Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: NARS Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo in Orgasm/ Laguna vs. E.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder: THE BATTLE!

Happy Cyber Monday!!  I hope ya’ll also had a fabulous turkey day…I was full for a few days after mine- LOL!!  J  Now let me get to the good stuff…
Items that are battling it out:
1)      0.16 oz. mini NARS Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo in Orgasm/ Laguna ($39 for .35oz nearly double the size than the mini in my pics…)

2)      e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder ($3)

L: NARS   R: E.L.F.



As you can see the packaging is very similar; both are sleek, black and compact.  They also both have a mirror included on the inside, for quick on the go makeup application.  The one thing I really like about e.l.f.’s packaging is that it isn’t rubber like the NARS…so it doesn’t keep your fingerprints, etc. on it!  I hate that about NARS packaging, because your product looks like you’ve had it forever even after one day due to all the fingerprint marks!! That’s one of my biggest pet peeves :P

 Enough about the packaging, let’s get into how the actual product compares.  As for the blush shades, the colours are similar.  However, they are not an exact match.   E.l.f.’s blush is a beautiful peach/pink toned blush with more of a matte finish.  On the other hand the NARS blush is also a very beautiful peachy/pink, but it has sheen to it.  It is nowhere near matte… 
The e.l.f bronzer is a deep bronze matte colour; it can be used as a bronzer or even a contouring powder.  I personally like to use a matte colour to contour; one with shimmer just doesn’t give me the same “she was born w/ perfect cheekbones” effect!!  As for the NARS bronzer, it is VERY light in comparison to the e.l.f. bronzer.  It is a nice light brown colour with shimmer, seems like it would be great as an overall bronzer. 
L- E.L.F and R- NARS


RESULTS:  Personally, I feel they are 2 completely different products, that don’t really mimic each other.  The e.l.f. is more pigmented and matte and may be a better match for women who are of a bit darker skin tone.  While the NARS is a little less pigmented (as seen in the pics) and full of shimmer and sheen, it would work on many skin tones.  However, if you have lighter skin, you may want to opt for this one.  So if you don’t have the $39 to spend on the NARS, go ahead and give the e.l.f. blush/bronzer duo a try first…and for $3 you just can’t go wrong!!

All the swatch pics are HEAVILY swatched on NC 37 skin.  I am in no way affliated or being compensated in any way to review these products.

                                                X + O,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Santa.....

Dear Santa,
I know I'm a bit too old to  write you a letter, but I thought I would give it a try.  This Christmas I would like an airbrush system.  I know you think I have too much makeup, guess you have been talking to my husband and my mother...  But, this particular airbrush system is the coolest!  I'll even do Mrs. Claus' makeup if you get it for me :)

Merry Christmas!!!

P.S. Thanks for the sewing machine last year!


Isn't this Dinar airbrush system just gorgeous!!  It comes in s many colors and it's competitively priced in comparison to other airbrush systems.  The basic kit (at just $199) comes with the compressor, the airbrush itself, four foundation shades, a bottle of cleaner, an instructional DVD, and a handy case. Did I mention how amazingly small this baby is?  I could use it for personal use, or for my future clients.

Honestly, I like having the option to try different foundations, blushes, eye shadows with the east of just adding a couple of drops.  If you want to buy additional colors, a .25 oz bottle is only $12. 

I have seen several gurus review this baby, and I'm impressed.  So I may have to purchase this for myself for Christmas.  Or I can be patient and either wait for Valentine's Day or hopefully if I attend IMATS in April 2011.  I'm not a very patient person, so I think I see this purchase in the near future.

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving, more reviews to come! 


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday/Cyber Monday UPDATE

  • Lime Crime is currently taking 40% off everything on their website!  Code:  BLACKFRIDAY40.  I've been wanting to try some of these eyeshadows everyone has been talking about, so I grabbed about three.
  • Sugarpill Cosmetics is also having a great black Friday sale!!  Code: PINKWEEKEND.  They are currently taking off 30% of everything on their website.  I was so excited for this, I picked up quick a bit there.  And, it's only one in the morning!!
  • Coastal Scents is taking off 33% off the items on their website.  It's been a while since I shopped there, but I decided to pick up a couple of eyeshadow palettes. :)
Happy Shopping everyone! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cyber Monday/ Black Friday Beauty DISCOUNTS!!!

Just wanted to give y'all an update of a couple of beauty or beauty related sales that I think would be
great to take advantage of! 

  • Hi-Fi Cosmetics is giving 40% off everything!!  They have an amazing selection of eye shadows, check em' out!
  • Etsy:  This is one of my favorite websites!  I'm sure there will be many sellers who are having specials.  I'll keep my eyes open for some!  You can't have enough Indie makeup!
  • Kate Sommerville30% off with code KSFF2010, expires 11/30
  • LORAC:  Cyber Monday Collection ($100 value) for $25, 11/29 only
  • Saks Fifth Avenue:  Get $25 gift card when you spend $100 on beauty/fragrance with code BEAUTYSFA, 11/25 thru 11/26
  • Bath & Body Works:  VIP Bag 2010 available online 11/24 and 11/25; in stores on 11/26. $5 wallflowers from 11/25 to 11/26. Buy 3, get 3 free signature collection 11/25 thru 11/28. 2 for $20 candles 11/25 thru 11/28
  • Bobbi Brown:  $65+ orders ship free, no code necessary. Free full-size Copper Penny Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow with $65+ orders with code COPPER9, expires 1/14/11. Free Rock star Metallic Eyeshadow with $65+ orders with code ROCK9, expires 1/14/11. Free full-size Mahogany Ink Gel Eyeliner with $65+ order with code BEST33, expires 1/15/11. Free full-size Cobalt Ink Gel Eyeliner with $65+ orders with code BEST55, expires 12/25/10
  • Smashbox:  Free gift every Tuesday and Thursday. Free shipping on all orders.  20% off with code FFSB20, expires 11/29
  • Urban Decay:  Selected Urban Decay best-selling eye shadows, colored mascaras and glosses for just $6, chic nail polish sets and shadow palettes for just $12 from 11/26 (at 3am EST) thru 11/30 (3am EST).  Sneak peek of 15th Anniversary 24/7 Pencil Set on 11/29
  • Stila:  20% off with code STILALOVES, expires 11/30.  Cyber Monday Warehouse Sale only on 11/29, up to 80% off
  • Amazon: Up to 70% Off No coupon code needed. Valid: 11/23-12/1
  •  $10 off plus free shipping your purchase of $60 or more!
Some of this information was gathered from Temptalia's Blog, which is just an amazing resource! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: TEMPTU Airbrushing System

Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone!!  I already have so much to be thankful for and now I’ve added one more thing to the list, my new TEMPTU that I picked up during Sephora’s F & F sale (lol!!).  Wow, what I can say about this airbrushing system…well for me it’s a god send!  It truly is amazingly precise and so easy to use. 

 I still use Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray underneath the foundation, although it is said that there is a primer built into the TEMPTU brand foundation.  This is a wonderful product but you do need time to practice and get the hang of getting the application to be flawless.  However, with the blush and the highlight may take a little more practice to know how to get perfect placement of the product.  This is definitely not something I would use daily…but for me it’s perfect for those special occasions.  Like for girl’s night out, a holiday party, a family reunion or maybe even a date!!  But I can see how many people could easily wear this daily, as the coverage is not overwhelming and the finish is very natural looking!  But I do believe that this particular machine is more for personal use and not so much for commercial use.  It seems a little delicate and is definitely not something that you would take as a makeup artist to a photo shoot.  I love the fact that it is compact, and for roughly $50, you can buy the jet set case for the TEMPTU.  It has a perfect sized pouch for the actual machine and another smaller sized pouch for the makeup pods. 

There are 12 shades of foundation, which gives a pretty wide range for most people to find a good match.  There are 6 different blush shades…I have a couple of the shades; however I still like to use my regular powder blush as well.  There are also a variety of 6 different highlight shades.
 TEMPTU makeup is water-resistant, sweat-proof, splash-proof, and super long-wearing.  I am in no way affliated or being compensated in any way to review this item.

X + O,
- S

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The NAKED Palette! I finally got it!!!

Hello there Urban Decay Naked palette, I've been dreaming about you for so long.  I thought I was the only one who didn't have you, but now I do!!
Today I received a call from my local Sephora that the NAKED palette was here and they would hold one for me!  Hooray! 
Twelve beautiful colors + two 24/7 mini eyeliners + a mini primer potion = LOVE
I've seen so many swatches (thank you Temptalia!) on the Internet, but these eye shadows are more amazing in person.  I literally just picked it up so I haven't tried anything yet, but I'm really excited to test it out!
I won't bore you with swatches since I know there are a billion of them out there, I just had to share my joy!

Have a good rest of the day :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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Review: NARS Albatross vs. E.l.f. Gotta Glow: THE BATTLE!

Hey Everyone!
Today I decided to review something I received in my gigantic E.l.f. haul from the other day.  I haven't posted from that haul yet, but I've been tackling the items bit by bit.  I've had the NARS Albatross for sometime, and honestly I rarely use it.  It's not that I don't like it, I just don't find myself reaching for it.  
E.l.f.'s packaging is very similar to that of NARS.  The major difference in packaging is the weight, the texture of the casing and the clear window that elf uses.
Once you open up the case, the highlighter itself also appears very similar.  At first sight, the ELF highlighter appears a little more yellow.
Note that these were swatched heavily! 
Again, you can see that the elf highlighter appears a little more yellow. 
The texture of the NARS Albatross was obviously smooth and non grainy.  The elf highlighter was smooth yet, nothing compared to the Albatross.  I did not have to use much of the Albatross to get that beautiful sheen that you see here. 

Price:  $3 vs. $26

So?  Whatcha think?  There are some obvious differences between the two but if you're not willing to shell out the money for the NARS Albatross, why not pick up Elf's Gotta Glow? 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NEW E.L.F. Studio Cream Eyeshadows: Review and Swatches!!!

Hey Everyone!!  I just received a haul from e.l.f. and among all my goodies are the NEW studio cream eyeshadow.  Lately I've been on a HUGE cream eyeshadow kick, so I just had to pick these up.  Since these are part of their studio line, they are each 3 dollars a piece.  Honestly, that's a great price!

Unfortunately, they only have four colors available right now, hopefully they can add some more shades in the future.
I had initially assumed that they would be the same size as the cream eyeliners.  But, their packaging is larger.  Here is the comparison between the new cream eye shadows and the cream eyeliner.  Excuse the lighting.  I took these pictures with my phone, since my husband hijacked my camera.

I ordered all four shades!
(Above Pic) With Flash
From left to right:  Eggplant, Dawn, Bronzed, and Candlelight
Without Flash
Eggplant, Dawn, Bronzed, and Candlelight

  • They have not creased on far.
  • They are creamy and blendable. 
  • Affordable!!  You can purchase all four for the price of one "higher end" brand
  • Once they are on, they don't move!!
  • The packaging is large and bulky.  It seems like such a waste of plastic...
  • There are only four colors :(
  • The Candlelight color was not as smooth as the others.  As you can see in the pictures, I couldn't blend the color evenly.
  • Both a pro and a con.  Once they are on, they don't move.  So, it feels somewhat dry and tight on the skin.  That may be just me, my lids are sometimes dry.

Everything in the studio line has impressed me.  When I initially started purchasing from E.l.f., I thought there products were junk.  I'm glad they finally realized that they needed more quality products.  Overall, I like the new cream eye shadows. At three bucks, it was worth the gamble.  I think I won!  Try them out and see what you think. 


Monday, November 8, 2010

Hi-Fi Cosmetics: Review

Hi Guys!  Hope you are having a great Monday, and if not I hope it just got a little better.  One of my favorite things to do is find, purchase, and review independent makeup brands.  Where do i find these?  My favorite place is on  I fell in love with this website when I was planning my wedding.  Everything on ETSY is handmade!  That includes makeup! 

That's where I found Hi-Fi Cosmetics.  Owned by a nice gal named Veronica, this indie makeup brand has just captured my heart....awww!  So many wonderful colors and various products.  Most of all just great individuality that seperates this indie brand from the rest.  Veronica takes her time creating her formulas and introducing makeup that is both wearable and affordable!  I personally enjoy the MesmerEYES 3-Piece Sets.  These sets included three complimentary colors for an AWESOME price!  I purchased one 3 piece set recently, and had purchased three other eye shadows a while back (she was having a sale).  Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Includes: (from left to right)

Butterfly wings is an amazing deep coral shade, and it's my favorite from these three. 

Includes : (from left to right)

I'm really into my purple phase and it shows!  I love Midnight Hour from this collection.  I'm a little worried how Alone will look with my skin tone, but I'm sure it will look wonderful with the other two shadows.

This is the "look card" that came with my three piece set.  Veronica took the time to make these cards for each set and includes them just in case you need some help with the application!  Love it!

You know what else, she always includes some little free goodies!  In this order I received a Lip Glaze in "paint the future" and three sample eye shadows!  Plus, a couple of her business cards. :)

-All of her cosmetics are handmade. 
-You get the benefit of knowing that each product you purchase was made with love, and it shows in all the little details. 
-I like her packaging.  There is a clear attempt to brand her product.  The label and logo appear throughout her site, blog, as well as her products.  She didn't just slap on a label or write in the name, it was thought out and planned. 
-Its affordable!

She's only one person so you may have to be a little patient with your order (I'm NOT talking more than two weeks here, she's still pretty fast)
Even though there is a huge selection of eyeshadow colors, she does not have a wide variety of products like you would find in a department store, etc.  But, that really does not bother me.  She does her job and she does it well!

Would I purchase again?  YES!

I've seen a couple of sales go up since I've been watching this brand on Etsy, so take a look and give her some love.  Way to go Veronica!

Blog Giveaway--Beauty Addiction!

I just stumbled upon this giveaway!  How generous, right?  Congratulations for Beauty Addiction for reaching 600 followers!  Amazing!

Makeup Organizer-Kardashians Style

Here is a link to a similar acrylic organizer than on  It's from a site called  The organizer is on pre-order, but it's a bit cheaper than the other site!  Yay!  I'm thinkin bout gettin me one!  :)

Friday, November 5, 2010


I was bad this week & now my wallet's paying the price!!
But what can I make's me happy!! : )


Dashing Lassie Eyeshadow Palette (L to R)
  • A Dashing Lassie Metallic milk (Frost) (Limited Edition)
  • Once Upon a Time Mettalic Vanilla (VXP) (Limited Edition)
  • Magical Mist Metallic taupe (Lustre) (Limited Edition)
  • Bronze Copper penny (Frost) (Limited Edition)
  • Buckwheat Frosty medium brown (Frost) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Showstopper Dark brown (Matte) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)

Hark the Heraldry Face Kit

  • Dame Sophisticated blue-pink (Satin) (Permanent)
  • Plum Foolery Faint dusty plum (Sheertone) (Permanent)
  • Oh So Fair Pale pink (Beauty Powder) (Repromote)

Her Blooming Cheek Bright iridescent blue-pink (Satin) (Limited Edition)

My Highland Honey Bright coral with soft gold pearl (Satin) (Limited Edition)

The Family Crest Blackened bronze with pearl (Frost) (Limited Edition)

Moonlight Night Blackened teal with teal pearl (Frost) (Limited Edition)

That concludes my haul!!

Favorites:  Moonlight Night Piggie,  Dashing Lassie Eyeshadow Palette,  Her Blooming Cheek Blush

Get out to your local MAC & pick up some of these items for yourself or as holiday gifts for your family & friends!  Please leave your comments below & let us know what you got from the collection!

X + O,
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