Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner is an "innovative, waterproof, lash-hugging gel liner pen that lasts for 24 hours." It retails for $24 and comes with 0.04 oz of product.

I picked up They're Real Push-Up Liner when it first came out because 1) I love gel liners, and 2) it came in pen form. I love the idea of combining both together! I know this liner has been reviewed plenty of times before, but I wanted to really test it out before giving my two cents.
The packaging is cute as it comes in a plastic container. The gel is clicked up from the bottom. The tip is bendy to make it easier to glide on.
This is what the product looks like coming out. When I took the liner out of the box, it took over 50 clicks to get some of the product out. Now, whenever I use it, I click about 1-2 times prior to using.
On the hand, it is very pigmented and applies thick. Often times the tip needs to be cleaned with a tissue so that it doesn't get clogged and clumpy. 

My experience on the eyes was a different story. I first tried it on at Sephora inside JCP at the Benefit event they had earlier this year (view here). To be honest, it applied like a dream and therefore decided to purchase it. But when I tried it on at home, it didn't glide as seamlessly as it had in store. It tugged at my eyelids and became very clumpy and felt dry. You need to apply pressure while putting it on the top lash line. And forget about doing a cat liner! Its doable, but only after wasting 5 minutes per eye. (I'm not even joking...I wish I was. Usually it takes me 1 minute per eye with a normal liquid or gel liner.) I also noticed that after it had dried down, and I wanted to intensify the black by reapplying, it would wipe away what was previously there.

As far as removal, it will smudge if you rub your eye, but it won't break down just by water or sweat. Just use a normal eye makeup remover and it will come off just fine.

To be fair, it does look pretty on the eye, but its such a hassle to use. I love the concept of the gel liner in pen form, but lets be honest, the formula needs to be improved. Had the liner been a bit more creamier and not as dry/thick, it would be the perfect solution. (For reference, I love the formula of the L'Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner.)

So I say, skip this product, unless it really works out for you. I wish it did, but unfortunately, I'd rather use my liquid liner and my gel liner.
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Friday, September 5, 2014

MAC Melba Powder Blush + Dupe?

Guess who just purchased their first MAC blush? *raises hand* This girl did! Because fall is just around the corner, I had been doing some research on which blushes are best for fall. Obviously, you can wear what you want, but I tend to rotate my collection and like to wear colors more suited for the season. I already have plummy colors that I love and was currently looking for something peachy.

Finally, I found the gorgeous MAC Melba ($22). Although MAC describes it as a matte soft coral-peach, I think its more of a muted slightly-burnt peach shade. Melba is very pigmented and all you need is a little bit on the brush to work up a nice color on your cheeks.

 While doing my research, I saw that NYX Mauve could be a dupe for MAC Melba. However, the pictures I saw didn't have the greatest lighting so it was hard to tell. Since I already had NYX Mauve, I decided to share with you what I thought.
L-R: NYX Mauve, MAC Melba
 In the pan, they look very similar, although Mauve tends to lean more neutral pinkish/brown.
L-R: NYX Mauve, MAC Melba
After the finger swatch, you can see they look nothing alike. Melba is more peach and definitely more pigmented than Mauve.
L-R: NYX Mauve, MAC Melba
Again, Melba is more pigmented and has more of a peach undertone, while Mauve didn't transfer well and leans neutral. Honestly, who wears their blush as swatches on their hands all day? It is more important to know how they look on the cheeks right?

L-R: MAC Melba, NYX Mauve
On my cheeks, they virtually look the same!!! Are my eyes deceiving me? Or can you see a difference?
MAC Melba
I noticed that MAC Melba is a lot smoother and applies flawlessly on my cheeks.
NYX Mauve
NYX Mauve turned out lovely as well, but was a bit more patchy on application.

The verdict? I think these are dupes! Literally, I had to remember which side was which while taking the pictures. They may look nothing alike in the pan and swatches, but on my cheeks, they look the same.  

Obviously I prefer the formula for Melba, but if you want a bargain friendly blush, definitely give NYX Mauve ($5.99) a try. 

After seeing these equally gorgeous shades, which do you/would you prefer?
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

I may be late on the ABH Contour Kit bandwagon, but I have been experimenting with this bad boy for a few months. I think it is good to have a nice kit, whether you use it frequently or not, because it is there for you whenever you may need it.

The palette features six powders, 3 which are highlighters (2 matte, 1 shimmery) and 3 matte contour shades and retails for $40.

I personally don't use it everyday, mostly just when I want definition or on special occasions.
Top - Vanilla, Banana, Sand
Bottom - Java, Fawn, Havana
Direct light
 L-R: Vanilla, Banana, Sand, Java, Fawn, Havana

I enjoy using Vanilla and Banana mixed together under my eyes and on my forehead and chin to highlight the area. My favorite contour shade is Fawn, as it is more neutral toned. Java and Havana are a bit too warm, so I use those lightly as bronzer.
Indirect light
Now on Anastasia's website, you can customize your own palette! There are 21 different powders that retail for $14 each, but if you purchase 6 it becomes $40. 
I love how my face looks sculpted! Unfortunately, Vanilla and Banana don't really "highlight" my face since they are an exact match for my fair/light skin. I really do wish Anastasia would make lighter shades that would show the highlight more prevalently like it does for medium skin tones. Sand is a gorgeous shimmery (not glittery) highlighter. It gives your skin a healthy subtle glow, not a crazy disco ball party.

Pros: Like I mentioned before, this is a great kit to have regardless if you use it often or not. The shades are gorgeous, the pigmentation of the powders are great, and the shades compliment a wide range of skin colors. Now, you can even build your own palette on Anastasia's website by choosing six shades that will compliment you best!
Cons: Unfortunately, it is quite expensive and sometimes can only be found on Anastasia's website. Also, it tends to be out of stock often. Finally, the "lightest" shades don't really highlight fair skin tones as well as it does for medium skin tones.
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Mani Monday | Red Carpet Manicure Plum Up the Volume

Red Carpet Manicure Plum Up the Volume
Happy Labor Day! I know I'm a bit late but I've been busy all day. 
If I can be honest with you, I haven't done my nails in a very long time. Maybe a month ago I did a gel french manicure, but I took it off after two weeks. I have been giving my nails time to breathe.

Today, I did my manicure with the Red Carpet Manicure color Plum Up the Volume. It still has a summery vibe, but gently welcomes the fall season. So of course, I figured it would be perfect to wear it for a bit!

Update on my life:
- School has started once again! I'm in my senior year (4th year) of university and still a bio major =)
- I have a new job, so I'm getting accustomed to the schedule and will continue posting blogs and making YouTube videos once I find time again.
- Currently debating what I want to do post college. I have two separate careers I am thinking of (pharmacy school or teaching science, I know...two extremes)

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