Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer

This is the concealer to my current favorite foundation.I had high hopes going in because of how much I love the Rainforest of the Sea Foundation. Did I get lucky enough to find exactly what I had been hoping for?

Well… the truth is half and half. I will say that Tarte did an excellent job of making the formula thick enough to be recognized as a concealer without losing its identity as being from the Rainforest of the Sea collection.

The coverage is amazing and it goes on like a dream. It’s smooth, hydrating (perfect for under the eyes) and looks natural. Sometimes concealers can be a little too strong, we get it, you want to cover up, but you also compromise the look of skin looking like skin. This is a great balance between being able to  conceal and still seeing the texture and look of your own skin.

The applicator is one of my favorite things about this product. It’s thick, kind of chunky and is able to hold a lot of concealer. This is ideal for when you are in a rush; with a lot of other concealers the applicator is quite thin, so you end up making many skinny lines. In one swipe or applying a dot or two I can have the entirety of my under eye area taken care of. It’s nice to have something in your routine that you don’t have to think about and this is one of those things. It doesn’t have to be precise and it goes so quickly it will feel like you skipped a step.

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All this is just peachy, but there is one thing I’ll mention about this that I wasn’t that excited about. The smell. It’s not even that it’s strong, which it is, it’s the nature of the smell. It comes off as something derived from chemicals. It reminds me of Wite-Out or something similar. I’m not sure what’s causing that smell and why it is present in the concealer and not the foundation, but it is not exactly pleasant.

I’m not sure if it’s the shape of the bottle or what, but it does seem like you get a better deal than with the skinnier tubes of concealer.

Bottom line:I like the performance, but not the smell. How important is the smell of something for you?

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How To: 90s Dark Lips

If you were born in the 90s like me, the last thing you probably thought would happen would be growing up and taking cues on makeup from then. I don’t really know if I even thought about what makeup would be like when I got older, but I kind of like this throwback. It’s simple and bold at the same time. If you’re not sure how to pair a dark brown shade of lipstick then keep reading.

I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t until recently that I got on the bandwagon with this makeup trend. I didn’t want to go the whole Kylie Lip Kit route and the idea of getting a brown lip color didn’t excite me at all. It was almost like those colors you used to scan over because they were “boring.” Now I’d venture to say that those colors are interesting, they are deep and uncommon. It’s not the classic red, pink or nude. After experimenting I’ve come to realize two very key elements in being able to pull of this look:

  1. Choice of blush
  2. Keeping things matte

 

  • What you choose to put on your cheeks can either bring the look together or tear it apart. I don’t think I’ve come across a family of lip colors that require the amount of care as with these grungey browns. Keep it neutral. Keep it in the same group of earthy reds or terracotta you can also substitute the blush for a chocolatey brown bronzer. Now’s not the time for bright pinks.

 

  • Keeping the rest of your makeup matte is kind of a shortcut to making the look appear authentic. If you were embellish anywhere, use a little highlighter just on the cheekbones.

 

Thankfully matte lip glosses and creams exist, in my opinion these last really well and don’t dry your lips out as much as you might imagine.

Now it’s up to you! Go out and try it, you never know you might like it. There’s lots of inspiration from celebrities of past and present if you get stuck.

Some of my favorite looks :

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Styled by Hrush Palette Review

This palette’s release was perfectly timed. It’s late summer and all the colors perfectly compliment sun-kissed skin. It’s limited edition so that brings an extra bit of excitement.

Who’s Hrush? She’s probably most well known for being one of the makeup artists of the Kardashians. After doing a little reading up on her I really admire her take on makeup itself, as she promotes on her site: I consider each face as an open canvas, I am a strong believer that makeup is art. Every face is beautiful in its own unique way. Absolutely.

To the palette! The colors remind me of a sunset. They are warm golds, peaches and browns. Then there’s a wine color that really sets it apart from all others.

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If you’re familiar with Tarte and follow their palettes the first eyeshadow Bliss reminds me a lot of the highlighter from the Swamp Queen Palette called Gator Wings. Bliss is a little more intense and a little more yellow. It’s a beautiful yellow light gold.

Smitten is a warm beige gold it’s got a really nice sheen to it, applies very smoothly.

Royal is in my opinion the color that makes the whole palette. It is a deep burgundy wine color, but that description doesn’t do it justice. It is a color I haven’t seen anywhere else. I can’t wait to incorporate it into everything I’ll wear in the upcoming weeks.

Pinch just goes over the line of being a light cantaloupe matte shade. At a glance it looks matte, but there is a little something in there to make it sort of a dull pearl finish.

Kitty is a really nice matte cocoa brown. Great subtle crease color.

Vamp‘s a cool, ashy light brown (think a color you’d see used as a brow powder)

Last, but certainly not least is the blush, Cheeky. It’s a coral, but definitely more on the orange side of coral. It makes for the perfect pop of unexpected color on the face. It appears to suit any skin tone which is another plus.

Luckily all six shadows and blush is only $30. Not a bad deal! It’s Tarte quality mixed with Hrush’s style.

 

 

Absolute New York Illuminating 3D Liquid Highlighters Review

These are two really beautiful highlighters, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.

The two liquid highlighters I’ll be reviewing are Spot Light and After Glow. I’ve gotten so behind powder highlighters lately and I really wanted to switch it up and use a liquid highlighter.

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Swatches Indoor/Outdoor

Spot Light- Spot Light reminds me a lot of High Beam by Benefit, only maybe a little more pink. Needless to say I thought it was absolutely gorgeous when I first swatched it. It had just the right amount of sparkle without being glittery.

When I went to try it out on my face I didn’t do a normal face routine because I really wanted the highlighter to be the focus. I applied a light coat of foundation and applied the highlighter with my finger distributing it in little dots. Much to my dismay it completely melded with my foundation. I thought I just needed to apply more, but it didn’t seem there was any amount that I could apply that would create the look of a quality highlighter. I’ll say my face looked less flat that if I had just left it with plain foundation, but that’s about it. It came out a little bit better on the bridge of my nose than my cheekbones.

After Glow- I was slightly more excited with this highlighter because at least this one has a color, so there was some evidence of putting it on. Again my high hopes had been let down as I applied the product. It didn’t have much of a highlighting effect. I see myself having more use for this one because it works as a blush.

For both of these I have to say I was very disappointed. I checked on their site on how to apply them and it reads “Use alone as a liquid highlighter on the high-points of the face for a strobing effect, or mix in with your favorite bases for luminous complexion.” The only way I believe one might get the most out of them would be to use them on their own with pretty much a bare face.

Review: Tarte Swamp Queen Palette

Lately Tarte has really been batting a thousand.This palette is part of a wave of great Tarte products that are rightly well sought-after.  In case you missed my last post on more Tarte gold :Tarte Foundations: Amazonian Clay vs Rainforest of the Sea )

The outside doesn’t prepare you for what’s inside. My guess was that it would be something rustic. The packaging has a wood look, complete with the grooves that come with actual wood. There’s an alligator on the front and gold along the sides and in the lettering. My guess was a lot of muddy browns, swampy greens and earth tones. I was wrong, everything was light, glittery and smelled sweet.

This palette comes with nine eyeshadows, a highlighter, blush and bronzer, so it’s an eye and cheek palette.

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Cheeks: The first cheek color is the bronzer named “Sweet Tea” which I thought was a pretty clever name. It’s a warm, sort of orangey bronzer. When I say it’s orangey it’s pretty orangey. Although it has chunks of glitter, once the first couple of applications it’s worn down to be a matte color.

“Does This Thing Really Work?” is the blush in the palette. It has some gold chunks of glitter, which I’m not overly excited about, but also not too bothered by. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite blush on its own, but it does compliment the bronzer well.

The highlighter (“Gator Wings”) is a glittery light champagne gold it’s pretty strong, so it’s perfect for all the highlighter lovers or people really into strobing. Using the highlighter, blush and bronzer all in one look is a lot. I can’t see myself using more than two at one time.

Eyes: Other than “Big Baby” which is a pretty bland color, but also a necessary one, all the colors are useful and distinct. The colors work very well together because they are all plums and warm oranges. “Mancat” and “Sippy Sippy”,the two darkest plum colors work flawlessly together. “Natural Peaches” is a nice matte peach color which offers a nice change to anyone looking for a subtle way to add something to the standard crease color. “Sassy Bun” reminds me of a slightly darker “Half Baked” from Urban Decay, which is a color I have never gotten tired of. “Haunting” is the color my eyes first gravitated to when I opened the palette, I’m not sure why, but I absolutely loved the combination of gray, plum and shimmer they packed into one color. However, the more I used it I found it to dull as I packed it down when getting color onto my brush. If I see it in the sun I can see some of what I saw when I first opened it and first used it, but it’s faded and that’s disappointing. “Uncommon” is a color I can agree on the name, it is uncommon color. It is in that same family of gray/plum that is rare and hard to get without going too much in one direction. The burnt sienna color of the palette is “Dogman” there are a few pieces of glitter, but they are pretty subdued. Lastly, there’s “#SFS” which is a light tan color made for understated eye looks.

This palette comes with a decent lid brush. Sometimes when they go all out on the makeup they just throw any old brush in just to say they did. For me, this really leaves an impression, I feel like I’m getting a much better product when the brush included matches the quality of the makeup itself. The top half of the palette is a mirror that reads “Believe in yourself. Love yourself. Embrace your Individuality.”

It’s a pretty palette, the only worry I have is wondering how certain colors will fare over time. If you’re currently waiting for the Swamp Queen palette, I can safely say that you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Bigger Eyes With Makeup

Have you ever wished you had bigger eyes? Generally when you when you want to accentuate a feature another route is to make it bigger to stand out. 

 

In just a few minutes you can get your eyes to really pop. Prep and prime your eyes as you normally would and let’s start.

  • Curl your lashes. This will already make a difference in opening your eyes up.
  • Line your waterline with white eyeliner. (Upper waterline is optional)
  • Apply a nude shimmery color onto lid, stopping at the crease.20160226_143836.jpg
  • Taking the same color (my go-to color for this is “YDK” from Urban Decay) and go under the eye and smudge it out, by doing this you are extending where your appears to end. The color replicates an actual shadow formed by your eye and lashes.
  • Take a matte black and go in just at the outer crease. Blend slightly in, but not up
  • Highlight your brow bone and the inner corners of your eyes. (Brow bone can be highlighted with a matte color, but it looks best if the inner corners are iridescent. .
  • Mascara. Nothing adds to this look like mascara. Upper and lower lashes and lots of it, make sure to get all the small lashes on the inner and outer eye.

There you have it! Your eyes should look bigger and brighter than before.

Review: Urban Decay Eyeshadow

Sellout, ACDC, Mushroom, all colors I’ve bought separately several times over because of how they consistently look good and provide great results.

These shadows all have a metallic quality even when they aren’t the classic metallic colors. They are smooth and rich. I remember on the description they were said to be velvety, and they are just that. One of the things I look for with eyeshadow (other than the color) is the consistency. How does it feel? If you’re going to be wearing it you’ll at least want it to feel nice. I have experienced scratchy eyeshadows before hard as it is to believe. They are out there.

Another great thing about Urban Decay shadows is that you can layer them without killing the colors. Layering won’t dull the two or three colors you’re bringing together to some sort of jumbled mess and color that doesn’t resemble any color specifically. You can blend safely knowing they will look as bright and possess the quality each of the individual colors have on their own.

Any color you need you can find with Urban Decay eyeshadows. They have such a huge range and variety. Whether you’re into neutrals or neons you’ll have no problem tracking it down.Urban Decay was the first eyeshadow I ever used. Am I partial to it because of that? Could be, but at the same time since then I’ve used a lot of other eyeshadows and no other brand has the feel and has me coming back the way this one does.