Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mini ELF Review!

Hey guys, the other day I went to Target and I picked up a couple items from ELF cosmetics. So I thought I'd do a little review for you!

First we have the ELF flat topped Powder Brush. This is a second of these brushes I've purchased, and my previous one lasted a while before it met it's demise. (Wet paint) This brush is advertised as a powder brush, but I actually love this for blending in cream and liquid foundations. I generally put a bit of foundation on my face, and then use this to buff it in to the skin. It gives a great finish, and gives you a lot of control with the product. This has been my preferred foundation application technique for awhile, and definitely recommend you give it a shot.

Sorry, other brush is dirty. XD

Next we have the small stippling brush. I already have the regular size stippling brush from ELF, and while it's good for applying cream brush lightly, it's not my favorite. The regular stippling brush is very loose and sort of flimsy, so I was pleased to see that the small stippling brush is much denser. I love using this for cream highlighter, its the perfect size for on top of your cheek bones.

And finally we have ELF Studio Makeup Remover Wipes. I hadn't tried these before, but I thought for three dollars, it was worth a shot. These did not disappoint. They take off makeup effectively (including eye makeup), don't dry out the skin, and don't have an annoying scent. I don't believe in spending good money on makeup wipes, so these were a good find.

Have you guys tried any of ELF's products? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: MAC Heroine + Ravishing Lipsticks

I'm sure you all understand how sometimes when shopping for makeup you go looking for one particular thing, and then wind up with something totally random as well? Well this happened to me the other day. I went into the MAC store to find a nice peach lipstick, because weirdly I didn't have any true peach shades. And then I saw it, a fantastic shade me eyes had never seen. Her name was Heroine; she was bright and purple, and I fell in love. I also tend to get dramatic when it comes to pretty makeup. But long story short I have two lipsticks from MAC and I though I'd do a quick review for y'all.

 Let's start with Ravishing, because that was what I came for in the first place. MAC describes Ravishing as a "clean bright peachy coral". I would call it a clean bright orangey-peach. I actually specifically bought this one because it doesn't really stray into the coral family which I have tones of.  It's a creamsheen formula, with is smooth, creamy, and slightly glossy on the lips. I personally find this formula a bit drying, but not enough so to be that big of a problem. I do recommend a bit of lip balm underneath however. It lasts about 2 hours on me before it needs a touch up on me, but I personally don't mind this. creamsheens just aren't the longest lasting finish from MAC.

Alright now the stowaway, Heroine. I'm in love with lipstick for a bunch of reasons, but let's start with the color. Heroine is a bright mid-tone warm purple. I really like that although it's a very warm purple, it doesn't turn pink once applied. It definitely still reads purple on the lips. It's a very bold color in the best way possible, and find that it brightens my whole face. Heroine is a supposedly a matte finish lipstick, but I'm not completely sure why. It has no shimmer sure, but the finish isn't that classic dry finish that matte lipsticks generally have. Particularly MAC matte lipsticks, which are notorious for being dry on the lips. I found this lipstick very comfortable to wear while having being very long lasting. This does stain a bit, but I doesn't bother me. This isn't a shade for the color shy, but I absolutely adore it and am super happy MAC made this permanent. (Also radiant orchid bonus points!)

What do you think, would you rock either of these shades? Let me know down below.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Lit Cosmetics Rich and Famous Glitter + Glitter Base

Hey guys! Today I have a for you of Lit Cosmetics. Lit Cosmetics is renowned for their glitters and 'Clearly Liquid Glitter Base'. Unfortunately until recently I haven't tried them because the shipping costs were a bit steep. Also I didn't want to commit to a large bottle of the glitter base before I tried it. Sephora stepped in as my savior, as usual. They've started to offer little kits with a full sized glitter, and a mini (0.14 oz) bottle of the glitter base. Praise the Sephora Gods! I purchased the kit with Rich and Famous glitter. It's prettttyyyyyy great.

Unfortunately, one of the (few) downsides of glitter is that it's terribly hard to photograph! So you really aren't getting the full glitter magic that is this product. But let's start by talking about the glitter itself. It's a deep gold color with a rainbow holographic reflect. It's like I've died and gone to heaven! The color is stunning and translates really well to the eyes. This glitter is in size 2, which it the line's most common size. It's not huge, but it's large enough to give a really strong glitter effect.

Alright now on the glitter base. The bottle you get in this kit is super small (and adorable) but it doesn't phase me. A little goes a long way with with stuff, and I think this'll last me quite awhile. It's a clear, thin, tacky liquid that once dry is completely undiscrenable from your eyeshadow or skin. 

I apply the glitter by shaking a drop or so out of the bottle on to a palette (or whatever is available) then wetting my brush and dipping it in to the glitter. Then you sort of just smooth it over the lid, repeating when you run out of product. 

I have to say I'm very impressed with this product. I've tried it with other brands of glitter as well and had the same positive result. While a small amount of fallout is nearly unavoidable, the Clearly Liquid Glitter Base really eases the application of glitter, keeps a strong hold throughout the day, and helps even the texture of the glitter.

I'm thoroughly enjoying these products. I will be buying more shades of Lit Cosmetics glitter, and will repurchase the glitter base once I run out!

$19.99 USD at Sephora stores or website.

Do you love glitter? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Favorite products of 2013!

Hey guys! How're you today? It's -20 degrees F here, which I'm not happy about but I'm staying warm inside blogging! November and December were definitely blogging fails for me, and this year I really want to start off strong even though January is a very busy month for me. I know a lot of people had these posts/ videos done before the new year but whatever, it's not too late. Anyway I chose the fourteen products that I either discovered, or really used a lot in 2013. I tried to only use currently available products for this, but a couple snuck in.

1.) Red Cherry Lashes. I discovered this brand in early fall of last year and oooohhh myyyy goodness. This brand has made me completely spoiled for other eyelash brands. Even Ardell lashes, which I've always enjoyed, now seem uncomfortable. What really really makes these special is that the band is so thin and flexible. This makes them easy to apply and comfortable to where throughout the day. Super happy I discovered these!

2.) The Burning Heart Palette from Sugarpill Cosmetics. I did a look and review of this palette here, back in March and my love for it is still going strong. It has four large pans of bright matte shadows with incredible pigmentation. I'm a huge Sugarpill fan, and hope to someday have all of their palettes. If you like bright colors, these will be a must have for you.

3.) The Urban Decay Vice 2 Palette. I adore this palette. At $59 USD this palette is a bit expensive but the shadows come to be under $3 each, so I think the price is quite reasonable. The colors are richly pigmented and come in a variety of shades and textures. And can we just talk about the packaging for a second? Because it's phenomenal! The outside is a beautiful purple watercolor with a large jeweled UD, it has an automatic open to reveal a large mirror (that stays up) and the twenty well organized eyeshadows. This is still currently available on UD's website, but its LE so hop to it if you're interested!

4.) Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce Ultra-Firm Finishing Hairspray. I received a small bottle of this hairspray from a friend, and fell in love. I bought a full size bottle of this from Ulta soon afterward. (It's a little pricey, so wait for Ulta to have a sale on it.) This hairspray has everything: a strong firm hold that locks in your style, no 80's over sprayed look, and it smells nice. (I hate that classic hairspray smell.) But my favorite part is that this sprayed lightly over curls this gives a great touchable hold while keeping my hair's curl all day. Definitely a new HG product for me.

5.) Boot's Expert Anti-Blemish Cleansing Foam. I mentioned this in my skincare post, and still enjoy it a lot. I tend to switch up my cleansers a lot, but I used this one for almost the whole of 2013. I used this product with my Clarisonic Mia and found this very effective in keeping my acne in check. I love that it works very well, with out being harsh at all. It's very gentle on the skin, and fragrance free. So if you have sensitive acne prone skin this might be perfect! Also I used this nearly every day for a year and only went one bottle. I repurchased about a month ago, so a bottle will last you awhile!

6.) NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny. This bronzer is fantastic, especially for the price. It's matte and the color isn't too dark so it's good for light to medium skin tones. The best part of this though is how affordable it is though, you can get it for only $2.99 USD at drugstores. This was a great find, and I've definitely used a lot! I recently hit pan.

7.) The Wet n Wild 8 pan palette in Comfort Zone. I review this awhile ago here, and it's one of my favorite palettes. It comes with 4 neutral shades and four more colorful shades. They're all very buttery and pigmented. I like all the shades, but the medium pink color (left side second down) and the light shimmery grey shade (right side first shade) are my favorites. It also should be mentioned that the last shade on the right side is very good dupe for MAC's Blue Brown pigment. This product is also a fantastic value, at only $5 USD. (That's ridiculous.)

8.) Coola Rose Essence Tinted Moisturizer. I was lucky enough to receive a bottle (tube?) of this fantastic tinted moisturizer from Coola. I really like it for a few reasons. It's very lightweight, contains spf, and best of all the sheer yellow tint is great for covering redness. Definitely wore it a ton this year, especially this summer.

9.) Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Shimmering Highlighter. *sobs* Alright so I bought this product early this year and it quickly became one of my favorite highlighters, I wore almost everyday this summer. Fortunately I have plenty left, because it appears that this delightful product is no longer available. I despise when this happens. I don't like adding unavailable products to these lists, but this one had to be here because I love it so much.

10.) Sigma Eyeshadow Brushes. This was a great discovery! I was really excited when a Sigma store opened fairly close to me. I'd always wanted to try Sigma's brushes, but their shipping costs deterred me. When I went to their store for a meet up with Leesha from Xsparkage I got four eyeshadow brushes and am very pleased with them. Particularly the Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush. It's really changed the way I do my eye makeup.

11.) Lime Crime Velvetine in Suedeberry. If I had to pick my favorite lip product of this year, this would be it. It has a super unique formula that applies like a gloss, and then dries to a matte finish. It currently comes in three shades. The shade I have, Suedeberry, is a light warm red, and is quite bright. Another thing that should be mentioned is that it lasts perfectly, for a loooonnnggg time 6 hours easy. Very impressed.

12.) Lush Ro's Argan. Oh Ro's Argan, I love you so. If you've been following my blog you'll know that I'm a big lush fan in general, but I'm particularly sweet on this product. It's an in shower body conditioner that leaves your skin super smooth and conditioned, without feeling oily. But the best part is the smell. Lush does rose brilliantly, and they've really outdone themselves with this one. It has the yummiest rose/lemon/spice scent that lingers nicely on the skin. It's a truly luxurious product.

13.) Tarte Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride. I received this as a generous gift from my aunt on an outing to Sephora. I've been enthralled ever since. The sheer plum color is super flattering, and perfect for the colder months. I'm sure this is just the beginning of my friendship with this product too, because these tubes last forever, I haven't even had to push up any more product yet.

14.) Nyx Taupe Blush. After months (possibly years) of hearing Nikki of Nikkitutorials talk about Nyx blush in Taupe, I had to try it out. She, as usual, was completely right. This grey/taupe powder makes an amazing contour. It's a versatile product that with a light hand looks very natural, and with a heavier hand can make for some crazy high fashion contouring! Thank you Nyx for making such affordable artist grade products.

What were your favorite products for 2013? Tell me in the comments, I'd love to know!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NYX Lip Pencils

Hey guys, sorry I've been so MIA lately. In fact the whole month of November's gone by without a peep from my end. I suck, sorry. But anyway, back today with a review and swatches of some of NYX's slim lip pencils. I love NYX they're such a great affordable brand, these lip liners are under $4 USD. Before I start this review I have a confession: of my numerous lip products I hardly have any lip liners. Previously I only really used lipliners for a red lip. But I've been meaning to expand my collection, and here we are.

I got four colors, two light shades and two deep. I chose Nude Pink, Peek a Boo Natural, Plum, and Prune. Sorry for the photo quality btw, getting good pictures of my lips is really hard. As for the formula, these meet most of my criteria. These are soft but not slippery, the color payoff is great, and they definitely help lipstick to stay in place. However unlike my MAC lip pencils these will not last through a meal, which might be a problem for some people. For me... it's not a huge deal. Anyway let's move on to the colors!

L: Bare Lips R: Nude Pink. I think this is a super wareable shade on many skin tones. Its a slightly warm light pink. It has enough color to not have that 'dead' nude lip look while staying neutral and light. This is about half a shade lighter than my natural lip color. I definitely see myself reaching for this color when I'm doing a darker eye look.

L: Bare Lips R: Peek a Boo Natural. This shade is darker than Nude pink. This one is about half a shade darker then my natural lip. It leans a little brown, I think it wouldn't be the most flattering shade on cooler complexions. On me it's a good MLBB type shade, and is quite similar to one of my favorite neutral lipsticks MAC Mocha.

L: Bare Lips R: Plum. Now we're getting deeper! This is more a plum/berry in my opinion. It's pretty balanced between red a purple tones. I think is sort of classic deep berry that's great for winter, must have for me.
L: Bare Lips R: Prune. Prune is the darkest shade in this bunch. NYX describes it as a violet-plum, which I find pretty accurate. It's definitely purple and not a berry. It's quite cool toned, but has enough red in it to make it still very wearable. I'm in lurveeee with this shade, it's delightfully vampy without pulling too goth or vampy on me. I've been pairing it with Illamasqua Hermetic Intense lipgloss (a dark bronze burgundy) and it's stunning. The perfect dark statement lip.

I'm really enjoying all of these, NYX has done it again! You can get these online or at Ulta for $3.50USD

What do you think? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @SpiceDropBlog!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Series: Vampire

Hey there! I'm back today with another Halloween look for you guys, and this one is an old standby. Sort of a straight up vampire look that would suit a lot of different vampire costumes. Now I'm well aware that there are looks of different kinds of vampires. This look is a take on the aristocratic/gothic sexy vampire, that's been popularized from Stoker to Rice over the years. I'm a little surprised I haven't done one yet! A little note about the eye makeup: I'm using a lot of red in this look, which I think compliments the overall aesthetic.  It's Halloween, and I thoroughly encourage stepping out of you comfort zone! That being said, I know a lot of people shy about from red on the eyes. I can understand this, and think that you could sub some warm plum tones instead if you really want to.

So for this look I started with the eyes, which is crucial for when you're blending dark colors. I started out with a eyeshadow primer all over the eye and brow bone. Then I took a matte true red on a flat brush and really pack it on the lid, you want it a bright as possible. With the same color on a fluffy brush, you want to softly blend around the eye socket. this will make a really pretty transition for the black. In the outer corner of my eye I took a little bit of a burgundy shade a packed that on, for even more of a transition.

Then with a tapered crease brush I took a matte black eye shadow I started to blend upwards and out into a dramatic V. Then back down again into the socket. Then I went around the socket again with the red on the fluffy brush. Then back with the black, you want to keep this up until the blending and intensity is where you want it. With a smaller brush a took the black eye shadow under my eye a bit and blended it in. Then I blended out the edge with a matte white on a fluffy brush. I also took a bit of the white and put it in my inner corner.

Moving right along, I lined my upper and lower waterline with a black pencil liner. Then with a black gel liner on an angled brush I made a medium thick line across my eye, it went out a little the the end but it's not super winged out. You don't want too much just enough of a line to blend in the lashes. If you aren't wearing falsies, you might want more liner. Then I added a light coat of waterproof mascara on my top and bottom lashes. Then I added a pair a very defined lashes that taper out into the corner. Just use what you have, or what ever will compliment your costume.

Moving on to the face! I started by wiping away the fallout with a makeup wipe, this is super important. After that you can start on the foundation. If you're fair to medium skinned you can use a white face paint if you like. (I don't know if I'd recommend it for darker skin tones.) For me I'm fair enough (P.s the lightening always makes me about 2 shades paler) that I didn't think it was necessary. So I applied a foundation normally, and applied concealer under my eyes and over any blemishes. (Vampires don't get acne. XD) And then I used the same matte white from before on a bigger brush and used that as a highlight. I blended that into the high planes of my face, which add dimension as well as lightening my face up a bit more. I used a taupe shade to contour a little, I probably should have used more. Finally I topped it off with the teensiest amount of a red blusher. You have just feasted after all!

Alright for the lips I applied a medium blue toned red lipstick. Then comes the best part: the fake blood! So with a blood paste I sort of dabbed it around my mouth messily, there is really no rhyme or reason for blood application. Then I mixed some of my blood paste with water to make it runny, this is unnecessary if you're using blood gel or squirt blood. Then I put it to the corner of my mouth and just let it drip down.

Products Used:
Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Sugarpill Love+ Eyes Shadow, Sleek Burgundy (Sunset Palette), Urban Decay Blackout Eye Shadow, Sugarpill Tako Eyeshadow, Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Pencil in Perversion, MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, Maybelline Full n' Soft Mascara, Red Cherry Lashes in #68.

Face: Rimmel Long Lasting Foundation in 100 Ivory, Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light, Sugarpill Tako Eyeshadow, Nyx Taupe Blush, Milani Red Vino Blush.

Lips: Nyx Snow White Lipstick.

Blood: Graftobian Blood Paste.

Hope you all liked my vampire look! What are you going as for this Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween Series: Super Quick & Easy Scar!

Want a super fast DIY Halloween costume? Give yourself a badass scar with your new best friend: Rigid Collodion aka scarring liquid. It's a a clear liquid that causes the skin around it to tense, creating a 3d scar like dent. A few things I should mention first though, this product can be dangerous if misused. Do not put this directly on your eye area, the skin there is far to delicate and if it got in your eye, it could probably blind you. Also, don't use this a bunch of times in the same spot, that could potentially actually scar you. But it's very easy to use, so no worries! :D I got mine at a local makeup supply store, but a Halloween or costume store is also likely to have this.

For this look you need two things, Rigid Collodion (duh), and a pink or red lip pencil. With your pencil lightly trace where you want the scar. (Make sure to use a very light hand if you're using red like I did.) I also recommend smoothing it out with your fingertip a little bit. Next apply your first layer of the scarring liquid. Blowing on it will make it go faster, you only need about 45 seconds between each layer. Squishing the skin around it in will help it scrunch more. You will need about ten coats for full effect but you can really start to see it after three. Afterward you can leave it as is, or color it if you choose. You can't see how deep it looks in these photos, in real life it looks really deep.

Products Used:
Scar: MAC Cherry Lip Pencil, Mehron Rigid Collodion.

Hope you guys liked this, still want more? Check out the rest of my Halloween looks!