Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Makeup Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick- Pure Hollywood, Carina, Sadgirl

Anastasia Sad Girl
Anastasia Sad Girl

ProductAnastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Pure Hollywood, Carina, Sadgirl

Review: I love lipstick. Especially liquid lipsticks. Much to my eternal sadness, my boyfriend does not. He hates unnatural-looking lip colors (and by that, he means all of them) and thinks red is an "old lady color." In a surprisingly literal way. If someone is wearing red lipstick, he honest to god thinks they are 15-30 years older than they are. One of my favorite games is to point out girls wearing red lipstick who are obviously (to everyone not my boyfriend) in their early-mid 20s and ask him how old they are. He will, with furrowed brow, hold an internal debate with himself, knowing that his answer is going to be way off because of the lipstick. 90% of the time, he goes with a "conservative" 35-40 years. He does the same thing with dark, vampy lipstick. It never fails to amuse the hell out of me. 

This fun boyfriend fact is the major reason I don't review a lot of lipstick on this blog- I got so used to not wearing it around him! However, times are a changin', because I'm sick and tired of denying my inner lipstick-loving makeup beast that needs to have all the pretty colors on her face. I see all these glorious lipstick shades on Instagram, and holy hell, do I covet the shit out of them. My lipstick beast must be appeased! 

And that is why I recently bought 3 shades of Anastasia's Liquid Lipsticks, even after seeing some not so favorable but incredibly honest reviews, like this one and this one. The colors in the collection are just so gorgeous, and no matter how hard I tried to be reasonable and rational, I just had to have them. I kept seeing them everywhere on people who raved about them, and the colors were taunting me, so I succumbed in a moment of weakness and bought Pure Hollywood, Carina, and Sad Girl. Picking only 3 was agonizing for me, because I wanted all of them, but I decided on a light, mid-range, and dark color that weren't too similar to any lipsticks in my collection. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Makeup Review: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Review: I've had my makeup done at Sephora around 6 times, and I'm always underwhelmed. The last time I tried one of those "VIB mini makeover" specials, the fresh-from-Aveda girl who did my face slathered way too much moisturizer on me and didn't allow it to absorb, so when she attempted to apply foundation, it balled up in gross chunks the more she tried to blend it in. Instead of taking it off and starting over, she added some extra eyeshadow and told me I was good to go. I looked in the mirror and was like, "WTF. No. It looks like my skin is falling off!" so I made her re-do it. I mean, come on. Don't call yourself a pro and pull that shit. No thanks, I'll apply my own makeup. 

Fast forward to last Sunday. I went to the Mall of America for some much needed "me" time and decided to play with all the things in Sephora. As I've talked about before, I have rosacea and a little keratosis pilaris on my face, which makes me super red. I hate it, and I do a lot to try to hide the red blotchiness. Since it's more noticeable when I'm paler, I've been Frankensteining my foundations and CC/BB creams together every morning to get enough coverage with a redness-canceling color that isn't too yellow. I originally planned to buy the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation but they'd stopped carrying it instore, so I then decided that the Tarte Amazonion Clay 12 Hour Foundation was the way to go, based on the coverage and lower price point. I have a darker color in the Tarte foundation for summer use that I like, so I decided to get a lighter winter/spring shade and a worthwhile concealer for the extra red areas. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Skincare Review: Blackbox Cosmetics 6 Minute Miracle Microdermabrasion Treatment

best microdermabrasion treatment

Review: This is the first product I tried from the Blackbox Cosmetics line I wrote about a little bit ago, and it's one of my favorites out of the Restoration Skin Kit. First off, the container is really pretty and looks very high end. I think the font choice isn't in line with the rest of the look, but whatever. I'm nitpicky and I know it. The above picture is the one from the website. This is what it looks like in real life:
Best microdermabrasion treatment

best microdermabrasion treatment
Notice the different wording. HA!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Makeup Review: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Matte Velvet Cruella

ProductNARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Review: I got the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella as part of my Sephora birthday gift, and I bought the full size soon after because I love it. My boyfriend's intense hatred of red lipstick be damned! Ugh, damn you Sephora and your ability to make me buy all the things. I fall for it every time... But to be fair, I was eyeing this color for a while, so I guess my arm didn't need THAT much twisting.

I'm a huge fan of everything about this lipstick, from the packaging to the staying power. I adore lipstick in pencil form, because it gives me precision without my having to dig out a lip brush. Am I the only one who hates using lip brushes? I might be... and I'm cool with that. I think it's because I have big lips and lip brushes take me 5 times as long to cover the same area. Stupid tiny brushes. Anyway, the jumbo lip pencils like this make it so easy for me to get that perfect, precise red lip. No concealer or clean-up needed! Speaking of, the color is gorgeous - a rich, sultry crimson. Not too dark, not too bright. It reminds me of my favorite red roses.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

First Impressions: Blackbox Cosmetics Restoration Skin Kit

I stumbled across an Independent Sales Associate's ad for Blackbox Cosmetics around 3 years ago on Craiglist while job hunting. It's yet another MLM sales company that primarily relies on ISAs to survive, like Jamberry, Younique, Pure Romance, etc. It was so new at the time that I couldn't find anything on the company or the founder, so I passed, even though I was interested in their products -- I love that their skincare line is aloe-based and the ingredients sound top notch.

I've kept tabs on them throughout the years, because I'm always looking for new things to try. I was fascinated by this company -  such great sounding products, almost no publicity, and they somehow never went bankrupt like I was expecting. When I would search for them, I could only find raves from a few ISAs hungry for sales and 1 or 2 other bloggers who had tried samples but not the full-sized products. It wasn't much to go on, so a couple months ago, I decided to look for samples and found an ISA who was mailing them out. She sent me little packets of the Infusion AM and Little Secret Weapon serums. I was surprised at their quality. While I'd looked at the ingredients, I wasn't expecting them to be as great as they were, and my skin loved them. I was originally going review the samples like the other girls, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try out the whole Restoration Skin Kit.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Favorite E.L.F. Products

It took me the longest time to try anything from E.L.F. I refused to believe that a brand so dirt cheap could have worthwhile products, but after being bombarded with endorsements from friends and the internet, I decided to suck it up and try a few things. And now I use some E.L.F. (too lazy to type in those extra periods) products every day or on a rotating basis. These are the ones I've tried so far that I wholeheartedly recommend, because why spend $20 when a $1-3 product will do the trick?
Best ELF Products

#1. E.L.F.Makeup Remover Pen, $3 - It's a marker that removes little makeup mistakes. Best thing ever for correcting fucked up winged liner! Or those annoying mascara dots. Wipe it off after each use and it'll last you a while. I had my last one for... 4 months?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Skincare Review: Dr. Brandt Needles No More

wrinkle relaxing cream

Product: Dr. Brandt Needles No More

Review: I got a jumbo sample of this for my last Sephora order. It claims to be a "revolutionary topical cream that mimics anti-wrinkle treatments to visibly relax and smooth the look of expression lines and wrinkles. The formula encourages a superficial tightening action, preventing contraction and providing quick relaxation. The wrinkle relaxers also help to further relax over time, creating the appearance of smoother skin."

Sounds magical right? Not so much. This product did NOTHING for my forehead and eyebrow lines. Nothing! And I used this crap for 2 weeks. There is absolutely nothing interesting about this product other than the claims. Not the feel, fragrance, and certainly not the effects, because there aren't any. At least for me. This is hands down one of, if not THE most gimmicky skincare products I've ever tried. A good primer does a better job at hiding the lines than this bullshit goop. It doesn't even moisturize! I guess the only possible nice thing I can say about it is that the packaging on the full-size Needles No More looks decent. That's the best I can do, because a mild exfoliation treatment and a great moisturizer does more for me than this product ever will. I can't believe there are positive reviews for it. Either it's the placebo effect or they're really, really lucky.

If you're still interested and have tons of money to burn on an $89 gimmick, I strongly recommend getting a sample first to test whether or not you're one of those extra special snowflakes this product actually works on.

Rated Beauty Grade: F

Price: $89 at Sephora