Thursday, April 22, 2010

Smashbox Try Me Vol. 2 Smashbox Superstars Review

As a part of my recent Sephora haulage I purchased the Smashbox Try Me Vol. 2 Smashbox Superstars set. I have a few things here and there from Smashbox, so when I saw this set for $29 had some things I've been wanting to try I jumped on it.

What it is:
A collection of superstar products—all in portable travel sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on the go!

What it does:
Smashbox superstars now come in perfectly portable sizes. Get your all-time!

This set contains:
- 0.17 oz Bionic Mascara In Jet Black - Travel Size
- 0.19 oz Mini Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss
- 0.25 oz O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color - Travel Size
- 0.25 oz Mini Photo Finish Foundation Primer
- 0.123 oz Mini Fusion Soft Lights In Baked Starburst

Bionic Mascara in Jet Black
I'm extremely picky when it comes to mascara. Once I find one that works, I stick with it. I have decent lashes, but I definitely need mascara to make them pop. I liked the way this mascara felt on. It wasnt too stiff or smudgy. It lasted through the whole day with just a little smudged under my lower lashes. It definitely thickened my lashes. It didnt do much as far as length went, which is one thing I like for my mascaras to have. I didnt love the brush as it was kind of large. I prefer brushes that taper at the end, so I can get into the corners with minimal mess. Overall, the mascara was nice, but not nice enough to replace what I normally use.

Mini Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss
I liked the lipgloss. It definitely gave my lips that shiny, sexy look. It wasnt too sticky, but after I'd had it on for a few hours it got kind of gritty feeling. I loved the look of it though. It was just a pearly white shade, which gave my lips an ultra glossy, shimmery look. It will definitely look fabulous with a smokey eye.

O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color
I have been wanting to buy this forever. For.Ever. I'd read mixed reviews on it, some people like it, others not at all. I didnt want to buy a giant thing of it and then decide meh, dont like it so much. So the travel size was the perfect thing for me. It's a clear gel, that once applied to your skin and rubbed slightly begins to change color into a bubblegum-berryish kind of shade, depending on how long you let the color develop. Then you just blend it into your cheeks. I found that starting out with a little and adding more to get the desired color is the way to go. You also need to let it sit for a moment on your skin so the color can develop. Blending it in too early means that you have to keep applying to get the pretty flush. I loved the color on my skin though. I'm very fair and freckled, and this was a pretty "I just went for a walk" shade. I love the consistency of the gel, it reminds me a lot of Smashbox's primer, very smooth and delicate feeling. I really liked the blush and once this little sucker's gone, I'm definitely going to have buy a full size tube.

Mini Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Amazing. I love the way my skin feels with this. It makes for the perfect foundation application. I was able to use even less foundation because it went on so smoothly. My skin felt amazing all day yesterday. I havent put it through the sweat test yet, but no matter how it holds up to that, this is definitely going to be a new staple for me. The way it made my skin look, and then how flawlessly my foundation went on gets this blonde's seal of approval without a doubt.

Mini Fusion Soft Lights In Baked Starburst
The powder can be used on your face to contour or highlight, or as eyeshadow. It contains five shades (golden tan/soft peach/tan/champagne/bronze shimmer) that work alone, layered over each other, or mixed all together. It gave me a nice glow without too much shimmer. I hate when powder deposits too much shimmer and you end up looking like a Cullen. That's definitely not my cup of tea. I mixed all of the colors together and swiped it over my lids, added some black liner with a touch of MACs Satin Taupe eyeshadow over the liner, and I was ready to go. It's definitely great for when you're in a hurry and dont want the fuss of using a bunch of eyeshadow. I really like that the products multipurpose. It's great for when you dont have time, or when you need to pack lightly.

Overall, my favorite products were definitely the Photo Finish Primer, O-Glow Cheek Color, and Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss. Those three products made the kit for me. The mascara didnt do much for me, but I knew when I bought it I probably wouldnt love it. The Fusion Soft Lights was nice, but like so many things I already have with my MAC MSFs. I really did love that it had the perfect amount of shimmer, but other than that, it didnt have that WOW! factor for me. I am glad I purchased the set though. For under $30 I was able to try 5 of Smashbox's products, you cant beat that! I ended up liking 4 out of 5, so no complaints here. I would definitely recommend purchasing this set if you're looking to try out Smashbox without paying too much. This blonde thinks it was well worth it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Haul, Reviews, and Catching Up

I have failed epicly at keeping up with this blog! I was staying decently active while my boyfriend was deployed, when I first started. Then he came home and we settled back into our hectic routine. Naturally, my blogging past time took the back seat. This past week I did my first BIG haul in over a year. It was so exciting for me since I havent hauled in so long. To make things better, Sephora was having their huge 15% off promotion, so I got a lot of things I've been lemming. My fabulous haul included:

-MUFE HD Microfinish blush in Nip Slip

-Kat Von D True Romance Palettes in Ludwig and Memento Mori

-Too Faced Eye Shadow Insurance Policy High Impact Eye Shadow Collection

-Stila Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette - The Runway Look

-Smashbox Cream Eye Liner Palette in Backstage

-Urban Decay Stereophonic 24/7 Set

-Smashbox Try Me Vol. 2 Smashbox Superstars

For being a Beauty Insider, I also got a deluxe sample of Michael Kors Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum and Sephora's Smoothing Primer. I tried the Michael Kors Very Hollywood already and I LOVE it! At first whiff I thought that it was kind of matronly and fussy. As time went on though I adored it. It's a very soft, seductive floral scent. It has key notes of mandarin, gardenia, and vetiver. It's a nice change of pace from my normal scents.

The first product I thought I'd review for you was the Stila Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette - The Runway Look.

What it says it does:
"Stila takes Backstage Beauty front and center this fall with a couture-inspired eyeshadow palette, this luxe collection is high class all the way. The three-pan palette includes both matte and shimmer shades, plus an onyx kajal liner to define and complete your sultry stare."

This is the first Stila eyeshadow I've ever purchased. Sephora had it on sale for $20 so I figured what the heck. If I didnt like it, I'd just pass it on to one of my younger sisters. You got 3 eyeshadows in a black leather, mirrored palette and a small black kajal eyeliner (which I havent tested yet, other than to swatch, so that review is coming). I'm going to do a few FOTDs that show some of the looks you can achieve with this palette in the next couple of days.

The shadows are a matte vanilla, slightly shimmery medium brown, and a satin dark, almost plummy brown. At first, I was kind of thinking that I shouldnt purchase the set because, what do you know, 3 more neutrals to add to my already insane collection of neutral eyeshadows. But now all I can say is WOW! I'm so glad I bought this. The eyeshadows are insanely smooth and silky. The matte cream is really soft and not at all chalky like some matte eyeshadows are. The medium brown has the perfect amount of subtle shimmer. I loved the darkest shade because it looked fabulous next to my blue-green eyes.

I fell in love with this palette immediately. I know this will be the only eyeshadow I take with me when I travel because those 3 shadees are so versatile. It's super portable and you can create a variety of looks. Obviously the popular "Runway" look it's inspired by, a natural, everyday eye (which I sported today!), or a sultry, brown smokey eye when you want some glamour, can all be created with this little palette.

My final verdict: I'm in love! I'm an eyeshadow snob, I will buy a lot but always end up going back to my tried and true favorites. Well those favorites were just given a run for their money. This palette is a must for buy for a Stila eyeshadow virgin or the hardcore makeup junkie. It's portable, convenient, versatile, and high quality. And at only $20 it most definitely is a steal! This blonde thinks you should check it out!

My next love was the Make Up Forever Microfinish HD Blush in Nip Slip.

What it does:
"HD Microfinish Blush combines mattifying and reflecting powders to create a soft-focus effect for a radiant complexion. Its ultra-fine, second-skin texture blends seamlessly, imparting a healthy glow that's hard not to notice." Nip Slip is described as a neutral pink.

First of all the color is gorgeous! It's the perfect flush for my porcelain skin. In the bottle it looks like it isnt as bright as it is, but once you apply it the color is a gorgeous shade of rosy pink. The blush has a very creamy texture and is blendable. The color payoff is buildable, using more or less depending on the color you're hoping to achieve. I found that half a pump is more than enough to give both of my cheeks a natural flush. A full pump was wayyyy too much. I applied it with my fingers, but you could also use a duo-fibre brush. It definitely left me with a healthy glow like they claim. (You can see what it looks like on me in my Stila Runway Palette FOTDs that are coming soon!)

My Final Verdict: Great buy! I'm definitely going to be purchasing a few more of the colors. Just remember that a little goes a long way otherwise, you'll waste a lot of product. Another blonde seal of approval!

More reviews and FOTDs will be coming! Have any of you tried the Stila Runway Palette or MUFE Microfinish Blush? What did you think of them?