Beauty Bites

Sometimes, little mini-reviews accumulate, so today I’m going to give you my quick thoughts on several products.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

I recently switched over to TooFaced’s Shadow Insurance for an eyeshadow primer. I really like it! I mean, primer is primer, and it’s hard to get excited about. I’ve previously used UDPP & The Balm’s Put a Lid On It, but this one is pretty great when it comes to texture and packaging. It really helps keep my shadow from creasing, and it keeps bright colors bright.

Dr Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm

One of the deluxe samples I’ve gotten at Sephora lately was this Dr Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, one of the few actual BB creams sold in the states that actually deserves the name. I recently finished Dr Jart’s Water Fuse BB cream (which I love), but it was out of stock when I went to reorder. I got this instead, to test out and tide me over. Verdict: I like it. I think I like the Water Fuse one just a little bit better, but they are very similar products. There is not much pigmentation here, but for me, it’s more about how it feels on my skin. After trying out other American-made BB creams and being REALLY unimpressed with them (ugh, Tarte’s deserves a Wall of Shame post for how it NEVER DRIES EVER), I keep coming back to Dr Jart+ and just use concealer or dabs of foundation where I need more coverage, like around my nose.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

I keep getting samples of Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara, which suits me just fine. Mascara samples are great, because that means they don’t go bad before you can use them up. And since sample sizes of this one are ubiquitous (and frequently able to be purchased with Sephora BI perk points), I’ve gone through a few of these. In its favor, it’s a super deep black, and one coat is all you need for fabulosity in terms of both length and volume. It doesn’t clump a whole lot, and when they say “long wearing” they are SO NOT KIDDING. In fact, that’s the downside– this NEVER COMES OFF. Ever. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I wore it yesterday, and it took two attempts at waterproof eye makeup remover, a shower, and an additional makeup remover towlette to get all of it off. So this is a great mascara if you don’t mind the elbow grease it takes to be rid of it.

I also have an issue  because I have very long lashes and lids that are slightly hooded– I have to check in the mirror frequently because my lashes touch the skin just below my brows, and they leave annoying black smudges. That’s not specific to this mascara, though. Mostly I’m just mentioning it to see if anyone else has the problem, and did you figure out a way to solve it?

Nars Lipgloss: Orgasm

Nars Lipgloss: Orgasm

Another of my Beauty Insider points perks was this mini of NARS gloss in Orgasm. Every time I go to Sephora, I look at all the pretty glosses from NARS and think about how lovely Orgasm is, in particular– it’s a very luminous peach with gold shimmer, and is pretty universally flattering. But then I go “in no universe ever would I ever pay $26 for a LIP GLOSS.” So when this popped up as a points perk option, I snapped it up.


Nars Lipgloss: OrgasmIt is, indeed, a very pretty lipgloss. It looks great with almost everything, from a super colorful eye to something more subdued and neutral. It’s not super-sticky, it doesn’t have a nasty smell, and it doesn’t dry out my lips. That said, there is still no force on this Earth that could ever persuade me to purchase a $26 lip gloss. Especially when you look at swatches of brands who have extensive lip gloss lines (NARS, BareEscentuals/Moxie, Urban Decay) and 90% of them look indistinguishably sheer. Nope nope nope. But, as always, YMMV, especially if this turns out to be  a Holy Grail product for you.

My Bite Beauty Lippie Collection

Since I reviewed Bite Beauty’s Palomino/Violet duo earlier this week and have Crimson for you next week, here’s a quick snapshot of my current Bite Beauty library. Love, love, love, and desperately want more.

And now to finish up with two of my recent manis. My hands and cuticles have been a bit dry lately, thanks to an overabundance of work I need to finish before the house packing project begins. With what I do, I simply can’t apply hand creme throughout the day, but I’ve at least been trying to keep my nails painted.

Illamasqua Stance + Nubar 2010

Illamasqua Stance + Nubar 2010


This one is a cool mix of Illamasqua’s Stance, a fuchsia jelly with a flawless formula, with a topper of Nubar 2010, a color-shifting glitter flakie.

Recent Mani - Zoya Neely & Purity, Stamped with AEngland St George

Recent Mani - Zoya Neely & Purity, Stamped with AEngland St George


And this, my current mani, features two Zoya Polishes– Purity (white creme) and Neely (mint creme), stamped over with two patterns and AEngland’s St George (deep teal holo). I have some new MoYouLondon plates on the way (including a summery/ocean themed one), and I can’t WAIT to play with it when it gets here!

That’s all that’s fit to print. Next week, I have more Bite Beauty, some Revlon glosses, and a couple of odds and ends! Have a great weekend!



Pick Your Pleasure: Bite Beauty’s Gorgeous Bold Lipstick Duo

Bite Beauty Lippie Duo: Violet & Palomino

One of the brands I’ve been most impressed by since I started wearing lipstick regularly has been Bite Beauty. They offer amazing pigmentation, creamy lip-feel, and a stunning range of long-wearing colors.

My intro to the brand was their Best Bite Set of “matte” pencils that are essentially creme finish lipsticks in crayon form. So when I saw their Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo at Sephora for $12, I snapped it up. Basically a double-sided lightsaber of mini lipsticks, this item gave me the chance to try two bold colors that I probably would not have tried at full-size for $24 apiece.  Continue reading

A Watermelon-scented Sugar Glaze from Milani

Milani Lipstick: Sugar RushI recently found myself in Walgreens to pick up a few of my old standbys– waterproof makeup remover, nail polish remover, and other uninspiring things that get colorful gunk off of my person– when I was drawn to a display of Milani’s Color Statement lipsticks. Having never tried a Milani lipstick before, but having vague notions that they are generally beloved by my fellow beauty bloggers, I decided to splurge $5.50 on a tiny bit of lipsticky happiness.

Considering it’s spring, I ruled out many of the deep reds and berries in favor of Sugar Glaze, a frosty golden pink.  Continue reading

Liquid Sky Lacquer – Twilight Peacock – Swatches & Stamping

Today I have a second polish from Liquid Sky Lacquer, and this one had an absolutely amazing formula. Two coats to utter gorgeousness.

Twilight Peacock is a cool-toned blue-to-purple duochrome with mesmerizing holographic shimmer. Pretty in diffused light, this looks absolutely amazing in sunlight.

Liquid Sky Lacquer - Twilight Peacock


I love how you never see the cat hair in the shot until you’ve already changed your polish.

Mores shots & some stamping thisaway!  Continue reading

Liquid Sky Lacquer – 24 Karat Rose – Swatches & Stamping

Today, I have for you swatches of an interesting thermal polish, Liquid Sky Lacquer’s 24 Karat Rose.  My first impression of it was that it was not quite what many swatches I’d seen of it had purported it to be. I expected a more opaque gold shifting into a deeper rose. What I got was a very, very sheer golden shimmer (warm) that shifts into a medium pink rose with golden shimmer (cold). Which is pretty, in its own right, but not quite what I’d expected.

Liquid Sky Lacquer - 24 Karat Rose

And now I will show you a million swatches, plus some stamping I did with it.  Continue reading

Delicious Smells from Paintbox Soapworks

Last month, horror of horrors, I found that my once over-stuffed soap cabinet was very nearly depleted. What’s worse, I had completely worked through my third order of Clean Slate facial scrub. Since that, obviously, could not stand, I hied myself over to Paintbox Soapworks to place an order.

In addition to Clean Slate, I purchased two soaps, and was gifted with a generous sample of a third (as Hayley, the proprietress, knows my love of the great departed Walk In The Woods). Here are my reviews of those three soaps, and I apologize that I did not have the time when I was testing to photograph them properly. Instead, we’ll use Hayley’s awesome product shots. So really, that’s kind of a bonus.

Paintbox Soapworks - Nekisse Soap

Nekisse: Deep, rich Ethiopian coffee studded with ripe blueberries & buttery pastry crumbs.

Oh. My. God. This is absolutely delicious. The coffee is indeed deep and rich, and it smells like it’s being served up with hot blueberry pie with a flaky crust. What a way to get out of bed. This one made me so hungry.  Yeah, it sort of became an insta-favorite. I need it in a scrub. (And apparently, this is based on a real coffee blend, which I now need to track down…)

Paintbox Soapworks - Go Green Soap

Go Green: An earthy, woodsy blend of clary sage & cedar essential oils, with a spark of lime & lavender.

While not a replacement for Walk In The Woods, I’d call them scent cousins. While WITW had a bright, clear, fresh green note, this one is more like soil after the rain in a deep, old forest.  Much earthier, but still very green. The clary sage is prominent in this one, and while I’d thought I’d smelled a bit of patchouli, it was probably the cedar. It’s very nice.

Paintbox Soapworks - Big in Japan Soap

Big In Japan: A translucent green blend of matcha tea, crisp yuzu & serene sandalwood.

Are you one of those people who find it hard to get going in the morning? Well, take your morning shower with Big In Japan, and that will no longer be a problem. It’s a bold, citrusy punch in the face that’ll open your eyes just as easily as a coffee. The yuzu is front and center here– and, for those who are unfamiliar with the Japanese fruit, it’s sort of what you’d smell if you mashed together a grapefruit and a not-quite-ripe lemon. It’s bright, zingy, and just a touch herbal.  For those of you who shower extra in the warmer months to de-sweat yourself, you’ll be pleased with just how clean this one leaves you feeling. Such a great summer scent.

So that was my latest Paintbox order. Three soaps, three winners. Now to plot the next…


Sephora Collection – 10 Shades of Samba Waterproof Eyeliner Set + Swatches

Hey everybody! I’m back! It’s been a super busy month, but I’m excited because I have some fun things to share, in between house/apartment hunting, packing, and moving soon. I placed a Sephora order last week for some much lusted-after picks to treat myself through this chaotic time, so I’ll have some fun lipsticks to share later this week.

Is Donna ever wrong? I think not.

Is Donna ever wrong? I think not.

But first, I’m going to share something I bought a month or two ago. I’m a big fan of Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliners, but with a $20 apiece pricetag, it can be hard to justify splurging on new colors if you’re not absolutely sure they’ll work for you. So when I saw Sephora’s 10 Shades of Samba Eyeliner Set at a comparable $49 for TEN full-sized shades, I decided to give it a try.

Sephora Collection 10 Shades of Samba Eyeliner Set Sephora Collection 10 Shades of Samba Eyeliner Set

These babies are creamy, soft, sharpenable, and waterproof, so you can tightline to your heart’s content. Not a bad deal at all. The other thing that really drew me to the set is the excellent mix of brights and staple neutrals.  Here, you have a highlighter white, three shades of neutral, a gold (which looks great on just about everybody), and five brights for those who want to try some new things or colorful looks.  Continue reading