Monday, December 24, 2012

Announcing the 2013 Color of the Year: Emerald Green!

Beautysets - Emerald Green - 2013 Color of the Year

As a green-eyed lady, I'm loving this choice!  What do you think of the announcement of Emerald Green as the color of the year?  Have any opinions on the products above?  Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Influenster's Holiday Voxbox 2012!

Beautysets - Influenster Holiday Voxbox

I just got this bad boy in the mail yesterday, and I couldn't be more excited!  For those of you who aren't familiar with Influenster, they send out VoxBoxes full of free goodies for Influential members to test and review. There are a few new products in this VoxBox that I can't wait to test out, as well as a few old favorites.  The Kiss Nail Dress that I got this time around is absolutely beautiful, and will look wonderful at a New Year's Eve party!  The Goody Quick Style Paddle Brush actually made me laugh out loud... It looks so goofy, but I bet it works, and I can't wait to test it out!  I didn't even know that the Quaker Real Medleys oatmeal existed, but as an oatmeal lover, I cannot wait to taste it!  I have tried Eboost before when it came in my Naturals VoxBox earlier this year, but didn't like the flavor.  This time around I got a different one, so hopefully they will be able to redeem themselves!  NYC New York Color's Liquid Lipshine is one of my all-time favorite lip products, so getting another one was an absolute delight.  Finally, the Sole Society Coupon, worth $25, will undoubtedly feed my shoe addiction!

As my way of wishing everyone a merry christmas, I'll share the $25 Sole Society code with you -- it's INFLUENSTER25, and is good towards your first purchase!  Enjoy!

Have any of you received this VoxBox or tested out any of the products?  Let me know in the comments!

NOTE: I still have several Influenster invites left!  Leave a comment if you'd like one, and I'll be in touch!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Wishes

Beauty Wishlist 2012

We all have them:  those beauty items that you covet all year long, but just can't bring yourself to buy because of how dang expensive they are.  These are the items that make up my holiday wish list.  Here's a little insight into what I'm wishing for this year!

  1. Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! 4-in-1 Mascara, $19 I'm usually not a big spender when it comes to mascaras, sticking to Maybelline to make my lashes pop.  Maybe that's why I've been so dissatisfied.  I've heard rave reviews of this mascara, and hope I'll be able to try it out for myself!
  2. NARS Orgasm Blush, $28 The mother of all blushes, according to the beauty blogosphere.  I own a supposed dupe for it (Elf's Candid Coral, check out my post here), but I've heard that nothing beats the real thing.  With a hefty price tag, it's not something I would normally buy for myself... but hopefully Santa will deliver!
  3. Julep Nail Polish, $14  I don't even care what shade it is. This luxury nail color brand is all over Pinterest and even made the list of Oprah's favorite things 2012.  I want it all over my nails.
  4. MAC 286 Brush, $31  I really need a good blending brush.  Mine just ain't cuttin' it.  I've heard that MAC brushes are wonderful, and I'd love something that would last me a long time!
  5. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, $43  The most expensive on the list.  I'm not a big foundation wearer--I've always had fairly clear skin, so I just like a bit of sheer coverage for color control.  Tinted Moisturizer is my go-to, and I've heard this is just about as good as it gets.
  6. Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $19  This is one of my tried-and-true products.  It's the only liquid eyeliner that has ever had a brush I've been able to work with, it stays all day, and WOW is it ever pigmented!  I'm running out of my supply and need to get my hands on more... And I'd love to try out a few other shades from their rainbow supply of colors!
  7. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, $13  I really do love this stuff.  It's super moisturizing, and lasts a really long time.  I have it in "Honey" and "Romantic."  I use "Honey" almost every day, but would love to expand my collection for more options!

So that's my Christmas Beauty List for this year... What's yours?  Any comments on the products I'm just dying to get ahold of?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Spoiled by Wet n Wild Nail Color

Shades from Left to Right:  Pick Your Poison, Shrimp on the Barbie, Toad-Ally Amazing, Pumping Gas


PROS:  Long-wearing, large color selection, opaque, large brush for complete coverage, colors are true to the bottle

CONS:  Some brushes have frayed bristles

My obsession du jour has recently been nail polish. In the past several months alone, I've more than doubled my collection.  I blame Pinterest.

However, I've managed to expand my collection without breaking the bank.  I've fallen in love with a drugstore line!

Wet n Wild, known for their extremely inexpensive yet relatively high-quality cosmetics, has released a new line of professional-quality nail polishes available exclusively at CVS.  The line is called Spoiled, and the polishes cost only $2 a piece!

The polishes themselves are very true to the color of the bottle.  I have only used "Pick Your Poison" and "Pumping Gas" so far out of the four I own, because those are the more fall/winter appropriate colors.  Both colors look exactly the same dry on my nails as they do in the bottle.

The brushes that come with the polish are very wide, so it's easy to cover almost the whole nail at once.  The colors are also very opaque, so you're usually good to go after just one coat.  The only issue that I have experienced with this line is that some of the brush bristles are a little frayed out, which can be problematic when working with precise paint application!  This is not the case for all of the bottles, though, and the brushes that don't have this problem are fantastic.

I have had these polishes last up to two weeks without any chipping, which is remarkable considering how much I use my hands!  Other polishes usually chip within the first few days for me.

Overall, I would highly recommend these polishes to someone who can't afford more expensive brands like OPI, Essie, or Zoya.  These get the job done just as well, and with so many colors to choose from,  there's no need to splurge when you can save!

Have you used any of the Spoiled polishes?  Which shade is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Instant Relaxation Made Possible

Top:  Dr. Teal's Foaming Milk Bath with Milk and Honey - $6
Bottom:  Bath and Body Works Luxe Bath in Sleep; Warm Milk and Honey - $17

For those of you who are not yet in college, don't remember college, or are in denial about college, let me tell you: finals suck.  I was carrying so much stress and tension in my body after finishing my finals today that my muscles actually began to hurt.  Not to mention that my skin has been acting up because of the dry winter weather.  Ugh.

The nice thing about finishing finals, though, is that I'm able to come home from school.  Home, for me, means comfort, family, and a big-ass jacuzzi bathtub. 

After hearing about my stress, tension, and dry skin, my incredible mother went out and got be a few things to help me unwind.  One of them was Dr. Teal's Foaming Milk Bath with Milk and Honey, which is incredibly affordable and is supposed to soothe dry, irritated skin.  The other was from Bath and Body Works' aromatherapy line; their Sleep: Warm Milk and Honey Luxe Bath.  Apparently she'd had that one stashed away somewhere for a while, because as far as I know, it's now discontinued.

I put a generous amount of both in the tub, let the water run until it was steaming, and soaked for a good 45 minutes.  Let me tell you, I have never been more relaxed in my life.  Not only did the milk bath moisturize my skin and repair some of the dry, cracked areas, but the scent was enough to send me straight to heaven and back while allowing me to unwind.

Both of these products are a must for anyone with dry winter skin or someone who just struggles with stress and needs a little relaxation.  The Luxe Bath from B&BW has been discontinued in that particular scent, but I have a feeling that their new bath soak in Honey Vanilla will substitute nicely.

Have any of you used either of these products before?  Have a relaxing bath time story to share?  Let me know in the comments!

Sweet dreams!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Newest Beauty Buy: elf Studio Blush in Candid Coral

While shopping at Target the other day for something completely unrelated, I once again found myself in the cosmetics section of the store.  I was thrilled to find that they had an elf display--they seem to be hard to find where I'm from!

I had been reading a lot about elf's Studio Blushes, particularly a shade called "Candid Coral."  According to the blogosphere, Candid Coral is a close dupe for the ever-coveted NARS Orgasm shade.  Well, it was only $3 compared to the $26 I would have to shell out for an Orgasm compact, so I snatched it up!

I've only used it a few times, but I have to say that I'm super impressed!  The product is silky soft, and is a perfectly flattering shade for my skin tone.  It gives me a subtle flush that looks natural, but with the slightest bit of gold shimmer.  I don't own NARS Orgasm blush, but I imagine that this comes pretty close!

Also, the packaging for this product is unreal for only $3.  It's a hard, sleek black plastic that is sturdy and reliable.

For such an unbelievably low price, this is my new go-to blush!  I plan on picking up a few more shades to test out as well, and may deliver a full review with swatches when I have some more!

Have you used elf Studio Blush?  What do you think?  Which shade is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Review/Swatches: COVERGIRL Blast Flipstick


PROS:  Long wearing, two in one, expertly coordinated shades, creamy/soft texture, blendable formula, large shade variety

CONS:  None!

Swatches at bottom of post

I'm going to be honest here:  I haven't been a fan of Covergirl cosmetics for a long time.  In my opinion, they're usually cheaply made and low-pigmented.  They just don't do it for me.  This product completely changed my opinion of the brand.

When BzzAgent offered me the opportunity to test out Covergirl's new Blast Flipstick for free, there's no way I could say no.  Free cosmetics?  Of course I'm going to opt in!  And boy, am I glad I did.  I'm so pleasantly surprised by this product that I just had to share!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review/Video: Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips


PROS: Results in just three days, whitens teeth effectively, enamel safe, cheaper than other whitening treatments, easy to use, stays on teeth

CONS:  Funny taste, expensive, leaves temporary white spots on teeth

I received my Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips for free from Influenster as part of a special program for members, and I was so excited to get them!  I had been feeling a little self-conscious about my smile, so these came at a perfect time.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer™


PROS:  All-natural ingredients, long-lasting, incredibly moisturizing, unique shape, great packaging, minty flavor, not tested on animals

CONS: None!

This has to be my favorite product that I received in my Naturals Voxbox from Influenster.  I'm a lip product junkie, so I was really excited to get a product that could help keep my lips soft and ready for cosmetics!  Before I got this product, I had been using Burt's Bees lip balm, which is good, but nothing compared to LypSyl!  This is definitely going to be my new go-to lip balm brand.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pretty Much is Back (and with a new VoxBox)!

Hey, everyone!

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the very long hiatus.  School, work, and rehearsal have been eating up all of my free time, but my life is finally calming down again!

I have plenty new product reviews on the way, so keep an eye out and be sure to check back regularly.

I also just received this little beauty to the right--the Naturals VoxBox from Influenster!  It has several fantastic, eco-friendly beauty products that I've been integrating into my routine, so expect more reviews about some green beauty products in the next few weeks.

Thanks for bearing with my absence, and I can't wait to start bringing you more reviews of my favorite products again!

Comments and questions are always welcome and encouraged, so if you have anything to say, feel free to speak up!

Thanks again for sticking with Pretty Much!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Kiss Nail Dress


PROS:  Incredibly easy to apply, looks spectacular, lasts for a long time, great variety of designs

CONS: Slight peeling at the tips after a few days

I'm not a manicure person.  For those of you who don't know, I was born with a three-fingered right hand, which generates a lot of (well-meant) questions at salons, which just isn't something I'm always in the mood for.  So when Influenster sent me the Kiss Nail Dress for free in my Love VoxBox, I was excited to try out a product that could give me salon results without actually going to a salon.  Well, Kiss Nail Dress delivered!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Gilette Venus and Olay Razor


PROS:  Glides effortlessly over skin, can't feel the blades at all, renders shaving cream obsolete, moisturizes skin while shaving, pretty, comes with shower hook, easily to grip, five blades, bends and adjusts to curves

CONS:  Nada!

I haven't been this excited about shaving since the sixth grade.

I was getting sick of my old razor by the same brand, and was preparing to head out and buy a men's razor because I've heard they actually provide a closer shave.  Luckily, Influenster saved me the trouble by sending me this razor for free in their recent Love VoxBox.  I wasn't expecting too much since previous Venus razors I've used haven't really been anything special.  Influenster included this razor in their Love themed VoxBox as a way to get "date-ready in a flash."  Well, being single, that wasn't a concern, but I went for it and used the razor anyway.

Turns out, I did fall in love.  With this freaking incredible razor.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Love VoxBox is Here!

After waiting anxiously ever since this box was announced on Valentine's day, my Love VoxBox from Influenster has arrived!

Influenster put a few fantastic things in this box that I'm incredibly excited to try out and review!  Here's an overview of what I received in my Love VoxBox:

  • A Venus and Olay Razor From Gilette: I couldn't be happier to get this!  I was actually just about to buy a new razor, so this couldn't have come at a better time.  It looks like this razor has moisturizing bars infused with Olay goodness... I'm looking forward to some very silky-smooth skin!
  • A Gourmet Milk Chocolate Creamy Devotion Bar from Ghirardelli:  Need I say more?  The word "bliss" comes to mind.  There's a reason their slogan is "moments of timeless pleasure."
  • Kiss Nail Dress: I LOVE getting manicure products.  I generally don't like going to salons for manicures because I don't feel like answering a multitude of questions about my three-fingered hand, so any products that make the at-home process a little easier make me a happy girl!  I got a super-sexy, sparkly, pink zebra-striped pattern that I'll be definitely be wearing out for my upcoming birthday!
  • An Herbal Tea Sampler from Stash: As an actor, I know how good tea is for the voice, and am encouraged by my peers and instructors to drink plenty.  However, I have a tendency to be bored by bland flavors.  This sampler, though, is enough to intrigue me!  With flavors like Cinnamon Apple Chamomile, Mango Passionfruit, and Wild Raspberry Hibiscus, I just know I'm going to enjoy this tea!
  • Truvia: I have to admit, their sing-songy commercials get old pretty quick, but as someone on a diet who happens to have a major sweet tooth, this zero-calorie sweetener may just be a life saver! I can't wait to try it in combination with the Stash Tea!
So, that's the Love VoxBox!  Stay tuned for reviews of my favorite products from this batch... I'm going to go get started on that chocolate!  ;)

If you're interested in buying some of the products, check out the links below!

My Apologies!

Hey, everyone!

I just wanted to apologize for my absence and inactivity over the past few weeks.  It's been a crazy month overall for me with performances, auditions, callbacks (and getting cast, yay!), general schoolwork, and having a social life, but things are finally starting to wind down a little.   Added to this craziness is the fact that I'm currently pretty broke (welcome to the life of a college student), which means that I haven't been buying and trying many new products.  This post is just to let you know that I AM still here, and will be blogging about some new products within the next few days!  My birthday is a week from tomorrow, so some beauty-related goodies should be coming my way, and I'm also due to receive the love themed VoxBox from Influenster any day now.  So no worries, I'll be posting a new review or two within the next few days!

To try to make up for my lack of posts, here's a picture of me with a blue Icee tongue.

Thanks for your patience with me, and thanks for reading Pretty Much Reviews!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review/Video: Philips Satin Perfect Epilator


PROS: Removes hair very well, leaves skin smooth for weeks, comes with massaging and hair-lifting attachments, soothes skin while it works, sturdy, can be used all over the body, portable

CONS:  Stings a bit, can be messy since it just pulls out a bunch of hair and doesn't store it anywhere.

When I found out that I'd be getting this epilator for free through, I actually squealed out loud.  It was an excellent coincidence;  I had been considering buying an epilator literally the day before, but faltered because of the price.  This BzzCampaign happened at exactly the right time!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Video: Introduction to the Ben Nye Theatrical Creme Kit

Hey, everyone!  Today I decided to do my first post related to theatrical makeup.  As an actor, I know how confusing a new stage makeup kit can be, so I thought I'd try to explain the parts of a basic, well-known theatrical makeup kit for those who don't know too much about stage makeup!

Let me know what you think of the video and what your experiences with Ben Nye have been like in the comments!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Maybelline XXL Extensions® Washable Mascara


PROS:  Drastically lengthens lashes, brushes are easy to use, comes with both a primer and mascara

CONS:  Actual mascara may make lashes a little spidery, clumps easily if not applied carefully

I ran out of my go-to Covergirl Lashblast Fusion mascara a little while ago, and while I believe that the Lashblast mascara definitely does its job, I wanted to try something else out for a change and to see if there was anything better out there that I was missing.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Review: Maybelline Eye Studio® Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow


PROS:  Easy to apply, nice color selection, stays on all day, very pigmented color

CONS:  Feels a bit gritty after a while, difficult to remove, hard to get it to look exactly right

As you can probably tell by some of my previous posts, I'm a little bit of a Maybelline addict.  I've been really happy with the new products that they've been coming out with lately, so it was only natural that I would try to go out and find their newest cosmetic item.  The Eye Studio® Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow (which is quite the mouth full) was out of stock for a while at my local drugstores, but on a recent shopping trip--which, if you're like me, is originally intended for food and other necessities, but ends up turning into a makeup haul--the display was fully stocked.  I couldn't resist, and grabbed some of the Color Tattoo shadow in Pomegranate Punk.  I went home and put it on right away.  Sadly, I have to say that this product didn't quite live up to the recent Maybelline hype.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter


PROS: Great color selection, smooth application, feels good on lips, nourishes lips, very long-lasting

CONS: Packaging feels very cheap, many layers are required for full-impact color

After recently being required to purchase a rather expensive stage makeup kit for an upcoming show, I was sure that I would have all of the makeup I would need for my future performances in Real Women Have Curves.  However, as much as I love Ben Nye stage makeup, I quickly discovered a major flaw in this particular kit--the only included lip color was a muted neutral; which, for a play set in the 80's, was just simply not going to do. With our second dress rehearsal approaching quickly, I found myself in dire need of a great, bright red lip color that would last easily through an entire performance.

Naturally, I trucked over to the campus area CVS and started browsing.  The display for the Revlon Lip Butters caught my eye immediately.  It was bright and inviting, with plenty of pretty little tubes in a wide array of colors.  Recently in the beauty blogging world, the Revlon Lip Butters have been generating a lot of buzz, so I figured that I'd pick up the brightest red I could find in the collection and pray that it would live up to the hype.

Not only will the Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple work beautifully for stage makeup, but I have a feeling I'll be wearing it offstage as well.

I have to start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of the packaging of this product.  The design is nice;  the cap of the tube has a pretty quilted pattern, and the tube itself looks very sleek and elegant.  However, the whole thing feels very cheap and plastic-y.  I'm a little worried about the durability of the packaging, since it feels that the whole thing could very easily be crushed or cracked.

Revlon definitely makes up for the lack of packaging quality when it comes to the quality of the product itself.  Applying the Lip Butter feels just like putting on my favorite lip balm, and it definitely has the same smooth and soft feel on my lips.

The color itself is beautiful on, but I did have to apply several layers to get a high-impact color payoff.  In my opinion, this isn't that much of a problem, because it means that the color is buildable and you can adjust the saturation/intensity to fit your needs.  For example, when I'm wearing this color on stage, I'll be able to layer it enough that it reads as a nice, bright red from a distance, and when I wear it for every-day purposes, I can create a softer, prettier look by applying less.

I wore the Lip Butter today, and it stayed put and kept its color intensity for a full six hours with no problems.  When I ate, however, the color definitely started to come off.  This just means that you'll have to reapply the color after eating or drinking, but this is the same as most other lip colors, so I'm not counting it as a negative aspect of the product.

After the Lip Butter wore off (and a little bit was taken off with makeup remover), my lips definitely felt softer than they did before I had applied the product.  The Lip Butter certainly nourishes the lips like it claims to!

As someone who doesn't enjoy lipstick at all, I find this to be a great alternative.  It feels much more like a lip balm than a lipstick, while still providing beautiful color.  I'm glad I picked this up... both my character and I will be using it frequently!

Have you tried any of the Revlon Lip Butters?  Which shades are your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush


PROS:  Fun texture, melts into skin, easy to apply, beautiful color selection, stays on all day, sheer color, buildable, dermatologist and allergy tested

CONS:  May be difficult to get used to at first for those used to powder blush, a lot is needed for a more dramatic look

I have to say, Maybelline is on a roll lately with their new products!  They're introducing a lot of really great, quality stuff, and the Dream Bouncy Blush is another example of this.

I've never really been a big blush wearer myself, although I knew that it would probably be a good idea to use a bit.  If I felt like adding a little natural flush or playing up my cheekbones, I'd just swipe on a tiny bit of powder blush and go.  When I first heard about the Dream Bouncy Blush, though, it definitely caught my attention.  There's something about the word "bouncy" that suggests a fun, youthful product, and it made me curious (good job, Maybelline marketing department).  How could a blush, or any makeup product for that matter, be "bouncy?"  Curiosity got the best of me, and on a shopping trip to my local CVS, I decided to pick some up.  I'm glad I did... I'm loving it!

My Dream Bouncy Blush in #40, Pink Plum
I chose to get the blush in #40 Pink Plum, shown on the right.  With my extremely fair, cool skin tone, I need to be careful to get blushes that are more pink hued, instead of peach.  Pink Plum has proven to be an excellent match for my skin.  Fair skinned ladies, don't be afraid of how bright it looks in the pan!  It's a nice, light pink that goes on very sheer, so it gives me a pretty, natural flush that makes me look more energized and alive.

The first thing that I noticed about this blush is the texture.  You apply this blush with your fingertips, so when I went to pick some up for the first time, it caught me a little off guard.  I actually started giggling... They weren't kidding when they decided to call this blush "bouncy!"  It has sort of a jelly, sponge-like texture, but picks up just like a cream.  I spent a few minutes swirling my finger around it, just because it's so fun to feel!

To use this blush, you pick up some of it with your finger (by rubbing or swirling your fingertip on the blush), then use your fingertip to pat and blend the color onto your cheeks.  I find that if I apply it to the apples of my cheeks first and blend outwards and upwards towards my temples, it gives the best effect.  Because you use your fingertips to apply the blush, you are entirely in control of where the blush goes.  It may take a little while to get used to for people who are used to applying powder blush with a brush, but because of the color payoff and the more natural, less "makeup-y" look, I think it's definitely worth it.

The blush melts easily into your skin like a cream, providing a nice wash of color that looks natural instead of just sitting on top of your skin.  The way it applies reminds me a lot of the Tarte Cheek Stains, but this is obviously a much more frugal option.  I think it looks just as good as my Tarte Cheek Stain in Flawless!  It also appears to last just as long as a stain.  I wore it all day to meetings, a physically demanding rehearsal, and then a night out, and it kept me looking fresh-faced the entire time.

The Dream Bouncy Blush does go on very sheer, but the color is buildable for a more dramatic look if you so choose.  To the left is a swatch on the back of my hand (taken in yellow lighting).  The bottom left side of the swatch is what it looks like after two layers are applied, and the upper right side is just one layer.

This blush also comes in a wide range of colors suitable for many different skin tones.  There are light pinks for the fair skinned, peaches for those with yellow undertones, deep pinks for the darker cool-toned skin types, and even reds and browns for the deepest skin colors.  All of the colors are lovely, and the right shade will give you a beautiful, natural, youthful flush.

The Dream Bouncy blush is available at most drugstores in the U.S. (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc.), and also at some select specialty stores such as Ulta.   It retails for about $7.99, which in my opinion, is a steal when you look at the price of some comparable products.  For more information and to see all of the available shades, go to

Maybelline is quickly becoming my favorite and my go-to when it comes to drugstore cosmetics.  After trying out the Dream Bouncy Blush, I can definitely say that it is going to become a daily part of my makeup routine.  I will, without a doubt, be purchasing this again!

Have you tried the Dream Bouncy Blush?  Which shade looks best on you?  Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Face of the Day: Winter Classic

Hey, all!

I ended up pretty happy this morning with the way my makeup turned out, so I thought I'd share.  I did a very simple, wearable look that will enhance your features without making you look too made-up.  The shades I used are really nice for winter;  The sparkly shadow will give your eyes an icy, snowy look, and the deep pinkish-red lip gloss will make your lips really stand out. Sorry that the photo quality isn't the best, but you should be able to get the general idea!


  • Shadow:  Urban Decay's Naked Palette.  Sidecar all over the lid, Smog on the outer corners, Naked on the brow bone, and Virgin under the brows and on inner corners.
  • Brows:  ELF's Eyebrow Lifter and Filler in Medium
  • Mascara:  Covergirl LashBlast Fusion
  • Eyeliner:  Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner on both upper lash line and waterline.
  • NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine in 580 Rivington Rose (I LOVE this stuff!  It's my new go-to lip gloss.)
  • Tarte Cheek Stain in Flawless on the apples of the cheeks
  • Showered at night, threw my hair up in a tight bun, went to bed, and woke up with some nice waves.  :)
That's all there is to it!  Let me know if you guys try this makeup combination.  I'd love to see how it works on some different complexions!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Quick Note to Fellow Bloggers

Hey, Blogger Friends!

I just wanted to let you guys know about a quick opportunity, since I just found out about it myself.  I'm sure many of you have heard of Influenster, but I wanted to let you guys know about another campaign site called BzzAgent.  This is a website where you can sign up to participate in campaigns and earn rewards, all for free!

A current campaign that I'm involved in is for Smarterer, an online quiz website that tests your knowledge about a wide range of subjects, including blogging platforms.  I just took the Blogger quiz, and actually learned a few things that I didn't know about Blogger before!  It's worth your time to check out, and if you get a good score, you also get bragging rights.

I know that this is off-topic from my usual blog posts, but I thought I'd spread the word since I know every blogger is always looking for more things to write about!  Anyway, be sure to check out BzzAgent,  and click on the cute little owl below to go to Smarterer and start trying it out for yourself!

Enjoy, and let me know about the campaigns that you guys get involved in!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Bath and Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream


PROS:  Beautiful scents, wide selection of fragrances, nourishes skin, leaves skin incredibly smooth, scent lasts for a long time, eliminates dry skin problems, great consistency (not runny, not too thick), adorable packaging, comparatively inexpensive

CONS:  Slight greasy feeling if too much is used (because this is a user error, it does not count against the overall rating)

I'm going to start this post off with something that might shock you:  My skin is not perfect.

I know, really.

Especially during the winter months, I tend to suffer from extremely dry, itchy skin, particularly on my legs and arms.  I also have a mild form of eczema on my hands, which, as anyone who has ever had eczema problems knows, can be extremely irritating.  I've tried almost every kind of intensive moisture lotion out there, but none of them seemed to have any effect against the patches of red, dry, flaky skin that plagued me and made me uncomfortable all the time.

My mother, however, always has incredibly smooth, soft skin.  I have never once heard her complain of any kind of dry skin problems, which of course, inspired a bit of jealousy and frustration.  I kept asking her what products she was using that made her skin so soft and problem-free, and she kept giving me the same answer:  "It's just my Bath and Body Works lotion."

Well, that didn't help me at all.  I'd tried Bath and Body Works' lotions before, and they didn't do anything for me.  Sure, they smelled great, but they left me feeling like I had a layer of grease all over my body, and my skin was just as dry and itchy the next day.  I finally asked her to show me what she was using, and what she handed to me wasn't quite what I was expecting.  Instead of the chunky, hourglass-shaped bottle I associated with Bath and Body Works, she handed me a long tube with the cap down at the bottom.  She let me use it, and immediately, I realized that this wasn't the same as what I'd been using from Bath and Body Works.

Right away, my skin was noticeably softer and smoother.  The product absorbed quickly into my skin without too much fussing and rubbing it in.  I put it on right after I showered (which was, and usually is at night), went to bed, and when I woke up, my skin felt so hydrated and smooth.  I also wasn't itching for the first time in quite a while.

One of the most surprising benefits of using this body cream for me is the effect it has had on my eczema.  Since I've started using this body cream, I have noticed a significant decrease in the eczema breakouts on my hands.  I have tried all kinds of different medicated creams and over-the-counter lotions, but none of them have hydrated my hands as much as this does.  I still have a few small spots, but it is noticeably better.

The scent was obviously fantastic (anyone who has ever shopped at Bath and Body Works knows the joy of just walking into the store and inhaling), and I still smelled good when I woke up after using it the previous night.  It definitely started to make sense to me why my mom always gets complimented on how good she smells.

These creams come in all of Bath and Body Works' signature scents, which means that you're almost guaranteed to find one that smells wonderful to you and that you will enjoy having on.  If you aren't too familiar with Bath and Body Works, here are three different scents that I personally love and would highly recommend:

Forever Sunshine (pictured above):  A nice, fresh mix of citrus, peony flower, pralines, and sandalwood.  It smells bright and fun, sweet, and summery.

Be Enchanted
(left):  A slightly more wintery scent, with sugared pomegranate and frosty florals.  It reminds me of a fairytale setting, and is a little mysterious but still very sweet.

Rio Rumberry (right):  A fun, tropical scent made up of exotic berries and vanilla.  It makes me think of a tropical vacation, and has a great, warm, summery smell.

Right now I have all of these, and I alternate between them depending on my mood.  Bath and Body Works carries a ton of fragrances that cater to both younger and more mature consumers, so if you don't want to smell like a teen girl, there are scents that are more sophisticated, and if you don't want to smell like an old lady, there are scents that are more playful and fun.  There are also plenty of "in between" scents that work well for everyone.

A lot of people worry about the fact that these are scented, and therefore whether or not they will irritate their skin.  As a person with sensitive skin who breaks out in a horrible rash if I use anything but clinical sensitive skin deodorant, these don't bother my skin at all.

This is a wonderful product that isn't talked about very much, because Bath and Body Works sometimes gets the reputation of being more of a novelty store.  Honestly, the Body Creams did wonders for my skin, and I'd recommend them to absolutely anyone who is looking to improve their dry skin and smell phenomenal while doing so.

The Triple Moisture Body Creams retail at Bath and Body works for about $12 each, although there is almost always some kind of "Buy 2, get 1 free" deal going on.  You can get them at any Bath and Body Works store, or online at

How has your skin improved since you've been using the Triple Moisture Body Cream?  Which scents are your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Look: Golden Gradient with the Naked Palette

I'm still having a total blast playing around with my Naked Palette, and today I'm back with a look that I created the other day.  This is a pretty, subtle look which creates an ombre effect that will make your eyes look bigger and brighter.  It looks natural so it's perfect for everyday wear, and it's extremely easy and quick to do!

Golden Gradient

  1. Prime the eyelid with an eyeshadow primer, liquid foundation, or concealer.
  2. With a flat/c-shaped eyeshadow brush, apply Smog to the outer half of the lid.
  3. With the same brush, apply Half-Baked to the inner half of the lid.
  4. With the same brush, apply Darkhorse lightly to the outer corner of the lid.
  5. With the same brush, apply Virgin to the inner corner of the lid.
  6. With a domed/fluffy eyeshadow brush, apply Naked to the brow bone.
  7. With the same brush in step 6, apply Virgin just under the eyebrow.
  8. Starting about 2/3 of the way in on your eyelid, thinly line your upper lash line with a black liner, thickening the line just slightly at the outer corner of the lid (I used Maybelline Eye Studio® Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner).
  9. With the same liner (or a pencil, if you prefer), line your waterline.
  10. Apply mascara (I used Covergirl's Lashblast Fusion), and you're finished!
That's all there is to it!  Since this is such a natural look, you can pair this eye with a slightly more colorful lip.  I've found that it looks beautiful with my NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine in Rivington Rose, which is a medium pink shade.

Feel free to share how this look works for you in the comments!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Maybelline Eye Studio® Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner


PROS: Glides on smoothly, incredible pigmentation, extremely easy to apply, waterproof, doesn't smudge, very nice packaging, can be used on waterline, lasts all day.

CONS: The included brush isn't great for eyeliner; I tossed it.

After squeezing every last drop out of my Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner Pen recently, I decided that it was about time to move on to a new liner.  I wasn't sure that I wanted to get the Revlon pen again--It did its job just fine, but it usually required a few coats for a deep color and my shaky hands made application a little difficult.  I started asking around about different liquid liners to try, and even purchased a different brand (which was a TOTAL flop, review to come), but I wasn't seeing or hearing of anything that looked like it would work well for me.  I was lamenting about my search for the perfect liquid liner to my fellow cast member on the way home from rehearsal one night, and after detailing how liquid liner tends to frustrate me so much, she offered a simple piece of advice:  "You should try a gel liner."

I had only heard about gel liners before, and had never actually tried one.  They looked intimidating to me--when I was so used to pens, crayons, and brushes, how the heck was I supposed to know what to do with a little pot of liner?  However, at this point, I was running out of time to decide, so I chose to go for it.  I did a quick Google search for "drugstore gel eyeliners," found one from Maybelline, and went out and bought it.

Best. Decision. Ever.

A quick note about gel liners for those of you who are new to them like I was:  They're different than what you're used to, but that's actually a great thing.  The liner comes packaged in a tiny little pot, and you use a brush to apply it.  You just dip the tip of your brush into the pot, wipe any excess off on the sides, and use the brush to apply the liner.  The brush that is included with this product is useable, but definitely not the best option.  I would recommend the Small Angled Brush from the ELF Studio Collection, or something very similar to it.  Also, don't expect to get a ton of product.  The pots that these come in are tiny, but since you use just a teeny bit of product on each application, it should last you a long time.

Maybelline has really stepped up their product quality recently, and the Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner is no exception.  The liner is creamy and amazingly smooth, and SO easy to apply.  I was worried about how I would handle a brush since my hand is so shaky with a liquid pen, but I actually found it much easier to use.  Using the brush makes it so you can hold it close to the bristles, reducing shake and allowing for a clean application.

My absolute favorite thing about this product is the pigmentation.  One sweep across the lash line delivers all the color I need, whereas I used to have to go over my liner several times before it was intense enough for my taste.  Be warned, though;  The black is VERY black.  If you, unlike me, don't like a dramatic black look, I'd recommend going for this same eyeliner in one of their other, more subtle shades, like brown.

The packaging on this product is the best I've ever seen on a Maybelline product.  I wasn't happy at all with the packaging on the Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow, but the packaging for the gel liner is enough to make up for it in my book.  The liner comes in a small glass pot with a sturdy plastic lid, which makes me feel confident that I won't have to run out and get a replacement due to a packaging malfunction.  It looks pretty classy, too;  It fits right in looks-wise with some of my high-end makeup.

I've been wearing this liner every day for about a week now, and I'm extremely impressed with its lasting power.  The liner is waterproof (confirmed after a weepy spell), and won't smudge unless you touch it (even then, it's hard to smudge).  It's even perfect for use on the waterline.  This is the only liner I have ever used that stayed on my waterline ALL DAY.  I wake up, put it on, go to classes, take a nap, go to rehearsal, come home late at night, and after all that, it is still exactly where I put it when I did my makeup in the morning.

Needless to say, I've been converted.  I don't know if I'll ever go back to liquid liner now that I've found gel!  I wouldn't worry about going out and buying some of the other (very) expensive gel liners out there.  I can't think of anything that this liner doesn't do that those could!  The only reason this product didn't get a 10/10 is because of the silly little brush that could be redesigned to be much more efficient.  The liner itself is definitely a 10!

Maybelline Eye Studio® Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner is available at most drugstores in the U.S. (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.), and retails for about $7.  The liner comes in Blackest Black, Brown, Eggplant (medium purple), and Charcoal (medium gray).  For more information, visit

Bravo, Maybelline!  I will be buying the Eye Studio® Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner from here on out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Look: Subtle, Pretty "Green With Envy" Eye

The other day, I did a review on the Maybelline Eye Studio® Color Plush™ Silk Eyeshadow, and as promised, I'm back with a look I created with one of the shadow quads!  This look uses the "Green With Envy" quad, and is a subtle and pretty look.  This is a super quick and easy look, great for mornings when you don't feel like putting much effort in or want something you can do in under five minutes.  All of the colors were used dry here;  if the colors aren't intense enough for your tastes, just wet your brush a bit and you'll get all the pigmentation you need!

Subtle,  Pretty "Green With Envy" Eye

  1. Prime the eyelid with an eyeshadow primer, liquid foundation, or concealer.
  2. **I skipped this step in the above photos, but if you'd like a slightly more dramatic look, take the darkest shade in the quad and apply it along the upper lash line, slightly thicker than you would apply eyeliner.**
  3. With a flat/c-shaped eyeshadow brush, take the bright green (second from the right) color and pat it on to the outer half of the lid, bringing the color just a tiny bit past time middle of the lid.
  4. With the same type of brush used in step three, take the darker golden (second from the left) color and pat it onto the inner half of the lid.  In the middle of the lid, where the two colors meet, blend the gold over/into the green in an outward sweeping motion.
  5. Using a small precision brush, take the bright green color and apply it on the outer half of the lower lash line.
  6. Using the same brush in step 5, take the deeper golden color and apply it to the inner half of the lower lash line, blending in the middle where it meets the green.
  7. Using a flat/c-shaped OR domed/fluffy eyeshadow brush, apply the lightest color in the quad to the brow bone and the inner corners of the eyes.
  8. Line the upper lash line with a liquid liner (I used the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner Pen in Black), and the waterline with a pencil/crayon liner (I used the Revlon Colorstay Crayon in Black).
  9. Apply mascara (I used Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion), and you're done!

I hope you guys like this look as much as I do!  Leave a comment to let me know how it works for you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Maybelline Eye Studio® Color Plush™ Silk Eyeshadow


PROS:  Fantastic pigmentation, great color selection, well-coordinated colors, silky-soft shadows, great shimmer, easy to blend

CONS:  Poor packaging quality

Having green eyes means that there are a few certain color palettes that can really make your eyes pop, with shades of purple being one of the best selections.  I always try to keep some purple shadow in my makeup case for days when I want to really play up my eye color.  When I ran out of my last purple eyeshadow from L'oreal (which I really wasn't crazy about), I headed over to the drugstore to pick up some more.  I usually do well with Maybelline products, so I looked over their selection, and picked up their Eye Studio® Color Plush™ Silk Eyeshadow in Virtually Violet (formerly known as "Purple Icon") on a whim.  When I tried it the next day, I was blown away.  I immediately went out and bought two more colors that same evening.

I had never used a drugstore-brand product that I was actually THRILLED about until I found this eyeshadow.  When I dipped my brush into the pan for the first time, I was shocked at how much shadow was immediately picked up--I didn't have to scrape and struggle to get it onto my brush!  When I swept the color onto my lids, I was even more excited.  The colors are so pigmented that they appear on my lids EXACTLY the same as they look in the pans.  The colors smooth on like butter.  The shadow is so soft, and glides effortlessly over the eyelid.  Blending them is a breeze--you can use the shadows to create a beautiful ombre effect on your lids.  I would go so far as to compare these shadows to the shadows from my Urban Decay Naked Palette;  Yeah, they're that good.

The Eye Studio® Color Plush™ Silk Eyeshadow comes in a total of 12 different color combinations, each coordinated for a beautiful look with a variety of shades.  I personally own Virtually Violet, Green With Envy (which I happen to be wearing right now), and Mad for Mauve, and I definitely want to get more.  The shadows come in quads, and can easily be blended together or worn separately for a wide variety of looks.

All of the shadows in this collection are shimmery, so if you prefer matte shades, you probably want to look for something else.  The shimmer is certainly not overwhelming, but is definitely noticeable, and draws attention to your eyes.  

Here are some swatches from the sets I own.  Note that all of these were applied dry;  when wet, the colors become even more intense! 

Virtually Violet

Green With Envy

Mad for Mauve
The lightest shade in this set happens to be extremely close to my skin color.  It shows up much better than this on darker skin!
The bottom line is that these shadows are fantastic.  Before I got the Naked Palette for Christmas, these were the shadows I wore every day, and now I alternate between the two.  The major difference in quality between these shadows and the Naked Palette is found in the packaging.  The Eye Studio® Color Plush™ Silk Eyeshadow packaging is made of really cheap plastic.  I have to handle it pretty gingerly because I feel it might crack or break apart at any second.  Really, though, this is a minor detail for such an awesome product.  I adore these shadows, and I HIGHLY recommend them for anyone who wants high-end quality on a drugstore budget.

These shadow sets retail for between $7 and $10, and you can find them at virtually any drugstore in the U.S. that sells makeup.  Visit Maybelline's website for more information or to buy!

I will definitely be posting looks/tutorials for the shadows I own in the near future, so stay tuned!  For any of you that own other colors of the Eye Studio® Color Plush™ Silk Eyeshadow, feel free to share your experiences or photos in the comments!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Video Review: NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine

I didn't get this lip gloss in my VoxBox, but Santa put it in my stocking!  :)  What do you think about NYC Liquid Lipshine?