Friday, January 29, 2016

Laura Geller vs. YSL Multi-Colored Powders

You might be looking at these powders and thinking, "How do I apply these rainbow colored creations to my face?". Various pigments create different effects on the face, and when you swirl them all together, they add color correcting properties and a subtle glow. I've recently picked up two similar products from YSL and Laura Geller, so let's compare them and see which one is the winner.

For starters, the Laura Geller Filter Finish Setting Powder is a bit cheaper at $32, while the YSL Gypsy Opale Face Palette is pricier at $47. The price point is certainly shown in the packaging--the Laura Geller comes in a slightly cheap looking, clear compact. The YSL one comes in the classic YSL gold compact, which includes a mirror, and has a beautiful rainbow design on the front. It's also limited edition, so is going to be harder to find and won't be around much longer. I personally prefer the YSL packaging, as it's more luxe, and I also like the design better. To be honest, both perform very well--I use them either on top of liquid foundation or as I set my whole face, and I really do see a glow. I wouldn't normally use this type of powder on its own, but as an addition to foundation. The Laura Geller one is a bit of a lighter, more powdery texture, while the YSL powder feels a bit more high coverage. Another benefit of the YSL one is that the colored powders are individually separated, so if you just wanted to use the purple one, you could (although you would need a very small brush).

If you're just looking for a good, all-around color correcting face powder, I would suggest the cheaper Laura Geller option. But if you're a makeup aficionado like me who loves limited-edition product, I think the YSL one performs just a little bit better and is worth the splurge. I'm not sure you need both, but they're both lovely products and it just depends on preference. If you know of any more affordable color correcting powders, please share below!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Celebrity Memoirs Worth Reading

When you hear "Rainn Wilson", you probably immediately think of Dwight from The Office. And I'm sure "Mary-Louise Parker" brings to mind Nancy Botwin from Weeds. These are both amazing actors, but their recent books are just as notable. If you know me, you know I love to read. And I also love pop culture, which celebrities are a part of. I have a soft spot for celebrity memoirs (or intriguing memoirs in general), because it often shows a part of them that you don't normally see or hear about. Bonus points when the book isn't just a money machine designed to be sold to any of that person's fans, but is actually really well written.

The Basoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. Rainn Wilson is a comedy actor, so his book is naturally just as funny. I obviously don't know him as a person, but how I imagine his natural voice to be comes across so well. He takes an ordinary (or not so ordinary) situation, and brings art to the words. It starts off with his childhood and journey to becoming an actor, which gives a new sense of understanding to him. Parts of the memoir deal with his religious journey, while there are also some pop culture lists of favorites thrown in to keep you on your toes. Even if you've never heard of Rainn Wilson, read his book then watch The Office. Dwight will become 10x more appreciated, I promise you.

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker. This is a bit more of an unconventional memoir. Mary-Louise Parker writes letters to men in her life, some a few pages long and some at least 20. There are the obvious ones (father, grandfather, ex-boyfriends) and some that she doesn't even know (the oyster picker who supplied the oysters). Again, she is another amazing writer who took me by surprise. I love how she focuses on some of the people who have helped her or others in their life, and thinks about them when others wouldn't. Her writing is almost poetic, drawing you in and immediately inspiring imagery without being overly flowery. Each letter to a different man shows you a different part of her soul, showing you an intimate slice of her life.

Have you read either of these books? What are some of your favorite celebrity memoirs? Share below!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Blush Palette

It seems like Gwen Stefani can do no wrong. She basically broke the internet with her Urban Decay eyeshadow she collaborated on in November, and shortly after we were teased about this blush palette. It launched out of nowhere last week, so you can best believe I grabbed it up immediately. I've tried a few of the 8 Hour Powder Blushes and was a big fan, so I figured these would be the same.

The outside packaging is very similar to the eyeshadow palette--I love the white and gold design. It's a bit bulky but nothing crazy. Each blush is a pretty decent size, and the large mirror makes it great for travel. You get a nice arrange of colors--Cherry is a light pink that I will probably use the least, Easy is a deeper shade similar to Nars Orgasm, Angel is a shimmery natural color, and Hush is a bit more pink. OC is supposed to be a highlighter, but it was almost as pigmented as the blushes (just a slightly lighter shade), so I almost think of it as a blush. Lo Fi is the only true matte color, as it's marketed as a bronzer, but I think it's a bit too warm for me, so I would use it as a blush.

L-R: Cherry, Easy, Angel, Hush, OC, Lo Fi

If you love the Urban Decay blushes, or just Gwen Stefani, this is reasonably priced for the product quality you get. My only warning is don't expect this palette to be used for everything on your face--you can get away with OC as a highlight, but I think you would need to use a separate bronzer/contour. Since they all work as blush shades, it's still a winner in my book. There are also new lipsticks and matching lipliners she launched with the collection, which is available now at Sephora!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nyx Lip Lingerie

Nyx is a very hit-or-miss brand for me. I've been loving all the new products they're coming out with, but prior to that, we didn't get along so well. These are a game changer. I'm a huge fan of nude lip products, and when these were released in 12 different shades, it was hard enough to restrain myself to just 7. I ordered the Nyx Lip Lingerie directly from the website, and despite some slow shipping, they finally arrived last week. 

These are great because there are different nudes to suit any skintone or need--some lighter ones for MLBB, as well as darker 90s or Kylie Jenner lip shades. The formula is pretty thin and moussey, and it definitely dries matte. I like that color can be built up, so you can go for a sheerer application with one coat, or a bolder color with a few coats. The longevity is decent, but to be honest, the only formulas that last all day are usually quite drying, so I'm okay with making a small sacrifice. Also, if you missed out on the Kylie Lip Kits, or don't want to shell out for them, there are definitely some dupes in here. 

Lace Detail is a light shade that is just pink enough to avoid those dreaded concealer-lips, while Push Up is a bit more of a true brown nude. I love how unique Embellishment is--a gorgeous purple grey shade that looks lovely. I didn't realize how close Teddy and Beauty Mark are, Beauty Mark is a little more brown and Teddy has a hint of purple in it. Of all the shades, Exotic is probably the least "nude" color, with more of a mauve tone to it.

L-R: Lace Detail, Push Up, Embellishment, Teddy, Beauty Mark, Exotic

Whether you have a million nude lip products like I do, or need to add some to your colorful collection, these Lip Lingeries from Nyx are a huge winner!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Only Nail Polish I Ever Use

Okay, the title of this post might be a sliiiight exaggeration, but judging how my nails have been going the past year or so, I would say it's pretty true. I used to enjoy buying nail polish as much as makeup--I think I had around 30 at some point. And you may be wondering, doesn't nail polish last even longer than makeup? Wouldn't it make sense to want to collect just as many if not more? But since I discovered the CND Vinyllux Weekly Polish, they are the only polishes I need.

The salon I went to at home only charged an extra $5 for it, which is a bargain compared to gel. Don't get me wrong, gel is great at lasting on your nails, but it's so horrible for your nails when you remove it. Plus the manicures are pretty pricy. I love Vinyl Polish because it applies like a regular polish... you don't even need a basecoat! You just need the polish and the top coat. They only cost a couple dollars more than regular polish too... I have Dark Dahlia and Indigo Frock. If you or someone you know is a licensed cosmetologist, you can also find them cheaper at Cosmo Prof, which I was lucky enough to do (shoutout to my boyfriend's sister Samantha!).

There are a couple of cons though. I find that a good manicure with vinyl polish lasts at least 1-2 weeks, but I am okay with slight chips. I certainly notice a difference in longevity when I wear it compared to regular polish, but gel fanatics might be slightly disappointed. I'm horrible at painting my own nails, so the longer it lasts the better. Another con is there isn't a huge color selection... I'm okay with alternating between a dark vampy shade and grey, but others who are more adventurous might not be. Overall, I think the pros of increased longevity, affordability, and most importantly nail strength outweigh the cons.

Goodbye for now to all of my Essie and OPI shades... unless another brand launches something as good as this (and trust me I've tried my fair share of the gel ones you can do at home), I'll be sticking to these.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Affordable New Makeup to Put On Your Radar

In the past, I haven't been too impressed with drugstore offerings. They have some star items but you have to wade through a lot of duds. Lately, every brand under the sun has been coming out with new items and they've really stepped up their game. Covergirl, Maybelline, and L'Oreal all have lots of new items--I figured that everyone is doing reviews of them, so I would show some lesser-known new items, but let me know if you want to see reviews of anything from those brands! I'm either waiting for the items below to come or they're on my wishlist!

Nyx Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette. Nyx has been releasing so many great new items, like contouring kits and ombre lips, but of course I gravitated towards the highlighting palette. The color selection reminds me of the ones Sleek have released. I'm not sure if these are more of a creme or powder texture, but with seven shades, they definitely seem to have quite a variety for all skintones.
Nyx Lip Lingerie. Nude lipstick lovers, rejoice. These were teased a few months ago and everyone is comparing them to the Kylie Lip Kits, down to the packaging. I've been impressed with their liquid lipstick formula in the past, and now there are 12 different nude shades to choose from. You can bet that I already have a few on the way.
Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask. Elf is a very hit-or-miss brand with me (more often miss), but I've never tried their skincare. I think the bubble mask is a Korean inspired trend--the website claism that "This hydrating and nourishing gel transforms into a bubble mask on the face. Watch as bubbles fizz and foam to remove excess dirt and cleanse pores for glowing, healthy looking skin." The skincare is slightly more pricy, which doesn't always translate to better performing, so we'll see.
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. The only person I've seen talk about this so far is Tati from Glam Life Guru, but she loves it. She said it's buttery (as the name suggests) and smells like coconut. It's more of a glow bronzer than contour shade, and supposed to warm up the face without looking shimmery. My only complaint about Physicians Formula is their packaging tends to be unnecessarily bulky.

What new items from the drugstore have been on your radar? Share below!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Is This The Solution to Dark Circles?

I've tried so many concealers out there, it's hard to believe one will finally do a good job of clearing up my dark circles. A lot of them look nice at first, and despite setting it, it ends up creasing within hours. Oh, and let's not forget how important a good eye cream is too. I forgot to bring one home, so my undereyes have been looking even more worse for the wear. But with these three products, my dark circles might finally have some competition.

I'm obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury, I think the woman can do no wrong. Her skincare can be pretty pricy, but works wonders. She's recently launched the Magic Eye Rescue, which is well worth the $60 price tag. I've only been using it for a few days but already notice that my circles are fading. It claims to do a whole host of things and I'm impressed... I can't wait to see what my eyes look like in a few weeks. There's also a new Magic Night Cream, which I only dream about now (its $145!!!).

Copyright Charlotte Tilbury Website

Now, on to the concealers. I had been anticipating the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Concealer for a while, but didn't expect to be as impressed as this. I have two shades--R22 is a peachy shade that I put on first to neutralize, then Y23 is a yellow shade to highlight and brighten. Other brands like Bobbi Brown use the method of a corrector underneath a brightening shade as well, and I had forgotten how well it works. What I love about these is how well they cover without being too thick. A little goes a very long way, but it doesn't really get cakey, like thicker formulas. Although you can wear just the R or Y shades alone, I recommend getting both and then layering them.

R22 and Y23

If you struggle with dark circles, or want to brighten your eye area, I think it's worth the investment of both the Charlotte Tilbury Eye Magic and MUFE Concealers. I can't say that my dark undereye area is completely brightened, but I notice a huge improvement when I use these three colors together. As always, let me know what other products you love to use to help with dark circles!

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Sparkles In My Life

Seeing as this is my 200th post, I figured I should write about my favorite makeup product--highlighters. I've loved them before the "strobing" trend even took off (which is just a dumb name for putting on highlighter anyways) and it seems like every brand is coming out with them. Here are some first impressions of the ones I've picked up recently.

Benefit Shy Beam. A matte highlighter sounds contradictory, but it's something you're probably missing from your collection. It doesn't add shimmer, but it does lighten certain areas and make them appear more radiant. You can wear this underneath foundation, underneath your eyes (my favorite place), or even under a highlighter. The light pink texture color adds subtle shine and is perfect for those who aren't a fan of traditional highlighters.
Too Faced Warm Glow Candlelight. I wasn't a fan of the original Candlelight Glow, as it was a little too pink for me, but this warm one is right up my alley. One side is a more traditional lighter champagne shade, while the other one is a bit darker and golden. They're big enough to use individually, or you can swirl them together for a warm glow. 
Dior Glowing Garden 002 Illuminating Powder. This is the real star of the show. For starters, the design of the powder is so gorgeous it's hard to dip my brush in it. Although it's a splurge, this is my favorite by far. It's so subtle and glowy, yet really gives that lit-from-within look. You don't look like you're wearing a highlighter--it's that amazing. It's limited edition and already sold out a few places, so make sure you grab one quickly.
Bare Minerals Illuminating Veil. I went to a Bare Minerals outlet last week and was impressed with their product selection, as outlets are usually a disappointment for me. This one is more of an all-over face powder that adds illumination, similar to Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. If you want to use it as a spot highlight, it can certainly be built up for subtle illumination. I got it in a value kit that also had a lip gloss, brush, and clutch.
Bare Minerals Endless Celebration Color Boost. Another outlet buy, at first glance I thought this was a bronzer or blush. But it's actually not that pigmented, which works to its advantage. The colors swirl together for a light pink sheen that can be built up to more of a blush, or worn underneath another color to give it a boost. You can use the individual shades as highlighters as well.

L-R: Benefit, Too Faced, Dior, Illuminating Veil, Color Boost

What new highlighters have you been loving lately? Let me know!

Friday, January 1, 2016

December Favorites

And just like that, another year has come to a close. 2015 was a crazy year, and 2016 will (hopefully) prove to be a very pivotal year in my life. I start my last semester of college in just a couple of weeks and then graduate into the real world in May. Five months seems like a long time, but I'm scared it will just fly by. But before I launch into an existential crisis, here are the goods I loved in December. I was home for the second half of the month, so I brought the things I had been constantly using as well as some I picked up while I've been in a real city.

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color in Nude Thrill and Nude Flush. There is so much new stuff at the drugstores lately it's been hard to keep up. It seems like every brand is releasing their own version of a liquid lipstick, but I love these. They don't dry completely matte, which I like because it can sometimes be too drying, but aren't insanely glossy either. They last a long time and feel very comfortable on the lips. Obviously, I love the two nude colors--one is a more traditional nude, while the other is a bit more pink.
Maybelline Prime + Illuminate Eyeshadow Base. Who would've thought the day would come when something would replace my beloved Too Faced Candlelight Eye Primer? Not a day goes by that I don't use an eyeshadow primer, and I always use a shimmery one to maximize the shine. This one is a gorgeous pale nude color that is truly illuminating. It doesn't make shadows crease or look dry. It's a great budget alternative to more expensive primers.
Sunday Riley Luna Oil. I've been using the mini version from the duo I reviewed last week here and my skin has been loving it. Check out the post I did for a more in-depth review but my skin has never looked better. It's worth it to get the Power Couple duo while it's still in stock.
Pixi Book of Beauty - Glow Getters. Again, I'm including another product I just reviewed earlier this week. But since I love highlighters, this one has six amazing ones that I've been alternating between. Check out that review for a more in-depth look and swatches, but it's great for travel or to keep on your vanity.
Morphe 12S Soul of Summer Palette. Everyone raves about the Morphe palettes, especially the 35O, but I find that huge palettes can be overwhelming. One of my favorite Youtubers Tati recently reviewed this palette in a Morphe "Hot or Not" and it seemed right up my alley. There are some cool nude colors, but what makes this unique is the warmer red/copper shades. The pigmentation and feel are on par with more expensive shadows like Urban Decay--I was really impressed. It's a luxury feel at a budget price.

Books: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie BrownsteinPlacebo Junkies by J.C. CarlsonHalf In Love With Death by Emily RossOnly Ever Yours by Louise O'NeillCareer of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Music: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac and Under Pressure by Queen

This marks the 199th post on my blog, which is absolutely insane. I need to come up with something exciting for the 200th post, so if you have any suggestions, comment below! And as always, let me know what you loved this month.