Sunday, December 20, 2015

Review: Jeffree Star Cosmetics' 2015 Holiday Collection

It's been quite a busy time for me these past few weeks with the Holidays coming to an end, dealing with some family issues and work. I've not had as much time to blog or even rest, but here I am coming with a new review just in time for the holidays! I have the Velour Liquid Lipsticks from Jeffree Star Cosmetics' holiday collection!

***Scroll to the bottom of the page to read an overall summary of the review and skip the fine detail.
For those who may not know- Jeffree Star Cosmetics is an indie make-up company started by pop star, Jeffree Star. His launch of liquid-to-matte lipsticks, called Velour Liquid Lipsticks, have been a smash hit in the beauty community and are now sold at Beautylish and Morphe! The company has only been around for slightly over a year now since they launched on Black Friday of 2014 and this is the first holiday collection for the brand!
[left to right: Ho Ho Ho, Mistletoe, Drug Lord, Doll Parts]

There were 5 lipsticks originally released exclusively for the holidays. I was only able to get my hands on 4 of the 5, but best believe I tried my hardest to get all of them! The first time they were released I was at work, so I wasn't able to get my hands on them. The next release, I was only able to get 4 of the 5 and the final release sold out so fast that I failed to get the "Androgyny" which was the last shade I needed. But the show must go on! Each lipstick was $18 and that's the regular price of these Velour Lipsticks. The packaging was specially made white with rose gold accent, which differs from the normal bright pink packaging with gold accent.
[swatches of the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Holiday Collection]

Left to Right
  • Ho Ho Ho
  • Mistletoe
  • Drug Lord
  • Doll Parts
[shade: Ho Ho Ho in natural light]

"Ho Ho Ho" is described as a "fierce, deep toned red with hints of metallic red and purple". My personal take is that it's a deep, berry red with tiny flecks of purple and red glitter. I tried my hardest to capture the glitter, but to no avail, I could not get it to show up with my camera and using the flash didn't help either. Even when the lipstick is on the lips it is hard to detect the glitter, which is nice for those who are not into glitter and shimmer. However, I'm a fan of glitter make-up and I was hoping to finally have a liquid lipstick that had glitter in it, but this was not the case. It's a beautiful red and perfect for the holidays, but not the most unique or special color out there. If there was one color to skip in this collection I would say this is it, just because there are so many red lipsticks out there and most of us have one similar or probably an exact dupe. I almost skipped on this one at first, but when I couldn't get Androgyny I said "what the heck!" and bought it anyway. I certainly do not regret buying it though and I will wear the heck out of it! The color performs well and lasts me a good 8 hours if I'm not eating or drinking. This shade is super pigmented and only needs 1 layer for opaque coverage.

***I have the original red shade released from this collection that's called "Redrum" and I can personally vouch that "Ho Ho Ho" is much more cool toned and much deeper of a shade!
[shade: Mistletoe in natural light]

"Mistletoe" is described as "true Christmas tree green matte". It is definitely a matte green, but when I think of a Christmas tree I think of a dark green or an evergreen color. To me this is a true green. I love it! I know LA Splash has made green shades of matte lipstick before, but I'm not a fan of that company. To me, this is the first real green liquid lipstick on the market and of course only Jeffree Star is bold enough to go there! I sincerely am thrilled with this color and will be sad once it runs out, since it is limited edition, but I keep hope that it will make a comeback one day. This shade lasts pretty well. The most I have worn it without touching it up is 4 hours, but I did eat food at these times. Food will always wreck liquid lipstick, especially if it's oily. I personally experienced this shade to be well pigmented, but still needs about 2 or 3 layers for full coverage.
[shade: Drug Lord in natural light]

"Drug Lord" is described as a "matte white" and that's exactly what it is. This is the first ever matte white liquid lipstick on the market and while some shied away from it because of it's bold nature, I couldn't get my hands on it fast enough! I saw the sneak peaks over the summer from Jeffree Star's Instagram and from that moment I eagerly awaited it's release! There's so much one can do with a pure white lipstick! Everything from using it as a mixer to cosplay options - this was definitely something I needed in my make-up wardrobe. Because of its light-colored nature, it does take about 3 layers to get it opaque. I found it best to wait until this shade dries completely before adding more layers. A great tip for this shade and other lighter shades is to pat on color in areas that need more coverage rather than continuously slathering on more layers all over, as this will give a smoother finish and waste less product. Drug Lord will emphasize any dry patches or dead skin on the lips, so exfoliating to the fullest is a must with this lippie! Once this white has dried, it stays put! I hope Jeffree Star Cosmetics will release this again in the future, because when I run out I will definitely want more! In my personal opinion, this should be part of the permanent collection.
[shade: Doll Parts in natural light]

"Doll Parts" is described as a "cool toned pink". It is cool toned, but I was surprised at how mauve it is when I received it. All of the pictures on Instagram made this shade look much pink-er than it really is. I do have quite pigmented lips, which would help deepen the shade, but this in itself is definitely more of a browned pink, aka mauve. I do like it and it's great for an every day color. I have found myself wearing these to work parties I've attended with my finace, since it isn't too flashy for those black tie moments, but it doesn't have much of a holiday feel. It seems more like something that would be a regular release for this company, but it is still a nice shade. It's very pigmented and only needs 1 layer for opaque coverage! It stays put after drying and dries fast. Minimal touch-ups are needed.

Final Verdict
I have never been disappointed in Jeffree Star Cosmetics' Velour Liquid Lipsticks. The formula speaks for itself! They are pigmented and creamy. They do not dry out the lips and they stay put for up to 8-12 hours. They dry down matte like they're suppose to and look amazing. Not to mention the unique colors they come up with! - As for the holiday collection. I think it's a great first go at a holiday collection. It was a bit frustrating with the online ordering and the limited supply versus the number of people who tried to buy these. Even with the lipsticks being sold on 2 other sites it was still hard to get! However, that's the only bad thing I can say about the collection. The lipsticks themselves are all greatly pigmented and perform like champions! The only question you should have is: What color do I want?

Androgyny Update- It was announced on the final release date of this collection that Androgyny will be a permanent shade in the collection after so many were bummed that they could not get it and it sold out so fast! It will return in February 2016 in the regular pink and gold packaging. I will definitely be trying to get my hands on it!

Doll Parts update- It is a rumor as of right now that Doll Parts may be part of the permanent collection in the future. No dates or a future release have officially been announced, however.

Stock Update
  • As of right now all holiday shades are sold out on Drug Lord & Doll Parts are still listed on the site, despite being sold out. Mistletoe and Ho Ho Ho have been removed.
  •  Beautylish still has Mistletoe in stock. All other shades are out of stock, but still listed.
  • Morphe still has Mistletoe in stock. Doll Parts and Ho Ho Ho are out of stock, but still listed. Drug Lord has been removed from their listings.
Other Products Used:
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation - foundation
  • MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother - face primer
  • Too Faced "Shadow Insurance" - eye primer
  • Tarte "Tarlette Palette" - brows
  • Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte bronzer - contour
  • MAC "Ocean City" - blush
  • Too Faced Chocolate Bar "Salted Caramel" - crease color
  • MAC Electric Cool eyeshadow "Super Watt" - all over lid color
  • It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette "Love" - upper crease blend color
  • It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette "Pearl" - inner eye color
  • Tarte Tarlette Palette " Best Friend" - outer corner and crease color
  • Tarte Clay Pot Liner "Black" - upper lid liner
  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Closeup Liner - bottom lash liner
  • It Cosmetics Hello Lashes - mascara
  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Statement Mascara - mascara

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Review: Josie Maran Decadent Bliss Holiday Set

Excuse my brief absence and sparse posts. As, I stated before, the holidays are a busy time in general, but it's exceptionally busy for those of us in retail!
I'm reviewing the "Decadent Bliss" 2015 Holiday gift set from Josie Maran today. It's available exclusively at QVC. This originally debuted as a Today's Special Value (TSV) for $69.96.

***Scroll to the bottom of the page to read an overall summary of the review and skip the fine detail.

FYI: QVC is an at home shopping channel that is available on cable and satellite services. The company also has a website where you can purchase all their current deals, recently aired products, and other inventory. A "TSV" is a 1 time only price of a product that is put up for 24 hours or sometimes a few days longer before the tv launch if it is in high demand. The price is usually quite discounted and they often offer "Easy Pay". (Easy Pay is simply the total price of a product, including shipping and tax, divided into equal payments through a certain number of months in which you have to pay it off. The number of months depends on the products and what QVC is offering.)
The gift set included: 
  • 1.7oz bottle of Argan Oil (full size bottle)
  • .5oz bottle of Argan Oil
  • 8oz jar of Whipped Argan Oil (full size)
  • 2oz jar of Whipped Argan Oil
  • 5oz jar of Divine Drip (full size & new)
  • 8.3oz bottle of Argan Cleansing Oil (full size)
I'd just like to note- As always, QVC products are packaged and arrive in good and safe conditions. They're always packaged so the products are not loose or shifting and there's no risk of damage. I never feel worried or scared to order liquid or fragile products from QVC.
For anyone who might not know, Josie Maran was a model who stumbled across the secret of Argan oil and it's ability to hydrate the skin well and help slow down the signs of aging. The Josie Maran brand is one of the few brands that actually offers pure Argan Oil and first press only Argan oil! It's also fair labor and fair trade. 
I was already a fan of the Josie Maran Argan Oil before I bought this set and it includes full size and travel size bottles. I had gotten a bottle as a gift and LOVED it! I saw a dramatic difference in whichever part of my body I used it on! It didn't matter if it was my face, body, or hair, because it all was improved by the oil. The only down side of using this brand is that it's $58 a bottle, which is significantly more than most brands on the market. However, like I said before, they supply only pure Argan Oil and only first press oil, but it's still a high cost. I've used other brands, but have yet to be as satisfied as I am with Josie Maran. So, when I saw this TSV, I had to jump on it! The total value of this set is $181, so snagging it at the TSV price was amazing, because the savings was far greater than half of the value!
This particular gift set debuted a couple of new things. The Argan oil is actually the only product in the set that is not new or altered. The world wide launch of "Divine Drip" was premiered in this set. Divine Drip is a combination of whipped Argan oil and honey. It's quite thick. Much thicker than the original Whipped Argan Oil. It has a slight yogurt-like scent, but it's not very noticeable. Once it is applied to the body there is no scent. 
As you can see from the pictures, it is too thick to simply just pick up with fingers without digging into it. The instructions read to apply to damp skin after a shower and I will agree that it is the best method. This is not a product that is meant to be used any time. Instead, this product is best used to lock-in moisture and repair damaged skin. This product would be great for those who have dry skin problems or problem areas like the elbows or knees where dry patches often occur. It will be a great product during the winter time and for those who put their bodies through harsh/drying conditions. I first applied this after a shower at night and when I woke up I noticed smooth skin and the rough patches on my knees were gone. It does not give the silky feeling of the original Whipped Argan Oil, but it does give smoothness, healing, and repairing properties to the skin.
The Whipped Argan Oil, which is a body butter-type product has been around for several years now. What is new about this product in this particular set is that it's now scented. Josie Maran debuted her "Caramel Apple" scent in this gift set and 3 of the products come with the scent. The big and small Whipped Argan Oil in both the original size and travel size were 2 of the scented products. The formula is the same and works wonders! It makes the skin feel like silk and can be used as much as needed all over the body. Unlike the Divine Drip, the skin does not need to be moist from water or bathing to use it. 

The scent is not exactly what most would initially think of with the title "Caramel Apple", but it is pleasing. It smells like Fresh Apple with subtle notes of caramel.
The Argan Cleansing Oil is not new either, but it is the third product that debuted in the set with the Caramel Apple scent. This is the first time I had ever tried the Cleansing Oil. It does not lather at all, which gives me a lot of relief. So many natural products on the market today claim not to have Sodium Laureth Sulfate in them, yet they have similar or other detergents in them which can bother the skin. When using this, I felt much better about my skin not be stripped or damaged. However, if you are use to having that lather, this might be a drastic change for you. The cleansing oil requires a bit more use of the product than soaps that do lather, because it doesn't foam and spread like the others. The oil leaves me feeling clean and smooth and it's really great for winter and times when the skin is dry. It is not overly oily though, so no oily residue is left behind and there's no worry about being greasy. 

As for the scent, I found it to be different then the Whipped Argan Oil. There's no Caramel notes in the Cleansing Oil, it's basically just a Fresh Apple smell. I like the scent, but it's not as advertised. The scent does only last while on the body. Once it's washed off the scent goes away, which I enjoy, since I tend to used scented lotions and perfumes afterwards and prefer not to mix scents.

Final Verdict
This is a great value! It's total retail value, if bought separately, would be $181. While it can no longer be purchased at the debut TSV price, it is currently only $10 more then the TSV price. It's on sale at QVC for $79.96 and available for 3 Easy Payments. They are having a lot of specials on and off weekly with 4-6 easy payments too, so look out for those if you're needing a little extra help this season with money. The products are exceptional and the quality speaks for itself. The scent is nice and something new to the brand, but an unscented option is available. I picked up the Auto Delivery option when I ordered it as a TSV and that means I'll be getting this same set but in different scents throughout the year. While I don't see that option available now, keep an eye on the QVC site throughout the year, because sometimes they have leftovers or a larger inventory of the Auto Delivery sets throughout the year that can be purchased separately. If you're looking for something to nourish the skin and body that is also safe and free from parabens and harsh chemicals, this is definitely a great natural option from a company that does not harm people to get their products to you. As the skin ages, it needs help locking in moisture and staying hydrated and Argan Oil is a great way to boost those needs! These products help with moisture and anti-aging without making you feel greasy and oily. This brand does not have values like this often, usually only about twice a year, so if you're a fan or wanting to try this out I would definitely suggest getting on it before the holiday season is over!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: Sugarpill's Pumpkin Spice

Normally, whenever I see a medical-looking cross, I get a queasy feeling. However, when it's colored pink and inside a heart, I feel elated! -It's the sign of a Sugarpill package!
I scroll through Instagram, daily -and by "daily" I mean like 4x's a day......sometimes more....... Anyway, as most of you beauty lovers know, Instagram is a great place for finding the latest news on cosmetics favorites! Sugarpill announced a knew limited edition eyeshadow coming out on their Instagram page and followed with swatches just hours later. The shade was called, "Pumpkin Spice", and it looked like metallic fall gorgeousness! The shade was officially released 2 days later only on their website and sold out by the end of the day. Trust me, I made sure to order mine the second it was announced. It was $12, which is the cost of a permanent Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow. While, I will say this was not the fastest selling item in history, like I said before, it did sell out by the end of the day.
I ordered my eyeshadow on November 4 and it arrived November 12. In the past, when I have ordered from Sugarpill, my package arrived in less than 7 days. I'm not sure if this was due to increase in sales or the fact that most of their staff headed to Sydney, Australia for IMATS Sydney, but it was longer than usual to get my eyeshadow. However, it wasn't out of the ordinary long, so I can't really complain. I'll also note that in every order I have received I have always gotten a free sample of one of their loose shadows and this time I did not. Again, not really sure why. 
[swatched in natural light]

The color swatches beautifully! The picture above is just 1 stroke! It is amazingly pigmented! The photo is in natural lighting.

Sugarpill describes the shadow as: 
[A] shade of rustic copper foil with warm golden flecks in a super saturated, rich and creamy formula that applies like butter.
The description of the color is accurate. It is a deepened copper with gold glitter in it. Although when applied, the copper color appears a little lighter than in it's pressed form in the pan. The application is not exactly what Sugarpill says it is though.
[lid color: Sugarpill's Pumpkin Spice]

I don't want to scare anyone away from this shadow, because the application just needs a little tweaking. First off, this shadow is almost what I would consider a "foil" shadow, although it's not quite as smooth as a foil. The shadow lifts onto a brush in pieces and the pieces themselves are like foil, but because it isn't seamless I can't actually categorize this as a Foil. Sugarpill as a company calls this a "metallic" shadow, but they don't list it as a Foil either. 

I recommend tapping off the access, because you will have some on your brush and not doing so may result in it falling onto the face. Next, I'd say this shadow is best pressed onto the eye first and then smoothed out. That's the method I found best in getting the best color payoff and being the most time efficient. Other than that, I have no complaints. Again, I don't think this shadow is unworkable, it just should be known that it doesn't apply quite like a regular shadow. In all fairness though, it's not a "regular" shadow. It is very much like foiled pieces pressed together with pigments and now just a powder.
The release of this shadow is odd to me, because it seems late. Not that November isn't still Pumpkin Season, but I feel like we could have gotten a lot more use out of this shadow (maybe even hit pan!) if they had released it in September or at least October. We're now heading into winter and the Holiday/Christmas season, so this rustic color is about to fade out of season. However, it's still beautiful and can still be used throughout the year, just depends on how one puts it to use. Sugarpill does list this as a "holiday" shadow, it just seems out of place in that sense to me though.
Final Verdict
This shadow is beautiful and unique. It's hard to find something quite like the formula or color on the current market and the fact that it's limited edition makes it even more appealing. Sugarpill delivers with it's super cute packaging, as always. The shadow is extremely pigmented and long lasting, even without a primer! I swatched the shadow on my arm and it took a bit of scrubbing to get off and there was no primer applied on it, although make-up remover takes the shadow off easily. The shadow isn't impossible to apply, but does not go on like "butter" as stated by Sugarpill; you need to pack it on and smooth it out after. Tapping off the excess before applying is also necessary, because the formula is chunky and lifts off on the brush in flecks. The formula itself is like foiled pieces melted together with pigments, which I find very unique. For $12 + shipping & tax, I feel it's a reasonable price. Anyone who is a collector will definitely want to pick this up. It's shimmery, but I honestly don't feel it's unwerable. This shadow could easily be used for every day use, as well as for special occasions. It would suit most ages too. 

The shadow is currently "out of stock" on the website, but does state that you can join a mailing list to get notified when it will be back in stock. So, if you're wanting this shadow make sure that you get on the list and stay glued to Sugarpill's Instagram or Facebook!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: SOHO Disney Villains Brush Sets for Fall 2015 (Walgreens Exclusive)

Last week, I posted that I had found all 3 brush sets by SOHO for their Fall 2015 Disney Villains collection. For first impressions and more basic info, please check out that post.

***Scroll to the bottom of the page to read an overall summary of the review and skip the fine detail.
Each brush set is targeted for a different set of make-up needs. Ursula is the only one that came with 4 brushes, as both Maleficent and the Evil Queen only had 3 brushes; I'm thinking the reasoning behind that is that Ursula's brushes are smaller. 

As you can see in the picture above, the brushes in the Maleficent set and the Evil Queen set look skewed inside and that's because they are.
[Ursula brushes]

To make matters worse, the brushes weren't just out of sync with the packaging, but they were actually stuck to their inside cardboard piece like that. Let me just say, that the picture above shows how the ends of the brushes look when they are out of the package. Those little circle on the ends of them are glue and that's what keeps them contained inside the box. They are not easy to take out and the glue stays on the bottom. The glue cannot simply be taken off either and they'll need to be washed to get it removed.

So, with packaging issues aside, I'm going to breakdown the brush sets and I feel these are fairly nice. They all have soft bristles that are made of "nylon fibers", in other words they're synthetic fibers. I have had no problems with shedding of the bristles when applying make-up. There was slight shedding with some of the bigger brushes when washing, but nothing too bad. There was no color fading when I washed the brushes either. The handles on these brushes are a little shorter than the average handles of a typical make-up brush which makes them great for traveling, but not necessarily the best for every day use if you prefer longer handles.
[SOHO Evil Queen brush set]

The Evil Queen brush set was focused on the basics of the face. The brushes in this set are all super soft and feel nice on the face. 

[descriptions by SOHO]
  • All Over Face Brush - use to apply powders to the face
  • Curved Foundation Brush - use to apply liquid/cream foundation; wide base easily covers large areas; pointed tip easily covers hard-to-reach areas
  • Angled Brow Brush - use to shape brows; pointed end accurately draws on shape; wide base fills in the brows
The All Over Face Brush is a nice brush, but a bit small for my liking when it comes to applying setting powder. The full description does suggest using it for all powders and that includes bronzers, blushes, and loose/powder foundations. This brush applies bronzers and blushes well, but if full coverage is desired for foundation I would not recommend this brush as it's small and only dense on the tip. It's a nice brush for buffing out contour as well.

The Curved Foundation Brush does apply liquid foundations, but it's a bit too small for my liking. Since the brush is a bit small it takes longer than necessary to apply foundation. However, this brush works well at applying creams or liquids to smaller areas of the face or in a concentrated amount. Again, depending on the type of production you're using, this brush would work well for contouring too.

The Angled Brow Brush has the opposite problem of the other two, because I find this brush a bit too big. I personally prefer that eyebrow brushes be on the slimmer side, because it makes it easier to shape the brows. I feel this brush isn't horrible for shaping brows, but I'd suggest using another brush if you have it. I feel this brush works best at applying powders to the eye area.
[SOHO Maleficent brush set]

Maleficent's brush set was focused on the accents of make-up application. Her brushes are all about the contour and finishing touches. This fits well with the theme of how Maleficent is being portrayed today after Angelina Jolie portrayed her in the live action "Sleeping Beauty" movie. However, before then, I don't really recall Maleficent being the face of contour. Anyway, I felt the brushes in this set were nice, but not for the purposes intended.

[descriptions by SOHO]

  • Stippling Brush - use to apply contour powder
  • Angled Blush Brush - use to blend out harsh contour lines
  • Concealer Brush - use to apply concealer to the face
The Stippling Brush is a decent size for contour, but I've never been a huge fan of using stippling brushes for contour, because I usually use powder. I feel that stippling brushes are best used for liquids and creams. Even with all that said, I still would prefer an angled brush for contouring. I would recommend this brush for liquid foundations and for applying liquid products in small targeted areas of the face.

The Angled Blush Brush can indeed be used to blend out harsh contour lines, but I feel it works better for applying blush or the contour powder itself.

The Concealer Brush is okay for concealer, but I prefer to use it to apply shadow to the inner corner of my eyes and on areas of the eye or around the eye that need little detail. I personally feel this brush is too thick at the tip and the bristles are not long enough for concealer. 
[SOHO Ursula brush set]

Ursula's brush set was all about the eyes and it suits her. Ursula's character is based off of the drag queen known as Divine and drag queens are all about over-the-top eye looks! This is the only set that had 4 brushes instead of 3, but like I said earlier, I believe it is because each brush in this set is smaller and uses less fibers than the face brushes.

[descriptions by SOHO]
  • Eyeshadow Brush - use to apply base eyeshadows
  • Crease Brush - use to apply depth and dimension to the eyes
  • Pointed Eyeliner Brush - use to apply liquid or cream eyeliner
  • Angled Smudge Brush - use to blend eyeshadow or soften lines
The Eyeshadow Brush is a bit big, but it does well to apply all over color or a base, as the description says. Those with smaller lids may not find much use for it outside of that. I also think it does a nice job at blending out colors.

The Crease Brush works fine for the crease and the outer-v of the eye, but it should not be confused with a blending brush. This is a narrow brush that works well at applying concentrated color directly into the crease or on the outside of the lid/eye. It works well for applying shadow to the eye, also.

The Pointed Eyeliner Brush is not an eyeliner brush. It's more of a very skinny blending brush. It's way too thick and big to be an eyeliner brush. I would use this brush to blend out color on small areas of the eye or to smudge color since it is dense.

The Angled Smudge Brush is more of an angled blending brush and works well for that. It can also be used to apply shadow to the eye in a sheer/light form.

Final Verdict
These brushes are good, but not great. They work well for traveling since the handles are shorter than the average brush handle and would make them easier to pack, but if you prefer longer handles for daily use then they might get annoying. Most of the brushes are good for multiple uses, so again they would come in handy for traveling and would even be helpful for daily use. The bristles are all soft and there's no shedding when applying make-up. I have experienced slight shedding with the a few of the face brushes when washing, but only a few bristles each and nothing too bad. There was no color fading when washing the brushes. However, these brushes are a bit overpriced to me. They're sold for $9.99 and if compared to what's on the market in both the drugstores and the high end spectrum, these feel a bit cheap to me. The handles feel like cheap plastic and the ferrules are also not very thick. If they knocked off a few dollars for each set I would say they would be right in line with the current market. If you're a collector, you'll definitely want to pick these up. If you're looking for multi-tasking or traveling brushes, these may be for you as well. However, for the more experienced, I'd suggest saving your money as it can be better spent. I'd recommend buying these brushes on clearance if you can catch them at that price.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SOHO Disney Villains Brush Sets - Fall 2015 (Walgreens Exclusive)

I just found the SOHO Disney Villains Brush Sets for 2015! I've actually had the Ursula set for a while, but held off on posting about it in hopes that I would fine the other 2 sets and I did
These brush sets are a Walgreens exclusive and were released for Fall 2015. They are $9.99 each. Every year Walgreens releases Disney collaborations and the products and companies vary. Usually, in the fall and around Halloween is when they release a Villains collection. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time they have brushes for the Villains and this is from the brand, SOHO. They have quite a lot products in the line up this year, but all I was interested in were the brushes and now I finally have them all!
This years Villains are- Ursula from The Little Mermaid, the Evil Queen from Snow White, and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.
The packaging is quite and quite detailed, especially for a drugstore release. I was quite impressed when looking them over. The only thing I was not impressed with was the fact that the Evil Queen and Maleficent sets had their brushes stuck on top of the cardboard stand they come in, instead of in the slots they were suppose to be in. However, none of the seals were broken and the brushes are all in good shape.
Each brush set focuses on a different area of the face. I imagine if they actually came all together as a set then they would look something like the picture above. Individual reviews of the brush sets are coming soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" Palette - The Yellows & Oranges

I took a break from reviewing the Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca Palette", because I really wanted to get the Sonia Kashuk brush review up since it's on clearance! I also have been really busy at work, so my posts have been a little sparse. My company is going through many changes and we constantly have inspections. I work in retail, so November and December may be bleak for me around here, but I'm going to try my hardest!

Anyway! I'm moving onto reviewing the Yellow and Orange shades in the palette. I have tackled the blues, reds, and an overall review with swatches. The Mi Vida Loca palette can be picked up exclusively at Sephora stores and their website for $59. It is currently still available.

***Feel free to scroll down to the very bottom for an overall summary and to skip the fine detail.

[wearing: Legend, Fran, Analogue, Noble, Moulder]

The look I created is a pretty common look for those who wear bright colors. Typically known as a "sunset" and with this colorful palette it is very easy to create!

  • Legend - inner eye corner
  • Fran - inner part of the eyelid, extending to the middle of the eyelid
  • Analogue - from the middle part of the eyelid, extending to the outer part of the lid
  • Noble - crease
  • Moulder - brow line
I used primer before applying all of these. So far, these are definitely the best for application. I did not have any problems with fallout and they apply very nicely. 

At first I was a bit scared that Fran was not pigmented, but really it's just a yellow shade that needs a few layers and it blends into my skin tone. 

Legend applied beautifully and looks great! Absolutely no complaints here from this shade and as I've said before- the shimmers are the best performing shades in the palette.

Analogue does need taping off of the excess before applying, but if that is done then there will be no fallout on the face. It is very pigmented and a couple of applications will give beautiful color!

I've talked about Noble before. It is a great color for me, as it blends into my skin tone and it really helped me smooth out any issues with my eyeshadow. It's an easy shade to work with.

Moulder worked well for highlighting the brow line and it blended down into Noble well. No complaints. It is a typical neutral shade.

I wore these for about 6 hours and experienced no fading or creasing, but I did use a primer. 

Final Verdict
I'm really surprised at how all of these shades performed! They are amazingly pigmented and blend well. They wear well, also. A little tapping of the excess is needed before applying to the face for the brighter shades, but they still give great color payoff!

I'm about half way done with reviewing the shades from the palette! If you're enjoying these Mi Vida Loca reviews, please let me know! Any comments or questions can be left below!

Other Products Used:

  • It Cosmetics "Celebration Foundation" - foundation
  • Too Faced "Shadow Insurance" - eye primer
  • It Cosmetics "Hello Lashes" - mascara
  • Tarte "Tarlette Palette" - brows
  • Tarte "Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush" - blush
  • MAC "Margherita" - lipstick
  • Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner" - bottom eyeliner
  • Buxom "Lash Liner" - eyeliner
  • Monday, October 19, 2015

    Review & Deal Alert: Sonia Kashuk Color Crazed Brush Set

    Thanks to Nouveau Cheap, I knew that the Sonia Kashuk Color Crazed 10 Piece Brush Set went on clearance at Target recently. I had passed by this brush set when it first came out and I was tempted to get it. I have been tempted to buy a Sonia Kashuk brush set for a couple of years now. What stopped me? The original price of her brush sets are usually around $30-$40 on average depending on how many brushes come in the set and what kind of brushes are included, and that's a lot of money for me when I have very little experience with the brushes from this company. Up until now, I have owned 2 brushes from the Sonia Kashuk line and both were bought about 6 years ago. I bought a smudger brush I used once and threw out (it did nothing for me) and then I had an angled liner brush that I used for a few years until it cracked down the handle. Both brushes came from the "Core Line", which is the lower end of the brand. Sonia Kashuk also has a "pro line", similar to how ELF Cosmetics has an "essential line" and a "studio line" of brushes. Most of the brushes that Sonia Kashuk releases would fall under the "pro" category, but I still have never been willing to spend $40 on an iffy set. I have read many reviews about this line of brushes and the reviews are always so mixed; some people claim they are horrible and cheap, while others claim they are a steal and they use them all the time. I have read that collectors like to buy them just for the look of the brushes on their vanity. Still, no matter the review rating, these brush sets tend to sell out and when they go on clearance they go extremely fast! I can never catch them when they're on clearance. If you miss them, the only other option is eBay or independent sellers that usually double the price of the original selling price or sometimes more than double! Well, since I had known that these were already on sale I made sure to look out for them on my recent trip to Target, which is the only place that Sonia Kashuk is sold, and they had a full shelf of the brush sets and they were only $18.48. I felt that for less than $20 it was worth giving them a try.

    ***Feel free to scroll down to the very bottom for an overall summary and skip the fine detail.
    The packaging is nice, but not special. It comes in a sturdy box with a clear cover so the brushes are visible and the brushes are separated from each other in a plastic base inside the box. There is no cover that goes over the box. The brushes in the Color Crazed set sport navy blue handles with gold bottoms and gold ferrules. The actual brush hairs are a deep teal green that fade into a light teal green.
    The plastic cover of the set is just taped on. Once the tape is off, the plastic cover can be removed and the plastic containing the brushes can be lifted out of the box.

    This set includes (left to right):
    • Domed Powder Brush
    • Flat Blusher Brush
    • Synthetic Buffing Brush
    • Angled Contour Brush
    • Synthetic Foundation Brush
    • Large Eye Shadow Brush
    • Crease Brush
    • Synthetic Pointer/Lip Brush
    • Bent Eyeliner Brush
    • Lash & Brow Groomer
    For those who are concerned- Only certain brushes contain the word "synthetic" in their title. The rest of the brushes are natural hair brushes and use goat hair. All information can be found on Target's website.
    [Synthetic Pointer/Lip Brush, Bent Eyeliner Brush, Crease Brush, Large Eyeshadow Brush]

    The eye brushes are all solid performers. I didn't have any problems with shedding or with them scratching my eyelid. 

    The Synthetic Pointer/Lip Brush has a similar problem; It is too thick for a lip brush. It does work nicely to apply shadow or product in smaller areas or areas that need a more compact brush. It also works well for smaller areas that need concealer. It is synthetic, so it's not going to soak up the product, which can be helpful.

    The Bent Eyeliner Brush works well and holds up nicely. I actually enjoy the bend in the brush handle and if you're a beginner with eyeliner or you have troubles with it, I suggest getting a similar brush. My only issue with this brush is that I feel it's a little too thick. I like thinner liner brushes, because I like my wings to be thin. It works well for a standard eyeliner look or a cat eye though. 

    The Crease Brush is not the best for applying overall color to the crease or smoothing and blending colors out, because the hairs of the brush are very dense. It's better to have a fluffy brush or at least a brush with looser hairs to apply color in crease and smooth out any rough patches, and a dense brush like this just cannot do that. It's not a bad brush if you're looking to apply concentrated color to an area. 

    The Large Eyeshadow Brush works well, but it is large. I prefer a small or medium eyeshadow brush for daily use, but a large one has it's place and time. Since I don't have many of these, it was nice to get this one.
    [Domed Powder Brush, Flat Blusher Brush, Synthetic Buffing Brush]

    The face brushes are all soft too. Not the softest I've ever felt, but I had no problems with them scratching my face and so far when I use them to apply product there is no shedding.

    The Domed Powder Brush is the softest in the whole set and is really nice to apply powders to the face. I really like this brush!

    The Flat Blusher Brush is oddly named. It's not flat. It is not domed shaped, but it's definitely not flat. It's a good brush to apply blush or highlight.

    The Synthetic Buffing Brush is an odd brush. It's not big enough to really apply or buff on foundation; I tried. The brush feels nice, but it's not one that most of us will use often. It's best for buffing out contour or powders after already applying them or to apply product in a concentrated area.
    [Angled Contour Brush & Synthetic Foundation Brush]

    I'm not sure how well this views on other screens, but the Angled Contour Brush worried me when I saw it in the package and even more so when I first took it out of the package. The hairs on the outer part of the brush seemed pretty beat up, but I used it before washing it and it applied powder to the face fine. I enjoy this brush and enjoyed it even more after I cleaned it.

    The Synthetic Foundation Brush is a good brush for foundation and concealer. There is not much to write about this brush. It is a typical synthetic foundation brush, so take that how you will.
    [Lash & Brow Groomer]

    Last, is this "brush" right here. I've stated in previous brush reviews about how annoying it is to continuously receive brushes like this (as well as spoolies), but almost all brush sets come with them. I don't hate this brush, but it's rare that I'll use it. My only issue is that the bristles on the brush part are clearly just plastic and they're a bit scratchy. I don't recommend this for people with sensitive skin.
    [after washing]

    Part of the negative comments on the reviews of Sonia Kashuk brushes were the running and fading of the colors when washing them. The back of the box does state to wash the brushes in mild soap and not detergents (sodium laureth sulfate) and to use cold water to keep the color from fading, so the company itself is not hiding the fact that the brushes bleed their color. 

    After using all of the brushes at least once, I washed them. I did actually use Dawn dish soap and warm water to wash these; because I have acne prone skin I have to use products and warm water to kill bacteria and prevent it from being spread around my face. Most of the brushes had some color bleeding, but not all. The bigger brushes were the worst culprits. In the picture above is what the brushes look like after washing and drying them, and I don't personally feel they look much different. The only brush that was a bit noticeable was the Flat Blusher Brush. I will update after future cleanings if there is anymore fading or damage, but all the brushes held up well during and after the wash.
    [after using Brush Guards]

    Again, not sure how well these pictures will appear on others screens, but these 3 brushes in the picture above were the worst looking when I first bought them. They hairs were really roughed up and I was concerned that they would not perform or hold up well. I did use them before washing them and they applied products fine, but they performed even better after cleaning them. I also used The Brush Guard guards on these to help reshape them and I really feel that helped as well.

    Final Verdict
    I am quite happy with my Sonia Kashuk brush set purchase. For $18.48, it is indeed a bargain! At the full price of $36, I would say it's not quite a bargain, but it's still a good deal. Nice brush sets on today's market tend to be an average of about $60-$200 depending on the brand, materials used, and number of brushes in the the set. Most of these brushes are natural hair, which always costs more; the rest of the brushes are good-decent quality synthetic material. I had no real problems when applying product with them and there was no shedding. All the brushes are good or great quality. There is color fading after washing, but afterwards only 1 brush had any noticeable fading of color. The brushes are well made and sturdy. I was very impressed by how sturdy the handles are and the fact that they're not too big, but also they're not tiny and easy to hold onto. Though some of the brushes looked a little beat-up when I bought them, that was quickly fixed when I washed them and used brush guards. The only real negative part of the set was the Lash & Brow Groomer, because the bristles are plastic and rough. I would recommend this brush set and personally would purchase a Sonia Kashuk brushes in the future, because of the good experience I've had with this one. This brush set would be good for anyone who has at least some experience with make-up and application. This set would be great for pros and experts as well. I just wouldn't recommend a set like this for a beginner or someone with little experience in brushes, because not all the brushes are practical for everyday use.

    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    Review: Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" Palette - The Blues

    Today, I'm going to review the blue shades in the Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" palette. I have already reviewed the red shades in my previous post. I also have already completed a swatch review. These current posts and future posts are reviewing the application and wear of these shadows.

    Info: The Mi Vida Loca palette is by Kat Von D and is exclusively at Sephora stores and on their website. It costs $59 US and is said to be valued at $210. It includes 24 shades that are brand new and is limited edition for the holidays. It currently is still in stock on the website, but Sephora is on their first restock on the palette. No telling if they will get anymore after this. Call your local Sephora to find out if they are still in stock there.
    [wearing: Synth, Hyperballad, Dark Wave, Lyric, Strutter]

    I tested the blue shades next, because it matched the shirt I decided to wear for the day. Yup. It was that simple.

    Run down:
    • Synth - all over the lid
    • Hyperballad - in the crease & outer corner of the eye
    • Dark Wave - lower lash line
    • Lyric - inner eye corner
    • Strutter - space between brows and crease, and blended into the crease
    I use a primer before applying these shadows. There were slightly more problems with these shadows then with the red ones. Even with tapping the excess off the brush before applying, I still had some difficulties. The good news is that the pigmentation in these colors happen to be great and they really show when applying them. These shadows did not fail in providing color.

    Synth was applied all over the lid first. I did not have any fallout problem with this shade, but I warn that anyone going to use this one should make sure to tap off the access first. The pigmentation is great and there was no fading when applying the colors.

    Hyperballad was where I had the issues of fallout. Even after tapping off the excess shadow, I still had fallout. In the end, I had to clean up teal shadow all under my eyes. The pigmentation is great. The color is a little stiff to work with and not the best at blending, but it's not impossible to work with and if one needs that a color like that there is no reason not to use it.

    Dark Wave was applied only on the lower lash line and it worked well for that. It is a bit patchy and I imagine that if it were used all over the lid it would need a lot of layers.

    Lyric and Strutter worked well for accenting the eye look. I had no issues with these as far as application. Strutter is a little more chalky than Noble and so basically it applies a little more dusty. It also turned out that Strutter is not as great of a blending color for me as Noble was when I actually went to use it, so I suppose I should take back what I original said during the swatch test and say that there is a good reason to have both colors in the palette.

    I wore these shadows for about 5 hours. I did not experience any fading or creasing. All performed well and no real issues. Other than the fallout with Hyperballad, I feel these are all well performing shades and quite worth it, especially for someone who wants to experiment with color.

    I'm not sure what colors I'll be doing next, but stay tuned! If you're enjoying these Mi Vida Loca blog posts, please let me know!

    Other Products Used:
    • Too Faced "Shadow Insurance" - eye primer
    • It Cosmetics "No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer" - face primer
    • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation - foundation
    • Buxom "Lash Liner" - eyeliner
    • Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner" - bottom eyeliner
    • MAC "Zoom Fast Black Lash" - mascara
    • Benefit Cosmetics "They're Real" - mascara
    • Tarte "Tarlette Palette" - brows
    • MAC "Oxblood" - lipstick
    • Tarte Amazonian Clay "12-Hour Blush" - blush