Makeup

Ulta Adventures: Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Smashbox

smashbox photo angle gel

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner ($24 each)

Totes getting a Benefit vibe from these new Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liners ($24). They’re a new line of gel liners in twisty pens. The gel comes out of the flexible angled tip, just like Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner.

I was stoked to play with these when I spotted them at Ulta, but I got a little freaked out by the display… All of the liners had crusty bits of gel at the tips, which I cleaned off before taking these pics because they looked like a hot mess, and I couldn’t take it.

I dunno about the 36-hour wear time…. I don’t actually need my liner to last that long, LOL! Have you tried these yet? If so what do you think?

I’ve used Benefit’s gel liner before, and it looks a lot like these. With those there’s definitely a learning curve. They aren’t the easiest product to work with because it’s hard to get the gel to go where you want it to. Stuff has a mind of its own, but once you get it down, you can do some neat things with it.

smashbox photo angle gel

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner ($24 each)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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The NARS Numéro 2 False Eyelashes: For Lashes That Long for Length

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars numero 2 eyelashes

Wearing the NARS Numéro 2 false eyelashes ($20, one of eight styles)

Should you ever feel like your makeup mojo has pulled an Elvis and left the building (or has just gone on temporary hiatus), I highly suggest applying a pair of false lashes — the longer and more luscious the better, like the reusable Numéro 2 Eyelashes by NARS ($20 each, and one of eight styles).

“A medium-length false lash set with uniform volume from corner to corner, Numéro 2 Eyelashes’ full span expertly walks the line between boldness and subtlety. Designed to become a lash wardrobe staple. Named for the second model to walk the runway in a fashion show lineup. Versatile, reusable. Made for everyday use.”

narscosmetics.com

I swear, whenever I wear the Numéro 2s, I feel like my eye makeup and I go into lady boss mode. It’s kind of like swapping out your off-white lunch lady comfort shoes for a pair of black patent-leather stiletto heels… Meow! Don’t mess with this girl, because she has claws, and she’s not afraid to use ’em. :)

The Numéro 2s are one of eight new reusable (you just have to be careful with them), natural-fiber false eyelash styles from NARS, all of which have their own distinct flava, and they’re one of my favorites in the line.

nars eyelashes numero 2

NARS Eyelashes Numéro 2

See how the lashes are about the same length all the way across the spine? The Numéro 2s are designed to fake a full, lush fringe, and my lashes certainly feel lush when I wear them. Because they’re hella long.

Not like Beyonce-writhing-on-the-floor-in-a-video long, but probably too long to wear to your in-laws’ house for Tuesday dinner.

They’re probably better for wearing to a club with friends on a Friday night, or for sitting in your office while your cat takes a nap (which is happening where I am right now).

I really like the length of these lashes, because they’re noticeably long, but I don’t see them out of the corner of my eye, so they don’t interfere with my peripheral vision (an actual problem with some false eyelashes sometimes).

They’re reasonably lightweight, too, although not as lightweight as my go-to Eylure 117s. They aren’t uncomfortably bulky, but I can definitely feel them on my lash lines.

If you’re gonna wear them out (and I think you should!), here are a few things that might help…
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Does $20 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 Give $54 Urban Decay Naked a Run for Its Money?

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Eyes, Loreal, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

loreal la palette nude 1

Wearing L’Oréal’s $20 La Palette Nude 1

Knowing that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay, I wondered just how closely L’Oréal’s much less expensive $19.99 10-pan La Palette Nude 1 palette of neutral powder shadows would imitate its $54 Naked superstar cousin. Would La Palette’s three mattes be as easy to blend as UD Naked’s matte shadows, and what about pigment, shimmer and fallout? How would they compare? And what would I miss with only 10, instead of 12 shades?

I decided to find out.

The $19.99 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 vs. the $54 Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette

Briefly, what’s the idea behind L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1?
Well, it’s basically the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette with 10 neutral powder shadows instead of 12. Seven of them are shimmers — a warm beige, a peach, gold, bronze, chocolate brown, silvery taupe and a cool-toned white — and three are matte browns — a medium taupe-brown, medium tan brown and a dark neutral brown. La Palette Nude 1 is one of two eyeshadow palettes that were added to the L’Oréal permanent line this spring, and it comes with a dual-ended brush with a sponge-tip applicator on one end and a small flat eyeshadow brush on the other. There are also four simple how-to tutorials for four different eye looks on the bottom/back. It’s available now online and at drugstores and Ulta.

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1 on my eyes

What makes it interesting?
First, for me, the price. It’s $34 less than Urban Decay Naked.

The 10 shadows work out to $2 each, versus Naked with its 12 shadows, which work out to $4.50 each. So it’s less than half the price.

Yes, I can see your big saucer eyes from across the keyboard, ’cause that’s tempting stuff. :) Seriously, I’m the last person in the world who needs another neutral palette of brown and beige shades, but when I saw La Palette Nude 1 at Ulta last week, I had to go there. I couldn’t stop myself.

What is this compulsion I have to try all of the brown eyeshadows…? It must come from the same place that makes me want all of teh kittehs. The struggle is real, my friend.

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1

So, is La Palette Nude 1 as good as Urban Decay Naked?
In some ways, yes, I think it is. Like Naked, it has a good variety of matte transition shades (which are also highly pigmented! *thumbs up*), and a perfect balance between warm and cool color-temp shades.

The shadows also feel silky and soft like Urban Decay’s, which I guess isn’t a big surprise, considering that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay. Maybe there’s some crossover between the formulas, or maybe not and it just worked out that way. La Palette’s shadows also last seven to eight hours for me.

The original Urban Decay Naked Palette

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

But there a couple of ways in which I think UD Naked trumps L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1…

Nude 1’s mattes, while fabulously pigmented, take longer to blend.
This first time I wore the Nude 1 palette, I used my trusty NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I layered the shadows on top of it, and I felt like I had to work pretty hard to buff out the edges and transition shades into each other. The overall look turned out a little choppy. Then I tried the mattes on top of a creamier base (MAC’s Paint Pot in Soft Ochre), which I hoped would give the shadows a more slippery surface. It seemed to help a bit, but things were still a tad choppy. It required more passes with my fluffy blending brush to get my gradients worked out than I could count, so if you’re going to invest in this palette and plan to give these mattes a daily workout, I highly recommend also having a cream shadow on hand to use as a base, along with a healthy dose of patience.

Nude 1’s shimmers aren’t all that shiny.
Compared to the shimmery shadows in UD Naked, Nude 1’s pearlescent shadows don’t shimmer as brightly, so I get more of a soft shine than a mirror. The shimmer also doesn’t seem anywhere near as pigmented or refined. In fact, I feel like it looks pretty chunky on my lids. It reminds me of the shimmers in the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette.

I don’t know if it’s something that companies do on purpose to cater to the drugstore makeup crowd, or if it’s just a consequence of a lower price, but it is still possible to reach the point where Nude 1’s shimmery eyeshadows shine bright like diamonds. You may just have to wet your brush first and do a lot of layering.

It’ll take some effort, not gonna lie.
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:)

Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony 001 Pink Sunrise Is Pretty Like a Postcard

Published in: Dior, Face, Makeup, Product Reviews

dior diorskin nude tan pink

$57 Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition in 001 Pink Sunrise

Have you ever seen a real life pink sunrise? Like, with your very own eyes and not in the movies or anything?

Aren’t they glorious? We get them out here sometimes in the fall, and whenever we get a really good one, where it’s like a postcard in the sky, I’m that one weirdo neighbor in her pajamas taking pictures in the front yard at the behind crack of dawn.

A Novato pink sunrise

A Novato pink sunrise

A Novato pink sunrise

Like a real life pink sunrise, Dior’s Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony in 001 Pink Sunrise is pretty glorious, too. One of two $57 Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony powder blushes in the Dior Summer 2015 Tie Dye Collection, it’s the lighter, pinker, cooler-toned option. The other one, 002 Coral Sunset, is warmer, deeper and coral.

dior diorskin nude tan pink

Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony in 001 Pink Sunrise ($57)

There are four colors infused in these pans. Pink Sunrise has a cool-toned light pink, a cool-toned medium pink, a soft white and a cool-toned plum, and you know how this story goes… Mix all the colors together with the included kabuki brush (or a separate blush brush) by swirling it in the pan, and then dust that on your cheeks for blush.

Following this, rejoice. :)

dior diorskin nude tan pink

Swatch of Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition in 001 Pink Sunrise on my NC42 skin

I think I might be too warm-toned and tan to really pull this one off, because I feel like it kinda washes me out, but I don’t know… Maybe that’s more because I think the other Dior Tie Dye Edition blush in the collection, 002 Coral Sunset, is a tan girl’s jam.
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Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony in 002 Coral Sunset Will Help Cheeks and Sunsets Make Beautiful Music Together

Published in: Dior, Face, Makeup, Product Reviews

dior diorskin nude tan

$57 Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony in 002 Coral Sunset, one of two new Blush Harmony blushes in the Dior Summer 2015 Tie Dye Collection

Do you need to fall in love with a $57 blush?

If you’re like me, probably not. But just in case you do, and you’re looking for a new blush with which to have a summer love affair, Dior 002 Coral Sunset is a heartbreaker. It’s all that and a bag of Trader Joe’s Cheddar Puffs.

What is Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony in 002 Coral Sunset?

Like an actual tropical sunset, Coral Sunset has multiple shades. It’s a warm powder blush with four different colors in the same pan (orange, coral, rose and golden beige) that are designed to be mixed together and applied to cheeks. It’s one of two limited edition $57 Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmonies released with the Dior Tie Dye Summer 2015 Collection and comes with a blush pouch and a kabuki brush for application.

It adds a natural-looking orangey coral warmth to cheeks and skin, and the finish is key to the “natural-looking” part. It looks shimmery in the pan, but on the skin reads more like a matte-on-the-verge-of-a-sheen. If you look closely, though, you can see tiny flecks of glitter…but they’re small. No need to worry about any glitter bomb situations.

How do you use it?

Just take the kabuki brush that comes with the blush, swirl it in the pan, and then tap off the excess. Apply what remains to the apples of your cheeks.

There you go. :)

You can also lightly dust on parts of the face where the sun naturally falls for added warmth, like across the forehead and down the nose.

You don’t have to use the included kabuki brush, of course, and I think this one works pretty well, but I prefer to use a fluffy wide blush brush instead. Because this blush is quite pigmented, I find that it’s easier to blend and feather out the edges with a wider, fluffy face brush.

Is it worth the price?

So…this is crazy expensive for a blush. It’s $57! But if you can get over that hump (and it’s a BIG hump), you’ll find that it’s an absolutely beautiful blush.

It’s so pigmented that I only have to use one layer, and that single layer lasts six or seven hours between touchups. I’m betting that a pan of this could possibly last years, even with daily use, because you hardly have to use.

dior diorskin nude tan

Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Tie Dye Edition Blush Harmony in 002 Coral Sunset ($57)

I also really love how it rests on the skin. It’s very finely milled, so the grains of powder don’t attract attention, and the application is perfection. A quick sweep of my wide blush brush, a bit of blending action at the edges, and I’m properly blushed in less than a minute, literally.

In trying to think of comparable high-end blushes, the closest I can come up with is Chanel Malice. The two aren’t identical, as Dior’s has more of a rosy tone, which I think makes it every-so-slightly more flattering on bronzed skin with reddish undertones because the rose shades play off the red tones that typically come with a tan. I also think that the addition of that warm rosy shade is why this blush is something other than your standard issue coral.

Yes, it’s cray expensive, but it’s absolutely on point. Recommended for gals/guys who live for high-end makeup and want a warm-toned blush that goes great with a tan. Also recommended for mature skin.
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