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!