My Reviews

Anti-Haul: Spring 2017

If you haven’t yet watched one of drag queen/YouTuber Kimberly Clark‘s “Anti-Haul” videos, you are seriously missing out. Kimberly is on a brilliant mission to encourage us, as consumers, to do our research and make educated decisions when it comes to our wallets and what we put on our faces. This is my written version of Kimberly’s famed Anti-Haul series, just in time for the upcoming Sephora VIB sale later this month. ~what I’m not gonna buuuuyyy~

Too Faced Natural Love Ultimate Neutral eyeshadow palette – $59.00 / 24g – Oy, another one!? Too Faced has been cranking out these massive palettes one after another lately, and they have all been so underwhelming. First of all, no one needs 30 shades in one palette – this instantly becomes a “sit on your desk and look pretty” palette rather than one convenient for traveling (which to me, is the only real reason worth owning a palette over eyeshadow singles). Moving on, even if you did need 30 neutral eyeshadows in the same palette (you don’t), there are at least 3-4 nearly identical pink shades and another several nearly identical brown shades. If you like the Too Faced eyeshadow formula, you do you, but this palette is unnecessary on every level.

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic palette – $30.00 / 5.7g – My criticism of this palette has very little to do with the four holographic highlight shades, they are actually pretty gorgeous. My issue with this is the price, the shape of the packaging, and how late it is to market. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow Kit is nearly identical to the Alchemist palette, but boasts six shades with nearly 5x as much product for $40. Further, the pans of the Alchemist palette are incredibly small, which is fine for eyeshadow, but for use as a face highlight, using a larger fan brush or other highlighting brush will be pretty difficult. The shape of the palette itself is yet another “sit on my desk and look pretty” design, completely impractical for any on-the-go usage. As pretty as these shades are, I’ll be sticking to my Moon Child Glow Kit and duochrome shades from Makeup Geek and Concrete MineralsAll products mentioned above are cruelty free.

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My 101

101: Tips for Glasses

So the thing with makeup & glasses is that it’s not really about the frames – it’s about the lenses. The lenses are what alter the look of your eyes: prescriptions for nearsightedness or astigmatism can make your eyes seem smaller, while those for farsightedness can often make the eyes appear much larger. The goal then is to tweak your makeup in a way that provides a balance – if your eyes look smaller behind your frames, you should take steps to help them look bigger/more open and vice versa. I’m focusing on nearsightedness and astigmatism here because that is what I have the most personal experience with, but there will be tips for those of you who are farsighted throughout the post as well!

Makeup is of course very personal and you should do what you want, but you should know this by now and I’m not going to take any more time for disclaimers or preemptive apologies.

 

Eyes

Brighter/Wider: One of the best ways to make your eyes appear larger and brighter is by applying a nude or flesh-toned eyeliner to the waterline. Alternatively, if your lenses magnify your eyes, reach for deeper shades like black, brown, or even navy to pull everything back into proportion.

I use: Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil / ColourPop “Cry Baby” Creme Gel Liner

Neons & Drama: Some sources may discourage this, but I definitely do not. One of my favorite things about wearing glasses is that they kind of “minimize” any look you decide to go for. For me, that means I can raise hell with neons, brights, and otherwise dramatic eyeshadows that might otherwise be “too much” without the frames. If you have particularly “loud” frames, it helps to use shades that complement rather than clash, but with a color wheel as your guide you can go as bright or dark as you like. Glasses do not relegate you to neutrals-only eyeshadows!

I use: Melt Cosmetics Radioactive eyeshadow stack

Under Eye Correcting: Now this is a concern regardless of the types of lenses you wear. Glasses can often cast a shadow onto the lower part of your eyes, exaggerating any kind of darkness or discoloration in the under eye area. Concealer alone may not be enough to resolve this, but I’ve been really happy with the results of a peach toned color corrector. Don’t forget to set your under eye with a powder that prevents light reflection, this can bring more attention to the area.

I use: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish powder / Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Bisque Neutralizer

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My Hits & Misses

Top Five: April Favorites

It’s been a few months since my last Top 5 post, so I figured we were about due! You guys may have already seen a few of these in my spring haul posts recently (part I and part II), but I got some really great stuff so here it is again with a few other goodies I’ve been using non-stop.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Terre-Neuve ($44.00/1.7oz) – This is a very very new addition to my makeup arsenal, but man I’m in love. I tried it a little while ago with mixed feelings, but decided to give it another shot because I just could not believe how nice my skin looked with this on. It’s the first foundation in my collection that isn’t just sheer coverage, which is surprising because that’s exactly how this is advertised. I find it to have more of a medium/buildable coverage that’s also super smoothing on the skin and looks absolutely flawless. It has an almost powder finish, but looks very natural and isn’t cakey at all. It’s also got SPF30 which I love, and there seems to be no flashback of any kind in photos which is even better. NARS products tends to run very warm/yellow, but the lightest shade in this range is a damn near perfect match for me and I am absolutely loving it. For best results, apply with a damp cosmetic sponge.


Stila
Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Rosewater ($26.00/0.21oz) – Also a new addition to my collection, this shade is stunning year-round. I fell in love with this formula last summer when I purchased the shade Water Blossom, but the iridescent blue-based pink is not always the most appropriate option. This neutral pink shade is gorgeous for more natural or professional looks, but still gives a very youthful dewy glow which makes it a perfect spring staple.

Rosewater
Rosewater

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My Reviews

Spring Haul: Part II (Sephora, Glossier, Indies)

I wasn’t kidding when I said I did a ton of shopping recently, won’t be doing anymore for quite a while! Unfortunately, when I shared my first haul post two weeks ago, not everything had arrived yet. Now I’ve had a bit more time to test out all the good stuff from Sephora, Glossier, Blackbird Cosmetics, LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs, Sugarpill, and Jeffree Star.

Blackbird Cosmetics Pressed Luxury eyeshadows in Imogen, Immortals, Figment, Atlas ($8.00/2g each) – This is actually my first order from Blackbird and also my first time trying pressed shadows from an indie brand. I was super excited to try these, but a bit annoyed by unexpected shipping delays so I’m just putting that out there (TAT on the site says 1-4 days, I waited 8+). But I digress, I chose Atlas after realizing I somehow do not own a single cool toned dark brown, but the other three I picked up as possible dupes for some of the shades in Urban Decay’s Naked3 palette (loved the concept, hated the product). When rubbing my finger in the pan, I can definitely feel a little bit of grit or texture, but it doesn’t translate onto the eyes. These shadows blend easily, they all work really well together, and lasted all day without creasing (over my go-to primer). Blackbird Cosmetics products are vegan and cruelty-free.

IMG_0026
L to R: Immortals / Figment / Imogen / Atlas
blackbird (1)
L to R: Immortals / Imogen / Figment / Atlas

Glossier Balm DotCom ($12.00/0.5oz) – Between rave reviews from Rachel Whitehurst and JamiePaigeBeauty, I had a hard time resisting the pull of Glossier, and with 20% off my first order, well… here we are. I’d heard great things about this lip balm, part of the brand’s Phase 1 skincare line, and figured I’d give it a shot. With dehydrated skin and unwavering love for matte liquid lipsticks, I’m always down for a good lip balm formula and while it can’t quite stand up to my reigning champion, the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, it’s less than half the price and still does a fantastic job. The Glossier formula also comes in a coconut scented/flavored option.

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My Reviews

Brand Highlight: Melt Cosmetics

melt logo

I realize I’m a little behind on the times here, but man am I excited! I recently got my hands on some goodies from Melt Cosmetics (and also got to share a few words with Dana herself, more about that below) and I am in love. I scooped up all three of their four-pan eyeshadow stacks (Love Sick, Dark Matter, and Radioactive) as well as four of their matte lipsticks in the shades Spacecake, Dark Room, Sext, and Bang! Bang!. Since they’re a smaller brand with no retail presence (which means nowhere to go swatch all the preciouses), I thought I’d give you guys a full breakdown of everything I know about the brand and their products, with swatches and photos of course.

Founded in 2012 by makeup artist besties (and serious beauties) Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar, Melt is a California-based brand featuring cruelty free lipsticks and four-pan eyeshadow compacts. I was able to get in touch with Dana to ask her a few questions about Melt products and she informed me the brand started with just five lipsticks; now the range includes 12 eyeshadows across three palettes as well as 18 ultra-matte lipsticks in nude, black, and pretty much every shade in between.

eyeshadow stacks

The stacks come in sets of four eyeshadows with a small round mirror, each in a magnetic disc, which makes them perfectly stackable and perfectly portable too. They do run at a semi-steep $48 each, which works out to $12/shadow and a free mirror. That said, the pans are massive! With the price and size comparisons for MAC, Melt, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Makeup Geek below… I’d argue these are a pretty good deal.

MAC Pro Pan: 1.5g / 0.05oz ($10.00)
ABH singles: 1.7g / 0.059oz ($12.00 or 4 for $40)
Makeup Geek: 1.8g / 0.064oz ($6.00)
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow2g / 0.07oz ($21.00)
Melt Cosmetics: 3.57g / 0.125oz (4 for $48.00)

Love Sick stack
Love Sick stack

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