I’m not going to get into any of the drama or controversy surrounding Doe Deere and Lime Crime. It’s been written to death all over the Internet. Today, I’m just here to talk makeup. I tried a few Lime Crime products on a whim a little while back and have been so impressed with the cruelty-free brand (all their products are made in the USA too!) For the sake of brevity, I’ve decided to split my Brand Highlight into two posts, so here’s a little run down of the Velvetines I own along with my thoughts on the formula and shades. A second post is not far behind with reviews of the brand’s Perlees metallic lipsticks and Superfoils eyeshadows.
(I will make one comment in that, if you do choose to support the brand, I recommend using PayPal when you check out and not provide your credit card information directly to the website in order to protect yourself in the event of a highly unlikely, but not impossible, second security breach).
I have amassed quite a few of these over the last year and while I’m not sure it’s my favorite liquid lipstick of all time, it’s definitely in my top three. These go on smooth – more liquid than most other formulas, and they don’t dry down too quickly which means you’ve got some time to adjust as needed. They easily last 8+ hours depending on your eating habits (sometimes a little less depending on my lunch choice). The shades are super pigmented and most are incredibly opaque as well. Some of the darker shades can be a touch patchy, but with the additional work time from the fluid formula, it’s easy to layer and smooth out.
From left to right: Marshmallow – nude pink Cashmere – greige
Cupid – petal pink Gigi – taupe mauve Moonstone – moonstone grey Polly – pink mauve
In the depths of this frigid PNW winter, some lipstick shades stand out to me more than others. I don’t really ever limit myself based on the seasons, but there’s something to be said for classic reds and berry tones this time of year. Here are my top five lipsticks for these blistering winter months.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu ($26.00 / Sephora) – This deep purple crayon has a matte finish with an applicator that is 100% in your control. If you prefer to use the edges, have at it, but it can also be sharpened to a tiny tip for a flawless lipline. The formula can be a touch drying, but it last ages and I have yet to see someone who it doesn’t look good on.
Before I say anything else, know that this is the longest I have ever stuck with one subscription box. I’ve plowed through Birchbox, ipsy, and even boxycharm but never made it more than a few months before canceling the service. Six months in, the Sephora Play! box still has my undivided attention.
If you’re not familiar with the box, it’s a $10 monthly subscription box that comes with six deluxe samples of products from brands sold at Sephora. Similar to Birchbox, your samples are chosen based on a profile you fill out. Each month your samples will arrive in a cute little drawstring bag accompanied with a fold out sheet describing each product. To top it off, each box comes with a Sephora card for 50 extra points on your next in-store purchase. While the box is not yet available everywhere, it’s expanding quite rapidly so don’t let a waitlist bum you out (it took me a few months to get my first one).
So what makes this box so much better than the rest? Probably the biggest factor is the choice of brands. Sephora stocks some of the coolest brands out there and they definitely do not skimp when it comes to putting the Play subscription together. I heard some grumbles that one box featured what was likely “leftovers” from last year’s birthday gift, but guess what? Last year’s birthday gift was a NARS lip pencil! Not exactly chump change for most of us. I’ve gotten products from Tarte, Korres, Atelier Cologne (one of my favorite perfume makers), Urban Decay, and even Bite Beauty. Even the scents have all been knockouts – there’s one in every box. I dreaded my unexpected samples from Birchbox, but Sephora’s choices are consistently pleasing and exciting across a variety of styles. So far, Sephora has crushed it each and every time – plus your monthly fragrance sample counts as an extra product, not a replacement for a bigger item.
The other standout factor for me is the cost breakdown of each box. These things are worth well beyond the $10 they cost each month, even if a few products make their way to friends and family (makes me look pretty great too!)
To remain objective, I’ve decided not to rate any of the products I receive beyond pointing out a few of my overall favorites. Everyone’s preferences are different and it’s not up to me to tell you a product is bad because I personally didn’t like it. There’s something in there for everyone so here’s a look at the last six months of my Sephora Play subscription!
It’s that time of year again when the sun starts setting a little earlier and those back to school lists start cropping up, but I’m not quite ready to let go of those long, warm days yet (or to go back to school next week for my last semester of grad school). Instead of jumping the gun for fall, here are my top ten favorite products that I turned to all summer long.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLSBrow Wiz ($21.00/0.003oz) – Believe the hype. I avoided this little thing for ages because I couldn’t believe it was really any better than the other brow pencils I’d been using (MAC, ColourPop). Oh how wrong I was! This brow pencil is so fine, it’s nearly effortless to shape and fill in your brows with precision. The formula is fantastic as well, not too soft to make a mess and not so hard that it’s difficult to use either. I’m not sure there’s anything better on the market. I use the shade Medium Brown.
LUSHLet The Good Times Roll ($12.95/3.5oz) – An old favorite, I recently restocked on this polenta-based exfoliating cleanser and can’t remember why I ever stopped using it. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth, and it’s gentle enough to slough away dry patches without making any new ones. After cleansing to remove my makeup, I use a nickel-sized amount to gently scrub my face and neck. My makeup sits so much better on my skin after using it!
MAKE UP FOR EVERHD Powder ($20.00/0.14oz) – It took me ages to even test out the little samples I had of this loose powdered sorcery, it seemed so intimidating, but I will never look back. This microfinish powder is so finely milled and looks absolutely flawless on the skin. I use it to set my under eye concealer and around my nose where I’m prone to creasing to keep those areas looking perfected (and poreless). It’s super lightweight so it’ll never get cakey, which makes it an excellent choice for special occasions and photos. I like to apply with my RealTechniques setting brush.
I was planning to do my summer picks for lips and nails first, but as some of you may know, I just got a new job! Since I’m still in my first few weeks at the new office, I thought it’d be more relevant to share my work-appropriate lip picks instead.
For those of you that have a more casual dress code or otherwise not-customer-facing position, you can probably get away with rocking the brightest bright colors. Since my new position is patient-facing (I’m in health administration “in real life”), I’m expected to be a bit more toned-down with my looks. I absolutely love playing with makeup, and I really wanted some fun options that were appropriate for work without the soul-sucking repetition of a sheer lipstick like Chanel Boy every day (don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product, it’s just not enough personality for me). So here are my top 12 lip picks for the “conservative business casual” office.
These are of course just shade suggestions and specific products that work for me. If the colors I’ve listed aren’t quite right for you, consider checking out other shades from the same product line to find what suits you best in a formula I can vouch for.
All of the products mentioned in this post are cruelty-free. Except for NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna, all other products mentioned in this post are vegan.
Kat VonDEverlasting liquid lipstick (Sephora, $20.00/0.22oz) – Easily my favorite formula of the “mainstream” liquid lipstick lot, the price is great for the amount of product you get too. I love the sleek packaging, and these opaque mattes are comfortable to wear for long periods of time without any cracking or crumbling. I think I own eight of these now, but these are my top three for the daytime professional:
Lovesick – One of my current favorites overall, this pale mauve-nude is just cool enough to mesh perfectly with my undertones. I love to pair it with pastel pinks and purples like Makeup Geek’s Cupcake and Unexpected, but it’s close enough to my natural lip shade that I think it could work with almost any daytime eye look. A slightly elevated MLBB (my lips but better), there are a few more of those in this list.