Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: NYX Xtreme Lip Creams

I picked up two of the NYX Xtreme Lip Creams when they were BOGO at Ulta.  NYX describes them as "It's not lipstick, nor is it gloss. It's like nothing you've experienced before. It's liquid lipstick that goes on with full Xtreme color and intense shine." I have to say the texture is somewhere between a lipstick and gloss. It's creamy and soft and glides easily. These are a tad small at .023oz but I've found a little really goes along way.
NYX Xtreme Lip Creams

These come in eleven shades. I picked up Buttery Nude and Natural to try out. 

L to R: Buttery Nude and Natural

Here's how they look on my lips. 
Normal lip color

Buttery Nude

Overall, I love the texture of these. They are also pretty moisturizing. At first I thought I'd like Natural more than Buttery Nude but the more I wore Buttery Nude the more I liked it.  I've been wearing it quite frequently since I bought it.  I like Natural but I think it is a bit too nude for my tastes. I'm going to try to layer it with something else to see if it grows on me. I'm definitely interested in trying out more shades of these especially Bonfire and Absolute Red.Bat's Rating: 9.

You can find these at NYX Cosmetics or Ulta for $6.00

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Cover Girl Exact EyeLights Mascara

I picked up this Cover Girl Exact EyeLights Mascara for Blue Eyes in Black Sapphire (730) awhile back. I've been wearing it over the last week since I finally used up all of my Maybelline Define-A-Lash and I'm trying to work through some stuff in my collection.

Cover Girl claims:
"Get 4x brighter eyes* with Exact Eyelights Eye-Brightening Mascara! Light-reflecting metallics and a hint of tint bring out your blues, browns, hazels, and greens, while our patented, no-clump brush helps define lashes."

I certainly didn't notice any brightening effects. I also felt like I needed to use more product than I would like to see any results at all. For my everyday mascara, I want to just swipe and go.  I really had to work this product to see any color. It did clump a little. I do like the size and shape of the wand.

I don't know if my tube had been in the store for awhile or what but I found this mascara to flake as well. The last thing I want to see are little black flakes all under my eyes. If I still had the receipt I would have taken it back to CVS.

Bat's Rating: 4.5 It does give some color to the lashes. Very Minimal lengthening. Flakes off.  

I had cut myself off from buying any makeup after my last Ulta haul but I declared a mascara emergency and had to stop by CVS to get a new tube of Define-A-Lash. The only other mascara I have right now is the Maybelline Falsies and that's a bit more drama than I want to wear to the office.  Luckily I exercised EXTREME self control in the face of a buy one get one 50% off sale and only bought the mascara I needed. It was very difficult. whew.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Glam February Bag

For those of you unfamiliar with it MyGlam is a monthly subscription service for makeup and skincare products. When it debuted it appeared that it was more geared to makeup but the last two months have seen a shift in that.  The February bag was my first experience with MyGlam.  These wound up shipping out later than they originally said they would. It was supposed to be a "Valentine's Day Themed" bag. I got my on the 17th.  Many other bloggers already received their bags and MyGlam released what was in them so there was no surprises really.

  • X Out Shine Control Oil free moisturizer with a mattifying complex I don't have oily skin so not sure how I'm going to use this.
  • NYX Roll on Shimmer NYX's shimmering powder that can be applied to they eyes, face, and body. Mine came in Light Blue Traded my Light Blue with one of the gals from Makeup Talk for Onyx.
  • Premier Dead Sea Cinderella Mask Luxury skincare ruck in life-enhancing minerals from the Dead Sea waters. Used the moisturizer. It's ok but not amazing
  • Freeman Facial Mask Sachets Easy to use skin perfecting masks. Mine came in Goji Berry. Actually made my skin feel dry.
  • NuMe Professional Styling Tools and Hair Extensions $100 gift cared  to use on styling tools or extensions only.
  • Ghiradelli Chocolates in Milk and Dark.
There are also special offers from X Out and NYX if you go to their sites and make a purchase of one of the included products. Now I know I only paid $10 including shipping but I'm a bit underwhelmed. I chose MyGlam because it was supposed to be more of a makeup service. I'm pretty set in my skincare routine but I'm always interested in different makeup products. This month there is one makeup product. I love NYX products but I'm not really sure how I'm going to use this Light Blue shimmer outside of a belly dance performance look. I'll give the other masks a try but they are not products I really see myself purchasing in the future.

I'm going to use the NuMe gift certificate but the cheapest flat iron they have is $115. I can live with a $15 flat iron. I know some people have gotten high shipping rates from them. Mine came out to $12. So a $27 flat iron altogether. At the  very least, I can use it to depot eyeshadows.

The bag itself is a good size but mine smells so bad and is really not my style. Unless one of my friends wants it, it's going in the trash.

So overall a bit underwhelmed by the samples in MyGlam. I didn't even feel it was worth the effort to make and upload a video about. If next month follows along the same lines, I'll definitely be cancelling. There are just too many  subscription services out there to keep one that doesn't excite or inspire.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sale: MAC & UD

I've been doing some cleaning out and reorganizing of my makeup drawers and I would like to find new homes from some under used products. If you have questions or want more pics please let me know. I'm also open to offers.

I only accept Paypal. Shipping is $4.50 US flat rate. So buy as much as you want :)  TBD for Canada. I ship Priority mail only and ship out the next day after payment. You can request a different shipping method but I will not be responsible for lost packages.

MAC Eyeshadows USED
Purple Haze & Ricepaper * $10ea or $19 for both.* SOLD*

LE WonderWoman Quad in Valiant Swatched Only $45   SOLD

88 Colors Palette *Swatched Only*  $15 $13

After much deliberation, I'm selling my Naked Palette. I just bought this at the end of January. After seeing it in person I'd rather have the Naked2 palette. I've only swatched Creep and Gunmetal. This is the new version with the brush instead of the eyeliner. I'm including the Primer Pot and the brush.*Sold*

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My First Little Black Bag

In the mail today, I received my first Little Black Bag! I'm so excited I had to open it and share it with you right away. I explain how this subscription service differs from all the others in my previous post about LBB. The short version is you choose one item to add to your bag and then they add two items to it. Then there is an interface on the website that allows you to trade items with other users before your bag ships. Trading is highly addictive!

The contents were well packaged. Everything was in individual bags, then wrapped in tissue paper, and then bubble wrapped. There was also a return shipping label included if you want to make any returns.
LBB packaging

The item I had to have in my bag was this Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet.  I believe they had it listed at $100 retail value. I could only find it for sale in one place for $88. Love this! It has a nice weight to it and brilliant sparkle. I love sparkle.
KJL Stretch Bracelet
The second item in my bag was this headband by Robert Rose. This is listed at a $30 retail value. It is a satin ribbon over a metal band.  The embellishment is rhinestone and feathers. I don't normally wear headbands but I thought I would give this one a try. At the least I could wear this for a belly dance performance.

Robert Rose Feather and Rhinestone Headband

The next item in my bag were a pair of silver textured earrings by Lydell NYC. I don't remember how this were priced. I think it was somewhere in the $20 range. These have a good weight to them but don't feel overly heavy. I don't think this will pull my earlobes too much.

Lydell NYC Rhodium Earrings

A convservative estimate for the contents of this bag would be $138. I think $49.95 for all of this is a good deal. I really like that you can skip months as well. I will definitely be taking advantage of that. I just don't see myself buying accessories every month.  I do want to snag a handbag one of these months though. Overall, I'm very pleased and very excited to see what they have to offer in the coming months.

Check out  Little Black Bag  for more information or to sign up and start trading!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ulta and CVS Haul

So I told myself I was just going into Ulta to get my points from my last purchase and pickup UD 24/7 in Perversion and one or two things from they NYX section. I also needed to the nail polish I bought last time but my Mom liked it so much I gave it to her. I just needed to go in CVS to return some blush (Maybelline FitMe blush sucks btw). What is it they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

The Haul:

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner Perversion
  • NYX Mechanical Lip Pencil  Plum 
  • NYX Mechanical Lip Pencil  Nude
  • NYX Hi Def Photo Concealer Green
  • NYX Xtreme Lip Cream Buttery Nude
  • NYX Xtreme Lip Cream Natural
  • Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Teinte Natural
  • Ulta Nail Lacquer Steppin' Out  
  • Ulta Nail Lacquer Goddess
  • Ulta Nail Lacquer Freshwater Pearl
  • Ulta Nail Lacquer Dance Teal Dawn
  • Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Concealer Ivory
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eye Shadow Tough as Taupe
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
  • Sample of Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation Buff 4C
Ulta products are still buy two get two free. My CVS still has a good selection of the Color Tattoo shadows. Most everywhere else is sold out or only has purple. Word has really gotten around about that one being the dud in the batch. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

FOTD: Using Maybelline Color Tattoo In Pomegranate Punk

I wanted to play around with my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk today.

Primer: Palladio Eyeshadow Primer Palladio
Maybelline Color Tattoo Pomegranate Punk
MUG Unexpected MUG
Inglot # 341 Inglot
Inglot # 353
Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On  Whiskey Urban Decay
Mascara: Maybelline Define-a-Lash

Foundation: Revlon ColorStay Foundation Ivory #110
Concealer: Sonia Kashuk Concealer Palette & e.l.f. Radiance Enhancer Spotlight e.l.f.
Powder: Mac Minearalize Skin Finish Light MAC

Blush: Milani Baked Blush Luminoso Milani
Highlight: Cover Girl Powder Natural Ivory

LipsInglot Cream Lipstick# 121 Inglot

Friday, February 10, 2012

NYX Round Lipsticks Doll & Peach

I finally got around to test driving my NYX lipsticks from My Ulta Haul.

NYX describes these as "our classic lipstick for all-year round. The mineral-based emollient formula offers a beautiful velvet texture, saturated color and it resists wear and smudging. It’s your go-to lipstick."

I picked the colors Doll and Peach. Both shades gave me about three hours of wear without applying a lip liner beneath. I had better results if I applied a lip balm first. But hey it's the desert. They glide smoothly. They can smear a little bit so be careful. They also tend to transfer if you're eating or drinking anything.  Overall though they can't be beat for the price ($3.99).  So you can experiment with different colors without making a huge investment. I'm just starting to branch out and try different lipstick colors. Before my lipsticks were either red or red.

NYX Round Lipstick in Doll

Doll: I would describe Doll as more of a mauve color. I've heard it described as pinkish berry shade. I wouldn't call it a totally matte shade. It has a tiny bit of sheen but is not glittery.

Doll Swatched
Doll is fairly opaque in one pass. I found it to be slightly more long lasting than Peach. It also stains a little bit more than Peach but overall staining is moderate. Bat's Rating: 7.5

Peach: I'm really not sure why they named this shade peach. It doesn't look like any peach I've ever eaten! The color is very similar to Doll. Peach is a little bit more pink shifted and shimmery.

NYX Round Lipstick Peach

It applies very sheer. I'd definitely recommend pairing this with a lip gloss. It lasts for about two hours of wear. Bat's Rating: 6.5

NYX Peach Swatched (daylight)

NYX Cosmetics can be found online at NYX Cosmetics.  You can also by them online or in store at ULTA

Monday, February 6, 2012

Little Black Bag

Little Black Bag is a subscription service similar to Shoedazzle.  You take a quiz and then are offered a selection of designer jewelry, handbags, and accessories. The items appear to be a much higher quality than other subscription services I've seen.  You add one item to your bag and then depending on the value of that item, the service adds two to four more items.  I added this beautiful Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet to my bag.

I've already traded both of the other items that were in my bag. So now I really like all three items. We'll see what's in my bag when trading ends in seven days! If you're happy with the contents of your bag, you can choose to go ahead and ship it. Trying to trade up is very addicting though. 

The cost  for Little Black Bag is $49.95 per month with free shipping or you can try it once for $49.95+shipping.  Like other subscription services, you can skip a month without being charged. So there isn't too much harm in looking...unless you get sucked in my shiny things as easily as I do. 

Tinted Moisturizer

Since I've been recuperating, I haven't wanted to bother with putting my full face on.  If you're on the go or just not used to wearing a lot of makeup, give a tinted moisturizer a try.

All you need is a tinted moisturizer you like and a tinted lip balm or lip gloss and you are set! You will look more polished without looking too "made up".  It also doesn't require much effort. I know for us desert dwelling women, moisturizer and lip balm are a daily must have! So you're really not adding anything to your daily routine.

In addition to a lip gloss or a lip balm you can add some blush or mascara but this is completely optional. I add a little blush because I'm so pale. It's nice to get a little color back in the cheeks. If you have combination or oily skin you may want to apply powder to the T zone area.

I have my favorite tinted moisturizer but I'm always on the look out for a new one.My favorite is the MAC Studio Tint.  I also tried the e.l.f Studio Tinted Moisturizer and the Cover Girl Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer.


Cover Girl Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($6-8) In Fair to Light is extremely sheer. It works OK as a moisturizer but did not have nearly the pigmentation or the coverage I expect from a tinted moisturizer. The texture was that of a thin liquid. Bat's Rating: 4 (only because it does actually moisturize)

e.l.f Studio Tinted Moisturizer  SPF 20 ($3) In Porcelain Works well as a moisturizer. The coverage was fairly good. If your skin is pretty even toned this may work for you.  The color of this was too dark and too yellow for me. The texture is similar to a foundation but it wears very light.  Bat's Rating: 6.5

 MAC Studio Tint  SPF 15 ($30) In  Light  Works well as a moisturizer. Full coverage without feeling heavy on the skin. Texture is similar to the e.l.f.. It's firm but it applies easily.  It is the most expensive but this is one of those times, I feel you get what you pay for. One tube goes a long way as well.  Bat's Rating: 9

MAC Studio Tint, e.l.f Studio Tint, and CG Aqua Smoothers is the shiny line to right of the e.l.f

You can see in the above picture just how sheer the Cover Girl is. No coverage at all. It was a big disappointment.. Here I am with the MAC Studio Tint and Estee Lauder Lip Gloss in Berry.

Trying not to sneeze!

The day I shot this video I picked up Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus for $7. I love it! If you're a fan of Burt's Bees you'll like this product. It glides on smoothly and doesn't feel heavy or sticky on the lips. It lasts about two hours. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Brush Cleaners

It's important to clean and condition your brushes for hygienic reasons and also to extend the life of your brushes.You should get in the habit of deep cleaning your brushes every two weeks or so to remove product build up and disinfect.  I've been experimenting with a couple of different brush cleaners to find out which one is my favorite.

The brush cleaner I've been using the longest is the Mac Brush Cleaner. It comes in 7.9 oz bottle for $13.00.  This cleaner works really well as a disinfectant and for deep cleaning. It cleans powder and liquid based products out of your brushes well. There is no obvious scent to it either.  The only problem I have with it is that my bottle leaks. So I typically pour some product in the cap and dip my brushes in it. Instead of trying to pour it out onto my brushes. Bat's Rating: 9

The Sonia Kashuk Brush and Sponge Cleanser comes in a 5.1 oz bottle. You can find it at Target for $6.99. I've found this the cleaner works alright on brushes with powder based products on them but not so much for brushes used for lipstick or concealer. I can't really detect a smell from it. The spray bottle makes application very easy. Bat's Rating: 7.5

MAC Brush Cleaner, e.l.f Daily Brush Cleaner, & Sonia Kashuk Brush & Sponge Cleaner

As a daily brush cleaner, I've been using the e.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner. This comes in 8.5 oz spray bottle. It retails for $3.00.  You may be able to find this at Target. They do carry the Brush Shampoo.  This product is mostly designed to be used as a daily disinfectant. It does removes some product from the brush but does not fully clean. It works equally well on powder and liquid based products. There is a very pronounced scent to this product. It's a bit flowery and tropical with an underlying chemical hint. It reminds me of a beauty salon. I don't mind it too much but the scent does linger a bit. I wished it cleaned a little bit more and smelled a little bit less. Bat's Rating: 8

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