Saturday, May 28, 2011

Whatever Wednesday: PandAmonium!

Ok, so Wednesday's name sucks. It reminds me of trying to talk to some middle schooler who keeps going "whatEVER!" But it gets the point across nicely - I couldn't think of anything cool for Wednesdays, so I decided to just make it a day for anything. This Wednesday, I decided to base my look off of the album I was listening to at the time - Pandamonium by The White Panda. (It has some wonderful mash-ups, check it out guys!) So I went with a simple black and white lid, then added a pop of color by lining the top with bright green and the bottom with bright pink!

Products Used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean
e.l.f. Brightening Eye Color Quad in Drama (matte white shade)
Purple/black e.l.f. Eyeshadow Duo from the Smoky Eye Kit (black glitter shade)
Urban Decay's Gunmetal
Urban Decay's Chronic
Rock & Republic Eye Colour in Spy
wet N wild Color Icon Trio in Spoiled Brat (neon pink shade)
NYX Glitter Cream Palette in Paradise (pink glitter)
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara

Liplicious Blue Colada Lip Gloss

So for this look, I primed my eyes and then applied the black jumbo eye pencil to the outer corner and the white one to the inner corner. I patted the black e.l.f. shadow over the black pencil and slightly into the crease, and the white shadow over the white pencil and brought it down to the inner corner, and then used Gunmetal to blend the two together. I then took Spy and used it to soften the edges and brought it up to my brow bone. After blending out the shadows, I lined my upper lashes with Chronic wet, and used the pink wet N wild shade on the bottom lash line (wet as well). With a liner brush, I pressed some of the pink glitter cream over the pink liner, then tight-lined my eyes with black and applied mascara and a clear gloss. And then I went to visit my high school marching band! <3

 XOXO, Ally

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Colorful Tuesday: Warm Purple

By all means, play it safe for work on Monday, but come Tuesday, I think it's about time to break out the colors! Which is why I've chosen the incredibly uncreative name "Colorful Tuesday" for my Tuesday looks - everything from bright, wacky colors to soft wearable ones will be on Tuesdays! Today's look combines a peachy-orange shade with purples for a warm, purpley eye; it's definitely a more subdued, wearable colorful look, but I promise crazier ones will come!

Products Used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean
MAC Tweet Me
MAC Stars n Rockets
Urban Decay's Flash
NYX 10 Color Eye Shadow Palette in Strike a Pose (matte brown shade, matte black shade)
wet N wild Color Icon palette in Lust (shimmery cream white shade)
Rock & Republic Eye Colour in Spy
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara

e.o.s. Lip Balm in Summer Fruit
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose

For this look, I primed my eyes with Too Faced Shadow Insurance and then filled in my lid with the NYX pencil in Cottage Cheese. I pressed Tweet Me on top of that, to give the orange-y color a more metallic finish. I blended out the edges with Stars n Rockets and worked that color up slightly onto the brow bone, then placed Flash right into the crease to deepen the purple. I used Spy to blend out the edges of Stars n Rockets, and then highlighted under my eyebrow with the shimmery wet N wild shade. With the NYX pencil in Cottage Cheese again, I applied a little to my inner corner and then covered it with that same wet N wild Shade. I then used the NYX pencil in Black Bean to smudge along my lower waterline and lash line, and set that with the NYX matte black color. On my upper lash line, I smudged the same matte color into the outer quarter of my lash line, and dragged the color slightly upwards. Then I used the matte brown color to finish lining my top lashes. Finally, I curled my lashes and applied mascara.

For my lips, I simply smoothed my e.o.s. lip balm on and then covered that with a layer of the matte lip color. The Tea Rose color actually tones down the natural pigment of my lips, so it helped to focus attention on my eyes, instead of overwhelming my face with too many bright colors.

XOXO, Ally

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SFW Monday: Warm Nude

Since I've posting a lot of swatches and reviews lately, and not so many makeup looks, I decided to give each weekday a theme and post a new look based on that theme each day, until I get sick of doing so. Monday is obviously SFW ("safe for work") day, so there will be lots of neutrals and slight hints of color but nothing too flashing or vibrant. As for the other days ... you'll just have to stay tuned this week to find out!

Products Used:
NYX HD Eye Shadow Base
Urban Decay's Toasted
NYX 10 Color Eye Shadow Palette in Strike a Pose (matte brown shade, matte black shade, matte white shade)
Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Liner for brown eyes (brown shade)
wet N wild Color Icon palette in Lust (matte light pink shade)
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in Flame
Hard Candy Glossaholic Lip Gloss in Rise & Shine

To create today's look, I primed my eyes with the NYX primer, then applied Toasted all over my lid. I used the matte brown color mixed with a few dabs of the matte black color from the NYX palette, and placed that in the outer corner and about 3/4 of the way into the crease. Then I lined my top lashline with the brown gel liner, and smudged a touch of the same matte brown shadow beneath my lower lashes. As a highlight, I used the light pink wet N wild color, and applied a touch of the white color from the NYX palette to the inner corner of my eyes. Finally, I curled my lashes and applied mascara to finish the eye look!

For the lips, I used the bright red Revlon lip stain/lip balm and topped it with the sparkly Hard Candy Glossaholic gloss, to liven up my face since my eye look was so neutral. However, you could go with a nude lipstick or clear gloss instead, if you wanted to keep your entire face office-friendly. I'm wearing the blush from the e.l.f. blushed/bronzed duo, which is definitely light and natural enough for work or school - any light peachy will work great with this look!

XOXO, Ally

Thursday, May 19, 2011

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadows - Swatches pt. 2

The second part of my e.l.f. mineral shadow swatches -Earthy, Outdoorsy, Beachy, Wild, Socialite, and Seductive!

See part one of the swatches here and read my review here!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadows - Swatches pt. 1

As promised, the first half of the swatches for my e.l.f. mineral shadows - Angelic, Elegant, Sweet, Celebrity, and Royal! (Also, I swatched these on my right arm and then had to take the picture with my left, so I'm sorry that they're a little blurry!)

Check out part two of the swatches here and read my review here!

Monday, May 16, 2011

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow - Review

After spending the better part of the afternoon making vain attempts to purchase anything from the NYX anniversary sale, I finally gave up and decided to review and swatch my e.l.f. mineral shadows instead. I have a bunch of these - e.l.f. had a "buy X amount of stuff, get 10 mineral shadows free" deal a while back - so I figured I'd review them in one post, and then swatch them in the next two posts, for the sake of my sanity.

Golden is the color that I've used the most, so this review is mostly based on that particular shade, although the others all seem to perform similarly. (And if anyone is curious, I like to apply it wet all over my lid, then blend out the edges with a matte black and smudge a little black into the outer corner and lashline - you get a gorgeous gold smokey eye!)
I love the packaging on these - the matte black lid is definitely reminiscent of MAC or bare minerals products, and it looks very sleek and professional. It's definitely much better quality than the packaging of the essentials line, which is to be expected but still nice. These can be used dry or wet, but I tend to use them wet and just pat a little dry powder on top to set them and help blend them out. The pigmentation is very nice, and you can get tons of color without having to use tons of product. I also like how the shadow looks different whether you use it wet or dry - it doesn't just get slightly more intense, it goes from frosty when dry to totally metallic when wet.
The one big problem I had with these shadows was the fallout. Even when I was just applying it to my arm to swatch it, I had bits of eyeshadow everywhere. I know that fallout is to be expected with a loose shadow, but there seemed to be a lot more of it. That's not a reason not to pick up a few shades of this shadow, though, considering all of its other strong points and the fact that it goes for a mere $3 on the e.l.f. website. This one definitely impressed me!

Rating: 4.5/5

Check out part one of the swatches here and part two here!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beauty Tips for College and Beyond - Part One: Skincare

Even if all you do is roll out of bed and head off to school or work in the morning, fresh, glowing skin can help you look flawless. Most people will have trouble with their skin at some point, and college life is not always kind to our faces. But there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you skin looks radiant all through college and beyond!

1. Take off your makeup at night. It sounds like a no-brainer, but there have been countless nights when I've gotten back to my dorm room late at night and all I've wanted to do was crawl into bed without bothering to wash my face. And if you wear foundation daily, going to sleep without taking it off on a regular basis can clog your pores and your complexion will suffer. So resist the temptation to fall asleep without first taking your makeup off, especially if you wear a lot of foundation.

2. Drink plenty of water. My favorite way to make sure I get enough water daily is to fill up my purple-college-logo Nalgene bottle twice a day - that way, I can take water with me to class or the library, and I know exactly how much I need to drink per day. Of course, you can drink your water out of whatever container you want, but make sure you stay hydrated and your skin will stay glowing!

3. Don't stress. It sounds impossible, especially in college. But you can reduce your stress levels by getting work done well before it's due, and making sure to take breaks while you work. And if you feel yourself starting to get overwhelmed, step back for a moment, go for a walk to clear your head, and come back to your work refreshed. You'll be much calmer, and it will be much easier to focus - plus, you can prevent breakouts by keeping your stress levels low!

NYX Glitter Cream Palette in Paradise - Swatches

I'll admit it - I'm a glitter addict. I don't wear it very often because super-glittery eyes aren't really an everyday look for me, but I glitter is the one thing that I can't resist, even though I don't frequently wear it. The NYX Glitter Cream Palette in Paradise is a really cool, glittery way to spice up a look, despite being a little hard to work with.
(In case it wasn't obvious, click the pictures and they'll get bigger!)

Sorry that the swatches are kinda blurry, but it gives you the best idea of the sparkle that these guys have. These palettes would be great to check out if you like glitter but find it hard to use loose, because of the fallout. On the other hand, it's harder to get an opaque later of glitter because of all the thick gel that the product is suspended in. In my opinion, it's worth a chance at only $6, but I would wait and see if the formula works for you before buying multiple shades.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tiny Hot Topic & Wet Seal Haul

A little while ago my friends and I took a mini road trip off campus and ending up stopping at a mall - which was particularly exciting since I haven't been to an actual mall in forever! There was a gigantic Sephora which was probably the most temptation I've ever experienced in one place, but thankfully I survived without squandering my life's savings! I did, however, grab a few sale things from Hot Topic and a couple of pieces of jewelry from Wet Seal.

Now I don't usually frequent Hot Topic, even for makeup, but I saw a few things on clearance that caught my eye - a set of two mini nail polishes for under a dollar, and some blushes that were also on sale, I think for a dollar or two. I also saw a lonely Kill Audio comic book in the clearance bin so I obviously grabbed it without a second thought - and if anyone actually happens to know the Kill Audio comics, please just be my best friend right now.
From the pictures you can see that the blushes do have a bit of shimmer, but it's actually not overpowering once you swipe a brush across them (and speaking of brushes, the ones included aren't awful, but I do prefer to use my own). These are heavily pigmented and I'm assuming they're intended to be that way, but I prefer to use only the tiniest amount when I wear these. I've found it's pretty easy to just barely touch your brush to the product and apply it, and then repeat as many times as you need to build the color. That way you don't get too much pigment at once, and you can build the intensity to the amount that you want.
At Wet Seal I decided on two necklaces (it was buy one get one 50% off, I believe). The first one is just a cute jointed owl, which I've been wearing a lot lately. The other one has a dragonfly (hint hint to the people who had heard of Kill Audio) and a few other charms hanging off of it - it's pretty long, so I don't wear it as often because it really only looks nice with certain outfits.

And that's all I ended up buying, unless you count an iced vanilla latte!

And I hope you all had a wonderful Star Wars day - I'm watching The Empire Strikes Back in my dorm room at this very moment! I would have done a Star Wars look to celebrate but ... I forgot. Next year, next year.

XOXO, Ally

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hard Candy Glossaholic Lip Gloss - Review and Swatches

I saw these two glosses on the Hard Candy website a little while ago, and knew I had to have them. Not only did the glitter in them look fantastic, but they each claimed to have a different mood-altering property - and I'll admit it right now, I'm a huge sucker for gimmicks.
So the next time I was doing an Easy-Mac-and-ramen run at Walmart, I snagged these two suckers. Chill Out is the vanilla-scented one that claims to be relaxing, with purple, orange, and green flecks of glitter. Rise & Shine is coffee scented and claims to be energizing, and contains flecks of yellow, orange, and green glitter.

Obviously the biggest selling point for these is their mood-altering properties, and I pretty much got what I expected - nothing. Just because I love a good gimmick doesn't mean I believe any of them are true! That being, said, I still absolutely love this gloss. The vanilla scent/taste is delicious and smells just like cupcakes, but the coffee one is actually pretty disappointing - it smelled faintly sweet, but then there was a bitterness to the scent which I assume was the coffee part of it ... and trust me, coming from an absolute coffee addict, it smelled nothing like the coffee that I drink. I was definitely let down by that scent, but I do have to admit that being a coffee lover, I was probably expecting a bit too much from it.
In terms of formula, the gloss is pretty thick and has an average wear time. The real reason why I love these babies is because of the stunning glitter - the flakes look so unique on my lips, and even after the gloss wears off some of the glitter stays behind. The applicator is large and the tube is massive, making it harder to apply this gloss precisely, but I appreciate the fact that I can load up my lips with a single swipe. Other than that, I adore the packaging, from the fonts used to the cute coordinating purple and pink caps.

(Also, you should note in the swatches of the gloss on my lips, the glitter is much more apparent in real life, I promise!)

Rating: 4/5
Recommendation: Since this gloss doesn't actually live up to its mood-altering claims, I can't give it a higher score - but I can promise that these are the perfect combination of wacky and subdued. If you like glitter but don't want to feel like you're swimming in it, definitely check out these glosses.

XOXO, Ally