Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Look of the Day: 1/25/11

I'd just like to say right up front that there's no guarantee that I'll actually post a 'look of the day' every day, but I'll try to post one as much as possible. This was technically yesterday's look, but I didn't get around to posting it until today...

I love bright eyeshadows, but it can be hard to rock neon colors all over your lid during the daytime. For parties, sure, but there's no way I'm showing up to my 9 AM Greek class with a crazy blue/green/yellow blended eye. But that doesn't mean I have to be all neutral, all the time - case in point, this look. The lid is just a simple wash of a nude eyeshadow, line with a black cream liner on the outer half. The real pop of color is below the lower lashline, where I used Urban Decay's Flash to smudge the purple below my lashes. Then I lined the bottom waterline in black and blended some white into the inner corners. On my lips, I'm wearing Revlon's ColorBurst lipstick in Lilac, and Revlon's Super Lustrous lipgloss in Lilac Pastelle over that. In other words, there's a lot of purple going on here.

But the basic idea is that there's no need to think of color as totally unwearable - a little pop of it here and there can really make the world of difference (and net you tons of nice compliments!)

XOXO, Ally

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sally Hansen Diamond 12 Hour Lip Treatment: Review & Swatches

The Sally Hansen Diamond 12 Hour Lip Treatment in Baguette was one of the things I snagged when I stopped by CVS a second time to make sure I hadn't missed anything from their clearance sale the first time I was there. I also needed more clear nailpolish, so I was in the Sally Hansen section and these gorgeous lip glosses just happened to catch my eye.
First off, I think the packaging is really cute. The gloss is a nice size (even though it does taper down to the bottom a bit) and I like that it's perfectly representative of the "diamond" part of the name. The color looks amazing in the tube, a hot pink with the slightest hint of a purple sheen, and you can see the sparkle really well. The applicator is also a brush, which I personally like because it gives me a lot more control than a doe-foot applicator would.
The actual gloss goes on very smoothly and doesn't feel too drying. My lips are pretty pigmented naturally so the color doesn't seem too dramatic, but it gives my lips a really nice shine and a pretty flush of pink. The gloss itself definitely has some nice pigmentation to it, though, so it should show up well for most of you. Unfortunately the sparkle in the tube doesn't transfer onto the lips too well, which was a little disappointing. That being said, this isn't a bad gloss by any means, and the color is really fantastic (I had it out on my dresser in my dorm room for this review, and one of my friends even commented on how gorgeous it looks). I was just expecting something more in the sparkle department.

Rating: 4/5

Recommendation: This is a solid lip gloss, and would be a welcome addition to the collections of beauty newbies and veterans alike. That being said, if you're looking for something high in glitter, this is not the best gloss to turn to.

XOXO, Ally

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MAC Peacocky: Dalliance and Tweet Me

Hey guys! So I'm loving the new MAC Peacocky collection - I only picked up two colors because there's no way I can afford to blow all my money on makeup right now, but my mom and I drooled over all the gorgeous shades at the MAC counter in Macy's. I had my heart set on getting Dalliance and Tweet Me before I even got there, but Tweet Me was missing from the display; they did have it in stock so someone must have been using the tester for something, but for a second I was really concerned that they weren't going to have it. I mean, just the name alone convinced me that I needed to have it!
(I could have sworn I swatched these two, but apparently not. My camera battery was dying on me while I was taking pictures, so these two were photographed super quickly and I guess I just forgot.)

So later in the day I had to go to my little brother and sister's band concert up at their middle school, so I threw together a simple little look using the two MAC shadows. It's just Dalliance all over the lid, with Too Faced Milk Chocolate (from the Glamour Revolution Palette) on the outer corner (and darkened up a little with a matte black eyeshadow), then Tweet Me along the lower lash line, and tightlined with the MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved. I used CoverGirl Lash Blast on my lashes, but that's mostly personal preference. Super simple, but it looks pretty nice.

Why are my eyes so veiny? Do eyes always look like that or are mine just particularly gross? Clearly I haven't taken a lot of close-ups of my eyes or I would know these things ...

XOXO, Ally

Saturday, January 15, 2011

CVS Beauty Clearance - Haul and Swatches

Guys, I look like SUCH a stereotypical lazy beauty blogger right now. I'm in my pajamas, my hair is up in a towel, I have a green face mask all over my face (not like it would go anywhere else) and I'm writing up a blog post about makeup. Oh gosh, what has my life become? (Oh right - super-mega-awesome-foxy-hot, that's what it's become.)

Anyway, my local CVS finally busted out their beauty clearance, after days and days of checking in with no luck. I saw them putting out the stickers two days ago and planned to actually go on a hardcore CVS shopping spree yesterday, but there was a major snowstorm yesterday so I was basically confined to my house. But today I managed to stop in twice, and completely shock my mom with the amount of makeup that a single person could purchase at one time.

(From left to right.)
Loreal HiP Shocking Shadow Pigments in 102 (Exciting): 75% off of $14.49 = $3.49
Rimmel London Stay Matte Clarifying Matte Foundation in 100 (Ivory): 75% off of $7.99 = $1.99
Peacock ring from Payhalf: $4.50
CoverGirl Outlast Smoothwear Lip Liner in 100 (Blush): 50% off of $9.49 = $4.75
Milani Lipstick in 32 (Berry Rich): $6.79
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in 001 (Lilac): 75% off of $11.29 = $2.82
CoverGirl Continuous Color Lipstick in 565 (Rose Cashmere): 50% off of $8.29 = $4.15
CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint Lipgloss in 660 (Happy House): 50% off of $7.99 = $3.99
CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint Lipgloss in 615 (Plum Crazy): 50% off of $7.99 = $3.99
CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint Lipgloss in 610 (Tickled Pink): 50% off of $7.99 = $3.99
CVS Purifying Mint Masque: $4.59
Almay Pure Blends Foundation in 140 (Buff): 75% off of $11.49 = $2.87
Almay Pure Blends Loose Finishing Powder in 100 (Translucent Matte): 75% off of $15.99 = $3.99
Rimmel London Colour Rush Quad Eyeshadow in 001 (Smokey Noir): 75% off of $8.49 = $2.07
Loreal HiP Shine Struck Liquid Lipcolor in 662 (Arresting): 75% off of $14.49 = $3.62
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in 200 (Lilac Pastelle): 75% off of $9.99 = $2.49
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in 160 (Firecracker): 75% off of $9.99 = $2.49
Revlon ColorStay Mineral Bronzer in 040 (Golden Bronze): 75% off of $13.99 = $3.49
Maybelline New York Expert Wear Blush in 100 (Mocha Velvet): 50% off of $5.99 = $2.99
Total: $66.57
Total value: $181.82
Money saved: $115.25, 63% of total value

We'll start with the lest beauty-related item that I got, although of course I only got it because I could use it with my makeup. It's actually a votive candle holder that was sitting all alone in the old Christmas items section, on sale for 50% off (originally 2/$5 or $2.99 each, I got this one for $1.49). I figured it would be perfect to hold my smaller brushes or my eyeliners and mascaras, since the cup I currently have them in is getting a little overstuffed.

Next, we have the foundations and things that I have yet to open and test, and a few other random assorted items that aren't really makeup. It's pretty much the misfit group, and I'll probably update this section as I test these out.
(From left to right.)
Rimmel London Stay Matte Clarifying Matte Foundation in 100 (Ivory): To be honest, from what I've read online I don't expect this to be the best foundation ever - but a sale is a sale, and I'm never opposed to testing new foundations, especially when they're wonderfully cheap. My face does get a little oily sometimes, so anything with the promise of 'matte' at least gets a chance in my book.
Almay Pure Blends Foundation in 140 (Buff): My opinion from the above foundation also applies here - I'm iffy on whether this will work well or not, but I figured clearance was the perfect time to experiment. This one is 97.4% natural and has SPF 20, while the Rimmel foundation does not.
Almay Pure Blends Loose Finishing Powder in 100 (Translucent Matte): Up until now, I never owned or used any sort of finishing powders, mostly because I only ever used powder foundation. But I figured it's kinda an important thing to at least add to my makeup collection, so I pretty happy to see this 75% off
Peacock ring from Payhalf: Yeah, so there's one thing thrown in here that's not from CVS, but oh well. There's a Payhalf right near CVS and my mom wanted to see if there were any super-cheap black skirts for my little sister to wear to her band concert, so we popped in there for a few minutes - and when I saw this ring, I had to have it. It was probably the fastest shopping decision I've ever made, actually.
CVS Purifying Mint Masque: I saw this mentioned by a few beauty bloggers recently so I figured I would pick it up the next time I made it to CVS. I currently have it slathered all over my face, and it feels pretty nice and refreshing, despite the fact that I look a tiny bit crazy. (Update: I just rinsed it off my face and my skin feels incredibly smooth! I'm definitely going to keep using this and see if my skin improves at all.)

Revlon ColorStay Mineral Bronzer in 040 (Golden Bronze): I typically use the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer that came in my Glamour Revolution Palette, but to be honest, dragging out that huge palette every day can get tedious. So one of the things I was looking for at CVS was another nice bronzer. This one from Revlon is fairly light, which is nice because I have a pretty fair skintone. It does seem to have a bit of shimmer to it, but nothing too overpowering. The actual poweder has a domed shape in the case, and unfortunately I knocked it off of my desk while I was taking pictures and the rounded part broke off - you can see what I'm talking about in the pictures. I'm a little bummed about that, but to be fair, it was mostly my fault. I'll probably crush it up tomorrow and either use it as loose powder, or try to press it with some rubbing alcohol.
Maybelline New York Expert Wear Blush in 100 (Mocha Velvet): I used to use a Clinique blush that was similar to this shade, but a little pinkier - I believe it was called Dusty Rose or something similar to that. Anyway, I picked this up because I have a lot of shimmery bright pink blushes, but not a lot of more subdued brown tones. I like that this brush is a little more substantial compared to the tiny one that came in the Revlon Bronzer, but I'll probably still use my own blush brushes for this.

Loreal HiP Shocking Shadow Pigments in 102 (Exciting): Deciding which of these HiP pigments to get was incredibly difficult; I finally settled on this one because I didn't think I needed any more neutral colors and I probably would never use a bright pink, blue, or green. The little brush included with this is actually not as useless as most drugstore brushes are, but you can't go wrong with your own brushes, either. This pigment has a super gorgeous pink shimmer to it that I really like a lot.
Rimmel London Colour Rush Quad Eyeshadow in 001 (Smokey Noir): So I bought this mostly out of nostalgia - no, the black isn't the most pigmented and the shimmer is a little weak, but this was one of the first eyeshadow quads I bought when I was first getting into makeup and the black in this palette was the first eyeshadow I ever lined my eyes with (I used to stick with liners pretty exclusively). It's become a makeup staple in a way, just because it would be strange to see my makeup collection without it.

Milani Lipstick in 32 (Berry Rich): This wasn't on sale, but I bought it because I had seen a swatch on Temptalia and it looked gorgeous, and I'm a huge fan of bright lipsticks. It reminds me a little bit of a Revlon lipstick I have in 725 (Love That Red) because they're both so bright, but the Milani one definitely has a pinker tone to it. It also has a strange smell, like a strong berry/fruit scent, and I'm not sure if I entirely like it, but it's something interesting to note.
CoverGirl Continuous Color Lipstick in 565 (Rose Cashmere): This color seems almost like a Barbie-pink to me - and it's rather shimmery on the lips, which I usually don't like, but I don't mind it so much here. I swatched it next to the e.l.f. Essentials Lipstick in 618 (Seductive), and while they look similar on my lips, the e.l.f. one is much peachier than the CoverGirl one. I also love the packaging on this, it's really cute.
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in 001 (Lilac): This is a really pretty purpley-pink color, without being completely intimidating. It's really gorgeous and the packaging is adorable! It's not something I'd usually wear, but I was in the mood to try something new.
CoverGirl Outlast Smoothwear Lip Liner in 100 (Blush): I like that this is retractable instead of needing to be sharpened, and the color is very close to my actual lip color. It's a really pretty natural-looking shade, so I'm sure it would look good on a lot of different people.

CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint Lipgloss in 610 (Tickled Pink), 660 (Happy Hour), and 615 (Plum Crazy): I bought this gloss in Tickled Pink the first time I stopped in at CVS, and loved it so much that I had to go back for more. The blue color shows up as almost clear, and is supposed to make your teeth look whiter, so I figured it would be something cool to try out. Plus, who wouldn't love to whip out a blue lipgloss and freak everyone out? These glosses are extremely minty which I love, but if you don't like minty glosses I would stay away from them. And something about the chunky blue top just feels awesome in my hands. I dunno, I just love them!
Loreal HiP Shine Struck Liquid Lipcolor in 662 (Arresting): This is a really cool color - it's a pinky magenta with a hint of purple shimmer. It was the only Loreal HiP lipgloss that my CVS still had in stock, but it's definitely one that I would have reached for anyway, because I love bright colors and I love really unique colors - so this is the perfect combination!
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in 200 (Lilac Pastelle) and 160 (Firecracker): I love the packaging of these too - very simple, but very chic and classy. Both these colors are gorgeous, although I'm not convinced that they would look good on everyone - and Lilac Pastelle definitely looks better layered over a lipstick (like the Revlon lipstick in Lilac). Lilac Pastelle is pretty opaque but still glossy, so it looks better layered over something light than on my lips alone. Firecracker is a lot sheerer and more orangey than the tube would lead you to believe, but something about it still appeals to me. It seems like it would work well for those days where you want a quick splash of color, but can't be bothered with layers of lipstick, liner, and gloss.

So I'm off to rinse my green, peely face off. I may try and run out to the other CVS near me to see if they have anything different in stock, but if not, that's all for my super-cheap drug store beauty hauls ... for now.

XOXO, Ally

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Urban Decay on HauteLook! - Haul and Swatches

Much to my excitement, my order from HauteLook was dropped off just as I was cutting myself and my sister a slice of cake. Cake and new makeup? Yeah, it was pretty amazing.

Everything I ordered was priced at $2, and with shipping the total came to about $21 for eight items. I got five of the loose pigments in Shag, Goddess, Graffiti, Gunmetal, and Smog. These are all available on the Urban Decay website for $20 for .04 oz/1.2 grams, although some of the boxes that mine came in said .03 oz/1.0 grams, and some said .04 oz/1.2 grams. Either way, since I only paid $2 for each, I'm not really too concerned about .2 grams. I also got the Smoke Out Eye Pencil in Maui Wowie, which is a discontinued item but is still available on the UD website for $6 - the original price being $14. I picked up the matte eyeshadow in Chronic, which is $17 for .05 oz on the UD website; it can also be found on the Sephora website packaged with Sin as a set, which is discounted to $10 from the original $34. Finally, I got the Big Fatty Mascara in Electric Blue - I've always wanted to experiment with bright mascaras but I wasn't convinced it would look good on me, so I didn't want to shell out a lot of money for one, but $2 seemed like a fantastic price. Anyway, these normally go for $17 for .26 oz both on the UD website and from Sephora.

In other words, getting each item for $2 is definitely the best price I could possibly have expected to pay for them. Sure, none of the items are necessarily Urban Decay's hugely popular cult classics, but they're still the same products that someone else must have paid full price for. The only product I'm slightly disappointed in would be the loose eyeshadows - I swatched them quickly over my arm without primer, but they didn't show up as nicely as I would have liked. For $2 I still consider them a steal and I would buy more colors if they showed up again for the same price, but I'm not at all convinced that they would be worth the full $20. The matte eyeshadow was very pigmented and the packaging was cute, and I think the blue mascara is one of the most entertaining things I've ever gotten a chance to experiment with. I literally cannot resist putting it on my lashes! And I haven't tested the eye pencil too much yet, but from swatching it on my hand it seems like it would be a nice neutral color for my skintone. Honestly I'm not sure how helpful the little smudger end would be, but if you're into that I guess it's a nice addition.

(I have a few more pictures to upload tomorrow, so I might head over to Starbucks later in the day to get those done - I'm so sleepy tonight that I can't even be bothered to watermark the pictures I'm putting up tonight. Also, I didn't swatch Smog because I have the same color in a bunch of palettes so I gave it to my mom.)

To be completely honest, the price that I got these for pretty much cancels out any negativity I feel towards the products - but had I paid full price, I'm not so sure I would be saying the same thing.

XOXO, Ally

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My hair was full of some seriously obvious split ends, so even though I've been growing it out, it was definitely time for a trim. Plus, I had to wait until I was home from college so I could get it cut by my regular hairdresser...

(I'm wearing Jesse's Girl Liquid Crystal Lip Gloss in Violet in the pictures; it gives the craziest purpley-pink glow to my lips.)

I just got a few inches off to get rid of all the dead bits, then got some layers around the face and fixed up my bangs a bit - they're not too short, but still give that cute little swooping effect.

Also, I got an email today that the Urban Decay stuff I had ordered from Haute Look has been shipped - I'm super excited to get it in the mail, but then again, when would I not be excited about new makeup?

XOXO, Ally

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Urban Decay Vegan Palette - Mini-Review and Swatches

Hey loves! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday - if you're heading back to school or work soon, good luck! My three siblings are absolutely bummed about having to go back to school tomorrow! Luckily I still have two weeks of break left, so if you're like me and still have time to relax, enjoy it!

Anyway, I was browsing Facebook today and someone had posted a status telling everyone who read it to get off of Facebook and do something productive. I kinda took that to heart and decided to go swatch the Urban Decay Vegan Palette that my mom had gotten me for Christmas - to be honest I was hoping for the Naked Palette, but I was with my mom in Sephora when she picked the Vegan Palette up and they were totally out of the Naked Palette. Hopefully if I go back in a week or so they'll have some more in, but until then ...

(The colors can be seen better in the picture on the left, but you can really see the glitter and shimmer in the picture on the right.)

I decided not to do a full-blown review of this one, because Urban Decay is fairly consistent when it comes to eyeshadow quality and these colors are all available as singles and have been around for a while - plus, I'm lying in my bed in my sweatpants (actual sweatpants, not even yoga pants) and living off of chocolate and Advil, so focusing on writing a review just wasn't happening right now. But I still wanted to at least share a few thoughts with you guys.

First of all, the packaging on this is almost too cute to resist. And I'm a sucker for adorable animals - even my little brother had to admit the elephant on the inside was cute. And while the shades are all available in the regular line, this palette is definitely a solid collection of colors. I wish Urb was a tiny bit more pigmented, but other than that I really like all the colors. I do already own Smog in like five different forms, but it's also always been a favorite of mine, so I guess that's not really a terrible thing. One of the things I really like about Urban Decay's palettes like these is that even though they only come with a few colors, they range from neutral to funky and bright. For a beginner, Twice Baked, Smog, and Half Baked are really nice neutrals, Urb and Gunmetal are slightly more colorful but still very wearable with a little practice, and Minx is very bright and a great color to work your way up to. I guess the word I'm looking for is proportionate - it's not all neutrals or all bright colors, but a balanced blend of both. If you already have a lot of these colors and can resist the packaging, I would probably skip this palette, but if not it's definitely a very nice buy, and how precious would it be as a gift?

XOXO, Ally

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Well it is officially 2011 where I live - I hope everyone had a wonderful 2010 and will have an even better 2011!

XOXO, Ally