Tag Archives: blush

A Review: Tarte 8th World Wonder Collection from QVC

One day I will do a full post on the ridiculous yet mesmerizing phenomenon that is QVC, but for today I’m just going to review this Tarte collection that I took a gamble and splurged on since I needed a new powder brush anyway. QVC actually has some awesome makeup deals in case you didn’t know. This whole collection was available for pre-order at $48.36, the blush is $25 at Sephora and the mascara is $19, so that’s almost the whole cost right there. Now the price is up to $52.74, I’m not sure how much the cost will go up and when they’ll get in more stock, but even at $60 this collection is a great value.

Amazonian clay balancing foundation SPF 15 with brush

I haven’t worn real foundation in years, I use MACs studio finish concealer and blend it with moisturizer instead. The reason for this is I’m really pale and everything looks orange on me (even tinted moisturizers with names like “extra light”) so I was surprised this foundation actually matches my skin. Maybe because Maureen Kelly is as pale as I am, but that also means all these shades of foundation run light. Hopefully they’ll add more shades, because even the darkest doesn’t look very dark. Also the brush is really soft and fluffy.

Amazonian clay 12-hour wear powder blush in Glisten

I’m very happy with this blush, it’s kind of like Nars Orgasm but smoother. It’s not cakey like powder blushes can be sometimes. It is very pigmented so try not to layer it on. It also has shimmer, so if you prefer a matte look, it might not be for you.

Pure Maracuja oil sample

I’m loving this oil, and not just because I like saying the name “Maracuja”. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and it makes skin look hydrated and healthy without looking greasy.

Amazonian clay long-wear eyeshadow palette

This eyeshadow quad is a little flimsy, I kept trying to pull the plastic off the mirror until I realized it’s just a really crappy mirror. The shadows are nice and smooth, but definitely need to be blended with attention. Some of the reviews on QVC complain that these shadows (and the blush) are too pigmented, but you can’t blame the product if you don’t use it right. Blend, my friends—that is the most overlooked makeup “secret” of all and it’s very easy to do. The more pigment a product has the more use you can get out of it in the long run, just use it in moderation.

Lights, Camera, Lashes! volumizing mascara in Black

While I think this mascara is very nice and was happy to get it with this set, I think my trusty drugstore brands (Covergirl, Maybelline) get the job done just as well.

Amazonian clay automatic waterproof eyeliner in Golden Plum

I was surprised that this liner went on smoothly, stayed put all day, and still came off easily at night. It’s a plummy, brownish-gold color, and it doesn’t have glitter flecks or anything.

Pure Optic moisturizing lip gloss in Golden Pink

This gloss on the other hand is very glittery. In fact it’s mostly just glitter with a teensy bit of a pink hue. I’m not a gloss person, but this one isn’t as sticky as others and also has a fresh minty scent.

And it all comes in this purple woven bag!

Here’s the whole look:

Can I just say, taking pictures of yourself without looking like an ass is really hard. There are so many women out there who do this for their makeup blogs all the time and god bless them, but I don’t know how they do it. I always have to crop out my messy house and sometimes I end up with some really scary wide-angle shots. Anyway, I do it for you readers, I want you to see what the makeup looks like on a real person. If I could use my cats, I would, but they’re kind of busy.

While I’m on the subject of embarrassing pictures of myself and also cats…guess who got to meet Hello Kitty at Sephora last week? Yeah, It was me and she totally grabbed me in a bear hug and I loved every second of it!

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Crazy for Coral

Now that the clocks have jumped forward and the sun sticks around until 7pm, it seems like those breezy, warm, days are just around the corner. I’m currently on the lookout for a bridesmaid dress in the season’s hottest color—coral, so I have that shade on the brain right now. In anticipation of spring, lets look at some pretty coral makeup that will give you that lovely orange glow—not like self tanner, more like you finally got the chance to get out in the spring sunshine.

Nars Illuminator in Orgasm, $29

I received this illuminator in my February Birchbox and it gives a very subtle peachy glow on cheekbones. I think it probably works best on warmer skin-tones.

Mac Eyeshadow in Paradisco $14.50

A beautiful shimmery coral with gold undertones, this shadow works even on women without warm or tanned skin-tones.

Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Tipsy $25

I have one of these coming in the mail from QVC (more on that later), but the colors look beautiful in Sephora, especially this bright coral.

Dior Addict Lip Polish in Glow Expert $30

If you want a juicy, peachy glow without being sticky, this coral gloss is perfect, but pricey.

Essie Nail Polish in Haute as Hello, $8

One of my favorite Essie polishes, this color just feels happy and warm, it’s a real pick-me-up for your finger tips.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Wild Coral, $24

If you prefer lipstick to gloss this new coral from Estee Lauder will deliver color that is both bright and long lasting.

I just finished up this commission for a bridal box featuring coral flowers too:

And if you’re still not sold on coral, here is a polyvore collage featuring pretty things to get you excited for spring:

60s Coral, Cream and Gold by justinez featuring vintage style earrings

River Island lace dress
45 GBP – riverisland.com

Smocked dress
$98 – topshop.com

Chiffon blouse
18 GBP – desireclothing.co.uk

Beyond The Valley tweed mini skirt
149 GBP – farfetch.com

Marc Jacobs short short
558 GBP – matchesfashion.com

Chinese Laundry high heel pumps
$70 – heels.com

TopShop high heels
$135 – topshop.com

Sigerson Morrison slip on flat
$213 – theoutnet.com

Love Moschino shoulder strap bag
132 GBP – my-wardrobe.com

Marc by marc jacobs tote
200 GBP – matchesfashion.com

Kate Spade chain necklace
$195 – zappos.com

Tinley Road flower ring
$22 – piperlime.gap.com

House of Harlow 1960 gold bracelet
$125 – shopthetrendboutique.com

Chandelier necklace
$24 – modcloth.com

Vintage style earring
$12 – modcloth.com

TopShop woven scarve
$32 – topshop.com

Essie Nail Polish – California Coral
$7.90 – apothica.com

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Beauty Bullseye: Sephora gift-sets

I know I complained about Christmas coming too early last week, but I guess the holiday madness has gotten to me. This seems to happen every year actually, because I just can’t resist gift-sets, all those little samples wrapped up in some sort of cute and usually portable package, they’re just irresistible to me. Sephora is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for cute gifts-sets for friends, family, or maybe even yourself this holiday season.

Let’s take a look at some highlights currently available at Sephora.com, shall we?

Tarte The Jewelry Box  $52

Tarte comes out with a set like this every year, and while I’ve never had one myself (I already own more eyeshadow than any person ever should), I’ve bought them for friends who have loved them. Tarte is a pretty awesome brand, and this is a great value for the price, especially since you get a substantial amount of product (they’re basically full-sized). This year the set comes with a chain necklace that’s a nice bonus even if it’s not the most expensive looking piece of jewelry, but it’s still pretty cute (what can you expect for a throw in gift?).

Sephora by OPI Eighteen Piece Mini Nail Colour Set $48

I pretty much get excited just looking at little bottles of anything, but especially nail polish so I had to put this set on the list. The set contains 18 .12 oz bottles of polish from the Sephora by OPI collection, each one works out to under $3 which isn’t bad. The only downside is that you can’t choose which colors you get, so while there are some nice ones in there, there might also be a few that you hate and will never use. It’s the risk you run with any gift-set, but if you have a friend who is a big nail polish fan this is a wonderful gift—and any colors they don’t like, they can always swap with you!

Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Makeup Deluxe Sampler $39

Sephora has a few of these deluxe samplers, they all feature a nice selection of best-selling products in small, but generous sample sizes. These are great if you want to try out some new products before you buy anything full-sized. This sampler makes an excellent holiday gift as it contains Sephora’s most glowy products, including a .17 oz Tarte cheekstain and Josie Maran Bronzing Argan Oil, perfect if you want to sparkle this season!

Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland $49


A friend of mine was recently raving about Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer, so naturally I have to feature this set which includes both eyeshadow and primer. If you don’t currently wear a primer under your shadow, it’s highly recommended, it will totally change not only the way your shadow looks, but how long it lasts on your lids. This set is cute for any girly-girl and features a bunch of the most popular Too-faced products including their Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk which is one of the only lip glosses I wear (it smells nice and isn’t too sticky).

Sephora Makeup Palette To Go – BCA Edition $15

Isn’t this little pink palette just too cute? At $15 you should buy one for all the women in your life this Christmas, especially since Sephora is giving $1 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for each palette sold. Great for travel, and perfect as a stocking stuffer—you can’t beat the price, 8 eyeshadows, 4 lip glosses, and a blush all for just 15 bucks!

Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster $48

If you know someone who has only recently entered the world of makeup, whether it be a teenage niece or a cosmetic curious friend, this is the perfect gift. I personally wouldn’t buy it if you already have a large makeup collection because there is a lot of stuff in there, but if you want to experiment and are looking for a variety—look no further.  Don’t expect high-caliber products, this set is definitely quantity over quality, but half the fun of makeup is playing with it anyway. With almost 100 shadows and 70 lip-glosses, you’re sure to have fun and find what colors suit you, that way you can invest in some higher quality products next year!

Deluxe Fragrance Sampler For Her $50

Last but not least, if you or someone you know is a fragrance fanatic, this is both a fun and practical gift. Sephora sells this kit for $50 which includes 12 perfume samples, the idea is that you try out each of them and then bring in the voucher included in the kit for a full size bottle of your favorite. As any perfume connoisseur knows, you can’t tell how a scent will interact with your body chemistry by spraying it on one of those paper strips in the store, you need to be able to wear it around for a couple of days before you decide if you really love it. I can’t be alone in having purchased a scent which I thought I loved and was later repulsed by, so I think this is a brilliant idea! The only downside is that last year they had a few different samplers to choose from and this year there is only one.

Anyone have other Sephora (or any cosmetic) gift-set recommendations? I’d love to hear them, got to get started on that Holiday shopping STAT!

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Prom Beauty

It’s prom season. Kids are getting picked up in limos left and right, and florist shops are busy making last-minute corsages and boutonnieres for that apex of adolescence, prom night. I was lucky enough to do the make-up for my cousin Emily last night before she hopped in her limo and went off with her date, hopefully to have a blast. Here’s a little before and after for you:

Obviously she is adorable to begin with:

But then SHAZAM—makeup.

Whether you like wearing makeup or not, you have to admit, sometimes it’s fun right? At first Emily wanted natural makeup, but I (and best friend Erica) were like, “hello, prom!” so we went for a smokey silvery eye instead.

Prom is a time to have fun, and us Long Islanders do it like nobody else. The whole world thinks we are crazy for our love of prom, myself included. I was the one, after all, who was set on not attending my prom, because I was such a cool non-conformist.

Part of the reason I had planned not to attend my prom was because of the spectacle it is here on Long Island, there are red carpets, balloon arches, and insane limos. It can definitely be a stressful and silly endeavor. When my mother finally convinced me to go, in order to avoid later regrets, I realized that I actually did want the whole thing, because it was a chance to celebrate with my friends and have fun. I put together my own outfit, brought one of my best friends as my date, had an amazing time, and as mom promised, have no regrets.

Yes we are prom crazy in NY and NJ, but there are worse things to celebrate. There are always going to be those people who go overboard, and of course teens will be teens and get rowdy, but didn’t we all? The south has debutante balls, and people get really excited about things like football in other parts of the country, so what’s wrong with a little prom craziness, as long as you’re not putting yourself or anyone else in debt?

It was really nice to see Emily enjoying her high school moment, god knows they go by too fast. We live in a very cynical world, but it’s nice to look at something that gets a bad rap like prom, and let ourselves see the beauty in it every once in a while. Seventeen is an age when you have the world in front of you as you celebrate the life you’re leaving behind, it’s a rite of passage, and people who are lucky enough to have a prom should enjoy their moment. I know Emily is going to.

She sort of has a Taylor Swift thing going on, no?

So, to all of you graduating and celebrating at prom or wherever, congrats, and I hope you dance till you just can’t stand it! Here’s one of me and my prom date, circa 2001, just for kicks.

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Beauty Bullseye: Summer cosmetics picks

So far I haven’t really posted about cosmetic products specifically, only about my love for them. So I thought my summer product picks would be a good place to start. I change-up my beauty routine in the warmer months, just like I have movies, music, and books that I only read, listen to, or watch, depending on the season, I also have certain products that I use during the summer exclusively (unless I choose to break my own rules which I do all the time).

Let’s start with a summer staple, the blotting paper. I have only recently re-discovered these guys after forgetting about them after high-school. Summer means sweat, which means shine. Sometimes shine looks amazing and dewy, and other times it  makes you look hot, and not in a good way, so these are a nice little solution, and also very affordable.

(Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets $6.00 for 50)

Sticking to the realm of fighting off sweat (accidental pun), here is one of my summer splurges, Lush dusting powder. Lush makes a variety of wonderful dusting powders, as well as other all-natural products, but this one might smell the best.  Dust it on after the shower and the clean, natural, scent of cocoa butter and vanilla will last all day, very much worth the price.

(Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder $11.95)

So, after you’ve gotten out of the shower and dusted yourself off with powder, you might want to moisturize that skin. I’m sure there are lots of very expensive, fancy, body moisturizers out there, but I have no money, so I like this one that i get at the drug store which smells great and lasts forever. It also does a very good job of keeping legs and body soft, while smelling lovely. Also, despite being a Johnson’s product it doesn’t smell like baby oil, more like strawberries.

(Johnson’s 24 Hour Lotion $5.99)

I have sensitive skin, so I can only use certain moisturizers on my face, my go-to brand is Clinique, because it’s gentle and hypoallergenic. My new favorite product is their Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer, which focuses on lightening brown spots from prior sun damage. I never listened to my mother when she told me to wear sunscreen when I was younger, so I was so happy to find this product which moisturizes, corrects skin discoloration, and has the added bonus of SPF 20 for sun protection.

(Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20 $42.50)

Moving on to the issue of bronzer/self tanner, I have long given up pretending I am anything but pale, but in the process I have tried many bronzing products. I must say as far as self-tanner goes, I haven’t found any oh-my-gosh amazing product. Everything streaks, blotches, or both. Even the lightest of formulas leave me looking zebra-like and consequently more embarrassed to show my skin. I do keep one tanning product around and that is Clarins Self Tanning Gel, I don’t use much of it, but I’m sure those of you with darker skin than mine (i.e. everyone) could put this product to even better use. However, I do like to dab it on my face in the summer, it gives a nice, natural, glow without looking too orange.

(Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel, 4.4 oz. $32.50)

For Fall and winter I like a rosy cheek, but in the summer I like things a little bit peachy. My sister gave me this Coralista blush from Benefit because her skin is even more sensitive than mine, and the scent is also very strong. It didn’t bother my skin at all, and I actually love the golden peach color it leaves on my cheeks, it’s very summery, I also happen to like the smell, although it’s perfumy. It comes with a little brush, but it’s cheaply made and the hairs fall out, so I would recommend using this with a normal blush brush.

(Benefit CORALista Blush $28)

I am so sick of hearing how Chanel always comes up with the hottest nail colors of the season when everyone knows it’s OPI and Essie who come out with the same color months in advance at one-third of the price. This season Chanel has delivered Nouvelle Vague, which looks very similar to one of my favorite colors, Greenport, from Essie’s summer line last year, only with a bit more shimmer. I’m happy that greens and blues on nails have gained popularity, it’s just fun and beachy for summer.

(Essie nail Polish in Greenport, $8)

I spend half the summer battling with my hair, which like the Grinch’s heart, grows three sizes each day. While in the winter I might try to tame my waves occasionally, in the summer I just give up and embrace the wildness. I have found that Fekkai’s Tousled Wave Spray helps encourage the crazy waviness that summer humidity can bring, while still keeping frizz to a minimum and smelling great.

(Frederic Fekkai Coiff Oceanique Tousled Wave Spray $23)

I’ve saved the best for last. These new lip stains from Tarte are my winner for summer. I have looked for something like these for a while, and was very happy to find them. I love lipstick, but I’m not a lipstick person, mostly because I’m lazy and forget to reapply it. These new stains go on like a lipstick, look glossy, and then stay on like a stain. They’re also minty and cute. The stains go on bright, which I like, and can be layered for an even brighter look. They’re on the pricey side, and I feel guilty for having two of them, but for a really great product, I have no regrets. I’ve been trying to get my hands on the Enchanted color for a while, but it’s always sold out everywhere. I have the Amused (bright pink) and the Lust (bright red) and I love them both!

(Tarte Natural Lip Stain with LipSurgence™ Technology $23 each)

So there you have it, that’s what I’ll be slathering on myself this summer. What are you guys splurging (or not splurging) on this year? I would love to hear what products help you fight the frizz and humidity, and keep you happy during the summer months, so let me know!

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The beauty of choice

I love makeup. I have never had a day where upon waking up I feel annoyed at having to put it on. If that were the case I probably wouldn’t wear any. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t wear so much, or that I only do it for other people, and I resent both those ideas. I don’t see why anyone should feel the need to tell anyone else what they should, or shouldn’t, do with their own face or body. Unless, of course, it’s seriously hurting themselves or others.

For me, makeup has always been a form of expression. In Jr. high school, one of the most miserable periods in my (and probably everyone’s) life, I used to come home, sit in front of my light up mirror, and escape. I could try on different personas, I could be anyone, it was freeing. I hate the idea that for some women wearing make-up isn’t a choice, it’s an obligation. It’s something forced upon us in the name of making ourselves our best, but really all it does is promote sameness, because women aren’t encouraged to wear make up to express themselves, they’re encouraged to wear it to ‘improve’ themselves, to show their best face to the world. That’s fine, but it shouldn’t be a standard. To some people, a woman who doesn’t use cosmetics is equally as shameful as the woman who layers it on. We are always being told, do this not that, this is appropriate, and this is not. But the truth is, what is appropriate for one person may not be for another. We get to make those choices for ourselves.

I have tried every kind of look on my face and I’ve proudly paraded my blue eyeshadow or purple lips wherever I felt necessary. Unfortunately, once I started working in an office I began feeling pressure to conform. As an intern my supervisor once turned to me in horror “your eyeshadow—it’s GREEN!” I suddenly felt called out, and for the duration of my internship I stuck to taupe shadow, I didn’t want to appear unprofessional, I wanted to be taken seriously. Looking back I know now that I shouldn’t have let that get to me, I am who I am, and I like green eyeshadow.

I’ve also worn liquid eyeliner nearly everyday for ten plus years, I love wearing it, it feels like me. I put it on to go to the grocery store, and even sometimes when I am doing an aerobics video at home, all alone. I do it for myself. Once, when I was going through a tough spat and feeling very depressed I stopped wearing it. A close friend of mine sat me down and told me she was concerned “I noticed you haven’t been wearing eyeliner, is everything OK?” it wasn’t. And she was right, it made me realize I was losing myself. Because what you put on your face, it’s really all about you, and how it makes you feel. Nobody should be afraid to wear red lipstick or blush, but nobody should feel like they have to either. It should be an individual choice. If you want to wear bold lips and bold eyes, well damn what Allure says, you go do it! Not because you want to look hot for some guy, or because your friends are doing it, or because it’s like super hot right now, but because YOU want to do it.

There are always going to be people who, for some reason, feel the need to share their opinion of what you choose to do with your body, probably because they have issues with their own image, but it’s your face, and it’s yours to show the world however you decide.  So please ladies (and gentlemen) don’t let anyone ever make you feel otherwise!

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