Sunday, October 30, 2011

Product Rave: NARS Danmari palette

As you all probably know the Sephora friends and family sale is going on until November 2. There aren't a whole lot of products that I've been pining for, but I knew there was one thing that I had to take advantage of the sale for - the NARS Danmari all about cheeks palette.

This limited edition palette is an exclusive to Sephora and contains 6 of their beautifully pigmented blushes for only $65, an amazing deal considering each NARS blush is $27. Surprisingly, I don't have any of these blushes in my collection, which made this palette that much more valuable to me. Each blush is .12 oz compared to a full sized .16 oz, and with the amount that I use, that .04 oz will not be missed.

So here it is, the most beautiful palette I have ever laid eyes on:
The shades from left to right, top to bottom:
Hungry Heart: A cream color highlight loaded with glitter. This transforms you into a disco ball princess, which means I probably won't wear this. This was a disappointment, but the other colors make up for it.

Orgasm: A cult favorite peachy pink that I never bought because there are so many dupes for this, I could never justify it. I'm glad I have it now though as it is really a beautiful color that is perfect for everyday.

Desire: One of the blushes that got me really excited about this palette. I have been lusting after this blush for a while now, and I've tried to find other blushes that are similar, but they just don't compare to this one. It's a unique bubblegum hot pink that isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if used with a light hand can look amazing.

Casino: the darker counterpart to the famous Laguna bronzer and the darkest bronzer I own. Like Laguna, it has tiny golden shimmers that don't really translate to the skin, but give a nice glow. Although this bronzer looks scary dark in the pan, it still works with my skin tone and would be nice for darker skin tones.

Super Orgasm: I wore this today and despite the specks of chunky glitter that you can see in the pan, it actually comes off as more of a sheen and is like a lighter, more brightening version of orgasm. Is this totally necessary if you already have orgasm? Probably not. It's pretty, but I wish they hadn't put both of them in the  palette.

Sin: Another blush that I have been wanting to try. It's a beautiful berry plum shade with gold shimmer and I love it. This blush is perfect for fall and is one of those that gives you instantly contoured cheek bones.

This palette makes me so happy and I really hope that they come out with more palettes like this in the future. Blush palettes to me are 10 times more exciting than eye shadow palettes; it's too bad there aren't many out there.

I highly recommend getting this while it's still around and while the friends and family sale is going on! It would make a great holiday present or just a really nice treat to yourself =)

Hope you're all well!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anastasia Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes

Eyebrows have always been a tricky thing for me. I'm not really a big "brow girl" and so I never do anything to my eyebrows besides pluck them and go for an occasional eyebrow threading. The brow products I have tried make me look strange and almost boyish, painting a momentarily intense look on my face. So, I have pretty much stayed clear of any brow products, which to me, just add another step in the routine. 

When I was contacted by the Confluence group to review an Anastasia of Beverly Hills product, I thought I would give brow products another go, especially because of all the hype around Anastasia products. So here is my opinion, as someone who is somewhat of a "newbie" with brows. 
This is the Anastasia Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes in brunette (it also comes in blonde). It comes with a wax, two shades of brow powder, two shades of highlight/lid eyeshadows, the signature brow stencils, an angled brush, and instructions on how to use everything. On first sight, the packaging is compact, but is not very exciting and even feels a little cheap. 
Moving past the packaging, the set comes with a detailed step-by-step outline of how to use the products, which is easy to follow and straightforward. For people who do their brows all the time, this is probably a no brainer for you, but for beginners, this is pretty helpful. 
The set of stencils that it comes with covers a whole range of brow shapes from which you are supposed to choose the one that fits your natural brow shape most closely. I was surprised to find that the petite arch fit my eyebrows almost perfectly and helped me pluck away stray hairs that didn't belong.
The brush also feels like nice quality brush - it has just the right amount of stiffness you would want when you are doing your brows. However, because it is a slightly large brush you don't get as much control as you would with a smaller brush. 
On to the product itself. Eyebrow wax is so good to have and I'm glad that it comes in this set. Not only can you use it underneath the brow powder to help it stick, but you can use it on its own just to smooth over your brows and keep them neat and in place. 
The shades of brow powder that come in this palette work really well for my almost black eyebrows, which is a hard thing to come by. Usually, shades for darker hair either come too dark, or too reddy brown. I use mostly the light taupe-y brown shade with a little bit of the dark brown to deepen it. This mixture blends in with my natural hairs and does the job of filling in the sparse parts in my brows without overpowering my face. 

Although I don't normally use eye shadows to highlight my brow bone, I tried it today with the highlight shade in this palette and really liked it. The shade looks kind of like MAC's all that glitters, but with a little more sheen. The other light brown matte shade is one of my favorite types of eye shadow colors - kind of like a lighter wedge by MAC or naked by Urban Decay - so I will most likely be using it a lot. 

To me, the whole idea of using stencils to fill in your brows seems a little complicated and not very practical if you're out and about. But in practice, it does give you an easy guideline to filling in your brows and is actually pretty quick. Also, the combination of the wax and powder stays on for the entire day so you don't have to worry about them after you've got it on. 
Having all these products in one convenient place will probably entice me to do my eyebrows more often, as it does really make a nice difference in your makeup =). 

Hope you enjoyed this and check out this video for more tips on how to use these products!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Girls will be girls

Just when I thought I was done with buying nail polish for a while, I bought another one. But, it is so good it ought to be a necessity and it may well be one of my new favorite nail polishes. It is Sally Hansen's Bronze Ablaze, a stunning bronze with gold shimmer and olive undertones. It goes on smooth and opaque in two coats, and dries instantly just like the bottle says. 
After doing a whole post about bronze, it's no surprise that I would be obsessed with this color. I've already gone through two manicures with it, and it's the one nail polish that I want to have on my nails over and over again, especially because it is perfect for fall. 

Also, last week while walking around my neighborhood I snuck a peak into City Chemist, a local pharmacy/cosmetics boutique that sells a number of high end beauty brands. I was immediately drawn to a display of perfumes from a brand I had never seen before in other stores called Tokyo Milk. It was a rack lined with dozens of perfumes - simply packaged and simply named with a no frills, short list of the notes in the perfume.
I picked up the one called Dead Sexy, and aptly so, because this is what sexy must smell like. 
The notes are deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid, and ebony. It's a little bit woodsy, but still has a light floral hint in it that seems perfect for the colder months.
I've never really had a "fall scent". The perfumes that I usually pick are light, floral, and clean, so I'm excited to switch it up with this one. I love this, and I really recommend Tokyo Milk as a brand. The perfumes are small, but they are appropriately priced. And, they have so many scents, you're bound to find one that suits you. With the notes written clearly on the bottle, it's easy for the perfume connoisseurs out there to pick out their favorites. 

Now that I've got the frivolities out of my system, maybe I can get some work done =)
Have a great weekend,