Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Break Treats

Greetings! Almost a month has passed since my last blog post. Apologies to my faithful readers! I have some pretty good excuses for not being on the ball. First, I passed my Master's defense and will be graduating in May, and second, I started a new job in mid-March. Big milestones for which I am thankful, and I hope you can forgive me for not keeping my blog up to date.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, let's get to the goods.

I'm on a Spring Break staycation, and since I live in a state that likely won't warm up until mid-May, I have been shopping for my very favorite thing: makeup! Below is a list of what I got this week, followed by some short descriptions. None of the products are reviewed, because you get to pick my next review. Be sure to let me know in the comments which of the following products you'd like me to review next!

1. Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve
Out with the old, in with the new! I switched from C.O. Bigelow Rosebud Salve to this new brand from Sephora. I had the old Bigelow salve for an embarrassingly long time and should have replaced it much sooner. Rosebud salves are a good investment because they last a long time; a little goes a long way and provides all you need for smooth lips.

2. Maybelline New York Baby Lips in Peppermint
Word of mouth encouraged me to try Baby Lips! The SPF 20 sunscreen is a nice touch and will be useful in the spring and summer. 

3. Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Fresh & Foamy Body Wash
Soap & Glory is a British brand that was formerly sold at Target, but is now only available at Sephora. How I wish I had known of its existence back in its Target days, because now that it's at Sephora, it's a little on the pricey side. However, there are 16.2 sudsy ounces of lemon, lime, vanilla, and coconut foam goodness, so it's a price I'm willing to pay for a tropical escape every time I shower.

4.  Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub
This mixture of lime, brown sugar, lemon, vanilla, almond oil, brown sugar, and macadamia oil smells good enough to eat! It's a similar smell to its sister body wash (#3 above), but more intense. It is, in a word, delightful.

5.  Essie Nail Polish in Imported Champagne
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am an OPI girl. Lately, though, my friend Han has inspired me to branch out after seeing the beautiful Essie colors she features on her blog, Haneybee. The color she featured that really got me curious was Cocktail Bling, which you can see here for yourself. I decided to try out the color Imported Champagne, which is a big change for me as I usually stick to pinks, my signature reds, and purples.

6.  Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten and Sweetheart
These bad boys are worthy of their own review. I have yet to try Smitten, pictured on the top, but I am obsessed with Sweetheart, pictured on the bottom.

7.  Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Mushroom
Again, another product worthy of its own review. The color is unusual but appropriate for professional or evening wear.

Which of these products would you like me to review? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review | e.l.f. Studio HD Blush

Recently, I visited my best friend in Florida. It was lovely to spend time with her and her family, and an added benefit that she lives in a warmer state. Unaccustomed to warmer temperatures after five months of cold, I wrestled with myself over which items to pack in my makeup bag. One product I decided to take with me was e.l.f.'s HD Blush:
HD makeup was created in response to high-definition cameras, which focus in greater detail. HD makeup is designed to blend in perfectly to the skin, creating a result that looks more natural on camera. e.l.f.'s Studio HD Blush retails for a bargain price of $3, as opposed to luxury brands like Make Up For Ever's HD Blush, which retails for $26. e.l.f.'s HD Blush comes with a pump, which makes it easy to dispense a small amount.
A little bit goes a long way with this product, as it is extremely pigmented. I use the lightest shade, called Headliner. As you can see, one pump dispenses more than enough for both cheeks:
I dispense one small pump onto the back of my hand, then use the stippling technique to apply the product to the apples of my cheeks. After picking up the product on a blush brush, I stipple the brush on the back of my hand to get rid of some excess color, then use the same stippling technique as I apply it on my cheeks. If I'm in a hurry, I'll sometimes use half a pump and apply the product onto my fingers, then directly onto my cheeks.
This is one pump, blended onto the back of my hand. I spread the product out before stippling it onto my brush and my cheeks, and the result is a lighter, less harsh version of this color that lasts all day, regardless of climate. If you're new to HD makeup or cream blush, I would recommend trying this product out before you wash your face at night, so you can get used to the technique needed to apply it.

Yet another impressive product from e.l.f.!