Reviews

Woman Seeking: 10 Under $10 – Makeup

Spring is a wonderful time because not only does it bring warmth and sunshine, but it also brings sales! Who doesn’t love a good sale? But eventually those sales end, and you still need (or want 😉) some new products, without breaking the bank. Enter this week’s 10 Under $10 series! I’m going to feature ten makeup, skincare, and body products that I love that cost less than $10 each. I stuck with products that were $10 USD before taxes, coupons, or discounts. I didn’t include prices as they can vary from store to store, but did base this on what I would pay at the time of posting. Now that everything is all explained, let’s get to the products! 

10 Under $10 – Makeup

    

  1. L’Oreal True Match liquid foundation – With a huge range of colors, tones (cool, neutral, or warm), and two finishes (Original or Lumi), this foundation works for a wide variety of people. I had a tough time deciding between this or Maybelline Fit Me, but L’Oreal’s finish is so natural and skin-like that it beats out Maybelline’s by just a smidge. The formula is lightweight yet has buildable coverage, with a hint of SPF.      
  2. Essence Lipliners – Creamy and pigmented, these lipliners are my absolute favorite. And they are so cheap! My favorite is “In The Nude,” a soft, neutral color I can use with pretty much anything. “Satin Mauve” is another highly used color that is a favorite among many. These also work well on their own or under a simple gloss.      
  3. Jack Black lipbalm – I know a lot of people have a hard time paying anything over $2 for Lipbalm, but this stuff…there are no words. It is amazing! It brings relief to dry lips, and stays put without feeling sticky. I’ve turned quite a few people onto this balm, and one guy even went out and bought two more after receiving one as a gift from me, juuust at in case he misplaced one!  The flavors these come in are so unique, though it is available in a simple Shea version, and Mint as well.      
  4. ELF Studio brushes – Quality brushes make applying your makeup so much easier, but this line proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to have quality brushes. There are eye brushes and face brushes, all with sleek black handles. The bristles are soft and don’t fall out after one wash either, making them incredibly worth the money. for anyone wondering why I chose these over Real Techniques brushes, I went by the fact I can buy three of these for the cost of one Real Technique brush, and I like them equally!        
  5.  Maybelline Full N Soft Mascara – I don’t know if I have a favorite mascara, but this one comes the closest. I’ve bought multiple tubes over the years and will continue to repurchase because it just WORKS. It doesn’t clump on me, and gives volume without sacrificing length. Plus, it’s easy to remove.       
  6. NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder – Brows frame your face and help bring attention to your eyes, so it’s important to give them some attention, especially if you’re not blessed with wonderful brows naturally. This little wonder has wax, two brow color shades, a mini spooly and mini angled brush to make filling them in a breeze. The color for blondes is also high quality, and doesn’t fun too warm, which can be hard to find.        
  7. Hard Candy eyeshadow single in Attractive – Part shimmery, part metallic, completely wonderful. This brown can be built up or sheeted out, making it a great color for when you simply don’t want to think. This is the only color I have from this line, but I like it so much I had to include it.       
  8. NYX lip anything – From their famous butter glosses, to the lip creams, to the jumbo lip crayons, NYX knows their way around a lip product. The pigmentation is great, and color color selection has brights, nudes, and vampy colors, with plenty in between. They also smell delicious! Well, most of them. Those jumbo lip pencils are nothing to write home about, but the glosses smell incredible!        
  9. Rimmel London lipsticks by Kate Moss – I have a pinky nude and a real red from this line, and I love both of them. They apply easily, wear well, and the colors are gorgeous. They also smell pretty good too, in case you wondered. The packaging is classy, with either a red tube with black “Kate” signature, or a black tube with a red signature, so if I’m in a situation that calls for me to be much more of an adult than I think I am, this lipstick won’t blow my cover if I pull it out of my clutch in the powder room for a touch up.        
  10. ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder – this is such an amazing little duo that includes a huge mirror. I’ve heard this suggested as a dupe for Nars Laguna/Orgasm duo, but I find the blush is just a tad more peach. Either way, it’s gorgeous and the bronzer is great too. It has some shimmer, but it barely shows on my skin, which is good because this girl does not like shimmer face products! 

Stayed tuned this week for 10 Under $10 skincare and body products, and share your thoughts on! Are there any $10 products you love that I should check out? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO, WSM


Advertisements
Standard
Reviews

Woman Seeking: A Bite Beauty 5 Night Fix for Lips Review

A while ago I stumbled upon Bite Beauty’s 5 Night Fix for Lips duo while in Sephora. I had eyed their famed Agave Lip Mask before, but the price was pretty high and I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. In general, I really like Bite Beauty products and have yet to be disappointed with a purchase. My lips were needing a little TLC, so I grabbed this and ran to the checkout before I had a chance to change my mind. If you remember, this was part of my Mall Haul post (which you can find here). 

This set contained sample size amounts of Bite’s Agave Lip Mask and their Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub. I’m not sure if the set is supposed to contain a 5 night supply of products, or is only marketed to fix your lips in 5 nights, but either way, although these are small sample sizes, I found I didn’t need that much product so this set should last quite a bit longer than just 5 nights. I do have medium to small lips, so obviously if you have a greater space to cover than I do you’ll go through this more quickly. 

The Whipped Chery Scrub is normally sold in a pot, but is packaged as a mini stick form for this set. This isn’t something that particularly bothers me, but it is weird to try out a sample of something that’s not exactly like it is sold. I could see how this would bother some people. If you like the scrub specifically because it comes in a stick version and then are told that a stick lip scrub isn’t sold as a full size product by the company, it could definitely be annoying. Perhaps they are working on selling a full size version of the stick style scrub in the future? Who knows. While I do love cherry, I am not a big fan of cherry scented anything and this was no exception. The scent falls somewhere between artificial candy and medicinal. The scrub itself was…interesting. The grains are sugar sized (I do not think they are sugar, at least I didn’t see it on the ingredients, nor taste it) and they do a decent job of exfoliating. The butters and oils it’s mixed with leave a slight film on the lips, but in a good way. I feel like if you didn’t have dry lips and were using this for exfoliating, the scrub is simply leaving behind a little nourishment to your lips. I really liked that. I can see why it’s packed in a pot as opposed to a stick, however, because while using the stick should make things easier and less messy, I found that even with light pressure the product would be pushed over the edge of the tube, leaving me needing to wipe it off. I usually wiped it off onto my lips and then used my finger to continue exfoliating. The only stick exfoliator for lips I’ve used prior to this was from ELF and I never had that problem with theirs, so this was a bummer. If I bought the regular version, I would be using my finger anyways so it wouldn’t be an issue, but for the stick I don’t like that I need to get my hands dirty. My only other gripe is the taste. Bite Beauty is proud of the fact their products are 100% natural and made with food grade ingredients, but this is the lesson for you that just because something CAN be eaten, doesn’t mean it should. Perhaps I am spoiled by my Lush and ELF products, but this is not something I ever want to lick off my lips. To be fair, I don’t see anything from the company recommending you do. It just left me standing there awkwardly debating what to do. I don’t want to use water to rinse away the leftover beads because of the nourishing ingredients, but using a washcloth has me feeling like I should have just skipped the scrub and just used a washcloth to exfoliate in the first place! I usually end up kind of smearing it all over the back of my hand and then washing my hands. Overall, I’m super not impressed with the lip scrub. I think there are plenty of better products (both stick and pot form) out there that I enjoy using. I will not be purchasing a full size. 

The Agave Lip Mask is what redeems this little set for me. As much as I had wanted to try it before, I kind of equated it to a fancy Vaseline. My friends, it is not. For starters, this is much thicker. I really had to squeeze the tube to get the product out. Although thick, it spreads easily. For the thickness, I didn’t feel like it was sticky. I could still talk and open and close my mouth as a I normally would without any goobs or globs or messiness. I’m not someone who really minds a bit of stickiness, so if you’re someone who is very sensitive to this you may have a different opinion than me, but I found it to be very comfortable to wear. Initially I used this only at night, but have found myself throwing this on during the day as well, both alone and under other lip products. I felt like this rehydrated my lips as well. When I started using this, I had cuts at the sides of my mouth due to an unfortunate spoon accident (note – if you have a metal spoon that goes through the disposal, toss it. I thought it was fine and threw it in the dishwasher like it was no big deal, but that son-of-a cut my mouth UP. I looked like the Joker). It was super painful and nothing was really working to heal it, but leaving it without balm or salve on it in order to let it scab (ew) was wrecking my lips. I started using this and it somehow it allowed the cuts to heal up while also hydrating my lips. The product also has just a hint of sweetness to it. Not so much that I was licking my lips to get to it, therefore defeating the purpose, but just enough that if it got in my mouth I wasn’t repulsed. And I really only needed a pea size amount, if that. Even with continuous use I still have about 3/4 of the sample size tube left. I feel like if I bought the full size version, I wouldn’t have to repurchase for at least a year, if not longer. And that is if I was using it every single day. It is pricy, but I am definitely considering purchasing the full size. 

To sum up, it is a great little set…but only because of the lip mask. I also feel like the jar it comes in is missing something. There is room enough to add a third sample products, maybe a mini lipstick? While this is promoted for overnight use and you don’t really wear lipstick or lipgloss overnight, I think a lipstick or gloss meant to be worn the next day to continue the healing or to show off your new kisser would round it out. Bite Beauty makes a product called BB for Lips that I think would have been perfect to include. I think the price of the set is a smidge high for two mini products, especially when I only recommend one of them. However, if you are like me and can’t afford a full size version of the mask, this is a great alternative. 

XOXO, WSM

PS – Sorry about the complete lack of pictures! I didn’t think to do a before/after. Bad blogger, bad! 

Standard
Reviews

Woman Seeking: A New Favorite High-End Cleanser

As many of you know, when it comes to face wash I am all about the word “gentle.”  On the list of things I look for in a good cleanser, “gentle” is fighting for top spot wth “effective.” It’s THAT important to me. I’ve been happy with my Neotrogena Ultra Gentle face wash and Purpose face wash for some time now, but occasionally I get samples of different facial cleansers from Sephora. Typically the sample is a one or two time use packet, and that isn’t enough to sway me to plop down double or triple the cost of my usual cleanser to road test a higher end one. A few months back Sephora had a duo set from Ole Henriksen that included a travel pack of facial wipes and a 1.5 fl oz version of his African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. After finishing the bottle of Neutrogena that I had open, I decided to test it out and I couldn’t be more pleased. 

This is described as an anti-aging foaming cleanser that is suitable for all skin types. While I typically dislike and don’t understand how a cleanser can work for all ranges of skin types, I feel like this claim comes closest to those claims. I’m unsure how it would work for those with extremely dry skin, but (in my opinion) this really would work for anyone from normal to combination to oily. Most foaming cleansers tend to be drying, but I did not feel that way at all. While it wasn’t moisturizing, I felt like my skin felt…well…normal after washing my face, which is exactly what I look for. 

I expected this to smell more tea-like, but this has more of a citrus scent. I don’t know what African Red Tea smells like, but this reminds me of Constant Comment tea if that helps. I didn’t find it to be too overpowering, and the smell didn’t linger on my face. I especially appreciated the scent in the mornings when it helped me feel awake and fresh. 

I was most impressed with how this cut through my makeup. I was dubious that a simple pump or two would be enough, and went with two pumps my first time, but have used one pump ever since because it is so effective! The first time I used this I had on a full face of makeup and this took everything off the first try. Now, I didn’t use this on my eye area, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness on mascara. The foam goes on nicely then almost disappears, but leaves enough evidence on the skin that you can see where you have or haven’t washed. I was wearing primer, Maybelline Fit Me foundation (matte and poreless, if you’re curious), powder, bronzer, and Urban Decay All Nighter Spray, not to mention eyebrow pomade, and this took every last bit off. I didn’t have to rub and scrub either. I massaged the cleanser into my skin for about 45 seconds, per usual, and then rinsed. I followed with a cotton round soaked with Micellar water just to be sure, and not a single swipe of color was left on my face to show up on the cotton round. And yet using this witho any makeup on doesn’t leave me feeling overcleansed, just perfectly clean and comfortable. Marvelous!

I’ve been using this just shy of a month now, and while I can’t say my skin has improved exactly, it didn’t break out nearly as bad as it normally does around that time of the month either, which I consider a win. It’s been a bit of a crazy month, too, so I’m interested to see how my skin behaves when it’s a NORMAL month. I thought this performed very well under the circumstances. I also can’t speak to its anti-aging properties, but…well I don’t look older! Although this is a pricy cleanser, I’m honestly considering purchasing this in the future. I’m not even halfway don’t with the 1.5 fl oz bottle after a month, which means a little goes a long way and the full size 7 fl oz bottle will last quite a while. I have a few other facial cleanser samples as well as a bottle of my typical Purpose cleanser to use up first, but I’m so excited about this cleanser. There is something about a high-end cleanser that just makes a girl feel fancy and pampered!  

Have you ever tried this cleanser? Have you tried any other Ole Henriksen products? Let me know what you think!

XOXO, WSM

Standard
Reviews

Woman Seeking: A GlamGlow PowerMud DuoCleanse Review

GlamGlow is a brand who’s products those of us poorer beauty lovers have eyed with longing for years now. Although they recently launched a line of facial cleansers, their mud masks are what put them on the map. At $69 for a 1.7 oz jar, my curiosity never beat out my practicality, and it remained a product I heard beauty guru’s rave about that I could never afford to try for myself. While they do have sample .5 oz jars available, those cost a cool $19, so it never found it’s way into my shopping cart. Recently, Sephora had a January Skincare promotion. At Sephora inside JC Penny stores there was a “build your own skincare kit” where for $25, a person could pick 5 of a dozen or so sample choices offered, and wouldn’t you know it, a .5 oz GlamGlow product in tube form was one of the choices! Although I believe both the ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment and the PowerMud DuoCleanse Treatment were options, my store only had the PowerMud treatment left so I chose that one.

IMG_0877
Waiting for it to dry while I can still move my face.

The PowerMud is described as “a mud-to-oil, gentle, deep cleansing treatment that removes the weekly buildup of dirt, oil, and makeup” on the Sephora website. It’s a tan colored product that you apply to bare skin, wait 5-10 minutes, and then add water to form an exfoliating cleanser and massage you skin, then rinse off. It’s recommended to be used 1-2 times a week. I chose to use it twice a week, and started from leaving it on 5 minutes my first time, then going to 7 minutes the next time, and finally 10 minutes every time after. I used it every Sunday evening, which is my usually face mask day, as well as Wednesday evenings. The .5 oz tube had a surprising amount of product, giving me almost a full month of use on that twice a week schedule before running out (to be fair, I haven’t cut the top off yet to get the last little bit of product, which I’m expecting to be enough for targeted use on my nose and cheeks).

IMG_0878
It’s dry on my face. You can’t tell, but it is.

The first time I used it I noticed a uncomfortable tingling. It wasn’t quite intense enough to call “burning,” but I didn’t like it and considered not using it again. I had washed and dried my face prior to using the product as it says to apply to clean skin, and I don’t advise this. The next time I used the PowerMud, I wiped my face with a cleansing cloth and experienced no tingling when applying the mud. The following times I used either a cleansing cloth or a cotton round with Micellar water on it and also experienced no tingling, so I think it is best not to have a freshly washed face. Kind of like how they recommend waiting 30 minutes after brushing your teeth to apply whitening strips. If you’ve worn heavy makeup and a cleansing cloth just won’t do, but want to use the mud, wash your face but then try to wait as long as you can. Just my two cents. This mask also smells wonderful. It’s a very light scent, and I don’t think it’s a scent that would be overpowering for most people, which is nice. I want to describe it as Apple scented. I’m not sure if that comes to mind because of the green packaging or what, but I like it.

IMG_0886
After adding water to emulsify the mask.

The mask dried just like any mask, and then I wet my hands and applied the water to my face as it directed. It emulsified easily, although there are bits of exfoliating particles that I found to be really harsh. It made me not want to keep rubbing it around. After rinsing and patting my face dry, I found my skin to be dry and tight feeling. I always wanted to make sure I had my facial spray and face cream ready to be applied otherwise I felt uncomfortable. For the record, I have combo to oily skin. I was especially shocked because although I understand a clay mask can be drying, it is supposed to transform into an oil cleaner, and feeling that dry after cleansing with an oil product was disappointing. I expected it to be at least softening, if not a bit more hydrating (even though I understand that this isn’t the purpose of this mask).

IMG_0884
After: A close up

As for the overall effects, after the first time I used it I noticed some smaller spots that were on my face had decreased, but my chin ended up breaking out. While I do get pimples on my chin, I don’t normally get them I that quantity, but because it is a mask meant to clean deep, I figured this purge period was almost to be expected. This is why I decided to use it twice a week rather than only once. As I continued to use it, my skin finished he purging stage…and went right back to normal. I don’t think it was any better than before I started using the mud. My pores didn’t get any clearer over time, and I had the same amount of zitts (or lack of zitts) that I do on any given day.

IMG_0881

For a final summary this mask didn’t live up to my expectations and the GlamGlow brand raves I’ve been hearing about. I definitely don’t think it is worth $69. I think that this particular mask is best used as a regular part of one’s skincare routine, as opposed to an occasional treatment. In my opinion, this mask is not for those who have dry or sensitive skin due to the drying factor and the harsh exfoliating particles. If you are curious and want to sample it, I do think the .5 oz jar or tubes include enough product for you to use more than once, so you can really get a feel of how you like it. I think of this as like a clarifying shampoo for your skin, so perhaps I just don’t use enough products throughout the week to really have a need for this. Maybe those that use heavy, full face makeup every day will benefit more. I can’t say. But for me, this was a no-go. I have another sample size of this, but I’m not 100% sure what to do with it. As I stated, this isn’t the type of thing I found to be good for using occasionally, but I don’t see any point in using a mask just to put on a mask. Maybe I’ll gift it, or include it in a giveaway (…but I don’t know if I should include something I don’t like in a giveaway? Even if it’s not that I dislike it, simply it does nothing for me? Opinions?).

I’m not completely turned off from the GlamGlow brand, but I’m even less interested in spending $19 than I was before to test out a different formula. I’m still interested in testing the kind that is hailed as a mini vacuum for pores, but I’m going to try to wait until a sample is part of another kit like this, or is offered as a choice for the free samples given for an online order.

Have you tried any GlamGlow products? What did you think? I have also tried the GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment, is anyone interested in a review of that as well? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO, WSM

Standard
Reviews

Woman Seeking: A Mascara Resurrection by Urban Decay Review

I’m trying a little something new here on the blog today and reviewing one specific product. Urban Decay recently came out with what they call the Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection mascara refresher. The idea is that if you make a mistake, or want to add another coat later on to make your office appropriate eye look more intense for your after hours drinks, you can use this serum to correct and refresh your mascara without having to mess up the rest of your eye makeup. I hadn’t heard too much about this product and it seemed like such an intriguing idea that on a recent trip to Ulta I redeemed some of my points so I could try it out for myself.

IMG_0693

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product. In my head, I thought of it as somewhat of a makeup remover in a tube. I’d never really thought to use some makeup remover on an old mascara wand to fix a mistake, and while that idea seemed smart, buying a separate product for just this seemed a tad gimmicky. I had used a questionably old tube of mascara the morning I purchased this, which had a thick formula even when it was fresh, so my eyelashes had gotten a little clumpy. I figured this would be the perfect time to put the Mascara Resurrection to the test.

IMG_0692

The product itself is a milky white serum that has no color once applied. One thing I noticed immediately is that it has an unpleasant smell. A very strong unpleasant smell. It sort of reminds me of nail polish remover, though not exactly. It is quite off-putting. It didn’t linger on my eyes once I applied it and it dried, but I could definitely smell it from the moment I twisted the wand out of the tube. The brush is natural bristle and curved, such as a curling mascara wand would be. I’m on the fence to whether or not I like this. It’s great in the way that it will help keep a curl, but it general curved brushes aren’t my favorite as I have a harder time getting every lash because the curve is usually too round for my eyeshape.

But did it work?

IMG_0696

I had applied my makeup/mascara at about 9:45am and went to use this at about 4:00pm, a little over 6 hours later. Although I did need more than one quick coat, this serum really did separate and refresh my mascara. I really liked the way my mascara looked once I had refreshed it, to the point that I prefer how my mascara looked after 6 hours and with a refreshing serum than when it was freshly applied on it’s own! And it isn’t just a remover of sorts – not one speck of my black mascara came off on the white coated Resurrection brush. I found it best to really get in there and wiggle the brush at the base of your lashes, use one cost, then give it a couple seconds to penetrate your old mascara before continuing.

To sum up…

PROS: refreshes mascara, fixes clumps, doesn’t erase other eye makeup, inexpensive (compared to high end mascaras), unique product, natural bristle brush (these are my favorite)

CONS: smells bad, curved brush, pricy (compared to drugstore mascaras)

While I don’t consider this a “must have” item, it sure is a handy little product to own. Although I’m glad I was able to test it for free (more or less, I had to spend money to rack up those points!), I can see myself purchasing this again in the future. I’m curious to see if other brands come out with a similar product in the future. Have you tried Urban Decay’s Mascara Resurrection? What were your thoughts?

XOXO, WSM

Standard
Reviews

Woman Seeking: An Everyday Marsala Lip

Every year Pantone, a leading expert in color and color matching among artists, home decorators, and beauty experts, announces their color of the year. Although I am not someone who awaits the announcement eagerly or plans my entire year around the designated color, I was very pleased when I caught a glimpse of 2015’s winner, Marsala.

2015/01/img_0276.png (Image courtesy of pantone.com) 

Marsala is an earthy, browny-nude that, in my opinion, is easily wearable for almost everyone. If you remember the cool brown lip color the 90’s are infamous for, think that…only warmed up. It’s a great nail color, cheek color, and lip color especially. After taking a look at my own lipstick stash, I realized I have quite a few in my collection that fall in line with this new trend. If you’re looking to get in on the Marsala craze, or simply could use a nice everyday nude, check out my selections below.

(For reference, all shades are swatched without lip liner)

2015/01/img_0266.jpg

Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in 001 Honey – If you’re new to the lip game and want to ease into it, this balm is the way to go. The convenient crayon shape makes it easy to handle and the formula is soft on the lips. It is fairly sheer, but can be built up to about a medium coverage. It has a strong scent of mint, which isn’t my favorite in a lip product, but it’s nice in a pinch if you’re short a stick of gum. Be mindful, however, that it does not taste of mint. With tones of pink and purple, this is more on the mauve end of Marsala.

2015/01/img_0264.jpg

Clinique Chubby Stick in 04 Mega Melon – Another lip crayon, this version doesn’t have anything minty about it. More of an orange toned Marsala, the lasting power of this is pretty decent for a balm stick that doesn’t claim to be long lasting. The formula is smooth and doesn’t cake up, regardless of how many layers you put on. A great version for spring and summer.

2015/01/img_0275.jpg

BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in a Rebel – This gloss is minty, but has a gentle tingling sensation to go along with the smell. This is a thicker formula of gloss, but I don’t find it overly sticky. The dusky rose color is subtle, which makes it perfect for casual events or running errands. It could also be layered to give some depth and shine to another To another Marsala lipstick.

2015/01/img_0274.jpg

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lipgloss in Guava – From a company that boasts natural lip are products that are “healthy enough to eat,” one whiff of this gloss will make you want to do just that. This smells of pure fruit, without the sickeningly sweet chemical smell. Divine. The color payoff is amazing for a gloss too! This gloss is just thick enough to be substantial, but thin enough to be able to slick on without much thought. Deep enough for winter but punchy enough for summer, this is a good year round option for those who like a glossy finish.

2015/01/img_0273.jpg

Bite Beauty Mini Lipstick Duo in Fig/Date – While Date is one of my favorite light nudes, Fig is perfect for the Marsala trend. It’s on the lighter version of The Marsala spectrum, which makes it easy to wear in the day time. Although these mini duos are limited edition, they are still available so grab it while you can! The formula is creamy, opaque, and so smooth I can’t even believe it. Be mindful not to push too hard, however…the extreme creaminess makes these prone to breaking if you’re a rough user. Bite Beauty has definitely burst onto the lip scene with a bang, and I would recommend their products to anyone.

2015/01/img_0270.jpg

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N9 – If you are a Sephora VIB member (Sephora’s rewards program), then this is the mini lipstick that came in your birthday lip and lash set from MUFE. I found this to be an excellent my lips but better color. Although it has that old school lipstick powdery smell that I am not fond of, the color payoff for this little mini is good enough for me to overlook it. You can dab it on for a sheer wash of color, or build it up to a beautiful medium to full coverage color. I wish this particular color was in a matte formula for some reason, but a quick blot with a tissue gives me the color minus the shine I’m looking for. This is also one of the cheaper high end versions.

2015/01/img_0271.jpg

Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita – A popular color, this is extremely similar to MUFE’s N9. This is lighter version that can be put on sheer and built up to about a medium coverage. I prefer this one for the simple fact it doesn’t have that awful smell that N9 does, but that is a personal preference. I also like that this one can be layered over other lipsticks I own without it looking or feeling caked on.

2015/01/img_0269.jpg

MAC in Creme In Your Coffee – Not only is the lipstick bullet iconic in terms of packaging, the signature MAC lipstick smell is an amazinggg French Vanilla. So yummy! This is one of my newer purchases, and my first MAC purchase ever, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I love the cremesheen formula, which as you may guess from the name is a creamy formula with a bit of a sheen without being glossy, and the color lasts hours without a lip liner. It’s one of the more brown colors I own, and to be honest, when I bought it I was debating between this and another more pinky color and was extremely unsure when I purchased it, but once I used it the next day I fell in love. It looks so beautiful on! It’s become my go-to lipstick for just about everything. This is also the cheapest of any of my high end lipsticks, not just those on this list.

2015/01/img_0265.jpg

L’oreal Colour Riche Balm in 818 Nourishing Nude – Probably my favorite drugstore nude, this color is so effortless. The smell is a light, sugary vanilla and it glides on effortlessly. It is a balm, and because of the buttery formula it is prone to breaking (see how in my picture it’s a little lumpy? Yeah…it doesn’t come like that, and I can’t make it keep it’s shape for the life of me). The gold and pink packaging is also so luxe. This is like a lipstick and gloss in one. If I use my beloved MAC, and don’t want to bring it with me (I may or may not be paranoid I’m going to lose it. Hey, the MAC counter I can go to is 2 hours away!), then I will pop this in my purse for touch ups.

2015/01/img_0272.jpg

Napoleon Perdis a Divine Goddess Lipstick in Atalanta – The most bronze of the Marsala shades I own, this is something I am dying to use in the summertime with a hint of a tan. And the packaging! I am not one to get overly excited about packaging for the most part, but the Napoleon lipsticks are gorgeous. Acrylic and gold with the color of the lippie at the bottom. Swoon. And the tiny buttercup is whimsical without making me feel like a child. These lipsticks have more of an old school waxy smell, which is a negative for me, but the formulas are smooth and easy to work with.

2015/01/img_0268.jpg

Napoleon Perdis Divine Goddess Lipstick in Olympia – the color payoff of this shade is unreal. One swipe gives you full on opaque color. A bit deeper on the Marsala scale, this is a nice color for a night out. This particular color has a stronger smell than the prior color for some reason, which is probably why is don’t reach for it as often as I might otherwise. Or it can be that I’m rationing it…while I bought all of my Napoleon Perdis products from Ulta, now these babies can only be found at Nordstrom from what I can tell, and I don’t have one of those anywhere near me.

2015/01/img_0267.jpg

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig – The deepest on my list, this Fig is nothing like the earlier Fig color from Bite Beauty. This Fig is a Marsala that boarders on berry. It’s a great night color or a color to wear with sunglasses (my favorite trick for when I need to look pulled together but have no energy whatsoever). It leaves a light stain on my lips as well, but that may just be me. I love to pair this with a gloss to make it conform to the shade I want, whether more nude or berry.

With this year being the year of Marsala, I’m more than happy to wear all of these shades in the name of being on trend. It’s a flattering color that really works on an everyday basis. Are you into the Marsala shade? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO, WSM

Standard
Reviews

Woman Seeking: Tried & True Products

Sometimes you just need a product to work. While these might not be my Holy Grail’s, they end up in my makeup kit over and over again because I know I can count on them to do the job. So whether you’re burnt out from so many disappointing products, or running around trying to compose a temporary makeup bag because you left your everyday bag in another state (true story, the worsttt), here are some of my tried and true’s to check out!

2015/01/img_0205.jpg

Lip Smacker in Dr. Pepper – This classic gives my lips some hydration with a hint of color. It’s subtle enough to wear and reapply all day long, but the color is pretty enough to work for an evening out. If you’re familiar with Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, it’s like an even lighter, cheaper version. Available at drugstores.

Covergirl Fresh Complexion Pocket Powder – Another oldie but goodie. I’ve used this powder since high school and I always pick up a new one when mine runs out. I can use it on top of my liquid foundation with the included sponge applicator to give some extra coverage, on top of my liquid foundation with a fluffy brush to set my foundation, or all by itself for buildable coverage during the summer. It can give me a bit of a powdery finish, but I’ve found using a bit of facial mist solves that problem if I’m really conscious about it. They have semi discontinued this, exchanging it for the Ready, Set, Gorgeous powder, but they seem exactly the same so I’ll continue to use this. Available at Ulta and drugstores.

NYC HD Color Trio Eyeshadow in Long Beach Sands – I know everyone raves about The Wet & Wild palettes, especially the “Walking on Eggshells” trio, but they tend to be a little too sparkly for my taste, as well as a tad too pink, so I prefer this NYC Cosmetics option. The shadows have a more of a metallic sheen than sparkle, and are amazingly pigmented. These shadows have a decent wear time by themselves, and when paired with an eyeshadow primer will stay out until you decide to take it off. Available at drugstores.

Covergirl LineExact Liquid Eyeliner – The felt tip and smaller size make this liquid eyeliner a cinch to use. The color comes out fairly opaque with a matte finish, and stays put on my oily lids. It washes off extremely easy with water, so it’s both the worst and best to use for a day that may include the beach (it’s going to wash off, so your look won’t stay…but dip under the water and gently rub your eyes for 5 seconds and it will be GONE, no need to worry about raccoon eyes from this liner!). A great option for those new to liquid eyeliner. Available at Ulta and drugstores.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Bronzer SPF 15 in Ticket to Brazil- For a drugstore bronzer, this one does remarkably well. I always have one in my makeup bag in the summer. Don’t let the noticeable glitter fool you, it turns into this beautiful sheen as opposed to specks on your cheek. It’s pigmented, smooth, and has a touch of SPF to boot. Not only a bronzer for you face, the packaging is large enough to dip a fluffy brush in who you want to give your shoulders, chest, and back a bit of a glow too. I’ve also used this in my crease in place of eyeshadow for a beautiful natural look. Available at drugstores.

Moschino Cheap and Chic EDT in I Love Love – One of my favorites, this is a fresh, clean, optimistic scent. A very light perfume that works perfectly in the daytime, in the summer, or when you need a little pick me up. As a bonus, you can find this at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for an extremely reasonable price. It doesn’t last the longest, but I found a refillable mini bottle of this for $5 that I toss in my purse. Also available at Target and on Amazon.

Victoria’s Secret Pink Body Mist in Fresh and Clean – If body sprays are more your style, VS’s Pink line has a few great options. My favorite is the Fresh and Clean scent. With notes of fresh apple and lily, it makes for a great daytime scent. There are sales on this all the time, and you can purchase a travel size for around $10. They also have the corresponding body bronzer, wash & scrub, hand and body cream, body butter, and body lotion for you to layer to your heart’s desire. Available at Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret Sexy Little Things in Noir- If a night scent is what you’re after, this might be a perfect fit. While I prefer the body mist, they have the EDP version that comes in the chicest black bottle. VS also makes a body lotion and body powder in this same scent, as well as a travel size of the body mist. When I don’t know what perfume to wear, or am traveling and don’t want to bring something breakable or multiple bottles, this is the spray I chose to take me from a date with my guy to a night at the club. Available at Victoria’s Secret.

Aussie You Can Shine Hi Hold + Hi Shine Aerosol Hairspray- Since I have fine and thin hair, hairspray can be a randomly frustrating experience for me. I can’t stand crunchy hair, and spray formulas wet my hair, effectively defeating the purpose of keeping my style in place. I find this cheap little wonder does exactly what I need it to with an added touch of shine. I’ve seen the canister in the bathrooms of friend’s who have way thicker hair than mine, so I think it’s a great all around product. And as a little side note – when tagged in my Instagram teaser photo for this post, Aussie liked and commented! I love companies with good customer service/PR teams. Available at drugstores.

I hope this helps with your quest to find some quick, dependable products, or gives you a starting point to find some of your own. I don’t know if I’d consider all of them the best of the best, but I’ve bought multiples of these over the years and will continue to do so for some time to come. Do you have any tried and true’s? What are some of the products you fall back on?

XOXO, WSM

Standard