Thursday, November 29, 2012

Product Fail - Wet n Wild Mega Eyes Defining Marker in Dark Brown

I had the urge to play around with liquid liner recently, and since I had a Wet n Wild coupon at CVS, I ended up grabbing theri Mega Eyes Defining Marker in Dark Brown (870). With the coupon, I figured it was worth a shot.

 It had a felt tip, which is what I was wanting. Felt tips seem like they would be better for liquid liner novices like myself.  I excitedly put a swatch on the back of my hand, and imagine my dismay when this is what I saw:

The swatch looked like a red with a little bit of brown. Who in their right mind would call this a dark brown??? I haven't even bothered to try and use it on my eyes because the color just doesn't seem workable. Aside from the fact that the color itself is terrible, I'm not impressed with the formula either. It is streaky when applied, and if I try and build up the color, it continues to streak more. 

Has anyone else tried these Mega Eyes Defining Markers? Did I just get a really old dud or are they all this bad?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Deals! Wow!!!

My credit card is officially whimpering. There's some amazing Cyber Monday sales going on!

The two that I just indulged in:

The Body Shop has everything 50% off (except for a few holiday sets from what I saw). You get free shipping for order over $30, and you can get a tote bag of goodies valued at $100 for $30 with a $30 purchase. If you join their rewards program, which costs $10 for a year, you get 10% off this order and every order throughout the year (along with other perks). Don't forget to use Ebates, which currently has 10% cash back for The Body Shop.

Eco Tools is also have a 50% off sale with free shipping on every order. I love their brushes. I own almost all of them. I don't have their newest 6-piece Day to Night set, and a couple of those brushes looked interesting, so I caved. I added a couple of shower poufs to my order as well because I need to replace mine.

Other deals/info I want to share:

Silk Naturals Holiday Collection went live last week, and it looks gorgeous! Karen created a lot of really great new products and colors. I don't use a lot of loose shadows anymore, but I just couldn't resist picking up a few of the new ones. I'm also anxious to try their caffeinated lip balm. I'm a caffeine addict, so it'll be nice to get a boost without a can of soda. Through December 20, you can use the code GOBBLE12 to get 6% off your order. It isn't a huge discount, but Silk Naturals keeps their costs low to begin with (shadows are only $4 each), and they don't have sales often, so it's worth taking advantage of it.

Darling Girl Cosmetics is also having a nice sale right now. Copied from their Facebook page:
Posted a little early but I get busy in the morning and forget stuff. lol CYBERGEDDON gets you 10% off your orders through 11/26/12. I haven't removed the discounts from the collections or the mix & match sets either so that's just about 20% off of collections and mix & match shadows and I rarely offer that much of a discount!
Tarte Cosmetics is having a 25% off sale. It looks like their Holiday collection is excluded, but sale items receive the discount. You get free shipping with a $40 purchase, and Tarte also includes a deluxe sized sample with every order. 

Shameless plug: I also have a blog sale going on. Please check it out here. I just lowered some prices and added a few items. I'm willing to negotiate, especially if you are interested in multiple items.

I might end up adding to this post throughout the day. Please feel free to share any deals that you notice in the comments! Also please feel free to share what you picked up over the weekend or what you are ordering today to make me feel better about my over-spending lately. :-)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Essence Blushes - Review and Swatches

If you've read even just a couple of my posts, you've probably read a mention about me being pale. It feels really redundant to keep mentioning it, but it does make a big difference when it comes to how I view products.

I love bright colors for my cheeks and lips. I actually think they work well with my fair skin (think Snow White), but I have to be really careful when I apply bright blushes because the Snow White look can quickly become the Extra from Moulin Rouge look. Not good. That's why I decided during one of my many fall shopping trips (Shame on me!) to pick up a couple of blushes that weren't really bright and intense.

I ended up grabbing two blushes from the brand Essence, which is a super-cheap brand sold at Ulta. These blushes are currently selling on for $2.99 each.

Essence Silky Touch Blush in 20 Babydoll
Essence Silky Touch Blush in 10 Adorable
Left to right: Babydoll and Adorable
These blushes do have a soft, silky feel to them, and as you can see from the swatches, they have pretty good pigmentation for inexpensive, light colors. Babydoll is a slightly rose-toned, muted pink, and Adorable is a true, light baby pink. They both have a slight sheen in the pan, but they appear matte when applied.

I love that I can use a normal blush brush to apply these since I have to use a stippling brush for nearly every blush in my collection. The trade-off with these being easy for me to apply is that they don't last as long as some of my other blushes. By the end of a workday, these are pretty much gone. While that's slightly disappointing, there are days when I'm okay with trading-off a little bit of wear time to have something that is hard for me to over-apply, especially for the inexpensive price tag.

Have you tried the Essence blushes? What did you think about them? Are there any other Essence products I should check out? Do you know of any light colored blushes that are easy to apply on fair skin that last all day?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sephora Favorites In the Glow Set - Get Glowing!

I'm disappointed that I fell off the wagon in terms of posting regularly. I was doing really well for a while there, and then I wasn't. *sigh* I don't think I've been a whole lot busier than usual either. I was hoping to get this particular post up before the VIB sale at the beginning of November, and that clearly didn't happen. 

This is a look at the second Sephora Favorites set I got during the Sephora Employee Appreciation Sale back in October. If you want to see my thoughts on the Sephora Favorites Superstars Beauty Essentials Set, you can find it here.

The In the Glow set has 9 deluxe samples and retails for $45. It comes in the same kind of sturdy cardboard box that the Superstars set came in, which can be used for storage after the products are removed. The products are a mix of bronzers, blushes, and highlighters.

Lorac Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight - 3 g - Approximate value - $10

I'd read rave reviews about this highlighter in the past, but I was worried it would be too dark for me. This set was a great way to try it out without committing to a full size. In the swatch above, the right swatch is a heavy one, and the left one is more blended out. It will be a little dark when my summer tan is gone, but I think I'll still be able to use it. One of the nice things with this highlighter is that it isn't glittery at all; it just has a really nice sheen.

Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic - 4 g - Approximate value - $25

This product is one that looks gorgeous, but I wasn't originally sure how to use it. In the swatches above, the first four swatches are the individual colors, and the last swatch on the far right is all four shades mixed together. Mixed together, it's too dark for me to use as a highlight, and it isn't a color I would normally use as a blush. I tried using a couple of the colors as eye shadows, and they made a really pretty look. I'll have to keep playing with it though. I might have to try using it as a blush one day.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Splendor - 3.2 g - Approximate value - $13.75

This is a really pretty bright pink with a lot of gold shimmer and some gold glitter. I cringed initially when I saw the chunkier glitter pieces in this, but thankfully, they don't really seem to stick to the skin. The color is similar to Nars Orgasm, but it isn't an exact dupe. It Splendor doesn't have the peachy undertone that Orgasm has, and it is also has more gold shimmer.

Benefit High Beam - .13 fl oz - Approximate value - $7.30

This is a cult classic liquid highlighter that adds a soft pink sheen to the skin. I've had a small sample sized bottle for a long time, and I like it, but I don't love it. I reach for my powder highlighters more. In the swatch above, the one on the right is a heavy swatch and the one on the left is blended out.

Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna - 2.5 g - Approximate value - $9.80

I have to say that this is one of the products I was really excited to try. So many people in the online beauty community us this as their go-to bronzer, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. This is a nice warm bronzer with a slight golden sheen to it. I haven't decided if I love it yet, but I've been enjoying testing it out.

Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Flushed - 4.8 g - Approximate value - $3.30

This cheek stain looks really scary in the tube, but, as you can see from the swatch, it blends out to sheer berry color. I have several of their cheek stains, and the way that I like applying them is with a stippling brush. I find that they feel a bit tacky, so they are hard to blend with my fingers. A stippling brush works well. I usually sweep a bit of translucent powder over the stain after I've applied it to help get rid of that tacky feeling.

BareMinerals All Over Face Color in Pure Radiance - .57 g - Approximate value - $12.50

 This is another highlight product that looks like it would be questionable for my pale skin, but, sadly, that's because of my camera skills. With a heavy swatch like the one above, the skintoned base is really apparent, but when applied lightly to the skin, it doesn't. What does show up is tons of very fine pieces of shimmer, that don't show up in the photo. This is a gorgeous shimmery highlight, and my photos fail miserably at showcasing it.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matter Bronzing Powder - 2.5 g - Approximate value - $7.25

This is another favorite in the beauty community that I was happy to get in this set. It is completely matte and is cooler in tone than Laguna. Like Laguna, I haven't decided if I love it yet, but I'm enjoying playing with it. I blame my general fear of bronzers. I'm always afraid of over-applying them, so I don't apply enough to really notice a difference.

Stila Convertible Color in Peony - 2.2 g - Approximate value - $11.50

This is a highly pigmented cream blush that has a really smooth feel. It blends out easily, and the color Peony is a great neutral, slightly brown-toned pink. 

My total estimated value: $100.40. The box claims a $111 value. 

Final Thoughts

I love these types of sets. I get to try a bunch of products for a lot less than if I was buying full sizes of everything, and it's a great value for just the mini sizes of them. If you love blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, I would suggest picking this set up.