Reviews

Estée Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick Collection - Review & Swatches:

 

"You cannot use someone else's fire; you can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe you have it."

- Audre Lorde

 

 

Lengthy post warning!!!! Grab a snack! :)

 

Estée Lauder.... What comes to mind when you hear those words? I think..... Elegance. This is a company that has stood the test of time and has stayed true to their "look". From product to packaging, Estée is simply beautiful and elegant.

Double Wear has been one of my favorite foundations for many years. I also love quite a bit of their skincare but when it comes to their other makeup products, I haven't tried much; mainly because Estée is more high end and it has always been a huge splurge item for me.

When I received an email from the company asking to send me their new Pure Color Love lipstick collection, I screamed.... Literally, out loud, screamed!... I must have stared at that email, reading it over and over again for a good 5 minutes. Total shock!! I immediately told my mom and before I could even finish the sentence, I burst into tears.

I've been blessed to be contacted by a lot of companies, but this was by far the biggest. Not only because it is a behemoth brand but because I've loved and treasured their products for so many years. I've saved for months just to be able to afford one foundation.... And they want to send me an entire lipstick collection? It's an honor.

 

Before I begin, I will say that although these were sent to me, I am not being paid for this post - it is in no way sponsored. I will be 100% honest and let you know the pros and cons of these lipsticks.

There are 30 shades in the Pure Color Love line and they are $22 each. They come in a wide varity of shades and finishes; mattes, shimmers, chromes and cremes. The chromes are meant to be toppers and I will mention which they are as we go along with the shades.

But first.... Packaging!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick Collection

Okay yeah, this is only the PR packaging but.... WOW. I had to include it in this post. I opened this, sat on my floor and CRIED. haha


Estee Lauder lipstick packaging
Estee Lauder Pure Color Love

The packaging is a gorgeous mirrored gold. Estée Lauder is etched into one side and each lipstick color is labeled nicely on the bottom with the color so it's easy to see which is which.

The lipsticks itself have a very unique shape.... Not my favorite. The hard edge makes it very difficult to get a clean application and I've been grabbing for lip brushes to apply rather than applying straight from the tubes, especially with the more dramatic/bright shades. I wish it was just a regular lipstick shape!


Here are the swatches - the left is with one swipe and the right is built up for full pigmentation.

Estee Lauder Blase Buff (100) swatch

Blasé Buff (100) is a peachy pink nude. It's not as orangey in person as it looks in this photo. As you can see, it's quite pigmented with just one swipe. It's matte but not drying at all!

 

Estee Lauder Raw Sugar (110) swatch

Raw Sugar (110) is a matte brown-toned nude. I grab for this a lot on days when I need a more neutral nude lipstick. It's a perfect shade to keep in your purse!

 

Estee Lauder Rose Xcess (120) swatch
Estee Lauder makeup look Rose Xcess

 

 

 

 

Rose Xcess (130) is a stunning matte berry shade. I'd recommend pairing this with a lip liner in a similar shade because it is slightly patchy on the lips.

Estee Lauder Strapless (130) swatch

Strapless (130) is a pretty mauve with a lot of shine. This is one of the creme formulas; they are a little bit more on the sheer side and feel extremely comfortable on the lips.

 

Estee Lauder Naked City (140) swatch

Naked City (140) is a creamy peach shade.

 

Estee Lauder Proven Innocent (200) swatch

Proven Innocent (200) is a pretty pale matte pink.

Estee Lauder Naughty-Nice (210) swatch

Naughty-Nice (210) is another matte pink, it's brighter than it looks in the tube but it's still very wearable.

 

Estee Lauder Shock & Awe (220) swatch

Shock & Awe (220) is a bright fuchsia pink. It's gorgeous!!!

 

Estee Lauder Juiced Up (230) swatch

Juiced Up (230) is a stunning matte berry/wine shade.

 

Estee Lauder Pret-A-Party (240)

Pret-A-Party (240) is a barbie pink.

 

Estee Lauder Radical Chic (250) swatch

Radical Chic (250) is a pinky coral. I don't wear pinks very often but this shade, I love!

 

Estee Lauder Sky High (260) swatch

Sky High (260) is a bright pink. It takes a little bit of building up and it's slightly streaky unless you wear a lip liner underneath.

 

Estee Lauder Haute & Cold (270) swatch

Haute & Cold (270) is another bright pink that I was surprised by! It's quite bright but I think it would look amazing on just about anyone!

 

Estee Lauder Hot Streak (300) swatch

Hot Streak (300)... Oh, I LOVE this shade!!! It's a bright blood-orange. It is matte, crazy pigmented. This is one of those shades that you'd wear with just brows and lashes. It steals the show, without a doubt.

 

Estee Lauder Bar Red (310) swatch

Bar Red (310) is a matte cherry red. So beautiful!!

 

Estee Lauder Burning Love (320) swatch

Burning Love (320) is your perfect matte red.

Estee Lauder Wild Poppy (330) swatch

Wild Poppy (330) is a unique shade to my collection. It's a rose/pink/peach... Ya'll know I suck at describing colors LOL

 

Estee Lauder Hot Rumor (340) swatch

Hot Rumor (340) is a bright, vibrant orange.

 

Estee Lauder Sly Wink (350) swatch

Sly Wink (350) is a pale peachy orange.

 

Estee Lauders Flash Chill (360) swatch

Flash Chill (360) is a sheer watermelon. I think this would be a great color for the summer!

 

Estee Lauder Pocket Venus (370) swatch

Pocket Venus (370) is one of the chrome toppers! It's a gorgeous wine shade with metallic shimmers.

 

Estee Lauder Rebel Glam (400) swatch

Rebel Glam (400) is a crazy bright and vibrant matte pink. This shade is so pretty and insanely pigmented!

 

Estee Lauder Love Object (410) swatch

Love Object (410) is similar to Rose Xcess and Juiced Up and falls right between the two with a slightly more purple hint to it.

 

Estee Lauder Up Beet (420) swatch

Up Beet (420) is a pretty matte deep purple. It's patchy when worn alone.

 

Estee Lauder Crazy Beautiful (430) swatch

Crazy Beautiful (430) is a "my lips but better" shade. Another one to keep in your purse!

 

Estee Lauder Hi-Voltage (440) swatch

Hi-Voltage (440) is a toned down, "wearable" purple. If you've been wanting to try a purple but are intimidated by them, I'd say start here.

 

Estee Lauder Orchid Infinity (450) swatch

Orchid Infinity (450) is a medium purple. It's pulling more berry in the photo than in person.

 

Estee Lauder Ripped Raisin (460) swatch

Ripped Raisin (460) is a sheer mauve with a high shine.

 

Estee Lauder Moon Rock (470) swatch

Moon Rock (470) is a chrome topper. SO unique! It has a blue/purple duochrome to it. It reminds me of Makeup Geek's Insomnia pigment.

 

Estee Lauder Nova Noir (480) swatch

Nova Noir (480) is a metallic purple.


Woo! Are you still with me?! Kudos if you are! All 30 shades of the Pure Color Love collection. If you are looking for full pigment, go with the mattes. Throw-on-and-go shades, the cremes. And for the fun, those chromes!

I'm a matte girl, all day. So those are definitely my favorite but I've enjoyed every shade so far. There isn't one I dislike!! The ones that don't go well with my skin-tone will be added to my makeup kit! The shade selection is on point and very thorough, I don't think there is any shade lacking here and the packaging is perfection. My only complaint is the shape of the lipstick!

-

What are your favorite shades? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Thank you again Margaret & Estée Lauder for this incredible gift!

 

xoxo.

Drugstore Foundation Review - Wet n Wild Beauty Photo Focus:


"Just for the record darling, not all positive changes feel positive in the beginning."

- S.C. Lourie

 

Hey loves! I love drugstore foundations. They just keep getting better and better! I picked up the new Wet N Wild Photo Focus foundation from CVS and I've been testing it out for a few weeks now.... Here is what I think!

It is $5.99 at the drugstore.

The packaging:

It's beautiful! It is glass and the top clicks shut. The applicator is a spatula.

The packaging is beautiful. It is glass and the top clicks shut.

The shade selection leaves something to be desired... Fairly typical for the drugstore.

Wet N Wild Beauty Photo Focus foundation range

I've been mixing two shades for a better mix - Soft Beige and Soft Ivory.

Here are the claims on the website, "Your skin, only better. Our new high-performing, skin-perfecting foundation underwent major road testing under seven different photo lighting conditions to deliver flawless camera-ready makeup every time. Specially made with a matte, light-diffusing complex to give your skin #nofilter perfection.

  • Featuring light-adjusting complex to help prevent white cast in photos

  • Tested under 7 light conditions with and without the use of flash"

 

This foundation has a chemically smell so if you are very sensitive to smells, you may not like it!

The coverage is medium to full. It's easy to go overboard and get cakey so be careful when applying! It's matte but not completely flat; there is a bit of luminosity to it to keep it looking more like skin. I like to apply it with a brush and then blend out with a Beauty Blender. A brush by itself leaves it looking too streaky/patchy so the sponge helps to even everything out and melt it into the skin.

It passes the flash photography test with flying colors! It looks GORGEOUS in photos. I'd have to say this foundation looks... Dare I say the best in photos? Better than any other foundation I've tried!

I don't know where they got magical unicorn tears to put in here but it works. The skin looks flawless! Both photos were taken with a flash.

Here is a little video of me applying the foundation as well as the other steps I take for a full face of makeup!

I have combination skin, acne prone and textured. I've been testing out this foundation for a few weeks and here's what I think so far....

It lasts for about 5 hours before it starts getting really dewy and breaking down on me. It looks AMAZING for those first few hours but after that, it looks terrible. But, in the foundation's defense - I've been only using one primer - MAC's Prep & Prime. I definitely need to start testing it with other primers to see if the longevity gets better.

I will also say that this is a foundation that seems to stay sticky/tacky on the face. No amount of setting powder changes that and it does transfer when you hug someone.

God, don't you just hate that?! Looking at them after you hug and seeing a smudge on their shirt? The worst!!!

 

So far, this is a foundation I will put on for photos or if I know I'll only be out for a few ours. I wore it for 12 the other day and by the end of the night, I look like a hot mess.

Despite the negatives, I love this foundation. The way it looks in photos.... You just can't beat that for $6!

I do wish it wore longer on me - so I will be testing it with new primers for the next couple weeks - I will keep you guys updated on my Snapchat (themakeupaffair)!

 

If there are any foundations you'd like me to review, leave a comment and let me know!

 

xoxo.

Juvia's Place Review & Swatches:


 

"When you look at your life and feel at peace because of changes you've made, that's recovery."

 

Hey gorgeous!

Juvia's Place is an indie-makeup brand - gone viral - known for their incredibly bright, pigmented and affordable eyeshadow palettes. They have awesome deals almost constantly! After seeing hundreds of posts on both Instagram and YouTube of rave (and some not-so great) reviews, I had to give them a try! I'm late on the bandwagon but... Better late than never! 

I purchased the bundle of three palettes - the Nubian, Nubian 2 and the Masquerade palettes. I don't believe this bundle is available right now but keep your eyes open and don't ever pay full price! They have different deals daily!

 

I will start by addressing some of the negative reviews I've seen about broken palettes and bad customer service. Although I can't attest to the customer service, as I thankfully did not need to contact them.. I will say that each palette was individually wrapped in bubble wrap and the entire package was also wrapped in it so they were very secure and safe! The palettes also shipped incredibly quickly and arrived in three days.

 

Each palette is a thin, bright cardboard packaging. They do not have a mirror.

 

Nubian Palette ($28):

Juvia's Place Nubian Palette review.jpg

 

This is a small neutrals palette with a mixture of mattes and shimmers.

First Row:

The first shade is an iridescent yellow-toned shade, it's quite unique and I don't think I have anything else like it. It takes a little bit of building up.

The two middle shades in the top row are your transition & blending shades. They feel a little more on the dry side, as do most mattes from Juvia's but they are pretty pigmented and build up well.

The last shadow is a metallic champagne. It's insanely pigmented and almost feels like a cream eyeshadow to the touch.

Second Row:

This row was a surprise. In the palette it doesn't look as pretty as when it's swatched! Each shade is more on the metallic side and they are all very creamy and pigmented.

Row Three:

The last row are your darker browns. They are all quite pigmented! The last shade blends out incredibly well for such a dark shade.

 

Overall, this is a nice palette. I can't say it beats out my Makeup Geek shadows but they are a nice quality for the price and I've found myself grabbing for it often. There really isn't a shade here that I dislike or that doesn't perform well. They are all pigmented, blendable and long wearing.

Nubian 2 ($30):

Here's where Juvia's palettes start to get fun! You start to see those fun pops of color that Juvia's is known for.

Morocco is a matte orange. It takes a little bit of building up but I prefer shades like this to need to be built up so you don't go overboard too quickly. Although this shade is a crazy bright orange and may be intimidating to most, it's absolutely gorgeous!

Madagascar is like.... a poopy/puke brown. MY FAVORITE! haha if you've followed my IG for a while, you'd know I absolutely love colors like this!

Sheba is a bronze shade, crazy pigmented!

Yaa is.... SO PRETTY!!!! Oh my goodness, It's so metallic and pigmented.

Jezebel is a berry shade. I wish it was more pigmented! It's very dry and takes a lot of building up.

Zuri is a beautiful highlight for the inner corner/brow bone. It's creamy and pigmented. 

Cleopatra is a deep metallic blue. I don't wear blue shades very often but this is beautiful!

Nefertiti is a orange-gold. It's really unique!

Nairobi is a bright metallic yellow with a hint of gold.

Leyla is a very deep purple with some shimmers.

Kenya is a medium brown. It takes some building up to get full pigment.

Egypt surprised me with how pigmented it was. It's SO pretty!

 

 

I love this palette. Although the few mattes in here are a little underwhelming, pigment wise (when swatching), they wear surprisingly well on the eyes. Every shade is beautiful!

 

Masquerade ($35):

This is the most popular palette Juvia's sells. It's crazy bright, fun and colorful and was created with festival makeup in mind!

Now before I get into the eyeshadows, this does come in a small size. These pans are huge and you'd never go through them in a lifetime so if you want to save a little bit of money, the smaller size palette would be a good option! The large palette is $35 and the mini is $28.

For size reference, you can see here just how HUGE the Masquerade Palette is. The mini is similar to the other two in size.

Helloooooo mermaid!!!!! This row is insane!!!! All are metallic.

Chi is a deep ocean blue.

Mali is a light sea-green.

Dalia is a gorgeous blue-turquoise.

Zola is a turquoise, the most metallic out of this row.

 

Makeda is a bright metallic purple.

Zobo is a cranberry matte. You've need to work with this one.

Calabar is a metallic reddish cranberry.

Bori is a bright pink with gold flecks of glitter. It's a lot more pigmented than I thought it would be!

Giza is a shimmery cream color. I love this for the inner corner!

Burkina is a warm medium brown matte. Amazing for the crease! This one is really nice in pigmentation. Probably the best out of all the matte shades.

Cairo is an orange with a hint of red and gold flecks of glitter.

Ada is a warm red brown matte.

Dahia is a pale gold metallic.

Zulu is a matte warm brown with hints of orange.

Casablanca is a warm bronze and that looks and feels like a pressed pigment. It is insanely pigmented and its really creamy to the touch.

Fulani is a medium matte brown.

There is a reason this is Juvia's most popular palette. It is amazing!!! I absolutely love the bright colors. There isn't a bad shade in the palette. I've created so many different looks with this single palette. It's so worth the price!

 


 

I love all three of these palettes. I've been using them almost daily! My next purchase will the the Saharan palette, for sure! Although the mattes aren't the best matte eyeshadows I've ever used, they aren't bad by any means. And the metallic shades are insane. They are SO pigmented and so creamy!

Here is one makeup look I did using all three of these palettes:

Head over to my Instagram to see a video tutorial of this look!


Have you tried anything from Juvia's Place yet? If so, let us know your opinions in the comments below!

xoxo.

Suva Beauty Hydra Liners - Review & Swatches:

"Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don't give a damn what anyone things."

- Christina Yang, Grey's Anatomy

Hey darlings! I'm finally back with a review and this one has been a long time coming!

Suva Beauty is a newer brand to the industry but man, did it hit HARD! It seemed like they became an overnight sensation on instagram and it's for good reason... They are incredible! From eyeshadows and cream bases to these Hydra Liners, they kick ass.

To test out the Hydra Liners, I only picked up a few shades and after using them for months... I can tell you that I will soon own every single shade... And probably an extra of each shade for my makeup kit!

These are $11 each and come in a few different "finishes" - UV, Chrome and Matte. The UV's are neon BRIGHT! The Chromes are metallics and the mattes... Well, those speak for themselves.

I picked up 5 shades, three UV and two mattes:

They come in clear jars. I love the packaging, it's simple and easy to see which shade you are grabbing.


Sea Nymph is one of my favorites. It's a matte - so gorgeous and pigmented!

Fanny Pack is one of the UV shades. It's a fun bright neon green!

Dance Party is a UV yellow... This one and the next are hard to photograph because they are SO neon! My camera struggled focusing on them.

Acid Trip is a UV orange. It's so bright and gorgeous! I've loved creating looks with this one.

Cherry Bomb is a matte blood red.


Here are the swatches! Aren't they stunning?!!


I will say there is a definite learning curve when it comes to using these. They are unlike most products. You need to add water or a setting spray to activate the product and turn it into liquid liner. It's easy to use too much (or too little) so it just takes some practice. I prefer to use a setting spray or MAC Fix + rather than water because I find that it lasts much longer! They wear all day long and don't smudge. I love them!!!

Here are some photos of looks I've done using these:


Here is a video of each shade swatched!

 

I highly recommend these liners. They are so beautiful and you can create some amazing creative looks with them! I plan to do some water color looks soon.

Love you guys!

xoxo.

 

Showing some Etsy love - JazzyGlitter:

Your importance is endless.

 

Hello my darlings! Today I wanted to bring focus to a store on Etsy that I bumped into (while spending entirely too much time browsing) and fell in love with.

 

 

JazzyGlitter is a shop with countless festival gems and glitters of all different varieties from color to shape/size. What really pulled me in was that these were different. Not the typical craft store glitter you find on most websites. I purchased  13 glitters and it took a lot of self control not to pick up the rest!

 

Midnight - black glitters in a few different sizes with a holographic shine, they pull green, red, yellow, blue - any color - you name it. This glitter is SO much more than a basic black! 

Twilight - a pretty multidimensional blue/purple glitter.

Barbie - exactly what you'd picture it to be! A vibrant pink glitter with beautiful iridescence.

Mermaid Mist - One of my favorites, I love the chunkier glitters and this one is SO stunning!! Mainly blue but with an insane iridescence.

Snow angel - a pretty white glitter with purple, red, pink and an almost green shine. This one is super unique!

Sorcery - This shade is insane! It doesn't look like much in the packaging until you start to move it around and see all it has to offer. Gold and blues but then green, turquoise, orange, gold, red... It's crazy beautiful.

Autumn Haze - This is another that doesn't look like much in the jar but it's very pretty. More subtle than the other glitters but nonetheless beautiful.

Cleopatra Gold - a very yellow gold, reflects of orange and red and green. I love this one for smokey eyes or even a basic neutral eye. On the inner corner, it's to die for!

Enchanted Elf - another chunky glitter! A base of green but with turquoise, white and blue hints.

Epiphany - a beautiful coral with pinks and golds.

Heavenly - another fitting name. A clear/white chunky glitter with holographic and iridescence. This would be perfect for a cool, snowy look!

Princess - a purple/pink glitter.

Unicorn Tears - this glitter is.... amazing! Ya'll already know I'm planning a crazy warm orange/red eye with this one! 


I love these glitters! Not only are they beautiful and unique but the price is right. Ranging from $3 to $5, you can also purchase sets of multiples! They shipped and arrived quickly despite coming from the UK.

Here are some looks I've done with these glitters so far:

 

 

 

 

 

Cleopatra Gold.


 

 

 

 

 

Enchanted Elf.


 

 

Check out JazzyGlitter! They are phenomenal! 

What are your favorite glitters? Let us know in the comments below!

xoxo.

Coloured Raine - Matte Lip Paints - Review & Swatches:

"I once had a garden filled with flowers that grew only on dark thoughts but they need constant attention and one day I decided I had better things to do."

- Brian Andreas

Hey all! Liquid lipsticks are one of my favorite makeup products. I wear them 99% of the time that I have makeup on and I almost never wear regular lipstick anymore. I've tried countless formulas from tons of brands and although everyone does have a preference when it comes to them, I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't.

With that being said, I will begin by saying this is a negative review. We all have our preferences so if you enjoy these liquid lipsticks, please do not take offense. I tried these every single way possible and they were terrible each time - for me. Before I get into the formula and why I dislike them so much, let's take a look at each shade...

Coloured Raine is a brand I discovered on Instagram after seeing tons of influencers wearing their liquid lipsticks... Every shade is, without a doubt, beautiful and unique; I swooned over nearly every color so when they had a Black Friday sale, I jumped at the chance to pick some up. I ordered 5 shades:

The left swatches are built up for more opacity while the small right swatch is one swipe of the applicator.

 

Frances:

On the website, "Metallic champagne liquid lip paint that dries matte leaving your lips vibrant for hours. Won't budge a bit unless oil based product is used for removal."

I've been searching for a metallic shade like this so it was the first shade I tried on when I received these... First impression, the fragrance is strong-ish and my lips tingled a little - I'm extremely sensitive so right off the bat, I knew I probably wouldn't be able to wear this often. It is the only shade I purchased with a scent.

I applied a very thin layer and after a few minutes, rubbed my lips together to see how it felt and immediately it started flaking off on itself. The entire center of my lips was flaked off and removed. I tried again, waiting until it was fully dry before moving my lips at all and it continued to flake.

 

 

Raine Fever:

 

"Dark amethyst with purple undertones."

This shade is patchy, uncomfortable and wears off quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

Roulette:

"Dark rouge with purple undertones."

 

This shade looks near identical to Raine Fever. On the website they look different. The formula is close to Raine Fever in that it's pretty streaky  and wears off quickly but I'd say that this one takes more layering for opaque coverage.

 

 

As you can see, they are quite similar and on the lips you can't really tell the difference.

 

 

Speechless:

 

 

This shade is gorgeous but feels chalky and flakes off in the center within an hour or so of wear.

 

 

 

 

Tootise:

"Dark chocolate with subtle cherry tones."

 

This is my most liked shade out of the bunch, however it feels very uncomfortable on the lips and needs some layering for full opacity. It wears off the center of the lips within a few hours whether you eat/drink or not.

 


 

 

Here is a photo of Tootsie after two hours of wear. There is a shine to my lips because I had just started adding vaseline to remove it before I remembered I needed to take a photo. Some of you who follow my snapchat (themakeupaffair) may have seen it while I ranted about how it broke down on my lips super quickly. I was not eating nor drinking, simply taking photos for a makeup look and it was flaking and crumbling off after an hour.


The formula...

Trouble shooting - Trial and error, in an attempt to get a better application and wear.. No balm underneath, adding a balm underneath, lip liner, no lip liner, thin layers, thicker layers - I have tried literally every way possible and they all ended with the same result.

It definitely varies depending on the shade, as does the packaging which was a red flag for me from the beginning. It seems each shade is from a totally different batch!

As I've said, liquid lipsticks are my favorite so I don't think that I'm in any way, shape or form very picky when it comes to formulas. Sure, I have my favorites but I'm not one to be easily put off by texture/dryness, etc.... These are bad. And for $17..... Absolutely not!

 

 

My other complaint is the return policy is only 7 days... So by the time you receive them and are able to test them, you no longer have the time to return them for a refund.

 

I wanted to badly to love these... I'm extremely disappointed!! My only guess is that all the rave reviews on Instagram that introduced me to this line were bloggers and artists who have had these sent to them. 

I really, really dislike giving negative reviews but you guys know I will always be totally honest with you. I'll be trying to utilize them as eyeliners or otherwise give them to a friend.


Have you tried these lippies from Coloured Raine? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!

xoxo.

Melt Cosmetics - Dark Matter & Rust Eyeshadow Stacks:

 

"Just don't give up on me, on people, on yourself. I know people fill your holes with disappointments, but there's so much hope left to go around. Please do not throw yourself to the wild and let the wolves hunt you down. You were born a creature to be feared, to be valued, to be loved; not to be thrown away as if your parents raised you to be disposable. Trust me, you weren't brought to this planet to leave empty handed. You were meant to touch, to love, and to fight; to bring walls down, to repair your armor, and build your own castle. Life didn't teach you how to survive just so you can give up when it gets a little harder."

- Ming D. Liu, Stories I'll tell one day #81

 

Hello my darlings! Today's review is very exciting for me. Melt Cosmetics has been a brand that I've swooned over for a while now but never let myself splurge... After hearing one of my students (Hey Carla!!!) rave about the Dark Matter stack, I knew I had to get it. I've had it for months now and when they released the Rust stack, it was over. Another hole in my heart until I had it in my hands. These palettes - color wise - are so ME! Saying that I love warm, rusty tones would be an understatement. So I figured I'd include both in this review! Grab a drink and snack because it's going to be a long one!! I hope you all enjoy :)


For those of you unfamiliar with Melt Cosmetics, these eyeshadow palettes are magnetic circles that stack together. I absolutely love the packaging and find it so fun and creative. They don't take up a lot of room and easily fit in my vanity drawers so I appreciate that so much.

Another huge plus is that the eyeshadow pans are HUGE! With the Dark Matter stack, you get 3.57g of product total and Rust, 2.96 g... It bums me out a bit that you get less in one but I'm assuming it's because you are getting an extra eyeshadow in the Rust Stack.

 

Let's start with Dark Matter first:

My reviews on this stack are a bit mixed. You will see the swatch differences between this stack and the Rust shadows... I found that these eyeshadows were more on the dry side. Enigma (the red shade) more than all of the others. With that being said, I still very much love these shadows and find that they are very pigmented and blendable.

This stack comes with 4 eyeshadows - all matte - and retails for $48:

 

 

Blurr is the first and lightest shade. It's the perfect transition shade. Think - Makeup Geek's Peach Smoothie - it's very similar to that! 

 


 

Unseen is the second and is sort of like a step deeper and warmer than Blurr. Unseen is an amazing shade for the crease. I love using this to warm up any eyeshadow looks while bringing a little bit of depth.

 


Enigma is the next shade and the one that I was the most excited about in this stack. As I've said it feels very dry to the touch and doesn't give that smooth, creamy feel that many loved eyeshadows do. I'm not sure if I just got an off formula or if they are all dry like this - if you own it, please leave a comment below and let me know how yours is! But I still really love this eyeshadow. It takes some building up for full pigment but overall, it's gorgeous.


 

The last eyeshadow is Dark Matter, a deep black. It's also a little dry but beautiful and very pigmented.

 

 


You'll see a big difference between these swatches and the Rust stack. I think the dryness comes through on these swatches. They are good but I do wish they were smooth and creamier.

 

Alright, the star of the show is the Rust Stack. Truly. This became my favorite eyeshadow palette within the first use. It is absolute perfection. From shades to formula, pigmentation to blend-ability. It. Is. Perfect!!!!

This stack comes with 5 eyeshadows - all matte - and retails for $58.

The first eyeshadow is Classic. A warm-ish yellow. I love using this as a base, to set my eyeshadow primer/base, and as a highlight shade. I usually prefer shimmer highlight shades for my inner corner and brow bone, even for the lid, but this gives a subtle highlight and it's really nice.

 


 

 

Next is Antique, a beautiful peach. Amazing for a transition shade!!! 

 


 

Rubbish... This shade may scare some, it's a mustardy brown. I'm obsessed! It reminds me so much of Bobbi Brown's Camel, another one of my favorites. I love those weird yellow/brown/dirty-ish looking eyeshadows! 

 


Rust is the next shade and when I first got this, I thought that Rubbish would be my favorite but the second I applied this to my eyes... I think I squealed out loud. If you guys had seen me apply this stack for the first time you would have either thought I was hilarious or crazy.... Maybe both... It's warm and buttery, it blends like a DREAM. I have no words for how beautiful this shade is!!! 


 

The last shade is Rott, a deep brown. It doesn't look like much in the pan but it totally completes this stack! Pigmentation is insane and it also blends super easily.

 

 


These eyeshadows are amazing. This is what I was expecting from a Melt Cosmetics stack. Buttery, creamy, pigmented and honestly, this stack made blending easy. You always hear people say that about eyeshadows but this is truly the first eyeshadows that I can say that with. Obsessed isn't a strong enough word for how I feel about this palette. I love it so much.

 

I love both of these palettes. It easy to see which is my favorite out of the two but I plan to purchase every other Melt stack, that's for sure. 

Here are a few makeup looks I've done using Dark Matter and Rust:

 

 

Dark Matter


Rust

 

I hope you all found this review helpful! Have you tried any products from Melt? Let us know in the comments below! What are your favorites? Any hate-its?!

xoxo.

Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation

"You are not a simple work of art. You are the entire museum."

- Ming D. Liu

 

Hey lovers!

Today’s review is of Milani’s new(ish) Conceal & Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation. They say this has both foundation and concealer in one.

The other claims:

  • Medium to full coverage
  • Lightweight & oil-free
  • Longwearing
  • Water resistant
  • Sweat-proof

I’m using the shade 01 Creamy Vanilla. This shade is the lightest in the range and I can tell you right now that the shade range sucks. I don’t know when these companies will realize that there are SO many more skin tones and undertones in the world. Needless to say, I almost always have to mix foundations and this one is no exception.

 

Alright so let’s start with the packaging, it’s nice. I like the ombre black to glass packaging and it has a pump so I’m all smiles on that one. You get 1 ounce of product which is pretty typical for liquid foundations.

My other complaint/confusion other than the shade selection is that on the site it says that this shade is for fair skin with cool undertones…. I’m sure you will see in the swatch below that it is VERY yellow…. Which should mean it’s targeted more for warm tones…. So this will definitely confuse most while shopping online for the correct shade. It looks very pink in the photo on the website. So I’m not sure what’s going on there. (I purchased mine at my local CVS.)

 

This foundation is $9.99 in most stores and varies in price online.

I’ve been absolutely loving this foundation. As I’ve said, I have to mix it with others to get a better match so that’s where things with my review go a little bit sideways.

 

The foundation itself is on the thicker side of a liquid foundation, it’s not very runny. The coverage is great, I agree with the claims of medium to full. It layers very well so if it doesn’t cover things initially, let that first layer dry and apply more in the areas you need it and it builds up beautifully.

My skin type is normal to combination and with just this foundation by itself, I can wear it for maybe 5 hours before it starts breaking down on my skin and looking not so cute. 

 

However, what I have been doing is mixing it with my Estee Lauder Double Wear for a better match and to improve the longevity and the two together are the dream team! The finish is stunning. Full coverage for sure, ya’ll know I go big or go home when it comes to coverage. I’m not a light coverage person. Either I’m wearing full coverage or I’m going bare-faced. 

Flawless foundation routine

My routine for the past two weeks has been mixing this and Double Wear on the back of my hand, letting it warm up a bit and applying with a Real Techniques Sponge (it also applies nicely with a brush). I apply one thin layer, letting it dry. Spritzing my face with the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (see review here), letting that dry and then applying the second layer. I spray my face at the very end of applying all makeup to finish it off and it looks absolutely perfect. I’m obsessed with this combination! 

So anyways, I’ve really been enjoying this. I've noticed many more "good" skin days since I have been wearing this. I definitely prefer the mix more so than the foundation on it’s own but either way, I’d say give it a try.

I’m not sure how this would be for dry skin types; I could see it clinging to dry patches considering the formula so maybe try it and keep your receipt to return if it doesn’t work for you. Most stores are fantastic with makeup returns. 

If you don’t want something full coverage, it also mixes nicely with oils or moisturizers to thin out the coverage. Moral of the story is…. She plays well with others. Which is a win in my book. I’m the queen of mixing products, I swear. I need to just start my own damn makeup line! :)

 

Have you tried this foundation yet?! What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!

xoxo.

 

 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

"No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell."

- Carl Jung

Hey loves! Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is a product that has been the topic of some conversation lately in the beauty community and after hearing so many good reviews (and some bad), I had to try it for myself.

This is a toning mist made for all skin types - except dry. The claims:

  • Sets makeup
  • Provides an instant boost of radiance
  • Tightens the appearance of pores
  • Solution for: Dullness/uneven texture, pores and dryness

 

On Sephora’s website,Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary's famous elixir of youth, Beauty Elixir is formulated with grape extracts and clarifying ingredients to provide an immediate burst of radiance. The complexion treatment reduces dullness and is infused with toning rosemary, astringent mint, and soothing rose essential oil to prepare your skin for further treatments. 

 

Beloved by celebrities and makeup artists worldwide, the Beauty Elixir is the ideal priming base and setting spray between layers of makeup for a long-lasting and smooth finish. Perfect as an aftershave for men, the formula contains essential oils and plant extracts to clarify and brighten the complexion. The therapeutic scent is invigorating throughout the day and can be used mid-day at the office for an instant pick-me-up and in the evening to refresh your makeup so that it looks like you had just applied it.”

 

Man, do they know how to talk up a product! I’m sure you can see now why I was so curious :) 

 

As always, we’ll start with the packaging:

Caudalie Beauty Elixir Review

Beautiful! I love the frosted glass, it has a nice feel to it. Heavy and sturdy. 

The mist is absolutely perfect. Not too much, not too little. It doesn't leave splatter of product on your freshly applied makeup, which I am so appreciative of.

One complaint, the scent is strong. More so than I expected and I’ve never been one to be put off by fragrance in products. It’s not terrible, very spa-like but super intense. So if you aren’t a fan of strong scents in your products, this may be one that you want to avoid. Or try it in store to see if you’d like it.

---

The claims? Some I agree with, others not so much. But let’s talk about the ingredients first because that will tie in with some of my opinion.

  • Water - The most abundant ingredient in this product. Pretty typical for toners like this.
  • Alcohol - Ahhh, why must companies do this! Alcohol on your skin is extremely drying and overall just BAD.
  • Bitter Orange Flower Water - An ingredient commonly used in skincare, soaps, shampoos, etc. Used as a skin-conditioning agent as well as for fragrance. The methanol content can make this irritating to the skin.
  • Fragrance - Another additive that I wish companies would omit. As I’ve said, the fragrance is extremely strong in this product. And fragrance is a known irritant for many skin types.
  • Rosemary Leaf Oil - Antioxidant and antimicrobial. Also used for fragrance.
  • Potassium Alum - An astringent used for tightening or tingling sensation.

These are only some of the ingredients, overall I can’t say that this is a product that would improve your skin over time at all but can provide some of those claims above, but also beware of the alcohol and fragrance that could cause irritation for more sensitive skin types.

My routine, as mentioned in the Milani Conceal & Perfect Foundation review (coming soon!) - I like to apply a thin layer of foundation and let it dry, follow with misting my face with this Elixir and once that dries, applying one more thin layer of foundation for extra coverage where needed. At the end of my makeup, I finalize with another mist of this product.

 

I’ve been enjoying this. I wasn’t expecting much; I try to go into every review with a clean slate and no expectations, regardless of what reviews I’ve heard. I definitely have been loving my makeup more than I usually do. I agree that it sets makeup well - does it provide any additional longevity? Nah. I wouldn’t say that. But it does leave a beautiful finish and can be used the same way you’d use a Mac Fix+ type product. It tones down any powderiness and gives a more natural glow to the skin. Which leads me to also agree that it gives a boost of radiance. Absolutely.

Does it tighten pores? Nope. I don’t feel or see any tightening whatsoever but I’d say that with just about any product with a claim like that. Most don't.

I also don’t agree to it being a solution for texture… It’s the esthetician in me when I say texture is texture and no makeup product on the planet can tone that down. But it does help with dullness, again due to the radiance it gives.

 

Overall, I’ve been loving this. Do I think it’s worth the hefty $49 price tag? No. Would I repurchase…..…… Okay, maybe. :)

Have you tried this yet? If so, leave your opinions in the comments below and leave any recommendations for other finishing sprays you love!

xoxo.

Tarte Cosmetics - Tartelette Palette Review & Swatches :

"You can't base your life on other people's expectations."

- Stevie Wonder ❀

Hello my dolls! How are you?

Another eyeshadow palette review.... Can you tell I've been on some kind of kick lately?! I go through phases with certain products and right now, I am all about eyeshadow palettes.

The Tartelette Palette is an all matte stunner and I was so excited to finally get my hands on this.

Tartelette Palette 1

Let's start with the packaging.... This has to be one of my absolute favorites, aesthetics wise. From the purple ombre front to the gold accents, I am all about this. It's just so sleek, timeless and beautiful.

Tartelette Palette 2

Isn't she gorgeous?! Inside is mirrored gold with all shade names under each shadow. You get a huge mirror and I love that 'tartelette' is written on it. How many times in my posts do I say this... It's the little things. :)

Tartelette Palette 3

This is an all matte palette with 12 brand new exclusive shades!

These are the classic amazonian clay formulation and are free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sodium and gluten. This is also dermatologist tested!

Tartelette Palette

You also get a sheet with step-by-step directions for two eyeshadow looks.

Tartelette Palette 4

Let's check out the shades! <3

Free Spirit - Tartelette Palette 1

The first shade is Free Spirit, a pale cream, almost yellow shade with warm undertones.

Free Spirit - Tartelette Palette 2

Great pigmentation, a touch powdery but it applies, blends and lasts very well.

Force Of Nature - Tartelette Palette 1

Force Of Nature is a warm brown with peachy undertones.

Force Of Nature - Tartelette Palette 2

This has great color payoff and I love this as a transition shade.

Dreamer - Tartelette Palette 1

Dreamer is a warm dark brown with yellow undertones.

Dreamer Swatch - Tartelette Palette

This shade is nicely pigmented and not as powdery as the lighter shades.

Multi-Tasker - Tartelette Palette

Multi-Tasker is a dark brown with reddish undertones.

Multi-Tasker Swatch - Tartelette Palette

Great pigmentation!

Caregiver - Tartelette Palette

Caregiver is a pale pink that pulls slightly more on the cool-toned side.

Caregiver Swatch - Tartelette Palette

This shade is beautiful! I don't often wear pinks shades on the eyes but this one all over the lid is simple but pretty. Nice pigmentation, better than I expected for a pale shade like this!

Natural Beauty - Tartelette Palette

Natural Beauty is a pinky-mauvey-taupe. Super unique shade!

Natural Beauty Swatch - Tartelette Palette

This shade needed to be built up a little bit, it blends easily and is perfect for a transition/blending shade.

Best Friend - Tartelette Palette

Best Friend is a muted cool-toned purple.

Best Friend Swatch - Tartelette Palette

This shade was more difficult to swatch, it ends up being a little uneven but can be built up and it wears better on the eyes.

Bombshell - Tartelette Palette

Bombshell is a deep cool-toned purple.

Bombshell Swatch - Tartelette Palette

Nice color payoff, this shade is slightly more difficult to blend than the others.

Super Mom - Tartelette Palette

Super Mom is a warm pale cream.

Super Mom Swatch - Tartelette Palette

Great pigmentation, I love this as a subtle browbone and inner corner highlight!

Wanderer - Tartelette Palette

Wanderer is a warm medium-brown with slight yellow/warm undertones.

Wanderer Swatch - Tartelette Palette

Good pigmentation, I love this shade for warming up the crease!!

Power Player - Tartelette Palette

Power Player is a warm brownish-taupe.

Power Player Swatch - Tartelette Palette

Okay color payoff, it needed to be built up a bit.

Fashionista - Tartelette Palette

Fashionista is your classic matte black.

Fashionista Swatch - Tartelette PaletteGreat pigmentation, creamy and smooth but be careful with fallout!

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Tartelette Palette Swatches

Artificial Lighting.

Tartelette Palette Daylight Swatches

Daylight.

Overall, I love this palette! It's my first experience with Tarte eyeshadows so I can't compare them to any other palettes but I'm pretty impressed. The pigmentation was consistent throughout, there wasn't any shade in this palette that disappointed me and they last all day on the eyes!

The Tartelette Palette is $44 and sold online as well as at Sephora and Ulta!

If you'd like to see a look using this palette, let me know in the comments!

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*This post is not sponsored. I purchased this product with my own money. All opinions are – and ALWAYS will be – 100% my own.*

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Thank you for reading! xoxo.