January 18, 2012 Posted in: Reviews

Mac Ice Parade Brush Sets Review

I’m not MAC obsessed like some makeup hoarders are… My MAC collection is pretty small. I bought my first MAC lipglass in “Explicit” when I was in High School, and I keep buying the same one. But they are nothing special, and they are rather sticky. I own a few paint pots (4), and 2, 15 pro palettes. I stay away from anything that touches my face, because they all break me out. I also own 4 eyeshadow brushes and love them. I would purchase more brushes, but I like all my other brushes, and don’t see a need to buy more right now. I admit, I love looking at all the new SE items, I ooh & ahh over swatches, and debate if I really need a product or not. Reason being, some items are just so over hyped. My go to blog for anything new is Temptalia. Christine always does a really good job on giving her honest opinion about a collection & her swatches are to die for.

What really caught my eyes from the 2011 Holiday Collection were the Make It Perfect Brush Kits. They were cute, glittery, relatively affordable, small, did I mention cute & glittery? I’ve been searching for a travel brush set for quite some time, and was ready to order a full Sigma kit just for traveling ($149 for FULL sized brushes). In the past MAC’s holiday brushes can be a little eh. They are machine made, and just aren’t the same quality. However, I believe they did a much better job on these than they have in the past (Are they finally listening to all our complaints?).

Each kit is $49.50 and includes a cheap, clear, plastic bag- I hate the bag, and am now on a hunt for a roll bag (I might just have to make my own). The plastic is stiff, and that silver circle that is plastered all over this collection is just ugly. It’s supposed to resemble a snow globe, and looks cute on the eyeshadow palettes, but the plain silver circle on the bag is a little tacky. I won’t store my brushes in them, because I hate it when my brushes touch, and I can image the bag being a pain to clean.

The handles on the brushes are short, but fat. I find I don’t struggle too much with application when using them. I was most nervous about the 217 SE, but found I could tight-line just fine with it. I use the Guerlain Meteorites Brush almost daily, so I’m used to buffing with a short handled brush. Some took more getting used to than others, but it’s nicer to travel with a larger variety of short-handled brushes, than fewer long-handled brushes.

I have washed all the brushes 3x, and have experienced minimal shedding, and no bleeding. The Mineralized collection sheds slightly more, but they are all duo fiber brushes, and most duo-fiber brushes shed more.

I bought this kit in early November, right when the collection first came out. I went to Nordstrom, and wanted to see all the brushes for myself, but of course MAC has them behind a GIANT globe. (RED FLAG alert… I think to myself “maybe these brushes are like the rest of the holiday kits, they don’t want us to feel them before we buy them”) I talk with the S.A. and she confirmed that they are mass produced by a machine, as opposed to being handmade like their standard brushes are. They do however use the same fibers as their full size counterparts. After much staring at the snow globe, I finally decided I would get the most use of this particular set. Since it includes 3 brushes for the eyes and 2 for the face, I figured it had everything I needed to try out this set.


- 167 SE (full face brush)
I normally apply my CHANEL cream-to-powder foundation with a stippling brush, but the 167 SE can replace it when traveling. It doesn’t pick up too much product, and buffs nicely. It works well with pressed and loose powders, but too dense for finishing powder.


- 168 SE (angled blush brush)
Great for cream or powder blushes, also applies bronzer evenly. It’s larger than my regular contouring brush, but I’m getting used to it.


- 239 SE (eyeshadow brush)
I have the original 239, and it does the job well. I’m rarely disappointed in a standard shader brush. Some perform better than others, but most will let you tap your shadows on with limited fall out.


- 217 SE (blending brush)
It’s almost identical to the original 217; perfect for applying shadows to the crease, or for blending shadows. Hopefully I can get used to the 226 SE or 286 SE for blending and keep this one strictly for crease application.


- 212 SE (flat top eyeliner brush)
A little thicker than what I’m used to, but was still able to tight-line & apply gel on my water-line. It took some getting used to, but I’m OK now. It skips a little, but I think I just need some practice using a thicker flat top.


My least favorite of the 3 sets. I really think I bought it just to have a “complete set”. Maybe it’s because I don’t use a traditional foundation brush, or a large brush for blush? It’s not that they are bad, I just need to play with them some more.


- 129 SE (blush brush)
I use this for finishing powder, or if I’m applying a light dusting of bronzer all over my face. It’s softer & less dense than the 167 SE. I prefer smaller brush heads for blush application, I have a small face, and there is no need to have blush on the whole side of my face. For me, the smaller the blush brush, the better.


- 190 SE (foundation brush)
Ever since I discovered the wonderful world of stippling brushes, I haven’t used a foundation brush in at least 5 years. I rarely use a liquid foundation & when I do, I just apply a pump on the back of my hand and dip a stippling brush in it. I have no other use for this brush; the only thing I can think of is blending concealer or applying primers?


- 275 SE (angled eyeshadow brush) 
It’s not dense or long enough for the crease, but I can make it work if I have to. It doesn’t replace a shader brush, or a crease brush. I’ve heard of some people using the 275 for concealer application under the eye and around the nose, and for contouring the nose. I’ve never tried contouring my nose until a few weeks ago, and now this is my favorite brush for it. I never realized how much of a difference your makeup looks when you contour your nose.


- 266 SE (angled eyeliner brush)
I really like angled liner brushes. It’s easier to do a one sweep line than it is with a flat top brush. I can make perfect winged looks with my gel liner; it doesn’t skip, and picks up the right amount of product. It also works well for filling in my brows. I admit sometimes when I’m in a rush I just use a shader brush for my brows, but the 266 SE, does a much better job.


- 226 SE (tapered crease brush)
It’s a good multitasking crease brush. It’s a little stiff and scratchy, but not dense; I prefer more dense crease brushes. The 226 brush has been out on LE on and off throughout the years, and it always sells out quickly. I don’t get what all the hype is about; it’s a decent crease brush, but I prefer the 217 or 222.


I really wanted this kit just for the large stippling brush. It’s how I apply my cream foundation, or buff when I use the Dior Skin Air Flash Foundation. This set only has 4 brushes, but the price is the same because they are all duo-fiber. In general duo-fiber brushes shed more than single-fiber brushes. These do shed a bit, but not the point where I can’t stand the brushes.


- 187 SE (large duo-fiber stippling brush)
Perfect for applying cream foundations. I know a lot people like to use a large stippling brush for blush or bronzer, but I don’t. It spreads out too much on my small face, so I keep the larger stippling brushes strictly for foundations. It doesn’t replace my Sephora professional stippling brush, but it does the job well for traveling.


- 130 SE (small duo-fiber stippling brush)
This brush is perfect for blush, bronzer, or highlighter. It applies cream blushes nicely, and it was actually my first time using a stippling brush with my highlighter & I really liked the finish it gave.


- 286 (duo fiber tapered blending brush)
A little denser than the 217 SE- This is definitely a brush for bolder looks; the 286 will erase harsh lines, without blending the shadows too much together.


- 282 (duo fiber shader brush)
Slightly larger than what I’m used to for a shading brush. So far I’ve been using it for applying paint pots, but it is wide so I have to be careful when applying. I find my shadows crease too much when my paint pots reach my crease, so this brush is not my favorite for them.



I think its personal preference on which kit is best for whom. I really wish the set included a pencil brush instead of the 282 SE duo fiber shader brush, because I use those a lot for lining, or making the crease more dramatic.

I won’t be using them at home regularly, except for practicing with the few that I’m not used to. Overall I think they are great for traveling. For me the Special Edition is the winner, but most go for the Mineralize because of the stippling brush. I’m glad I have all 3, and that I finally have a decent travel set. Now if only I can find a proper home for them in my suitcase. Since the handles are short & fat, they won’t fit in a standard brush roll. I’m thinking of getting the iron-on, no-sew hem tape and some fabric & see what I can create.

Only time will tell how long they will last. I’ve heard some horror stories of past holiday brush kits, and I don’t think these fall in that category… *fingers crossed*

January 18, 2012 Posted in: weekly roundup

Weekly Roundup 1/7-1/14

Of course the week I decided to start a weekly post, I get sick. :( Some people, like my boyfriend, can function when they’re sick as if nothing’s wrong… NOT I! I’m a total waste! I mope around the house, I whine, and try to cook things I shouldn’t. In my defense though, I did have excruciating sinus pressure for 3 days straight. It was so bad one day I couldn’t move my head for hours. I fell a few times (combo of not eating, low blood pressure, and the headache), luckily no injuries. So overall my week pretty much sucked.

- Most used makeup product: EOS lip balm in lemon. It was the only thing I wore all week besides moisturizer.

- Fave song: “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers Band. I listened to a lot of mellow music this past week, and this song always makes me feel good for some reason. Not sure if it’s the beat or the melody or even the lyrics.

- Currently reading: Just finished reading Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 2 weeks ago, and haven’t started a new book yet. I’m thinking of starting Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck tonight. It’s the first book in the Tiger’s Curse Saga & looks really interesting.

- Fave app: Slingo! Such a fun addicting game that I can play for hours. If you liked the AOL game back in the 90′s you’ll love the updates in the app version. They have classic mode, daily challenges, and supreme. Supreme is packed with bonuses and power ups. LOVE IT!

- Something new I learned: Basically America throws out 263013699 pounds of food daily! SAY WHAT?!?! I watched the Food Network show- “The Big Waste” which had chef’s Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli cook meals with only wasted food. I was shocked at how much food restaurants and super markets are throwing out daily.

- Tastiest meal I cooked: Soup! I love making soup when I’m sick. It’s relaxing and kills a few hours. I normally make chicken based soups from scratch, but had a few hurdles to overcome this week. I hate using store bought stock, but didn’t have any chicken thighs with the skin on in the fridge. :( So I decided to try to make a broth with a skin-less chicken breast and a few slices of bacon. I added 2 crushed heads of garlic, an onion, cracked red pepper, a touch of salt, some paprika, and lots of fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, dill, basil, thyme…); you know all the good cold-fighting properties. Surprisingly the bacon made the broth supper smooth, I now found a new secret ingredient for my soups.

- Best thing I read from another blogger: Louis Vuitton is launching a new fragrance. Katherine Gould wrote on  http://www.bloginity.com  that we can now smell like the iconic bags. Well we won’t smell like the bag exactly, but we well smell lovely and feel a bit more luxurious. I can’t wait to see the packaging.

- Weekly high moment: I sneaked a peak at my new town house. We’re a few weeks away from closing & I’ve been dying to see how the kitchen turned out… I’m so in love! I was really nervous that the granite we picked would be too dark, and the egg shell cabinets would look too blah. The master bath is done, and our floors just need to be put in upstairs. So excited to finally move into our new home!

- Weekly low moment: Being sick… Actually I attempted to bake the other day. I’m so not a baker; I don’t know what I was thinking. I tried for something simple & of course I ruined it. I had limited ingredients (think 1 egg) so I searched around on the net and found a “simple” looking peanut butter cookie recipe. The recipe was something along the lines of a jar of PB, an egg, some brown sugar, some regular sugar, and some vanilla mixed and spooned on a cookie sheet. My cookies turned out to be dried peanut butter. No lie! They crumple as soon as you pick them up.

November 18, 2011 Posted in: Uncategorized

Preview of Sephora’s Black Friday Deals…

So Sephora decided for today’s “Fan Friday” they will show a little sneak peak of their Black Friday deals.
They have 10 items (some sets) for $10 each. This is great because some of them are valued at $30 and up.
I don’t think I’ll be picking anything up (F&F & the VIB event drained my wallet too much), but I might pick up a gift or two. This is the time to pick up your Secret Santa gifts with the awful $30-$50 spending limit. In my eyes I don’t care what the value is. If I got it for free or discounted, I can keep going ;)
Like most Black Friday deals, it’s a one day sale, but I’m sure they will sell out fast.
See them all on their  FB Page

October 27, 2011 Posted in: Personal

Had to share this…

Beauty Tips
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone..
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand… you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Bigi Monster

October 6, 2011 Posted in: Monthly Faves

September Loves

I know everyone has been saying it, but September really flew by. I think my problem is, Summer doesn’t end until Labor Day, and September doesn’t really start until Labor Day, even if it’s a week in, like this year. I have a short list for September favorites, since I counted my August favorites up to Labor Day. Once Football season begins, I turn into a couch potato on the weekends, and I haven’t been able to return to work yet, so I only have 7 favorites for the month of September.


CHANEL- Teint Innocence Cream to Powder Compact Foundation SPF 10

This has got to be my HG foundation, that I just discovered 9 months ago. I never could find the right foundation for my skin. Liquid is a little too heavy for everyday wear, and powder is too light. My skin is on the drier side, so I was always on the hunt for a cream-to-powder that would last, not cake, and look natural. My mom started using this foundation, and loved it. Since we have similar skin, I figured why not give it a try. I was very skeptical at first, and was waiting to be disappointed, as always. One day, turned into 1 week, which now turned into 98 months. I recently hit pan on my first compact, and am now on my second. That’s right… one compact lasted about 8 months. I love the creamy texture of it, the way it glides on with a stippling brush, easy touch ups, and it’s very build-able without caking. It only has SPF 10, so I use a moisturizer with higher SPF before applying. I normally don’t wear primer with it (only for big events) and it doesn’t settle in lines. It’s medium coverage, so I still need to use my MUFE concealer over it in certain spots at times, but for everyday wear, it’s perfect.


Too Faced- Lip Insurance Lip Primer

I’m all about bold lips right now; purples, oranges, bright pinks… What good is a bold lip though, without primer? I’ve tried foundation/concealer, and it changes the color of the lip product a bit (especially when wearing orange). Lip liner can only do so much, and it’s a bit drying. I apply this while I’m doing my eyes, so it has time to absorb. Once it’s set I like to apply a sheer lip stain, liner, and then color of choice. My lip products don’t feather or budge, and it’s packed with Vitamin E, s they stay hydrated.


Stila- All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

Cat and winged eye liner looks are all the rage right now. I love my gel liner, and creamy pencils, but they aren’t the easiest to work with when trying to create one of these bold looks. I don’t have the steadiest of hands, so liquid liner brushes tend to be an enemy of mine. I walked around Sephora one day with one of the sales ladies and kept swatching my hand over and over with different liquid liners. I quickly learned that felt tip markers are easier to work with than a brush, I also learned that if it’s not waterproof, it will run, and cause raccoon eyes.  So after about an hour, i finally picked the Stila. I still need to use my gel liner to tight-line, and on my waterline, since it is a liquid, but the end results are gorgeous.


Sephora- Duo Eyelash/Brow Comb

I have about 6 different eyelash combs. One in my wallet, my makeup bag, my boyfriend’s car… There is nothing more annoying that a tiny eyelash getting rubbing against your eye ball AFTER you’ve spent 20 minutes on a smoky eye!!!!!! I actually use the brow comb to fix those tiny lashes without messing up my mascara. The eye lash comb is perfect for separating lashes after applying lash primer, or after mascara; as long as the lashes are still wet.


L’Occitaine- Shea Butter Hand Cream

When I used up the last possible drop of my beloved Clarins hand cream, and couldn’t find the smaller bottle anywhere, I was heartbroken! I needed to find a small, easy to use bottle, that fit in my purse. Somehow I stumbled upon the L’Occitane shea butter hand cream, and was impressed. I found it a little greasier than my Clarins, but the light scent of almonds and coconut is winning me over.


Givenchy- Phenomen’Eyes Waterproof Mascara

Don’t let that little ball scare you, it’s amazing! It separates, defines, curls, and gets all those itty bitty lashes in the corner that are so hard to get with a regular wand. I’ve been using their mascara since it came out 2 years ago. I’ve tried all the versions, and was ecstatic when I heard about the waterproof version. I prefer waterproof mascara, because you never know what life might throw out you; rain, snow, happy tears, or onion cries while cooking. That being said, a lot of waterproof formulas, just aren’t that great, well they suck. The volume and curl just isn’t the same, probably why I love the Givenchy so much. It’s not really waterproof, more like water-resistant. Can’t go swimming in it, but it doesn’t budge with light tears, or rain. Double this mascara with a lash primer, and you will have “Phenomen’Eyes”!!!!


Urban Decay- Brow Box

My two biggest pet peeves when it comes to eye makeup are; not tight-lining and unfinished brows. Non tight-lined eyes look strange, and so do unfinished brows. I’m known to skip a threading appointment every once in a while, but I always fill-in my brows. It brings the look together. Sometimes I use a matte brown shadow, or an eyebrow pencil (those can be too precise and heavy though), but they are almost always done. I love this little box UD put together. It comes with 2 matte shades, and angled application brush, tiny tweezers, and wax. I find the brush to be a little stiff, so I only use it when traveling, but the tweezers surprisingly work well. The two shades are a contrasting in color, so it takes a little time to achieve the desired look. What I love most about this box (besides the portability) is the wax. I’ve only used brow gel before, and hate how hard and shiny my brows end up. This wax is perfect for keeping the hairs in place, without looking like you have anything on them. I just wish they cut down on the amount of wax, and added a brow comb, then little box would really have everything.


~ All of these items I purchased myself at Sephora, or Nordstrom. Some of these items can also be found at your Department Store beauty counter, Ulta, or the brand’s websites. These are my honest opinions on the products, they all work well with my skin, but you may not get the same results.

October 4, 2011 Posted in: Reviews

Ombres Perless de CHANEL

I love going to the CHANEL counter and checking out all their LE items. On my most recent visit, i was eyeing the new Illusions d’Ombres de CHANEL, and I also spotted the Ombres Perless de CHANEL left over from the Spring 2011 collection. When the woman at the counter told me they only had one left, I instantly went into impulse but mode. I swatched them real quick, and was sold!

Product - Ombres Perlees de CHANEL
Part of the Spring 2011 LE Led Perles de Chanel collection. Includes 5 iridescent buttery powder shades. Similar to a cream-to-powder, but more powdery, a bit heavier and moister than a pressed powder. The shades include; white pearl, pink, deep purple, green-gray, and black pearl.

Ease of use 4/5
Because of the texture, these actually go on best with fingertips. I tried using a few different brushes, but the easiest was using my fingers, even for blending. The pink shade is very light, and needed to be applied a few times to achieve a nice hue. For lining the eyes, no water was needed on my brush, since the texture is already moist- YAY for no wet spots in shadows ;) !!!!

Pigment 3/5
These are frosty shades, and normally frost shadows don’t have a strong hue. They definitely look more vibrant swatched, then on the eyes. Since metallics are in this fall, these shades are perfect to achieve that look at any age, with out being too shimmery. They are soft enough that one could wear them to the office, without looking like you’re still wearing last night’s makeup. They are frosty, not glittery, so there is no fallout. I tried layering them over bolder shades, and the results are beautiful.

Lasting powers 4/5
For a soft shimmer, these can be applied without primer and minimal creasing, however primer really helps bring out the color (especially the pink shade). They are sheer, so don’t expect to see much left after 16 hours.

Packaging 5/5
It’s CHANEL, it’s sleek, light weight, iconic… (do you want me to keep going?) The applicators included, as always, did little for the product- still can’t figure out why companies include them.

Value 4/5
So, $65 for a LE CHANEL palette is not a bad price. Yes, it’s expensive, but it is CHANEL. Overall though, because of the unique texture, and sheer shades, I haven’t seen anything similar- thus the heavy price tag is a bit justifiable.

Closing remarks 20/25
Beautiful shades, unique texture, and easy application make this palette a fall favorite of mine. They are a bit too sheer for my liking, but when layered over each other, or other colors, the colors do finally POP.

- So easy to apply; perfect for those days when you’re already running 30 minutes late, can’t find your keys, and your hair is still wet.
- I’ll be reaching for this when I don’t want to play up my eyes too much, and for adding some shimmer to a smoky eye.
- Shimmer, with no fallout!

- It’s a touch too sheer for my every day looks. I prefer bolder hues, and shades that you can really see.

It’s LE, and will probably last me a long time, so No.

Where can you find it:
- CHANEL counters, if they still have it
- Amazon: Chanel Ombres Perlees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette Spring 2011 Collection

Talk to me:
Have you seen this palette?
What do you think of the shades?
Would you rock it?

September 28, 2011 Posted in: Monthly Faves

August Loves

    This past August was brutal; constant high temps, insane humidity percentages, and little rain fall. Luckily, makeup companies are constantly coming up with new innovations, one of them being waterproof/water resistant makeup. Now we can wear our makeup to the beach or pool party and not have to worry about our faces looking runny and muddy. Out of the 12 products I used most in August, 8 of them are long wearing.

August Loves






- I own at least 8 different shades of these ultra creamy vibrant eyeliners (and a few duplicates); everything from neutrals to electric blues to bright purples. They are easy to work with, can be applied on the water line, and set after about a minute so you have a little bit of time to smudge, or fix mistakes. They really do last forever, even if your eyes get wet.

UD pencil



- Facials mists can be hit or miss. Some smell like raisins, others do nothing but leave a sticky film on your skin, or ruin your makeup. I’ve tried my fair share of mists, and the one I keep going back to over and over again is Hope Springs Eternal. It’s light weight, moisturizing, oil-free, smells clean, and doesn’t mess my face up. I keep some in a little atomizer in my purse so I always have it handy. It’s the perfect way to cool off in the summer without getting chlorine all over your skin.

Hope Springs



- So I’m not a big liquid foundation kind of girl. I can’t stand the heaviness, caking, constant touch ups, dryness, and transfer onto my clothes. Seems like no matter what I tried, I was never 100% satisfied, that is until I found this foundation. When I heard Lancome had a long-wear (think 14 hour), oil-free, moisturizing foundation I just had to check it out. All I need is a little pump on the back of my hand, a stippling brush, and a light hand to buff this beauty on. It goes on effortlessly, with or without primer, easily build-able without caking, hydrating enough that I don’t need to apply moisturizer ½ way through the day, and doesn’t transfer. I don’t wear it every day, and it will never replace my Chanel Teint Innocence, but when I need something that will last, I found a keeper.




- Hourglass made one heavy duty, oil-free, waterproof bronzer. It only comes on one shade, so if your fair skin, a light hand is needed. It can be a little muddy if applied with a regular brush, I’ve found the fluffier the brush, the easier it is to apply for an all over glow. The thin brush included is the perfect shape for contouring, and that’s about it, but for a compacts- it’s a decent brush. The swivel 360* mirror is a nice added touch. This doesn’t replace my regular bronzer, and I wish they made a matte version, but it’s perfect for the summer, parties, clubs, events…




- You know those cult favorite beauty items that everyone raves about, and you just don’t get it. Well that was me with NARS Orgasm & Stila Kitten. I cracked on Orgasm about a year ago, and figured it was time to try Kitten. I was blown away. This sheer, golden/pink, shade is gorgeous! It looks great alone with a dark liner, or as a pop of sparkle in a dark smokey eye. The last time I went on vacation I tried to minimize my makeup bag (so hard!) and forgot to pack my highlighter… EEK! I was able to use Kitten on my cheeks, brow bone, and inner corners of my eyes without a problem. Now I wish I caved and bought this gem years ago.

Stila Kitten



- Similar formula to the liners, great creamy texture, just a larger stick. Even though they claim to be crease-proof, I have noticed a little creasing, when it’s supper humid out, even with UDPP, so I normally just apply it just to my lids or brow bone. If needed, I’ll add some shadow to my crease, but the colors are nice enough on their own. I have noticed that some of the shades are more vibrant without primer, but it varies.

UD shadow stick



- I love PTR’s products & I never leave the house without SPF (yes even in rain or snow!). Last summer when I ran out of my sample sized bottle of his Max Sheer All Day Defense loation, I wanted to find something that was lightweight, easy to apply, can fit in my purse, and had a high SPF. I heard good reviews on this translucent powder brush, but was still a little skeptical. The first time I tried it out was at one of my boyfriend’s soccer games; there was no shade, and I forgot to bring a hat. I was so nervous that my face would fry! I reapplied it a few times on my face, ears, and shoulders & came home without any pink on my skin. Now I’m hooked and own 3 of them; I keep one in my car, one in my purse, and one at home. It really is translucent, doesn’t mess up my makeup, and protects my skin for harmful sun rays.




- Lip stains are probably one of my favorite trends right at the moment. They can be drying at times, so exfoliating with a lip scrub, or tooth brush prior to use is really important. Stains can be layered for more intense pigments, worn with liner, gloss, or even used as a base for lipstick. They can last for hours without a retouch, and there are enough shades and brands out there that there is something for everyone. My most recent obsession would have to be the Stila stains. They don’t dry out in the tube like the marker pens, and they stay on longer than the pencil versions. It does take them a few minutes to set, so be sure to not put anything to your lips until they are completely dry.

Stila stains



- I’ve had the worst luck with concealers; nothing would match my skin tone, give me enough coverage, or it would start to cake after a few hours. After much searching I finally tried the MUFE oil-free, matte finish, waterproof, full coverage concealer. All I need is a tiny dot for the little spots my foundation couldn’t get. It’s build-able without caking, blends well, and is surprisingly hydrating.

MUFE concealer



- I have tried all 4 formulas, and Eden (matte tawny) is by far my favorite. The shimmery ones crease, and the original is just OK, Eden really brings out the colors in my shadows, with minimal creasing, and long lasting effects. I use this EVERY time I put on eyeshadow. I don’t understand how people spend money on high end shadows and not use a primer.




- Gel liner = my new obsession. No really, it’s perfect for tight-lining, water line, winged look, and can even be used as a lower lash mascara (just brush it on your lower lashes to give them a tint, without the drama). A lot of so called “gel” liners are actually a mix of cream and gel, which is fine if you like cream liners… I don’t. Apparently Buxom added lash enhancing ingredients into their formula, which is a huge plus for me! My favorite shade is Suede (dark brown), because it matches my lash color the best. I’ve had mine for about 6 months, and it hasn’t even started to dry up yet. I like the formula, and the shade, so I don’t see myself trying a different brand anytime soon.

Buxom lashliner



- I remember wearing this stuff in High School for that Va-Va-Voom volumouse lash look. Only problem was wearing it to the clubs… as soon as I started to sweat it would run down my face :( Fast forward many years to present day & I find out that Too Faced redid their mascara formula, and it is now Waterproof!!!!! If you want Volume, Curl, Length, and Longevity out of your mascara, then this is it. It doesn’t replace my everyday mascara; but works when I need a waterproof formula, and it’s perfect for smokey eyes without needing falsies.

Too Faced



~All of these Items I purchased myself at Sephora. Some of these items can also be found at your Department Store beauty counter, Ulta, or the brand’s websites. These are my honest opinions on the products, they all work well with my skin, but you may not get the same results.

July 21, 2011 Posted in: Reviews

1 eyeshadow, 4 shades with Smashbox Eye Illusion


Swatch of iridescent pale yellow, iridescent pale pink, and iridescent pale blue

I’m a sucker for impulse buys. One day when I was waiting in line at the Sephora check out, I saw this product and thought “hmmm, this looks nice”. Of course when I came home I couldn’t figure out why I bought it….

Some of my favorite products have been impulse buys (benefit foundation, Boscia primer, Josie Marron lip stains), so I figured I had to at least try these out before I returned it. Let me tell you, I was AMAZED by the results. If you use pencils that aren’t creamy (because they crease too much when applied to the whole lid), I’ve heard you can color in the whole lid with a pencil then using one of the 3 eye illusions for a unique look.

Product – Smashbox Eye Illusion
3 shades (iridescent pale yellow, iridescent pale pink, and iridescent pale blue) that will transform any dark shadow, or liner into a new shade

Claims 4/5
It’s 3 iridescent shades that will change up any dark eye liner into a completely new shade. Smashbox thinks you can “wear them alone for a shimmering, ethereal look” For me they are way too light, even with primer.

Ease of Use 5/5
So supper easy to use, all you need is a small brush that you can be precise with. I recommend swatching your liners and eye illusion on the back of your hand to see what works best before you apply to your eyes.

Pigment 4/5
As a liner the pigment is beautiful. Alone, as a shadow, it’s a little too light for me. They could work as a soft brow and/or inner corner highlighter.

Lasting Powers 4/5
If you’re someone who likes to put their liner on first, then you might have to change your routine, or skip this product. I found layering over this, just makes it fade faster. When I line my eyes over my shadow, then it stays put all day long.
If using as a shadow, primer is a must, but it might still crease a little if you have really oily lids.

Packaging 5/5
The 3 colors are in separate pans, and the formula doesn’t have much fallout, so they don’t mingle too much. I love that the top is clear, makes it so much easier when I’m in a rush to see what I have. I probably wouldn’t use it as often as I do if it weren’t for the clear top.

Value 4/5
Hmmm… $28 for an eyeshadow/eyeliner? Yeah it might be pricy, but how much do you spend on 3 eyeliners? For $28 + one of your eyeliners you get 3 and a nice highlighter.

Closing Remarks 26/30
Sick of your boring black eyeliner, traveling and don’t want to take a million pencils with you? Then Smashbox’s Eye Illusion is perfect for you!

- The versatility of this little compact
- It creates beautiful shades that I can’t find anywhere else
- Price is a little high, but I would probably spend more on other shades of eyeliner
- I wish they were a touch more pigmented for a shadow
Where you can find it:
Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, Smashbox

Eye Illusion with Black liner

Black liner- Black with yellow EI- Black with pink EI - Black with blue EI

Eye Illusion with brown liner

Brown liner- brown with yellow EI - Brown with pink EI - Brown with blue EI

Eye Illusion with blue liner

Blue liner - Blue with yellow EI - Blue with pink EI - Blue with blue EI

March 28, 2011 Posted in: Uncategorized

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