Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BEAUTY: 10 Red Lipsticks for Valentine's Day

...or any day, really, because red lipstick is appropriate for any situation. You might be thinking 'who needs ten red lipsticks?' and I'll tell you right away that your instincts are correct - you actually need way more than ten. Kidding! Kind of. Judging from this selection, I obviously have some kind of lipstick-shaped hole in my soul that I'm trying to fill, but you might find yourself with just one classic, made-for-you red in your collection, and that's totally cool too. Also, what's self restraint like? 

From lightest to darkest, here are my top 10 red lipsticks for Valentine's Day!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Morocco

Mmmm, I love a Soft Matte Lip Cream! Smells like a vanilla cupcake dream, goes on smooth and opaque, and wears light as a feather. This is a perfect warm toned red with a great orange tint that's super bold, but still easy to wear.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Succulent

This shade is a perfect coral-red that manages to be both bright and muted at the same time. You get a true matte finish (and the dryness to match) and the wear is pretty good too. The color is the best part, though, and I've yet to find something else quite the same as this unique shade.

Wet n Wild Lipstick in Purty Persimmon

Wet n Wild Meglast lipsticks are the old faithfuls of the drugstore - they're less than two bucks, super comfortable to wear, come in a large range of great colors and stay put for hours. Purty Persimmon is a lovely orange-red shade that I always get excited to pop on. This is the lipstick that showed me I like warm toned reds too!

Revlon Lipstick in Fire & Ice

A serious classic! This shade is from the olden days of lipstick, basically, and there's a reason it has stood the test of time - it's gorgeous! Such a lovely color that tends to skew warm toned, but somehow seems to work on everyone I've ever seen wear it? You need this.

Rimmel Provocalips in Kiss Me You Fool

I don't know how many more ways I can say this: I'M IN LOVE WITH RIMMEL PROVOCALIPS. Sorry for shouting, but if you still haven't tried these, I don't know what I can do with you. They're the best, last forever, the end. This is the bright cherry red from the range, and I'm telling you - if you need an all day red lip that you can eat pizza and, like, brush your teeth in, this is that red.

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red

There's just something about a smooth tube of MAC lipstick! This is my favorite red from the brand, but I know that's a hot button issue. Are you a Ruby Woo gal? Okay, let's take this outside! JK, don't hit me plz. The cool toned Russian Red has my heart (bringing in this theme nicely!) but honestly all MAC reds are iconic for a reason!

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

I didn't know this would change my red lipstick life, but it kinda did! Among literally every red I wear, this is the one that, when I slip it on, looks the smoothest, prettiest and just all around Photoshopped-on-my-lips-est. It's matte, but not too matte and I never even feel it on my lips. It's a great neutral to cool-leaning red that applies like a dream and treats your lips right.

Revlon Matte Balm in Standout

This one is a sleeper hit! It's very similar to MAC Russian Red, with a cool toned hue and matte finish, but it also has a moisturizing quality, complete with minty zing, that you're not going to find in most other lipsticks. I struggle getting a crisp line with it, but it applies so easily and feels so comfortable it's kinda worth it.

Rimmel Provocalips in Play With Fire

See above, and approximately 1,009,342 other blog posts to see how much I love Provocalips. This is a deeper, more cool toned red from the range and I love it just as much as the other red shade. I tend to pull this out for a more dramatic look, but you'd be good with whichever red you like more. Let Provocalips change your life!

Maybelline Lipstick in Smoking Red

Yass, a deep red that goes on opaque in one swipe! You've really done it, Maybelline. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've bought and tossed so called 'black cherry' lipsticks when they go on patchy and pathetic. This is a bit lighter than those shades, but it does the job of coloring my lips evenly. Luckily, it also feels comfortable and lasts, keeping me coming back swipe after swipe.

Red Lipstick Swatches

See? Duh, they're all v. different, thank you.

What's your favorite red lip color? Have you tried any of these? Wanna fight me over the top MAC red lipstick?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BEAUTY: Sephora Birthday Gift 2017

"It's the most wonderful tiiiiime of the year..." No, not Christmas, you fool - free Sephora birthday gift time! This year, Sephora Beauty Insiders (you just have to sign up!) choose from two options: a blush and liquid lipstick set from Tarte or a moisturizer - errr, "creme sorbet" - and serum set from Caudalie.

I chose the makeup set. Duh. What it includes:

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty {0.05 oz}
Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit {0.034 fl oz}

Some festive fine print.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty (L) and Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (R)

As is typical of the free Sephora birthday gift, these items come in very neutral shades that almost anyone with any skin tone would probably be able to use. Even though they are simple rather than wild shades, I do find both of these items very pretty and I'll definitely be using them.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty

Of all makeup items to receive in a mini size, blush is probably the best because a full size blush lasts approximately 12,000 years according to my experience. Seriously, though - it just never runs out! Even though this one is smaller, I'm sure I could use it daily for quite some time.

I'm very picky about blush colors, and I was pleased to see Paaarty is right up my alley - my alley being anything this isn't too pink. It has a matte finish, with not a hint of sheen or glitter. 

The shade is a dusty rose with a hint of orange. It's about as close to neutral undertones as it gets; at first I was positive I saw a cool toned rose, but then couldn't deny the inherent bronze-ness.

The formula is butter soft and picks up nicely in both the swatch AND on a blush brush. You know how some powder makeup looks amazing when you run your finger through it, but ends up weak when you apply it with a brush? This doesn't do that.

Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit

This little tube is adorable! It's the perfect size to slip in your pocket or bag, but it also feels like I'll get a decent amount of use out of it, too. It has an ever so slightly angled doe foot applicator, which works nice to apply this mousse-like formula. It is opaque in one coat.

As far as I can sniff, there is no discernible scent and the packaging is plastic with gold accents.

The shade - oh, the shade! For me, this is a perfect cool toned nude lip color. The perfect nude varies person to person, but I'm always hunting for almost purple-y pink-browns, and this shade delivers on that spotlessly. Even if this isn't your nude, it could still be a great neutral option for you.

I found this extremely comfortable to wear, despite the matte dry down. It almost felt like a regular lipstick, but resisted transfer during a kiss test. It didn't stand up to eating like I would've liked, though nothing besides Rimmel Provocalips ever has for me, but it stays put nicely otherwise.

Swatch of Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty (top) & Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit
I'm a Tartelette, apparently.
The Verdict: This is a great set for travel or everyday use, and if you have the opportunity to pop into a Sephora this year, I'd definitely recommend picking them up for free. You deserve it, birthday girl. 

Will you be getting this free birthday gift from Sephora? What is your perfect nude lip color? Are you more of a matte or glittery blush person?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

BEAUTY: Top 10 Beauty Products of 2016

Okay, for real? 2016 was not the greatest. Perhaps you've heard? Putting that aside for a moment (we all need a break from the fear/anger/uncontrollable googling sometimes, right?), I want to reflect on the best beauty products I found this year. Some are new, some are just new to me, but they all nestled their way into my heart in 2016 and look like they won't be moving out in 2017, either. 

In no particular order...

L'oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara 

in Blackest Black Waterproof

I want to shed a tear from how much I love this stuff, and I can do so comfortable because this little baby is waterproof! Take it from a frequent casual crier! I've worked my way through drugstore mascaras (there was even a spreadsheet involved at one point. whatever.) and I'll never stray again. Gold mirrored packaging? OKAY. The brush is ever so slightly angled, and the old school bristles (no silicone here) taper from large to smaller toward the tip. You get a realistic fanned-out falsies look, and the dry formula holds a curl all damn day. It's one of those love-at-first-swipe mascaras - I don't know why I never hear about this stuff because it's the actual best.

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Weenie

Weenie on the left!
Honestly, I don't know if there's another eyeshadow I wore more often in 2016 than this! It's perfect for a quick swipe of color, or a full on metallic sheen in-your-face kinda eye. The rose gold shade is over-the-top pigmented and flatters many skin tones. Did I mention this is the softest eyeshadow I've ever swiped my finger across? Well, IT IS. Read more about my love for this eyeshadow here.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown

The search is over! I've tried gels, creams, other pencils - even high end ones - but there's just something about this one. The pencil is very thin, giving you the ability to draw tiny hair-like strokes and define the border of a brow without looking like you took a Crayola to your face. This shade is dead on for me, and I love that it's a true ashy color - no secret red tinge here! I've already bought this like four times, guys. IT'S THE ONE!

Skinfood Salmon Darkcircle Concealer Cream in #1

My sister opened my eyes (face pun!) to this Korean wonder product and I'm so glad she did! The texture is super creamy, so it never accentuates dryness around your eyes, or pulls your skin when you pat it in. In fact, it totally moisturizes that area, leaving a smooth and perfectly blended finish that works wonders in brightening up your skin. The pigmentation is great, and I kind of feel like this tub will last forever, which I'm totally fine with.

Wet n Wild Contour Palette in Dulce de Leche

This is a real score, because I bought on a whim when it was on sale for, like, less than two bucks. The powder is soft and blend-able (though you'll be on fallout patrol) and the shade is pretty perfect for me. I was used to a very cool-toned contour, and thought this might be a hair too warm-toned, but it turned out to be just what I needed. The staying power has been good for me, and I grab this guy almost every time I do my makeup. Worth it for the contour shade alone!

NYX BB Cream in 02 Natural

Ugh. Choosing face makeup is hard. When I needed a new go-to, days of research and review scouring left me overwhelmed. I impulse purchased this, and ended up digging it a lot. All that obsessive research went unused, and things still ended up great. I feel like there's a lesson I'll refuse to learn in there somewhere. This BB is the perfect skin-melding formula to even out tones, and (mostly) cover blemishes, but not look or feel mask-like at all. I never feel it! You can clumsily slap it on with your fingers or carefully blend it with a foundation brush, and either way it seems to dissolve into your face within minutes, making you look like a clearer version of yourself. Gotta note that the shade range is criminal - three similar-looking colors for fair to light-medium skin, which is bullshit and dismissive. I happen to fit right in the middle of their range, but they still lose a point for this.

Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Bare Necessities

I've already told you how much I dig this palette, and my feelings remained strong throughout '16. Just a perfect neutral eye palette, with excellent pigmentation, and some serious shimmer in several shades. With the addition of metallic gold you can do something a little more glam too, and you'll be hard pressed to find a day that this palette doesn't give you exactly what you need (at least when it comes to eyeshadow). 

Maybelline The Loaded Bolds Lipstick in Smoking Red

Anyone who's into lipstick doesn't need any more red lipsticks - I'm sure there's a scientific theory about this - but I grabbed this anyway because it's slightly different than my other reds. It's a vampy deep red, yet still bright and easy to wear. Not quite a black cherry, but definitely not a cherry red (not a girl, not yet a woman), this shade falls flatly in between those two different, yet confusingly similar-sounding, shades. It's opaque in one swipe and creamy enough not to dry you out. It's perfect for fall because it's basically the color of autumn leaves and magic. For a cheap thrill that turns into more, you can't really beat it.

Tocca Perfume Rollerball in Florence

I picked up a pack of four Tocca mini rollerballs hoping I'd love one, but it turned out I loved them all! Florence has been the standout, though, and the sweet mix of bergamot and gardenia gives me this instant feeling of nostalgia and happiness that I can't quite place. I have no memories associated with this scent, but somehow it tricks me into thinking I do! I still have more than half of this mini left, but I'd be open to upgrading to full size when the time comes.

Maroma Perfume Oil in Night Jasmine

This was a random find at a local hippie store that sells eco-friendly toothpaste alongside fresh eggs from chickens down the street. I guess you could say I wasn't looking for perfume there. When I smelled this oil, though, I was instantly flooded with the memory of a garden I played in as a child. The memory had been trapped in my brain and this shook it free! This is a sweet, sultry jasmine and it usually makes people tell me that I smell good, which is always a bonus.
My pretties...

What were your top beauty products of 2016?
What cool stuff will you be hunting down in 2017?

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