Tag Archives: cruelty-free

Review: Tarte Energy Noir palette and LipSurgence skintuitive lip gloss

I’ve got a gorgeous palette to review for you today — the Energy Noir Clay Palette.  When I ordered it from Ulta, there was a promotion for Tarte and all Tarte purchases over #30 got a free sample size of the new Lipsurgence skintuitive lip gloss in the color “Energy Noir.”  So let’s get right to the pictures!

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Top Row:

Full Moon is a matte bone color

Charged up is a shimmery grey-taupe (similar to Urban Decay’s Mushroom)

Dark Drive is a matte cool brown

Middle Row:

Stone Unturned is a matte mid-toned grey taupe

Up Too Slate is a shimmery steely purple

Misty Mauve is a matte mauve

Bottom Row:

Power Plum is a matte deep plum

Lunar Eclipse is a matte black

Blush:

Unearthed is a matte neutral dusty plum

Crystal Spark is a pinky champagne shimmer (can be used on face or eyes)

Every single shade is richly pigmented — even the matte shades!  They all blend well and for me, are true to the color in the pan.  I love having a good mix of matte and shimmer shades in one palette.  And the blush is a great shade that works well with the cool shades and doesn’t look too purple.  I also really really LOVE that this is a COOL TONED palette!  That is so hard to find!  Most “neutral” palettes are just warm earth tones — as an artist, that bugs me so much.  In Energy Noir, the warmest shade is Dark Drive, the matte brown and even so, it’s a lovely cool brown with a bit of grey in it.

The three darkest shades can be easily used as liner shades or for a dramatic smokey eye or crease shade.  The mid-tone mattes look great on the lid or in the crease and the shimmery shades tie them all together — I think  this is a great, versatile palette.

If cool shades are your thing, don’t pass this one up — it’s limited edition! So grab it while it’s hot, erm, cool!

Since I received the LipSurgence skintuitive lip gloss in Energy Noir, I’ll review that one for you.  At first I was a little disappointed in it since it appeared to be a clear gloss.  But it’s actually a color-changing gloss and on me, turned a neutral-to-cool pink color.  The gloss is a great formula — neither too sticky nor slippery and was actually pretty hydrating.  It also left behind a soft pink stain.  I do wish the color had a little more pigment, though.

lipgloss_tarte_energynoir1 lipgloss_tarte_energynoir2 lipgloss_tarte_energynoir3 lipgloss_tarte_energynoir4

The Energy Noir palette is $30 and the full size LipSurgence Skintuitive lip gloss is $19.  They can be bought wherever Tarte products are sold.

Tarte is cruelty free!

All products purchased by me and all opinions are mine alone.  

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Petit Vour Subscription Box — February & March Reviews

Ever since subscription beauty boxes became popular, I’ve really wanted to try them.  The problem?  The biggest, most popular ones were not cruelty free.  Bummer.  So when I learned about Petit Vour (pronounced “petty vohr”)– which guarantees that all the products in their boxes are cruelty free, I was very interested!

There are several different subscription options — monthly for $15 a month, the 3-month which is one payment of $45 and a 6 month which is one payment of $90.  They also ship to Canada and the price for that is $23/month.  I went with the 3-month subscription. Since I ordered at the last week in January, I got my January and February boxes within 2 weeks of each other. As with most beauty boxes, you can purchase all the full sized items you receive from their website — doing so earns you points which can be used to give yourself a discount.

Here’s the January box:

Petit Vour -- January 2015 Box

Petit Vour — January 2015 Box

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EvolvH Ultrashine Moisture Shampoo

While the card said I would receive the EvolvH Ultrashine Conditioner, I got the shampoo.  This shampoo is ok.  It smells very nice — fresh and green,  but I didn’t find it moisturizing or that is made my hair shiny.  My husband has appropriated this to use on his beard.

subbox_petitvour_jan2015_5

100% PURE HAND BUTTERCREAM French Lavender

Initially I was super excited about this hand cream as I love real, French Lavender scents — it’s one of the few floral scents I like, in fact.  Immediately after applying, it does smell lovely but after a few minutes, it smells like baby powder. Not good. It’s minimally moisturizing.  Disappointing. Sadface. A lot of scents turn to baby powder on me so I guess it’s not surprising!

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Modern Minerals Eye Shadow En Pointe — a Petit Vour exclusive

Now here is where I got excited.  I love loose eyeshadows and pigments so I was pretty pleased to see a full sized eyeshadow by Modern Minerals in my box!  And this one is gorgeous!  Depending on the light it goes from rose gold to a golden lilac.  It’s sheer but very, very lovely.  This shade, “En Point” is exclusive to Petit Vour but the quality is so nice that I would definitely consider buying more from this brand.

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Rawskinceuticals Cheek Creme Pink Rose

This cream blush really intrigued me, as did the brand which focuses on raw and natural ingredients.  But sadly, this was another miss for me.  The color was ok — I worried it would be a little too cool and lilac-toned for me but it worked.  The texture was just really, really hard to work with.  It was the consistency of store-bought frosting.  I found it hard to apply and blend in and it ended up looking thick and chalky.  I tried using my fingers as well as a brush and it was just impossible. Add to that, the fact that after it sat on my skin for about 10 minutes, the color seemed to disappear.  Hard pass on this.

So I guess you could say this box was hit or miss for me.  But the gorgeous Modern Minerals eyeshadow made the box almost worth the price in terms of what I’ll actually use, as it retails for $12.50.  The shampoo sample will also get used and I will likely use the hand lotion, but on my feet.

On to February!

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Petit Vour February 2015 Box List

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Petit Vour February 2015 Box

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Harvey Prince fragrance samples — Imperial Gardenia & Damask Rose

First item up are fragrance samples by Harvey Prince — Imperial Gardenia and Damask Rose.  I sniffed these on a card and they both smelled very authentic — like honest-to-gawd flowers.  But I dare not put this on my skin b/c they’d instantly smell like gasoline and my allergies would go insane. But, if you’re into single-note florals, these seem of great quality.

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Ellovi Butter — Mint Chocolate

Guys… you guys… this smells EXACTLY like a Junior Mint candy.  In other words, it smells amazing.  This stuff is supposed to be good for face and body — really an all-purpose sort of butter made with products so simple and pure you can literally eat it.  They also say you can use it to remove makeup.  I’ve used this mostly as a hand cream and cuticle cream and it’s lovely.  The texture is like a softer coconut oil (and indeed it has coconut oil in it).  The only negative is that the scent doesn’t linger more than about 20 minutes. If it did, I’d buy a full size of this in a heartbeat!!  As it is, I keep this small sample jar next to my computer to take a whiff every now and then and use on my cuticles.  Seriously, it smells amazing.

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Balanced Guru SCRUB ME Face and Body Scrub

I have a love/hate relationship with body scrubs.  I like the idea of them but the execution often seems lacking.  Also, since I use a bathtub rather than a shower, scrubs that don’t dissolve tend to be messy and I have to scrub my tub out after every use.  This scrub is  enriched with “Raw Sugar, Organic Coffee, Coconut Oil, Babassu Oil and Cocoa Butter plus a little of Spearmint and Ginger” and they mention it’s safe for experiment and nursing mothers and children.  Good to know! (That came out snarky but I mean it — it’s good to have it right there on the label is that is a concern for you.)  The scent on this is… very heavy on the spearmint and coffee.  I love spearmint and I love coffee!  But together… they just smell unappealing to me.  I keep sniffing this in the hope that I will suddenly want to use it. I haven’t worked up the nerve to, yet.

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Lily Lolo Mascara in Black

The full-size item for this month’s box is this mascara by Lily Lolo.  I don’t have much luck with natural mascaras — especially if they aren’t waterproof.  So I didn’t have much hope for it.  But to my great surprise, I really like it!  The formula is very dark and not too wet and actually hold a curl in my lashes a little bit! (Most non-waterproof mascaras cause my straight lashes to uncurl instantly.) The brush is very nice and gave me separation, some length and volume. My lashes also felt really soft even after 2 coats.  I also like the simple but pretty packaging.

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Lily Lolo Mascara and my poor inflamed eyeball

 

Excuse my red eye — allergies are hell, y’all.  As you can see, while the curl was taken out at the outer corner of my eye, the lashes at the center stayed upright and curled.  Normally, without curling my lashes point slightly down.  This mascara did not flake, smudge or smear and I tested it up to 10 hours.  At the end of the day it did fade a little but didn’t flake.  It was a breeze to remove. Of course it is not waterproof so I’d have to be careful about wearing this if my allergies were in full flare up.  But overall, I really like it and I think it’s one of those mascaras that gets a little better after it’s been open a week or two.  This mascara is worth $20 and so this alone makes the price of the box worth it!

So, that’s it.  Two boxes worth of stuff.  Each month had one full sized item and a selection of samples.  Even though there were some misses for me, I enjoyed both boxes and each had items I will use, as well as items I can pass along.

If you’re looking for a cruelty-free beauty box, I think Petit Vour is worth your time and money. I can’t wait to see what I’ll get for March and I know when my subscription runs out, I’ll be subbing again.  It’s a nice, inexpensive treat.

These items were all purchased by me and my opinions are mine alone.

 

 

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.

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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. 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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…