Monday, April 21, 2014

NARS Eye Paint in Soloman Islands: Swatch and Review

I Purchased This Affiliate Link

Recently, Sephora has a special deal where rewards members could get 15% off their purchases. I stash gift cards for these purposes and had a $25 giftcard I decided to splurge with and got myself this NARS Eye Paint in Solomon Islands. I didn't intend to get it when I went in but I'd been eyeing the color for ages because it reminds me of a long discontinued MAC Fluidline in Blue Peep so I had to have it. I'm not even sure when I'll wear this out but it was too beautiful to resist.

nars eye paint soloman islands (3 of 3)

Where to Purchase: (affiliate link), Sephora stores,
Price: $25 for .08 oz of product. 
Do they test on animals?: The company does not.
Packaging: The Eye Paint comes in a glass pot with a plastic lid.

nars eye paint soloman islands (2 of 3)


Described as a turquoise blue, it's bright enough to wear on its own as a pop of color. The photo was taken in natural daylight with no flash. Keep in mind that due to the matte finish, the eyeliner actually dries a shade or two darker than what's in the pot. It's still a beautiful bright blue though!

nars solomon islands swatch (1 of 1)


The eyeliner is described as having "multi-use application, 18-hour wear, highly-saturated, with a weightless gel texture that dries smoothly and quickly" 

It's incredibly pigmented and can be worn as an eyeshadow, eyeshadow base, and eyeliner. Solomon Islands dries down to a flat matte finish. I do think that Solomon Islands specifically is a firmer gel liner, it's not as squishy/soft as other brands but it's still very creamy. 

Due to the firmer texture, I don't have to be as cautious when applying it like I am with other squishy/softer gel liners (which have a tendency to transfer onto my eyelid if I'm not careful) because it sets faster. I would work a little quickly to blend the color out if you were planning on using it as an eyeshadow or eyeshadow base. It is smudgeproof about 30 seconds after application, it does dry smoothly and quickly. 

On the waterline, I got about four hours of good wear (it started disintegrating after that).

Wear time as as eyeliner was good if I wore a primer first. Without eyeshadow primer, the eyeliner started transferring onto my eyelid after three hours. With eyeshadow primer, the eyeliner stayed on strong for more than eight hours. My oily hooded eyeshape usually does a number on eyeliner with or without eye primer so I'm glad that it at least wears well with primer.

In Conclusion:

Compared to other gel eyeliners, it is expensive but the formula and range of colors (the olive green Mozambique and gray Transvaal) make it interesting enough that it's worth picking one up or at least swatching in store!

Disclaimer: I purchased the NARS Eye Paint myself. All opinions are my own. The link marked as an affiliate link gives me a commission based off your use of the link if you decided to make a purchase! The commission helps to support the costs of running the blog.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag April 2014 Overview

After a few months on the waitlist, I finally was subscribed to the Ipsy Glam Bag and received my first bag for April 2014. After hearing lukewarm reviews about the Birchbox, I thought the Ipsy bag would be better for me as it is more makeup-centric.

This month's Glam Bag theme is Beauty Rocks (perfect timing for the music festivals like Coachella). For $10, I got three full size items and two deluxe samples.

ipsy april glam bag2 (1 of 1)

The items I received in the bag were a Benefit Cosmetics Lollitint mini, Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm in Acid Pink, City Color Cosmetics White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse, Kiss Looks So Natural Eyelashes in the Shy style, and Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Black Velvet.

Of the contents, I'll get the most use out of the Urban Decay eyeliner and the Eyelashes. Black Velvet looks like a deeper black than Perversion or Zero but due to the matte finish, it isn't as creamy. The Kiss Eyelashes are great for a subtle daytime look.

The Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm is too drying to use as a lip balm (although it is pretty fair at being a matte lipstick), I'm too much of a blush doof to use the Lollitint well, and the City Color Cosmetics Mousse is good as an eyeshadow but too strong to use as a cheek highlight.

ipsy april glam bag (1 of 2)

ipsy april glam bag (2 of 2)

What's the value of the bag?

Benefit Cosmetics Lollitint (Mini): 2.5 mL/.08 oz valued at $5.71
Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm (Full Size): 4 grams/.14 oz for $19
City Color Cosmetics White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse (Full Size):  2.6 grams /.092 oz valued at $3.99
Kiss Looks So Natural Eyelashes in Shy: $3.99
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Black Velvet (Mini): .02 oz valued at $10.00

Total Bag Value: $42.69.

Although I wasn't too fond of a lot of the bag, I was happy enough with the Urban Decay Black Velvet Eyeliner and Kiss Eyelashes that the whole bag is worth it to me plus I didn't have to pay for shipping.

If you like the look of Ipsy Glam Bags, feel free to use my affiliate link when you sign up! 

Are you subscribed to ipsy or other subscription services? Which are your favorite?

Disclaimer: I purchased the Ipsy Glam Bag. The link marked as an affiliate link gives me points that I can use to redeem for products on Ipsy's website!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beauty Blog Coalition May Day Sweepstakes!

may day sweepstakes

For the upcoming May Day, the Beauty Blog Coalition are having a sweepstakes and you can enter to win a Visa Prepaid Gift Card (or Paypal cash if you're international!). The first place winner gets a $500 gift card, the second place winner gets a $250 gift card, and the third place winner gets a $130 gift card. The sweepstakes starts now and ends 4/30. Be sure to enter!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Make Up For Ever HD Blush in #215: Swatch and Review

I Purchased This Affiliate Link

I knew going into The Makeup Show LA that I was already so stoked for the upcoming Make Up For Ever HD Blush (the replacement for their somewhat notoriously persnickety HD Microfinish Blush in the tube). Just the words "Second Skin Cream Blush" made me anticipate its performance.

For someone who is a blush doof like me, it's perfectly amazing. It's damn near fool-proof, applying and blending out into a natural finish. There are some deeper and brighter colors in the mix (like 515 Tangerine and 520 Blackcurrent to cater to more skin tones and for those who want a bolder look.

mufe hd blush compact 215 flamingo pink final

Where to Purchase: (affiliate link), Sephora stores
Price: $26 for .09 oz of product. 
Do they test on animals?: The company does not.
Packaging: The HD blush comes in a small plastic compact with a mirror, emphasis on the small. It is actually smaller than my palm and I've got tiny hands. Still though, it's very travel-friendly and slim, easy to stash.

I got the shade 215 Flamingo Pink. It looks like a bright flamingo pink on me but I've noticed on lighter skin tones (like Emi at Project Swatch, scope her review!), there is a lot more coral coming out. On my tanner skin tone, it's more pink than coral on me.

This is a product that I think you should swatch in stores, mainly because some of the colors look very similar in the compact but apply very differently on the skin.


The HD Blush was swatched heavily on the left and blended out on the right. This photo was taken in natural daylight with no flash.

mufe hd blush swatch 5 (1 of 1)


Application is easy peasy, either with a brush (I've been using the Real Techniques Contour Blush from the Core Collection) or with fingers. There's no rough dragging or pulling on your face, you can tap and blend out the product easily with no harsh edges. The formula isn't too matte or dewy, it's got a natural demi-matte finish. You could describe it as cream to powder but I think that implies a super matte or dry finish whereas it feels smoother than that. The wear time isn't as strong as I'd like (it was still there 6 hours later but had faded some) but it's fair for a cream blush. I think the ease of application due to the formula is what makes the blush different and worth it. 

There's also a hole in the back of the compact so you can depot this if you'd like. However, the bottom of the pan doesn't have a label or sticker so you'll need to add a label if you want to keep track of which color is which.

Application Pro Tip from James Vincent, Makeup Artist Extraordinare: If you're seeking that "flushed from within" look, apply the HD Blush underneath your foundation or tinted moisturizer. You won't have any trouble blending out the edges with the blush but applying it beneath really makes it look seamless.

My only complaint would probably be that there's not that much product in the compact (.09 oz) but I can see myself using the blush everyday since it's not only quick but easy to apply. Although Make Up For Ever is heavily catered for the professional, I think the everyday consumer will enjoy the blush!

Disclaimer: I received this HD Blush courtesy of The Makeup Show. All opinions are my own and I was not paid or compensated for this review. The link marked as an affiliate link gives me a commission based off your use of the link when you make a purchase and the commission just goes to support running the blog!
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