Tuesday, February 22, 2011

e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette vs. Coastal Scents 88 Color Eye Shadow Palette: Review & Swatches

I received the e.l.f. mini palette as a Christmas gift from my mom, even though I had been hoping for the Coastal Scents one - but it worked out fine, because she got me the Coastal Scents one for my birthday (which is actually this Sunday, but I already opened my presents since I won't be seeing my parents this weekend). So I figured even though I don't have the huge e.l.f. palette with 100 colors, I could still use this little one with 32 colors to give you guys an idea of how they stack up against each other.

e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette

Coastal Scents 88 Color Eye Shadow Palette

First of all, the obvious difference is the size and number of colors. The e.l.f. palette is $5 for 32 colors, whereas the Coastal Scents one is around $20 (give or take a dollar or so, depending on where you but it from) for 88 colors. The e.l.f. are also larger, but the Coastal Scents palette comes with two applicators, as opposed to the e.l.f. one, which comes with one applicator only (not that I use the sponge-tip applicators a lot, but if you do, it might be something to take note of). They do both include a mirror on the inside of the lid.

In terms of packaging, they are very similar. I like the look of the shiny e.l.f. logo printed on the matte plastic, and the clear plastic that lets you see the shadows is also a nice touch, although I can see it getting dirty. In my opinion, the e.l.f. packaging seems cheaper than the Coastal Scents one (probably because it is, e.l.f. is definitely not known for their packaging) and while I would rather have a great product in crappy packaging than a crappy product in great packaging, I have to admit that sometimes, the packaging does sway me. The Coastal Scents palette is slimmer and less bulky than the e.l.f. one, which I really like. I feel professional just holding it, and the e.l.f. palette definitely isn't as sleek.

Part of me wanted to swatch both the palettes entirely, but I realized I probably don't have enough body parts for that (and I'm trying to juggle writing these posts with my roommate's schedule, so I don't always have tons of time at my disposal), so I decided I would swatch colors that were similar in both palettes next to each other, so you could see how they compare.

 e.l.f. palette on top vs. Coastal Scents palette on bottom

These are swatched without primer or anything so you can see that the color payoff is pretty good, but the Coastal Scents colors are a bit smoother and easier to blend. The Coastal Scents black is definitely more pigmented than the e.l.f. ones, but the rest are pretty comparable in terms of pigmentation.

Which one should you buy? Well, that depends a lot on what you want to do with them. If you already have an extensive makeup collection and have been looking into the Coastal Scents 88 palette, I certainly wouldn't recommend switching it out for one of the e.l.f. palettes. Nor would I say that it's necessary to own both, although I wouldn't really consider buying both a waste of money if you were interesting in checking them out yourself. But if I could choose only one, I'd probably go with the Coastal Scents palette just for the sheer amount of colors and the blendable-ness of the shadows.

XOXO, Ally

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NYX on HauteLook - Haul!

Waiting two hours for the campus post office to open so I could pick this up was agony. I've heard so many good things about NYX that I was pretty much dying with anticipation waiting to try all this stuff. I just managed to snag the package ten minutes before my class started so I couldn't do much except for drop it off in my room and then run to class - but now that I'm back and I've opened the package and squealed over everything you get to check it all out too!

Actual reviews will be up once I get a chance to test everything out, but until then I'll just give you a sneak peak of what I got!

 Yeah, ok, pictures of the box are not very exciting. But I love the little tissue paper that everything comes wrapped it! It's like getting a birthday present or something!

 Jumbo Eye Pencils in Lime, Gold, Baby Blue, Black Bean, Cottage Cheese, and Purple

 Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer in Green, HD Studio Photogenic Primer, HD Eye Shadow Base

 Eye Pencil in Dark Brown, 10 Color Eyeshadow Palette in Strike a Pose, Eyeshadow Base in White
(And I love that the cardboard box shows the colors on the side! If you bought more than one of these and didn't remember which colors were included in what - well, now you know!)

Glitter Gel in Silver Lake, Glitter on the Go in Sparks, Glitter Cream Palette in Paradise

So I'm pumped to actually try these out and review them for you! I haven't used anything yet but my first impressions have been pretty positive so far. I know you can't always judge the quality of a product by the packaging, but I do really like the NYX packaging. It's simple but cute - I'm not a fan of cheap packing that tries to look expensive and just ends up looking tacky. While nice packaging is a plus, the product is the most important thing in my opinion, so I have no problem with a company saving money on packaging - and NYX is a great example of packaging that's nothing unique or special, but still looks very sleek.

XOXO, Ally

Monday, February 14, 2011

Three Valentine's Day Lip Looks!

Whether you're saving a kiss for that special someone, spending time with your closest friends, or just flying solo, Valentine's day is the perfect time to express how much you love the people around you - or yourself! And on a holiday that's all about lip-locking, you can say more with your lips than words alone.

Look One: Bold & Bright
You're one of those girls who doesn't need a man or anyone else to tie you down. When you want to do something, you go get it done - you don't wait for someone to do it for you and you certainly don't need anyone's help. And while you wouldn't mind a nice card or a box of chocolates on Valentine's day, there's no way you're pining over a crush today, or any other day.
So go for the crazy and colorful and make sure all eyes are on you when you walk into the room. I applied e.l.f. Essentials lipstick in Gypsy all over my lips, and topped it off with a little bit of the original Too Faced Mood Swing lip gloss.

Look Two: Flirty and Fun
You're not going to waste your time moping around because you're single on Valentine's day - you'll take this opportunity to remind your friends just how special they are to you, single or not! Whether it's a girl's night out, a girl's night in, or just a whole bunch of friends hanging out in someone's room, your lips should echo your carefree spirit - and if a guy just happens to be entranced by them, then that's fine by you!
So if you want to go for something a little different, go for a cool lilac-toned lip color. I started by applying Revlon lipstick in Lilac to my lips, then covered that with Revlon lip gloss in Lilac Pastelle. To give it an added pop of purple sheen, I dabbed a few drops of Jesse's Girl Liquid Crystal lip gloss in Violet right in the center of my lips.

Look Three: Natural and Nude
You've been waiting for Valentine's day all year - and you have a special someone in mind for that big Valentine's day kiss. Maybe it's your boyfriend, or maybe it's someone you've been crushing on hard, but either way, it all comes down to one smooch. And no matter what, you want your lips to be perfect and as ready as you are.
So unless your man wants to wear your lip color too, stick with a natural, sheer wash of color. And while bold lip colors may alert everyone in a room to your entrance, nude colors give you an irresistible innocent appearance. I stuck with just gloss for this look, and swept Sally Hansen Lip Inflation in Sheer Mocha all over my lips. The color is a sheer light brown, and the plumping ingredients will make your lips eye-catching even when wearing only gloss.

If you were wondering about my eyes, I'm wearing Urban Decay's loose pigment in Shag on the lid, with Urban Decay's Gunmetal on the outer third and Too Faced's Boy Toy on the inner third, with Too Faced's Glamazon right in the inner corner. I used the darkest color from the wet N wild Lust palette (the black with the pink glitter) as a liner and CoverGirl's Lash Blast on my lashes.

Have a fantastic Valentine's day, loves!

XOXO, Ally

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby, I Was Born This Way

So it was just a normal Saturday night and I decided to go out with strange black shapes all over my face.

Actually, it was for a Lady Gaga party (I'll bet none of you guessed that, right?) last night. The lines are kinda ... not straight at all, because even though I used tape to outline the shape it didn't stick very well. But it was dark anyway so I'm sure no one noticed. I don't have a good shot of the other eye but it was just a hot pink on the lid with lots of smokey black around the outside.
Oh, and look, I have weird friends. Who are wearing things that are not actually clothing as clothing. If they wore regular clothes I'm not sure I would like them as much. And in case any of you guys like to have that one quote that personifies the entire ocassion, I think last night's would probably be: "no, Lady Gaga doesn't just wear trash!"

XOXO, Ally 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bath & Body Works Birthday Outlet Haul

Outlet shops and birthdays are basically two of the best things ever, so going outlet shopping with my friends for my birthday yesterday pretty much made it my favorite day (and if you're reading this, guys, which I know you're probably not - you rock!). We also got pedicures, but I figured I would spare you all a picture of my feet.

Now, to be fair, the outlet shops near my college aren't anything to rave about. There's an Old Navy which is always good for basics (or flip-flops), a rue21 if you're looking for cheap fashionable clothes that will fall apart soon after they go out of style or Justin Bieber shirts, and a Maurices which I had never heard of before yesterday - but the clothes were really cute and surprisingly reasonably priced (I'll probably do a separate post on the two things that I got from there as well as the one thing I picked up at rue21). And there's an Aeropostale and an American Eagle and a few other assorted stores, but nothing that makes me want to run out and buy everything in the store.

Except for Bath & Body Works.

Even when it comes to regular, full-priced items at Bath & Body Work, I want to buy everything - it's a combination of the sheer number of amazing scents and the adorably cute packaging that pulls me in every time. But when I'm in a Bath & Body Works with buckets of things for 75% off, I turn into an animal. I was walking around with armfuls - yes, LITERALLY armfuls - of lotions and body sprays that I hadn't even smelled yet. My shopping was driven by was pure primal instinct, nothing more. I didn't even waste time with one of those bags they give you to carry things around the store.

I ended up with two body butters, two anti-bacterial hand lotions, two of the pocket hand sanitizers (ok, those things are like $1.50 normally, and 75% off they're around $.35 - they could have the worst smell in the world and I would still buy them for that price!), and a big tube of body cream.

I'd just like to point out that one body butter is $15, and I got all of that for a little over $17. Just sayin'.

 Anyway, onto all my fabulous little purchases!

I'm definitely not in need of more of these body butters - I have like at least three or four that I haven't even opened, and they're huge containers, but the name and packaging sucked me in! It smells delicious and whenever I get sad I look at it and remember how at least my body butter loves me!

I've only ever used the anti-bacterial gel from Bath & Body Works, but apparently they have lotions, too - these both smell exactly like the name would suggest, and the apple one smells amazing - it's like fall in a little tube!

Yeesh, sorry these images are so long - I hate to make you guys scroll so much. Anyway, the flash doesn't show the colors on the packaging very well - the dark red color here is actually a light pink in real life, it's strange. But it smells really flowery and pretty, and I'm sending it to my mom as a birthday gift so I won't actually be able to smell it in the future.

I love citrus. Just gonna put that out there. So I snagged this one when I was being drawn in by the other body butter that was proclaiming its love for me - but this smells to crisp and refreshing, I love it! If I could eat a body butter, I would probably choose to eat this one.

 And finally - these guys. Seriously, the PocketBacs are the cutest and the holiday ones are always one sale for like $.35 after the holidays - I got two Halloween ones over winter break in Candy Corn and Spider's Web (which was licorice-scented) and I could not resist blood-colored hand sanitizer. The reindeer one is cute and smells super sweet, but the blood one is just so icky and repulsive that I love it. I want to make a mess just so I can use it!

So for around $17, I'd say I made out pretty well - a little birthday present to myself, if you will. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go slather my hands in plum-scented blood ...

XOXO, Ally

Friday, February 4, 2011

NYX on HauteLook!

I don't purchase a lot of things from HauteLook (I'm a free shipping gal, so any website where I actually have to pay for shipping turns me off just a tiny bit), but every so often a sale comes around that I just cannot resist - and usually it's in the beauty department. Yesterday, a whole bunch of NYX cosmetics went on sale, and I snagged a few things that I cannot wait to get my hands on!

For the curious, I picked up:

The $10.80 Glitter Set that contains
- Glitter Cream Palette in Paradise
- Body Glitter Gel in Silver Lake
- Glitter on the Go in Sparks

The $12.30 10 Color Shadow Set that contains
- 10 Color Eye Shadow Palette in Strike a Pose
- Eye Shadow Base in White
- Slim Eye Pencil in Dark Brown

The $16.20 Jumbo Eye Pencil Set that contains the colors
- Black Bean
- Cottage Cheese
- Gold
- Baby Blue
- Purple
- Lime

The $19.80 Start Flawless Primer Set in green that contains
- HD Eyeshadow Base
- HD Studio Photogenic Primer
- Studio Perfect Primer (in green for anti-redness)

Join HauteLook and check out the sale here!

XOXO, Ally