Monday, April 22, 2013

Nail of the Day: Essie Mod Square

Good evening ladies (and gents)!! What better way to start off a week than with a fresh manicure? I can't think of one!
Essie Nail Polish in Mod Square
So I mentioned in my last nail post that I have a love-hate relationship with Essie polishes. However, I do own several because I went to college in a very small town that was about 45 minutes away from the closest OPI vendor. The Walmart 5 minutes away started selling Essie, which was much more accessible

My beloved favorite OPI pink, Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot! exploded all over my nail polish drawer one day and I found myself needing a bright pink in a bad way. I picked up Mod Square, a cool, bright, pink cream shade with a touch of neon. It's not a dupe for Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot! (which is warmer), but it gives a similar vibe. I've have issues with the opacity of Essie polishes - I find a lot of them to be streaky and they usually require 3 coats, something I hate doing for a color that isn't "spectacular" or unique.

My hilariously tiny child hands with a very pretty polish.
However, this color is better than others I've used in the line. It is still a bit streaky on the first coat, and can be uneven on the second, but I find that using it with my Revlon base makes it stick better and I can get nearly-opaque coverage in 2 coats. It's a super fun bright color for spring, and it's one of those colors that just makes my hands look tanner, ya know? And sorry for the iPhone pictures - my normal camera sometimes makes things look super yellow in artificial light (not quite sure how to fix this), and it was especially bad tonight.

Bonus Candle-Of-The-Night

B&BW Lemon Mint Leaf Candle
I think this would definitely be a love-or-hate candle, depending on whether you think it smells clean, or just like bathroom cleaner. To me, it smells like what I imagine a squeaky clean room should smell like, and it's growing on me. It's not something I'd want to leave burning for hours on end, but letting it burn for an hour or so makes my room smell refreshed even for hours after I've blown it out.

What color polish are you wearing right now? Let me know down below!!

XOXO Samantha

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things... Brown Shadow

Time for a few more of my favorite things!!!

It's been almost a month since I did my last installment in my Favorite Things series. I'm mixing it up from the last time I did a set of favorite shadows and including both a cream shadow and individual colors from a palette (which could be a favorite all on its own). Some of these shadows are new favorites, while others are colors I've owned and loved for years, but rest assured that all of these colors are ones I reach for several times a week.

From Left to Right: Patina, Mulch, Satin Taupe
MAC Patina - This may be my favorite MAC shadow. The camera doesn't do this one justice, folks. I was struggling for words to describe this shade, and keep coming up blank. MAC's site describes it as a "taupe brown with golden pearl" and I guess that's accurate, but it leaves out the magic of this shade. It's fairly light, much lighter than a color like Satin Taupe. It never quite looks like one color (much like actual patina) and that shift is really neat. JUST GO SWATCH IT! I promise you won't regret it. I like using this as an all-over lid color, or for a very subtle eye running a bit of this through the crease for just a touch of definition.

MAC Mulch - A red-brown with a nice sheen to it. I love this brown because it's warm without being orange - and definitely the reason I almost always reach for this over MAC's Bronze. If "red-brown" makes you cringe, I promise this doesn't come off as red on the eyes. It's a great, easy to work with crease color - I particularly love pairing this with Shroom all over the lid and brow.

MAC Satin Taupe - A cool taupe with silvery sparkle. It's a good staple cool brown to have at your disposal. And the formulation is dreamy - I wish all MAC shadows were as lovely as this one.

CoverGirl Single Eye Shadow in Tapestry Taupe: I think I've ranted and raved enough about this shadow over the past couple of months. It's a great light taupe color, and I love wearing it on my lids. I use this and Sidecar the most for lid color.

Urban Decay Naked Palette - This palette could be a favorite all on its own. It's funny, because by looks I'd think I'd like Naked 2 much more, but I find myself reaching for this much more. This was a Christmas present from CDBP, and could possibly be why it holds such a special place in my heart. However, there are 2 shades I use much more than the rest:
From Left to Right: Tapestry Taupe (CG), Sidecar, Naked
- Naked: There isn't anything special about this shade... and that's why I love it. It's a matte light brown that is perfect to run through my crease to warm it up a bit and aid in blending out other darker shadows. And it doesn't show up as orange on my skin, a huge problem I have with warm browns. I use this mostly with my 224 to warm up my crease after applying a midtone brown (like Sidecar, Tapestry Taupe, or Patina) to my lid.
- Sidecar: I like to think of this as the warm and slightly lighter version of Satin Taupe. It's cooler than other shades in the Naked Palette, but it definitely has gold sparkle to it. This shade is versatile and it's light enough to be worn on the lid for an everyday look or can be used in the crease.

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze: A cream shadow! I've honestly never understood why this is called "bronze" because it wears a lot like Satin Taupe on my skin. I guess it's more like a cooler brown with bronzey sparkle? Or maybe most of the "bronze" shades I have run orange and this doesn't. Regardless of my issues with the name, I love this color. I wear it both on its own and as a base for other shadows. I'm particularly fond of Stila's Kitten over this!

I'd love to talk about your favorite brown shadows down below - leave me a comment telling me what you reach for the most!!

XOXO Samantha

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

*REVIEW* - CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation

I showed the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation in a recent haul, and thought I'd share my thoughts on this relatively new foundation with all of you. I have to admit, as far as foundations go, I was pretty excited to give this a whirl. I was really curious about the product. A full coverage drugstore foundation? That promises to stay on all day? And replace concealer? What??? I know, right? The marketing totally got me too.

Of course I was burning Market Peach. What else do you expect?
I purchased it in the lightest shade, Ivory, and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too dark for me. I was also beyond thrilled that a drugstore brand finally decided to put a pump on a foundation. SOMEONE SEND A MEMO TO REVLON - QUICK!!! Seriously -- why do so few drugstore foundations have pumps that I have to get this excited about the ones that do? It's not rocket science - even my cheap-o hand soap has this pump business down.


I have to say I was really pleased by this foundation. It's a full coverage foundation, but it felt light on the skin and never looked mask-like. The product itself is a pretty thin liquid, which gives it really nice blendability, and you don't have to worry about it drying before you have time to work with it. I have normal-to-dry skin that is prone to flaking, so I was worried that this foundation would emphasize minor flaking or dryness. On my first attempt, I applied with my RealTechniques Expert Face Brush, which didn't work out well. The buffing brush plus a more matte foundation did emphasize the minimal dryness of my skin and made me look like I was wearing foundation.

I'm so glad I gave this foundation a second chance, because when applied with my MAC 190 foundation brush, this stuff is absolute perfection. While I still needed to use concealer on my undereye circles and one or two red scars, this totally covered up any smaller spots and all the redness around my nose and chin. It has a more natural-to-matte finish, which I LOVE. There is nothing I hate more than being halfway through a day only to have my foundation start to feel greasy and slimy on my face (my main beef with the Nearly Naked foundation). While my arm is lighter than my face so the shades don't quite match up, you can see the nice, soft matte finish the foundation gives in the picture below. There is no shine or dewiness, which is the kind of finish I love. This stuff lasted ALL DAY - I went from a full day of work to a benefit dinner and my face looked flawless from start to finish. No weird spots where my foundation had worn or melted off!! It's also worth mentioning that this didn't oxidize on me, which has been a problem for me with other drugstore foundations.

Left: Liquid foundation; Right: Blended out
Overall, I really liked this foundation. My last few skin makeup choices have left me disappointed, so it was refreshing to go into a drugstore product with low expectations and be really impressed. It'll be nice to have a long-lasting full-coverage foundation on my side going into the melt-y summer months.

What foundations have you been wearing into spring? Does your routine change at all as it warms up, or do you stick to the same base day in and day out? Let me know down below!

XOXO Samantha

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Skincare Routine (and hello, SPRING!!!)

Happy spring, y'all!!

CDBP bought me pretty spring flowers!!!!

It's 70 and sunny here today, and I'm listening to the birds chirp and the neighbor kids play as I type this. I started a new and exciting job today, it smells gorgeous outside, and I'm in the best mood I've been in in a while. What a day!!

I thought I'd take some time today to share my skincare routine with you guys. I had very oily skin all the way until the end of college, when my face suddenly started freaking out and became dry, flaky, and super sensitive. It took me about 3-6 months to really figure out what my skin had become and how to deal with it. I have found that if I use products that are too heavy I'll still break out, but oil-free moisture no longer cuts it in my world. It was a balancing act, but I'll show you guys what I use after the jump!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Project 10 Pan

As evidenced by my last blog entry, I've been spending waaaay too much money on makeup. I'm drawing a line right here: no new makeup until I finish 10 items in my collection.*

*Okay, okay, there are exceptions. I only keep 2 mascaras around at once, and toss them after 3 months. So I can still buy mascara. And I also only use one concealer/corrector and powder, so I can rebuy those if need be. But no eye makeup, no liner, no foundation, no blush, no lipstick or lipgloss... NOTHING ELSE.

I also declare that I'm going to do my darndest to actually finish a Bobbi Brown Gel Liner. I've never finished one before it started cracking and drying up before, and I'd love to say I've done it. We'll see how this goes.

XOXO Samantha

Monday, April 8, 2013

Excuses and a Haul

My car broke down.

It's not much, but it explains why this post is going up so late. I have SERIOUSLY been trying to get this posted since Thursday, but have had a lot to deal with the past few days. I even fell asleep for a few minutes in the middle of typing this. Yeeeeaaaaaah, it was that kind of weekend.

You wouldn't be able to tell from this blog, but I swear I don't normally buy this much makeup. I just feel like there have been so many new and exciting products at the drugstore this spring that I can't help myself. Plus up until this year I've really only been "into" buying eye products - and now I'm really into face and lips. I am constantly craving trying out new foundations and lip colors... and I have terrible self-control.

There was a 20% off everything coupon. I mean, COME ON.

Tarte BB Cream
I've raved about how much I love this product here before. It's amazing - and I decided to take the plunge and buy a full sized tube of this. I know that going into summer I'm not going to want the feel of a heavy foundation, and this is super light weight, long lasting, and not at all greasy -- so basically everything I want in a base. It has light coverage, but it evens out the redness in my skin and makes the texture/tone look 100 times better. I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about this in the next few months.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Can I just tell you how excited I am to do my foundation with this brush tomorrow? Because I am so flippin' excited you'd think it was Christmas Eve. This brush is soft and dense, and will be perfect for buffing foundation into my skin. I also really wanted to pick up the stippling brush, but my Ulta was out of them. Sad Pandas :(

China Glaze For Audrey
Fact: I am obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. My mom raised me on classic movies; when I was in 2nd grade I told my class my favorite movie was Sabrina, and they all thought I was talking about a teenage witch. Silly kids. I had a "display-only" Barbie of Audrey in the white ball gown from My Fair Lady. I had three posters of her in my dorm room. The fact that they named a Tiffany box blue color after her just means I wanted it more. I'm currently wearing this on my nails and I love it.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain in Rendezvous
I've had this lip stain on my mind since I picked up Sweetheart/Valentine about a month ago. It's a pretty tangerine orange and it totally fits the bill on the bright lip trend I've been digging this year.

I also used coupons, which I highly recommend for drugstore makeup - you'll save a ton of money that way!

CoverGirl Clump Crusher
I'm OCD about throwing out my mascara after 3 months - I even make an entry on my calendar for the day it's supposed to get tossed!! Anyways, my LashBlash Volume is about up and I needed a new mascara. I'm feeling adventurous, so I decided to try Clump Crusher, as people have been raving about it everywhere from r/MakeupAddiction to YouTube for months. I'll let you guys know how I like it!

CoverGirl 3 in 1 Foundation
I mentioned this on my wishlist and decided to try it out... I haven't opened it yet, but I'm sure I'll be doing a review on it!

CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm in Watermelon Twist
Another wishlist item. I couldn't help myself. I have a problem.

Bonus: Swatches of Watermelon Twist and Rendezvous 

What makeup have you guys been picking up for spring? Anyone else feel like something bigger and better keeps coming out? I feel like the majority of the releases are out now and that I might be able to curtail my spending for the next few months. We'll see!

XOXO Samantha

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Makeup Wish List

I keep an actual list of makeup I want. No really. Obviously there are the products that I can't ever forget about (hello, Sigma brushes!) but I often see products I'd really like to try and then promptly forget about them. So I write them down. It's problematic, to say the least. Today I thought I'd give you peak into my makeup wish list!

This thing gets me into so much trouble.

1. Real Techniques Brushes
I've heard some really fabulous things about these brushes. I have been wanting to expand my brush collection, and I think I'm going to start by picking up a couple of face brushes. I really want to try the stippling brush for foundation and cream blush. I have also been dying to get my hands on the expert face brush which looks exactly like the kind of foundation brush I've been wanting to try out.

2. Sigma Kabuki Kit - 5 Brushes
I'm really on a face brush kick. I've been eyeing these brushes for months and months and can't make myself take the plunge and buy them. Maybe one day!

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush
I can't believe I don't own any of these!! I'm particularly interested in Exposed, Dollface, and Tipsy (though let's be honest - I'm interested in all of them). 

4. Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Liner in Chaos
Chaos was 90% of the reason that I bought the Vice Palette the week it came out. And now they're making it in a pencil, which would be totally wearable on the bottom lash line with a bronzey summer eye - right? RIGHT? I don't care if I'll only use it 3 times a year. It's gorgeous. I have to have it.

5. Maybelline Color Vivids Lipsticks
I have been loving the bright lip trend this spring (particularly since lipstick can be safely applied in the car 30 seconds before sprinting into work). It's a great way to mix up my makeup looks and make me not feel like such a bore. These have gotten great reviews and are totally affordable - I see a couple of these ending up in my Walmart cart the next time I'm there!
6. CoverGirl 3-in-1 Foundation
I'm the most intrigued by this. I've heard mostly good reviews about it, and several vloggers I watch seem to have picked it up recently. I don't really have any full coverage foundations, so finding a decent one at the drugstore would be cool!

7. CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Watermelon Twist
This shade just looks so pretty. And it's a balm. In a twisty pencil thingy. I've really been on CG kick after they impressed me with both the LashBlast Volume and their eyeshadow in Tapestry Taupe. (Previously, I avoided them like the plague due to horrific middle school experiences with the brand and chalky blue eye shadow.)

8. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous
I almost picked this pretty orangey coral shade up when I got Sweetheart/Valentine, but I put it back since I didn't know how much I'd love the formulation. But I want this. I want it so badly. And it will be mine. 

What's been sitting on your makeup wishlist this spring? Let me know down below!

XOXO Samantha