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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Face Atelier Pt.1 *300th Post!*

As you probably saw in the title this is my 300th blog post! I was kind of hoping that this could be my giveaway post, but I don' have the space/time to get everything spread out and photographed right now. Hopefully it will be ready in a few days. This is however a review of a few of the samples that Face Atelier sent me to review. I decided to break them up since it would be a very long post otherwise. Today I'll be focusing on the foundations, concealer, highlighter and powder.

From left to right: Ultra Foundation in shade #2 Ivory and #3 Wheat, Camouflage Duet Concealer shade light, Ultra Sheer Peach, and Ultra Translucent Powder in Translucent

"At FACE atelier, you are your beauty icon. We believe that being beautiful is all about being the best that you can be. FACE atelier refuses to present an image of how we think a woman should look. Instead, we strive to provide you with sophisticated and versatile makeup that helps you look and feel beautiful. FACE atelier is makeup that simply works. And works simply." - Face Atelier

Shades #2 Ivory and #3 Wheat

The product I was most excited about trying was the Ultra Foundation. I had read a few partial reviews, but not quite enough to warrant spending the $45 on it. I must say that after testing it out I am sold. This is a silicone based formula and is said to "float on top of the skin, doesn't crease or flake, and lasts all day long." I have to agree. I have a tendency to have dry skin, and some foundations seem to just make it look worse, but this foundation applied smoothly and easily with minimal product used. I've been using these samples for a week or so and I still have a good amount left. It blends easily and leaves skin with a fresh natural finish. Acording to the Face Atelier website it's also the choice foundation of Fergie and Lady Gaga. Huh.

I am usually the second lightest shade in most foundations (NC20 from MAC... except the Longwear, it seems quite yellow...) but Face Atelier recommended selecting two foundation shades to find your perfect match. I selected #2 and #3 and found that they both work pretty much perfectly for me. Shade #3 is just a touch warmer than #2.

Ultra Foundation shades #2 and #3, Camouflage Duet Concealer shade light, Ultra Sheer Peach, and Ultra Translucent Powder in Translucent

The other items I've been using are:
Camofluage Duet Concealer shade Light: When you purchase this you get two shades; a golden shade to neutralize purple and red, and a neutral shade for brown and blue undertones. I was only sent one shade, but I would say that it is the golden shade of the light duo. Compared to the other samples it seemed like I received a lot less of the concealer, but you don't need much to achieve a flawless cover. For the first few days I used the bit of it that was up under the sample pot's lid, there wasn't much there, but it went really far. I really love this concealer! It covers under eye discoloration remarkably well, and while it creased a bit, it is most defiantly something I'll consider purchasing.

Ultra Sheer Peach: Highlighters are something I've only just started to play around with, but the glowy peach shaded of this one was just too inciting to pass up. This is a liquid highlight (on the runny side) but it truly is gorgeous. I dab a little bit along the top of my cheek bones for a sheer glow. I like how refined this is, nothing boldly shouting "hey! look at my sheen" just a touch of warmth. Honesly, I probably wouldn't purchase this at $45 for 30ml or Pro Size $32 for 20ml (sleeker tube to fit in artist's kits) but it is beautiful and a bottle would last you forever.

Ultra Loose Powder in Translucent: This powder is pretty much perfect. It is finely milled, super smooth and pretty much disappears once on. It sets foundation without leaving me powdery or dry looking and feels very natural to the touch as well. I don't usually get very oily or shiny throughout the day, so I can't say how well it keeps oiliness at bay, but I did find that it looked great all day and did prevent my foundation from shifting or wearing away.

Overall, I love the quality of all the Face Atelier Products I've tried. Stay tuned for part 2, which will include Facade Cheek and Lip Colour, and Lip Glaze.

Have you tried any Face Atelier products? What did you think?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

International Swap!

Don't judge this one... I didn't have the big flash on!

Hello again, my blog reading pals. I would love to say that my house is all back to normal and there aren't random piles of stuff everywhere (literally everywhere.. I stacked stuff up under the kitchen table, just have a "spot" to put it) but it seems like it will still be a while before life gets back to normal. You don't realize how much you have until you have to move it all.

a little bit "arty"... not from the swap however, swatches soon!

Anyhow, I couldn't go without posting any longer. I missed you guys! And, Christmas came extra early for me... I got a new camera! My mom sent me loosed to get one as my little Sony Cyber Shot has been giving me grief lately. I intended to get a Cannon Rebel XS, which was on sale, but I ended up with a FujiFilm Fine Pix HS 20. I was hesitant to get it on the spot, since I'd researched the Cannon, but I am very happy with my Fuji. I'm still learning all the neat things I can do (hello super macro, where have you been all my life?!) I am so excited about what I'll be able to do now. I'm not sure what these are going to look like, as they were super huge. I might have to change some settings around to get the best outcome. But, this is supposed to be about a swap, so onto the goods!

MUA shade 7, MUA shade 11, Natural Collection Rose Petal

I recently did a swap with Adrienne of The Sunday Girl (be sure to check her out!) and I am so excited about everything she sent! Above are the lipsticks she sent:
  • MUA (Makeup Academy) Lipstick in shade 7
  • MUA Lipstick in shade 11
  • Boots Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in Rose Petal

I also got some really great nail polishes, and a sample of Benefit's B Spot perfume (I didn't know which category to include this with, so it went with nails...) I'm really excited to get to swatch these as they all are just that bit different from anything in my collection.
From left to right:
  • MUA Nail Polish in shade 13
  • Technic Nail Varnish in Turkish Sea
  • Accessorize Nail Polish in Purple Dream
  • Technic Pretty Pastels Moonlit Jade

Vaseline Rosy Lips, Sleek Powder Pink, Rimmel Seduce

Onto the glosses! Adrienne is not a gloss fan, have you ever shopped for a non gloss wearer? I had to remind myself quite a few times to step away from the gloss. I always go for gloss, so it was a hard to resist. She sent me some awesome items:
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips with Rose and Almond Oil
  • Sleek Pout Polish in Powder Pink
  • Rimmel Volume Booster in Seduce
I am so in love with three products! I've never used Vaseline, but it is such an amazing balm and it has just a hint of a pink tint. Perfect for on the go. Sleek Pout Polish was the one item I requested and I love the shade Adrienne selected for me. It is really pigmented, glossy, moisturizing... all around great. The Rimmel gloss is an unexpected hit as well. I usually don't got for plumping formulas, but this on is great for wear and the colour is perfect. I like that it isn't a stingy plumper and that the forumula isn't too thick or sticky.

Next up, the eyeshadows. From left to right are:
  • Beauty UK Eyeshadow and Liner Collection #2
  • Rimmel Glam'Eyes in Spicy Bronze
  • Rimmel Glam'Eyes in Royal Gold
  • Rimmel Stir it Up Eyeshadow in No Way!
I did a little swatch on the Beauty UK shadows... they are so soft and buttery. I'm very excited use them. The shades are really beautiful and more complex than they look in the pan.
The Rimmel Stir it Up shadow is really interesting as well; up close it looks like asphalt, but swatches super smooth. You'll have to wait to see more.

And, last but not least, the blushes- and a high lighter. From left to right:
  • Collection 2000 Shimmer & Shade in #3 Just Peachy
  • Boots Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Peach Melba
  • MUA Blusher in Shade 3
  • Boots Natural Collection Cream Blusher in Apricot
Needless to say, all my new products have really made my makeup routine more interesting lately. It's almost like I have too many choices. I know, not possible, but it has been fun trying everything out. I'll have reviews on items as I get to know them all.

Have you swapped lately? Find any new faves?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Under Construction


Not the blog, but I will have to take an itty bitty hiatus. We've had a contractor and a crew working away on our house for a week or so now, but they've finally gotten to my bedroom. Ugh... stuff is all over the house. I hate not having things where they are meant to be. So annoying.

On top of that I'm running on a busted "r" button. My cat had a little bit of fun on my keyboard and made the "r" come off. I got it back on, but now it is so tight that it is hard to type normally. I'll have to stop into the computer shop to see if they can give it a proper repair. There are just too many words with "r" in them to carry on like this.

Hope to be blogging again soon... I've got some really glowingly gorgeous Butter London polishes to share, my giveaway items have finally all come in as well, and I have some international swap goods to show off.

See you soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rewiew: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick

*Note: thanks to blogger this is my second go at this, please forgive me if I'm not as detailed. I don't care to have to write things twice...*

I am not a huge fan of lipstick. Sure I have them, and wear them, but most of the time I have to add gloss too. I just miss the sheen of gloss. I try to go bare, I apply it, go about my business getting ready, but at the last second before I leave the house, there I am glossing up.

Needless to say I was quite intrigued when I first hear about MAC's Sheen Supreme Lipstick, which I keep wanting to call Supreme Sheen.. oh well. I made sure to get these the first day they were available online to ensure I had a full selection of shades, but I didn't. Not all of the shades were online. I just checked, and now they have double the choices as opposed to when I ordered. Seems a bit odd, no?

Royal Azalea and Bare Again

"Combining the colour impact of a Lipstick with the shine sheen of a Lipglass, Sheen Supreme creates the perfect hybrid - with no compromise. Lightweight, non-sticky, slick to apply and comfortable to wear. This is a must-have for all those who have craved this kind of fusion."

Royal Azalea is a bright mid tone pink. Actually the colour is pretty similar to MAC's Kissable Lipcolour in Enchantee. Anyhow, I would say that this shade could be tricky to wear for those with really pigmented lips. When I took my photo I had just exfoliated my lips so they were more pigmented than normal and I found the shade looked a bit harsher compared to when I applied it any other time. I also found that this shade needed to be rubbed in a bit, as it seemed to hover on my lip (if that makes any sense..) Overall though a nice pop of colour that is quite wearable.

Bare Again is a pinky neutral beige and is a very perfect nude in my opinion. It is neither too pale or too brown. This shade applied like a dream in a simple sweep; as simple as a balm.

Both shades had a good amount of shine, but Bare Again did have a bit more. They are both quite smooth and wear well. I got about 3-4 hours wear, which was surprising, but a great surprise. I can see Bare Again being a fave of mine for quite some time, and I'd defiantly consider picking up a few more shades. Overall, these are an excellent alternative for the non-lipstick lover; the lipstick-tolerater if you will.

Have you tried these lipsticks? What did you think?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August Glymm Box

You probably know this, but I love subscription services! The newest one to hit the scene is the Glymm Box. I missed signing up for the first one (by one day! urg) so the one I got is their second go 'round.

Glymm Box is essentially the same as Birch Box, meaning that you pay $10 and get credits towards purchasing the full size item from them. Much the same as Luxe Box as well, except that at the moment you cannot purchase full size items from Luxe Box.

Since I'm on the topic I might as well go over the main differences I've noticed between Glymm Box and and Luxe Box:

Glymm Box
  • $10
  • recurring payment (meaning you don't have to pay for your subscription all at once)
  • larger/cuter "treat" (you'll see what I mean later)
  • credit system
  • more packaging used to ship

Luxe Box
  • $12
  • full size item in each box when you subscribe for 3 months or more at a time
  • personalized message in each shipment
  • pay for subscription in full
  • padded box
Onto the goods...

As you can see, Glymm Boxes are sent in little pink boxes adorned with the Glymm logo. When you open it up you are greeted by a little message with your menu on the back. This month I received:
  • My Face Works Detox Mask
  • Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss in Infinite
  • Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer
  • OPI mini Nail Polish (what shade??)
  • and a sweet treat; tangerine Jelly Belly jelly beans

So cute! and if you are wondering, the labels come off easy so the canister can be reused.

Annoyingly, the OPI minis do not have a name on them. Anyone know what colour this is? It's a pale gray shade with a bit of fine shimmer. I quite like it. I thought that I knew what colour it was, but I realized I was thinking of a China Glaze polish.

Overall, I like the Glymm box, even though I already have the lip gloss (this one will be added to my giveaway.. coming soon!) and multiples of the primer (into the giveaway as well.) The fact that there is no full size product is a bit of a bummer though. I think I'll continue to subscribe for a while and see how the variety compares to Luxe Box.

Which subscription service do you like best?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Body Shop and Sephora Haul

I've had a bad case of the shoppies lately. What do you mean you don't know what the shoppies are? You've had them, the need to shop compulsion that comes from pretty much nowhere. I have recovered from my affliction, thankfully, but the results are still rolling in.

My body shop order arrived last night. I made good use of the buy 3 get 2 free event.
I picked up:
  • White Musk Oil (large bottle) not shown
  • Vitamin C Skin Boost
  • Vitamin C Energizing Face Mist
  • Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish
  • Coconut Body Scrub

Next up are my Sephora goodies. My main reason for ordering was to get the Tokidoki mints. I rarely ever chew gum, but I always have mints in my purse, and almost always have loose mints that have managed to escape their mint homes floating around too.

The little Tokidoki tins have tight clasps and mirrors inside, and are refillable. I got the Sandy and Moofia Peppermints, one for me, one for my mom, since I know she'll want one when she sees mine.

I also got the Smashbox Softbox Lipgloss Collection. I have a mini of Illume and really love it, but the full size are like $22 each, so this deluxe mini set at $30 was a great way to get a selection of shades.

One of the special deals the day I ordered was the Benefit One Prime Day Kit. I wanted to try the Pore Professional and That Gal so it was a no brainer. I wish that they'd quit sticking their eye primer in everything though, it is just okay and I already have a few of these minis kicking around. Oh well.

Of course, a Sephora order has to have a few samples. I got Ole Henriksen Truth Revealed Super Cream, Chloe Love perfume sample (smells a bit like the limited version of Hot Couture, very nice), Clean Cotton T-Shirt perfume sample, and a deluxe sample of Urban Decay Lip Junkie Gloss in Midnight Cowboy.

Hauled any goodies lately?

Julep Maven

As you might know by now, I think sample subscription services are pretty neat, so of course I jumped at the chance when I heard about the Julep Maven* service.

For the monthly fee of $19.99 you are sent two full size Julep nail polishes (a value of $28) and other selected treatments such as nail treatments, moisturizers and other goodies giving you a total value of at least $40. The items you receive in your first box are specially chosen for you, and are determined by a fun little quiz you take when you sign up. You can be classed as an American Beauty, Classic with a Twist, Boho Glam, It Girl, or Bombshell. After the first box, you get to preview what your selections are and can request a different selection if you don't like what was chosen for you.

Now, I know what you are probably thinking... $20 sounds like a lot. Well have I got a deal for you! Sign up now and you can get your introductory box for $4.99 (no stings attached.) Pretty awesome right? Go here and use code smh9oxu.

Want to sign up, but think every month might not be for you? As a member you have the choice of skipping a month, or sending it to a friend, or ending your subscription all together. You just have to let them know by the 25th of each month. They thought of every thing.

I received my Maven box pretty quickly after I signed up and was greeted to a sleek black box. When I opened it there was a nice letter from the CEO/Founder (I was one of the first 100 people to sign up), a sheet with FAQ type info, and a menu card explaining what I received. Under that was a black Julep paper bad filled with the goods.

My selection included:
  • Alfre polish (new, unreleased fall shade) - a dusty, metallic lavender ($14)
  • Cameron polish- a bright pink cream ($14)
  • Julep Base Coat ($14)
  • "Facial for Hands" Glycolic Hand Scrub ($32)
  • Samples
$74 of product for $4.99. Pretty amazing! I haven't gotten a chance to try the polish yet, but of course I'll have swatches and a review up soon. Annd, I almost forgot, once you sign up you also receive a custom discount code giving you 20% off any future Julep purchases you make from their website. Not too shabby at all.

Would you sign up for the Julep Maven program?
*indicates referral link

August Luxe Box

It's that time again, Luxe Box time! For those who aren't up on what that means check this out to see my previous Luxe Box posts.

As always, when I opened the box I was greeted to my little message card and menu of the items included. I was really excited to see what would be in this month's box, as I've also subscribed to Glymm Box and I'm interested to see how they compare. I've received my Glymm box, so I'll have a overview and comparison post up soon.

This month's goodies are pretty great. I got:
  • Sheyna handmade earrings (bonus item)
  • Proclaim Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion
  • City Lips Lip Plumping treatment
  • Cheeky Monkey Nail Polish in Get Wet
  • Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria Fragrance (mini roller ball)

A preview of Cheeky Monkey "Get Wet" polish and an earring close up. I'll have a full polish review and colour comparison post up soon. Overall, I'd say that this month's selection was pretty great. The Cheeky Monkey polish is full size and retails for $15.

Do you receive any sort of sample subscription service? Have you gotten any amazing items?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass

When the Bloggers' Obsession collection came out I didn't think there was anything that I couldn't live without, so I didn't get anything. But... the more I kept seeing Evolution Revolution, especially on Karen's blog Makeup an Beauty Blog, the more I wanted it.

I'm pretty sure everyone is well aware of the Bloggers' Obsession collection, but if you aren't MAC invited nine bloggers to create their own shades. The collection consists of five lipglasses and four eyeshadows. Evolution Revolution was created by the aforementioned Karen. To see all the behind the scenes info check it out here.

Now, I know some say the formula of MAC's lipglass are too sticky, but they are made for pairing with lipstick. They go together like... peanut butter and jelly! The stickiness acts like superglue and keeps lipstick on for hours.

Evolution Revolution is a sheer peachy pink shade with iridescent shimmer. Great on its own and the perfect pair for almost any colour lipstick. I like how it gives nudes a little pop of something special.

Did you pick up anything from the Bloggers' Obsession collection?

MAC Haul

A little brown box full of little black boxes filled with cosmetic goodness. What could be better? Not too much, if you ask me.

I needed a few things, okay well I only really needed one thing, but who just orders one thing? I recently hit pan on my MSFN and to be honest was a little alarmed. I have been using it for so long I was beginning to think I'd never get there when low and behold I did. I thought that there was something in it. Nope, just pan. I was going to get it again, it's really great powder, but they were out of my shade. I went with the Studio Careblend instead. I must say, it's pretty great as well. I haven't used it enough yet to know which I prefer though.

I also got:
* Pro Longwear SPF 10 Foundation
*Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Royal Azalea and Bare Again
*Paint Pot in Rubenesque
*Lipglass in Evolution Revolution

Hauled anything interesting lately?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Simply Stacie Guest Post

Happy Sunday everyone!
Check out my guest post- Simple Summer Smoke- an eye tutorial, on Simply Stacie.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Born Pretty Dried Flowers & NOTD Fail

Not so long ago, I was sent a few items to review from Born Pretty Store. One of those items happened to be a set of dried flowers for nail design.

For $7.08 you get 12 different styles and colours. Each type is housed in a very handy little screw top pot. In the bunch I received I got a few petal type flowers and a bunch of a style that reminds me of dried Queen Anne's Lace. I was excited to give these a go, but my nail design ended up looking a bit less than sweet...

I started with Essie's Barefoot and Topless as my base, thinking I would load my ring finger up with a bunch of multi coloured flowers...buuuut, when I went to add them I realized they were way bigger than I thought and that just wasn't going to work. I wasn't sure what to do then so I just added one to each finger. It looked not bad, almost cute, but when I applied my top coat I ran into some issues. My nail polish all started to ripple and curl. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen. I think there was a reaction between the clear polish I used as glue for my flowers and topcoat. I managed to get a few photos before it really went wonky. Also, I had a hard time getting all of the petals to stick down, regardless of how much topcoat I used.

I really liked the flowers in theory, but I did have some issues using them, mainly due to their size. I don't know how I'm going to use the second type of flower because they are even larger than the petal style. The quality of the flowers them selves is great and I think they could look amazing if you had the right design. I may end up using these for crafting as opposed to nail art however.

Have you ever used dried flowers in you nail designs? How did it turn out?