Friday, January 31, 2014

Review and swatch: Revlon Matte Balm in sultry

Fairly recently Revlon added another item to their balm stain line; the matte balm stain. I had been interested in their whole chubby stick product line, but not enough to spend the money. When these matte ones came out though, what I heard was so good I had to get one.
The matte balm stains are a type of chubby stick style lipstick. They are not completely matte; more “semi matte”. The color I got is Sultry which is a pinky-red-berry color. It has a warm almost coral undertone. The product is creamy and goes on well, the stick style also helps. The product has a slight minty smell and gives a bit of a tingle upon application.

I was hoping that since this is a matte product that it would have good staying power, but I was a bit wrong. When just put on the lips it does last hours, but whenever I eat or drink anything, it smudges and rubs off so easily. My occ lip tars and megalast lipstick do get “eaten off” a bit, but they still “stick” on most of my lips and don’t transfer so easily. These matte balm stains transfer extremely easy, and thus must be toughed up if you so much as drink.

Overall, I am very fond of this product. The color is pretty and is easy to apply. I just wish they stayed on better when eating or drinking. These normally cost $7.99 at Ulta, but with a BOGO 50% off, a dollar off Revlon coupon, and a 5 off 10 ulta coupon, I got this one for under $4. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Learning about the London Tube

Like most people, I’d assume, I was nervous about taking the London Tube. I was nervous mostly because it was just something I’ve never done before. Before the tube I had never taken any sort of public transportation, let alone a type of underground train network.
In attempt to prepare myself for the tube, I looked up several video guides on how to use the tube and the oyster card; here are some that I found helpful.  
This is a super short, super basic video that is nonetheless a good place to start.
This video is about getting to central London from Heathrow; it is good at explaining your different options.
This is an official looking video that goes in depth about the oyster card; but also does well to explain signs and the tube network itself.
This video explains how to purchase a ticket, and about transfers. It also gives you an idea about how the stations are set up, signs etc.

It turns out that the tube is extremely simple and easy to navigate. The signs are obvious and large, and the trains announce the stops clearly, there really was nothing to be afraid of.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review and Swatch: Maybelline Color tattoo in 45 Lavish Lavender

I’ve never tried the Maybelline color tattoos before now, but they have intrigued me for a while. I, in general, don’t use crème products including crème eyeshadow. The main thing that stopped me was the price; at around $6-7 they seemed a bit much for a single eyeshadow. So, when I heard that some were popping up at Big Lots for one dollar, I had to check it out.

Lavish lavender is a shimmery lavender color. It was part of the limited edition spring collection.
It is a crème eyeshadow, and upon first application with a fingertip it is a bit patchy and sheer.  A second patted application lends a more opaque coverage.  On its own it looks okay, but for my look I added another eyeshadow on top to give more depth. Its crème nature made it a great “sticky” base for eyeshadow.
with just the color tattoo

with eyeshadow

For my look I added one coat of the color tattoo across my entire lid in a patting motion. I then added a second coat on the inner half of my lid, and then used what was left on my finger tip in my crease and a bit above towards my browbone.  I then patted on some dark purple eyeshadow from my wet n’ wild lust palette starting in my outer corner, and working my way inward and into my crease with what was left. I then dotted on a bit of white eyeshadow in my inner corner.
That packaging on this is very nice. It had a classy and very solid glass base and a sturdy plastic twist off lid. It was sealed to keep it from tampering.
Overall, I am quite fond of this product and think it is good both as a shadow and as a base.  For $1 it was a definite steal, but I don’t see myself running out to but colors in the permanent line for $7.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review and Swatch: Sinful Colors nail polish in 933 Secret Admirer

Over thanksgiving weekend Rite-aid had a deal on their sinful colors nail polish that if you bought one for $1.99, you would get $1.99 back in extrabucks, making it essentially free.
Secret Admirer is a dark charcoal/slate grey polish with a lot of silver microglitter. It is part of the permanent collection.

The brush on this polish is of medium size and works well. The formula is opaque in two coats (though I do have like two patchy spots but that’s my fault for painting my nails without a lot of light!) and goes on very smoothly. This is not textured despite the glitter.

Overall, I think this is a very nice color and a good formula. This is the only sinful colors polish I own, and though the permanent collection doesn’t wow me, I’ve seen some good limited edition collections in the past. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review and swatch: Wet n’ Wild coloricon eyeshadow palette in 738 Comfort Zone

It may seem surprising that while I own many wet n wild products (lipsticks, nail polishes, foundation) that I love, I do not own any of their eyeshadows until now. Wet n Wild eyeshadows are constantly raved about in the online beauty community, and frankly, I didn’t believe that they were that great. Long story short: they are.

The Comfort Zone palette is an 8 pan neutral/earthy toned palette. All shades contains some shimmer or glitter.
The first row contains a shimmery crème tone, a shimmery rose-toned copper, a shimmery dark gold, and a black shade with red glitter.
The second row contains a shimmery taupe-grey, a shimmery light green, a dark green/black with gold glitters, and a copper/blue duochrome.
This pan is infinitely wearable. My go to look is the crème tone across my lid and inner corner, the copper on the second half of my lid and crease, and a bit of the black with red glitter just in the end of my crease to give more definition.

Three of these colors remind me of colors from the new urban decay naked 3 palette.  The black with red glitter reminds me of blackheart, the pinky copper reminds me of buzz, and the dark gold makes me think a bit of a mixture of trick and factory.
The only color I don’t see myself using is the light green, and both dark colors with glitter are pretty similar. The duochrome looks very blue in the pan, but when swatched or applied it looks nearly identical to the copper shade; just a bit darker.
The formula on these is what surprised me the most. They have a very soft, velvety feel. This though, causes some fall out. The pigmentation is also very good; and pretty consistent across shades.

Overall, this is a very nice quality, very wearable palette. And for only $4.99, it is a great deal. I bought another palette at the same time as this which I will be reviewing soon, but I may just have to take a look at some of their trios. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

From PA, to the UK: my voyage

I have just arrived in the UK earlier today as I write this, and feel it is a good time to relate my trip across the pond.
Firstly, my luggage. After my initial test, I added a lot more stuff, and the weight went up to 46 pounds. I also carried with me  a backpack, and a tote bag style purse.
I arrived in the Harrisburg airport with plenty of time to spare. The Harrisburg airport is frankly tiny. There are ( I believe) only 9 gates, 3 in each wing. I can’t even call each one a terminal. They are very short and you cannot get lost. I waited with my parents in the McDonalds until about 40 minutes before my flight. My mother estimated that the flight would start to board at 5:20, so I went through security at 5:00. The airport was almost empty; there was only one person before me at security. The TSA officers are very chill and nice; I forgot to take out my liquids and the man gently asked me if I had any, and when I apologized and went to grab then he just said “it’s okay!” and chuckled. I find that everyone at this airport is very nice; they were like this when I traveled through them before.
This plane ride took about 2 hours, and reminded me that I hated flying. I was vaguely nauseated the entire trip. I then arrived at Chicago O’Hare, which is a mess. First I had to try and find my gate, which was not in the main building. I had to wander around up and down escalators until I reached the tram which could take me to the international flight terminal; where I got turned around and had to walk the entire length before I realized my error. Their signs were not as prominent as they should have been. I then had to go through some strange checkpoint that had no signs, and I was scolded by the officer for not having my boarding pass and passport out, even though there were no signs stating I needed it out. I then had to go through another security check (scanners and everything) which I was not prepared for. Their rules were also different than Harrisburg; you didn’t put your shoes in a bin, you put them directly on the belt. Two officers yelled at people who tried to put them in bin, quite rudely also.
I then found my terminal and found that my flight was delayed 30 minutes, so I had over an hour to wait. They then announced that people that had taken connected flight to O’hare had to have their ticket and passport checked, so I waited in line for that.  Then, a lady came around with tags to designate which bags should be overhead and under your seat. She asked if I was going on the British airlines flight, but I said no, I’m on that plane but my ticket said American airline. She tried to tell me I was at the wrong terminal, but I wasn’t. Apparently , british airlines was serving American airlines for this flight. The flight was miserable, almost 8 hours long and I had dreadful nausea almost the entire flight; I couldn’t even eat my food. After dinner, the anti-nausea pills and sleeping pills started to take effect and I began to doze. I never was able to actual fall asleep, I was in a middle seat and had no room to move. I also discovered my neck pillow was a bad idea; it made me feel worse. My whole left leg also was in pain for an unknown reason. Luckily everything got better when I arrived at heathrow.  
Luckily, Heathrow wasn’t that busy, but it wasn’t barren.  All their signs were well lit, and in prominent positions, and very simple. They didn’t try to put tons of information on one sign! I went up to escalators and then took a short tram ride to baggage and customs. First I waited in line at the border control, and filled out my UK travel card (it has basic information about myself and why I was staying), I then showed the security guy some papers sent to me by my university, we talked briefly about university costs, and then he stamped my passport. I then followed some signs , and went down an escalator to baggage claim, found my bag, and then went through customs (nothing to claim) and then to the area where they sell tickets to the underground. I pain my 5 pound 50 for my ticket, and then went to the underground station. A train was already there, but I waited for the next one because I didn’t know how quickly the doors closed (not quickly actually). I took the next train and rose it to the station I had to transfer. This is the part I was a bit intimidated about; the train from Heathrow only goes one way,  but my transfer station had several lines and directions. Luckily, the train only opened on one side, so I knew I was on the right platform; and then there were prominent sign that stated the line and direction, and a map of all the stations on that line. I took that train (I only waited like 5 minutes for it to come) and then got off at my station, drug my cases up some stairs, inserted my ticket and was out. I then walked from my station to my flat, which didn’t take as long as I thought.

Overall, the actual travel wasn’t so difficult (though O’Hare could improve!), I just find flying miserable because I am easily nauseated. My first impression of the tube, and British transport in general is very favorable. I look forward to exploring it in the coming months!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review and Swatch: Wet n’ wild Deluxe Eye collection in Lust

The wet n’ wild “lust” palette was a limited edition palette a few years ago that I was never able to get. So, when I hear that the lust palette was coming back for a limited time in a holiday set, I had to pick it up. It was quite troublesome to find; it is part of a set of colors (I saw three different color sets, but there could be four or more) and some rite-aids or CVS’s only carried one color. I found the Greed set most often; it took me about four or five different drugstore to find this one.

The set includes a six pan eyeshadow palette (mine is in the color lust), a lengthening mascara, and a black eyeliner. This palette retails for $4.99, the same price was one of their 8 pan palettes.
The lust palette contains six colors:
The left side contains all mattes: a light pink, a medium purple, and a dark purple.
The right side contains shimmery/glittery tones. All shades contain glitter: a shimmery off white with white glitter, a shimmery dark grey with silver glitter, and a dark purple/black shade with pink glitter.

I like this mix of both matte and shimmery tones; I just wish not all the shimmery tones contained glitter. The glitter is very fine though.
These shades are all velvety soft, and because of this can cause a bit of fall out, especially the lightest shades. The pigmentation is good across the board, but the two matte purples are not all pigmented as the others, but still quite good. I’ve noticed that for some reasons purples are never that pigmented.
This palette is very pretty to me, which I why I went on several trips to find it. Unfortunately, it’s not very wearable on its own. Both the light colors are good bases, and the dark purple, “black” with glitter and the grey are all good defining outer corner colors; there isn’t a very good choice for in the crease to be blended out toward the browbone. The middle purple just has to do, but I would have preferred it to be cooler like the other colors, or if they grey had been lighter.

The palette comes with a little angled brush and sponge tipped applicators which are useless.
The black eyeliner pencil is the most basic wooden pencil, sharpen yourself, eyeliner pencil. I haven’t used one of these since I was like 12. It doesn’t blend out that well; it sheers more than smudges. It’s not the worst I’ve tried, but it isn’t particularly smooth. But, I also don’t have much experience or use for it.

The mascara is a very thin bottle and has a thin applicator to match. It has plastic bristles, like I prefer, but they are very short. Because of this, it is good for my lower lashes, but not my upper ones. It does lengthen decently, but I wouldn’t buy this separate.

Overall, for the $4.99, I think this is a decent deal, even if you are only really paying for the palette. They eyeshadows are a good quality and a seductive color choice for me.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Packing Trial: Make up

For my three and a half month stay in London, I of course need a lot of make-up! Though I know it is of course possible to but make up in England I’d rather not because A) they don’t have certain brands like e.l.f and wet n wild and B) make up is significantly more expensive in London. So, I decided just to bring enough makeup (hopefully!) my entire visit.  I also decided that it must all fit on my large make up bag, otherwise I’d be tempted to bring all of my lipsticks! What I brought was:

3 tubes and one almost empty rude of foundation (the one thing I can’t live without!)
1 and a partial tube of elf concealer, eyelid primer, and wet n wild concealer
Moisturizer and eye crème
Face powders (translucent and pressed foundation)
Bronzer, and two blushes
Tweezers, eyelash curler and extra eyelash curler pads
Brow powder
My 2 current mascaras and one new one

Naked 3 palette and 2 wet n wild palettes
Urban decay primer potion samples
Occ lip tar set and four other lipsticks
Bobby pins etc.
Various brushes
What I didn’t include in these pictures is my nail polish. For that I’m bring four colors plus a base and top coat.

All of this fits snugly into my makeup bag and should be enough make up to last me the semester.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Packing Trial: 7 days before

For my 3.5 month trip to London I will have to live out of one suitcase plus any carry-on bags I will bring. This bag also has to be 50 pounds or less, or I get an overweight baggage fee. To make sure I had an idea of how much room I have to pack, I did I trail run a week before. This is what I found and what I brought.
First of all, my suitcase had to carry all my clothes, toiletries, and school supplies.  I found I actually had more than enough room and even put in some more clothes!
The clothes I brought are:
3 skirts
4 shirts
2 sweaters
5 dresses (plus one in my carry on)
One cardigan (plus the one I will be wearing on the plane)
3 pairs of pajamas and 1 pair of yoga pants
Assorted undergarments
Pair of short boots

In addition I also brought and alarm clock, make-up, folders and journals, and pens, pencils etc. and contact solution.

Now this isn’t definitely all I’m bringing, but it still gives me a good 9 outfits plus the one I will be wearing and I might even shove another one into my other carry on. All of this is also only 24 pounds, that’s under half of my max allowed weight!
Needless to say, this is a definite weight off my shoulders! I feel a lot more confident that I can bring everything I need to bring without much struggle, and since I made sure to bring the clothes I wear the most I shouldn’t have problems with having “nothing to wear”.
Next up: Packing Trial: make up

Have you ever tried to live out of a single suitcase?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review and swatch: Wet n’ Wild silk finish lipstick in 522A Dark Wine

I already own two lipsticks from this line, and I like them for their smooth application. Unfortunately though, there are only four lipsticks in this range that are not frosty or glittery. Besides the now three I own, the other color is a neon Barbie pink (not my thing).
Dark wine is a medium cranberry color; it is not that dark and is lighter than it appears in the tube. This lipstick has a crème finish and, like all silk finish lipstick, glides on very nicely. It doesn’t tug or catch on dry spots. Because of this, it transfers quite easily and can be smudges; you might want to clean up the edges around your lips with a bit of concealer.

This lipstick lasts what I would believe to be an average amount; it does transfer easily when eating.
I think this color is a great holiday color and a good way for someone intimidated by dark lips to enjoy this winter trend. While the packaging is horrible as per usual, for 99 cents this is still a steal.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter dry skin regime

While I usually have quite oily skin most of the year, during the wintertime my skin gets dry. Whether it’s just the cold and dry winter air, or the fact that I do to my parents’ house which has unnaturally dry air, either way my skin gets positively scaly. This is how I deal with it.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize…
If your skin is dry, you need to add moisture! I step up my game during the winter by moisturizing my skin twice a day, morning and night, instead of my usual morning. I also use a thicker formula at night. I like Olay’s spf 15 moisture lotion. I also make sure to moisturize my lips. I use lip balm constantly (I like Burt’s Bees) in addition to Aquaphor for when my lips get bad.

If your moisturizer can’t get underneath a layer of scaly, dry, skin you need to exfoliate it away. Normally, I exfoliate once a week, I up it to twice during the winter. I like to use St. Ive’s Apricot scrub. Also, be sure to exfoliate your lips especially if you are planning to use a matte lip color.
Don’t wash too much…

Washing your skin can also dry it. Firstly, make sure your face wash doesn’t dry your skin out. I’m pretty good with Biore’s Combination Skin cleaner. I also stop washing my face with the wash twice a day. Instead in the morning I only splash my face with a bit of water.

I hope this works for you! Before long though, I’ll be back to my oily self!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Study Abroad Announcement

I hope you guys are having a fabulous new year, I now I am! I am currently getting ready to go to London! I will be arriving in London on January 15th and leaving at the end of April. I will definitely keep posting! I will be writing many posts about my experience studying abroad and about the UK, so expect more food/event posts! I will also hopefully continue making beauty product/ fashion posts, maybe even some UK exclusive products. I will also try to keep to my normal 2-3 times a week posting schedule. To help with this, I will be writing and queuing some posts so if anything seems out of order or to take place in America, that is why.
I hope you guys enjoy my trip through London as much as I do, and if anyone has any question s about my trip, feel free to ask them!

Thank you.