Minimal Makeup, Maximum Impact

Today was my first day back at school, so I went low maintenance. Only 3 products, people! I don’t have much time to spare before morning classes, so my routine gets stripped down. All I’m wearing here is my  Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper ($18) in a flirtier kitten eye liner shape, a coat of  Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16) and most importantly, Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick-Kate Moss Collection No. 9 ($5.19).

This lipstick is really great, I don’t know why I’ve neglected it recently. It’s a bright, poppy fuschia red on the first coat, but as you can see below, it builds to a much deeper pink-red color with extremely cool, blue undertones. It’s simultaneously bright and dark, playful and serious. Love it.

Fuchsia-red Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick-Kate Moss Collection Number 09

This top picture is probably the most accurate to the intense, vampy plum red shade.
rimmel kate moss lipstick 9 swatchFuchsia-red Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick-Kate Moss Collection No 9 deep red plum violet vamp lips swatch

Grunge Revival

I wanted to go low maintenance, but still bring a little drama, so I layered brown and black shadows from my  120 Color Eyeshadow Palette 2nd Edition ($16.95-$29.95) (I know, I’m using it too much and need to mix it up a little). I blended them up from the lashline toward the crease to create a one-dimensional, matte smoky eye that reminds me of the 90’s (AKA my favorite fashion decade ever). I also smudged a warmer brown along the lower lashline to keep the eyes defined but bright.

90s grunge makeupblack brown matte smoky eyedark brown matte smoky eye

I skipped the eyeliner again, since I’m trying to avoid product overload in this warmer weather and went straight to the Diorshow Mascara ($25) to finish my lashes. Then I contoured my cheeks with Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette ($30) and slicked Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($15) on lips.

matte dark brown and charcoal smoky eye bh cosmetics 120 color palette 2 pink lipstick clinique black honey

dark charcoal warm chestnut brown eyeshadow natural matee smoky eye makeup

If you really want to amp up the 90’s feel, add a flannel shirt, plain banana clip and a dark berry lipstick. Here I mixed  NYX Round Case Lipstick $3.99) in Rapture and Chic Red. I feel like the girl with the most cake.
90s grunge makeup matte smoky eye dark berry lipstick 90s grunge makeup dark matte smoky eye deep berry red lipstick

Off Duty Mermaid

This one’s from a couple days ago. It was hot out, so I wanted to wear something fresh and bright that wouldn’t feel heavy. To that end, I wore a watercolor-esque wash of aqua and golden yellow shadow from my  120 Color Eyeshadow Palette 2nd Edition ($16.95-$29.95). To keep it feeling light, I skipped the eyeliner and opted for a thin line of charcoal shadow from the palette. I used one coat of  Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16) on lashes, bright pink Cargo Water Resistant Blush in Ibiza ($26) on cheeks, and finished with Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball Lipstick in Smitten ($24) on lips.
aqua green yellow gold eyeshadow bh cosmetics 120 palette vol 2 mermaid eye makeup pink butterfly ball lipstick smitten

Morbid Monday Morticia Makeup

Today I did a hooded eye, with a gradient of dark brown, charcoal and black from my  120 Color Eyeshadow Palette 2nd Edition ($16.95-$29.95) in the crease, a shimmery taupe on the rest of the lid and white on the browbone and inner corners. I feel like it has a spooky sunset look to it! Then I lined the upper lashline with a heavy, winged line using NYX Collection Noir Black Liquid Liner ($5.99), plus a short, slightly angled line along the lower lashes. I finished with two coats of Diorshow Mascara ($25)

dark neutral smoky eye winged eyeliner nude lipstick lips goth makeup dark neutral smoky eye winged eyeliner

I highlighted and contoured with my Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette ($30) and I’m wearing  e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural ($3) on lips.
dark neutral smoky eye winged eyeliner natural matte lipstick lips goth makeup

Neutral Smoky Eyes with Red Lips

It was a lazy Sunday and I felt like pulling my hair up into a rockabilly rat’s nest because IDGAF. I’ve been dabbling in some sort of weird, modified retro revival thing lately. I think it’s because I have gotten (pleasantly) plumper through the years and vintage-y style celebrates my curves. It’s my way of self-acceptance now that I’m through beating myself up for being unable to rock the tiny clubwear of my youth.

But anyway, makeup.

rockabilly retro red lips lipstick yellow headscarf messy updo

My BH Cosmetics 120 Color Pro Palette was way past its expiration date and probably kind of funky, so I tossed it and ordered a new one. After agonizing (no really) over which version to get this time around, I finally settled on the 120 Color Eyeshadow Palette 2nd Edition ($16.95-$29.95). The second edition has a fantastic mix of brights and neutrals in a variety of shimmer, metallic and matte finishes. Look at how pretty!

bh cosmetics 120 color eyeshadow pro palette second edition bh cosmetics 120 color eyeshadow pro palette 2nd edition

As you can see, one blue shade did crack in shipment, but I can deal. It’s a good excuse to try one of the many tutorials on fixing cracked eyeshadows! Beside all that, I am kicking myself a little, because BH just rolled out its new (frickin’ amazing) Take Me to Brazil Eyeshadow Palette ($9.95-$19.95) that I wish I had also ordered. If only I had known to wait a week, but the 2nd edition palette IS pretty phenomenal, so whatever.

I blended a few metallic shadows on the ball of the eye, swept some dark brown into the crease and below the lashline, then blended just a touch of bright plum shadow into the dark brown to give it a little depth.

In an effort to keep the eye slightly less dramatic, I skipped my usual heavy cat eye and applied just a little bit of a dark, matte navy shadow as a smoky liner. I finished with a couple coats of  Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16) and lined the inner rim of my eyes with my flesh-toned NYX wonder pencil ($4.49).

neutral smoky eye bh cosmetics 120 color palette vol 2 2nd editionneutral smoky eye bh cosmetics 120 color palette vol 2 2nd edition pink lips nyx round case lipstick spell bound
Originally I paired it with a more playful, pink lip. This one is NYX Round Case Lipstick in Spell Bound ($3.99). Of the roughly 800 hot pink lipsticks I own, I think this shade is the most wearable for everyday use.

rockabilly retro pink lips lipstick yellow knotted headscarf wrap updo modern vintage pinup makeup neutral smoky eyenyx round case lipstick spell bound spellbound hot pink fuschia lips swatch rockabilly retro pink lips lipstick yellow headscarf messy updo modern vintage neutral smoky eye

Then I decided I wanted to take it up a notch, mainly as an excuse to try out my new e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red ($3). I’ve had mixed results with e.l.f. products, but I’ve been in the market for a true red lipstick and this one knocks it out of the park. The texture is extremely lightweight, almost like a liquid tint, but it has the even coverage of a creamy product. It’s a lot like one of those ubiquitous chubby pencil/gloss stain sticks, but it has a finer point for greater precision. It went on semi-sheer and built to an opaque finish after two coats, then lasted through a vegan taco lunch (don’t judge) without disappearing. I also have it in Natural, and both colors make an excellent base for layering sheer lipsticks or glosses. Such a great impulse buy! FYI, if you’re interested in more e.l.f., their neutral eyeshadows are also good, but the vibrant colored shadows are kind of weak. My other favorite e.l.f. products so far have been the Essential Regular & Waterproof Mascara Duo and Zit Zapper for only $1 each(!). Seriously, snap those up.

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red lip stain pencil e.l.f neutral smoky eyes bright red lips true red lipstick

Maybelline Fit Me! Shine Free Foundation Review

Backlog time! Today I’m reviewing Maybelline Fit Me! Shine Free Foundation ($8.99). I bought this last month and had hoped to review it then, but just couldn’t make it happen. Luckily it’s still a new product (I actually had to try several stores before I could find it in stock!), so this should still be relevant.

So, I’m a foundation noob. Foundation isn’t as exciting as eyeliner, and I *HATE* the feeling of heavy products suffocating my skin. If I wear anything, it’s always mineral foundation or a BB cream, because my past experiences with liquid or cream foundations ended with me looking and feeling cakey. I had heard good things about this stuff being really light for the summer, so I decided to bite the bullet.

First of all, I like the packaging, and not just for aesthetic reasons. A stick foundation is easier to carry around in my bag than a liquid or powder foundation. Significantly reduced spill potential! I have to wonder if they’re knocking off the Stila CC Cream Stick ($38), though. I did a double take when I saw how similar they look, but I have no idea how close the formulas are.

maybelline fit me shine free stick foundation shade 115 light fair pale wet n wild coverall pressed powder 823b

I read that setting powder was a must and I didn’t have any on hand, so I bought the cheapest powder I could find to go with it. This is Wet n’ Wild Coverall Pressed Powder ($1.99), and it’s actually pretty nice on its own!

Next, I’m not sure if there’s a reason to separate the two layers of the foundation, or if that’s just to look cool. Whatever the case, this stuff DOES have a very natural matte (but not too matte) finish. It feels very powdery and blends in seamlessly. It looks like natural skin and almost feels like it! It’s extremely comfy and lightweight, the coverage is also very light. This is a plus for me, because I don’t want to LOOK like I have foundation on, and I’m only really using the product to color correct and not to mask major blemishes or red spots. If you do need more coverage, this stuff would not work well for that purpose.

maybelline fit me shine free stick foundation shade 115 light fair pale

I also made the mistake of applying way too much on my first try, which gave me a dewier, heavier look that some other bloggers mentioned. It settled in my pores, which is a pet peeve of mine. I tried to matte it out with the pressed powder, but that only weighed me down more. Now I know to just swipe a little on wherever I need it and not to slather my whole face. Lesson learned.

maybelline fit me shine free stick foundation swatch 115 light fair pale
Yuck! Too much.
maybelline fit me shine free stick foundation review 115 light fair pale
Yeah! A light application is much better!

OH, by the way, you should start following my blog if you haven’t already, because I have a giveaway in the works! More details soon.

August Birchbox vs. Ipsy Glam Bag Review

Finally. I’ve been studying for finals/travelling/busbusybusy and have been slacking on the blawg. Sorry! I definitely have a backlog of things to share with you, but let’s start with my August Ipsy Glam Bag and Birchbox reviews.

Ok. So I think switching some things around on my Birchbox profile last month has actually improved my latest box! I lowered my household income and reduced the number of skincare concerns that I have, and now I’m eligible for makeup again. Yay! My BB was much improved this month. The box was curated by Ann Taylor, although I didn’t notice the connection between the store and this month’s products.

august 2013 birchbox ann taylor edition

First up, ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick ($24 for a pack of three). I was actually planning to buy this on my own, so I was super, duper excited to get one in my box. The packaging was so cute, which is an extra plus in my book! My shade was Disco Fever, a punchy orange. As you may have noticed, I will never, ever turn down orange makeup, so this is a good thing. It actually looks just like OCC Electric Grandma minus the sparkle (so maybe like regular Grandma?). Maybe a tad matte-er than I would like, because up close you can see that the coverage gets a little funky and uneven. It’s only visible if you are RIGHT UP ON MY FACE, but still. I most prefer a creamy pseudo-matte for that reason, although the matteness here does help with longevity. As you can see, this lipstick also stands alone without any other makeup, which is faaaaan-tastic. I do love a bright lip when I’m feeling lazy.

modelco matte party proof lipstick disco fever swatch orange coral neon peach lips
modelco party proof matte lipstick disco fever tube package design packaging modelco party proof matte lipstick disco fever orange coral lips swatch

Next, Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ ($39). I really like this stuff already, but since I do so much traveling I could always use a mini. For a full review, see my BB cream review here.

Violet Oasis 100% Organic Argan Oil ($39.95). This stuff felt really nice! Very smooth, and my skin felt great when I woke up in the morning. You can’t go wrong with Argan Oil.

TanTowel® Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes Half Body ($24 for a pack of ten). I’m sure this is great, although I am getting tired of the endless self-tanning products from BB. Maybe I need to deactivate “spf” as a skin concern as well? I can handle one self-tanner a year, that’s about it. Pale and proud.

Jasmine Seven™ Wipes ($9.95 for 30). Hand and foot cleaning antibacterial wipes? This was a really weird choice for a Birchbox product, but it’s a pretty nice thing to have and I’m keeping it in my purse anyway. It’ll probably come in handy for cleaning my hands after commuting on the train. People can be kind of icky on the El.

ipsy august 2013 glam bag glamour academy products

Ipsy was also good. This bag was “Glamour Academy” themed, and included essentially a full-face look. Thoughtful. After testing everything out, I decided that the products combined made me feel like Cara Delevingne (all about the brows), so here’s my wild-eyed Cara impression, starring everything from my August bag. I do what I want.

august 2013 ipsy glam bag glamour acadamy cara delevingne inspired
But seriously, there are some good things happening when you look at my normal face. See?mica beauty bronze mineral eyeshadow urban decay revolution lipstick anarchy swatch dark hair fair pale skin

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy ($22). Holy ish, I was skeptical, but this stuff lives up to the hype. It’s incredibly pigmented and opaque after one coat, it’s creamy, and it makes my lips look smoother. I will definitely be buying a couple of these in full size. The Ipsy promo code discount was not great (free shipping with lipstick purchase – code: IPSY), so I would recommend buying at Sephora, Ulta or instead because they have automatic free shipping and WAY better specials.

urban decay revolution lipstick swatch shade anarchy hot pink bright neon lipsurban decay revolution lipstick swatch shade anarchy hot pink fuschia

Bonus wear test: I washed my face later on in the night with a charcoal exfoliator (more on that in a minute) and inadvertently tested the longevity. Obviously I wasn’t exfoliating my lips, but I did rub them pretty well with water. While the creaminess went away, I was impressed with how much the stain and a little balminess remained. See?
urban decay revolution lipstick anarchy wear test longevity

Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black ($17). Meh, this wasn’t bad, but it didn’t blow me away. Sometimes mascara samples don’t do the full size tubes justice, but this mascara wasn’t as intense as I would have liked. If you like Pixi products, definitely check out the special offer. 20% off at with code pixi+ipsy through 9/1/13.

MicaBeauty Cosmetics Mineral Eyeshadow in Bronze ($14.95). This was very pretty! A nice golden copper color with a lot of metallic shimmer. It had nice color payoff even without a primer, but still blended well. 25% off at with code ipsy25 through 8/31/13.

Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color Pencil ($18). This was quite nice. I usually use a brow powder, but this pencil is more convenient for travel and has a nice, dark color. I especially like how fine the tip is, for a more natural look. Today, however, I went for a more intense brow, just to see how far I could take the color. Not bad! Very Delevingne-esque. Get 20% off with code BROWPENCIL through 9/15/13.

Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub ($18). The nice thing about this cleanser is that it promises to exfoliate without causing microlacerations. These tiny scrapes can actually widen pores, so it’s important to be careful when exfoliating. It’s black, so that’s a little jarring, but the texture is so creamy it feels whipped and it’s really comfortable. It took a long time to wash all of the grit away, but when I did, my skin felt extremely smooth. I’d definitely use it again. Get 30% off with code AUGIPSY through 9/30/13.
Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub texture