Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wantable Beauty Box Review July 2014

With so many beauty subscriptions circulating it can be difficult to choose one that suits your preferences but a box packed with a variety of great products is a good way to explore new brands. Wantable offers three different boxes tailored to your beauty needs, your love of trendy accessories and an intimates box which includes items like leggings, tank tops, camisoles and bras.


Today I am reviewing the Wantable makeup box with a range of items handpicked by a personal stylist. Unlike some beauty boxes that offer small packets and inconsistent sample sizes Wantable includes 4-5 FULL size products for $36.00 per month. The great thing about this service is that it is customized to your style and you have the option of keeping what you love and returning what you don't. Upon sign up you are asked a series of fun, comprehensive questions relating to your favorite: products, colors, finishes, textures and formulas and based on your answers the box is individually packaged to impressed! 

This month the focus was on accentuating the eyes and cheeks with fabulous color. The total retail value of the box is $99.00 and includes products from Ofra, Mica Beauty, Vincent Longo and Tarina Tarantino.

Ofra Loose Blush-Color: B29 Pink ($35.00) 

This blush is a gorgeous deep pink that is suitable for a wide range of skin tones and the ultra fine texture blends smoothly onto skin. The color can be applied subtly or built-up for deep, seamless coverage and it offers a velvety matte finish. I like this shade because the rich pigment adds beautiful contour, definition and a healthy, rosy glow.


swatch

Mica Beauty Mineral Eye Shadow- Color: Reluctance ($15.00)

I prefer working with loose pigments and this one by Mica Beauty blends like a dream! This shade is a shimmery blend of silver and green with light reflecting particles for a dazzling finish. It offers eye catching, rich pigmentation with a non-creasing, long-wear formula. It is also designed to be gentle on the eyes and skin with no chemicals, dyes, oils, fillers or preservatives. The smooth, light-weight particles appear bold and glamorous even without a primer!


swatched over primer

Vincent Longo Foundation Brush ($30.00)

This brush is designed for the application of liquid products and although I don’t usually use flat brushes for foundation the large tapered shape and plush bristles are great for patting on product precisely where you need it. This is my first experience with the brand and the quality of the brush is impressive. The bristles are soft yet firm and flexible enough for consistent coverage. It feels very light and soft against the skin and there has been no shedding!


Tarina Tarantino Fleur De Lash Mascara- Color: Black ($19.00)


If you like the effect of thick, glam lashes then this is the mascara for you! The flexible wand grips lashes to lengthen and separate while creating fanned out, non-clump volume. The trendy gunmetal tube beautifully reflects light and the mascara is formulated to “thicken for traffic stopping lashes.”


Overall this subscription is a great value and I like that Wantable complied with all of my preferences to put together a unique box that I absolutely love! For more information on this subscription click HERE.
**Disclaimer: These products were provided for review.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal Lip Balm Review

If you read my post on the Maybelline Dr Rescue medicated balms then you know I have a Baby Lips obsession! I always have at least one on these balms tucked away in my purse or rolling around in my office drawer. Over the years Maybelline has continued to develop a delightful variety of formulas to improve the appearance of lips by combining fun colors and marvelous ingredients!


Recently the new Crystal lip balms were added to the Baby Lips family and these shimmery beauties are developed to provide 8 hours of moisture! I love products that diminish dryness and these do just that with the infusion of shea butter and healing vitamin E.


The balms are available in 6 shades which include: Beam of Blush, Twinkling Taupe, Crystal Kiss, Pink Quartz, Gleaming Coral, and Mirrored Mauve. Each contains a hint of subtle color and smell delectably fruity! The micro shimmer is not too glittery or excessively shiny but rather soft and iridescent.

(145 Beam of Blush)

With just a few swipes lips look glossy and luminous and the formula is comfortable and non-sticky. The Crystals bathe lips in radiant moisture making them feel soft and supple.

(130 Crystal Kiss)

These also work well under your favorite lipstick or gloss to increase and prolong hydration and they even hold up quite well after eating and drinking. Since using these I did noticed an improvement in the appearance and texture of my lips and the soft soothing formula helps alleviate cracked, peeling skin.


The balms retail for $3.99 each and are available in most drug stores.

**Disclaimer: These products were provided for review. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Maybelline Expert Wear Eye Shadow Quad Review

Purple is my favorite color and purple eye shadows are great for every season and most skin tones. Today I have a review on the Maybelline Expert Wear Quad in the color Luminous Lilac. This quad contains:
*Frosted pink base
*Shimmery pink/coral for the lids
*Shimmery grey for the crease
*Deep purple liner


The shadows are smooth, compliment each other well and have light to medium pigmentation. If you prefer a shimmer finish then this palette is ideal because all shades contain varying degrees of fine glitter. Although I like shimmer one solid color for crease blending would have been a nice addition and it does take time to build-up to bold saturation.

I tried to use the colors as suggested but the base shade works better as a lid color and if you attempt to place the pink lid color on top of the base it doesn't quite adhere or show through. I also found the crease color too shimmery for use in the crease so I  heavily applied the purple on top to deepen it. Although I achieved decent saturation it took patience and work; I used a good primer and multiple layers. The liner shade works best when damp for a more dramatic effect.



The quad palettes come in 14 color combos to suit a variety of eye colors and skin tones and although the colors are pretty the texture is a tad flaky. I didn't have problems with creasing throughout the day and paired with a primer the shadows are long-lasting.

You can find these palettes at most drug stores including Walmart and Target.


**Disclaimer: This product was provided for review. 

Real Techniques Your Eyes Enhanced Starter Kit Review

Real Techniques is a brand that has gained much popularity over the years for their affordability and great quality. I own a few of the face brushes from this line including the soft, fluffy powder brush which is one of my favorites! Today I have a review on the Your Eyes/Enhanced Started Kit which is a great set of brushes for both experienced artists and beginners.



Real Techniques brushes are color-coded to help distinguish each set and the order in which to use them. Yellow handles correspond to face brushes for base application, purple to eye brushes and pink to perfect the skin.

What I like most about these brushes are the hand cut bristles that are perfectly shaped, densely packed and soft.

This set contains:
*Base shadow brush-applies a smooth foundation of color
*Deluxe crease brush-over sized and designed for contouring
*Accent brush-for precision detailing, highlighting and smudging
*Fine liner brush-for cream eyeliner
*Brow brush-defines eyebrows
*Panoramic carrying case


The panoramic case is multi-functional and folds in half for travel or bends to be used as a convenient brush stand!
Brush case

These brushes work wonderfully for applying and blending both loose and pressed eye shadow and I use the base brush with the tapered shape for defining my crease. The rounded crease brush may be a tad large for those with small eyelids but delivers a lot of color while contouring and blending well.

Although these brushes are soft and plush the bristles are sturdy for precise shadow placement. The brow brush works very well with my gel formulas to shape brows neatly and I like the accent brush for placing highlight around the tear ducts to brighten the eyes.


Overall this is a great set and blends shadows wonderfully! You can purchase it online HERE  for $19.99 and Real Techniques is also sold at Target and Ulta Beauty.

**Disclaimer: These products were provided for review 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beauty Box Five July 2014

This month Beauty Box Five is celebrating important events including: graduation, your first pair of heels and “finding the mascara you can’t live without.” I was very happy with the variety of items included in the box which incorporated products for skin, lips, hair and lashes. 


First 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 brands 
and products.

First up is the Hask Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment – retail value: $2.49

This is not my first experience with this conditioner; since I have naturally curly hair I have to maintain the moisture balance by doing weekly deep treatments. Although this pack is only enough for one application it is great for those who need to restore and smooth dry hair. I love the scent and along with argan oil it also contains collagen, keratin protein and silk amino acids that help strength your tresses. The directions suggest leaving it in for 10 minutes but I usually leave it in for about 30.

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara (full size) - retail value: $7.99

I have seen this mascara popping up in drug stores all over Toronto and I have been curious to try it out! The great thing about this subscription is that it gives you the opportunity to try some of the newest products on the market. I’m looking forward to building up my lashes with this ultra black, lengthening and volumizing formula. The mascara eliminates the need to curl lashes by lifting them!

Anna Naturals: Glowing Mama Walnut Face & Body Scrub- sample jar

This exfoliating scrub is vegan and contains no parabens, harsh chemicals or artificial fragrance. It has very fine exfoliating beads that leave skin soft and supple with a natural, citrus scent.

Starlooks Lip Liner in the shade Tickle Me Pink- retail value: $12.00

I have  more pink lipstick than I know what to do with and this liner will match many of them! The color applies bold and works well with a lip primer for longer wear.

Body Drench Candy Licious Lip Balm- retail value: $3.99

I am a fan of anything that keeps my lips healthy and hydrated and if it smells good enough to eat even better! This balm smells like a sweet grape lollipop and is infused with coconut oil and vitamin E.

Overall this month’s box was great! You can check out this subscription by clicking HERE

*Disclaimer: Beauty Box Five provided for review

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic Eye Shadow Pencil

Make Up For Ever has recently launched some gorgeous new Aqua Matic long-lasting eye shadow pencils for “Makeup Artists working in extreme environments and all women wanting high performance everyday makeup.”

There are 10 striking shades ranging from neutral to vibrant and the conveniently retractable pencils are also available in unique finishes including: satin, metallic, diamond and iridescent. The shadows are ideal for summer and hold up well in humid climates due to the “flexible film” that locks out water for beautiful smudge-proof, crease-proof color.



I have the pencil in the shade I-90, a deep chromatic purple with fine glitter fragments. The shadow does not budge after application and delivers opaque, bold pigment that lasts all day with or without a primer. I recommend blending or making corrections immediately after application because once the shadow sets the matte texture makes alterations more difficult. 


I also like that the texture is very smooth and easy to work with. The color glides on soft and velvety for high-intensity, light-weight pigmentation but be careful to shade in all areas for consistent coverage. The tapered end is also ideal for lining the eyes, defining the crease and controlled, precise placement. 

For quick application you can swipe the pencils directly across the lids and although the pigmentation is easy to build it takes a bit of work to blend. For removal I recommend using an eye makeup remover or an oil based cleanser on a damp makeup wipe.


The Aqua Matic pencils are available at Sephora stores across Canada and at Make Up For Ever boutiques for $25.00 each.


**Disclaimer: This product was provided for review. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Travel Update: Jamin in Jamaica

Hello lovely readers, 
I know I just got back from vacationing in Italy and Spain last month and you may have just gotten around to going through my photos of famous tourist sites and delicious Venetian food but I am in Jamaica! I arrived yesterday and I will be here for a few days enjoying a mini getaway! It is very hot here but I'm having fun already! I have some great posts scheduled while I am away featuring: Make Up For Ever, Beauty Box Five and Maybelline so stay tuned and follow me on Instagram and Twitter as I am sure to post some sunny Caribbean photos :) 

PS. Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY -HERE for your chance to win a cute charm bracelet from my trip to Venice!


~Erica

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New York Color Expert Last Lipstick Review

NYC is a brand that I have been using since I was a kid and first began experimenting with makeup. Since then this budget friendly cosmetics line has expanded and enhanced their collection. The brand has recently launched the Expert Last Lipsticks in 20 fun shades ranging from nudes, medium tones and bright hues. These lipsticks are formulated to provide: “6 hours of wear, long-lasting shine, amplified color, and a velvety finish.” They are also made to outline the lips without feathering or bleeding.


The bright colorful tubes caught my attention right away and as soon as I swatched them the makeup addict in me just had to have them! 



For just $1.79 at Target here in Canada I was pleasantly surprised at the rich pigmentation and smooth texture. These lipsticks glide on quite creamy and appear bright and bold! Since I prefer hydrating formulas to keep my lips from drying and chapping I really liked these! They are slightly shiny and the quality is great. The texture does tend to become a bit less moisturizing the longer you wear it but they feel quite comfortable on the lips. 


The lipsticks are developed to match every mood and style, I purchased deep red and a variety of bright pinks with different finishes. 


For the price I was expecting the colors to appear sheer or be difficult to build-up but they provide full, opaque coverage and I like the enticing candy scent. 


Although they are made to last up to 6 hours and the lasting power is decent, (especially with a primer) they don’t hold up quite as long as advertised. I would also recommend not leaving them in the car during the summer and storing them in a cool dry place as they do tend to sweat in the heat.


My favorite shade is Air Kiss which I think is suitable for a wide range of skin tones and as you can see from the swatches below the texture is ultra rich!


At Walmart in the US the lipsticks retail for $1.99 and for that price you can experiment with some fun new shades this summer. To check out the full range of available colors click HERE.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pürminerals Jupiter Ascending Collection Review

I am a huge movie buff who enjoys everything from comedy, thrillers, action and romance so I am looking forward to the July 18th release of Jupiter Ascending starring Mila Kunis and a very blonde Channing Tatum. I have been a fan of Mila since her work on That 70’s Show and I like her doe-eyed, girl next door simplistic style and dry humor. The film follows the adventures of an average girl named Jupiter who has no idea that she is of royal cosmic blood until an ex military hunter tracks her down. Upon returning to his planet she realizes that she could be the universe’s next leader!


In honor of the film Pürminerals has released the limited edition Jupiter Ascending Collection inspired by the galaxy. This beautiful set includes: a neutral iridescent gloss, an eye shadow palette containing 6 shades and a felt tip eyeliner; everything you need to create Jupiter’s signature look and a fun variety of your own!


The eye shadow palette contains a small blending brush, mirrored cover and colors to create diverse effects ranging from neutral, playfully shimmery and deep and sultry. They also contain the antioxidant benefits of vitamin E and the formula is smooth and easy to build and blend.



The shades in the palette include:
*Majesty-pale taupe
*Destiny-matte cream
*Night Sky- metallic pewter
*Jupiter- burgundy rose
*Caine- twilight bronze
*Cosmos-pearl


The shadows offer good pigmentation with soft, non-creasing coverage. My favorite shade is Jupiter which is similar to the shade Mila wears in the film when she is decked out in eccentric attire and makes her debut as a potential leader. The palette includes both matte and shimmer finishes and is great for everyday wear. I recommend using a primer to achieve best color pay-off.

At first glance I expected the galaxy lip gloss to appear sheer but it offers decent coverage in a pretty wash of light pink. The luminous, subtle color is embedded with micro glitter particles to reflect light and illuminate lips with brilliant shine. Even though I usually opt for bold colors this gloss looks stellar paired with any of the colors from the palette. The creamy consistency coats lips for hydrating, non-sticky, comfortable wear. Under the cap there are two handy little lights that allow you to apply the gloss in dim lighting for precise application. 


I wear eyeliner every time I apply my makeup so the thin, smudge proof Outer Space liner is a great addition to the set. The very tip is flexible allowing you to control the shape and width of your liner but it did take a few layers to build up to a darker intensity. 


 As with all felt liners I recommend replacing the cap securely to prevent drying.


Overall this is a great collection and it makes a fantastic gift for any makeup lover! The palette retails for $35.00 and is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug mart and online at Pürminerals.com


If you missed the preview of Jupiter Ascending check it out below



**Disclaimer: These products were provided for review. 
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