lmsmith21

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February Favorites…

Hi all!
One of the most enjoyable parts of the beauty community are watching the “Favorites” videos/blogs. I love getting some good ideas and even some things to stay away from.  So here are my favorites for the month of February! Let me know if you do or don’t like these… Enjoy!

Face

This month I have a tie between my two favorites, both are VERY different.  I am in love with Pro Longwear by MAC.  I am NC20 so I am pretty fair.  It blends into my skin very nicely, leaving a dewy finish.  On top I use either MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in NW20 or MAC Prep and Prime powder.  I am also in love with Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse.  This is a cream to powder formula, and it leave (surprise, surprise) a matte finish.  I tend to either leave with with no setting powder or MAC Prep and Prime powder.

MAC Pro Longwear NC20

Cheeks

There has been no standout blush this month really.  But the one that I have been gravitating towards the most is MAC’s Her Own Devices beauty pwoder.  This is part of the Venomous Villains collection, Cruelle  de Vil being the star of the packaging.  Its the perfect champagne – medium nude color.  It complements my skin tone but doesn’t make me look like a doll.  Note: the image is about two shades darker than real life.

Her Own Devices from MAC

Lips

This past weekend I dragged my boyfriend to my nearest MAC counter to pick up a lipgloss from one of the newest collections, Wonder Woman.  But OMG the gloss was double the normal MAC size tube and applicator.  It wasn’t worth it.  After talking to the Makeup Artist she said that a good alternative would be MAC’s Venetian.  I AM IN LOVE WITH IT!! I can apply a thin coat for a little “work” drama (Lord knows I don’t need any more of that!) or I can layer it on for a more powerful look.  It’s not fire-engine red so I don’t get washed out and it has very small gold shimmer.  The formula is one of my favorites, its a lustreglass, so it has a brush applicator (not a sponge doe-foot) and its not sticky.

Venetian Lusterglass by MAC

Eyes

Since I got my Naked Palette I haven’t been using a lot of other shadows.  But my favorite non-Naked Palette at the moment would have to be Vex. Its a beautiful medium-toned grey with a duochrome of a light pink.  I have never seen anything like it.  It’s pretty sheer but it has a nice glow on the eyelids.  It really goes with every outfit I could wear!

Vex by MAC

Brush

After dragging my boyfriend to MAC we stopped at Sephora so I could  pick up another brush for foundation.  I HATE the normal paddle, flat foundation brushes so I wanted to grab something else.  I have been using the Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Kabuki, but it just absorbs the product completely.  So I finally decided on the Professionnel Mineral Powder Brush. Yea yea yea I know that its a powder brush,  but it is easily the BEST brush I have ever used.  My make up looks airbrushed and completed natural.

Professionnel Mineral Powder Brush #45

1 Regret

In hopes of change up my rather dull makeup routine, I thought I would get a new foundation.  I had such good luck with Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse so I wanted to try the new Dream Smooth Mousse.  SO ORANGE! I got the lightest color they had and it was like I was trying to be a Snooki look-a-like!  Its just terrible.  Not only the color, but the texture seems very “wet” although it claims to be a “liquid to powder” but it still feels overly dewy to me.  Simply not good…

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Black Shatter by OPI

I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!!

My love affair started after reading Scrangie’s blog post about OPI’s Black Shatter nail polish.  I have never seen anything quite like it and I was in awe!

OPI Black ShatterLike the story of my life, I searched high and low for Katy Perry collection and I was completely unsuccessful.  I was even told by a store owner that the Katy Perry OPI collection didn’t come out until February.  That was just a plan lie to cover that the store didn’t have it.

The following week I continued my search and HAZZAH! I found it.  Where did I find it?  In the store that told me it wasn’t coming out until Feb. *eye roll*

I went to CVS to grab a lighter color bottom coat in order to show the shatter best.  I picked up “I’m Online” by Milani and it is one of my new favorite colors.   It’s a nude/sand metallic color.  “I’m Online” is part of the Spring 2010 Milani Liquid Metal Collection.

I applied two coats of “I’m Online”, I let it dry fully and then added the “Black Shatter” on top. I found that the thinner the coat of Shatter, the more shatter you see on your nails.  If you apply a thick coat you will get less shatter and larger black pieces.

I think it looks AWESOME! I am throughly impressed with it!  What do you think?

 

Black Shatter with Milani's I'm Online

Black Shatter with Milani's I'm Online

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My Journey to Origins

Until about a month ago I had been using Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer.  It was milky and slightly thin, but it seemed to do a good job.  Every now and then I would get a “flair up” of really rough/dry and itchy skin, but when that happened I used a specific natural cream for Eczema.

I felt let down by moisturizers; they worked but not as well as I wanted or for the amount of time I wanted.  So I went on a moisture-hunt…  My first stop was to the Clinique counter at my local Macy’s. Instead of helpful information of their different lines and how they compare, I was unexpectedly barrated with questions about why I am not using Clinique now and that the products I am using now are “crap”.  OK, thanks for putting me down. I will continue to NOT use Clinique.

My next stop was Clarins and I was surprisingly impressed.  I like the feel of their products.  The “grammy” scent was a turn off though.  I was given some samples and used them to the last drop.  I got excited about their products but then I looked at the price tag.  WHOA…$62 for a face cream or night cream?!? That was not even close to my price range. So my search continued.

I continued on to the salon I get my hair and eyebrows done.  I have gotten a facial there before and I liked the products they used.  My esthetician pointed me to the product that would work best for me and gave me a sample.I gave this one a try for a week and Good Lord that was about 4 days too long!  It was a gel based product and boy was it sticky. It was thinner than honey, but just as sticky.  When I asked my esthetician what was wrongwith it, her response was “you are using too much”. False, I used the exact amount you told me to.  That sample could have easily lasted me about 2 weeks. But it just felt gross and made my makeup blotchy.

My last ditch effort was the CCO near me.  I figured they  must have SOMETHING that I will like.  And YAY they did! I had heard really great things from Pixie2Woo about Origins MegaMushroom. And since my skin can get irritable I figured it would be good.  I ended up picking a “gift set” that contained the MegaMushroom face cleanser, face serum, and face cream.  ALL for $52! Sounded like a deal to me. I looked up the price online and it was $62.

I have been using the products for about a month now and I figured that was enough time for a review.
*I will note that my skin type has recently changed.  I used to be oily/combo skin, but since I have been back from Vietnam and (sniff sniff) I am getting older, my skin has changed to dry/combo*

Mega-Mushroom CleanserCleanser
This is the only product of the three that I could do without.  It doesn’t lather and is VERY thin in texture.  I don’t get the “squeaky” clean feeling like I get from other cleansers.  That’s not to say its not doing its job, but it’s the product I haven’t seen many results from.

Here is the description from Origins website:  “This extremely gentle, milky lotion cleanser features a proprietary, signature blend – Hypsizygus ulmarius, Cordyceps and Reishi Mushrooms, Ginger, Turmeric and Holy Basil – as well as skin soothing Bisabolol from Chamomile and Licorice Extract. It quickly removes makeup, dirt, debris and impurities without upsetting skin’s naturally protective lipid balance and keeps even highly sensitive or reactive skin calm throughout the cleansing process.”

Mega-Mushroom Serum

Serum
I have never used a serum before prior to this so I didn’t know what to expect.  It is thicker than the cleanser but still pretty thin.  It would say its as thick at the Cetaphil moisturizer. I use about 1 pump and pat it into my skin.  I have found that this really helps the moisturizer sink into my skin.  I also feel like it has a “tightening” feature.  My skin feels refreshed and tighter.  This does have a smell; kinda like citrus or grapefruit.  Its not offensive at all but its not the most amazing smell either.

Here is the description from Origins website: “Irritation silently simmering within skin’s surface may be aging your skin faster than the candles on your birthday cake. Now it’s within your control. This patent-pending, clinically-proven serum features Dr. Weil’s famed mega-mushroom blend now fortified with Chaga and Pleurotus Mushrooms and Sea Buckthorn. So it helps defend against silent skin-agers as never before. Calms. Soothes. Makes skin more resilient.”

Mega-Mushroom Moisturizer

Moisturizer
This moisturizer is in a tub which is a downfall, but with the help of the serum I feel that this moisturizer will last for a while.  This is thick, yellowish moisturizer is really nice feeling.  It sinks into the skin pretty quickly and keeps my face feeling hydrated.   This has the same smell as the serum.

Here is the description from Origins website:  “This remarkable face cream with Hypsizygus ulmarius and Chaga mushrooms immediately helps quiet and calm skin.  By mirroring the amazing process that sends Narcissus Lily Bulbs into dormancy as a means of “self-protection”, it signals skin to conserve its energy to optimize its defenses against age accelerators. Skin has the ability to maintain a stronger, healthier, more youthful appearance.”

Overall I really like these products.  At first it took my skin a week or so to get used to the new product but after that its been smooth sailing.  I hope my CCO will keep this in stock otherwise my “moisture-hunt” will continue.  If you have ANY recommendations please send them my way.

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Coming soon…

Coming soon…

  • a nail of the day
  • a review of Black Shatter from the OPI Katy Perry collection
  • a review of Origins MegaMushroom cleanser and serum and moisturizer

Stay tuned!

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It was a Christmas Miracle…

Sorry for the delay on my posts!  I have been taking the time to regroup after the holidays!

Well I seemed to have witnessed a Christmas miracle this holiday season!

Exaggeration? HELLS NO!I actually got the Naked Palette!  Santa read my list!

I am thoroughly in love with this palette, as it has every color I could possibly need for a neutral/everyday look.

If you haven’t read my post outlining the colors and the finishes, check it out here.

There really isn’t a color I dont like.  However, I do not often use the two grey-ish colors (Creep and Gunmetal) as they seem harder to blend. As I knew I would, I am in love with Toasted and Hustle.  Most shades have a creamy texture, and are easily blendable.

But of all the shadows, the one that blew me away is Sidecar. It is very glittery! But the base color is the same color as my eyelids so what you see isnt a color with glitter rather you see the glitter.  I simply do one sweep of Sidecar on each eyelid and it gives me enough “POW” for the workday.

Overall I my expectations are met. I feel there are endless possibilities for looks, from day to night, smokey to neutral, from soft to edgy.

I recently heard that the reason the Urban Decay is having a hard time keeping up with the demand is because of the 24/7 eyeliner.  Their answer was to stop including it and adding an eye brush instead.I bet the eye brush is great but I already have about 20 different eye brushes!  I don’t have enough eyeliners though.  So I am glad that I was able to pick up the “older version”.

Naked Palette with new brush

Naked Palette with new brush

xoxo, Lisa

 

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All I want for Christmas is…

Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked Palette. photo courtesy of Temptalia.com

…Urban Decay’s Naked Palette!!

Since it hit the beauty scene in June I have been on the hunt for this palette of eye shadows.  I have been to every Urban Decay store and Sephora from here to Timbucktoo.  It’s been sold out since it was distributed.  I have been told it will be back in stock to the major stores (for me thats Boston which is about an hour away) in January.  I am dubious.

This palette contains 12 full sized UD shadows.  Ten of them are shimmery (NOT glittery) and two are matte shades.  Here is the break-down of the shades (straight from UrbanDecay.com):

  • Virgin is a “satin chamois.” It seems very light to me, but could be a great highlight color.
  • Sin is “champagne”.  This is a UD permanent shadow.
  • Naked is a “matte buff nude”.  This looks to be a great crease color or blending color.  This is also a UD permanent shadow.
  • Sidecar is a “cocoa with golden sparkle sheen”. BEAUTIFUL!!
  • Buck is a “matte nutmeg”.  Pretty self explanatory, but could be a great matte outer ‘V’ color.
  • Half Baked is a “subtle, lustrous bronze”.  This is a UD permanent shadow.
  • Smog is a “deep coppery bronze”.  I am pretty pumped about this shade
  • Darkhorse is a “bronze patina”.
  • Toasted is a “rich copper”.  Although it looks more pink-ish to me. IN LOVE!  This is a UD permanent shadow.
  • Hustle is a “plum brown satin”. This is the one shade I am most excited about.  It’s gorgeous.
  • Creep is an “onyx with gold sparkle”. Not sure about the gold part, but YES YES YES!
  • Gunmetal is a “gunmetal gray with silver glitter”.

Following pictures are courtesy of Temptalia.com.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked Palette

 

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal

And to top it all off…there are TWO extras!  This palette comes with a double-ended UD 24/7 eyeliner.  Zero (black) is on one side and Whiskey (brown) is on the other.  And a travel size UD Primer Potion.  All for a low low price of $44!

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Zero liner

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Whiskey liner

What I think sets this apart from any other neutral palette is the fact that it has browns, golds, and silver/greys.  That is so unique from anything I have seen on the market.  I recently bought the Tarte Femme Naturale and it has some great pinks and neutral browns but its really missing a great grey or taupe. (Review on its way…promise).

What’s left to say about this palette except that I WANT IT! I have wanted it for a long time.

Hopefully Santa reads my list!

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Nail of the Day – Mink Muffs

I know I said I wasn’t going to do a Nail of the Day but I am getting a manicure tomorrow and in the mean time I painted my nails on my own.

This polish is Mink Muffs by Essie. I originally purchased this because a lot of beauty gurus RAVED about it. And I was hesitant. But I gotta say I think I like it!
It’s a rich chocolate brown. It reminds me of milk chocolate mousse. It is a perfect fall color, but it’s nothing that stands out; which is good for some people.

In general I think I like Essie nail polishes as much as OPI. Essie has less variation in their colors but their opacity and drying time is better than OPI. I used two coats with a base coat and top coat, and it fully dried in an hour.

What do you think about it?

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Nail of the Week-“Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous”

I see other beauty guru’s doing “Nail of the Day” posts.  Although I wish I changed my polish that much, I really just dont have the time.

So I will post my “Nail of the Week” which will be more accurate.

My favorite go-to nail polish is OPI’s Midnight In Moscow.  It is a dark red/almost black base with slight red shimmer.  Its close to black, but not quite.

So here is my polish of the week.  Its call “Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous”.  It is part of OPI’s Swiss collection, and I quite like it.  It is a dark grey base, with micro shimmer of multi colors.

What do you think?

OPI

OPI

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Sales Galore

There are a TON of sales going on right now! Here are just a few…

Gap Sale

Victoria's Secret Sale

Sephora Sale

You can only use this Sephora one in-store if you were sent an invitation with a bar code.

And for the foodies out there….
Restaurant.com has a new 80% off code GIVE available. The $25 discount certificates are normally $10 or $15 (depending on restaurant), but are $2 or $3 with the code. They also sell $10 certificates for select restaurants for $4, making them 80 cents each with the code.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Berry Lips

Now that the season has changed to Fall (almost winter), women are starting to wear darker, berry toned lipsticks, glosses, or a combination of both.

Temptalia.com is currently doing a “Sulty Season” series where she highlights the seasons best “fall/winter” colors.  I love me a bold lip, but for where I work and what I do day to day, its impractical to wear a sultry lip everyday.

The two lipsticks that I stick to are Viva Glam VI by MAC and Sinisted by MAC.  Viva Glam VI is part of  MAC’s permanent line.  And for the humanitarians out there, here is MACs statement on any Viva Glam lipstick:

“Every cent of the selling price of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass is donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS”

Viva Glam VI

MAC Viva Glam VI courtesy of maccosmetics.com

Viva Glam VI seems to be the best “fall” shade for me.  It has a flattering medium maroon tone that does not wash me out.  I am very pale so I need to be careful how and when I wear dark lip colors.  They can come off too vampy and dramatic for day to day.  This shade is about two shades darker than my natural lip color.  It contains very fine gold shimmer that is appropriate for day.  If its night time, layer on this lipstick and apply a corresponding maroon (or clear) lipgloss for a more dramatic look.

Overall I find this to be a great lipstick.  When it comes to MAC  (to me) they are the leaders in lipstick.  The consistency and color range of MAC beats all others.  I do not find that these lipsticks feather or spread out.  They last about two hours, althought it depends if you are eating and drinking.

 

 

MAC Sinister lipstick

MAC Sinister lipstick courtesy of Temptalia.com

 

The other fall lipstick that I own is Sinister (on left in picture).  This was release in October with the Venomous Villians collection.  This collection was an interesting one in that MAC collaborated with Disney to create four color palettes for four different “villians”; Evil Queen, Malificent, Cruella Deville, and Dr. Facilier.

Sinister is similar to Viva Glam VI in that it is a darker berry color. But this picks up a lot more brown.  It has a bit more shimmer, but its not your typical gold or silver glitter that most lipsticks have.  This has a very subtle red shimmer.

 

In terms of the shimmer that I have referred to in both lippies.  This is not glitter.  It is not chunky and it does not actually show on the lips.  There are other MAC lip products that do provide that kind of appearance, but I have yet to see chunky, glittery lips look flattering on ANYONE.  Overall, I prefer Sinister over Viva Glam VI because it pulls more orangey-red which is more flattering on my cool-tone skin.

If you haven’t checked out a MAC counter, I recommend it.  Lipsticks run about $18 althought they can be less or more depending on whether the are Limited Edition or permanent.  This may seem like a hefty price for a lipstick but with such high pigmentation, you really do get what you pay for.

 

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