Coming This Weekend: The Makeup Show LA 2013

The Makeup Show LA

I know I know, another beauty trade show? I have to say though that The Makeup Show LA is probably my favorite of the three beauty/spa related trade shows I've attended. The overall atmosphere and relaxed vibe of everyone there is such a sharp contrast to IMATS's frenzied and overwhelming feel.

If you want more information on the show, here's a brief press release about the brands that will be at the show.

"LOS ANGELES, CA – In its 5th year, The Makeup Show LA grows with even more exhibitors, beauty and education than ever before. With over 75 brands, 6 keynote speakers, 20 seminars, and 14 hands-on workshops, this will be a show not to miss!

Amongst these NEW brands in attendance will be NARS Cosmetics, AJ Crimson, Ofra Cosmetics, Cult Nails, Dante Disposables, Face Atelier, Gorgeous Cosmetics, Jacks Beauty Line, Premiere Products, Saucebox Cosmetics, Tweezerman, Cao Cosmetics, to name just a few! In addition, more than 60 returning top pro-focused brands will be joining the show once again, including MAKE UP FOR EVER, Temptu Pro, Smashbox, INGLOT, Stila, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Alcone, Senna Cosmetics, Ellis Faas, Embryolisse USA, Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics, Kevyn Aucoin, and South Seas Skincare, amongst many more!

Shelly Taggar, Vice President for The Makeup Show states, “We are excited to make the fifth year of The Makeup Show LA one the biggest and best years yet. By responding to the needs of pro artists in every market we have added many new internationally known brands to this years roster of exhibitors. The Makeup Show LA will continue to be the west coast must-attend event for all those working and studying in the beauty and fashion industries.”

In addition to new exhibitors, attendees will find themselves immersed in two days dedicated solely to artistry, networking, community, inspiration and education. Pro’s will not only be able to fill their beauty kit with pro-driven essentials, but they can refine their skill-set in exclusive hands-on workshops and seminars, and explore business strategies and opportunities during forums and keynotes. So much inspiration to be found in every corner!

The Makeup Show LA is held on March 2, 2013 from 9am to 6pm and on March 3, 2013 from 9am to 5pm at California Market Center, 110 East Ninth Street, Los Angeles, CA. For a complete list of participating brands, educational speakers, schedule of events and prices, please visit www.themakeupshow.com."


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I'm going to have to check out all the new brands at the show. NARS wasn't there last year so it's really exciting that they'll be coming. AJ Crimson and Sam Fine Beauty are particularly interesting as that cater to deeper women of color skintones (a niche that I'm glad to see being filled). Jacks Beauty Line has some amazingly beautiful makeup brushes with artistically speckled handles. Cult Nails is lauded so often by members of the nail polish community that it's going to be a must for me. I should stop looking at the exhibitor list because it only serves to increase my lemmings. 

If you're interested in attending, you have until Thursday to purchase tickets. If you purchase online, the one day tickets are $45.00 and two day $65.00. At the door tickets are  $55.00 for one day and $75.00 for two. This is a Pro-Only show so you must have the proper credentials to attend. More information on credentials and tickets can be found here.

Have you ever attended any of The Makeup Shows? Will you be attending this weekend?

Brow Pampering with Tweezerman Tweezers: Review and Photos

A few months ago I was sent an amazing batch of tweezers from Tweezerman as part of their Ambassador program. Needless to say, I think I'm pretty set with tweezers but I felt a little overwhelmed trying to differentiate all these tweezers. I had heard of Tweezerman before as being a brand synonymous for having high quality tweezers but I will admit that I thought tweezers were just tweezers. I mean, is one that much different from another? After thorough testing, it's safe to say that there are differences amongst these tweezers and other tweezers available on the market now. I also wanted to cover the Brow Shaping Scissors and Brush since they're a pretty important part to tweezing brows. These have been so vital in helping me better shape my brows.

I was sent their Satin Etched Zebra Slants, Pointed Slant, Point Tweezer, Mini Slant, Slant, and the Brow Shaping Scissors and Brush (which is really a spoolie).

From top to bottom: Satin Etched Zebra Slant, Pointed Slant, Point Tweezer, Mini Slant Tweezer, Slant Tweezer, and Brow Shaping Scissors and Brush

Tweezerman Tweezers

These tweezers are sharp and very precisely honed, each doing a fantastic job at gripping and tweezing my eyebrow hairs (even the fine ones) without breaking off the hairs midway during the process. I might have gone a little too indepth in my review but anytime I can utilize a protractor for blogging, I'm a pretty happy person.

Price: $15.00 for the Mini Slant Tweezer, $18.00 for the Brow Shaping Scissors and Brush, $22.00 for the Pointed Slant and Slant Tweezer, $25.00 for the Satin Etched Zebra Slant and Pointed Slant Tweezer.

Packaging: Each tweezer comes in a plastic box with a plastic stopper cap on the tips (to protect not only the tweezer tips but also yourself). The Brow Shaping Scissors and Brush only came in a plastic box. I do wish there was a plastic stopper cap to put on the scissors the way there's one for the tweezers as the scissors are quite sharp. I also wish there was a better way to store the scissors and brush together so they won't be lost.

Where to purchase: Product availability depends on the store but the main places are Tweezerman.com, Ulta.com, Sephora.com and stores like Target, CVS, etc. I'll note which products are specific to certain vendors.

Cruelty Free? I do believe they are a cruelty free company.

I'll talk about each tweezer individually and my thoughts on their use.

Slant Tweezer (Stainless Steel)


Tweezerman Slant Tweezer

Slant Tweezer (Stainless Steel): The good ol' standby tweezer. With an angle of 50 degrees (and yes I did use a protractor) and super sharp tips, these are pretty much your starter tweezers. It's a no fuss no frills tweezer. Easy to grip and good for thicker hairs but not for the fine ones.

Mini Slant Tweezer (Stainless Steel with Enamel Color Finish)


Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezer

Mini Slant Tweezer (Stainless Steel with Enamel Color Finish): The Slant Tweezer and Mini Slant Tweezer both have the same 50 degree tip angle. I've gone back and forth about whether I like the enamel color finish and I do think I prefer the enamel color finish. The overall smoothness of the finish appeals to me. I couldn't discern a difference in performance between this and the original Slant Tweezer, the only differences are truly the price and size. If you are on a budget but still want a Tweezerman tweezer, try this out over the Slant Tweezer since it's $7.00 less.

Point Tweezer


Tweezerman Point Tweezers

Point Tweezer (Stainless Steel): For precision work, I don't think you can beat the point tweezer. This was my favorite tweezer for the stubborn fine hairs around my eyebrow -the ones I normally tackle with threading- and worked fantastically for the thicker eyebrow hairs. When I want to do daily touch ups on my brow, this is the one I reach for. I've been using this one the most and I can say the one that is my absolute favorite.

Satin Etched Zebra Slant Tweezer:

Tweezerman Satin Etched Zebra Slant Tweezers

Satin Etched Zebra Slant Tweezer (Stainless Steel): 

Available exclusively at Sephora stores and online. 

The angle of this is slightly straighter than the regular slant tweezer with a tip angle of 70 degrees and personally I think the near straight angle isn't as nice as the more slanted tweezers. This is still a nice tweezer, I just don't prefer the angle of the tip and I feel like the tips are a little too wide. I did like the finish of the tweezer where the satin etched part helped me grip the tweezer better but I don't necessarily think it's worth the extra $3.00 in price.

Pointed Slant


Tweezerman Pointed Slant Tweezers

Pointed Slant (Stainless Steel): 

Available in Sephora stores and online at Tweezerman.com and Sephora.com 

When I was testing all the tweezers, this originally was the frontrunner for being my favorite. The tips of the tweezer are much more slender than the other tweezers. I had loved that the angle of the tip is quite shallow, about 30 degrees which meant I could hold it at a more comfortable grip. The 20 degrees improvement over the regular Slant Tweezer makes a big difference because with this shallow angle and the sloping curve before the tip, I can rest it in between my thumb and index finger. 

I kept testing it though and I found that in order to get the entire length of the tip to touch fully, I had to press quite hard because of the way the tweezers curve before the tip. With the rest of the tweezers, I could just squeeze gently and the entire length of the tip would come together but the pointed slant requires me to press much harder. I included a picture so maybe you can see what I'm saying. You see how while the top of the tip touches, the rest doesn't? 


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This is more expensive than the regular slant tweezers at $25.00 but it requires more effort to use so I'd much rather stick to the original Slant Tweezers. The original Slant doesn't have quite as slender of a tip but it is sharp and very precise.

Final Thoughts

So what do I recommend when it comes to the tweezers? If you're on a budget, try out the Mini Slant Tweezer. If I had to pick my favorite, it was the Point Tweezer which works great on both the fine and thicker hairs. The Satin Etched Zebra Tweezer isn't bad but I don't like the angle of the tip and I felt disappointed in the extra effort I'd have to put into the Pointed Slant because I do worry that my fingers might get sore.

PS. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, if you're curious about keeping the sharp edge, Tweezerman also do free lifetime sharpening. You just ship your tweezer to them with the form available online (you pay to send it to them, they pay for return shipping) and you'll get newly sharpened tweezers in a few weeks.

 I tried to look around to guesstimate how long it would take for them to dull but there didn't seem to be a hard and fast time frame. I'd say that when it starts being difficult to use, send them to get sharpened! Also, it seems like people like to own two tweezers so they have one to use if they have to send the other one for tweezing. If you're pretty fastidious about your tweezing, that's a viable option.

Disclaimer: I received this product for review from the brand. All opinions are my own. None of the links in this post are affiliate links!

Milani Cosmetics Eyeshadow Primer - Review

Can I say it again how I've been so impressed with drugstore brands have really been stepping it up with their 2013 releases. The product lines really have been rivaling some of the more expensive mid to high end brands. It's so nice to find drugstore counterparts of some staple cosmetics so I'm happy to be reviewing the Milani Cosmetics Eyeshadow Primer. I also got the Ultrafine Liquid Eyeliner and Color Statement lipsticks to review in a bit (the shopping situation was a perfect storm for the Buy One Get One 50% off sale, $4 off $12 coupon, and my need for retail therapy!)

Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Where to purchase: Milani Cosmetics, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Kmart, Meijer, Fred Meyer, HEB, and Kroger
Price: $6.49 for .30 oz/ 9 milliliters 
Do they test on animals? They do not test on animals.
Packaging: The primer is in a gray squeeze tube with a nozzle tip and black cap. It's actually the same packaging as the OCC Lip Tars if you wanted to get an idea of the size.
Product Description: Intensifies and extends the wear of any shadow, over 8 hour wear. A lightweight invisible finish works on all skin tones. The primer helps provide a seamless canvas for eyeshadow application and minimizes creasing throughout the day. Makes any cream or powder eyeshadow long-wearing!

My Thoughts on the Formula/Performance

When it comes to eyeshadow primers, I'm looking for it to prevent creasing and the proof  of performance is really in the picture. The primer lived up to the 8 hour wear and beyond as I tested it for nearly 12 hours. I have naturally oily eyelids and I'm quite impressed with the results, there was a bit of fading on the inner corner and around the edges but there wasn't any creasing at all. The weather in SoCal has been heating up so I was able to put the eyeshadow through a little bit wear.


Milani Eyeshadow Primer 11 hours later

The texture of the eyeshadow primer actually reminds me of new Too Faced Shadow Insurance, it kind of has a thicker creamy, almost moussey consistency to it and does have an invisible finish on the lid. I specify new because after a few months, Too Faced Shadow Insurance separates and although you can shake it back together, it doesn't go back to the original texture. I haven't had the Milani primer long enough to report any consistency changes but I'll update the post if there ever is.

Compared to my Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Darling Girl Cosmetics Primped and Primed Eyelid Primer, the Milani primer doesn't grip the eyeshadow quite as well but it still intensifies the look of the eyeshadow. I'd say for loose eyeshadows, I still prefer my Primped and Primed Primer but for any other types or if I want to use a glitter fixative then the Milani Eyeshadow Primer works just as well. 

There are instructions on the back of the tube that suggests you wait 30 seconds for it to set before applying eyeshadows but I actually thought the primer got a better grip on the eyeshadows if I didn't wait.

Final Thoughts

If you're in the market for a drugstore eyeshadow primer that will prevent creasing, the Milani Eyeshadow Primer fits the bill. At CVS, they often have a Buy One Get One 50% deal or a Purchase $10 in Milani Cosmetics and get $3 Extrabucks deal so I'd probably hold out for one those deals before picking it up!

Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself. All opinions are my own and honest. None of the links in the post are affiliate links.

Venomous Cosmetics 2013 Collection Eyeshadow Swatches

Oops, this post is really really belated! These are the four loose eyeshadows and one pressed eyeshadow from the 2013 Collection. I've already reviewed the Lip Poisons from the collection so feel free to check it out here! This collection is limited edition and will be available until February 18th so you still have a few days to get it (This is under the Last Chance section!)

Where to purchase: Venomous Cosmetics
Price: 
  • For the loose eyeshadows: Samples are 1/4 tsp for $1.00 and full size is a 5 gram jar for $6.50. 
  • For the pressed eyeshadows: Samples are supposed to be about 1/2 tsp of eyeshadow in a 15mm pan for $2.00 and full size is a 26mm pan with about 1 tsp of eyeshadow for $6.50
Cruelty Free? They are cruelty-free.
Packaging: 
  • For the loose eyeshadows: Samples are packaged in a plastic ziploc bag and full sizes are packaged in a 5 gram jar with a sifter.
  • For the pressed eyeshadows: These are sold by the pan and are shipped in a plastic ziploc bag wrapped in bubblewrap
Swatches:

As always, these were swatched dry over Too Faced Shadow Insurance and pictures were taken in natural daylight.

Venomous Cosmetics 2013 Collection Eyeshadows Collage

Crowded Streets: "Pinky mauve with aqua sparks" 

Night of Lights: " Dark purple with pink sparkle" This is very very dark, almost black but there's a slight hint of purple.

Stand Out: "Silver with golden sheen" The color is a little sheerer but I think would make a great color for the inner corner or to blend colors out. 

The City: "Deep blue with purple sheen" My favorite of the collection. I didn't see the purple sheen as much but it was really packed with blue sparkles.

Pressed Eyeshadow: 


NYE: "Bright pink that leans magenta with lots of red and pink sparkle" This is a beautiful color but the texture was disappointing. It's quite hard in the pan so you need to really scrape at the surface to get enough onto your brush and although pretty, it was difficult to work with.

I really liked The City and Stand Out but was disappointed in NYE.

Disclaimer: I was sent samples of the loose eyeshadow and pressed eyeshadow to swatch and review. I was not compensated for this review and none of the links in the post are affiliate links.

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For all you couples, I hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day with your significant others! The boyfriend and I are super duper busy today with school but luckily I was able to see him for a little bit in the morning and we celebrated with homemade sushi on Tuesday (I'm not big into flowers or chocolate!). For all you single people, enjoy your Thursday!

Sugarpill Cosmetics Birthday Celebration Sale

Sugarpill Cosmetics* is celebrating its third birthday by having a sale today on Valentine's Day (2/14) with 20% off Pressed and Loose Eyeshadows (this includes the palettes and Chromalust trios!). No code necessary as the website will reflect the discounted price.

The pressed and loose eyeshadows are $9.00 after the discount. The palettes are $27.00 after the discount and the Chromalust trios are $24.00 after the discount. As there is a limited availability of products, your order may not ship until February 20th (keep that in mind before you shop!). I already got what I wanted from Sugarpill when I was at IMATS so I don't think I'll be making a purchase but do leave me a comment if you decide to get something!

sugarpill valentines 3

Disclaimer: The link marked with an asterisk plus the image contains an affiliate link that gives me a commission based off your use of the link when you make a purchase. As these are affiliate links, I am affiliated with Sugarpill Cosmetics but I've always loved the brand so the fact that I am affiliated with them shouldn't deter you from purchasing from them. Your use of the affiliate link helps to support the blog! Feel free to use a nonaffiliate link if you make your purchase!

Enkore Makeup 5ekz Ultra Conditioning Brush Soap Review

Washing brushes is probably the worst part of applying makeup and for people who have tons and tons of brushes, it's a tedious task. There's no real way to make washing brushes fun but you can make the process a little less painful by investing in something like this brush soap.

EnkoreMakeup, one of the most innovative DIY Beauty Youtubers I've ever seen, came out with this solid brush soap a little while ago. I had been attracted to the idea of a solid brush soap after seeing one done by BECCA but $15.00 was a bit too steep of a price for me and apparently it's discontinued so seeing this by Enkore for only $6.00 was a steal.

Enkore Makeup 5-ekz Brush Soap

Where to purchase: EnkoreMakeupOnline
Price: $6.00 for a 2.6 oz soap and it's about 2.5" in diameter and 1" tall.
Packaging: The soaps are shrink wrapped then wrapped in paper with a ribbon and sticker. 
Product Description: "Foaming, moisturizing, and formulated with five different conditioners, 5-ekz will render any makeup brush super clean, and super soft. Use on both Natural and Synthetic fibers."

The soaps come in fourteen scents: Unscented, French Lavender, Cantaloupe Melon, Patchouli, English Rose, Fresh Lemon, Apricot Freesia, Ylang Ylang, Gardenia (the scent I purchased), Tangerine, Mango, Jasmine, Pearberry, and Pomegranate. I love Gardenia but damn I got a smell of Apricot Freesia and that's on my list to get a soap of (which I will at The Makeup Show LA. 

(Honestly I'll have seen Enkore at IMATS LA, ISSE Long Beach, and The Makeup Show LA, I think he's going to think I'm weird for showing up in so many places that he's at >>)

The soap is embossed with a very cute and Enkore signature silhouette of him holding a brush. One side is the soap side, the other side has the loofah.

Enkore Makeup 5-ekz soap

My Thoughts on the Product

This brush soap is freaking awesome. It does what it claims to do, it cleans and conditions your brushes. A few of my brushes felt better after using the brush soap on them. I was afraid that the loofah side would be too harsh and rough on my brushes but it's actually not. The first few times you use the loofah side, it'll still be pretty gentle as there's a layer of soap covering it but as you keep using it, the loofah will become exposed and be a more efficient scrub for your brushes. I haven't found that using the loofah frayed my brushes though I do use brush guards to keep them in shape. The nice thing about the brush soap is that I feel like I use much less water when washing my brushes as I only need to rinse the brushes to get the soap off and I can have a bowl of water on the side to wet the brush when needed.

Using the brush soap is easy peasy. Simply wet the brush (the bowl of water on the side for this is perfect), build up the lather on the soap side and if you have brushes that need an extra clean, scrub around a bit on the loofah side, then rinse your brushes clean. You'll be tempted to swish your brush round and round to clean your brushes quickly, but it's all too easy to push the lather up into the ferrule which you don't want to do as it can ruin your brushes in the future.  To combat this, either hold the brush stationary and swirl the soap beneath or swish the brush slowly so you can see how far up the lather builds. 

The soap works well for gel liners though I think they're best to do last when there's already some lather buildup on the soap, it is easier to break down the gel liner that way. For lipstick and similar lip products, I think it's best to use the soap after you've used an oil to breakdown the lipstick first. I didn't think it was as effective at breaking down lipsticks on its own.

As for the scent, I honestly don't think you'll notice it and if you're a makeup artist using the brushes on your makeup clients, they probably won't either. I made the mistake of testing out my Sigma F88 (one of the Sigmax ultra dense synthetic brushes) with my Graftobian foundation (one of the most difficult foundations to wash out of brushes in my experience) so I had to really lather up the brush to get the foundation out of the dense fibers which left it slightly more scented. Even then, I had to literally jam the brush right into my nose to even smell it. Luckily though they do offer an unscented soap so I think to prevent any potential issues with clients and any sensitivity to fragrance, I'd get it unscented.

You do need to keep the soap dry so definitely get some sort of soap dish so it doesn't sit in water. I tried scoping out for tins to store it in but haven't been successful so maybe Enkore will come out with a storage tin for him (slotted in the bottom so the water can drain of course)

I did notice that Enkore will be coming out with a Pro Ultra Brush soap on the 15th with an essential oil blend of lavender, rosemary, lemon, and tea tree oils for "added conditioning, repair, treatment, aromatherapy, and antiseptic/antibacterial" purposes so some people might be interested in that!

Final thoughts

Get this, I mean it. Sometimes the issue of washing brushes falls to the wayside and though you can continue to use other shampoos, I think it's a wonderful addition to a collection. $6.00 is damn dirt cheap and it's extremely convenient to have the loofah on the underside to deep clean your brushes with. There are a nice variety of scents (I personally preferred Gardenia and Apricot Freesia so take that as you will) which I think will please most everyone and an unscented option for those of you who want to play it safe.

Plus I think it's nice to support something not only made in the US, but also someone who I've been watching for eons and eons. It's really nice to see the growth and success in Enkore and his endeavors and I've gained so much knowledge from him that purchasing a $6.00 brush soap of his is the least I could do (that and the Hot Oil Brush Treatment! Review coming soon)


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What do you guys use to wash your brushes? Have you considered the convenience of a solid brush soap?

Disclaimer: I purchased this brush soap myself. I am not being compensated for this review and am not affiliated with Enkore. I'd give these brush soaps out if I could because these are fab. All opinions are my own and honest.

Introduction to The Chequered Lily Apothecary: Eyeshadow Swatches and Review

A little while ago, I had a poll on the blog asking you guys what type of posts you'd like to see on the blog and the top pick was to feature more posts on indie cosmetics. I always feel a little conflicted when it comes to trying new indie companies; part of me is wary because I'm cheap, mediated by the other part of me (the part that justifies purchases as blogging material) that wants to be adventurous and to introduce you guys to new companies. It's technically the beginning of the Lunar New Year so it counts as a New Year's Resolution to try out more indie brands.

I asked for some recommendations on brands to try and a few people said to try out The Chequered Lily Apothecary. I scoped online for a few swatches and came across this set by Sirvinya. I saw swatches of the Pirates of the Caribbean inspired Pirates! Collection and was really drawn in. I purchased a Blogger set which included seven eyeshadow samples that I could pick and one picked by Kimberly, the owner. 

Where to purchase: The Chequered Lily Apothecary
Price: $4.00-$5.50 for sets of seven to ten samples and $6.50 for 1 gram full size.
Do they test on animals? They do not test on animals.
Packaging: Samples are packaged in a ziploc bag and full sizes are in a 5 gram jar with a sifter lid.
Vegan Options? The majority of the eyeshadows are vegan (I asked Kimberly the owner and she approximated about 85%!) and the vegan and non-vegan shades are all clearly marked in the title of the listings. All the shades I got today are vegan.
Order Minimum? No
Were they within turn around time? The etsy site listed that turn around time was within 3-5 business days and they did ship within that though I did note that on the specific sample listing I purchased from, it said samples ship within 72 hours. A little conflicting but I got my order within the time frame.

My Thoughts on the Formula

Man alive, I really like these eyeshadows. They reminded me of Aromaleigh eyehadows because these have an amazing sparkle to them, applied smoothly on, weren’t dry or chalky, and had intense pigmentation in one swipe. I've found that some indie eyeshadows require a primer underneath to look good but these applied nearly just as pigmented without a base or primer. I will say though that since Oxalis and The Black Pearl have so much sparkle to them, they do need something sticky to adhere the sparkle. I feel like the swatches on the listings kind of underestimate how well the eyeshadows actually perform but I do appreciate that the product photos of the eyeshadows are quite accurate.

 I’m a sucker for maroon/burgundy and gold so it’s no surprise that Captain Jack and Cursed Treasure were my favorites of the PoTC colors. Oxalis was also my next pick. At first glance, Oxalis might just look like a typical green with gold sparkle but the depth of the colors is almost indescribable.

Anyway, onto the swatches!

Swatches

As always, applied dry over Too Faced Shadow Insurance and pictures were taken in natural daylight.

The Chequered Lily Apothecary Collage 3

Captain Jack: "Sultry metallic rouge red with copper and bronze reflect" I'm absolutely in love with burgundy or maroon type colors. Around the edges of the shadows, you can see the hint of copper. Part of the Pirates! Collection.

Cursed Treasure: "Richest metallic blackened gold with bronze reflect and green gold glitter" When you see Cursed Treasure in the bag, you'll be immediately reminded of old gold coins, with that hint of bronze underneath the golden sheen. Part of the Pirates! Collection.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: "Rich blackened antique copper/bronze with bronze glitter" This actually reminds me of wooden hulls of ships. It's not super unique but I really liked the pigmentation of this. Part of the Pirates! Collection.

Neverwhere: "Warm, dirty pinked-grey with pink and gold reflect" In the bag, it looks like quite a boring beige but when worn on, it's got a beautiful pink reflect. It's sheerer compared to the rest of the batch, but still very pretty. I'd say this could be used as a transition color.

The Chequered Lily Apothecary Collage 2

Oakmoss: "Cool toned brown with golden green metallic sheen" I wish I could have captured how the gold sheen stood out against the brown base, it was so pretty. 

Oxalis: "Rich, grassy, clover green with loads of glittering reflects" This one does have the potential to stain your eyelid so be sure to wear a primer underneath. Lots of companies have been using this beautiful gold, almost flaky sparkle to their eyeshadows and I love each incarnation. The glittering gold contrasts with the green very well but to get the best adhesion, I'd wear this over a sticky base.

Stranger Tides: "Deepest shimmery green/teal blue with teal glitter" This one I'm just okay on with the color. I've seen a few companies do the dark blue base with teal sheen so it's not entirely unique but at least this one applied well. Part of the Pirates! Collection.

The Black Pearl: "Super sparkly blackened silver with silver reflect and holographic glitter" I wouldn't call this a blackened silver, it's more of a blackened grey with silver sparkles. Like Oxalis, to get the best adhesion, you need a more sticky base for the sparkles. Part of the Pirates! Collection.

Final thoughts

All in all, I'm really impressed. I'd like to try out more eyeshadows from them and it's quite economical that they offer sample sets so I can try out a variety of colors. I appreciate that they take efforts to take real life color accurate pictures of their eyeshadows though at first glance, the swatches do look underwhelming on the site. Oh and they're actually a local indie company (well local as in they're about 100 miles from me) from San Diego. I'm glad to be able to support a California business and this means that I'll get any future orders pretty quickly >>

Have you tried anything from The Chequered Lily Apothecary?

Disclaimer: I purchased these products myself. I'm not being compensated for this review and none of the links in the post are affiliate links. All options are mine and honest.

My ISSE Long Beach 2013 Experience/Haul

Oops, this post on ISSE Long Beach is two weeks late. My internet was down at home and I wasn't able to work on posts at school so this has been in the queue for quite some time but I'm finally getting to it. This was my first time going to the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach and I had a very very good time at the show. The show had an short opening day on Saturday then regular show hours on Sunday and Monday. I went on Saturday and Monday.

The conference was split into the arena and promenade, with the majority of booths in the promenade. It was almost overwhelming to see so many booths at the show. The show is geared more towards professionals, specifically ones specializing in hair, skin, and nails but I was still able to have a nice time there. I was hoping for the nail brands like China Glaze, OPI, and Zoya to feature more of their new releases but not many of them did. I was happy to be introduced to so many hair care brands. Since I cut my hair short, I've been looking for ways to take care of it by ensuring it stays healthy while still being fluffy and voluminous. It would be impossible to talk about all the brands and booths at the show, so I'll just feature some of the ones that stuck out to me and some pictures of the other booths.

I had the lovely pleasure of hanging out with Krissy/Addicted to All Things Pretty and Alyson/The Gloss Menagerie on both days I went. It's always nice being able to experience a show with people who are just an enthused about convention as you are. Be sure to check out their blogs!

Violet Voss

One of the first booths and purchase I made on Saturday was at the Violet Voss booth where Elessa/PurseBuzz and Koren/Enkore Makeup were. I didn't get anything from Pursebuzz but I did get one of Koren's Hot Oil Makeup Brush treatment for natural fiber brushes(which is available for sale now on his site!). I've been trying it out on a few brushes and have been really happy so far. I had purchased my brush soap in the scent "Gardenia" at IMATS but I got a whiff of the Apricot Freesia and I was in love. I'm hoping to get another one at The Makeup Show LA.

Enkore Makeup
NYX Cosmetics

I went to check out NYX, one of the few makeup brands at the show but was a little disappointed at the selection. I suppose I expected a really amazing booth from them, especially since they skipped IMATS LA but from what I could tell, they weren't selling nail polish which is weird since ISSE has a big emphasis on nails. Some of the products were heavily discounted but the rest were just one or two dollars off. I just went a few days ago and my ULTA amped up their NYX section so I picked a few things up (thankfully due to gift cards, a coupon, and the Buy One 50% Off sale)

Here's just a small section of their booth, with their pigments. 

NYX Cosmetics

BonBliss

I was scoping Alyson's Twitter when I saw her tweet pictures of BonBliss. I had to go there and oh my gosh the body scrubs are so cute and smell so good! They demoed one of the scrubs on me and my hand never felt so soft and smooth. I had to control my wallet and decided not to get anything (though that doesn't mean I won't get something in the future!). There are a few local places selling BonBliss so I'm sure I'll get my hands on it soon.

Bonbliss Beauty

Veil Cosmetics

I saw Veil Cosmetics at IMATS but in all the chaos, I didn't really get a chance to see what it is. I met the creator, Sebastian Tardif and it was so nice to hear about the product. At first, I thought it was like the YSL Touche Eclat but unlike the Touche Eclat, this is a combo of an illuminator and concealer. This is the first in their line of cosmetics so I'm curious to see how else they'll expand the brand. 

Veil Cosmetics

Azature

If you remember hearing stories about the Most Expensive Nail Polish in the World (worth $250,000, Azature is the company that makes it! They were exhibiting the infamous polish there alongside their more affordable $25.00 polish (each has contains one real black diamond). I saw them at the show but honestly, I think the glitter polishes aren't worth the gimmick.
Azature
I didn't spend too much time to explore OPI and Essie but I thought it was worth taking pictures of the rows and rows of polish.

OPI

OPI

Essie


Essie

and now My Haul!

Koren's Hot Oil Brush Treatment. I'm still in the midst of testing and reviewing it but things are looking good! Using the Hot Oil treatment in conjunction to his 5ekz Brush Soap has kept my brushes in fab condition (review on both coming up soon)

Enkore Makeup Hot Oil Brush Treatment

Konjac Sponges

One of the booths there were selling Konjac Sponges, which are these really strange looking fiber sponges. The black one is has bamboo charcoal in it which is supposed to help acne prone skin and the green one has aloe which is supposed to help with drier skin. You rehydrate them in water and use them to clean your face. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about them quite yet.


Konjac Sponge

Seche Restore

On Monday, Seche's booth reduced their price to clear their inventory and I managed to get this bottle of Seche Restore for only $2.00. I am a little annoyed though because the pipette included in the kit doesn't work at all so I had to scrounge around to find my old pipette. 

Seche Restore

I've still got my haul from IMATS LA to swatch and review so reviews on the Hot Oil Brush Treatment and Konjac Sponge will happen soon!

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Happy Lunar New Year! Yesterday was the start of the Lunar New Year. For me, it's the Vietnamese New Year or Tết, but other people will call it differently! If you follow me on Instagram (@ohmeohmai) you might have seen pictures from yesterday when I went to temple and some of the cool food I ate.

I hope this year will be a good year, next year is actually my year, the Year of the Horse! Have a nice week you guys!

Darling Girl Cosmetics: Skyfall Liquid Kiss Luxe Lip Swatch and Review

I can easily blame Arabelle at Fashion Pirate for getting me on the purple lips bandwagon. I was planning on getting OCC's Belladonna Lip Tar but of course it was discontinued so when I saw that Darling Girl was selling a purple lip gloss, this was the next best thing. 

(The photo of it in the clamshell isn't 100% accurate [it's a little too blue toned] but the lip swatch is accurate!)

Darling Girl Cosmetics Skyfall Liquid Kiss Luxe
Where to purchase: Darling Girl Cosmetics.
Price: $2.25 for a 1.5mL Try Me Size (these are purchased through a separate listing) and $5.25 for 3 mL. Technically you get a better value purchasing the try me sizes but there is a limit to (five per order) and if you prefer click pens, you have to purchase the full sizes. 
Cruelty Free? They are cruelty free as they do not test on animals.
Packaging: The Try Me Size comes in a mini lipgloss tube with a mini doefoot wand. The full sizes come in a click pen. I personally prefer doefoot applicators or applying with my fingers. I do believe you can put a note in your purchase asking for Satin Stain packaging (which is like a bigger version of the Try Me Size packaging) if you don't like the click pens.

Product Description: "Darling Girl Cosmetics lip glosses are thick, but never sticky.  Made with nourishing sweet almond oil, shea and cocoa butters for an awesome non-drying lip gloss."

My Thoughts on the Formula/Wear Time:

This is one of the semi-opaque lip glosses, the opacity described as being "not quite opaque but will more than likely cover your natural lip color" and this is pretty much right on.  I found that if you apply it with your fingers, you can get heavier coverage out of it, otherwise you can get a sheerer layer. On my lips it isn't 100% opaque but certainly something you can layer over other lipsticks for a nice finish. I've always been fond of Darling Girl's lip gloss formula, I find that they are quite moisturizing and last about three hours on me. They're not sticky on the lips. 

Skyfall is described as a "Creamy royal purple with lavender sparkles" and that's a dead-on description. It is a red toned purple as opposed to a blue-toned purple.

Swatch

Skyfall was applied on my lips with my finger and the picture taken in natural daylight.

Darling Girl Cosmetics Skyfall

Do you like the looks of Skyfall or purple lips in general? I know this year's Pantone Color of the Year is Emerald so maybe the next thing will be green lips!


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I wasn't able to post as much this week because my internet was down at home and I wasn't able to coordinate posts with my laptop. Regular posting will hopefully resume soon! I've got to post about ISSE Long Beach, my reviews on the stuff I bought there and at IMATS, plus more! 

I hope everyone in the colder areas of the US stays safe. It actually hailed here in Long Beach which was so surprising, it's probably the closest this area will get to snow. Stay warm and bundled up!

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box Eyeshadow Swatches and Review

The Nordstrom Rack near my house had a great stash of cosmetics so when I saw this Deluxe Shadow Box, I knew I had to get it. It feels a little bittersweet to review this since I like the eyeshadow formula but it's been discontinued. I haven't really tried out the new regular eyeshadow formula so I'm hoping that it's as good as the deluxe eyeshadows. You can still get this on Urban Decay's website though for only $19.00 (a great value!)

Urban Decay is also on Hautelook* where the Deluxe Shadow Box is being sold for $16.00. You can also get the individual deluxe eyeshadows for $6.00 each!

If you're not into purchasing from Urban Decay, my friend Judi at Judixo is actually giving away this palette. If you like the looks of this, enter for your chance to win at her blog. (click here!) Her giveaway ends on the 8th!

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box


Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box


Where to purchase: Urban Decay, Hautelook
Price:  Nine eyeshadows at 1.2 grams/ .04 oz each or 10.8 grams total for $19.00
Cruelty Free? They are cruelty-free.
Packaging: The nine eyeshadows are in a velvet covered case with a magnetic closure. It also comes with two sponge tip applicators. 

You also get a mini Urban Decay Primer Potion but mine was a little dried out.

My Thoughts on the Formula/Wear Time:

I found the eyeshadows to be quite nice, the ones that were the most pigmented and smooth were Peace and Zero. They've got this beautiful metallic sheen to some of the colors too. Compared to the old original eyeshadow formula, they felt a little softer. I don't own any of the deluxe eyeshadows in the singles so I can't compare how similar or different the eyeshadows are in the palette. I was happy to see that Zero wasn't a weak black, it was bold and smooth. Random wasn't as strong as the rest of the colors but it's a little typical of purples; Graffiti also could have been a little more pigmented. I loved that they balanced the brighter tones with colors like Honey, Shag, Scratch, and Underground. 

For $19.00, I don't think you can go wrong by getting the palette. You get 10.8 grams or .48 oz of eyeshadows at a value of about $98.00. At $19.00 now, you're getting an 80% discount basically over the value of the palette.

Swatches

All swatches done dry over Urban Decay Primer Potion. Pictures taken in natural daylight. 

urban decay deluxe shadow box row 1 collage

Fishnet: "Iridescent purple"

Honey: "Glistening gold"

Ransom: "Vibrant purple"


urban decay deluxe shadow box swatches

Graffiti: "Bright green"

Zero: "Smoking black"

Peace: "Shimmering turquoise"


urban decay deluxe shadow box swatches

Shag: "Tan shimmer"

Scratch: "Champagne pink shimmer"

Underground: "Medium fawn"

Final thoughts

This is well worth the $19.00 price tag. I think the eyeshadows are a little softer than their regular formula but I'm not sure how it comapres to their new formula. Some of the colors were unfortunately discontinued when Urban Decay switched over to their new formula. Graffiti and Random weren't as great compared to the rest but were still quite good!

Did you ever try out the Urban Decay Deluxe eyeshadows? If you have, do you know how they compare to the new eyeshadow formula?

Disclaimer: I purchased this myself and I'm not being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and honest. The link marked with an asterisk is an affiliate link that gives me a credit to Hautelook based on your use of the link. The widget at the top of the post is a paid insert from Blogher, it has no relation to the content of this post.

Beauty Blog Coalition Valentine's Day $450 Visa Card Sweepstakes

The ladies of the Beauty Blog Coalition have teamed up to host another sweepstakes for our readers! The Beauty Blogger Coalition Valentine's Day Sweepstakes begins today 1 February at 12:00 AM Midnight CST and ends 15 February 12:00 AM Midnight CST. Open internationallyOne winner will receive a $450 USD Pre-Paid Visa Gift Card! 

 All terms and conditions may be found at the bottom of the Rafflecopter widget. Please allow the widget to load in full. You may enter on any of the participating blogs below – Rafflecopter will not allow you to enter twice. You can also tweet about the giveaway every day!

Be sure to check out the participating blogs and enter in the Rafflecopter Widget below!

Fellow Bloggers:

Aquaheart's Obsessions 
Beauty and Fashion Tech 
BeautyTidbits 
Blushing Basics 
Blushing Noir 
Cosmetics Aficionado 
Emily Hudspeth, hair design and makeup artist 
FutureDerm
Glamorous Mama
Lawless Lacquer 
Love For Lacquer 
Madame B Fatale 
Midnight Manicures 
MinaSlater.com - Fabulous Awesomeness 
Moxie Reviews
My Beauty Bunny 
My Highest Self 
Peek & Ponder 
Phyrra 
Polarbelle 
polish insomniac 
PolishGalore 
Portrait of Mai 
Prime Beauty
The Crow and the Powderpuff 
TheFabZilla 

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