Friday, June 28, 2013

Sneek Peek #1: L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation

You may or may not have heard about the new foundation recently launched by L'Oreal.  It's the Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation retailing for $10.99 at Target.  This foundation is marketed as a liquid to powder foundation and is (what I believe to be) the drugstore answer to the "second skin" water based foundations that the higher end brands are coming out with.

 If you're not familiar with these foundations, they are basically a light weight foundation that is supposed to look like your skin but better (completely taking out the heavy, "hi I'm wearing a crap ton of makeup on my face" aspect some foundations can have...although if you have a foundation that looks like that you should probably throw it away...just sayin). 

I bought this foundation a couple days ago and am still trying it out.  I haven't completely made up my mind about it yet, but I have decent hopes for it. 

Check back next week for a full review!  What new products have you been loving lately?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Products to Create a Natural Summer Makeup Look

Natural Summer Makeup

Sometimes, when it's hot and sticky out, you just don't feel like wearing a full face of makeup.  It's nice to be able to throw a few things on that look really natural and effortless.  Here are some great products to get that fresh, summery look:

1.  The Base.  Smashbox's BB Cream is a really great product.  It's the perfect thing to throw on if you want more coverage than a tinted moisturizer but don't want the made up look of true foundation.  If you have any spots that need covering up, MAC's Studio Finish Concealer has full coverage and won't budge throughout the day.

2.  The Face.  You could use all three of these products, or just pick out your favorites.  I know some people don't like bronzer or are not highlighter fans (or even prefer to use bronzer as blush) so this is a mix and match step.  A light blush like Benefit's Dandelion is great for giving that fresh summer glow.  Staying on the Benefit train, their Watt's Up highlighter is really great as well.  It comes in a stick form so it's easy to apply and blends really easily (the light champagne color is also really nice!).  I like to apply this to my brow bone since I forgo eye shadow for this look to keep it more natural.  As for bronzer, Tarte has a great one called Park Avenue Princess.  You could use the bronzer as your blush if you prefer, or place it in all the areas where the sun hits your face/tans first naturally (or contour with it if ya feel crazy).

3.  Finishing Touches.  Again, to keep it natural, a few swipes of Smashbox Full Exposure and a slick of Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Pop will pull it all together.

There you have it, a nice natural summer look!  Obviously, you can swap out colors according to what looks best on you, this is just what I use.  To play it up for a night out, just add a dramatic lip color and you're good to go!

What's your favorite kind of summer makeup look?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Great Summer Lipstick (and affordable too!)

L'Oreal Color Riche in Wild Plum $8.95 at

Here comes another shade from the L'Oreal Color Riche line, this time in Wild Plum (check out this post for the perfect nude).  When I think of plum colors, I usually think of something a little darker and with more of a purple tone...but hey, maybe wild plums are different?  I don't know.  Either way, this is no dark purple.  It's a nice bright pink that's great for summer.  The nice thing about this one is that you can apply it lightly and it's not too offensive to wear during the day/to the office.

As with my previous Color Riche review, the formula is really great.  It's long lasting without being really drying.  It's one of those drugstore products that really has the feel of it's high end counterparts.  Maybe that has something to do with the fact that L'Oreal is actually the parent company of YSL (mind blown, right?).

Have you tried the Color Riche lipsticks?  Which is your favorite shade?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Love Designer Items but Can't Justify the Price Tag? Enter Sample Sale Sites

Sample Sale Websites

Over the past five to eight years or so, sample sale websites have been popping up all around the internet.  If you're not familiar with the concept, a sample sale website features items from a certain brand for a short period of time (usually two days or so) at a discounted price.  Sounds awesome, right?    It is, for the most part.  

The one down side of these sites is the shipping time.  The sites are not usually in possession of the items at the time of the sale.  They are sent the items once the sale ends and then have to send them from their warehouse to your door.  Because there are two shipment legs happening, it can take longer than if you order something directly from the brand's site.  However, when you can get 60% off an item, it's worth it.  

Because there are multiple sites out there, here's a run down with the basic differences between my favorite sites:

1.  Hautelook.  This is the site that I order the most from.  I don't know if it's just because this is the first site I ever signed up for or what.  But, I think they have good brands featured very often.  There's also a good variety of shoes, jewelry, clothes and bags.  The one thing that has started to annoy me is it seems their shipping time is getting a lot longer.  It used to be maybe 2-3 weeks before the package would arrive, but now it's getting to be almost a month before I even get the "your item has shipped" email (which reminds me, I am still not so patiently waiting for my Diptyque items....).

2.  Rue La La.  They have a lot of "associate" sales where they have a variety of brands at a deep discount.  Instead of having one specific brand, you are able to click on categories such as "dresses" or "shoes" and there will be discounted items from multiple brands.

3.  Beyond the Rack.  BTR has a wide variety of items for sale.  Anything from home to kitchen to clothes to luggage are featured on the site at any given time.  They also have a huge variety of brands.  Everything from higher end labels to brands that are affordable before the sample sale price tag.

4.  Gilt.  Gilt definitely is the "high end" site of all sample sale sites.  They feature expensive brands that, unfortunately, are still expensive (in my opinion) when at a discount.  

5.  My Habit.  This is a new one to me.  I haven't ever actually purchased anything from this site before but from what I understand, it's run by Amazon and has free shipping when shipping inside the US.  That is AMAZING considering the shipping from the other sites is usually at least $8.  When you're buying something that's say, twenty bucks, you really don't want to pay another eight just for shipping.  I think more sites should take on the free shipping philosophy!  

All in all, I think these are great sites to check out.  Have you tried sample sale websites?  Which ones are your favorites?

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Zara Skort Take Two

Photo Credit: Katy Dew Photography

Clearly, I just couldn't stay away and ended up buying this skort from Zara (also seen here).  I decided to go against my habit of getting white and went for the bright orange, mainly because I've seen the black and white version all over the blogs but had yet to see the skort in orange.  

Even though I generally hate shorts, these are enough of a hybrid that I can make an exception.  If I were to criticize one thing, it would be that the back is a lot shorter than the front.  I would prefer that the back come down further, but other than that, I think they are really fun.  

Are you a shorts fan?  What's your favorite summer piece in your wardrobe?

Get the Look:
Top: Forever 21 (exact)
Ring: Forever 21 (exact)
Skort: Zara (exact)
Shoes: Mix No. 6 (exact)

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's That Time Again: High Five for Friday!

1.  This is an anticipitory highlight of the week, but we are going to my family's cabin for the weekend which is always a good time.  I'm hoping it will be nice enough to get in the lake at some point!

2.  There's just something about having fresh flowers in the house that makes the day better.  These are from my mom's garden.

3.  My super classy homemade Father's Day cards.  It's always nice getting the family together and even better when it's in honor of some great guys.

4.  My husband cuddling with our pup.  It's especially adorable because he likes to claim it's not his dog (I got Oskar before we were married and it's become a running joke...even though he likes to pretend he's serious).

5.  The fact that it's Friday!  Wooooooo!  When is that NOT a highlight of the week?  I mean, really.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Summer Beauty Essentials

Summer Essentials

There are always those few summer products that seem to be staples year in and year out.  Here's a list of my summer essentials when it comes to beauty:

1.  Facial Spray.  I love this one by Mario Badescu.  It is light and refreshing on those days when it is so hot and humid outside and you just need a little relief.  It's gentle, smells nice and is a good value for money.

2.  Sunscreen.  I don't care who you are or what your skin is like, you need to be wearing sunscreen.  I've tried the Shiseido Urban Environment one and found it was really nice and light without being greasy (as most of the drugstore ones are...unfortunately).   

3.  Bronzer.  Not Jersey Shore bronzer but just a nice slight glow.  I switch between a couple but NARS Laguna is a cult favorite.  It is a little dark for fair skintones but if you use a light hand it is just fine. 

4.  Chapstick.  Chapstick/lip balm is really a year round staple, but in the summer it's nice to have one that has some SPF in it.  Nothing is more annoying than burning the shiz out of your lips.  Seriously.  Chaptstick and Nivea carry ones with SPF 30.

5.  Bright Nail Polish. Bright polish is a fun accessory for summer.  Put away all the plums and deep reds and bring out the beachy, neons!  The colors in the Essie 2013 Summer Collection are particularly fun and summery!

What are your summer staples? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Quintessential Summer Product: NARS Illuminator in Copacobana

Summer is in full swing and like your wardrobe, there are some things that need to be brought out and dusted off for the warmer months.  Highlighters are one of those products and NARS has one of the best.  NARS Illuminator comes in four different colors but I chose Copacabana as that is the best color for lighter skin.

Copacabana is a light pinky shade but blends out sheer with a slight shimmer.  And man....a little goes a LONG way.  I mean seriously.  You can barely touch the product and that is enough for one cheekbone.

As you can see, this half a pea amount was WAY too much.  However it does blend out really easily, so that's a plus.  You only want to apply a slight amount (this type of highlighter is really best as a cheekbone highlight) so it doesn't look too glittery.  Especially if you're going to be outside in the sun, you don't want too much or it will just look silly.

It's hard to pick up on camera, but once it's blended out it has a nice slight shimmer.  The thing I love about this product is that it provides that sort of dewy glow with such an easy application.  I know you can get dewy foundations...but sometimes you just don't want that kind of finish all over your face, ya know?

I would definitely recommend this as a nice, easy to apply highlighter and because of the multiple shades, there's something for everyone.

What's your favorite highlighter?  Have you tried the NARS Illuminators?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mint Madness + Floral Footwear

It is FINALLY getting warm enough to wear summer clothes.  I mean really, this has been the most obnoxious winter/spring in the history of Minnesota.  I feel bad for anyone who has recently moved here.  It's not usually like this...

Anyway, with warmer weather comes breaking out the summer wardrobe.  I had almost forgotten about these shoes.  My shoe storage in the apartment is seriously lacking.  It consists of one huge plastic bin and two benches that have those little cloth drawer insert things.  Not the most optimal for picking a pair when running late in the morning.  I usually just switch between a few neutral styles so I don't have to go digging around in the bins.  These babies just prove I should dig around in those bins more often...

Get the Look
Top: Forever 21 (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Pants: Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes: Report (similar)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Nails: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Fiery Island

 I tend to not buy orange-y nail polishes because, well, everyone things they look better on people with a bit of a tan.  Since I am firmly in the fair skin camp, I just stayed away from that section of the polishes.  Until about a month ago.  I decided to pick up Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Fiery Island.  I was looking for some good summer colors and thought I would give it a whirl.  

Fiery Island is a true orange.  Think of the orange crayon in your first grade box of Crayola's (Remember the 64 pack with the sharpener in the back?  Yeah, those were awesome.  There's just something about a new box of crayons.) it is that color orange.  As a side note, excuse my non-perfect manicure.  I'm just not one of those beauty bloggers that's going to have perfect looking nails.  I'm not patient enough for that shiz nor do I want to spend the necessary amount of time to get flawless results.  Sorry. 

As for the Complete Salon Manicure formula in general, it's a really great drugstore polish.  It stays well and has a wide brush which makes application easier.  If you use the Seche Vite top coat, this could last you a solid week before it starts to look a little ragged. 

I'm glad I went against the grain and got a bright orange polish.  Even though I don't and never will have a bronzed tan, I think it still looked great and is a fun summer color.  Moral of the story, don't always listen to what "they" say.  If you think it looks fun, just go for it!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Swim

Summer Swim

It's that time of year again -- swimsuit season!  There's always mixed feelings about these months.  It's so amazing to have nice weather and be able to be outside and go to the beach -- however that means actually needing to wear a swimsuit.  Whether or not this is a cause of stress in your life, you have to admit there are some fun options out there!  Anything from fringe to floral to the comback of the one piece, there's something for everyone!

Which is your favorite?  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Finally! Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer

British beauty bloggers have been raving about this product for ages (called Apocolips in the UK...why did they have to change it for the US release?  That is obviously a better name but what do I know).  Rimmel's Show Off Lip Lacquers are essentially a liquid lipstick.  They aren't quite a lip stain but have better staying power than your normal lip gloss.  At the moment, they are exclusively being sold in Walgreens ($4.99) stores or online at ($5.49).  There are 14 shades available ranging from nudes to bright reds.

I purchased three of the colors (from left) Apocaliptic - a bright pink, Stellar - a pinky almost coral shade and Big Bang - a bright red.  The line has a surprising amount of brown/nude shades that I can't imagine are incredibly flattering on most skin tones, but hey, can't win em all.  Okay, maybe that was a little critical.  I'm sure there are people out there that look amazing in those shades.  I just can't imagine having a straight up brown on my lips (check out Light Year). 

The applicator has a little dip in it that holds the product so you can get full coverage with one swipe.  Also, if you're concerned about purchasing a product that may have been used or tested by someone in the store, make sure that the tube is clear (pictured below) before you take out the applicator. 

If the tube is filled with product (below) then the item has already been opened.  That's something that can be quite annoying when buying makeup in the drugstore.  There aren't always seals on the products or sometimes I just forget to check and make sure it has one.  This happened to me with a Maybelline Color Tattoo and when I got home I realized it was dried out!  Needless to say I went back to exchange it.

The product itself is really opaque with a lot of shine.  Basically, it's a longer lasting lip gloss with an awesome color payoff.  With some liquid lip products, they will look really pretty in the container, but when you put them on they are incredibly sheer.  These definitely do NOT do you can see below. 

From left: Big Bang, Stellar, Apocaliptic

From top: Apocaliptic, Stellar, Big Bang

Overall, I definitely recommend these little guys for a few reasons.  One, they have a really great color payoff, so they will last awhile.  Two, they are long wearing for a liquid lip product that is not a lip stain and three, they are cheap!  At five bucks a pop I think they are an awesome buy.  I am starting to like Rimmel products more and more because many of them work really well and they are reasonably priced.  Some drugstore brands are really getting up there in the point where I sometimes think I may as well go to Sephora.  Rimmel stays in what I consider to be the drugstore price range which I really appreciate!

Have you tried the new Show Off Lip Lacquers?  Which color is your favorite?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Zara Skort. Enough Said.

The Zara Skort

If you frequently (or not so frequently) read fashion blogs you've probably seen the Zara Skort.  It's almost like Zara gave them away at a blogger conference or something.  I mean, I get it.  It's unique, has the cuteness of a skirt with the comfort factor of shorts and you know you're not a stiff wind away from flashing the goods at the mom and her toddler walking behind you on the sidewalk.  What's not to love? 

I haven't purchased this hyped up gem as shorts and I don't get along very well and I feel that this is one of the few items I feel I would need to actually try on before purchasing.  Seeing as we don't have a Zara here in good 'ol MN (come on Zara, get it together.  You know you want to put a store in the Mall of America) I have only gone as far as playing on Polyvore and creating a casual and dressed up look for the item. 

The casual outfit is making me want to take the risk and order online.  Worst comes to worst I could always send it back....right?

Which look is your favorite?  Do you think this little skort deserves all the hype?

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Looking for the Perfect Nude Lip?

Being on the fair end of the skin pigment spectrum, it isn't always the easiest thing to find a nude lipstick.  Many shades are just too light and skin colored to look anything but corpse like.  Nevertheless, pale girls want the ease of a nude color too.  I find that a nude lipstick is on of those few lip products that you can confidently apply without a mirror and not have to worry about looking like you just came from playing the role of clown at a kids birthday party.

Luckily, I was watching one of Lisa Eldridge's tutorials a month or so ago and she used L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Fairest Nude (retails between $7 - $9 depending on where you look).  She mentioned how it was a great nude color so of course I had to give it a try. 

The formula of all the L'Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks is really moisturizing and has a decent wear time.  I really like this particular shade as it has enough color to make me look like I'm actually living, but looks really natural for days when I don't want to look too made up.  I have to admit, it has a bit of a weird smell.  I'm not even sure how to describe it.  Almost play-dough like?  It's not appealing, but I'm willing to look passed it as I really do like everything else about it.  It's sort of a muave-like nude.  Think of it as the color of natural lips in lipstick form (the swatch makes it look almost orange tinted but it's not like that in person). 

I can't attest to how this would look on girls with tan or dark skin, but for all those fair ladies out there -- this is definitely one to try!

Do you have a favorite nude lipstick?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review and Swatches: NYX Cream Blushes in Glow and Tea Rose

Tea Rose

Top: Tea Rose  Bottom: Glow
Left: Tea Rose Right: Glow

I remember getting my first cream blush in the form of Clinique's Blushwear Cream Stick which I got probably about 4 years ago and still have in my makeup stash...clearly I don't throw things out very often.  Since then, drugstore brands have started to take notice of the popularity of cream blushes and are coming out with their own versions.  Obviously, I find this pretty exciting because although I still like my Clinique Cream Stick, I don't really want to be paying $21.00 for a cream blush.  I mean, obviously it has lasted me 4 I can't really complaint.  But still.  

NYX has a decent range of cream blushes starting at $6.00 with 12 different shades.  I picked up Tea Rose and Glow when I was buying something on and needed to get my total to $25 to get free shipping (as you do.  Of course). 

I wasn't sure how long these would wear and what not but I found them to be pretty long lasting.  They faded slightly during the last couple hours of wear (over a 14 hour period) so for a drugstore product at a decent price, I'll take it.  Also, as you can see in the swatches, they are a pretty opaque matte formula (you only need a tiny bit for each cheek, so these will last quite awhile.  Maybe even four years, who knows!).  Since they are a cream, they have a slightly dewy finish but without the shimmer/sparkle that a lot of drugstore blushes have...which is nice for us ladies no longer in our teens.

If you want to try to get a really long wear out of them, I would suggest using them as a base for a powder blush.  You can do this with any cream/powder blush duo, really.  I find that it really makes it stay put and is helpful on days when you are going to be out and about literally all day and don't want to worry about your makeup.   

So, overall, I think these are a great buy.  Especially if you're new to the cream blush world and don't want to splurge on a high end brand until you know if you like the whole cream blush thing.  Definitely recommend!