Thursday, October 4, 2012

Maybelline 24 Hour Tattoo Eye Shadows

So here's the thing.

I am completely and totally obsessed with Maybelline's 24 Hour Tattoo Eye Shadows. 

I'm sure this isn't a surprise to anyone, as people have been raving about them since they were released earlier this year. I went out and bought a couple (Tough as Taupe and Bold Gold), and fell so in love with them that I went back and got more. And when they came out with the LE shades for fall this year? Swoon. I was all over that. I have really only purchased neutral colors because I tend to wear neutrals on a day-to-day basis. If I'm going to be doing a crazy color (maybe once or twice a week, MAX), I'll use UDPP + a NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil as those are cheaper and come in a wider variety of matte, shimmery, and glittery colors. 

Swatches of all the shades I own.

From left to right: Too Cool, Barely Beige, Tough as Taupe, Bold Gold

Too Cool: The swatch doesn't show up well in the photo. It's definitely sheer, but I find that it works really nicely to amp up lighter or brighter colors, as well as boosting matte shadows with less color payoff. 
Barely Beige: (Fall LE) This is a beautiful every day base color and I'm sorely disappointed that this is an LE shade. This is the kind of skin-toned basic that was missing from the original launch. This works as a great base on the lid for an every day look - to me it is in the same vein of peachy neutrals as MAC's Naked Lunch and All That Glitters, and I love it.

Because the larger swatch picture didn't do much for the lighter shades, here's an up close of the two lightest shades in my collection.

Tough as Taupe: This is the only matte I own. It falls into the "greige" category, and you can easily make it work with either browns or greys. It's a unique color, for sure, but it can be really hard to work with if you're applying it with a finger to bare skin. I do this for all the colors, but find it absolutely necessary for this one in particular: apply just a dab of your normal base first (I use UDPP) and then use a synthetic shader brush to control where you're applying it. It will create a much more even, less streaky layer than attempting to apply it with your finger.
Bold Gold: This shade doesn't have much color payoff, and I find it to be a bit slicker than the other ones. I definitely feel like I need to use primer underneath it. This was a great neutral summer look for me, and I wore it on the lid to just get a nice glow on my eyes and not have lots of heavy shadow melting down my face. I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it in winter, but even though it isn't my favorite of the shadows, I've probably used it the most. 

From left to right: Gold Shimmer, Bad to the Bronze, Rich Mahogany

Gold Shimmer: (Fall LE) This is a beautiful, opaque, bronze-y gold. This would be a perfect base for a gold or bronze smoky eye. It's definitely a more fall gold, and not the sheer, yellow, summery gold of Bold Gold.
Bad to the Bronze: Okay, I seriously don't get why this has bronze in the name. Seriously. This product is nearly the same shade as MAC's Satin Taupe, and it definitely has more cool undertones to it. That said, it is probably my favorite color I own. It's just beautiful. Sometimes I do a simple look with this on the lid, MAC's Satin Taupe in the crease to blend it out, and a highlight shade. Other times I'll use this as a great base for a smoky brown look. If I could only keep one shade, this would be the shade I'd save.
Rich Mahogany: A fantastic deep brown with flecks of reddish glitter in - this would perfect with cranberry or fallish red colors. It's a very rich color, and it's perfect for fall.

Overall I'm incredibly happy with these shadows. They are super affordable, the packaging is nice and heavy (definitely doesn't feel cheap), and the color payoff is fantastic. I find them highly comparable to MAC Paint Pots, with a more diverse permanent color range. While these claim to last for 24 hours, I still like to use a little UDPP underneath because my lids are slightly oily. A smidge of that and these bad boys won't budge at all, which is remarkable for a cream shadow. If you haven't tried these, I'd highly recommend grabbing one and keeping an eye out for any LE shadows in coming seasons. 

Have you tried the 24 Hour Tattoo Shadows? What other colors should I check out? Let me know in the comments below!

Peace, love, & lots of mascara!

XOXO Samantha

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Playing with Color: A Green and Blue Look

My name is Samantha, and I have a problem.

I am scared to wear blue eye shadow.

When I was 12, I wore blue eye shadow all the time. My preferred color was a chalky pale blue in a palette of selectable colors from Old Navy. Considering my other choices were bright white, pastel green, and glittery lavender, I'm not even surprised this was my favorite. My family's Christmas card picture for that year features me in a lime green spandex-y shirt with Bath and Body Works glitter rolled across my cheeks and a healthy coating of blue eye shadow packed onto my lid and crease. I'm not even going to discuss my hair, as the English language fails to provide me with words to describe the mess it was. As my mom has the picture on prominent display in her living room, it gets commented on every time an aunt or grandparent stops by. (Why is this time-warped photo still on display? My brothers were never allowed to make such humiliating style decisions at young ages, so they both look like classic examples of young gentlemen in their khakis and red and green plaid button downs. I look like Mimi from the Drew Carey show and a stripper raised a child together.)

So every time I reach for one of the truly beautiful blue eye shadows I own, I shudder a little. I am convinced that despite how my skill with makeup has evolved over the past decade or how much better quality my products are, the second I apply anything with the remotest hint of blue to my eyes I will be immediately transformed into that awkward 6th grader.

I've found that the easiest way for me to sometimes get around my blue eye shadow block is to play with navy. I got one of the MAC holiday palettes from Christmas 2010, which includes some really gorgeous and unique colors, including a matte navy. Every once in a while I will get really bold and try to use navy as the color in the outer crease. Usually I spend the whole evening feeling silly about what's on my face; I'm convinced it looks terrible and that everyone thinks I look crazy with navy on my eyes.

However, my boyfriend loves it when I do crazy makeup looks. I usually wear very little to no makeup when we're together, so I think it represents me being "glamorous" for a big night out. He came to visit me from medical school this past weekend. (I had surgery last week and he was taking care of me while my parents went to a wedding.) Even though I'm in pain, I've been playing with makeup a lot to distract myself. I decided to do a full face look to surprise him when he showed up Friday night, and challenged myself to include some color - yes, including blue.

Products Used:

Mac 6 Twists of Tartan Palette - I used High Spirits (top right), Set to Dance (bottom middle), and Bows & Curtseys (bottom right).

Top: Light Brown, Mylar, Honey Lust (all MAC)
Bottom: L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Iced Latte, Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Espresso Ink

1. First, I applied a small dab of Urban Decay Primer Potion to both lids. I patted a bright avocado green on the outer 3/4 of my lid using a flat shader brush (MAC 242, but 252 would work just as well). I used a frosty golden highlight (L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Iced Latte) on the inner corner (the shade I used actually applies best to the inner corner with a finger). 

2. I then took a light brown shade and using a fluffy crease brush (MAC 217) ran it through and slightly above my crease to define it and to also make it easier to blend other colors up towards my brow later. (No harsh lines between blue and my skin!) 

3. I took the shimmery teal color from the MAC palette and using the 217 applied it most heavily to my outer corner and crease and took it up into the very deepest part of the crease just until where the avocado stopped.

4. I dipped a pencil brush (MAC 219) into the navy. I drew a V shape from the outer bit of my lash line, up towards my brow, and then over into my crease. (I tried to draw it along the imaginary line from the corner of my lid to the edge of my brow.) I kept this color heavy and "filled in the V" so that I had a darker outer corner that blended into the teal color forming a gradient. I also used a bit of residual color on the brush to smudge it on the outer part of my lower lash line.

5. To soften up the very bright green (and to add a bit of glow to the eye), I spot cleaned the shader brush and used it to pat on Honey Lust over the green and teal part of the lid. Make sure to pat and not rub to prevent your colors from smudging and also to prevent the glittery fallout mess you'll get from this MAC lustre.

6. I used a dense dome brush with a satin highlight shade (MAC Mylar) to highlight my brow bone and to soften any edges. 

7. I lined my eyes with Bobbi Brown's gel liner in Espresso Ink, making it fairly thick and angled at the outer corners to help emphasize the outer v. If I had had a navy gel liner, I would have used this instead, but I worked with what I had. I finished the eyes with a coat of DiorShow mascara in black.

8. I finished the look off with a little of MAC's Gingerly blush along my cheek bones, and then just tapped the apples of my cheeks with Clinique's Honey Blush to add a bit more glow. I kept the lips simple with a few swipes of Maybelline's Baby Lips in Peach Kiss. 

Here are a couple of close ups of the finished look:

I was so pleased with how it turned out. While I'm not sure I'll be wearing something like this to work anytime soon, it's the kind of eye I would feel confident wearing out to dinner with my boyfriend or at a party. Apparently I had no reason to fear trying blue!!

What color are you most afraid to wear? Do you simply think you can't pull it off or does it bring back bad memories of makeup looks past? Let me know in the comments below!!

Peace, love and lots of mascara!

XOXO Samantha

Butter London!!

Hello there, beauty darlings!

So I've heard girls in the beauty community raving about Butter London polishes for the last year or so. But with their $14 price tag, I haven't been able to justify trying them out. Until yesterday. Ulta had a BOGO Free sale on Butter London polishes. Of course, I had to pick a couple up. I restrained myself and only got 2, but now I'm wishing I'd picked up a few more at such a fabulous price.

Disco Biscuit and Slapper!

I picked up Disco Biscuit, a gorgeous cool hot pink with micro glitter, and Slapper, a cream teal/aqua color that leans more green than the picture above shows. I love both of them! I am actually glad that Slapper ends up looking more green on because I have quite a few blue polishes (it's my favorite color!) and not a single green one. I was also surprised that I got full coverage out of 2 coats of Disco Biscuit. I may add a 3rd coat just to see if there is a difference, but I am happy with 2. I would also recommend adding a top coat over Disco Biscuit because the texture from the micro glitter is quite rough and not very shiny without one. 

2 coats of Disco Biscuit without a top coat.

Slapper on my toes!

Happy toes :)

What other shades from Butter London would you recommend checking out? Let me know in the comments below! 

Peace, Love, & Lots of Mascara,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bath & Body Works Candle Haul

Hey guys!

Fall is my favorite season, bar none. Nothing makes me happier than the crisp scent of leaves and everything from coffee to bath products being loaded up with cinnamon, pumpkin, and apples. Over the past year I've turned into quite the candle girl. Part of my routine when I get home from work is to light a candle at my desk, sip on some water, and check my email, facebook, etc. It's just so relaxing! However, I'm very sensitive and particular about scents. I'm not a huge fan of floral stuff, nor of anything that is sickly sweet. (I don't want my candles to smell like frosted cupcakes, thank you very much.) Fall is my favorite time to stock up on candles for the whole year, because it seems like everything is warm and spicy. (Mmm... cinnamon!) Leaves has historically been my favorite - in fact, last year I bought something like 8 of them so that I wouldn't run out once they were out of stores! I still have 2 full ones left in my closet, so I decided that this year I wanted to branch out and try new scents.

I had gone into a Bath & Body Works store a few weeks ago to smell the new candles and get a feel for the scents I'd like. (Aaaand... I may have purchased some mini candles to test drive a few particularly enticing scents!) When their 2 for $20 candle event came around this past week I ordered online. I woke up this morning to a big cardboard box on my doorstep filled with fall candles! Yippee!!

My candle haul!

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin: This smells exactly like pumpkin pie spice, with a hint of the creaminess of pumpkin and the sweetness of vanilla in the background. The most obvious scent is definitely cinnamon.

Spiced Cider: True to scent, this smells like a mug of steaming spiced cider. You can definitely smell the apple, but the spiciness cuts through the fruity sweetness. 

Cider Lane: Normally I don't go for sweeter smelling candles, but I thought I'd give this one a try. It smells exactly like a tart granny smith apple dipped in caramel sauce. There is a little bit of a cinnamon-y spiciness to it, but it is overall a sweeter smelling candle. I haven't burned this one yet so I'm curious to see how sweet it will be when it's burning. 

Farmstand Apple: Again, I decided to try something different and give myself a break from the overly spicy scents with this. It smells exactly like B&BW's apple scented skin care products, which I've owned in the past and which haven't bothered me, so I thought I'd give this candle a try. It's very fruity, and I figured it would be a cleaner scent to burn if I got sick of all the cinnamon and spice! I'll let you guys know how I end up liking this one!

All of my fall candles!!

I'm excited to add some variety to my candle burning - I was seriously starting to get sick of Leaves, which I didn't think could happen!! If you have any fall favorites, let me know in the comments below!

XOXO Samantha