Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review and Swatch: Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box o’ Blushes

One of my big items that I got for Christmas is this set from Benefit. This set contains six of Benefit’s Box powders plus a small brush and some of Benefit’s cream highlighter Watt’s up. I never bought any of benefit’s box powders so this set was a great deal.

The powders in this set are:
Dandelion: a very light baby pink color. This is great for fair skin and could be a highlighter for those with deep skin tones but not so great for medium skins.
Bella Bamba: this is a red toned blush which is one of the bolder colors
Sugar bomb: a mosaic of four colors that turn into a very pale coral. This could be a blush or a highlighter

Hoola: one of the most famous bronzers ever; a cool grey-toned medium brown- great for both light and medium tones
Coralista: as is sounds a medium coral blush. It’s almost like a deeper sugarbomb
Rockateur: a dusty medium mauve; my favorite color of this set. It’s berry tones look great in all seasons
Watt’s up: a shimmery light golden cream. I have a mini of this and I love it!

All of these powders are super velvety smooth. None are gritty or chalky. What I wasn’t expecting is the sheerness of these. When using my super soft blush brush it gives a very sheer color. With the stiffer brush included I can get a lot more color, but the thin shape of it makes it best for contouring with the bronzer.

Overall, I’m glad to have this set of powders since I only own very few blushes and none from benefit. This was a very good deal for only $35 and came in a very cute tin for Christmas! I only wish the pigmentation was a bit stronger.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review and Swatch: Urban Decay Vice 3 palette

This was one of my big ticket Christmas gifts and my second palette from Urban Decay. This set contains 20 eyeshadow and one two sided brush. It is also limited edition so I jumped on it when it became available. It was $60 but I got it 20% during a sale at Ulta.
The palette comes in a shiny metallic case which is really cool and a zippered makeup bag with a UD design. I can definitely seeing using this make-up bag since it’s a decent size. The palette also has a huge mirror. While I don’t usually care about mirrors because they usually aren’t so big to be convenient, but this one is so big that I really like it!

The colors inside are in the first column:

Truth: a matte cream; it’s on the sheerer side but smooth
Undone: a taupe matte
Downfall: a warm brown matte; this one is pretty powdery
DTF: a dark grey toned taupe brown and matte
I love this column for a basic matte neutral look.

Second column:

Dragon: classic emerald shimmer;  a bit more sheer than I hoped
Freeze: a medium icy blue shimmer ; again a bit sheer
Heroine: dark blue shimmer; very sheer
Brokedown: a mustard toned medium brown shimmer; while not sheer it is a bit gritty


Vanity: medium violet; very pretty!
Lucky: super ultra-pigmented pure gold; the dark horse of this palette. It doesn’t seem too exciting but is absolutely gorgeous in person!
Reign: medium brown
Bobbydazzle: pure bold white with sparkle: a bit chalky


Alien: baby pink matte
Alchemy: purple toned pink fuchsia duo chrome; a truly stunning shade!
Bondage: super dark black/purple with shimmer; super pigmented
Sonic: orange and pink coral duo chrome; this is also a surprise great shade!


Last sin: a shimmery champagne
Angel: mid tone grey: this was super sheer! I really didn’t think this would be so sheer but is a good blending color for my crease.
Defy: dark grey
Revolver: black, and a very nice one too!
This column is perfect for a quick smokey eye; they coordinate together very well.

Overall, I really like the first and last column for full looks and the fourth has the most amazing shades but more bold than I normally wear. The second column is a bit of a disappointment. I don’t wear those colors too often and then on top they are quite sheer.
The brush is very soft and good for blending but not so dense that they can pack on a lot of color.

This is a great new palette for me and I’m so excited to try out all of the different possible looks!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review and Swatch: J cat Wonder Lip Paint in “Always late, Rabbit!”

The J cat Wonder lip paints have been floating around the internet as a OCC Lip Tar dupe. I wanted to by some but I had to buy them off the J cat website at full price with a pretty high shipping cost so I was going to wait until the holidays until I found out they were coming to Ulta! As soon as I heard the news I started figuring out what color I wanted most. When Ulta had a great deal of $5 off $10 and free shipping I jumped and bought this color. All the names are super cute and based off of Alice in Wonderland.

Always Late, Rabbit! Is a medium pink toned purple. While it is most definitely purple on it is a very flattering shade and would even be good for someone just venturing into purple lipsticks.
In regards to the OCC dupability it is a similar texture, though I think slightly thinner. It has the familiar peppermint oil scent. The pigmentation in great but I think slightly less than OCC. So, while not a perfect dupe I think very comparable. Considering the price where OCC is $18 and this is $5, I would recommend this line to someone just wanting to try out a “lip tar” like consistency.

I really love this color and product though it has the slight annoyance of having to be applied with a lip brush. I do see myself wearing this though, especially since it fades to a gorgeous fuchsia. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Review: Nest Fragrance Rollerball set

The one thing I really wanted from Sephora this Black Friday was their Nest rollerball set. I’ve tested most of their fragrances in store and loved all three that were being offered, and the packaging was also super cute. This was only $10 and I so wish I had picked up a backup! There were only two left when I got to Sephora so it must have been popular.
The scents included are:
Midnight Fleur: “Exotic Woods, Black Amber, Patchouli, Night-Blooming Jasmine, Vanilla Orchid.”
Indigo: “Moroccan Tea, Kashmir Wood, Cardamom, Wild Fig.”
Dahlia and Vines: “Dewy Daffodils, Peony, Rose, Garden Vines.”
All three scents are fantastic! While I’m not normally a fan of vanilla, which is definitely evident, Midnight Fleur is still a great scent. My favorite has to be Dahlia and Vines which is just magnificent, but Indigo is a close second.
All three small bottles came in a nice black thin cardboard box nestled in black plastic. Each bottle is glad and features a tiny version of their normal labels. Each had a plastic roller ball attachment.
What makes this a great deal in addition to getting three scents all for $10 is the value per oz. of product. Each bottle contains 0.2 oz (so a total of 0.6 oz). A normal rollerball contains 0.27 oz and costs $25. That means it’s $9.25 per 0.1 oz so each bottle is worth $18.50 and all three are then $55.50. Getting over $50 of product for $10 is always a good deal.

Overall, this is a fantastic product so much that I wish I bought two, and I don’t even wear fragrance that often!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recipe: Best Hot Chocolate Ever! Italian Hot Cocoa

I love hot chocolate, but the stuff in the packet just doesn’t do it for me.  I want more of a European style drinking chocolate that has to be easy to make. After scouring the internet I can up with the recipe which is an adaption of a few recipes. I hope you try this out and enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 serving
2 oz of bittersweet chocolate either chopped or in chip form (I used Ghirardelli chips)
¾ cup of milk (whole was recommended most but I use 2%)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
Optional: a small dash of vanilla and a tiny sprinkle of salt
Place your chocolate and ¼ cup of milk on a medium low heat until completely melted
Add the rest of the milk and stir. Then add your sugar to dissolve and then cornstarch and optional vanilla and salt.
Stir or whisk thoroughly until blended. Bring to a medium high heat until mixture boils. Only boils of r a minute or two until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and if you draw a line on the spoon with your fingertip the mixture doesn’t flood back.
At this point I turn the heat off and just simmer for a minute or so then take of the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes until closer to drinking temperature and it gets even thicker, almost a glue or thick syrup texture.
Pour into small mug and enjoy!
While this doesn’t make a lot it is so rich that you couldn’t drink anymore! I’m also sure this recipe would work doubled.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review and Swatch: Beaute Basics Exposed 2 eyeshadow palette

My aunt gave me this palette as an early Christmas present. Apparently, she bought these exposed palettes off of groupon and only wanted one of them, the #3. For her daughter and so gave the other two to me and my other female cousin.  These are obviously attempting to be Urban decay Naked palette dupes, but only have vaguely similar shades. Naked 2  is supposed to be cool toned, but this one is pretty warm. I chose this one because the #1 had a lot of green toned shades which I do not like. For the group of three it was $12.99 and while the brand has a website the normal per palette price in not available because these palettes are not online. There normal prices though, are pretty high and frankly I can say not worth it. My general feeling are this is a decent palette for someone starting out in makeup or someone who likes the look of the naked palettes but doesn’t have any real knowledge of makeup brands because this will fool no one. Generally the mattes are poor and the shimmers are pretty good.
The colors in this palette range from 13-24; there are twelve shades in the palette.

13: matte pale yellow; chalky and sheer
14: true gold shimmer; pretty sheer
15: shimmery champagne; super sheer
16: intense shimmery bronze-gold; super intense metallic pigmentation
17: matte grey-brown; sheer
18: dark bronze-gold; pretty pigmented
19: shimmery taupe; a little sheer but nice
20: green-toned medium grey shimmer; pretty good
21: light icy metallic silver; quite nice
22: warm taupe grey shimmer; nice
23: burgundy brown shimmer: very nicely pigmented
24: matte black: chalky but usable

My favorite colors in this collection are 16, 22, and 23. The palette also came with a double sided brush. It is very soft, but the fluffy end is not dense and so is more of a blender than for packing on the color. The smaller end is okay. In general these shades apply pretty sheer which makes them very natural and nice looking put doesn’t really pack a punch. I will use this, but it’s not going to be a favorite.

Is this worth $12.99 on its own? No. Is it going to fool anyone into thinking it’s a naked palette? No. Is it worth $4? Yes. Is it a decent palette? Yes. Overall, not fantastic but with some useable colors and could be great for makeup beginners.