Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula – review & swatches

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I purchased  this bronzer with the sole purpose of using it as a highlighter. It is absolutely gorgeous. I use is a few times a week. This bronzer is baked on a terracotta pan to create a beautiful domed product. Hula Hula gives the complexion a hint of bronzed color for a sun-kissed look. This bronzer appears to be shimmery or dewy but is actually matte so it does not make the skin appear shiny when applied. One just glows. This is gorgeous on tanned to dark skin. It is soft and blends easily into the skin. It typically retails for $9.00 and can be found almost everywhere even the grocery store. 

Swatches: Top photos with flash/bottom ones without flash.
PBM

Charlotte Tilbury Haul, Review & Swatches: Sex On Fire & Unleash Me

Finally Charlotte Tilbury is finally in the US!!!! P.S. This post is very late but timely. I have been waiting for this for a few years now as it was only available and talked about in the UK. I purchased these two items from Beautylish and CT is now available at Nordstrom.

IMAG8617-1 IMAG8619-1 IMAG8634-2 Lip Lustre Luxe Color-Lasting Lip Lacquer in Unleash Me ($22)

IMAG8630-1                                                                                                                      Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop Blush in Sex on Fire ($40)

Disclaimer- this image does not do this blush justice. I tried to get a better pick for a truer color but couldn’t.  It is deep mauve- rose, although it looks more peach.  On my skin it gives the perfect natural blush look as shown in the pic below. Absolutely GORGEOUS and worth ever penny.

IMAG8636-1      Top: Outer ring, center, both blended
Bottom:Lip Lacquer

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Coastal Scents Forever Blushes: Review and Swatches

My blush obsession continues. I saw a few reviews on YouTube on how gorgeous and highly pigmented these blushes are, and of course I had to get a couple to try for myself. I decided on just getting only four of the Forever Blushes. They are indeed long lasting, soft and very blendable. Each compact comes with a mirror, it’s is light and secure enough to throw in ones purse.20140203_185524-1#1 20140203_185552-1 20140203_190145-1#1Unfortunately, Elegant (satin finish) had a little mishap during shipping so I didn’t open the package to swatch it. Now here is where Coastal Scents has the best customer service. I contacted them to let them know and I got a replacement  within 3 days.

20140203_190915-1L to R:  Royal (matte finish), Passionate (matte finish) and Beautiful (matte finish)

Each blush retails for $7.95 but if you wait on one of Coastal Scents many sales you can probably get each half off.

Ikatehouse Haul – LA Girl Pro Concealers – Review & Swatches

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20140628_235924-1 20140629_000957-1 20140629_001050-1 20140629_000758-1 20140629_000821-1From Left to Right: Toast, Fawn, Toffee, Espresso, Chestnut, Beautiful Bronze

I bought duplicates of these because they were so hard to find I was worried I’d never get my hands back on them. I got the 6 shades pictured above and use them in my daily makeup routine. I an quite pleased with their quality, coverage, longevity but more so the price – each retails at ikatehouse for $2.29 and the entire range can be purchased as a lot/collection for $35.99. The shipping was relatively fast and products were nicely wrapped in tissue paper. They are creamy but you have to work quickly as once it dries and sets that’s it. This concealer does not move. I have no problems with creasing (I wear my makeup for 10+ hours/day).

Overall, I am pleased with these products and would repurchase them to be a part of my general makeup routine.

TARTE Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette – Review & Swatches

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This limited edition palette has been inspired by the rain forest’s deep orchid hues at dusk. Infused with colored clay, which naturally color-corrects as it supports oil control and specifically addresses individual skin & complexion concerns.  
Color Clays: rose – soothes skin around the eye area makeup provides longer wear and truer color payoff, vanilla – helps control oil to keep pigment in place, gold – maintains gentle skin balance and moisture. Tarte’s innovative technologies is sourced from the Brazil and glides on and delivers rich color—without settling into fine lines and wrinkles.

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                                             From left to right: Champagne (highlighter), Park Ave Princess (bronzer) & Unleashed (blush).
The highlighter is very pretty and can work as a shadow too. The bronzer a lot lighter and way more matte than the one I already have and its online description of a highly pearled light yellow gold. It will work perfectly as a transitional crease color. The blush is described as a nude rose. This was a very hard to swatch and does not seem pigmented.

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The shadows from left to right: Bare to Explore (pink beige – a bit difficult to pick up the color), Make a Mauve (plum mauve – not seeing this color on my skin tone), Plum Away With Me (dark plum- very smooth and pigmented), Up to No Gold (gold – also well pigmented and very blendable), Tan-gled Up in You (tan), Don’t Turn A-Brown (dark brown – also difficult to swatch but is a nice multi purpose color).

Overall I am quite please with this palette and rewarded myself with it after purging quite a bit of un-used makeup from my collection. 

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Radiant Orchid Cheek Palette – Review & Swatches

To celebrate the color of the year – Radiant Orchid, Sephora and Pantone have launched a  blush and luminizer/highlighter  palette. This was a part of my recent birthday haul.

p385386-av-02-hero 20140322_233412-120140322_233537-1L to R: Bridal Rose, Spanish Villa and Radiant Orchid

This is a gorgeous palette. The blush and luminizers are very finely milled and a little goes a very long way. Radiant Orchid will complement any skin tone, but one should be cautious as only the slightest tap of the brush is needed. It lasts 8+ hours, it applies smoothly and is very blendable.
The two luminizers Bridal Rose and Spanish Villa are gorgeous as well. I use them as highlighters since the concept of a luminizer is to lightly apply illuminating powder to the face. These are so finely milled and shimmerythat I find they work best accentuating the highpoints of the cheeks.
These are in an orchid ombre palette that is complete with a mirror. The only thing I do not like is that the pans are a bit smaller than their slots, are a bit crocked which I thin cheapens it a bit.

Retails for $26 at Sephora.com

Top image is courtesy of Sephora.com

Winter Skincare Regime

The horrors of harsh, dry cold winter weather on the skin can be seen and felt. When I was younger I did not pay attention to my skin as much as I should. My skin is still pretty good as I hit my mid-thirties. I get a blemish once in a while but have been blessed not to suffer from severe. I have a few dark spots from these and age spots. Having a darker skin tone I often suffer from hyper-pigmentation especially around my mouth area.

Nighttime20140215_224956During these cold months I have been focusing on super hydration. I keep my heat very high (being from a tropical island I do not do very well in the cold). I rotate Trader Joe’s Vitamin E Oil (under $5 and amazing); Medpeel Natural Squalene Oil, Hyaluronic Replenish Serum, Retinal Collagen Serum & Moisturizer (got these on HauteLook); First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (a recent discovery); Ole Henriksen Visual Truth Eye Cream and Truth Serum Collagen Booster and Tarte Maracuja Oil ( I also use the Tarte Maracuja C-brighter Eye treatment but could not find it for the pic). In addition to these I use on occasion extra moisture boosters (see my review here of Lioele Sleeping Moisture Pack and Avon Solutions Plus +Maximum Moisture Gel).

Daytime20140215_225127I usually use oil-free, oil controlling moisturizers/lotions for my combination oily skin, but find that these are too drying during the winter months. Instead I use more thicker and moisturizing creams (not always with SPF- I am very sensitive to it) in addition to mattifying primers under my makeup.

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Also at night I use Avon’s Night Winter Solutions Moisturizing cream on my neck and the god send that is Bag Balm (this all purpose balm was made for farm animals but works wonders on humans – review to come).

E.L.F – Baked Blushes Rich Rose & Passion Pink [Review & Swatches]

20140203_195535-1Rich Rose and Passion Pink are two of ELFs baked blushes (retail for $3).

20140203_195701-1Absolutely gorgeous. Rich Rose seems to be more of a bronzer in the pan but when blended and swatched against my skin tone comes off as a deep peach. It does not have the typical soft pink look of typical rose blushes. Passion Pink appears to have a lot of champagne marbling but once again when swirled and swatched give a very nice pink finish. I am very excited to use these blushes.

20140203_195749-1                                                                L to R: Rich Rose and Passion Pink
Swatching directly from the pan the color shows up and seems pigmented enough to where it would deposit a fair amount of color on the cheeks. They do not!!!! I tried many different blush brushes and none of them were able to pick up any color, which was a disappointment. I did however get color when I used a wet brush but then it came off muddy, which I would never put on my face.

Overall I am very disappointed with these baked blushes.