Elf Smudge Pots – Review

100_5338Hello, all! If you’re a budget savvy diva like I am, then you are more than likely very familiar with the brand elf. Now, the object of today’s affections is more of an oldie, but it’s still a goodie: Smudge Pots! They’re $3 and the ELF website is always aiming to hand out those deals and coupons.

The pots come in a very chic and classy clear pot that looks like glass, but definitely isn’t. It’s fine, though, because you can still get that rich queen aesthetic. The shadows inside have a very smooth and creamy feel, but the downside is that if you’re like me, and prefer to get the maximum pigmentation by using your fingers for application, the pots are a bit too narrow to get to the product without getting it clustered under your nails.

100_5343new

100_5321new
Without Flash
100_5325new
With Flash

In terms of pigmentation, color pay-off generally depends on the shade. Back to Basics tends to have the best stand-alone application on my eyes and Poppin’ Party is the most likely to get a little streaky on my lids. All of the shadows are buildable and once they’re on my lid, I usually get a solid 5 or so hours of uninterrupted wear. I find this to be a huge plus because it offers a lot of flexibility to the product. All of the shades can work as a decent primer or go on to make a great base for corresponding shadow colors that you want to layer on top.

In conclusion, I am a huge Smudge Pot fan and have recommended them to all of my friends and recommend them to you all as well! They’re versatile, they’re great for people who want quick pigmentation and don’t have time for brushes, and come in neutrals, bold shades, and shimmers! Spend your coins in a cost efficient manner and pick this up ya’ll (as long as your budget has accounted for it – $3 can be a lot of money and you should only spend it if you think it’s a great investment).

YouTube ♥ Tumblr ♥ Instagram

Revlon ColorStay 24 Hour Foundation – Review

Hello, all! If you are subscribed to my YouTube channel, then you know that I’ve been testing out the Revlon ColorStay 24 hour foundation. This product claims to be America’s most-loved longwear foundation (which, I have literally never heard anyone else say before, but alright) and comes in both a Normal/Dry Skin formula and a Combination/Oily Skin formula. As it is winter and the weather has stripped the life from my face, I went for the former! I picked mine up from Ulta for $12.99, which is on the higher end of drugstore pricing. Fortunately Ulta is running a Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale on Revlon products until February 13 or you can buy it from Walmart for $10.

100_5026

This foundation comes in what feels like a glass bottle with a twist-off lid and no pump, though I believe newer bottles should include that. It is fairly liquidy, but not so runny that it becomes difficult to work.

In terms of coverage, I would say that it is a medium and flexible. The first layer of it evens out my skin tone and reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation on my face and a second layer in the areas where my hyper-pigmentation is the most prominent cancels out the majority of the darkness without looking cakey. It also gives the skin a very natural, demi-matte finish, which is great for me because full on matte usually sucks every ounce of moisture from my face and a dewy finish leaves my face as greasy as a Pizza Hut pizza. In addition to having a nice finish, it also has a nice wear time. Though it is nowhere close to the 24 hours that the title claims, it does chill on my skin for a good 7 to 8 hours before it begins to look a bit less fab (though the wear time on me is sometimes about an hour less than that because I’m always napping in my makeup).

My favorite thing about this foundation, though, is the flexibility that it offers for different types of skin. In addition to coming in 2 different formulas to cater to normal, oily, dry, and combination skin, it has a wider array of colors to choose from than most drugstore lines. The normal/dry skin foundation has 12 shades and the combination/oily foundation has 20. While I do not believe there’s such a thing as “the perfect foundation,” this line offers so many options, that it comes close to it in my books.

Overall, I give this foundation a solid A. It has a solid wear-time, a strong color selection, and provides options for different skin types.

YouTube Tumblr Instagram

ELF Cream Eyeliner – Review

Hello all! Today’s review is on the ELF cream eyeliners. I usually rock with the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner Pen, but mine dried up and was not working for me anymore and I was in the market for a replacement. My school’s bookstore only stocks one brand, which is ELF, so I decided to give this one a shot. ELF can be pretty hit or miss with their products, but when the price of the eyeliner is only $3 I have zero standards or desire to be picky.

100_4792100_4796

The packaging of the liners is very simple as it comes in these clear little pots with black twist-off lids. It isn’t fussy, there are few bells and whistles, and I am 100% here for it. They come with a little liner brush that you can use, which is helpful for beginners who are looking for a low commitment entry into the cream liner game. I personally threw mine out (hence, the lack of pictures of it) as I already own actual full size liner brushes, but I appreciate the contribution.

100_4799

I picked my liners up in the original “Black” as well as in “Coffee” for those days when I’m seeking a more Ariana Grande-esque wing. Swatch wise, I find that Black applies much better than Coffee because the former is much more opaque. They live up to the name “cream” liners by being ultra-creamy, but the shade Coffee is so creamy that it feels thin upon application. It initially comes off as a little translucent and sometimes has the issue where the brush can cut through the product which can make your liner appear slightly patchy, though it is not as noticeable once the product fully sets.

100_4801

Both liners dry to a matte finish and then lock into place. As you can see, I swiped my finger across the liners a few times after they’d dried for about 15-20 seconds and there was only a small amount of streakage. They last all day on my eyes, despite my overly-oiled up eyelids, though I still recommend basing them with a primer or actual eyeshadow.

Overall, these liners are 2 of my favorite products that I’ve ever picked up. They’re easy to work with, long lasting, and cost efficient. The classic Black is definitely a must have and Coffee, while not formulated quite as well as Black, is a fun alternative if you’re just looking to try something new. I think these are great liners, particularly if you’re looking to rock a dramatic wing but don’t have the dexterity or patience for an actual liquid liner.

Top 5 Beauty Products Under $5

While I occasionally do fancy myself and investment product, I am generally 100% here for a good, cost-efficient product. I don’t have a huge fortune to look forward to and I’m pretty much the quintessential broke-college-student, which means I’m always looking for the hookup and I like to share it with you all when I find. So in that spirit, here are 5 things that I’m currently loving that all round up to under $5!

Eyelure Definition Lash 121

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk

ELF Cream Eyeliner

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick

Black Radiance Oil Free Liquid Makeup

YouTube ♥ Tumblr ♥ Instagram

Lorac Pro Matte Eyeshadow Palette – Review

Hello all! Today I have a review that has been a long time coming and it is on the Lorac Pro Matte Eyeshadow Palette. I am a huge Lorac fan and actually purchased this on my birthday, because why wouldn’t my gift to myself be the addition of more Lorac in my life? It was and is still $28 at Ulta and also on the Lorac Cosmetics website. Unfortunately, no coupon codes apply (which is sad, because I love to hit you all up with a good deal), but $28 isn’t too much of a break the bank price for a palette of 8 shadows.

100_4210

The packaging comes in the same sleek cardboard fold over palette as all other Lorac palettes and includes a nice mirror on the inside. I know on social media a lot of people were surprised that the palette is quite small (though I just like to call it travel friendly). The website says that the total net weight is 0.144 oz./4g, which doesn’t really mean much to me, so just be aware that it will fit very nicely in your hands. As the name of the product tells you, everything inside is matte, and it carries a nice array of fairly neutral shadows which I’m assuming means that you can create a lot of everyday matte looks with it whether you’re at home or on the go.

100_4212

No Flash
No Flash
Flash
Flash

To be honest, swatching isn’t the best way to measure the pigmentation of a product or it’s actual use, especially as I’ve found that streaks of matte shadows never really do much for me, but as you can see, they are for the most part fairly pigmented. In actual use, I’ve found that they hold up very well and generally do not crease on my oily lids.

Despite the ease of use color selection, I can honestly say that this palette has not been the easiest for me to use. I don’t necessarily find the formula of each shadow to be consistent through-out, and the shade Courdoroy has been particularly difficult for me to use. It never really blends out as easy as I need it to, and while I like to invision it as a perfect complimentary crease color for most looks, it’s better used on the lid where little manipulation is necessary for a good look. The only way to really blend it anywhere is to barely dip your brush into the shadow, which requires way more self-control than I am capable of on a daily basis. Also, the shade Burgundy, when blended with other colors has generally failed to keep up any of its brick redness. I generally don’t touch the shades Bare or Linen, but Pink Mauve, Latte, Chocolate, and Jet Black really make the palette for me. They’re all very versatile, pigmented, and most importantly, easy to actually integrate into looks because they blend so well.

In the end, I wouldn’t say this palette has necessarily wowed me. I’m not upset that I bought it because I get so much use out of the shades that I do love. I know this is a lot of people’s everyday go-to palettes, but I’ve found that it’s a palette that works best for me when used with other palettes (particularly the Unzipped Palette). As I have no shortage of palettes, I’m not particularly bothered by this, but if you’re looking for a good palette to start out with, then I’d recommend skipping out on this one.

YouTube ♥ Tumblr ♥ Instagram

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette – Review

100_4270

Hello, all! Today I come to you with another review and this one is from my favorite drugstore brand, Maybelline! I picked up their new Blushed Nudes palette and wanted to share my thoughts with you all on it. I purchased mine from Walmart for $9.99, the same price as the original The Nudes palette. Like always, if you’re feeling pretty budget savvy, you can pick yours up from Ulta with a mascara or something and use their current coupon code (or print off the physical coupon) and score $3.50 off of a $10 purchase.

The palette comes in a nice and sleek blush tone plastic frame with clear space to see all 12 shadows inside. It is very sturdy, an awesome size for travel, and overall does a good job at not falling apart (which I wasn’t expecting to be a problem, but sometimes you just don’t know). All of the shadows inside of it are primarily in the realm of ‘blush,’ living up to the name and carrying some soft pink iridescence or shimmer to them.

100_4271

No Flash
No Flash
Flash
Flash

I swatched these shadows on my arm with the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer as a base. Some may call that cheating, but let me tell you, primer was very necessary as these shadows apply better than they swatch. If you’re into showing off you Insta-color shadow arms to your legions of followers or if you love caressing blocks of velvety smooth shadows then this product may initially disappoint you in those departments. As a person who both loves a good swatch and feeling up those shadows, I found that those initial ‘disappointments’ are really easy to overlook, simply because the product works incredibly well for $10. I recommend using the non-matte shadows with a bit of a damp brush, but overall I was able to achieve a greater depth of color in application than on my arms and that’s perfectly okay. The shadows were blendable, buildable, and were not heavy on the creasing – though I still do recommend using it with a primer.

My only real complaint about it is that while I find the idea of blush tones x5 to be pretty awesome in theory, in reality it was a little bit impractical for my needs. I don’t need brown with subtle flecks of pink glitter; I just need brown. The color selection of this palette is very charming, especially as full drugstore palettes appears to be a recent occurrence, but everything about these shadows did not have to be bathed in blush.

Finally, this review would not be complete unless I compared this palette to my beloved The Nudes one and I can tell you right now, the quality of The Blushed Nudes is better. The shadows are more pigmented, there are less chalky shades to sort through (though some still do exist), and the color selection is fairly unique. It doesn’t look quite as sexy as The Nudes and I can’t fill my brows in with it, but that doesn’t matter because it appears that a lot of my initial concerns about the original palette were addressed in this one.

YouTube ♥ Tumblr ♥ Instagram

BareMinerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation – Review

100_4070

Hello, all! I’ve recently been trying out the new BareMinerals Pure Brightening Serum Foundation that I picked up on Ulta, mainly because it came with free shipping. It claims to be like “nothing [I’ve] ever felt before” and to be formulated without water, parabens, oil, silicon, or fragrance. I’m no scientist and I don’t know what all of that mumbo-jumbo means, but I do love me a good bargain and at $29 with free shipping (which you can still partake in) I had no choice but to be all “sign me up” and added this product to my cart with some free perfume samples too.

100_4072100_4063

I’ve been wearing the foundation now for about 2 or 3 weeks and I think that it is simply alright. You definitely have to shake the product to get the foundation at a usable consistency, but that is a mess free process as the inside of the lid is molded to fit snuggly around the nozzle of the bottle. The formula of the foundation is very wet and thin, which I believe is what helps you to obtain the “adjustable coverage” that it claims to allow for. 1-2 drops puts you around that light-medium coverage range. Depending on the condition of your skin, 3-4 drops can give you a more full coverage look.

1 drop of product without shaking
1 drop of product without shaking
1 drop of product when shaken beforehand
1 drop of product when shaken beforehand
1 drop blended out
1 drop blended out
1 drop blended out completely
1 drop blended out completely

It is very lightweight on the skin and I find that it photographs very well, but I don’t think it’s the best go-to, everyday foundation for me. Though it gives a natural finish, rather than a matte one, it tends to cling to my dry patches and sometimes, new dry patches arise as the day goes on. It isn’t overly noticeable, but when I look at my face in the mirror after about 6 hours, it looks like the product is breaking up over the dry patches of my skin.

It also claims to be a brightening foundation and, to be honest, I don’t know what that is truly supposed to mean. It has a natural finish, but I’ve never felt like I’ve looked exceptionally radiant with just the foundation on. Perhaps my personality is just so bright on it’s own that it cancels out any brightening effect of the foundation? That being said, this product does work really well with highlighters, so if you like to go ham on that highlight, then this might be the product for you.

Overall, I have found this foundation to be quite alright. It honestly does offer adjustable coverage, feels lightweight on the skin, and doesn’t have a messy application. I did not find it to be incredibly longwearing and tends to cling to dry patches on my skin, which I’m not the hugest fan of. I think this is a okay foundation, but it isn’t necessarily a holy-grail item for me. That being said, I can see myself turning towards this foundation on special occasions because it does work well with highlighters and it is relatively easy to obtain whatever level of coverage that you are most interested in obtaining.

Have any of you tested this foundation out and, if so, what was your experience? Also, what foundations are you all in love with right now?

YouTube ♥ Tumblr ♥ Instagram