to sound odd, but I don't have one. I enjoy so many songs and different songs at different times that I can't pick one.
2. Name your favorite desserts. Cheesecake, creme brulee, ice cream, cake...there are very few desserts that I don't like.
3. What ticks you off? When technology doesn't work correctly (like my printer). People who lie. A million other things that I can't think of right now.
4.When I'm upset I? Read. It takes enough focus that I can usually forget about what it bothering me for a little while. 
5.What's your favourite pet? Pets owned by other people. I love animals, but I don't want to deal with the mess, so I enjoy pets that other people own.
6.Black or white? black
7.Biggest fear? Not being successful (even though I have no idea how I would personally define being successful.).
8.Everyday attitude?It really depends on the day.
9.What is perfection? Something that doesn't exist. 
10.Guilty pleasure?  Cheesy romance novels - I know that they aren't exactly quality literature, but I like picking up books that I know will have a happy ending. 
Seven Random Facts: 
My fiance and I bought a house back in August. 
My hometown didn't get a gas station until I was in college.
I read the first 10 books in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series in one week.
I just got my first smartphone. 
My current job is substitute teaching.
I enjoy cross stitching.
My favorite meal to make for a low-key holiday with my fiance is carbonara.  

I am passing this award on to:

Check them out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EOTD - Amber Glow

I finally tried L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow in Amber Rush yesterday. I still want to try the idea of using it with a burgundy type of shade, but for my first time wearing it, I went for something a little safer.

Here's what I ended up with:

Products used:
L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow in Amber Rush on the lid
Urban Decay Buck in the crease
Wet & Wild Brulee to blend and highlight
The light golden color from the Wet & Wild Baked, Not Fried palette for the inner corner and just under the browbone
Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on eye pencil in Bourbon to line (in hindsight, I wish I had gone for a warmer brown liner color)
Wet & Wild MegaProtein mascara

I ran across another beauty blogger the other day who mentioned using a sponge-tip applicator to apply these L'Oreal shadows, which was a fantastic tip! I can't get a brush to work well for these, but a sponge-tip applicator worked really well. I wish I could remember where I read it so I could give her credit. If it was you or know who it was, please let me know.

I would also like to point out the bit of mascara on my browbone. This is an issue that I'm having with the MegaProtein mascara. It is a really wet formula that takes a while to dry, so unless I'm really careful, I always end up with small bits of mascara on my browbone. I don't notice is smudging after it dries though.

Goal for my next EOTD - mix up my application techniques. I used the same techniques for both this one and my first one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CVS Haul - Hooray for Coupons!

I had a bunch of CVS Extrabucks and a couple of other coupons burning a hole in my pocket, so I went in today and picked up:

Almay intense i-color shimmer-i kit for green eyes - original price: $8.29 - on sale for $5.99 with card
L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow in Eternal Sunshine - $8.29
L'Oreal Infallible eyeliner in Navy - $9.79 (Ouch! This was more expensive than I thought.)

My haul

I used the following coupons:
$3 off any Almay color cosmetics item
$13 in ExtraBucks
20% off my  entire purchase

With all of my discounts, I ended up paying a total of $6.33 today AND...

I also walked out of there with $8 in ExtraBucks ($3 for the Almay product and $5 for buying $15 in L'Oreal products).

Needless to say, I'm quite pleased with the results of my little shopping trip. Have you gotten any good deals lately?

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blushes

When I first saw that Maybelline was coming out with a product called Dream Bouncy blush, I was intrigued. I wanted to know how a blush could be described as bouncy. It didn't help that I've been addicted to cream blushes over the past several months. When I happened to run across a display for these blushes before Christmas, one of them practically leaped (or should I say bounced?) into my hand. I've since gone on to pick up three more, so I now own Fresh Pink, Plum Wine, Pink Frosting, and Rose Petal.

Top row: Fresh Pink and Plum Wine / Bottom row: Rose Petal and Pink Frosting

While these aren't bouncy in the literal sense of the word, it still seems to be a fitting word to describe these blushes. They have a fascinating (at least for me) spongy, play-doh like texture that shifts around when I lightly press down on them, but they still mostly stick within their molded, dome shape. I will admit that I've had a bit too much fun poking at these blushes and watching them shift around in the pan, which you can see from the above pictures (note to self: take pictures BEFORE you start playing with the makeup).

I have applied these with both my fingers and a stippling brush. I prefer using my fingers, but the brush worked as well. They blend into the skin easily and smoothly with very little tugging on the skin. It's a nice cream-to-powder type of formulation that doesn't feel sticky/tacky while applying or after it has been applied.

Several reviews I have come across about these blushes complain about the lack of pigmentation of these and how sheer they are. I would agree on both counts; they aren't overly pigmented, and they go on quite sheer. For me, I consider that a positive thing. I usually have to be really careful when it comes to applying blushes because they are so pigmented. With the lighter shades of these blushes that I own (Fresh Pink and Rose Petal), it is pretty much impossible for me to over-apply. It also makes it possible for me to grab for the darker colors because I know I can blend them out and make them work.


Top row: Fresh Pink and Rose Petal / Bottom row: Pink Frosting and Plum Wine
Fresh Pink: heavy swatch and blended out
Rose Petal: heavy swatch, blended out, applied more heavily and blended
Pink Frosting: heavy swatch and blended out
Plum Wine: heavy swatch (sorry it is blurry) and blended out
 These blushes have good lasting power for me. I can apply them at around 7 a.m., and when I get home at 4 p.m., they still look pretty good. From the times that I was able to check, it looked like it was around 6-7 p.m. when it had faded enough that I would have felt the need to reapply. Every time I have applied them, it has been over a face primer, foundation, and powder. Most of the time I end up applying a little bit of powder on top as well, especially with the darker shades to help blend them out. I purposely went one day without applying powder on top, and it didn't seem to affect the lasting power. I would also like to note that I didn't use any blotting papers or powder during the day to touch-up.

Although I have been enjoying these, I had a minor issue last week when I tried Rose Petal for the first time. It is such a light color that even I had to pile it on a bit to get it to show up. When I looked closely in my mirror, the product had caked into my pores. Thankfully, I grabbed a kabuki brush to blend it out, and it was no longer an issue. I haven't noticed this with any of the other colors that I own. I also haven't noticed them settling into my pores throughout the day.

Bottom line: Would I recommend these blushes? If you like cream blushes, I say it is worth giving them a try. I would suggest starting with one blush though because I have read and seen a lot of mixed reviews on these, so you might not enjoy them like I do. Consider the depth of your skintone and pick a color accordingly. When in doubt, I would suggest grabbing a darker color. Even with my fair skin, I can wear Plum Wine with just a little bit of extra blending and a light dusting of a tinted powder on top.

Have you tried these yet? How would you describe the texture? Since I'm obsessed with cream blushes, what other ones should I add to my wishlist?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beauty Crazed - Awesome Giveaway!

The blog Beauty Crazed is doing an awesome giveaway here. It is definitely worth checking out! They are giving away a ton of products, and I've noticed several that aren't available here in the U.S.

I'm entering, are you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Naked Smackdown!

I wasn't planning on doing a review on the Naked 2 palette, but I got a couple of requests to do a comparison between the Naked 1 and 2 palettes (will be referred to as N1 and N2), so I figured I would go ahead and do that.

Please note ahead of time:

I am pale (you will see my ghostly arm in the swatch photos) with a neutral skintone. I don't really have much need for dark, dramatic makeup. I work as a substitute teacher, and going out on a Saturday night for me means going to dinner and a movie with my fiance My opinions on these palettes and my groupings of how I would use these shades hinge on those basic facts.

All swatches in this post were done without primer.

Which one will prevail and claim the title of Best Naked Palette?!

Packaging: For me, I think the N1 palette has better packaging.

Even though the N1 palette is made of cardboard and the N2 is made of plastic, I think, in the long run, the N1 palette is going to prove to be more durable. I think the hinge on the N2 palette will eventually wear down and break apart. I plan on trying to extend its lifespan by not bending back the lid very far (it sits open nicely on its own and doesn't get in the way when being held), but I still expect it to eventually break. While less likely, I can also see the posts (not sure what else to call them) that snap the palette closed breaking off as well.

I can see these spots on the N2 palette breaking with a lot of use.

As for the outside of the case, I prefer the soft, velvety feel of the N1 case. Again, at first glance, the N2 case my appear that it will stay nice looking longer, but I don't know if that will truly be the case. I can see the metal getting scratched up somewhat easily. With my N1 palette, it collects lint and dust, but when I feel the need (which is rarely), I run a lint brush over it, and it looks almost like new again. 

One of the things that I prefer about the N2 packaging is that there is a curved side to the brush well. In other UD palettes that I have, the well provided for eye liners or brushes makes them hard to get out. The curved side in the N2 palette makes sliding a brush or liner out of it easy.However, I realize that the typical cardboard packaging probably makes that impossible.

Highlight colors: For the average person, both Naked palettes offer two potential highlight shades. N1 has Virgin and Sin, and N2 has Foxy and Bootycall. I'm so pale that Sin would be too dark for a highlight shade for me. While Bootycall has about the same depth of color as Virgin, it has enough of a peach tone to it that I'll probably use it more often as a lid shade. Even though I primarily use matte highlight colors, I prefer Virgin over Foxy. Virgin has a nice sheen to it, but it doesn't have shimmer, so it isn't over the top when using it with more shimmery shadows, especially with a matte crease shade. The yellow tone of Foxy doesn't work for me. It is too dark and it just isn't flattering on my browbone.

From left to right: Foxy, Bootycall, Virgin, Sin
 N1 wins again.

Matte Shades: 

From left to right: Naked, Buck, Foxy, Tease, Blackout
Working off numbers alone, N2 would win with three matte shades versus two in the N1 palette. However, when I look at the individual shades, N1 pulls out ahead again. I love Naked and Buck. I use them all the time. They are actually the shades that proved to me that I could wear a crease color and made me like matte shades.

In N2, I've already addressed Foxy. I don't like it. If they had something a bit more neutral for that shade, I would be a very happy camper. I like Tease. While it is a cool-toned brown that seems to have a bit of a plum undertone, it seems to have a little bit of warmth, so I used it in a look the other day to help balance out having Verve all over my lid and Pistol in the outer v. I can see some people saying that this color makes it look like they have a bruise on their eye, but it works for me. As for Blackout, you can see from the swatch, it is a really nice DEEP black. For people who use a matte black regularly in the outer v, this is a great addition to the palette. I am not one of those people. More often than not, I will use this to line my eyes or on top of a cream liner, and I probably won't use it very often.

Glitter Bombs: 

From left to right: Sidecar, Gunmetal (not really a glitter bomb), Chopper, YDK
 N1 really only has one glitter bomb where fallout is going to be an issue, and that is Sidecar. I threw Gunmetal into this picture as well because it seemed to be the second most glittery color in the N1 palette. N2 has 2 glitter bomb shades: Chopper and YDK.

Compared with the most famous glitter bomb, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, these really aren't that bad (confession: I haven't worn Chopper yet). I used YDK in the crease the other day, and, taking a tip from julieg713 on youtube, I used some Scotch tape to clean up the fallout. I didn't see much issue with fallout throughout the day either.I'm guessing the same trick would work for Sidecar and Chopper.

I don't really consider these a major negative of the palettes, but I'm not a big fan of glitter in eye shadows, so N1 wins again.

Lid Colors: 

Naked 1 lid colors (from left to right): Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Half Baked, Toasted
Naked 2 lid colors (from left to right): Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Suspect, Verve, YDK
 Here is where N2 actually wins one for me and what drew me to the palette to begin with. Overall, the shades in N2 are a bit lighter than the shades in N1, so they will give me more options on a day-to-day basis.

Crease/Liner Shades: 

Naked 1 (from left to right): Buck, Smog, Darkhorse, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal
 I apologize for the powdery look of these swatches. They really apply much better than this. I guess I was getting sloppy after taking so many swatch pictures. Sorry!

Naked 2 (from left to right): Tease, Snakebite, Pistol, Busted, Blackout
This is a tough call on which of these has better crease/liner shades, but I'm going to have to go with N1 again.

In the N1 group, I could have also included Naked in with these shades. I use it most often as a crease shade, but because of the depth of color, I put it with the lid shades instead. I don't really use Creep or Gunmetal because I don't wear colors that dark and Gunmetal is too much of a blue-toned grey for my taste. If I was going for a smoky look, the N1 palette gives me a lot of choices. I love bronze smoky eyes, so I enjoy Smog for that when I get the chance. Most of these shades would work as a liner color for me too, which is a nice option to have.

Looking at my swatch picture, I like how the N2 palette has a better variety of shades in this particular grouping. Tease and Pistol are fairly light and subtle, and Blackout is super dark. There are fewer options with these though because of that. If I wanted to line my eyes with a shadow, I could really only go with Snakebite, Busted, or Blackout.


Naked 1
Naked 2

I'm declaring the extras a tie. I prefer the brush that I got in the N1 palette. I don't care for double-ended brushes because they are a pain to store. The flat-shader part of the N2 brush is a bit too small for laying down a lid color, and I prefer my crease brushes to have shorter bristles. The N1 brush is a nice size for applying color to the lid, and it is easy to store with my other brushes.

The N2 is better for me though with the lip gloss. I have so many primers it is ridiculous. I don't need another mini UDPP, so the gloss was a nice change. 

Conclusion: In my very humble opinion, N1 is the better overall palette. It's sort of like movie sequels, they are rarely as good as the original.

However, N2 is still a really nice palette. It gives more options for softer, everyday looks, and does lean cooler in tone than N1, so cool-toned ladies might love it more than the original. As stated in my haul post with the N2 palette, I'm glad I got it. I will enjoy using it and will be able to create some nice, pretty looks with it. 

What are your thoughts on the Naked palettes? Do you have the original? Do you have or plan on getting Naked 2?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

EOTD - Snakebitten Latte

I'm going to try and do some eye-of-the-day posts, especially since I'm testing out a bunch of new products lately. I hope I can come up with a better lighting solution in the future, but what I've currently figured out isn't awful, so I'm going to go with it for now.

In this look, I am wearing:
L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow in Iced Latte on the lid
Urban Decay Snakebite in the crease
Wet & Wild Brulee to highlight
L'Oreal Hip cream eyeliner in Teal topped with Urban Decay Blackout to line
Tarte Lights, Camera Lashes mascara topped with Wet & Wild Mega Protein mascara

After doing this look, I think I have officially given up on Tarte Lights, Cameras, Lashes mascara. I know a lot of people love it, so I want to as well. I keep trying it, and I still don't like it. I feel like my lashes look really clumpy in this look, and they looked that way before I added the Wet & Wild mascara. 

I don't think these pictures show off the gorgeous sheen/shimmer that Iced Latte has, so here's a swatch picture with it that shows it off a little better: 

All of these are the L'Oreal Infallible shadows. From left to right: Endless Pearl, Iced Latte, and Amber Rush.

Since I haven't worn it yet, how would you wear Amber Rush? What would you pair with it? 

New Drugstore Products I'm Testing Out

There's been a lot of fun new beauty products showing up at the drugstore lately. Being the addict that I am, I haven't been able to resist. CVS isn't helping with good sales and giving me coupons and ExtraBucks to spend. I think the people who work at my CVS are going to start thinking I'm nuts because I've been going in there so often.

Here's a first look at the new products I'm testing out (all products were bought at CVS unless otherwise noted):

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer - $13.29

I've used this a couple of times. I like how it feels when I apply it. It feels soft, but it doesn't feel as slippery as Smashbox PhotoFinish primer or Tarte's Clean Slate primer. 

 Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Hightlighting Concealer - $8.29
Revlon PhodoReady Eye Primer + Brightener - $9.99(Note: The Maybelline one comes with 1.5 mL of product. The Revlon one has 2.4 mL.)

Drugstore brands seem to be figuring out that peach concealers are good for under the eyes. I'm currently on the hunt for a better under eye concealer, so I couldn't help but grab these.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush - $8.29

The texture of these is really fun. It truly does feel bouncy.  The colors that I have are Fresh Pink and Plum Wine. Plum Wine looks scary in the pan, but it blends out nicely.

Maybelline Color Tattoo eye shadow - $5.84 (at WalMart)

I have these in Bad to the Bronze and Tough as Taupe. When I took these pictures, I noticed that Tough as Taupe appears to have a lot more product in the jar that Bad to the Bronze. Has anyone else noticed this with the ones that they've picked up?

L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow - $8.29

From left to right: Endless Pearl, Iced Latte, Amber Rush

 These are an interesting hybrid of a powder and a cream shadow. So far, I'm not impressed with Endless Pearl. It applies patchy compared with the other two.

Maybelline Super Stay 10 Hour Stain Gloss - $6.94 (at WalMart)

I picked this up in Mauve Dream.

I've only tried this once, and I haven't tested the 10 hour claim yet. I will say that the smell is a bit odd. It is like a cross between fruit punch and cherry cough syrup. Those who are sensitive to smells might want to avoid this product.

Is there anything that you would like to see an extended review on? What new products for 2012 have caught your eye? I have $9 in ExtraBucks for CVS. What should I pick up with it? I'm going to try and make it my last purchase for a while. I've clearly been on a spending binge lately.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sephora Haul!

When I saw that had Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette in stock, I had to jump on the opportunity to use a 10% off discount code that I had to snap it up.

I don't plan on reviewing this palette, and I probably won't do swatches either just because the internet is already flooded with both. How many times can you read, "I wish they hadn't included Half Baked again"?

Although I'm not adding a review, I will add another photo of the Naked 2 palette to the millions of them already out there: 

When I make a Sephora order, I always look for something small to throw in my order just because I like getting multiple things (Am I the only one that does that?). Sometimes I convince myself that I shouldn't get them. This time I didn't. My small item was the Chloe & Love, Chloe Minature Duo ($12), which has mini bottles (duh!) of Chloe and Love, Chloe.

I also had quite a few Beauty Insider points that I could cash in, so I got a few more products that way. I got the 100-point perk of a Miss Dior Cherie perfume, and I also got the 500-point perk Philosophy Party Girl set.
 From left to right: Love, Chloe; Chloe; and Miss Dior Cherie. All three of them are 5 mL/.17 oz.

The Philosophy Part Girl set included (from left to right): Hope in a Jar (in a tube - lol), Microdelivery Peel (excited to try this!), Purity Cleansing Oil (excited to try this one too!), and Bubbly lip shine (which smells really good, but I can't put my finger on what it smells like - I would assume champagne, but I don't think that's what it is).

These were my three freebie samples. The only one that I actually asked for was Someday by Justin Bieber (Yes, I requested it. No, I'm not a Justin Bieber fan.). I'm still happy to try what I got though. I've been testing a couple of other makeup primers, so I'm glad to give another one a shot, especially one with anti-aging properties, and I'm always on the hunt for a better eye cream.

Are you planning on getting the Naked 2 palette? What, if anything, have you hauled from Sephora recently? Did you take advantage of the extra 20% off sale items code? I was tempted by it, but I resisted.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Best of 2011 - Eyes

This is the last of my posts on my favorite products from 2011. There are a lot of eye products that I love, but these were the ones that stood out to me just because I reach for them so often. 

Urban Decay’s Naked Palette – Okay. This isn’t really a shock. Nearly everyone loves this palette. It is just really easy to use while still giving a lot of look options. When I travel, I usually grab this. I doubt anyone actually needs to see a picture of it, but here it is anyway:

 Urban Decay’s Suspect eye shadow – I got this in the Book of Shadows volume III, and I got another one in the Rollergirl palette (which is what is pictured here). I’ll be getting a third in the Naked 2 palette. I like this color enough that I'm happy with having three of it. It is a great lid color for me. It is one of those shadows that I can just throw on to add some depth and color to my lids without worrying about it being too dark. When I want to go really subtle, I'll use this as a crease color with Verve on the lid. I could also use this as a lid color with Smog or Darkhorse in the crease for a smokier look (I have to try that now). If you're fair skinned, definitely give this color a swatch if you see it. Here's my quick swatch without primer:

Wet & Wild Brulee eye shadow – This is the perfect highlight shade for me. I love it because it helps me blend out my crease color, which always tends to go higher than I would like. It also evens out the color of my browbone without being obvious. Looking at it closely, I can see tiny flecks of shimmer, but when applied, it looks matte, so it is great for super shimmery looks. As you can see, I've hit pan, and I bought this sometime during the spring or summer. I rarely hit pan on things, so that says something about this product.

EcoTools Blend eye shadow brush (from their 6 piece eye shadow kit) – This works really well for applying Brulee. It is fluffy enough to sort of buff on the color and help blend my crease color, but it is dense enough to lay down enough product to even out my browbone area. I use this brush every day.

 I have two of these brushes, and they are a little different. I prefer the top one because it is less flat than the one on the bottom. I feel like it blends better, but I do still use them both.

ELF Studio Contouring brush – This is the perfect crease brush for me. I typically have issues with crease colors going too high and too far out. This keeps my crease color where I want it better than other crease brushes I’ve tried, but it is big enough to blend out the color too. I’ve got four of these brushes, and I’m always tempted to buy another one when I am in a Target. 

Silk Naturals Cream Eyeliner Palette – This was released as a limited edition item in the spring, and it was rereleased for Christmas. It has 9 mini pans of SN’s cream liners – Midnight (navy blue), Fort Knox (gold), Peacock (teal green), Mahogany (shimmery brown), Espresso (matte dark brown), Amethyst (purple), Tarnish (steel grey), Envy (khaki green), and Film Noir (black). I love the texture of these. They are stiffer than most cream/gel liners, so I have to swipe an angled liner brush across the top instead of dipping a brush in like you do with most cream/gel liners. I like that it is pretty much impossible to get too much product on my brush because it is so stiff. Most days, I don’t bother setting this with powder (which is recommended by SN), and aside from the outer corners of my eyes, which usually fades to nothing by the end of the day, it stays put. This palette retails for $19.99, which is a great value because these liners will last you a really long time. I've barely made a dent in the two colors (the browns) that I use most often. 

What eye products have you been loving over the past year? What should I try during 2012?