BA Star Gives Some Lip

I have tried a few products from BA Star in the recent months so when I noticed another BA Star goodie available on BrandBacker for review, I signed up. This time it was for their Holiday Red Lip Pencil. First of all, I love a red lip. Secondly, since I have been impressed by BA Star’s quality, I couldn’t wait to try a more pigmented lippy from their line, especially one that I will use pretty frequently.

The pencil. My lips.

The pencil. My lips.

The BA Star Holiday Red Lip Pencil is a chubby stick but not super thick. Since it is a bit thinner, this makes using such a pigmented color much easier. The slightly smaller size gives more control, important when applying such a bright color. I used a light hand in the picture above. The texture is not super soft but not drying. If you notice, the color has a semi-matte finish, which is great! Some super shiny reds end up all over the face and matte reds can look dry. The semi-matte finish gives a satiny look without being glaring and in your face. It also gives the color good staying power.

The left is without flash.

The left is without flash.

photo 2 (4)

I wanted to add a little glitz to the Holiday Red Lip Pencil so I grabbed my BA Start Zebra Glitter Gloss and added a layer of sparkle.

balip2Another great product, this glittery gloss isn’t too gritty, making it easy to wear.

Quick Tip: Wipe the applicator after using it over any lip color to avoid the gloss from getting cloudy. You may have to remember to wipe several times.

Quick Tip: Wipe the applicator after using it over any lip color to avoid the gloss from getting cloudy. You may have to remember to wipe several times.

photo 5 (2)

The glitter shows up quite nicely over the Holiday Red Lip Pencil.

BA Star’s Holiday Red Lip Pencil will make an excellent addition to my fall and winter lip colors.  I love the versatility of the product, too, as I can create a light stain or really layer the color to make my lips pop!

Interested in trying BA Star’s Holiday Red Lip Pencil? Visit www.bastar.com and enter BBLIPS at checkout to receive 50% off!  Keep in mind that the discount is off the full retail price ONLY and cannot be combined with any other offers.

This is a sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker. The complimentary sample had no influence on my review.

Keep Calm  & Primp On! XOXO

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Blue, Blackberry, Be Violet (Blah, blah, blah)

Hey PHs!  Thanks for all the feedback yesterday. I was surprised so many of you responded and am more than happy that you did!   As promised, I am reviewing Lipstick Queen’s Hello Sailor AND Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Vivid Violet. I decided that I would do both in one post because they are in the same color family. Let’s go!

smashlqbox

First up is Lipstick Queen’s Hello Sailor. In honor of sailors, I wore this shirt today. Isn’t she cute?

Sailing away!

Sailing away!

Here is the uber-cute box!

Sailor, why'd you do it?

Oh! Sailor, why’d you do it?

LQ’s Hello Sailor is blue. Very blue. It reminds me of the blue mood lipsticks of the 1980s. This lipstick is more of a blackberry stain. At first I thought it would be more like LQ’s Medieval, a sheer, red lip treatment but it isn’t. Hello Sailor is more of a stain.

I've got the blues.

I’ve got the blues.

Application is smooth. Lipstick Queen lipsticks always feel good and this feels very light. At first the color is very light but eventually does begin to darken.

Applied lightly!

Applied lightly!

As it sat on my lips, it did darken. I was really surprised! I didn’t expect it to get as dark as it did, though it was totally wearable and didn’t have the winter lip look! In my (humble) opinion, this is a great sheer, “better than your natural lip” color and would be excellent for daily wear. Speaking of wear, this did not last as long as a stain but it did last longer than I expected. I also drink coffee in the morning, so time wise I am not sure, but I think this may need to be applied more frequently than a traditional stain.

Moi a few seconds after application.

Moi a few seconds after application. On my eyes are Sephora’s Le Waterproof Mascara and their Purple Stilettos Contour  12 Hour Waterproof Pencil

Now, for the more dramatic. A few months ago during a Brooklyn Make-Up Studio event, I noticed Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Vivid Violet ($20 US). They were sold out so I waited (and waited). I paid them a visit this week and it was back in stock. I spoke with Christina, one of their in-house MUAs, and she said this lipstick was more versatile than I thought.  She mentioned that it can be used as a lighter stain.  A multi-tasker?! Sold!

Top without flash.

Top without flash.

The color is bright but not obnoxious (!) and I think more plum than a violet, though it does have blue undertones. Be Legendary Lipsticks are a favorite of mine and application was fabulous. It went on smooth and dreamy.  I found this to be long lasting, even after eating and drinking, though reapplying wouldn’t hurt.

Lips don't flash!

Lips don’t flash!

Vivid Violet is another color that can be day or night friendly. It is pigmented and has a light sheen. You can build it up to vixen like proportions, too.

This is my diva face.

This is my diva face.

Since I am wearing the same make-up (except on my lips!) you can see how Vivid Violet changes the whole look. It totally looks more dressy and polished. I think Hello Sailor and Vivid Violet are excellent buys but for different reasons. If you want a more natural look and you want people to think you wear blue lipstick, Hello Sailor is for you. Vivid Violet is helping me gear up for fall and back to school. (Help me. Please.)

Here is are some swatches on my hand.  The top swatch is Hello Sailor and the bottom Vivid Violet. They are very different and with flash you can see the blue in both of them.

Left without flash.

Left without flash.

What do you think? Would you try either one?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

HauteLook Summer Essentials Are Pretty Necessary

A week or two ago, I wrote a post about the HauteLook with Nordstrom Summer Beauty Bag. (You can check out that post here.) I was totally annoyed, as the bag was $29 US and had mostly “deluxe” samples.  About a week later, HauteLook released its Summer Essentials bag and I ordered it. For $20,  I thought it might just be better. Lucky for me, it was.

What have you got in there?

What have you got in there?

There are 13 products in the Summer Essentials bag and though many are fun size, the full size products up the retail value of the bag. I’ll start off with skin and body care. For the face,  there is a small jar of Miracle 10 AHA Cream. An exfoliator for dry skin, this soothing cream is supposed to bring on even skin texture and fight aging. I will use this eventually but not during the summer. My skin has a tendency to burn, so even putting gentle AHAs on my face frightens me. (Interested in trying Miracle10? Visit Miracle10.com to get Super C & AHA Cream for $82 US. Enter promocode HAUTEBAG13)

Another miracle?

Another miracle?

Yay! Another self-tanning product. I have so many tubes and sheets of glow goop that I don’t even know what to do with it. This single TanTowel is good for half body application and can even be used on the face. I loved the spray on one I used last week (there are still remnants on my legs) but I might just have to try a sheet, too. (Hey- don’t you want to know what happens?)

Vacation in a towel.

Vacation in a towel.

In order to keep your faux tan looking glowing and not blech, slather on Whish Body Butter in Orange Cream. I have tried Whish Shave Cream and the scent was reminiscent of Fruity Pebbles. This tiny tube will be good to throw in a getaway bag but I have a feeling there will be no getaways this summer. L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream is a cult classic and a little goes a long way.  Cooler weather will be here before we know it, so this will come in handy. (Handy- get it?)

Creamy.

Creamy.

I love Diptyque fragrance because though they are complex, they are magically singular. I find the fragrances to truly smell so natural on the body and wear Eau Duelle, a spicy vanilla, I now have a sample of L’Ombre dans l’Eau, which translates to The Shadow in the Water. On first spray, it is very green but rounds out to a floral with rose and blackcurrant. It actually reminds me of a perfume I used to wear but can no longer recall. Such is life!

Secret like a shadow.

Secret like a shadow.

Your crowning glory is up next. Blow Pro After Blow Strong Hold Finishing Spray is a quick dry spray that claims to keep frizz and flyaways at bay. I probably will never find out if this spray works but it sounds good.

Blow Pro then Grab and Go!

Blow Pro then Grab and Go!

I’m loving L. Erickson Grab n’ Go Pony Compact. The compact isn’t very sturdy but it holds a few ponytail elastics in a place where they won’t get lost in my bag. Thank goodness.

Onto the make-up! Start off with great brushes. Since I love my Crown Brushes, I was happy to receive their Travel Brush Set. I don’t like to bring my big brushes on the go and  this set will make it easy.  I am also curious to try Lashfood Nano-Peptide Natural EyeLASH Conditioner. It is supposed to make my lashes stronger. After the lash perm I tried last year, I think this is a safer option.

Long lashes, little brushes.

Long lashes, little brushes.

For some more lash love, there is a tube of LORAC Special Effects Mascara in Black. One side has a primer and the other has a lengthening mascara. I remember when Revlon had a mascara like this many years ago and I miss it so this should be fun to try out.

Long and lovely lashes.

Long and lovely lashes.

Now, we go from lashes to lips. There are three lip products in the bag and they are pretty fabulous. First in line is an NYX Lip Smacking Fun Color Lipstick in #597 Margarita. It looks more like a watermelon margarita to me, as it is a shimmery pink-orange shade. This lipstick is in the round tube and is under $4 US. I love NYX lipstick and am more than happy to add this to my collection.

NYX Lips

NYX Lips

Margarita!

Margarita!

We are almost done! To keep lipstick in line, there is an Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Naked. Since it is a neutral color, I think it can be used with pretty much any lip color.

Lining and a bomb!

Lining and a bomb!

The bonus in the bag is a Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain in #27. It is a coral that errs on orange I’m guessing it is a gloss that will impart shine and stain the lip for lasting color. I have another lip product from Mirenesse that I really like, Maybe one of these day I will do a comparison.

What would you like to try from the HauteLook Summer Essentials bag?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Lipstick L<3ve!

Ah, lipstick. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Lip products have been my favorite cosmetic item(s) since I was a kid. My very first lipstick was a tube of Brucci purple lipstick.  The obsession continues and I have enough lip glosses, tints, sticks, wands, balms, creams, stains, tars, etc. to probably span the globe. This post is an ode to my love for lippies and I am sharing my favorite lip stuffs (!) of the summer.

A few weeks ago I blogged about Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm. It is a glossy balm that is sweet and sheer. You can build them up for more color payout, too. I recently bought Apricot Pucker and I think it might just be my favorite in the line. (I own four, okay?)

Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in Apricot Pucker.

Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in Apricot Pucker.

I only have on a thin layer and my lighting isn’t the best but can you see that pop of color?

Hey! It's me!

Hey! It’s me!

Lindz, the Girl in the Glasses, was kind enough to do a semi-swap with me fairly recently. I sent her some requests and she sent me some lipsticks from KIKO  MAKE UP MILANO. I find it ridiculous we can’t get KIKO here yet. Trust me, I asked. Of course, I wanted the Smart Lipstick. Lindz sent me two to try, #912 Crimson Red and #904 Strawberry Pink. I was very excited when they made it to my mailbox.

How smart are they?

How smart are they?

The case is super sturdy and looks pretty fabulous. I kind of avoided taking a full pick of the case because this post is pic-heavy as is.

#912 Crimson Red & #904 Strawberry Pink

#912 Crimson Red & #904 Strawberry Pink

Let’s talk Crimson Red. It is not super crimson red and it errs on more of a pink. In fact, I thought it would have had a pink name but I am not necessarily great at naming colors. Eh. The color is very daytime friendly and that makes me happy.

This is like your worst nightmare. You know, like that crazy aunt that wants to kiss you close-up shot.

This is like your worst nightmare. You know, like that crazy aunt that wants to kiss you close-up shot.

Next up is #904 Strawberry Pink. I love this color. I actually favored #912 but this quickly became my favorite. The color is just summer perfect and isn’t too warm or cool. I can’t wear cool pinks. I look terrible. This shade is just plain pretty and feels great on the lips.

Some summer punch!

Some summer punch!

Since neither shade is matte or super shiny, they make for an easy look. The colors are both buildable, so you can work them up in you need to.  The lipsticks aren’t thick so your lips don’t feel coated. Application is very smooth. If you are in Europe, find a KIKO store and buy them!

The final color I am obsessed with (this week) is Tarte Complexion Brightening Lipstick in Medium-to-Tan. I have a few Tarte lipsticks and they are excellent. I received  this in my June GlossyBox and it is delightful.

tartenude1

Case love!

Smooth and creamy,Tarte Complexion Brightening Lipstick in Medium-to-Tan has a berry jelly core and is surrounded by a natural nude. I have a hard time finding a natural color that doesn’t make me look washed out and this does the trick.

Does this look naughty? Swatched on my hand and on my lips.

Does this look naughty? Swatched on my hand and on my lips.

It is also difficult to find. I googled it and see it is available on QVC in a pack of both shades. I wouldn’t say that this is the longest lasting lipstick but if you want a “naked” face without being a total nudie, this is worth a try.

Lips! Lips! Lips!

Lips! Lips! Lips!

What are some of your favorite summer lip looks? I am obviously onto the nudes and pinks this season!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I Have A Lot of Beauty Boxes to Recycle

There were more. Trust me.

There were more. Trust me.

And I only mean that after I have opened them and emptied the contents! I got FIVE beauty packages in the mail this week. In this post, we will take a gander at my GlossyBox and Birchbox deliveries. In the next post, we need to discuss the HauteLook Summer Beauty bag and a package all the way from someone Short (and Sweet) in Texas. I will give you a quick rundown of each box and then pick and choose the items I really think you need to know about in future posts.  Here we go!

First up is the July GlossyBox, le Grand Bleu, or the Big Blue, or the Grand Indigo (I made that up.) Very disappointing delivery- probably most disappointing of the lot and there was no magazine! Actually, that’s good news because that means things will be looking up from here. There were five products plus a “bonus.” At $21 a month, I deserve a bonus. Unfortunately, I will not use three of them and only one is a full size product and the cheapest in the box.

Okay, okay, give to my sister, okay, throw in travel bag, give to someone that needs it

Okay, give to Cindy, give to my sister, okay, throw in travel bag, give to someone that needs it

The Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Mask will be used up when I need to deep condition. (Remind me to tell you my Rio acai story sometime. I was fun in my 20s!)  Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au the Blanc Shampoo & Shower Gel is the third product from the white tea fragrance line. Though I like the scent, enough alread, my friend Cindy likes the smell and just like I passed off the soap to her, she will get the shower gel. Nails Inc. Baker Street Nail Polish may look like a regular bottle but it is small and I know because I already own it. My sister is lucky. That girl ends up with everything. Figs & Rouge Cherry Blossom Tinted Balm Tube is full size and is $9 US. I thought it was an L’Occitane hand cream. Nope. I will use it since I like the way the tube looks. My “bonus” is Nicka K New York Absolute! Make-Up Cleansing towelettes. I have said it before and I will say it again- they sell this brand at my local beauty supply and the make-up runs around $3 US on average. Lastly is the Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum. I rarely get acne and I like my good old tea tree to handle that.  I am not impressed with this month’s selections- they are way too run of the mill and small!

Every year, the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) have the Insiders’ Beauty Awards. Birchbox curated two boxes of winners. They were recently on sale- $26 for both. I thought that was pretty good and had some points left, so I managed to score both for $23.31. I’ll start with the Prestige Headliners – Birchbox for CEW. Originally priced at $18 US, this little box had the stuff you could buy at Sephora or a department store.

Birchbox Presige Box

Birchbox Prestige Headliners

Since there are so many, I’ll list:

-IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil (might be a full size- Sam over at Samandro22 got me into filling in my brows!)

-Living Proof Prime Style Extender (Decent sized tube. Eh.)

-Julep Nail Color in Teri (It’s a full bottle!)

-Julep Essential Cuticle Oil (Another biggie! For my dry cuticles, I need a miracle.)

-Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (“Deluxe”Sample)

-La Fresh Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser, Scented (2 wipes. I’m cool with that.)

Next is the Birchbox for CEW Mass Market Finalists. This box is a treasure trove of drugstore finds and I have only tried two out of the six! Five of the products are full size, making for a great value.

On the cheap.

On the cheap.

-Olay Pro-X Spot Fading Treatment (Sample tube but it should last a bit because you only use a few drops at a time.)

-Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey (Love these!)

-L’Oreal Paris Infallible Eye Shadow in #557 Glistening Garnet (I hope it is way better than the Armani Eyes to Kill one I bought.)

-Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream (Full size tube- since I finished my most recent favorite, I will try this next.)

-Nivea A Kiss of Olive OIl & Lemon Moisture Rich Lip Care (Finally! My favorite balm is LaBello- it is Nivea in the States and this flavor is more European!)

-Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On (I love eye rolls…)

What do you think? I have a lot of work ahead of me, huh?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

FabFitFun and Fantastic!

Earlier this week I wrote a post about the HauteLook & Nordstrom Summer Beauty Bag (click here to read the post). I was very disappointed. Luckily, I received my FabFitFun (fff) box by Giliana Rancic, too, and this delivery did not disappoint! Though it is $49.95 a box, it only comes quarterly and this being my second box, I find the contents are valued way beyond the cost. Here are the goods:

Five full size products, sunnies, and something good for travel.

Five full size products, sunnies, and something good for travel.

I will start off with skincare. First up is Purlisse-Pur-Delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser ($36 US). A Vogue favorite, it is a gentle, soap-free cleanser that does double duty as an eye make-up remover. I am currently using a soap-free ultra gentle cleanser and I do like them since I find they cut the oil in my skin enough without drying me out. I can’t wait to try it!

Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray ($12 US) has been around forever. I currently am using Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir but I am close to finishing it up. I will use this first before I buy another.

Cleanser, face spray, cleansing wipes

Cleanser, face spray, cleansing wipes

Usually fff throws in a surprise. My first box had two- a Butter London Nail Polish and a GoSmile Pen. In this package, there is a travel pack of Yes to Cucumber Facial Towelettes ($2.99 US). There are ten towelettes of all- natural, hypoallergenic goodness and at this size, will fit into my purse for quick clean up. Though not as expensive as the previous surprises, I know I will get use out of these.

But I’m not finished with surprises! The next is a bottle of Orly Nail Polish in Mayhem Mentality ($8.50 US). It is a neon orange and since orange is my favorite color, I am loving this, The application is only okay and it dries matte, which is easily fixed with a shiny topcoat. It also needs three coats or it is streaky, so this is definitely only for when I go for a manicure and pedicure. I would botch the color up if I used this color myself.

Pardon my foot.

Pardon my foot.

For a perfect pucker, there is a Catalina Su Lip Gloss ($14 US).  Catalina Su is Giuliana Rancic’s male-up artist. This is not normally a shade I would wear but I am trying more nudes as of late and will give this a try. I also think this is the only color in the collection so it must be universally flattering. We will see!

Flip flop friendly!

Flip flop friendly!

The big ticket item in the box is a pair of Ivory Mason Sunglasses in the Trudel Sunwear Style (On sale $135 US). They are very chic but the style is too small for my face. I also wear glasses and prescription sunglasses so I probably wouldn’t be able to use these. There is a way to exchange the sunglasses but I think I will pass these off  to my mom.

It Hair Care Surf Spray ($6.99 US)is supposed to create beachy waves. This is probably the third or fourth beach wave spray I have received (I got another in my ipsy delivery, too) and I just can’t use it. I don’t like the way my hair looks after a day at the beach. It looks like a mess.

As for sunless tanning, I need to get on the train. My legs are still pasty! Infinity Sun Glow on the Go ($40 US) is an aerosol spray with anti-aging properties. I will give it a whirl.

Beach Essentials?

Beach Essentials?

KIND Bar in Dark Chocolate Chili Almond & Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt is great to throw in a bag for a snack. KIND bars are delish and this sounds ridiculously tasty.

The retail value of the FabFitFun box is $235. I think it was a fabulous buy for the money AND I have a coupon code for $10 off your first FabFitFun VIP box. Just visit their website, sign up, and type 647993 in the coupon code box. The offer expires on August 11th.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Beauty Boxes & Bags

Hello there! Since canceling my Birchbox subscription, I have been trying not to order any other beauty by month mailings. I did receive two packages this week and I want you to meet the first… The HauteLook & Nordstrom Summer Beauty Bag.

The HauteLook & Nordstrom Summer Beauty Bag was $29 US and since I loved the HauteLook Spring Bag, I figured I would love this just as much. Well, for $29 I am disappointed. First of all, there aren’t any full size products. They are all pretty much deluxe size samples. Second of all, I would have never ordered it if I knew that HauteLook’s Summer Beauty Bag was coming out a few weeks later. It was like a bait and switch. Knowing that HauteLook is a Nordstrom company, adding Nordstrom to “HauteLook Beauty Bag” seemed pretty okay. Is it only me that would infer that they were one and the same in beauty bags?  Yeah. I ordered the HauteLook Summer Beauty Bag, too, for $20 and it seems to me that the things in that bag are going to be way better.

I’ll give you the goods. The way too overpriced goods.

Let’s start with the cosmetics pouch. I like the design and the the size is great for a weekend getaway.

Classic colors

Classic colors

Okay, onto the make-up. The first item shown below is Laura Mercier Tinted Moistuizer SPF 20 in Nude (o.5 oz). I happen to love this product and it is a bit pricey. A 1.5 oz tube is $43 US, making my sample worth about $14 US. Coverage is pretty good and I like that the SPF keeps me a little sun safe. It also comes in a range of 14 colors, so it is easier to find a match.

Supergoop! CC Cream Daily Correct Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen in Light to Medium is next in line. I happen to like Supergoop! products but as you all know, being an oil heiress (on my face), this is probably not a good idea knowing my history with BB creams. It is a little unfortunate because this is a self-adjusting shade. The sample is 3 ml which means probably enough to use once and maybe cover half of my face. A full size 1.6 oz tube is $32 US.

Teeny tiny

Teeny tiny

I don’t think I have ever tried a Napoleon Perdis product and in my bag is a 5 ml/.17 fl oz tube of Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer. I will give this a try but again, I might get only one or two uses out of the teeny tube. A full size tube is $59 US, so even if I love it, that is never happening.

I happen to think Estee Lauder mascara is decent and the pouch included Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in 01 Black. A tube is $24 US and I think this little guy might last a week.

With face and lashes covered, the last cosmetic piece is a Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain. Again, super small and cute but what the heck will I be able to do with this? Forget the obvious here. These samples are way to small to really make an informed decision!

Be soft.

Be soft.

The two creams I received in the bag were the most “deluxe” in size. AHAVA is a great line and their Body Firming Cream might just be lovely. A full size tube (6.8 oz) is $38. 50 US. AVEDA Hand Relief will eventually make its way into my bag since I like to carry hand cream. AVEDA actually sells this size tube for $8.50. I guess this is the official full size product in the bag.

Not for your lips!

Not for your lips!

The next item might be a dangerous addition to my bag. Sole Goddess Blister Protection Foot Balm is supposed to help prevent blisters caused by shoes that rub against feet. The tube sold on the Sole Goddess website doesn’t really look like a tube of lip balm and is $18.75 US. The stick in my bag is clearly marked “sample size.” It will probably never get used.

Now, for the last products.

There is one Emi Jay Hair Tie– ONE. A 3 pack is $5.99 US and you shouldn’t wear these in water. Give me the ones from Walgreen’s.

Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts Somerville 360 Body Tanning Towelette is a disposable towelette that is applied to the body for self-tanning. I’m just curious as to what the ONE towelette I received will do, as the Somerville website explains, “Use as often as needed for a deeper tan or to maintain your glow.” A box is expensive, too, at $48 US for eight towelettes.

Xen-Tan Face Tanner Luxe Sunless Tan in Medium/Dark can be used daily to  give an instant glow and self-tanning power. Self-tanner on my face scares me. I’m afraid I might channel an Oompa Loompa. A full size tube is $24 US for 2.7 oz.

Sunless tanning towelette and a hair tie that can't get wet.

Sunless tanning towelette and a hair tie that can’t get wet.

As I was writing this post, I realized how disappointed I really am with this $29 bag. I know I will not use four of the samples I received and the ones I will use won’t last for very long. What HauteLook & Nordstrom did was really deceiving and that is unfortunate because I do like both the website and the Nordstrom store. There also weren’t any coupon codes for discounts on any of the products. I did find a card about Nordstrom’s Anniversary and Beauty Bash, explaining that there will be some deals on some cosmetic brands. The kick-off is Friday, July 19 and is in-store and online. If I remember I may take a look on Nordstrom’s website.

Is there anything you think you would use in this bag? Are the bag and its contents worth the $29 US I spent? I want to know what you think!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Wanna-Be London Girl

My sister, Shazzer, and my Mom, returned from their trip to London last week. My mom came over yesterday and brought me a bunch of goodies from across the pond. I just took some quick pictures and I really can’t wait to start trying everything! Shazzer and Mom are the best!

When I visited England in 2005, I got to visit Portobello Market. I loved all of the cool items they had for sale and bought a military jacket and great amber earrings. My mom remembered my fondness for the colorful street and brought my presents in this…

Kids did the designs for the bag. As a teacher, I can really appreciate their talent.

A 9 year old created the design. As a teacher, I can really appreciate their talent. Note my thigh. At least I shaved.

Portobello Market is in Notting Hill, I think!

Portobello Market is in Notting Hill, I think!

I had a few cosmetic requests and almost fainted when I saw Shannon was in Poundland. She picked me up a few things from there, as well as some Barry M. and a lipstick from 17.

I'm so glad I have this sparkly goodness in another color, too. There is a Barry M. eye pencil, 17 lipstick, a lip balm, and nail polish. I need to use one. NOW.

I’m so glad I have this sparkly goodness in another color, too. There is a Barry M. eye pencil, 17 lipstick, a lip balm, and nail polish. I need to use one. NOW.

More glitter!

More glitter!

I don’t know what Chit-Chat Mascara is but I will soon find out!

Cheaper than Armani- even with the exchange.

Cheaper than Armani- even with the exchange.

I also got some pretty eye shadows. The neutral palette looks like it has a primer with two colors. I had a powder from Collection 2000 from my trip to Ireland. It is long since gone but I can’t wait to try this lime eye shadow.

Mix and match?

Mix and match?

For my nails, a Bewitched glitter polish and Barry M. polish that mimics a lightening bug.

Glitter and glow.

Glitter and glow.

I requested a magazine, too, and when I can pick up British Glamour here in the States, I do. They picked up Glamour for me. It was two British pound sterling, which comes to $2.99 USD. Magazines are at least $3.99 US AND they never come with ModelCo. Lip Gloss which retails for $16 US. US publications better get a clue. Just sayin’.

And Daniel Radcliffe.

And Daniel Radcliffe.

When I was in Dublin, I bought a purse by Paul’s Boutique. My sister knows I love the fun and quirky style of Paul’s Boutique bags so she picked up this really cute wallet. The chain is just really funky and I can’t wait to use all of the crazy buttons. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

We finally get Paul's Boutique in the USA. The original PB website ships to the US and ASOS also carries the line.

We finally get Paul’s Boutique in the USA. The original PB website ships to the US and ASOS also carries the line.

My sister had a few things on her “bucket list.” One was riding the London Eye. I scored a mirror on a key chain. It will get a lot of use. More than I should admit.

Eye told you.

Eye told you.

And then… Shazzer and Mom went to see Robbie Williams! He very rarely plays in NYC and my sister managed to purchase tickets.

And all I got was this lousy key chain...

And all I got was this lousy key chain…

I love all of my presents! I am sure there will be a few reviews soon. A special thanks to Shazzer and Mom for going on a make-up hunt and fueling my product hoochie-ness!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Summer Lids & Lips

Hey all! I hope that the week went well for you. I had a fabulous getaway with the hubs this week. We went to Atlantic City, NJ. It is a small city beside the Atlantic Ocean and there is great outlet shopping and gambling. Not that I think gambling is necessarily good but is great fun in moderation, especially if you win! While we were away, I only brought one eye shadow palette (shocking!) and four different lip products to vary up my look.

An entry in the annual Sand Sculpting Competition- Atlantic City, NJ.

An entry in the annual Sand Sculpting Competition- Atlantic City, NJ.

First up is Too Faced Summer Eyes palette ($36 US).  I picked it up at the Brooklyn Make-Up Studio at their last event and have been meaning to write a review about it for quite some time.  I even have pictures ready-  but just kept waiting. Anyway, I really got some great use out of it this week. I actually have no swatches (bad PH!) but I have a dupe for some of the colors.

Summer Eyes!

Summer Eyes!

Back of the pack.

Back of the pack.

There are three sets of colors (DAY, CLASSIC, & FASHION) with three colors each. The largest pan in usually for the lid all the way up to the brow, the color next to it for the lid, and the third color for the crease and lower lashes. Using the colors in each row makes for an easy eye look or you can mix and match. The palette also comes with a pamphlet that demonstrates different looks you can create using the eye shadows.

Easy Eye Looks

Easy Eye Looks

Do you like how the shirt you see in the reflection has a tropical drink print?

Do you like how the shirt you see in the reflection has a tropical drink print?

My personal favorite is CLASSIC but I think DAY is a lot of fun and for a daily look, is a bit different from my usual neutrals. I wore FASHION one night and my husband commented on how glittery I was. Sunbeam is very glittery but not so much that it falls all over your face. Application is good, I had no trouble with fallout, and I like how put together the shades are. Well done, Too Faced! As for a dupe, Avon True Color Eye Shadow Sunkissed Duo with Shell & Refreshing Coral reminds me of the CLASSIC colors. I also paid about $3 US for it.

Not bad for 3 bucks.

Not bad for 3 bucks.

On my lips, I constantly had Almay’s Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm ($5.99 US) in either Rosy Lipped (which is the perfect glossy barely-there nude for me) or Just Plum Good.

Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in Rosy Lipped & Just Plum Good.

Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in Rosy Lipped & Just Plum Good.

I found that I could apply Rosy Lipped at any point in time with no mirror and I got a hint of color and great shine. Just Plum Good reminded me of Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, though a bit more purple. I found that I needed to apply a lot, as the sheer formula can fade, especially the lighter color. Either way, both colors are great and I can’t wait to try a few more.

Top picture without flash- Rosy Lipped (top color) & Just Plum Good (Bottom Color)

Top picture without flash- Rosy Lipped (top swatch) & Just Plum Good

If I wanted more lasting power or pigment, I reached for Rimmel London’s Show Off Lip Laquer (called Apocalips in Europe if you have seen them floating around other blogs)  in Luna or Aurora. You can see the color at the very bottom of the tube so you have an idea of what you are buying.

Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in Luna (L) & Aurora (R).

Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in Luna (L) & Aurora (R).

I wore Aurora to a wedding last weekend and got a few compliments. I found Luna to be a bit more day friendly. The feel is very comfortable and soft. It is also not super glossy so the lasting power was better than Almay’s liquid lip balm but it did need to be reapplied after drinks or dinner. Oh! The doe foot applicator has a well that holds more product so you don’t have to constantly re-dip for more product. I think it works well but you need to wipe the wand a little to make application a little neater.

All's well that ends well. (This is Luna.)

All’s well that ends well. (This is Luna.)

For about $4.99 US, it is worth a try.

Top without flash. Luna (top swatch) and Aurora.

Top without flash. Luna (top swatch) and Aurora.

What do you think of some of my summer picks? I also need to get a new waterproof mascara. I am using Maybelline Falsies but it is drying up fast. I also have to finish my Giorgio Armany Eyes to Kill- can’t waste that!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Purple Eyelid Eater

Last night, I had a wedding to attend. I love big, fancy parties, even semi-fancy parties, because I can really do up my make-up. I have a kind of tutorial for you today that uses two eye shadow colors that create a smokey yet vibrant look and a few products to give your skin a flawless finish.

My naked face.

My naked face.

When I know I have a big night out, I start off by spritzing my face with a setting spray. I used (and still use) Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray. While my face is still damp, I apply Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer with a sponge. (Shout out to Lindz at Girl in the Glasses for reminding me of my Beauty Blender.) I love this primer! On a casual day, I can just use this on its own for a little bit of coverage and an even skin tone.

Wet it and set it.

Wet it and set it. (Counter-clockwise from top left: UD De-Slick Setting Spray, Too Faced Primer, my face has on some clothes, bareMinerals Foundation)

Using a stippling brush, I applied bareMinerals ORIGINAL Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Fairly Light. I have recently started using a stippling brush and actually watched a tutorial to make sure I was using it correctly. Basically, I dip the brush in the foundation and apply in light, circular motions on my face. The trick is to not push the brush into your skin. My powder foundation goes on so easily and the coverage has an air-brushed quality.

The eyes are the window to the soul and I want mine to be clear! I started with Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer. It is a light nude which is great because it will keep the color of the shadow vibrant. I spread a small dollop over the entire lid, to the crease, and all the way to the brow bone. It literally takes a few seconds to set and then I got to the eye shadow. Using an eye shadow brush, I took a generous amount of Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Super Shimmer in Taupe. Unfortunately, it is from a limited edition palette, so unless Clinique decided to keep the shade around, you are out of luck- as am I. I applied the shadow from the lid, into the crease, and up to the brow bone. Since it is shimmery, it highlighted the brow bone nicely without any extra work.

Insure your shadow. The brush is pointed towards the taupe eye shadow.

Insure your shadow. The brush is pointed towards the taupe eye shadow.

Now, for the fun. I happened to catch a sale on Sugarpill Cosmetics a few weeks ago. They have some pretty fantastic colors. The thing with me is that although I love color, I have a hard time using super bright shades on my eyes. I chose safer Sugarpill shades and for pressed shadow, they have some serious pigment THAT I LOVE. Using an angled brush, I took a very small amount of Sugarpill Pressed Eye Shadow in Poison Plum. I applied it in the crease and around the outer corners and on roughly a third of the lid. A little goes a long way and I really concentrated the color in the crease so it wouldn’t be super strong all over my eyelid.

That is a drop of shadow on the brush.

That is a drop of shadow on the brush.

I really worked the color in and added a bit more in small increments. I didn’t want to look like I was in a boxing match. To lighten the look, I took a blending brush and softened the color a little.

Mixing it up.

Mixing it up. By the way, that is Sarah Happ lip balm on my lips. I really wanted to hate it but I don’t.

Now, for the liner. I am a Smashbox Eye Liner fanatic. I purchased a set of four or five mini pencils during the holiday season for around $29. I used Imperial for this look and it is no longer available on their website. Hmmm… Anway, I applied the liner about a third in on from the outer corner of my eyelid. I then lined under the eye.

I am watching you.

I am watching you.

I finally curled my lashes and since I was going to a wedding, I used Maybelline Falsies Waterproof Mascara. My Eyes to Kill will have to wait.

My lashes stay up without any support. Gravitational miracle.

My lashes stay up without any support. Gravitational miracle.

Now, here is where I am so mad at myself. I did not take a picture of my final look BUT I did do the same eye for a party last month…

Hello, it's me.

Hello, it’s me.

And for a party last Friday…

No sleep 'til...

No sleep ’til…

In case you need to know, the lipstick is Lipstick Queen Hot Rose Sinner. It is serious pigmentation. Read my review here. The shirt is from Forever 21. I wore it with a lace backed blazer and that ginormous necklace.

I think you should amp up eye looks with a little color once in awhile, right? I think I did a decent job balancing the look, even with a heavy lip.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO