Current Favorites

As a pregnant lady, sometimes it's hard to find a balance between wanting to feel comfortable (usually meaning minimal effort) and wanting to look like a glamorous babe. After all, the introduction of a baby usually means little time to oneself. My seasoned mommy friends have advised me to treasure moments of "me" time and pampering while I still can. Also it's always nice to feel pretty even when you're feet are swollen like aunt Betsy's prize-winning melons and you've forgotten what it's like to see those things called "toes."
I find that I can meet myself in the middle by choosing luxurious feeling products that are simple and quick to use. The products I've been loving recently have helped me to feel "casually glam" if you will. They all lend a little helping hand to making this mommy feel effortless yet chic and pulled together.
Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel- This is the first Peter Thomas Roth product I have ever used and I am in LOVE. The cleanser is formulated with rose stem cells and rose extracts and works deep in your skin to repair dullness, texture and signs of aging. A little goes a long way and I massage a dime-sized drop of this all over my face as apart of my nightly skin care routine. I absolutely adore the fresh rosy scent. It's one of those feel-good products that feels like an indulgent spa treatment. My skin looks and feels better than it has in a long time!
It's a 10 Miracle Shine Spray- I love the it's a 10 line of products since I feel that they really do live up to the 10 things promised on the back. Few brands now adays live up to their "miracle" promises so it's certainly a breath of fresh air when one refrains from the temptation of false advertising. I spray this in my hair as a quick, healthy boost for my locks before I rush out the door on most days. It adds shine, improves hair elasticity, nourishes with antioxidants, protects hair from heat styling, minimizes frizz, seals in moisture, and a whole array of benefits. It's definitely a "10" to me!
Eyelure #107 Lashes- These have recently taken the place of my favorite Ardell wispies. I love their flirtatious curl and how easily they sit on the lash line. They not only feel light-weight and airy, but look so glamorous without looking like a ridiculous butterfly has perched on your eyeballs.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Palette- I felt like I was on the quest for Camelot to find this stunner. I got the very last one in Ulta and I actually told the highly perplexed and amused looking Ulta representative that "I loved her FOREVERRR!!!!" I am a huge fan of warm colors--especially earth- toned browns and jewel-toned brights. This palette is probably the closest match to how I would design a palette made just for me. It delivers on all of those favorite warm hues of mine. This will definitely be a staple product for this fall so watch out for some tutorials in the near future (hint, hint *I'm coming back to you, Youtube!*)
Becca Shimmering Perfector in "Opal"- I just can't stop loving on this. It sounds kind of pathetic (because it is) but sometimes I'll just take this out to simply gaze at its breathtaking beauty. On or off the skin, it shines gorgeously in the light. It gives the skin a stunning, luminous glow that is just unparalleled compared to any highlighter that I've used in the past. The color is just perfect for any skin tone with its champagne luster and fine golden flecks of brilliance. People will literally stop me in the street to ask me how I got such bright and luminous skin (and I don't even have great skin). I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating, but you seriously don't understand the sheer amazingness unless you own one yourself!
Maybelline Baby Lips SPF 20 in "Quenched"- I never understood the Baby Lips craze but now I get it. This is my first product from that line and I really like it so far! It's super moisturizing, has cute packaging, and protects my lips from the harsh summer rays.
NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in "Dione"- You might have seen me lusting after these babies in my most recent My Little Beauty Beast segment. Oh. my. GOSH I finally got one and let me tell you--I was NOT let down. The metallic shimmer is simply to die for. I've never seen anything quite like it and I can see why the price is so hefty. I got the color "Dione", a champagne-silver shade that is just breath taking. I love to use this as an all-over color for the lid.

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Maybelline The Nudes Palette | Review, Swatches + Eye Makeup Pictorial

The Maybelline Nudes Palette ($9.99) just hit shelves in local drugstores and I swear it's like the world stopped spinning. It seems like every beauty blogger, her mom and her cat are rushing to grab this palette. I mean, after all it really is the first of its kind in drugstore land. Besides NYX--which is only sold in Ulta and select Target stores--it's pretty difficult to find a large palette of nudes like this in your friendly neighborhood drugstore. With that said, I totally understand the hype. I snatched the last one on display at my closest Target and I felt like I had accomplished the most badass ninja makeup mission ever. "Mwuhahha betches! THIS PALETTE IS MINNEEE!!!!" (*dramatic echo...)
Maybelline The Nudes Palette | Review, Swatches + Eye Makeup Pictorial |
Now down to the knitty gritty. The palette features a range of 12 warm and cool neutral shades ranging from flesh tones to gold to black. This includes both matte and shimmery textures. I don't really understand the strategy behind the arrangement of the shadows but it does still look very attractive to the eye. I usually prefer palettes that are arranged from lightest to darkest or have shimmers grouped together and mattes grouped together (like the Lorac Pro Palette). I think this makes pairing looks together much easier and is a time-saver when getting ready in a rush.  
Maybelline The Nudes Palette | Review, Swatches + Eye Makeup Pictorial |
I have to admit that I am usually skeptical or skip out in general when it comes to Maybelline eyeshadows. They just have so many other show-stopping products and their eyeshadows usually aren't the star. I absolutely love their lipsticks and Eye Color Tatoos. They are both so pigmented and have great formulations. I raise my glass to Maybelline in that area. I thought that Maybelline might have reformulated their eyeshadows for this palette as an introduction (perhaps) to a new eyeshadow line. 


Maybelline The Nudes Palette | Review, Swatches + Eye Makeup Pictorial |
Left: Top row of eyeshadows in swatches. Right: Bottom row of eyeshadows in swatches.
I found out that this was not the case. I found that the pigmentation was just not there or very inconsistent for the majority of the shadows. For example, you will see from the above swatches that the first 3 colors on the top row barely showed up on my hand whereas the copper color was much more vibrant. 
The matte colors in particular are especially dry, powdery, and overall pretty difficult to blend. When applying them to the eye area, I noticed they went on patchy with heavier splotches of color where the brush first touched the skin. In my experience, shimmer eyeshadow shades in general are usually creamier but these surprised me because the shimmers were not much better than the mattes. Packing on the shimmer shadows proved to be slightly frustrating as it would leave mostly a wash of shimmer and chunky glitter with little pay-off or pigmentation of the actual color itself. I really hate to bash a product--especially from a brand I love and use all the time--but the quality just didn't do it for me with this palette. Like I said before, Maybelline offers so many great products in their line. The concept was definitely fabulous but for me, it didn't play out well as hoped. 

Maybelline The Nudes Palette | Review, Swatches + Eye Makeup Pictorial |

Overall, despite my several qualms and complaints about this palette, the eye makeup look I created below did turn out surprisingly pulled together in the end. However, there was too much effort put into blending and I had to pack on color over and over again to get a good result. 
If you are one of the many that rushed to grab this baby when it came out, I hope the tutorial below will help you to work with the shades in the palette and create your own looks. 

Eye Makeup Pictorial:

Maybelline The Nudes Palette | Review, Swatches + Eye Makeup Pictorial |
Start: Begin with a blank slate. Clean skin. No remnants of makeup from the night before. Nada. 
Step 2: Prep the eyelid with a primer. This will provide a base to lay the products over and hold on tight to your eye makeup so it doesn't budge. 
Step 3: Apply the mid-toned matte brown color (second space bottom row) into the crease area. Use a fluffy blending brush and windshield wiping motions to blend and spread the color out. 
Step 4: Use a flat eye brush to pack on the gold shimmery color (third space bottom row) all over the lid space just until you hit the crease. 
Step 5: Apply the cool dark brown shade (fourth space bottom row) in the outer corner making a sideways "V" in that area. The top of the "V" should reach just to the middle or outer third of the crease. 
Step 6: Apply the white highlight shade (first space top row) to the brow bone under the brow and next to the tear duct. This will create the illusion of a higher eyebrow arch and open up the eye area so it looks larger. 
Step 7: Press the black shade (sixth space bottom row) as close to the lash line as possible. This will create the look of smoked out eyeliner. Run whatever is left on the brush underneath the lower lash line. 
Finish: Apply your favorite set of false lashes. Wait for the glue to dry and then use mascara to bond the fake and real lashes together. Apply a coat of mascara to the lower lashes as well. 
Let me know your thoughts on this palette if you bought it! Do you have any favorite drugstore palettes that work great for you?

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Maybelline Color Tattoos for Summer 2013

Like sweet little cherubs perched on a white plastic cloud, the new Summer 2013 Maybelline Eye Color Tattoos sang their sweet song to me. As I approached the display, they cooed to me,  "Buyyyy meeeee...tra la la!!!" (queue Handel's Hallelujah Chorus)

And oh yes, I did.

All of them.....(whoops)...except for one.

The heavenly display calling my name!

What makes this collection different from the oodles of previous Color Tatoo collections you ask? These are duochrome. Not just any duochrome might I add, but a unique, blow your mind, how the heck is this at a drugstore type of duochrome.

From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts, Cool Crush

The colors that I got from this collection are Waves of White, Icy Mint, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts, and Cool Crush. The only color I skipped out on was Shady Shores--a yellow color that just didn't spark my fancy quite as much. 

All of the colors in this collection are limited edition and so they will only be available for a short period of time (hence my frantic dash to hoard basically the entire collection).
Waves of White and Seashore Frosts are the standout colors of this collection to me. Waves of White appears to be just any old boring white in the packaging. Once you swipe your finger in it though, you will see the pure gypsy magic going on there. When the color hits different angles of light, an array of beautiful colors show up. In direct sunlight, you can see blue and silver shimmer that is truly stunning. Seashore Frosts also has this effect. In its packaging, it seems like a dark icy blue color. In sunlight though, this shade is jaw dropping. Blues, golds, greens and browns intertwine to make a beautiful, complex and rich color. 
Lavish Lavender and Cool Crush are also great duochrome colors. Lavish Lavender reflects bronze, plum and purple in various lighting and Cool Crush appears like a light blue in its packaging only to reveal a gorgeous steely silver duochrome on the skin. 
If we were on a game-show, Icy Mint would be the weakest link. Although it's a beautiful mint color, it just couldn't compete with the other complex and unique shades. It has a pretty shimmer, but definitely can't compete among the ranks of its duochrome brothers.
Now let's be honest though. While these are all amazing colors, a few of them do apply a little patchy. To conquer this problem, I just wait for each eyelid to dry a bit and then lightly reapply more color where needed. Just make sure to pat the product on instead of rubbing it (which will remove some color). The colors I have found to apply a bit unevenly are Waves of White and Icy Mint.
Colors shown in the shade. From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Cool Crush, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts (top)
Colors shown in direct sunlight. From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Cool Crush, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts (top)
Colors shown in direct sunlight with my hand titled to show off the duochrome. From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Cool Crush, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts (top)

The pictures of these colors just don't do them justice. I would have to have a live action shot of my hand tilting in different directions and in different lights to show off their true beauty.

Yes, you read that price right in the above picture. These are only $4.99. The only place I have spotted them are at Bed Bath and Beyond but between the price, the quality and unique nature of these products, this is an absolute steal.