Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

I’m really not one to get caught up in the hype when it comes to certain products — especially limited edition ones.  I’m the type who reads ALL the reviews, googles swatches endlessly and carefully considers what I’m going to spend my money on.  But when I saw Sephora’s photo of this palette on Facebook, I was filled with a sense of MUST HAVE THIS OMG NOW.  I don’t have any of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, and this is actually my first Hourglass product (aside from a sample of primer that I have).

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

The first thing you notice is the packaging — it feels lux.  Heavy, substantial and high quality, the palette is housed in a gleaming rose-gold.  The only drawback is that this shows every fingerprint imaginable.  I did find myself constantly trying (in vain) to polish away every tiny smudge and smear.

Hourglass describes the palette thusly: A limited edition palette featuring three shades of Ambient Lighting Blush, the groundbreaking blush that creates seamless, soft-focus and multidimensional color.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Luminous Flush is a softly shimmering rosy pink.

Incandescent Electra (exclusive to this palette) is a glimmering peach.

Mood Exposure is a soft but warm plum.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
L to R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure — I think in this picture you can see the subtle shimmer and radiance of the blushes.

All 3 blushes are very finely milled and soft, which can make them a bit powdery in the palette but that powdery quality disappears on the skin.  They blend into the skin seamlessly.  The finish is hard to describe — they’re neither matte, nor satin… shimmery without being frosty and with zero glitter.  When applied and blended, they leave the skin glowing and radiant and I don’t feel the need to apply a highlighter or luminizing product.   I found that all the blushes wore well, with minimal fading even after 8+ hours.  On me, they are surprisingly pigmented and I have to be careful not to apply too much!  The colors are on the light side, but deeply and richly pigmented.   I have it on good authority that these blushes work well on deep skin tones as well, though you may have to be more heavy-handed in application.  The colors are also all pretty neutral — neither too warm nor too cool, which makes them suitable for a wide variety of people.

At $58, this product is pretty expensive by my standards but I think it’s well worth the price since the quality is very high.  I hope that like the Ambient Powder palette, this items becomes permanent because I would definitely repurchase it once I started to run out.

Here I am wearing Luminous Flush — I’ve applied it a little heavier than I would normally so the color really shows in the photo.

Luminous Flush

Luminous Flush

For pictures of me wearing the other shades in the palette, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

If you’re in the market for new blush, I don’t see how you can go wrong with this palette.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush palette retails for $58 and can be found at Sephora, Hourglass Cosmetics and wherever Hourglass is sold.

Hourglass Cosmetics is cruelty free!

Disclaimer – this product was purchased by me.  My opinion is honest and unfettered.

Review! Wet N Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Rico Mauve and Red-dy or Not

It’s no joke that I love the chubby lip pencils that have flooded the market in recent years.  When Revlon came out with them, I bought a ton of them… riiight before they started selling in China and went off the Cruelty-free list.  Since then I’ve been trying to find a low-end/drugstore alternative.  I especially wanted to find a dupe for “Honey” which for me was a great all-purpose “my lips but better” shade.

Well, I think I’ve found it.  Or close enough!

Wet N Wild has recently come out with their line of chubby lip pencils, called Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain and the two shades I have to show you are Rico Mauve (which I was hoping was a dupe for Revlon’s Honey) and Red-dy or Not which I’ll be comparing to Revlon’s Romantic.

Wet N Wild Megaslick Lip Balm Stain Top: Red-dy or Not, Bottom: Rico Mauve

Wet N Wild Megaslick Lip Balm Stain
Top: Red-dy or Not, Bottom: Rico Mauve

L: Red-dy ot Not, R: Rico Mauve

L: Red-dy or Not, R: Rico Mauve

There are no color descriptions given on Wet N Wild’s website but I’d describe Red-dy or Not as a cool-leaning true red and Rico Mauve as a cool-toned natural pink.  Both colors are opaque in two passes (that’s two passes in the swatch) and can be blotted down to soften the colors.  The consistency is close to a slippery lip balm like Carmex and is shiny but not overly glossy.  After a couple of hours, the shininess fades leaving a more satin finish on the lips.  I don’t find them particularly moisturizing, but neither are they drying.  They DO cling to any flakes or dry spots on the lips so exfoliate before applying! I find they fade evenly, without leaving the Dreaded Lip Ring of Doom. And do they stain? Oh, we’ll get to that…

Here’s how they stack up to their nearest Revlon counterparts:

Left pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Red-dy or Not Right pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Rico Mauve

Left pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Red-dy or Not
Right pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Rico Mauve

The reds… not even close.  Romantic looks downright anemic compared to Red-dy or Not.  Romantic is much more sheer and warmer, whereas Red-dy or Not is a much cooler red and much more intense.

The naturals… closer but still not dupes.  Honey has a lot more brown and plum in it and Rico Mauve is more of a neutral pink in comparison.  But while they’re not dupes, they’re close enough for me.

But do they stain?  Oh yes.  They stain.

lips_wnw_balmstain_swatch3

This is after SCRUBBING with a wet-nap.  Like, hardcore scrubbing.  And what’s more, Red-dy or Not stained my hand FOR DAYS.  Literally 3 days later, many hand washings, 3 baths later and there was still a swatch of pink on my hand.  This bish means business.  In fact you can see above that both of the Wet N Wild colors stained more strongly than their Revlon buddies.

One more thing I’d like to mention is the packaging.  In most of the chubby style pencils I’ve tried, the caps just push on — they don’t snap or screw on.  However, the WnW ones do snap on, which makes their packaging superior, in my opinion.  The caps that just push on end up getting split because I tend to push them on too hard.  While I’d prefer to see a screw-on cap, the snap on feature makes them a lot safer in one’s purse or pocket.

Overall I think these are wonderful and I hope Wet N Wild make more colors and finishes because I think they have a top-notch product here.

The Wet N Wild Megaslicks Lip Balm Stains sell for $2.99 at Walgreens and can be found anywhere Wet N Wild products are sold.

All products featured were bought by me.  All opinions are mine. 

Where the hell have I been? Well, let me tell you!

Well, well, well…. long time, no see, am I right?  Yeah, I know.  Let’s just say the past year and a half have been… ah, rough.  I’ll fill you in but forgive me if I must be sketchy on the details.

So I started cosmetology school!  Cool, right?  Well, it kicked my ass.  Hard.  Way harder than I was anticipating, lemme tell ya.  I expected it to be physically demanding and a real learning experience and it was — but not in the way I could have anticipated.  Physically, it was rough on me and I developed pretty severe tendinitis in both of my feet, causing me the worst pain I have ever experienced. Constant pain that never stopped totally — for months.  I’m still trying to recover from it and am still in a lot of pain.

Here are the foot gauntlets I have to wear every day:

But the thing I was not expecting was the emotional toil it took on me… and that has a lot to do with the school I went to.  And sadly, here is where I have to skip over the details, though I hope that in time I will be able to spill all the beans. And oh, there are beans. LOADS of them.

In any case, I’m happy to say that I am pretty near to completing my education and have taken and passed my written exam and will hopefully be able to take my practical cosmetology exam within a few months.

Aside from school, the past year has been pretty damn rough.  In September of last year, we lost our 14 year old cat Grim.  He was old and had a host of health issues and his little body was just starting to give up.  He was a scamp and the most difficult cat ever but we loved him dearly.  Losing him was hard but he had a good, long life and it was his time.

Even though we had our cats Yoshi and Binky, the house felt emptier — we are just a 3-cat household, what can I say?  So in November, we adopted a kitty from a PetsMart location.  Her given name was Alexis but we re-named her Kayfax, after a video game character in the game Rift.  She is a true beauty and a very silly cat and has brought us a lot of joy.

And everything went ok for a few months.  Until 2014 came around and Binky got sick.  We weren’t sure what was wrong but it turned out that he ate a massive 6-inch long peacock feather from a toy, which just sat in his belly, irritating his stomach and causing him to refuse to eat.  Since Binky is a plus-sized kitty, not eating caused him to have liver problems.  We ended up having to bring him to the LSU Teaching Hospital which is 2 hours away.  After days of force-feeding and days of I.V. anti-nausea meds, he started to get better.  But it was a process that took months and was as tiring for me as it was for him.

Literally the same week of Binky’s last follow-up appointment at LSU, Yoshi got sick with what started out as an upper respiratory infection.  Within a week, he was worse and running a high fever and no one was sure what was wrong… so back to LSU we went, where we found out Yoshi was dying of cardiomyopathy — heart failure.  In cats, it’s very often asymptomatic, meaning by the time a kitty starts to show the signs, it’s too late.  We had to give him peace that very day.  To say we all took his sudden decline and unexpected death hard is like the understatement of the century.  That was in April and we still have not recovered from it.  We miss his sweet face and gentle ways every day.

Binky and Faxy were a great comfort to me at this time — and a great comfort to each other.

I thought it would be a long, long time before we felt able to adopt another kitty, but I was wrong.  When friends told me about a litter of outside kittens who needed a home, we decided to take one in.  We named him Obi and he is a delight.  It took Binky and Fax a while to accept him, but they’re all wonderful friends now.  And once again, we are a 3-cat household.

And I’ve written all of this and not a word about makeup!  I’m still trying new things and still dedicated to buying only cruelty-free items.  My hair has been every color in the rainbow in the past year (I may do a post about that!), though currently, I am trying to grow it out and it is a natural color.

My hair may be a normal color but inside, I am still a brightly colored person.

I hope, if you’ve read all of this, you don’t mind sticking with me a little bit longer as I have rededicated myself to blogging and plan to do at least one post per week.  New item reviews, old favorites that you may not have tried and a whole lot more.  Be sure to follow my Instagram, FaceBook and Pinterest pages for the very latest!

Thanks for reading!

Wet N Wild Mega Liner — the best $4.00 liquid eyeliner ever??

A few weeks ago I was doing some grocery shopping — and for some weird reason, the local grocery store has a great selection of Wet N Wild products! There was a sale on certain things — buy one get one free.  I couldn’t pass that up, could I?  So I picked up their Mega Liner in Indigo Blue and Plum.  Let’s just say I wasn’t expecting much from them.

Boy was I wrong!

Wet n Wild Mega Liner in Plum & Indigo

Wet n Wild Mega Liner in Indigo and Plum

Wet n Wild Mega Liner in Plum & Indigo

The packaging claims these liners are: fast drying & smudgeproof.  Are they? Well let me tell you, one of the nights I was testing these my allergies were killing me. My eyes were red and watery and I was using eye drops all night and probably rubbing my eyes without even noticing.  At the end of the night, neither color had budged. No smudging, no smearing and no fading or flaking.

RESULT!

That said, I wish Plum were more opaque.  I have to go over the same area 2-3 times to get a truly solid line of Plum.  But did I mention these were $4? Indigo Blue is more opaque and to my delight, it’s also METALLIC. (Whereas Plum is matte.)

Wet n Wild Mega Liner in Indigo

Wet n Wild Mega Liner in Plum

I’m just super impressed with these and I definitely want to try the other colors in this line.

I’d give INDIGO BLUE 4 Kitteh skulls (taking one off for needing 2 layers)

And I’d give PLUM 3.5 Kitteh skulls (for needing 2-3 layers)

Wet N Wild is cruelty-free!

 

 

 

 

 

FOTD: Aug 20, 2012 (Inspired by LetzMakeup)

I not sure how my google fu led me to Letz Makeup but I am so glad it did!  What a great makeup artist and blog!  Looking back over older entries like a stalker, I was really inspired by this one: Uplifting Cat Eye Liner.  When I was trying to take some pics of my new hair color, that’s the eyelook I was sporting.  Here’s my version:

Face:

Vapour Organic Atmosphere Luminous Foundation in 100

Kevyn Aucoin the Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX01

NYX blush in Mocha

Eyes:

Too Faced Shadow Insurance over lid

Urban Decay Kinky over whole lid

Urban Decay Barlust in crease and lower lashline

The Balm Mary Lou-manizer in inner corner and lower lashline

Revlon* Colorstay eyeliner in black

Urban Decay 24/7 liner in perversion in waterline

Bare Essentials Flawless Definition Volumizing mascara – upper lashes

Too Faced Lashgasm – lower lashes

Brows: Matte taupe from One Night in Morcocco palette (review of this coming soon b/c I love it)

Lips:

New York Color/NYC in Fashion Ave Fuchsia.

All in all I don’t think it came out half bad.  Next time I am going to be more bold with the liner, though and really get a crazy cat-eye going.

Yoshi says no one does a better cat-eye than he does!

* Revlon was bought before they lost their cruelty-free status

Another day, another hair dye

So lately my hair has been bordering on pastel and while that was fine and all… I was longing for some COLOR.  I was really inspired by Phyrra’s Flameshock eyeshadow look so I thought combining pinks and oranges might work.

Unfortunately the turquoise in my fringe and sides wouldn’t budge so I had to do some improvising.  I did the fringe, sides and roots with Hot Hot Pink, which turned the turquoise a lovely red-purple.  Then I used Electric Lava (a bright orange) on the ends of my hair.  The orange and pink blended together in an unexpected way giving me a bright orange-red.  I love it!

What do you think?

Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink and Electric Lava

Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink and Electric Lava

I have to say getting a good picture of these colors was HARD.  I’ve been waiting for a nice sunny day for over a week — but alas and alack, it has been raining every day.  I took these inside with a daylight bulb and flash.  I didn’t alter the colors at all on the computer — they really are this freakin’ vibrant!

Tish & Snooky’s Manic Panic is cruelty-free!

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette — review and swatches and OMG MARS CURIOSITY

I have been putting off writing this tonight because I’ve been obsessively watching NASA’s livestream of the Mars Curiosity Rover’s landing on Mars.  MARS, people. Frakking Mars!  It was hugely exciting and inspiring.

Science… It’s a beautiful thing.
Ok, ok, back on topic!  I recently picked up Urban Decay’s “Smoked” palette and let me tell you, it’s a winner.  I know their “Naked” palettes are hugely popular but I am just not really into earth tones.  But this? It’s… dare I say it….MARS TONES.  Ok, ok not really, I’m still just super excited. If it was based on Mars, it would be red, right?  But if I were to create a palette inspired by space, I think it would be pretty close to this one.

Pictures? I haz them:

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.
top row: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout
bottom row: Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette, daylight:
top row: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout
bottom row: Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette, indoor with daylight bulb:
top row: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout
bottom row: Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

The colors are gorgeous and richly pigmented. It’s also nice to see several matte shades included (Kinky, Freestyle, Backdoor and Blackout).  The real standouts for me are Mushroom (a taupe-tinged silver with slightly warm undertones) and Asphalt (a lush metallic pewter.)  The only shadow that didn’t wow me was Blackout, which was a little patchy.  Another nice thing is that the non-matte shades are more metallic/shimmery than glittery.

It’s a really well balanced palette that has both warm and cool tones, which I think makes it extremely versatile no matter what your skin tone or skin undertone.  These colors are fierce.  Not only that, but it comes with a full sized 24/7 Pencil in “Perversion” which is amazingly smooth and inky-black.  It’s like the Spinal Tap album of black eyeliners:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Perversion

It also comes with a travel-size tube of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion which seems to be the gold standard of eyeshadow primers, though if I’m honest, it’s one that has never worked that great for me. (I prefer Too Faced Shadow Insurance though even that one will not stop the creasing of my unusually oily eyelids.)

But wait, that’s not all!  It also comes with a little booklet!  The booklet is pretty nice as it not only includes a variety of 12 different smokey eye looks, but also has a glossary of terms and techniques and examples of brushes you can use to get the best smokey eye.

Urban Decay Smoked Lookbook

Urban Decay Smoked Lookbook

Pretty handy, right?  If you’re wanting to expand your Urban Decay eyeshadow collection, I don’t think you can go wrong here.  All the shadows are beautiful an great quality.  If you love a smokey eye, again, you can’t go far wrong here.  And if you love a smokey eye but have no idea how to do one, you might find this just the trick. (Pssstt… you can also buy the booklet separately!)

All in all, I’m going to give this 4.5/5 Kitty Skulls. (Um, my new rating system, ok?)  I took off one kitty eye because the Primer Potion is pretty meh for me.

The Smoked palette can be bought at Sephora, Urban Decay and wherever Urban Decay products are sold.

Bonus: Urban Decay is Cruelty Free!

 

PS: I keep changing my layout because I can’t settle on one!  I think this one will work for now though!  And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…