Wednesday, December 30, 2015

REVIEW: Urban Decay Smoked Palette

First of all this is NOT the Urban Decay Naked Smoked Palette. I find it a little annoying that they have a naked smokey and a smoked palette that are entirely different, but that is not really a big factor here. I bought this item on an impulse from Ulta Beauty. I was surprised that I did because I really don't do the whole smokey thing, like at all. My eye shadow looks are usually very subtle and neutral using nudes, browns and sometimes purple or pink. However this palette was only $22! I had to do it!

So here is what I love:
  • The case is amazing! I depot all my eye shadows anyways, but I might not with this one, because the case is SO cute! It comes in a little zipper like clutch. The inside is pretty as well (see pictures).
  • The color go on smooth and pigmented, just like you'd expect from Urban Decay. 
  • The funky colors (a vivid purple, blue and green) are very wearable, they have and earthiness to them that is stunning and makes them very versatile.
  • The VALUE! One thing I have always had a hard time with when it comes to palettes is that I end up only using half the colors, so I have wasted that money. However with this price, it is hard to say no! On top of having the 10 shades and great packaging, this palette comes with a mini eye shadow primer and a full sized Perversion black eyeliner pencil. The pencil when bought alone is $20, so you can pay $2 more and get a palette AND mini primer! 
  • Each of the shades is sold individually. I don't know how often you buy palettes or sets of shadows or eyeliners and then realize once you have fallen in love with and run out of one of them, that you can not buy that color outside of the set. Well it happens to me a lot (I'm looking at you 24/7 Glide on Liner in the shade Trick, which was a part of the Cosmic Liner set from Urban Decay this holiday season). Well each of these shades can be bought individually! 

So here is what I didn't like:

  • .... well I guess I should say SOMETHING right? I don't love that there are three shades of grey. It is a smoked palette, so I guess that is expected, and they are all different and beautiful. I also wish palettes didn't all have black in them! I have so much black eye shadow!
  • That's it! I got nothing else!
In the end this palette is a great deal, made with great product, in a greta package. What more could you ask for? 5 out of 5 starts! I highly recommend it!

Friday, December 11, 2015

What Should I use to Contour?

There are so many ways to contour right now, and there are all kinds of items you can use to do it, however these are my favorites and why I love them, as well as what I do not recommend. With contouring there is really only two different mediums you can use, cream and powder. I love both, and with the right items you can not go wrong.

Lorac Pro Contour Palette
Why I Love It: The powder has a silky finish and almost buttery feel. It has three different dark shades for contouring and three highlight shades (a neutral and golden and a shimmer shade). I usually hate contour palettes because I only use 2-3 shades and I pay for 6-8, however with this one the shades are so bendable and versatile that I use all 6 often! I also love the instructional book it comes with. Instead of having an intimidating face chart covered in lines, it has several face charts with just a few spots each showing the different kinds of contouring and why you would use it (not just one face with all 4 diagrams on one).

What I Don't Love: The brush is high quality, but I do not much care for the shape of it in general. I prefer to use an angled cheek brush for contouring myself, however I do love the Lorac brush for highlighting.

Tyra Beauty 2 Minute Ty-Over (Light & Sculpt In A Stick)
Why I Love It: This product is fool proof. It is creamy and bendable and easy to use. It is perfect for any newbie because on single shade can be put on your face and blended until you can not see it anymore, making it mistake proof! Plus the highlighter is to die for! It my favorite cream highlighter on the market.

What I Don't Love: You can only get it online! I hate paying for shipping with a passion.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Palette 
Why I Love It: It has several shades, so you are bound to find the right one for you, and if you are a professional then you will have fundamental shades for most skin types. Plus it stays on all day long!

What I Don't Love: To many shades for the average joe! I would only use 2 in the whole palette, but they are so beautiful!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Palette
Why I Love It: You can pop out one of the powders and replace it with a new canister when you run out, as opposed to re-buying the palette.

What I Don't Love: It doesn't stay on all day like their cream counterpart. It also has a lot of weird shades that I can not use. At least with other palettes the shades are not right for me but others may love them, however this one is full of orange bronze tones, and that is not my style. I like to look natural. There is one with more natural colors but they are all super dark for fair skinned people, plus the texture is really grainy.

NYX Wonder Stick
Why I Love It: This one is similar to the Tyra Beauty sticks, however it is dual ended so it is convenient, plus it's price point is low.

What I Don't Love: In this case you get what you pay for because it doesn't stay on or blend well and it has a very oily formula.

***Thanks to Carrie Kruig for asking this question***

Friday, December 4, 2015

Organic & All Natural Beauty Lines

People ask me ALL THE TIME what organic and all natural skin care, hair care and makeup lines I recommend. First of all, I am going to say that I do not personally use very many of these lines. I have used them, but opted for something else. Just because something is natural or organic does not make it good for your skin, hair or body (for example dog crap, pig intestine, or salt) which are all organic and all natural but are not things you want on your skin.

Skin Care - Juice Beauty

This is a line that is organic, all natural, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free. This is as good as it gets folks. The products are potent and they work and work fast! The only thing from them I do not like are their CC cream foundations. I have not tried any of their other cosmetics though, just the foundation and skin care. But just like most organic things this skin care line is pricey. I also am not a huge fan of the scents in most of the products (since they do not use artificial fragrance). But on the flip side their age defy and blemish control regimens are unmatched and fast acting. I will also be honest in saying that the ingredients are high quality and this line will not hurt your skin. Another brand I love for natural skin care is Eminence but one line I do not recommend is Say Yes.

Hair Care - Phyto Paris

I really didn't know much about Phyto until I talked to a rep and now I am in love with it! It is a pricey brand, but worth every penny and that it literally the only downside. This line has three selling points, they are classic, chic and botanical! The company was started by stylist Patrick Ales in the 50's and he still owns it today, making it classic. It is chic because not only is it base din paris, but all of the labs, production and packaging are done is Paris. Botanical is the most important part, because all of the products are at least 95% botanically derived. This means that the ingredients aren't just some organic something or other, they are plant based! Click here to learn more about the brand itself.

These products are potent and a little goes a very long way. I love using their Keratin leave in conditioner on my own hair, and do so often. They have many products that are to potent for daily use because of how rich the ingredients are. Their hair regrowth line for women (Phytocyane) is AMAZING! I am also in love with the protection their shampoo and conditioner for colored hair gives. Another Brand I love is DermOrganics, I do not however recommend the brand OGX.

Cosmetics - Pur Minerals

All of these products are mineral based and all natural. I love pur minerals! I actually do use a lot of their eye shadows and even a few of their skin care products. A lot of their skin care has citric in it, so if your skin is sensitive to that, this is not a good skin care line for you, but the makeup is free game, totally worth it, and amazing!

Even if you aren't looking for natural cosmetics this brand has a lot of heroes. I have noticed that their two classic eye shadow palettes (Secret Crush and Soulmates palettes) are not as good of a deal or as high quality as their others. The limited time only palettes usually have a more silky texture and high pigmentation. I love their Day and Night 2 palette set on sale right now, and their Love Your Selfie palette is a great way to introduce yourself to the brand with a few eye colors and blushes as well as a lip gloss and mascara. I also think that the Disappearing Act Concealer is one of the best concealers on the market! I am also using their Starry Eyed palette almost daily right now. While I love Pur Minerals Cosmetics I do not recommend Bare Minerals.

Bare Minerals, OGX and Say Yes do not say they are all natural, but use names and marketing to make people believe they are.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pantone Color of the Year for 2016

First of all I am going to talk about why this is a big deal! Pantone is basically the king of color. They create new shades and set the standard (and names) for all color shades (not just the basics). They choose a color every year that they predict will be infused into our culture and fashion, and they are always right on point! 2015 had the color Marsala, and I saw it EVERYWHERE! Deeper rust jeans and a rusty burgundy lip was all over the runways and hallways this last year. However this year is different, and special. For the first time ever, Pantone has announced 2 colors as the color of the year!

So there you have it folks, you can see more about the 2016 Colors in the video above, but in case you don't want to they are Rose Quartz and Serenity, each a pastel shade one in pink and one in blue shade. 

According to Pantone there are a few reasons why they selected these two shades. One of the reasons being that the world is full of stress and anxiety right now, and people are seeking something to calm them down and make them feel peaceful. These shades definitely do the trick. Pantone explained:

"Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace."

Another factor that Pantone pointed out is the importance of supporting the Gender Equality efforts made in the United States and the world this past year, that will only get stronger next year. As gender fluidity becomes more popular, apparent and visible it is important to make all genders feel included and welcome in the color of the year choices. Pantone says on their website:  
"This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage."
They also said that they derived a lot of inspiration from different words and things that they find calming and relaxing. For example the sky and the air, as well as words like peace, wellness, and balance. Whether you hate it or love it, it is coming! I will probably stick to black clothing (as that is my M.O.) but I am stoked to see these shades dominate the runways with some romantic and airy garments to match! I am also excited to see how these two tones play out in more structured and bold designs! What do you think?