Thursday, March 31, 2011

MAC is Quite Cute

Nope, I can't afford* to buy MAC ... even when the packaging makes me squirm in delight, or the unique shades make me drool ... (I'm still dying to own Love Peck. Someday! Someday, you will be mine!)

But I would L-O-V-E love to win some MAC!

Shahada of Adventures in Makeup is doing yet another giveaway, this time featuring her picks from the upcoming Quite Cute collection. (Man, is she generous or what?! She always has a ton of fantastic giveaways going on! And her blog rocks :) In addition to the items pictured below she will be sending them inside a "quite cute" pink Dior bag!!!

Head over HERE to enter to win!

*Except in blog sales! I got Pop Mode lipglass (and more recently a Stila cream shadow pot) from this blogger, her prices are always very fair so check her out!

It's not too late and crazy for CORAL

I feel a need to go on a mini rant here ... I LOVE REVLON COLORBURST!!!

The formula, the texture, the packaging and most of all, the COLORS. Everything about this collection is a total WIN in my opinion.

Except, sometimes, the pricing ... it's a bit odd. For example, normal retail price on one lipstick might be $8.99 while another shade is $10.99 - weird, no? Plus, that's just a bit more than I prefer to pay for drugstore (or really any) makeup, especially considering that MAC lipsticks are around $14.

But RIGHT NOW at Rite Aid, ALL Revlon cosmetics and nail items are 40% with an additional $4 reward if you spend more than $10 on Revlon!

To help you take advantage of this great offer, which basically makes the lipsticks around $5.50 and the glosses about $4.50 each, I've swatched my four Colorburst lipsticks and my one new lipgloss for you.

First things first, a little newsflash: I've gone crazy for coral!

That mini haul was kind of a gamble since oranges tend to look awful on me, but I'm happily surprised to report that the only item I'll be returning is the polish (Sinful Colors "Big Daddy" - it looks too Halloween orange and not coral enough).

I wanted to get in on the whole orange-lip trend going on right now, and after 1 failed attempt involving the lovely NYX Round lipstick in Femme, I picked up Revlon's Coral and the semi-matching Papaya gloss. Here's how Coral and Femme compare:

You can see that Coral is slightly more red toned vs. Femme's hot pink base (oh it is gorgeous, just not on me! It's off to its new home already!)

And here are Coral and Papaya next to each other:

And here they are, Papaya over Coral, on me - not bad huh? It is a bit more red in real life:

Here is my entire Colorburst lipstick collection (so far not toooo big, but thanks to my good friend mNg who's had me picking more up for her, I now want a bunch more including Fuchsia and Carnation!). L-R we have Plum, Soft Rose, Lilac, and Coral:

The pigmentation on these really varies. Plum is very pigmented in a good way - that swatch was two gentle swipes, so it can be built up or worn sheer for a softer look. Soft Rose, a NARS dupe, is beautiful and everyone needs to own it! That was three swipes. Lilac is surprisingly wearable - it does not give you that drowned-corpse effect - and I swiped it twice in this pic. And Coral is just gorgeous ... one swipe gives you a hint of bold color, and if you build up to three soft swipes like I did here, you get a fabulously bright red-orange that is delicious for hot weather like my fellow Californians and I have had lately!

Here's me wearing Soft Rose. It's very much a "my lips but better" color and for heaven's sake, why are you still sitting here reading this instead of out buying it?!

Go! Run, don't walk, to Rite Aid to grab some Revlon Colorburst before it's too late (Monday)!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


"Another giveaway post?" Why not? The awesome and very generous Shahada has another amazing set of items, hand-selected by her, up for one very lucky follower to win!

I've been drooling over those NARS pencils for ages, and I adore purple, so you know I want to win this one!

Quick CG NatureLuxe foundation update

Oh, how I loved this CoverGirl NatureLuxe foundation. It was a great color match, it covered well, lasted beautifully on my somewhat oily but also dry skin ...

But then I noticed: Everywhere I was applying it (nose/ T zone mostly) would break out into horrid spots the next day. I kept trying just to make sure I wasn't losing my mind or something, but it kept happening: the specific areas I applied this stuff would break out right away.

No longer using this one and unfortunately threw out the receipt, so it's a shelf-decoration now :/

***Your skin may not react the same way. In fact, it probably won't. I have sensitive skin that loves to overreact to everything. However, this is not a non-comodegenic foundation, so do beware of that.

Free designer makeup YES PLEASE

For those of you who don't know about NoMoreRack, it's one of the many new flash-sale websites that offers designer items at deep, deep discounts for very short periods of time. I recently signed up to see if they had a certain Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in their LM sale, but was disappointed.

But fast-forward to today, and I'm very glad I did make an account! In my inbox this morning was a note about March Madness, today through Thursday at midnight, anyone who creates a free account on their website from your referral link will count towards free designer makeup (I'm talking MAC, Lancome, Stila etc) for YOU!

How it works: You post your referral link - here's mine - and ask your friends to go create a login. The more that do, the more points you earn towards one of these items:

Lip Fusion Plump + Replump: Scarlet - 7 friends

Mac LipGlass: Assorted colors - 8 friends
Lancome Color Fever Gloss: Fireworks - 9 friends
Lancome Le Rouge Absolu: Merlot - 10 friends
Mac Eyeshadow: Assorted colors - 10 friends
OPI Burlesque Little Teasers: mini nail lacquers - 11 friends
Stila travel Package: Trendsetting in Tokyo - 12 friends
Yves Saint Laurent Bow Collection Duo palettes - 20 friends
Sephora Color Play 5 in 1 II: Fashion Edition - 30 friends

So if you haven't already made a login at, and you want to join in the free makeup fun, please use my referral link here to sign up! Good luck to us all :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette GIVEAWAY!

If you're like me and love beautiful things, but hate to spend $78 for them, you better check out Adventures in Makeup - Shahada is giving away the gorgeous Chantecaille Sea Turtle palette to one lucky reader!

Enter to WIN here!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Antoinette's Revolution

Today I'm bringing you a [p]review - a preview/ review - of an indie mineral makeup company that has not yet officially opened! (For the record: No, this is not turning into a beauty blog. I like makeup, but will continue to blog about all kinds of things, not just beauty-related.)

Some of you are also members of the super-top-secret (not really) mineral makeup lovers' group on Facebook, but for those of you who aren't, a quick word to explain: I am in a group of makeup-obsessed lovely ladies, where we can enable on another's addictions and share swatches, rants, and raves about different things ... usually makeup-related.

In this group, I have been lucky enough to meet some of the awesome ladies behind the indie brands, like Sandi of Brazen Cosmetics (highly recommend), Jenni of Virus Insanity Eyeshadow (ditto), Rebecca of Lucky 107 (ditto again), and more. And from this group, a few new businesses were born.

Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics is one such company. The name and themes refer to Marie Antoinette, of course! The entrepreneur in question, Racheal, asked our group if anyone wanted to take part in pre-launch testing once some colors were made. Naturally, many of us jumped at the chance!

Full disclosure: Clearly, I am friendly, if not actual friends, with the owner (we both participate in the group, but don't really interact outside of that). I also did receive these items for free, aside from the shipping fee. I am not being compensated for this review, nor have I been coached on what to say. We were all asked to give her shadows a try and let her know our honest opinions, and encouraged to publish reviews with those opinions if we wanted to.

First up: packaging. I received my samples in a standard bubble mailer, and inside was a tissue-wrapped package sealed with three heart stickers that had the company's initials, ARC, on them. For convenience, that's how I'll refer to the company from here on out.The samples came in baggies inside a damask pillow box; also included was a personal thank-you note, which had the color names and descriptions written on the back. (The law does not require ingredient lists to be included with samples, but if you need to know what is in your samples, you can contact Racheal for the list.)

We were given the option to specify what colors we liked, or would like to try, but I left mine open for Racheal to pick. The colors I received are pictured below:

Here are their names (in the order pictured above, from left to right) and descriptions from ARC: La Fontaine, a shimmery silver with holographic glitter; Marie, a baby blue with a bright turquoise shimmer base and aqua and hot pink glitter; von Fersen, a rich military navy with an intense sparkle base; and Musket, a dark gunmetal grey.

The above swatch photo is the most true to color. Here are those same swatches again, with flash, and blurred to show the glitter:

My thoughts on the colors: I'm a big fan of deep blue and silver, so I adore von Fersen, Musket and La Fontaine, and in truth I probably would have ordered all four of the colors I received - except for one thing. I do not see the pink glitter in Marie. I swatched it, thought it was a nice Tiffany blue, but didn't notice any pink glitter until I went to do a wear test with this color. Then I saw the pink glitter - when I cleaned up the fallout. I'm no expert, but it seems like the pink is not adhering to the color very well; there is an obvious sheen to Marie, but the pink is not really noticeable at all. If I had ordered this color expecting to see hot pink glitter, I'd be disappointed. As it is, I do like it, since I didn't already own this sort of robins-egg blue.
La Fontaine is a pretty standard light silver, and the holographic glitter is not overwhelming at all. Von Fersen is so deep and luscious, a true sapphire blue. And Musket is a gorgeous pewter!

Here is a look I put together using all four colors (sorry, again, for horribly ungroomed brows):

Over my horrible, awful so-called "primer" (must get some TFSI or UDPP sometime soon!), I applied Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy (a must-have for anyone who owns loose eyeshadows). When it was tacky, I used an e.l.f. blending brush to smudge Musket into a sort of semicircle in the crease and outer edge of each lid. Over this, I applied von Fersen with an e.l.f. eyeshadow brush, patting it on and then softly dragging the color down to fade onto my lids. In the center of each lid, I used another e.l.f. eyeshadow brush to pat on Marie, blending it out onto von Fersen and fading it toward the inner corners. I then used my e.l.f. lip defining brush's narrow point to apply La Fontaine to the tear duct, and blend into Marie, as well as a little bit on the lower lashline. I foiled Musket and used an angled brush to draw a line from the lower lashes and slightly winged outward. After curling my lashes, I applied Urban Decay's Lash Primer Potion, and then CoverGirl's Lash Blast mascara in Very Black.

The most accurate depiction of the brightness of this look is in the three-quarters/ side view of my eyes above - that little peek of the right eye shows how vivid the colors really are! I don't know why, whenever I take pictures of my EOTD, it looks like the colors are so patchy - it does not look like that in real life at all. Check out my Mardi Gras EOTD to verify that it's not just ARC, but any eyeshadow, that looks this way in my pictures (ugh, it's annoying, any tips?)

As far as wear is concerned, I did attempt to test that, but did not do well. I just lack a good primer, so anything and everything I put on my lids will crease, fade, and smudge over time. I also tested Marie over NYX Jumbo pencil in Milk, and over bare skin, for 8 hours and found that, as with most shadows, the color pretty much disappeared into the creases. That's the norm for me, with my oily lids, and the main reason I don't wear eyeshadow unless I know it'll only be seen for a few hours at most.

Overall, I really like ARC so far! I think that all of the colors I have seen, both in person and online, look well-blended (no chunks of unblended pigment), and though not all of them are unique shades, they are all gorgeous. Racheal is doing really well with customer service, and she makes everything safely (using sterile equipment, gloves, etc) - full-sized jars even come with shrink-wrapped seals, which not all companies do. The company is still being built, which is part of why it's not officially open yet, but so far I think the business model is sound and the company will become very popular!

Although the official launch will not be until June, Racheal is currently selling the colors she has made, and in stock, so far in order to help finance the launch. You can find more information about it on the ARC Facebook fan page here. As far as I know, samples in baggies are $1 each, 5g jars are $5 each, and there is a permanent sale of 5 full-sized jars for $20. Once the company actually launches, you will be able to buy their items on Etsy.

Personally, though ordering off people's Facebook pages always makes me nervous, I will be buying a full-sized jar of at least a few colors (including Gardens, which I did not get, but the swatches of it look incredible)!

Here are some of the other [p]reviews done so far, including photos of colors I didn't get: Shelby's review and EOTD, mNg's gorgeous haul, Dez with her swatches and custom "Glitter Farts," Christina with some beautiful brights, Mel with stunning swatches, Rebecca with the purples and a yellow, and Anna's swatches and EOTD that are the reason I'm dying to own Gardens.

ETA more swatches!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heads up and mini haul

If you're a cheap chick like me, you probably read Nouveau Cheap's Best Drugstore Sales of the Week and bookmark them for future reference. 
BUT ... sometimes we don't quite "get" how good those sales really are. You could go in expecting decent prices and come out grinning like a fool, like me today! 
Today I went to my local Rite Aid in search of Sinful Colors'Green Ocean, which ironically enough was the ONE item I didn't find. Instead, I found EVERYTHING ELSE I HAVE BEEN SEEKING - and all at the lowest known prices!!! 

The new CoverGirl natureluxe foundation full retail price is $13.99 - and it was 40% off, so it rang up at $8.39. Nail polishes were the reason for my trip, several brands are BOGO50%, which is the deal I got on the Wet n Wild polishes. And I FINALLY found the Coloricon trios I wanted! Three cheers for Rite Aid! They also rang up with a $1 discount on each (no, I didn't get two Silent Treatments for myself, one is for a gift :) - but the biggest bargain was the Revlon Colorburst lipstick. As I mentioned a few days ago, it's a great formula but a bit high in the price for a drugstore brand (retails for $8.99-10.99). But all Revlon lip products were $4.99 on this sale, SCORE! (This, also, is not another one for me, I think three of those lipsticks will be my self-imposed limit. Maybe a gloss, though - they seem to be well pigmented!)

There were no testers out for the foundation, but after reading this review of it, I had really wanted to try it and Rite Aid apparently does take returns on opened products, so I took a chance on it. I grabbed the lightest pink, 335 Alabaster, and I'm very pleased with the color match - at least, on my hand (I haven't tried it on my face quite yet)! There is a faint PlayDoh-esque scent though. Not sure I'll be a fan of that on my face. The formula is like tinted moisturizer, but the finish is like a mousse foundation. Very unique. 
The Wet n Wild trios have been swatched everywhere already, but here are my thoughts. Silent Treatment was my main focus because of the gorgeous taupe, although can you call it taupe if it's a silvery lilac-pink? The only difference between my andTemptalia's swatches would be that the crease color is VERY sheer in mine, comes off more charcoal and is tough to build up. I'm Getting Sunburned is a beautiful combo as well, I'm just jealous of A Brilliant Brunette because my gold shade is all glitter with no apparent base, but in her swatches it's more of a solid shimmery gold. However, I swatched them over set foundation, no primer - that could have something to do with it! 

I got the Goldmine polish because of this NOTD at Polishology, and can't wait to try my hand at duping her amazing leopard-print :) 

And the Teal of Fortune polish was something I grabbed because I remembered seeing it was a dupe of ... something. According toNouveau Cheap it's an OPI Catch Me In Your Net dupe, and if you ask Rachel Marie it's a dupe for Zoya Charla! 

Although I am a very happy shopper today, there were still some new releases I did not see - notably, Green Ocean, the new Wet n Wild Bloom collection, and the specific shade I want from theRevlon scented polish collection. Have you seen these anywhere?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Neon and Neutrals

But this time no lace!

I KNOW citron + gray was just a color trend a few years ago - has it already come back in style?!

images from Saks Fifth Avenue website
1. Diane von Furstenberg 2. Diane von Furstenberg 3. Red Valentino 4. Whit
But it's not just for haute couture - citron and gray items have also been spotted in much more accessible shops:

all images from their respective websites
H&M 2. tOcs (Kohl's) 3. Forever 21 4. Payless
I don't know what to think - except that it's a shame I didn't buy any citron&gray items the first time around! Did you?

Mardi Gras: EOTD & Giveaway!

Happy Fat Tuesday/ Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras/ Ash Wednesday Eve, everyone!

Here's the rather outlandish look I did in honor of Mardi Gras. I could wish the purple was more vibrant, but oh well - I think it looks pretty fun anyway :)

sorry for crazy sloppy eyebrows!

I used Fyrinnae, Meow, and Lady Burd for this look. Details here

Also, Phyrra is doing a 24-hour giveaway with Brazen Cosmetics for Mardi Gras! There are 3 colors (gold, purple, and green of course) up for the prize, so be sure to enter that today :)

Any big plans for celebration?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

MakeupZombie Wendi is having an awesome indie-brand giveaway!

Now's your chance to try out such brands as Hi-Fi, Brazen, and Darling Girl!

Wendi over at Makeup Zombie is doing a 500 Followers Giveaway packed full of fantastic indie finds, as well as some of her favorite drugstore-brand nail polishes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quick reminder to CVS/pharmacy shoppers

... always, ALWAYS scan your card BEFORE you head to checkout!!!
Yesterday I was after two things: the Wet n Wild Coloricon Trio in Silent Treatment, and a Revlon Colorburst lipstick (LOVE the formula) in Soft Rose, a NARS dupe.
Well, for whatever reason, I cannot find the WnW trio at any CVS nearby, but I grabbed the lipstick. Got to my car, looked at the receipt, and groaned! I had $5 in extrabucks and $3 off any Revlon purchase - could have used those, and
gotten that lipstick almost free >.<
But no, I did not turn around, return the lipstick and re-buy it. I decided it was fate telling me to get yet another one :)
Still - ALWAYS scan that card before you buy!
PS: Where oh where can I find this WnW trio?!! Any other stores besides CVS that I should try?
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