Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Review

This year Makeup Up For Ever is celebrating their 30th anniversary and to kick things off they have revolutionized their famous Artist Shadow Range. This collection is extensive with 210 highly pigmented, blendable shades to choose from including: matte, satin, iridescent and diamond finishes! The range of color satisfies many preferences and there is something for every skin tone and eye color.


If you feel a bit overwhelmed with all your choices the handy color wheel indicates both the finish and the color group which helps you mix and match for beautiful custom palettes.


The single shadows retail for $25.00
Duo - $39.00
Trio- $50.00


Since purple is my favorite color and I can’t seem to stay away from it I chose within group 9. This lovely pink/purple (shade: S-920) with a soft, satin finish pairs wonderfully with the shimmery silver/purple in a diamond finish (D-914). The shadows are formulated with water-blend technology to maximize color and deliver up to 88% concentrated pigment!


The diamond finish is beautiful; there is a duo tone effect with micro-glitter and a light purple undertone that runs through the shiny silver. This shade is great for use on the lids while the purple appears matte and works well in the crease. For heavier coverage using a sponge tip applicator may distribute more color and with a good primer the shadows can be layered for increased intensity.


In the look below I used the purple shadow in the crease and blended it towards my brow bone. I used a deeper purple on the outer crease for more contrast and the silver was used as a lid color. 



The texture is soft and velvety smooth and the shadows are non-creasing, long wear and easy to work with. You can find them at Sephora and Make Up For Ever boutiques.


**Disclaimer: Products were provided for review

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Garnier Pure Control Review - For Acne Pimples

No one likes getting pimples but at some point the majority of us have battled unsightly breakouts. Although I do not suffer from ongoing acne I do occasionally get hormonal pimples and since I value healthy, smooth skin I do whatever I can to prevent and treat them. Although the Garnier Pure Control Line is targeted at acne-prone skin it also helps prevent flare ups to maintain a clear complexion.


The line consists of a great range of products including: cleanser, scrub, astringent and moisturizer that all help eliminate pimples, treat blemishes and reduce the appearance of imperfections caused by breakouts. For best results you can use a few of the products together as an effective front line defense for acne. I recently tried these products to help rid my skin of a few hormonal blemishes and the treatments worked rather quickly without irritation or adverse reactions.

Pure Control Acne Cleansing Gel
The cleanser is formulated to fight pimples, deep cleanse and purify to lift dirt, oil and debris out of pores. The active ingredient is salicylic acid in addition to natural blueberry extract for refreshing smoothness. The gel lathers well and removes makeup and oil effectively which leaves skin feeling very clean. I recommend reintroducing some moisture after cleansing.


Pure Control Gel Scrub
The scrub is suited for those who have oily skin and is infused with charcoal to help absorb excess sebum. This product is also meant to deep clean and eliminate impurities; I recommend using either the scrub or the cleansing gel because using them together may cause excessive dryness. The exfoliating beads are very fine and gentle so they don’t scratch or irritate the surface of my skin. Although the scrub does clean thoroughly and contain sulfate it does not leave my face feeling ultra dry.


Pure Control Acne Astringent Lotion
I use the astringent most frequently for pimples because it is easy to apply on specific areas for spot treatments. Like all of the products in the line it contains blueberry extract and helps fight acne but it also mattifies and tightens pores. I usually dip a cotton swab into the liquid and press it against the affected area, this seems to help dry out the pimple and shrink it, especially when applied twice per day and overnight. Occasionally I even apply the astringent prior to makeup and allow it to dry before applying my foundation.


Pure Control 24 Hours Hydrating Care Anti-Imperfections
The moisturizer helps diminish post acne blemishes and targets uneven skin texture, dilated pores and shine while helping to eliminate acne. This cream is light and hydrating which is great after using all of the above products that cleanse and remove excess oil. Although it does not contain SPF protection it does help reduce shin and smooth the surface of skin without clogging pores, it can also be applied under makeup. 


Pimples can pop up at any age and if you have acne prone skin then you should find the right balance of products and create a routine that works for you. If you experience infrequent breakouts like me then you can use the products as needed for occasional treatments. Usually I try to avoid sulfates but when I need some extra cleansing power I make an acceptation. Overall I found that this line did help reduce the breakout period and diminish the appearance of pimples. You can find the Garnier Pure Control line at most drugs stores. 

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beauty Box Five October

The leaves are changing and I can finally bust out my fall boots and warm sweaters! This month’s Beauty Box Five theme is all about settling into autumn and welcoming it with glamorous simplicity. Before we look at all the goodies let’s review how the service works.


BeautyBox Five is a subscription service that starts at $12 for the monthly box, $30 for the quarterly subscription and $99 dollars for a year. In this box you will receive a mix of luxury items and common brands with products for: hair, skin and nails as well as fragrances and beauty accessories. The box contains 5 products and usually includes one or two full sized items. It is a great way to sample a variety of new brands.


Bellapierre Cheek & Lip Stain in the color Pink (Full size included: retail value- $19.99)
This brand has been a hit with subscribers and I love a great 2-in-1 product! You can dab a little on the lips or blend onto the cheeks for a beautiful flush of light pink. The formula is quite smooth and creamy so it is easy to apply using your fingers and the shade works for all seasons.


Chapstick Hydration Lock (Full size included: retail value- $2.99)
With around the corner any product that nourishes and protects is an added bonus. Chapstick has been a reliable brand for years and their new 2-in-1 conditioning formula offers 24 hours of care and contains: sunflower seed oil, jojoba, coconut oil, mango seed butter, shea butter, avocado oil, olive oil, raspberry seed oil, tamanu oil and antioxidants. On one end there is great day formula with SPF 12 and on the other end you have a night balm that softens and alleviates chapped, dry lips as you snooze! The packaging isn’t fancy but the concept is great!


Extend Your Beauty Cosmetic Tool (Full size included: retail value- $5.49)
We spend a lot of money on makeup but it isn't always easy to extract the product once its almost finished. I have wasted quite a bit of foundation and concealer because I couldn't dig the remainder out of the packaging. This tool is designed to fit into virtually any narrow opening allowing you to get the most out of your products.

Nanacoco Nail Polish in the shade Romantic Cruise (Full size included: retail value- $3.95)
In a previous Beauty Box I received a fabulous lip gloss from this brand and I recently spotted the entire gloss collection at my local beauty supply store! Although I have enjoyed luxurious cruises in the Caribbean and I think this shade of blue looks fabulous on other people it isn't my favorite color.


Lashem Picture Perfect Instant Wrinkle Reducer (Sample size included)
Although I don’t battle with wrinkles this serum can also be used as a primer to provide a smooth canvass for makeup. If you are interested in the anti-aging benefits it helps reduce fine lines and promotes a glowing complexion.


For $12.99 this box contains products with a retail value of over $32.00 and most of the products this month were full size and practical. What I like about the service is that you can gift the box for the holiday season or gift individual items which make great stocking stuffers. For more information on Beauty Box Five visit the website by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: box was provided for review

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mary Kay 2014 Fall Limited Edition Midnight Jewels Collection

This fall captivating gem stone hues are the focus of many new beauty lines and Mary Kay’s Midnight Jewels Collection captures the aura of the moonlit sky and the rich radiance of the season. The set includes 2 trendy eye shadow palettes and pretty array of polish and lipstick designed to compliment every complexion both day and night.


The lovely nail lacquers are available in three new shades:
Sapphire Noir – deep purple with subtle glitter
Night Diamond- metallic, shimmery grey
Pearl Rose- iridescent cream shimmer


The lacquers are formulated for precise, flawless application with a tough, scratch-resistant surface. They are also made to protect and strengthen so that even after removal nails appear healthy.


I like that the lacquers don’t take long to dry and the texture is creamy with a consistent glitter finish. The streak-free, fade-proof formula is easy to work with and covers opaquely in two coats for beautiful fall manicures.

The longevity of the polish is also quite decent when paired with a good chip-resistant top coat and I didn't have issues with air bubbles. (Retail price: $10.00 ea)


If you're a fan of beautiful sparkle then the Mary Kay Lip Shimmer with subtle color and luminous shine is a must-have! Although the finish is sheer and neutral the shade is dazzling and the formula is hydrating.


I love the effect of matte lipstick but I don’t like drying formulas so the new Mary Kay Semi-Matte Lipsticks are great! The texture is smooth and creamy without being shiny or slick and they glide on easily for great coverage and color. The new shades are: Pink Moonstone - a subtle nude and Ruby Night - a deep burgundy/wine. (Retail price; $18.00)


The lipsticks feel comfortable without feathering, provide good hydrating and last a few hours to keep lips supple and drenched in solid color. (Retail price: $18.00 ea)



Lets not forget about the eyes! Mary Kay has designed some beautiful eye shadow palettes that go perfectly with the jewel theme. 

Sapphire Noir incorporates shimmery pink, purples and slate grey, prefect for a night out on the town. Emerald Noir is my favorite with shimmery rich greens, earthy brown and a stunning gold that is great for the holiday season! These shadows are made to last and have crease-proof, fade resistant formulas. The pigmentation is good and the texture is smooth and buildable.




Overall I thought these products showcased the season wonderfully, the shades are nice, the textures and finishes are great and many of the products are simple yet sophisticated. You can find the collection by clicking HERE.

**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Thursday, October 16, 2014

OPI Peanuts Limited Edition Nail Lacquers Review - Halloween 2014

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is almost here! Summer seemed to fly by and soon all of the stores will start prepping for the holiday season! Just in time to help you unleash your inner ghoul OPI has released the Peanuts Halloween Collection inspired by the classic cartoon characters from Charlie Brown. This season your manicure can be a trendy part of your costume with Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Charlie and their 4 Halloween themed lacquers.


Peanuts by OPI includes the following shades:

*Good Grief! – The sunny yellow of Charlie Brown’s favorite shirt.
*To Be or Not To Beagle – Snoopy’s happy-dance of colors in a glitter formula that contains red, blues and orange.
*Who are you calling bossy?!? – The stormy black that matches Lucy’s raven hair.
*Where’s my blanket??? – Glitter polish inspired by Linus containing orange and gold.

(Left: To Be of Not To Beagle /  Right: Good Grief)


 (Left: Who Are You Calling Bossy?!? / Right: Where's My Blanket???)

Whether you are going for light and fun or dark and mysterious the kit contains 2 cream formulas and two black-based glitter hues to create a variety of great looks. I like that the glitter polishes can be layered on top of either of the creams and the colors match the theme nicely.


The wide, long brush makes application easier and the polish has a great consistency. The black covers in two coats with a glossy finish and the yellow appears opaque in 2-3 coats. The drying time isn't bad but I prefer to use a fast drying top coat to speed up the process.

This combo is truly reminiscent of Charlie Brown!

I like that the glitter shades contains hexagon shapes in varying sizes which help fill in gaps. The black glitter fragments are difficult to see against the black polish so it appears a bit sparse and shows up best on yellow, orange, white and shades that aren't too deep.



Although this set was created for the season of candy horror and trick or treat the bright yellow is a great shade for summer and the glitters can be paired with some of your other favorite shades. Overall I enjoyed these fun lacquers and even those who are strangers to nail art can achieve a creative, stand-out manicure quite simply.

This collection is currently available at professional salons and spas but it is limited edition so you may have to act fast. The set retails for $17.50 Canadian or $11.50 each. They are also available in a mini pack which comes with 10 nail decals containing popular Peanut phrases. You can visit OPI by clicking HERE


**Disclaimer: products were provided for review

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Born Pretty Store: Holiday Gift Ideas - Love Atti Eye Shadow Palette and Jialin Lip Palette Review

As you probably know by now I love gold eye shadow! It compliments many complexions, can be paired with winged liner for beautiful yet simple looks and is suitable for every season. Today I have a review on new products from Born Pretty, an online beauty store that sells everything from lashes, skin care, tools and makeup.

First up is the Love Atti Palette 03 which contains 8 ultra shimmery shades designed to make eyes pop with vivid color. The first thing that caught my attention was the glistening finish; the shadows sparkle beautifully in light but the glitter is less concentrated under the top layer. The colors have a pretty metallic finish and good pigmentation especially when used with primer.



The texture is quite smooth and applies well with a standard eye shadow brush or sponge applicator. I didn't have any issues with fall-out or creasing and the range of color is decent for lid, crease and highlight.


Along with variations of gold, copper, bronze and silver there is also a deep, rich green and since the palette is only $7.53 it is great for the holiday season and makes a cute gift!

The packaging is not high-end or fancy but it does come with a small mirror and one applicator, it also fastens rather securely for travel. This is a nice little palette for creating simple looks and for beginners- you can find it by clicking HERE.



Swatched over primer

If you need some ravishing lip color to go with those fetching shadows the Jialin Lipstick Palette has a great range of shades. With 32 round color slots this palette provides many options from deep reds, plums, purple, pink, nude and even gold. For the coming season I like the deep berry hues and the rich burgundy. The texture is very soft, smooth and creamy.


The lipsticks have a gloss texture with high shine yet the pigmentation is good. The palette also contains different finishes, some offer medium to full coverage while others offer sheer coverage and a metallic sheen with illuminating shimmer. The minty blues, violet and yellow may not get much wear but I do like the majority of shades and they are easy to apply with a finger or brush. The colors glide on and melt in nicely for non-drying, comfortable wear.

If the palette in my photos appear a bit used it is because the lipsticks were smudged during shipping. The colors sit in a plastic shell that is very light and not glued to the outer casing, you do however have the option of removing the tray and re-potting them in another case.



The label on the palette suggests that you can also use the lip colors for blush and eye shadow but I think they are too glossy for that. Although I would have preferred more durable packaging, for $6.99 this is actually a pretty good deal. It is suitable for all seasons and gives you the chance to play around with some bright hues. You can find the lip palette by clicking HERE.

If you are looking for some cute holiday stocking stuffers Born Pretty has a variety of affordable products. The flat top kabuki brush for just over $7.00 is good for applying liquid makeup or blush and they have a nice range of cosmetic mirrors for just $5.87.


After my trip to Paris I love all the Eiffel Tower memorabilia and this cute mirror is great for use on the go.


If you use the code EDH10 on BornPretty.Com you will receive an additional 10% off any purchase and shipping is FREE worldwide!


**Disclaimer: Products were provided for review, I do not receive monetary compensation for any purchases made at Born Pretty or for use of the above code. 
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