Saturday, June 1, 2013

I Guess I'm Retired

Unfortunately, while I enjoy all things beauty, I found that I don't particularly enjoy writing.  Also, I noticed that my blogging often led to more lemmings and buying, which is exact opposite of my blogging goals, so I had to retire.

I'll see you around the internet.  It still takes up a lot of my time. ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Stash: Lipsticks Part 1, Revlon

Revlon is my go-to brand for lip products.  Their Super Lustrous line has so many colors and finishes to choose a perfect shade.  The formulas are rich and pigmented, with many that are able to cover my two-tone lips.  My collection is the culmination of a year of obsessing over building a varied lipstick collection.  I've tried many more Revlon lipsticks than these, and I'm glad that US drugstores have a generous return policy!

From left:  026 Abstract Orange, 028 Cherry Blossom (Fall 2012 LE), 465 Plumalicious, 473 Mauvy Night, 477 Black Cherry, 640 Blackberry, 660 Berry Haute, 671 Mink, 745 Raspberry Bite, 
750 Kiss Me Coral.

From top, left to right:  Cherry Blossom, Raspberry Bite, Blackberry, Abstract Orange, Black Cherry, Kiss Me Coral, Mauvy Night, Plumalicious, Berry Haute, Mink

I also fell completely into the hype that the Revlon lip butters caused last year.  New product + retail therapy = this:

From left:  010 Raspberry Pie, 020 Brown Sugar, 030 Fig Jam, 040 Red Velvet, 050 Berry Smoothie, 070 Cherry Tart, 085 Sugar Plum

The hype for these is all real for me.  I love the consistency and feel that it is perfect for my lips.  Lipstick tends to dry out my lips, so I do not wear them everyday.  I'm able to wear these everyday with no problems.  I also like to alternate between a lipstick and a lip butter of a similar color during the same day to minimize dryness. 

I have ten Revlon lipsticks.  This is enough for me, especially since I can't tolerate everyday lipstick wearing.  As for the lip butters, seven seems like a lot, but they are a staple and I use them constantly.  I've used up two completely and my Cherry Tart is running low as well.  Therefore, I won't set a limit for myself on these.  In fact, I'm on the hunt for the new colors!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Stash: Lip Glosses

Now I must chronicle one of the most numbered parts of my stash: my lip products.

I have so many that I have to break this up into several posts.  First up, lip glosses!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Stash: Lip Balms

If there is one thing that I absolutely cannot stand, it's being ashy, especially on my lips!  To that end, I'm constantly on the lookout for lip balms to keep the flakes and tightness away.   Here's what I have currently:

From left:  Chapstick Orange Cream Burst, Nivea Kiss of Recovery and Mint & Minerals; Chapstick Chocolate Rush.  Front:  Nivea Milk & Honey, Lip Smacker Berry Peach.

Simply Lip Balm in Vanilla and Citrus

Altogether, I have eight seven lip balms.  (I used up the Lip Smacker recently.)  Normally, I only open one at a time, so I have enough to last a long while.  I plan to use these up or give them away before buying any more.

Empties, 2nd Edition

It's time for another edition of Empties!

These are all the products that I finished during the months of January and February.  I'm finding that it isn't that hard to finish products when you focus on certain ones instead of dabbling in everything.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rimmel Kate #4 and #15 Swatches and Review

After I read on Nouveau Cheap here and on her You Tell Me page that Rimmel lipsticks are on sale this week at Walgreens, I decided to show some swatches of the two lipsticks that I own.  They are both from the Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Collection.

#4, #15

Number 4 is a dark vampy cool plum with no shimmer, and #15 is a color that I don't see often in the drugstore - a shimmery ash purple.  In the display, it's promoted as a "Smokey Look" topcoat, but I love to wear it alone.  It looks scary swatched, but I feel it is wearable for cool-toned ladies across the spectrum. 

Swatches in bright sunlight

The lipsticks have a strong fruity smell that is noticeable upon application, but fades after 15 to 20 minutes after application.  They apply smooth and creamy and have a slight sheen, but can be blotted down to a matte finish.   They wear for about 4 hours before fading, but I reapply often due to my constant water drinking.  I always use lip balm under my lipsticks, but after removing these at the end of the day, my lips feel fine and are not dried out.

 Overall, these are lovely lipsticks with a great formula.  They are a great buy, even at full price.

My Stash: Foundations

They are a necessary evil for me.

Since I've gotten really obsessive with makeup, I've been on the hunt for the perfect foundation.  I need it to be easy to apply (preferably with fingers), be a good color match, provide a demi-matte finish, blur imperfections without looking like a mask, and cost less than 20 bucks.

Am I asking for too much?

Well, at this point I am at a good working place.  I have foundations that work well for me, but not perfectly.  There's always something a bit off!

First, the liquids:

From Left:  Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily Skin in 360 Rich Ginger and 400 Caramel, Maybelline Mineral Power Foundation in Dark 2 Caramel (discontinued), Revlon Colorstay Whipped in Caramel, Covergirl Natureluxe in 365 Chestnut and 360 Nutmeg (discontinued).

Revlon Colorstay: It's a classic and my go-to for weddings and other all-day events. It wears all day and only requires minimal blotting.  I mix Rich Ginger and Caramel in different ratios to match my skintone throughout the year.  It works well, though I'm discovering that both shades are a little too pink/red for my skintone.

Revlon Colorstay Whipped: This also wears well, but not as well as the original. I love the texture! This would be a good foundation if I had a better color match.  Caramel is a little too dark and red, and Rich Ginger (which I tried, then swapped away) was waaaaay too light.  Maybe Revlon will come out with a shade between Rich Ginger and Caramel that would be a good match for me.

Maybelline Mineral Power: foundation is a good color match, but its silicone-y finish transfers easily.  Even if it was an awesome foundation, it's discontinued, so I still need an alternative.

Covergirl Natureluxe: This foundation met my finish requirements. It is easy to apply with fingers and dries to a semi-matte finish.  The undertones were just right, too; most foundations are too red for me.  However, I could not find a perfect skintone match. 

I also have liquid foundations:

Clockwise from left:  Avon Ideal Shade Cream-to-Powder Foundation in H304 Earth (discontinued), L'Oreal True Match Powder Foundation in c7 Nut Brown, Black Radiance Pressed Powder in Creamy Beige, Black Opal Oil Absorbing Pressed Powder.

Avon Ideal Shade: Maybe once upon a time this was a good match, but now it's a shade too dark and the undertones are too red.  I haven't used this in a while, but I remember it applying well, looking good, and not breaking me out.

L'Oreal True Match: This powder is the best match to my skin right now.  It evens out my skintone well and blurs imperfections.  This is my everyday go-to for a natural, everyday look. The only thing this doesn't do is control oil, and I have my Black Opal powder for that.   I've already repurchased this for when I run out.

Black Radiance Pressed Powder: I achieved a natural look effortlessly with this powder, but Creamy Beige is too red a shade for me.  I wish that the colors were easier to tell apart in the store.

Black Opal:  This is not a foundation, but it completes my collection of pressed face powders.  I talk about it here.

So I have seven foundations, some in more than one shade, which makes for nine foundations in my stash.  In my opinion, this is too many.   I only want three to four at the most: one or two powder foundations, a lighter liquid foundation for everyday wear, and a medium to full coverage foundation for a more flawless look.  To achieve this goal, I will purge what isn't working for me and throw away the expiring foundations.  I'll stay on the hunt to fufill my foundation, but resist the temptation to become a foundation junkie.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Stash: Concealers

For my face to achieve the flawless look, concealers are a necessity.  (sigh)  However, I'm not usually so ambitious with my everyday makeup, so I rarely use them.  Here's my stash:

From left:  Black Opal Total Coverage spot and scar eraser in Heavenly Honey, NYX Concealer in a Jar in Orange and Tan, BO Total Coverage in Truly Topaz.

The Black Opal concealers are thick and creamy and they dry to a powder finish.  They will cover anything, especially layered.  They are thick enough to be used as foundation, but can look cakey on dry spots.  The NYX concealers are smooth and creamy as well, but they definitely need to be set with powder.  The Orange works well as a color corrector for dark and deep dark skintones.

Even though I'm too low-maintenance (read: lazy) to deal with concealers on a daily basis, I am still on the hunt for a nice one to brighten my undereye area and disguise blemishes.   I plan to try a few new concealers as well as give each of these pictured another chance. 

Any suggestions?

My Stash: Primers

We have primers for the paint on our walls, why not have them for the paint on our faces?

I love them and have managed to accumulate quite a few:

From right, counterclockwise: NYX Eyeshadow Base in White, Hourglass Mineral Veil primer (trial size and Sephora 100 pt size), Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Wet 'n' Wild Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer, Urban Decay Primer Potion, L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base.

I love a good eyeshadow primer!  I like all three featured here.  The Wet 'n' Wild primer was a surprise hit and I'm glad I tried it.  It works just as well as my mid-end counterparts and is a good deal for the budget-minded.

On the other hand, I don't perceive any added benefits in using a face primer.   I tried the Hourglass primer after reading the Beauty Reductionista's raves for it here.  It feels good going on my face, and doesn't make me break out.  Unfortunately, my makeup doesn't act any different when using this or just my Olay sunscreen moisturizer, so I won't be repurchasing.  I've already swapped away all my other face primers as of this post.

My plans for this stash is to hold off on buying any more primers until my remaining ones are used up. I love to try them, but I really don't need more than one at a time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Stash: Brow Liners

I came into my brow obsession in stages.

In high school I only got my eyebrows shaped once, for a special event.  (Prom?  I don't remember.)  My brows were beautiful and perfect as they were, thank you very much.

In college,  I decided that maybe I should keep up my eyebrows on the regular.  I visited the same barber shop as my boyfriend at the time.  The guy there used a razor, and the results were awesome.  If I still lived in my college town,  I'd still be visiting that guy.

After college, threading was my choice for brow grooming.  Never mind that I never got used to it and left the store every time crying from the pain while admiring the handiwork.

In time, the ecomomy got tough and I tired of driving across town just for eyebrows.  I found a wonderful lady around the corner from me, and I've been a loyal and regular customer for several years.  I thought I had this brow thing handled until seven months ago. I renewed my driver's license and noticed that I had no eyebrows on my picture.

Then and only then did I understand the point of brow products.  Since then, I have acquired a few:

From left, all from Maybelline:  Expert Eyes Twin Brow and Eye Pencils in Dark Brown and Velvet Black; Expert Eyes Retractable Eye Pencil in Velvet Black;  Eyestudio Mastershape Brow Pencil in Dark Brown.

My favorite product is the Twin Brow pencil in Velvet Black.  It is a soft black that provides a natural look to my black brows on my caramel skin.  The Dark Brown Twin Brow pencil was too red.  The retractable pencil lost its point too quickly.  The Mastershape pencil is useable, but high-maintenance. I also use Revlon matte eye shadow in Rich Sable on my eyebrows, and I like it a lot.  I mentioned it here.

[I just went to the Maybelline website to search for the correct names for my products, and I found out that my Expert Eyes pencils have been discontinued!  What am I gonna do now?  I was ready to sit and be satisfied with what I had! Aww, whatamIgonnado? /end rant]

Well, I have five (Rich Sable included) brow products.  Despite my qualms over Maybelline's discontinuing of my favorite brow pencil, I'm set for a while.  To streamline this stash, I'm purging all but my Revlon shadow and my Velvet Black pencil.  If I see these pencils in the store, I'll buy a back up to hold me over until I find a replacement.

This actually isn't an area where I had a hoarding problem, so I'm okay with my stash in this category.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Stash: False Lashes

I don't even know why I have these.   I've never worn any in my entire life.

From Left:  Ardell Glamour Starter Kit with #105 Lashes, Ardell Fashion Lashes #116, NYX Fabulous Lashes #210.

This is what happens when you are hit by the duo of awesome Youtube makeup tutorials and clearance sales. 

At least I only have three pairs, right!  I'm all about using my stash, so I'll be trying these soon.

Neutrogena Hand Cream Review

Sometimes I need a good hand cream.  I'm talking industrial strength!  Even though the winter down here in the South has been mild this year, the dry indoor air and harsh workplace soap can turn my hands into a dry, ashy mess.  Even worse, if I let my hands get really dry, my eczema will flare up, adding a itchy rash to my hand troubles.

Because of this, I'm constantly trying new hand creams to see if I can keep my hands in good shape.  I've read good things over the years about Neutrogena Hand Cream, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Was it my hand savior?  Keep reading after the jump...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Holy Grail #2: Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Powder

My face is oily, especially in my T-zone.  My nose gets especially oily.  Without remedy, my nose will proceed to call all sorts of attention to itself with its shine.  Whether I use liquid or powder foundation, I need something extra to control the oil and keep me from looking greasy.

I had read good things about this powder on Makeup Alley, and when I accumulated some +UPs at Rite Aid, I decided to give it a try.

This is a translucent loose powder that can be used alone or to set foundation.  Because Black Opal makes products for darker-skinned women, this powder is darker than others.

I use my e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush to swirl this on my face.  I touch my brush to the powder, then tap the excess into the lid.  Then I take whatever is left on the brush and tap, glide, and buff it into my face.  Sometimes, my face looks a little powdery immediately after application, but it soon settles.  As time passes, it soaks up all the oil my face can put out there.  It doesn't keep me matte all day; nothing can do that!  However, a quick blotting and my face looks fresh again.  This product makes a big difference in how long my makeup looks good.  It even has a slight blurring effect on my face when I use it without foundation. I think it's because the powder soaks up the oil that would otherwise make my scars and spots shine.

The only problem I have with this is that it doesn't travel well.  So, when I got ready to go on a trip, I went and picked up the pressed version:

The pressed version works just as well as its loose counterpart. You aren't losing any effectiveness here. 

I recommend this powder to all with oily skin, even my fair and tan sisters.  You won't regret it!  There's a reason why the loose and pressed powders rank #3 and #6 on Black Opal's Bestsellers list.

You can find these powders in select Rite Aids and CVS's, as well as at Black Opal's online store.  It retails for $8.95.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Stash: Mascaras

Oooh....mascaras!  My favorite cosmetic.  I just love what they do to my eyes!  I can pretend that I was born with long, lush lashes instead of the ones I really have, which are average in every possible way.  Even when I wasn't a makeup connoisseur, I was a mascara junkie, trying all the new ones as soon as they hit the shelves. 

I just purged a bunch of mascaras; I talked about it here and here.  Here's what I have left:

Front, left to right: Urban Decay Supercurl Curling, UD Lush Lash.  Back row, left to right:  LA Splash Mascara Primer, Maybelline Full 'n' Soft, Estée Lauder Sumptuous, Maybelline Volum' Express the Falsies, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara.

Maybelline is my favorite brand for mascara!  Full 'n' Soft and the Falsies are staples.  I haven't tried any of these other mascaras yet.

I gather my mascaras, take pictures, and then find another one!

 Clinique High Impact Mascara. mascaras and a primer in my possession.  This is plenty, but not excessive by any means.  I religiously throw out mascara after three months, and I often have two or three mascaras open at a time.  At the moment, I just have one mascara open, which is a rarity.  I plan to open one mascara a month.  If I keep to my three-month limit, I shouldn't have but three mascaras open in any given month.  Assuming that I use them all and none of them suck, I'd be completely through this stash in ten months!

I have no immediate plans to purchase any more mascaras.  As my stash dwindles, I'll go back to my old habits of buying my Maybelline staples and trying a new mascara here or there.  I generally stick to the drugstore for my mascaras because throwing away a $15+ mascara just hurts my heart.  However, I love trying mid- and high-end minis, and I love that they normally cost around $10 even more.

Edited to add:  I actually found another mascara!  I also have Covergirl Natureluxe in Very Black, raising my mascara total to eight.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Stash: Eyeliners

Since I first became interested in makeup in my teenage years, I've always felt the need for eyeliner. It and mascara was a must for the eyes. Eyeliner was crucial for my transformation from squinty-eyed kid to doe-eyed beauty queen (in my eyes, anyway!). Even when I wasn't makeup obsessed, my stash always included a black liner. Now I have plenty, in a rainbow of colors to create all the cool liner looks I see around. At first glance, I don't think I have too many, but I must evaluate all parts of my stash to make sure of it.

From upper left to lower right:  Covergirl Liquilineblast in Brown Blaze, Revlon Grow Luscious Lashliner in Onyx, Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Violet Voltage, Tarina Taratino Eye Dream Highlight Hyperliner in Cute Robot, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Ransom, Covergirl Queen Vivid Impact Eyeliner in Cabernet, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Whiskey, Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Blue Boom, Milani Liquif'Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Black, Revlon Grow Luscious Lashliner in Graphite, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero, Revlon Grow Luscious Lashliner in Emerald, Rimmel Special Eyes Precision Eye Liner Pencil in Burgundy.

Of course, later I find another eyeliner hidden away!  Here pictured is Covergirl Queen Vivid Impact Eyeliner in Amethyst, all by its lonesome.

I also love my big eye pencils!  

 On left: Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in Black.  From top to bottom: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Rehab, Avon Big Color Eye Pencil in Eggplant, Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in Taupe* and White Glitter, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Delinquent, Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in Kaki and Purple Glitter, Avon Spectra Define Eye Liner in Navy.  

*I've managed to swap this away by post time!  Guess I'm on my way to leaving my beauty hoarding ways behind!

I haven't mastered liquid liners, but I've been trying.  Here's my collection:

From left:  Palladio Liquid Eyeliner in Black, Jordana FabuLiner in Black, Black Radiance Fine Line Liquid Eyeliner in Black.

I find the Jordana liner's pen-style applicator easy to use. With patience, I can make a decent cat-eye with it.

I have fourteen skinny pencils, eight thick pencils, and three liquid liners for a total of twenty-five eyeliners. Is this too many? Sort of.  I like having different colors of eyeliner for a easy swipe of color to liven up my looks, so I'm okay with the number in and of itself.  My problem lies in my buying the same colors over and over again.  I don't need five black and two navy liners, but I certainly have them! 

My next step involves getting rid of any liners that are not being used.  I also will not buy another black or navy pencil until I've used up what I have.  Beyond that, my buying of additional eyeliner pencils will be restricted to those with superior formulas, unique colors, and reasonable prices. 

As for liquid liners, all but the Jordana are probably expired and I need to throw them away.  I feel satisfied with just one right now.  I'm just not good enough at using them to want to hoard them. 

Gel liners remain an unexplored frontier, so I'll let myself buy one within my low-buy parameters, if I ever become interested in them.

I'm confident that I will not have twenty-five eyeliners the next time I take an inventory.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mascara Purge Addendum, or I Keep Finding More Mascara Everywhere!

More mascara to purge:

Where were y'all hiding?

I found these in my sprawling stash after I did my first mascara purge

1.  Maybelline the Falsies Volum' Express Black Waterproof in Black Drama - I don't normally wear waterproof mascara, but I bought this for a funeral I had to attend.  It held up to the heat and the tears.  However, the drama that this mascara delivers is more huge heavy clumps than extra-black lushness.  I much prefer the original Falsies to any Black Drama formula, and if I need to cry again while wearing mascara, I'll buy Full 'n' Soft waterproof.
2.  Maybelline Great Lash in Pop of Purple (Limited Edition) - Hate, hate, hate!  It didn't make my lashes look good!  It clumped and stuck my lashes together.  It turned my soft black lashes a funky greyish purple, and I couldn't see that unless I was in the sun!  When I removed it, this foul concoction took at least six of my lashes with it!  Ugh. 

I think I'm down to one mascara open now.  Really.

Total Empties since December 1st: 27

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holy Grail #1: Dove Limited Edition Winter Care Beauty Bar

We are always on the look out for a holy grail in something.  Fortunately, in beauty, the journey is just as fun as the destination!  I've managed to find a holy grail, and that is no lightweight feat.  I don't throw around the term holy grail much, unless I am talking about the ABSOLUTE BESTEST PRODUCT FOR ME!!!!   Yes, I have to shout about it because this product is worth a try for anyone.

You are my favorite.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jordana Blush Powder Swatches and Review

I mentioned here that I bought some Jordana blushes as a part of that (shameful!) December haul.

Cheap thrills!

From top, left to right;  Coral Sandy Beach, Blushing Rose, Redwood, Terracotta

These blushes come in small plastic tins with clear, screw-on lids.  They are not taped, so they can be easily opened in-store.  (Definitely a drugstore cosmetic peeve of mine.)  I found these blushes at Big Lots among other Jordana products in a large plastic bin, and a lot of blushes had become loose or totally unscrewed.  Also, the packaging won't protect this blush from thumps and bumps.  When I originally discovered these blushes in-store,  I bought Redwood, Blushing Rose, and Bronze.  After making my purchase, I stuffed my bag in my purse and went home. The next day, I discovered that my Bronze had shattered!   I have to baby these blushes, or at least refrain from shoving, tossing, and flinging them.

Coral Sandy Beach

Blushing Rose



  • Coral Sandy Beach is a pinky-peach with gold shimmer.  Perhaps it is NARS Orgasm-ish?  In my in-person swatching in Sephora and Googling, I think it is very similar, but not an exact dupe.  This and Blushing Rose have a nice dual blush-highlighter effect when blended on the cheeks.
  • Blushing Rose's name is a misnomer.  This is a light purple with pink undertones and gold shimmer.  No blush or rose here. 
  • Terracotta is a matte, warm brown with orange undertones.  Terracotta has a "no-blush" blush effect on me, sculpting my cheeks while not looking overtly colorful.
  • Redwood is a slightly cool matte red-coral with tiny silver glitter.  The glitter keeps the blush from looking completely flat on the face without my cheeks sparkling. Redwood delivers a natural, flushed, I-just-said-my-inner-thoughts-out-loud look to my face. 

Heavy finger swatches, without and with flash:

Left to right: Redwood, Coral Sandy Beach, Blushing Rose, Terracotta

See how the flash picks up the subtle sheen in Coral Sandy Beach and Blushing Rose?

These blushes are soft and a little powdery.  They are also very pigmented, so proceed cautiously.   One tap on the blush with my brush is enough to do one cheek.  The staying power is also good.  I applied before going to work, and each blush was still visible on my cheeks after eight hours.

I recommend these blushes to makeup wearers of all skintones who love a cheap thrill.  I really enjoy these, and maybe I'll pick up some more in other colors someday.  However, I am definitely considering depotting these to a sturdier palette to protect from shattering.

Jordana blushes can be found at Kmart stores,, and other online retailers.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Stash: Black Radiance Artisian Color Baked Blushes and Bronzer Swatches

Everyone should know about these blushes!


From top left:  Raspberry, Toasted Almond, Plum Sorbet, Gingersnap, Warm Berry

Toasted Almond
Plum Sorbet
Warm Berry

Black Radiance products are manufactured by Markwins, Inc., the same company that produces Wet 'n' Wild Cosmetics.  Like its sister company, Black Radiance's blushes are amazingly pigmented and smoothly milled.  The packaging is bulky, but adequate; these blushes are not prone to easy shattering like their wet 'n' wild sisters.

Heavy finger swatches, without and with flash:


From left:  Warm Berry, Plum Sorbet, Raspberry, Toasted Almond, Gingersnap.

  • Warm Berry is a dark reddish pink with a satin finish and fine silver glitter.  I love to pair this with my red lipsticks.
  • Plum Sorbet is a pinky plum blush with pale pink, deep plum, and violet veining.  It has a shimmery finish.  I love this color with plum, berry, or even blue-toned red lips.
  • Raspberry is a rich deep magenta with a satin finish.  Due to its richness, I often pair this with my-lips-but-better colors.
  • Toasted Almond is a deep pinky brown with a matte finish.  It goes well with any lip color.
  • Gingersnap is a light bronze with gold veining and a hint of pink.  It has a shimmery finish.  This color cannot serve as a contour for anyone due to the shimmer;  I use it as a highlight or a barely-there blush.  It also goes well with any lip color.
A few months ago, I also purchased the bronzers in Blackberry and Rum Spice.  Rum Spice is lighter than Gingersnap and showed up almost champagne on me.  Blackberry is a deep cool purple with gold veining.  If it wasn't for the shimmer, it would be the perfect contour color for dark-skinned, neutral- to cool-toned faces.  I could find no use for them, so I returned them to the store.

These blushes are best approached lightly lest you end up with clown cheeks.  Even so, they are a joy to use because they are not excessively powdery.  I find that these blushes last on me all day until I wash my face, whether or not I am wearing foundation.

These blushes and bronzers can be found at select drugstores (read: stores that serve a Black population),, and has a store locator to help you find nearby stores that carry these products.  They usually retail at $4.99, but I've seen $1.00 off coupons included on the packaging every once in a while.

I highly recommend all who love blushes to give these a try.  I enjoy every color I own.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Empties, 2nd Edition: Mascara Purge

While going through my stash, I noticed the abundance of opened mascaras I have lying around.

Since I couldn't remember when I started using any of these, I decided to start this year with a fresh mascara.

1. Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express Cat Eyes Mascara in Glam Black - This actually gave my eyes a slight cat-like appearance.  The wet formula actually did more lengthening than thickening, so I layered it with a thickening mascara.  I'd buy again.
2.  Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara in Black - I'm seriously disappointed in this.  I read all the reviews on the internets and had to try this for myself.  The formula was so dry it was non-existent!  Maybe it was because I bought a mini, but I doubt I'll be buying the full-size to compare.
3.  Covergirl Natureluxe Water Resistant Mascara in Black- I bought it on clearance, then bought another in Very Black after trying and liking this.  It is a really nice mascara that is easy to throw on and go.  It provides a nice, natural look with a good balance of lengthening and thickening.  I'd repurchase if it's still available when I need it.
4.  Avon superFULL mascara in Black - Absolutely terrible.  Too dry to make any kind of impact on my lashes.  I couldn't see it, but it still managed to crumble all over my face.  Yuck.  I wonder if this was a dud, but not enough to buy.
5.  Benefit They're Real Mascara - At first I hated this mascara, but it really grew on me.  The formula and brush create dramatic lashes, but they look "made up".  Nobody will think that these are my real lashes, but I enjoyed this mascara anyway.  I'd definitely repurchase.
6.  Wet 'n' Wild Megalength Mascara - The brush will take your eye out if you are not careful, but the formula is nice and it lengthens my lashes well.  A real bargain that I would repurchase.
7.  Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Primer - This is nice.  It gives my lashes extra length and thickness under my mascaras.  I'd repurchase if I feel like splurging.

I need to set a limit to how many mascaras I have open at a time!  Two, maybe three is enough for me.

Total Empties since December 1st: 25

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trial Size Tuesday: Joico K-Pak Moisture Intense Hydrator

I have a lot of trial- and travel-size items to get through, so I'm instituting a weekly challenge to try to get through them.  Exciting!  Let's get started.

This is my hair.

It's a kinky cloud, basically.  My hair demands moisture all the time.  Unfortunately, I neglected it a bit during the holiday season, leaving it parched.

Enter the Joico K-Pak Moisture Intense Hydrator.

From the label:  This intense hydrating treatment restores moisture to overly dry, damaged hair, seals the cuticle, imparts shine, and improves manageability and elasticity.  pH 3.5.

Sounds good to me!

This conditioner has a thick, lotiony consistency.  Not watery, but not thick enough to call creamy.

It smells just like a hair salon.  Really,  just go to any salon when it's open and you will smell this conditioner.  Fortunately, the smell doesn't linger once the hair has dried.

DIRECTIONS:  Apply to damp hair.  Leave in for 3-5 minutes and rinse.  

When it comes to deep conditioners, I always leave them longer than the label recommends.  In this case, I applied a generous amount to just-shampooed hair, slapped on a plastic cap, and left it on for an hour.

I rinsed my hair and was left with this:

 Lovely, defined, fluffy awesomeness.

After styling, my hair shrank some, but the definition and softness remained.  Impressive.

The softness and touchability of my hair is so nice.  The moisture was indeed intense, delivering just what my dry hair needed.  Also, the touch of keratin served to smooth my rough strands. It's definitely going into my deep conditioner rotation.

I recommend this to anyone who needs deep moisture with a little bit of strengthening.  This product can be found at salons and Ulta.