Don’t Forget- Smoky Eye Giveaway Ends in 24 Hours!

If you haven’t entered yet, now is your last chance to score a Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Diamond DogNyx Single Eyeshadow in Charcoal and Nyx Powder Blush in Angel, all for free!

Here’s the link to enter!

**CLICK HERE TO ENTER**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t miss out, that Moondust Shadow is one of the fanciest shadows ever and the two Nyx products are versatile and lovely. Go go go!

lexis look of the day spooky sparkly smoky eye set giveaway urban decay moondust eyeshadow diamond dog nyx single eye shadow charcoal smoky eye

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Nyx Lipstick Swatch Fest

I have WAY too many Nyx lipsticks and I haven’t touched most of them in a while. Since many of them are pretty old and likely unhygienic, I decided to swatch all of them before tossing anything. I wish I had done this in previous purges, but hindsight is 20/20. So here we go! All swatches are of Nyx Round Case Lipstick ($3.99) unless otherwise indicated.

Stone, Hera, Expresso, Hot Fudge, Hot Cocoa, Decadent

nyx round case lipstick swatches Stone Hera Expresso Hot Fudge Hot Cocoa Decadent

Brown Sugar, Walnut, Gaea, Calisto, Pecan, Raisin

nyx round case lipstick swatches Brown Sugar Walnut Gaea Calisto Pecan Raisin

Taupe, Rapture, Bruised, Almost Black, Poseidon, Pinto Bean

nyx round case lipstick swatches Taupe Rapture Bruised Almost Black Poseidon Pinto Bean

Darling, Chambord, Creon, Cinnamon Sugar, Peony, Kona Coffee

nyx round case lipstick swatches Darling Chambord Creon Cinnamon Sugar Peony Kona Coffee

Champagne, Castle, Mute, Opal, Violet Ray

nyx round case lipstick swatches Champagne Castle Mute Opal Violet Ray

Alabama (Nyx Matte Lipstick $5.99), Chic Red, Hero

nyx round case lipstick swatches Alabama Matte Lipstick Chic Red Hero

Spell Bound, Celebrate, Pink Lyric, Audrey (Nyx Matte Lipstick $5.99), Candy Land (Nyx Xtreme Lip Cream $5.99)

nyx round case lipstick swatches Spell Bound Miracle Pink Lyric Audrey Matte Lipstick Candy Land Xtreme Lip Cream

October Birchbox and Ipsy Reviews!

Now that we’re caught up again, here are my more recent Birchbox and Ipsy experiences. Back on schedule, y’all!

First up is Ipsy.

october 2013 ipsy glam bag

Zoya Nail Polish in Neve ($8) zoya neve fall 2013 chashmeres and satin collection royal navy blue nailpolish

When I first saw the Fall 2013 Cashmeres and Satins Collection, this is the color that really jumped out at me. I’m so excited to  have it! It’s a glossy blue with purple shimmer. Very rich looking and great application/coverage (like all Zoyas). Discount: Buy 2 get 1 free plus free remover at Zoya.com with code ipsyz3 through 11/10/13.

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection Photo Op Eyeshadow in Desert Festival ($4.99).

wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival packaging (2) wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival packaging (1)

I was apprehensive about this one because people used to rave about the awesome quality of Wet n’ Wild shadows, but then the reviews took a turn for the worse. The colors are so pretty in the packaging, so it can’t be all bad, right?

No, it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared, although it wasn’t awesome, either. The pigmentation was actually pretty good for the price, although the shimmery brown ended up being more of a black with brown sparkle and the sparkle disappeared immediately upon application. I was really excited once I saw the pigmentation of my initial swatches: wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival swatches

Unfortunately, both of the brown colors ended up with a really uneven finish and were basically impossible to work with. BOTH TIMES I tried to add the brown shadows in, I got a muddy, smudgy mess. That’s right, it was so bad the first time that I washed it off and started over, only to end up with another disaster. Horrible.

wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival swatch on eyes
This is the best I could do. Note the muddled color and uneven coverage. The brown got EVERYWHERE and was impossible to control.

The orange shades and beige highlight were pretty decent, though. Maybe not quite as good as BH Cosmetics or Coastal Scents, but pretty close, and definitely better than most drugstore products. It would certainly do in a pinch. wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival orange swatch

All in all, I wouldn’t really recommend this one unless you don’t mind sticking just to the light colors and leaving the two dark shades alone. Ipsy also didn’t provide a Wet ‘n’ Wild discount this month. I guess these are cheap enough already.

Coastal Scents Medium Eyeshadow brush ($2.50).

This brush looks great and I do love Coastal Scents, but I have several similar brushes already. I think I’ll put this away for a future giveaway. There’s a nice discount, though: 25% off at coastalscents.com with code CS25 through 11/17/13.

Sexy Hair Spray Clay Texturizing Spray Clay ($18.95, $8 for travel size).

Another product I would never buy for myself but that could come in handy for following hair tutorials. I’ll let you know if I end up trying this. I’m pretty excited about it.
Discount: $5 off $25 sexy hair purchase at ulta.com with code 105339 through 11/15/13.

La Fresh Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes ($9.99). Like last month’s cleansing towelettes, these are pretty standard but I can always use more. It’s useful and still a worthwhile thing to get if not the most exciting item. Discount: 30% off at http://lafreshgroup.com with code ipsylove30 through 11/15/13.

And now BB. This Birchbox was weird. Not bad, just weird? I mean, one of my items was a washcloth.

october 2013 birchbox samples

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit ($24.50). You can also buy the “Pure Muslin Cloth” separately ($6.99 for 2).

This cleanser was nice, and the muslin cloth helped to exfoliate I guess, but the cloths don’t last long and you’re out of your mind if you think I’ll keep shelling out $3.50 a piece for the *special washcloth*. Come on, Momma didn’t raise no fool.

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation ($38.00).

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation skintone 3 sample birchbox
This is so tiny. I mean, I’ve gotten plenty of samples this tiny before, but the packaging just makes it look hilarious. ANYWAY, it also wasn’t good, so I don’t mind the small size. The shade was off (which is BB’s fault and not the makeup’s) but it also simultaneously didn’t cover well AND showed up in my pores, if that makes sense.

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation textureYuckkkk. Looks like flaky skin.

I would never, ever use this. I got weirdly angry about how bad it was considering the price.

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer in Flowering Fuchsia ($14). pop beauty aqua laquer lip gloss flowering fuchsia packaging paddle applicator

This one had a super weird applicator. It looks like it would have a standard nozzle applicator, but instead it’s a weird plastic paddle, almost like a doe foot applicator was supposed to be there but then the felt slipped off. I’m not really into glosses any more, but I thought I’d give this a shot. pop beauty aqua laquer lip gloss flowering fuchsia swatch

It wasn’t bad. The color is definitely nice and it had surprisingly decent staying power for a gloss. It wasn’t sticky, yet it felt thick, which was kind of strange. I guess I’ll keep it around for days that I feel like jazzing up my lipstick, but honestly I doubt I’ll use it much right now since it’s more of a summer product.

ChapStick® Hydration Lock ($2.99).

BB is making a foray into the world of cheaper products, which is nice. I like getting samples from both ends of the spectrum, and there were times when BB felt pretty out of touch with younger buyers. The last few boxes have been much more democratic. That said, this Chapstick was very hydrating. It claims to make lips appear plumper and while I couldn’t be sure of that, my lips did feel soft and smooth. BB also included a coupon for $1 off more Chapstick.

Another point that I wanted to make – BB made a big fuss on their sneak peek video and on a note in the box about how the Chapstick was a bonus item and did not replace any of my 5 samples, but I still only received total 5 items (4 if you count the face wash/washcloth as a set), so that’s a lie. I’m fine with what I got, but I don’t feel like they were completely true to their word.

Super Belated Ipsy and Birchbox September Reviews

Ok, so I’m a slacker and I never posted my September Ipsy and Birchbox reviews. I feel bad, because these are some of my favorite posts! My October products just arrived, but I still wanted to share a few thoughts on last month first. Here’s a quick overview of what happened (a little less depth than normal).

Ipsy:

september 2013 ispy glam bag review

Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Mask in Rose ($1.99).
This looked and felt extremely weird, but I thought it really worked! I think you’re supposed to peel the plastic off the paper, which I did, but I looked freaky either way. I hid in the bathroom until the time was up because I didn’t want to scare my family.

Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Mask in Rose scary TOLD YOU.Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Mask Rose skin brighteningNot much better.

After I spent 5 minutes looking like Leatherface (sorry, but it’s true), my skin WAS bright and radiant. So this gets a thumbs up from me, even if it’s weird.
Discount: Get 44% off the Feeling Beautiful Sweet 16 Satchel Set + a free gift through 11/30/13 with code ipsy fb.

Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Voluminizing Mascara ($19.99).
This stuff looked awesome, but it smudged ever so slightly on my under eye area. This is a major problem I have with most mascaras in general, so this was actually not a terrible result. If you are a normal person who doesn’t get severe mascara smudges with most products, you would probably do pretty well here. I liked this better than most mascaras (and I usually dread mascara samples).
Discount: 50% off any purchase at www.elizabethmott.com through 10/30/13 with code ipsybig.

Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm 08 Big Apple ($19).
I have no idea where they came up with the name “tinted lip balm,” because this is a full coverage matte lipstick. I mean, it’s hard to get much different than that, but whatever. This was actually a great product if you like a retro matte lip. Nice coverage, great pigmentation/opacity and a fun color. It felt a bit dry, but it’s matte lipstick, so that is pretty hard to avoid. The best part was the included lip brush for a precise application any time, any where. I’m into it! The promo code has now expired because I suck and was late posting this. Sorry about that.

cailyn tinted lip balm big apple red lipstick swatch

Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian ($12).
I was pleasantly surprised by a previous Starlooks lip pencil ipsy sent me a few bags ago, but this eye pencil fell flat. It isn’t AWFUL, but it wasn’t even close to the intensity or creaminess of my UD 24/7 pencil (the standard by which I judge all other eye pencils). Sorry Starlooks, I’m going to pass on this.

Nyx Single Eye Shadow in Charcoal ($4.50).
If you’ve read my blog at all, I don’t need to get into my love for Nyx. As a result, I already have this eyeshadow. That means I need someone to give it to, so this unused shadow is part of the giveaway that I posted yesterday!

Birchbox:

Can it be? I think my Sept Birchbox was actually better than my ipsy bag! Changing my profile settings on bb’s site must have paid off.

september 2013 birchbox birch box review

Ruffian Nail Laquer in Hedge Fund ($10)
This did not appeal to me in the bottle, but I just loved it on my fingers. It’s a really interesting mossy green that’s simultaneously bright and subdued. It has pretty golden glass shimmer and I could not stop staring at it. It reminded me a lot of one of my old 90’s nail polishes, Revlon Street Wear in Toad (remember that line? I was obsessed). Ugh, yes.  And this swatch is only ONE COAT with no base or topcoat. That is some good quality polish.

ruffian nail laquer hedge fund dark olive green polish swatch ruffian nail laquer hedge fund dark moss green polish swatch

Yes To™ Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes ($2.99).
Nothing mindblowing here, but I use facial cleaning towelettes every single day, so it’s always nice to get more. Effective with a nice scent.

Coastal Scents® Neutral Mirage Palette ($24 for a full set of 88 colors).
Hell yes. This quad sampler was so pretty and in fall colors that I just love. Coastal Scents is pretty similar to my beloved BH Cosmetics (I’m guessing they have a common supplier since several of their products are identical), so I knew these would be cheap, intense, and awesome. I combined them with my other box/bag products for a bright fall eye look. Pretty good payoff for a quick swipe and no primer. They’re super blendable, too. I will never stop loving these cheapo multi-color palettes.

coastal scents neutral mirage palette gold eyeshadow coastal scents neutral mirage palette gold eyeshadow cailyn big apple red listicl

(You can see how the Starlooks eyeliner kind of sucks.)

VOESH New York Collagen Gloves ($20 for a 3-pack)
I’ll be honest, I didn’t bother to try these out. They’re lotion-filled manicure gloves and it just sounded too messy. Maybe someday when I’m really bored I’ll open the pack.

Yes To™ Grapefruit  Correct & Repair CC Cream SPF 18 ($15.99)
This stuff was SO GOOD. I was really impressed, this is the first decent BB/CC cream I’ve tried in this price range. Now a word of caution- I liked this because I like very light coverage (more of a tinted moisturizer). If you like a little more coverage, then this isn’t for you. For me, it was perfect.

I got samples in two shades, and I tried the too-dark one first because it was night time and I was saving the lighter shade for actually going out in public. Surprisingly, even though it was dark, it blended down well and while it wasn’t a perfect match, it also wasn’t jarringly clashy. Obviously, the lighter shade was a better match when I got around to using it. The texture was great, it blended right into skin and felt very natural. Not quite as much cover as my Dr. Jart, but a nice, natural-looking enhancer like my Too Faced BB (those reviews are here). I will be buying this in a full size whenever all of my other spf face products run out.

yes to grapefruit cc cream medium swatch texture yes to grapefruit cc cream swatch medium yes to grapefruit cc cream review

And that’s it! October BB/Ipsy review coming soon.

Halloween Giveaway: Spooky, Sparkly Smoky Eye Set!

Hey guys! I mentioned a few weeks ago (ok, maybe closer to two months) that I had a giveaway coming up. Here is part 1!

Halloween is my favorite time of the year, so it seemed like a great time to share some cosmetic love. I’m giving away 3 of my favorite products (brand new, in packaging). My smoky eye kit includes Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Diamond Dog, Nyx Single Eyeshadow in Charcoal and Nyx Powder Blush in Angel (pumpkin not included). That’s $30.99 worth of product!

lexis look of the day spooky sparkly smoky eye set giveaway

Here’s how they look in action (Nyx shadow used as a base, Urban Decay layered on top). Put these together with your favorite mascara and you’re frightfully glamourous!

urban decay moondust diamond dog smoky eye nyx powder blush angel nyx single eyeshadow charcoalurban decay moondust eyeshadow diamond dog nyx single eye shadow charcoal smoky eye

**CLICK HERE TO ENTER**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is my way of saying thank you to everyone who reads my blog (extra-big thanks if you follow me)! I really appreciate all of you who stop by to check out what I have to say. And if heavy eye makeup isn’t your thing, I’ll have a lip giveaway before the holidays. Thanks again and good luck!

Mastering the Portable Makeup Kit

I’ve neglected my blog again! I feel especially bad that I’ve had pictures ready to go for my September Birchbox/Ipsy shakedown for the last two weeks and I haven’t even touched them. Hopefully I’ll get those up before the October sets arrive! I’ve been outrageously busy between school, travel and my (exciting!) new big-girl job. All of these factors have inspired today’s post.

Since I’m always pressed for time while rushing around town, I realized that I need a well-curated “go bag.” In other words, a makeup bag with everything I need to create a full look in the few minutes I have between class and work.

I realized that most of my makeup is either too bulky to fit in a makeup bag, or requires separate applicators (I want to keep it simple for now and wanted to avoid travel brush sets), or is too fragile/expensive to knock around in a purse. I decided to create a new kit. Here were my requirements:

1. Products that are very compact and easy to cram in a small bag.

2. A full look that lives exclusively in my bag (no shuffling products back and forth- that leads to missing something right when I need it most).

3. Products that are either very sturdy or cheap enough that I don’t mind if they break.

4. Products that multitask.

5. Products that either include an applicator or don’t need one.

6. Products that wear well (either they don’t fade or they fade evenly).

So here’s my first attempt, featuring more drugstore products than usual (with product pics for the recent purchases):

portable travel makeup kit maybelline color tattoo revlon colorstay eyeshadow quad

Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss in Honest Politician ($24). A nicely textured cream blush and lip stain and that can be applied with fingertips.

Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16). Self-explanatory.

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal Eyeshadow in Barely Branded ($6.99). It’s a great cream highlighter, eye brightening shadow and eyeshadow base in one!

Benefit Fakeup in Light 01 ($24). This is my new favorite concealer for my (really bad) dark circles. It doesn’t crease and it brightens my under-eye area. Love this stuff.

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in linen ($3.99). This sparkle-free champagne shadow makes a perfect matte highlight and can also set the concealer. Matte skintone shadows are also great for blending the edges of your eyeshadow for a smooth look when your shadow edges aren’t quite perfect. A nude, matte shadow is one of my must haves.

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in linen

Revlon ColorStay Eyeshadow Quad in 505 Decadent ($7.99). It was surprisingly hard to get everything I wanted out of a multi-color eyeshadow set. I agonized over this, but eventually picked an eyeshadow quad with neutral colors that I know always flatter my skin and eyes. I kind of wish the two lightest shades weren’t so close in color, but the light pink shimmer color can double as a highlighter, so I should get some use out of both. The dark brown should also build nicely depending on how much intensity I want, giving this kit some versatility.

Revlon ColorStay Eyeshadow Quad in 505 Decadent

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama Cream Eyeliner in Bold Brown ($7.99). The dark brown will add definition, but  won’t look quite as harsh and in-your-face as my standard black liner (making it better for work) and since it’s an automatic liner it doesn’t need sharpening. I can also apply it lightly to brows for long-lasting definition.

maybelline master drama by eye studio eyeliner bold brown

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Red Velvet ($7.49). Y’all. There’s a reason you hear a lot about this one from bloggers. This is so pretty and versatile and it fades beautifully. It’s got the perfect blend of sheerness and opacity and is just diffused enough to go on imprecisely and still look good (excellent for super quick touchups). I’m kind of obsessed with it right now.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Red Velvet sheer red lipstick lip balm

I’ll do my best to get swatches of these products in action soon. I’ll also probably switch out some products and keep refining the bag further as I see what works and what I’m missing while I’m out.

UPDATE HERE: A few product switches and an example look!