Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 8 Shade Palette

There are so many nude palettes out there, so why should you need another one? Well, I must say, after a few weeks using the new Clinique Shades of Beige palette, hear me out, you might also need this one. My expectation were set pretty high with this palette. Already being a huge fan of my trusty Clinique Black Honey Palette I was curious to see how these shadows would compare.

First off, the packaging is gorgeous and simple. So happy Clinique got rid of that medical looking green packaging - remember that?! With a big mirror on the inside of its case, the palette is sturdy and quite small. It fits perfectly in my hand and because of its compact size, would be amazing to take traveling. Even with it's mirrored case look, the palettes doesn't attract smudge prints too easily, thank goodness.

As you can see, the color range is quite good. The only color missing in order for the palette to be complete, in my opinion, is a very dark brown or black. I often use that type of color to line my upper lash line and to slightly deepen the outer crease. Some people might also notice that there are no matte shades in this palette. I personally don't mind, but can absolutely see how this can be a problem for some beauty lovers. I like using a matte color in my crease but this palette doesn't give me that option. The third shade from the left is a little less shimmery than the others, and I usually end up using that to blend out the crease and it does the trick.

The palette does have quite a wide range of colors however, from warm toned shades to cooler toned shades, which makes it easy to use for a daytime or an evening look. I'm absolutely obsessed with the 5th and 6th shade from the left. They are absolutely stunning cool toned neutrals and remind me both of a muted Satin Taupe by MAC. At first, I thought maybe there was too much shimmer in this palette, but after accidentally leaving my palette on my mom's vanity over the holidays, and hearing how much she loved using it until she returned it to me, I figured it must not be that shimmery. My mom is one to stay away from shimmer and the fact that she loved this palette confirms that women of any age could use it. The shimmer simply isn't too obvious on the lids. My mom has more of an olive skin (I have a pinky cool skintone) and the colors were very flattering on her as well.

The shades vary in pigmentation. The lighter shades are less pigmented than the darker shades, but they are still easy to work with. The shades have a very different texture than say, a soft MAC shadow. However, I suspect that the fact that they are less creamy than the leading Urban Decay or MAC shadows, is letting them stay longer on the lid without creasing. As with my beloved Black Honey Clinique palette, these shadows do not budge whatsoever (with my usual base). I've also experienced minimal fall-out with all the shades. It's also worth noting that the lightest shade is gorgeous in the inner lid, and that the bronze shade (second from the right) is stunning worn on its own.

Here, I created a quick look with the taupe shades, and the darkest shade in the outer corner. I used the lightest shade in the tear duct area to brighten up my eyes. This has been my daytime look lately: easy and sophisticated.

Overall, I'm very happy with this palette. It delivered what I expected of it: gorgeous shades, staying power and versatility. I've been using it for daytime looks, but have no problems switching it up to nighttime. The only lacking shade in my opinion is a light matte, and a black matte color. But I have no problem replacing my usual use of a black shadow by black eyeliner, so it's not much of an inconvenience. If you have a million neutral toned palettes, maybe this one can be skipped. However, if like me, you don't own any of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, this might be a great option!

* I have received this product for consideration but my opinions are always my own. I am not being compensated for this review and I always strive to review products with honesty.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I took this picture yesterday at my parents after a pretty stormy weekend. The ice build-up on the tree branches was so pretty, I got a little snap happy.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all very happy holidays! Hope you all have a safe, merry and cozy time!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Anastasia Lavish Palette - Review & Swatches

About a month ago, I treated myself to a little gift. I say treated myself, because I've been trying to cut back on makeup in a major way. Unless I run out of something, I'm limiting myself in my purchases as much as possible. So yeah, this was a bit of a treat indeed.

I was instantly drawn to the Anastasia Lavish palette because I had already heard so many good things about Anastasia shadows. I'm also very fond of the Anastasia Brow Whiz, which, sadly, I'm fresh out of. So all in all, I trusted the brand's product quality, and was ready for this palette to woo me.

First off, out of 10, I give the packaging a 5. The cardboard is quite sturdy, but I really don't like that the eyeshadow palette is removable (what if I drop it?!) and that the liner and eyebrow pencil are under the palette. It's really annoying having to remove the eyeshadow cardboard piece to get to the pencils. I'm going to remove mine completely out of the palette. However, that said, it would be quite convenient for traveling. The palette also has a large mirror when you open it. It doesn't get bonus points for me (because I never use those types of mirrors) but some people might like this feature.

The bottom of the kit contains a tweezer, a dark brown brow pencil, a black eyeliner and an eyeshadow brush. The brush is standard - nothing exceptional to note about it. I personally prefer using my MAC 217 so I haven't used it much. The black eyeliner is amazing. Very very black, easy to apply and does. not. budge. It stays on so well that I had a hard time taking if off with makeup remover. 10/10! I'd repurchase a full size of it in a heartbeat. The tweezers are excellent as well. They are slanted, and very sharp. If you're used to dull tweezers (like I am) be very careful with it! The eyebrow pencil is also great, but it's quite dark (even for me) and wouldn't suit just anyone. I don't understand why they would add such a dark eyebrow pencil in a palette that could suit just about anyone. If you're interested in the palette, but your eyebrow are fair, you could always give it away? Really though, that's just a bad move Anastasia.

The eyeshadows are gorgeous. Gorgeous I say! I'm in LOVE with Rum Cake, Antique and Sienna. Truffle, and Pink Sapphire are also amazing. Ballet and Cream lack a bit in pigmentation. I haven't really found a use for Ballet, but Cream is quite nice to use when you want to blend out the crease of your eyeshadow. Black Diamond is very prone to fall-out, so be careful using that one. It's still quite nice on the eye though! Other than Cream and Ballet, all the shadows are very pigmented and creamy.

The shadows has no problem staying on my eyes with a base - I always use a base. The palette comes with a little guide on how to create various eye looks. I tried a few of them and found it to be quite fun! The guide is quite good at explaining how to do the look, which shadows to use and on how to place your eyeliner. And all the looks are really pretty too!

From left to right in the palette. Notice how beautiful Pink Sapphire is upon swatch. Love!

If you're still looking for Christmas presents (like I am) and have a makeup lover on your list, this palette is worth its $50 price point. I've been using the shadows since I got them, and you really can't beat the quality of that eyeliner. Yes, the packaging has its faults, but it's the content that counts right?

Well played Anastasia - maybe next time, don't add a dark brow pencil?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Silk Soft Hair with Pantene Silky Moisture Whip Mousse!

Most days, my hair is an air-dried mess. It kind of waves, kind of curls, but definitely produces frizz when I don't blow dry it. Recently, I've tried to up my routine by blow-drying my hair, specifically at night, before going to bed. It seems to be the best solution in order for me to be on time at work in the mornings, yet still having decent looking hair.

When I received the Pantene Silky Moisture Whip mousse, I was curious. When I blow-dry my hair at night, I often have to use my hair straightener in the morning to tame pieces of hair that decided to curl overnight. After testing the Pantene Silky Moisture Whip though, I noticed how tamed my hair was in the morning! A simple brush through and I was ready to go!

Shiny hair!

The mousse left my hair silky and moisturized - not the usual crunchy feeling I tend to associate with mousses! As I tend to wash my hair every other day, I agree with the 48 hour silky hair claim. My hair was just as silky on that second day hair! And even though I used the product generously, my second day hair wasn't any oilier than usual - something I tend to struggle with when I add any oil based styling products.

I think I've found my gem for this holiday season - a product that let's me wake up and leave the house with only a brush though? Yes please! Ain't nobody got time for anymore than that around the holidays!

*Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Importance of the Pampering and Olay's Silk Whimsy Body Lotion

We all know the holidays can be hectic. Between work, holiday parties, Christmas shopping, baking, traveling and whatever else needs to be done before the holidays, it can be hard to make room for a bit of down time. For me, it's important to be able to catch a bit of R&R in order to stay sane. One of my favorite ways to do so is to spend a couple hours pampering myself. This past weekend, I took a delicious Lush bath, had a face mask, and made a point to moisturize my dry skin.

I'm not much of a body moisturizer, partially because of lack of time, but also because of pure laziness. I had also convinced myself for a long time that I didn't really need it - this winter is proving me I'm wrong. My skin has been really dry and itchy and moisturizing is a now a must.

I've been really loving the new Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion with Rose Extract and Almond Oil. The scent of this is divine - it's fresh yet calming. It reminds me a lot of the scent of a shampoo, although I can't put my finger on which one. I love how soothing it is.

The consistency of the lotion is quite thin, and spreads quickly. It sinks into my skin in no time. While I'm mostly one to only moisturize my legs, I've used this lotion all over my body since it's so weightless and my skin has been loving it. It is marketed as a daily moisturizer and I totally see why since it's so easy to apply and light on the skin.

This holiday season, take time for yourself. You're not helping anyone around you by being stressed a stress ball! So take a bath, paint your nails, read a book - whatever it is that makes you unwind, and take the time to do it. Trust me, you'll feel must better after a bit of down time.

*Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Loving Right Now? Facewipes! Quick Review of Olay Fresh Effect S'Wipe Out!

I absolutely love the convenience of face wipes. When I've had a long day, there's nothing I want to do less than remove my makeup. My longer process includes a cleansing cream (I use a Nuxe one), an eye makeup remover, and a face cleanser. My shorter version as of late has been using the Olay Fresh Effect S'Wipe Out.

The Olay Fresh S'Wipe Out, first off, smell amazing. Their description says they are "refreshing" and I tend to agree - the smell is lovely and a bit strong, but it disappears after you're done using the wipe. I tend to use the wipe all over my face, and gently on my eyes. I say gently because the wipes are actually a bit exfoliating. I really like this on my face as gives it a deep clean, but I try to be gentle on my eyes.

The wipes remove makeup very well - better, in fact, than the Simple Cleansing Wipes and the Say Yes to Cucumbers wipes I've used in the past. Perhaps it's due to its exfoliating properties? I don't know, but I love that my lighter foundations are easily removed by one wipe.

Best thing about these wipes? I'm on my last wipe of the pack and it is still moist! Most of the face wipes I've used have dried up before I got to the last one since I tend not to use them every day. And that's so frustrating! But I can safely say that these wipes are not going to do that since I'm almost done my pack and I'm still happy with the level of moisture in those last few ones.

While some face wipes have also given my minor break outs (specifically, the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes), my skin seems to be dealing with these Olay wipes quite well. Granted, I do always follow up with a facial cleanser, just to make sure any wipe residue is washed off.

If you generally like face wipes as a method of makeup removal, I strongly suggest these wipes. They remove makeup very well, and even exfoliate the skin in the process! If you're worried about residue, just rinse your face off after using a wipe, or cleanse your face like I do. These wipes really beat my three part cleansing routine when I've had one of those days and the only thing I can think of is cleaning my face and getting in my sweats asap. Thank goodness for face wipes!

*Disclosure: I am a #BeautyUnited blogger. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events. The opinions on this blog are my own.