The Dark palette is on the left and obviously the darker one. The Light palette is on the right.
Elf Cosmetics is always giving us some really good affordable makeup and brushes actually. I have several things from Elf. Brushes, eyeshadow palettes, and now blush palettes. The blush palettes in particular the "Dark" one is creating quite a buzz. The lighter one I've not heard much about. At $6 though you can't turn it down. I found mine at Walmart.
The palettes has 4 blushes in them. One shade usually has either glitter or a shimmery sheen to it. The rest are a matte-satin type finish. Let me just confirm what everyone else is saying.....these are really good and the formula is really nice. The Dark one is crazy pigmented, the light one however is not as pigmented as the dark one. It has much brighter colors in it so I feel like it's a really good thing that it isn't so crazy pigmented because it's much more wearable and the intensity can be built up to where you want it. So I like them both even though they are very different.
I would put these up against any other blush I have, including the Becca, Tarte, Makeup Geek, so on so forth. They are just as good and hold their own. The packaging is simple, matte black and travel friendly. They both have a color that could work as a bronzer as well so that's a big plus.
So here are pictures of the palettes and swatches without flash (left) and with flash (right). The top quad is the light palette as are the first 4 swatches from the top. The bottom quad is the dark palette as are the last four swatches. Each swatch of the lighter palette has two swipes. The darker one was basically one swipe for all of them.
Several of these in the light palette has some shades that are similar but not dupes for the Tarte Tartiest blush palette. Becca Songbird has a decent similarity to one of the shades in the dark palette. These are all pretty standard colors in the Light palette. Basic pinks and peachy shades and a tan color. The darker palette is not necessarily colors you've never seen before but just colors that you probably wouldn't lean toward using. Understandable, because they can be quite intimidating but just try them especially in the summer. Dark blushes with a tan or dewy skin look phenomenal. They are so flattering and make you look even more sun-kissed.
So I can't tell you anything bad about them. They're ideal to have just so you would have plenty of shades to choose from for anything or any look you might use. They're also awesome for a makeup artist for their kit.
It was time for a change. A hair change. I, typically, do my hair myself or let one of my dearest friends who just so happens to be a Hair Guru do some of the more difficult stuff when she has time. As far as cutting and color I've been doing a lot of it on my own lately. Truthfully though, with color I've just not been keeping it up as much. Got a lot on my plate right now, had surgery for a port to be put in, have the same super infection for the 4th time, hospital stays, etc etc. So thanks to my mother, she talked me into making an appointment to get my hair colored and cut at an actual salon as a "pick me up" type thing. I mean who doesn't feel more confident when fresh new styled hair? It didn't take long for me to agree and thus I did what every girl with social media or access to the internet does....I hit up Pinterest.
I knew that I wanted something a little edgy, a bit trendy but subtle, and a splash of color. We all know how much I love color. For years I'd kept my hair brown, red brown, auburn, or ashy brown. I didn't usually get too far from "brown" though. I'm not one for highlights of blond, I did try that a few times and it didn't suit me. Darker colors have always been my area.
I thought about all the trends I was seeing from: ombre to oil slick, pastel unicorn hair to grey ashy based hair, so on so forth. Then I ran across a picture of a "steel blue" color after tons of bright vivid blues and purples. The steel blue was so subtle but still noticeable, it had that edge I was looking for and it wasn't over the top, super trendy, either because it was so subtle.
Above we have some before and after pictures. I had no idea how reddish brown my hair actually was until it was side by side with the new soft black and blue tinted hair. Plus we added some higher layers to it. The cool part about this is the color shifts depending what color shirt I wear. If I wear a greenish blue shirt my hair looks more teal, if I wear a sky blue my hair looks like a ashy blue, if I wear black it's not incredibly noticeable because then it's like a dark navy. For that alone I really like the transition. Now I wouldn't say this is a typical ombre, we sliced some blue in the top parts of my hair as well. A standard ombre is usually just a gradient fade that changes to a completely different color at the end of the hair. If it's done correctly it looks seamless and beautiful, if you're not careful it can look rather harsh with no blending or fading to your bottom color. So this style in particular is a bit more natural as far as placement goes. There's nothing natural about blue hair I know, but you catch my drift. The blue is not so concentrated on the ends of the hair but more throughout the hair but not to the root. Plus not all the ends are blue some are just the soft black with a bit of blue peaking in hear and there.
That being said, even though we went several levels darker than my previous color to this, we still had to lift the hair some so that the blue would actually look noticeable and not just tinted. We did a very low volume of 2 to bleach some of the pieces and even then my hair stylist kept checking it and only let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, so there was no damage to the hair. When we washed out the bleach she cut in the layers I wanted before coloring the hair as to not waste product and have a better idea of where she would be placing the color after seeing how the hair laid. She used Paul Mitchell color I believe for the soft black and Pravana Vivids for the blue hues. Which always seems to make the hair look very shiny and healthy afterwards.
She did the entire color (soft black and blue) at the same time and let it sit for about 30-40 minutes. The thing with brighter colors is that, they are going to fade. No matter what. Most color fades eventually but bright colors fade faster than anything. So color care shampoos are a must. The soft black won't fade very much or maybe barely any at all but the blue will lighten probably, which is good because then it will be even more noticeable. It's important, I feel, to give yourself that flexibility and space to where it's ok for you're hair to lighten up or fade a bit. I actually prefer it that way as opposed to knowing its going to look amazing and perfect the day I do it and then when I wash it, I'll be less satisfied. So in that respect I'd rather go a little darker while still in the realm of what I wanted, knowing that in a few weeks it's going to fade and stay the lighter version for longer. See what I'm saying?
Also know that, this could also take a series of sessions depending on what you wanted done. So before doing this make sure you're ready to commit to maybe 2-3 sessions of lightening the hair before getting the results you want. You don't want to jeopardize the health of your hair by being too impatient with it and not letting it have a rest from bleach and what have you. Mainly because if you've done a lot of color in your life the ends of the hair is what hold the most of that color as the root of the hair is new growth and has no color on it. So to color the ends only, you'll need to take some of that color off to be able to get the desired effect and so that the hair will take more color and keep more of the color you're wanting.
This is the second run of "refreshing the color". It took on a more teal look, and in some areas it was more like an oil slick vibe. We did some experimenting and put a blue tinted soft black on the hair we didn't lighten it any the second time so that my hair could "rest". The brighter shades she was using on me was from the Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids line of course. The black I believe was Paul Mitchell color again. The thing that I think really changed the tint of my hair and made it have so much more dimensional was we put some heat on it for about 10-15 minutes. That's with the blue tint all over my hair. You wouldn't think that would make much difference but it really did in my opinion and then we washed it out cold of course to close the cuticle of the hair again. When we were done we had an array of color shifts in my hair and now nearly two months later it's still holding strong. It looks super cool.
I want to quickly say how awesome my salon is and if you're in my area then definitely check them out: His and Hers Salon. I'll link their facebook page here. They are all super talented and special thanks to Vannah for always taking care of me and for turning my hair into a very awesome cut, style, and color.
So the color care that I use is broke down into a home routine and then a travel routine because there's a lot of times I'm not home.
At home I use: Amika Color pHerfection Shampoo (it's a thin consistency which I don't like cause I feel like it doesn't lather really well but my color hasnt budged)
Then I use Amika Nourishing Mask. I swear by this for everybody. It hasn't hindered my color, it's made my hair grow I'm certain and if I don't use it my hair gets super dry and frizzy. I never used conditioner or anything before I got this. Now I can't go without it. It can be used as a mask or a conditioner either one. They can be found at Sephora or Amazon.
When I'm away from home I use the travel size of StriVectin for color treated hair. It smells awesome and it comes in individual or a trio set at Sephora as well.
I don't use a ton of heat on my hair. I rarely blow dry it. I do curl it but usually just once a week. Even then I use a thermal heat protectant spray like the Paul Mitchell one. I wash my hair about every 3 days or so. I always use plenty of conditioner now and let it sit on there for a few minutes. I occasionally do a DIY hair mask from Pinterest. Usually involving eggs or something and that really makes a difference as far as having shiny, healthy hair.
If you don't know, Sephora has a subscription box now. It's a waiting list right now I believe. I'll leave the link to where you can sign up though. So I think I'm gonna do an un-boxing every month of what you get in the box and my thoughts on the products.
First off, what you get is a pamplet of all the things that's in the box. It describes what they are, what they do, some fun facts, so on so forth. You get a card that will get you an extra 50 points with a purchase IN STORE, that expires at the end of the next month. So the May card will expire on June 30th. You can use multiple "play passes" but it still only gets you an extra 50 points so don't think you can use two at a time in one shot and get 100 points. On the back of the card it tells you what's in the box and how much a full size of that item would cost.
So you get some deluxe samples. I really just see 4 deluxe samples and then two regular samples.
What I got was:
Origins Clear Improvement Packet, Drink Up Intensive Night mask, and the Maskimizer mask primer spray
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! deep conditioning mask
Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial
Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine
Tarte Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi
So with the Origin's I have the Clear Improvement Mask and while it's a fan favorite I don't care for it. I do on the other hand love overnight masks. I think they do so much work. As for the mist I can't understand why you'd need a mask primer, it's supposed to maximize the experience of the mask. I'm willing to try it but I just feel like it's an unnecessary step. I will say thought that it is a very refreshing mist on i's own.
The Briogeo hair mask smells amazing. It has Argan and Avacado Oil in it which makes it super intense and hydrating. This is something I would put on the ends of my hair mainly. Cause they are a bit dry. So at best I would do mid shaft down. I don't like incredibly moisturizing stuff on the roots of my hair.
Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial. I have this along with two other Sleeping Facials from Korres. I love anything rose, it feels amazing on the skin. This is a brightening mask, it has Vitamin C which is used often to brighten skin. It also is said to help with fine lines and even skin tone. I thoroughly enjoy it.
Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine, this is strong. Very very strong. I don't care for it.
Tarte Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram is a good brown toned neutral lip liner. It's a super thin crayon that is mechanical twist up. It's not the creamiest but that just means it should last longer than super creamy lip liners.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi. I expected nothing from this cause I don't like Bite Beauty lipsticks. I like their crayons but not their lipsticks, they sweat, they melt super easy because they are completely organic and could literally be eaten. This color though......guys......it's gorgeous. It's the most insanely beautiful bright pink. I love it. It's also a better formula. It's not super shiny, it's very opaque, and looks to be semi matte. It's still incredibly hydrating though because it has 12 oils in it, including Coconut Oil and Pomegranate Oil. Pomegranate Oil has antioxidants which protect you from "environmental damage" which I'd assume would mean UV rays. Coconut Oil is highly anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and hydrating obviously. So all good stuff, lets just hope it stays on well.
You also get this cute little back that has everything in it. It's only $10 a month for the subscription. Which is much cheaper than most. Here is the link to sign up for Play! By Sephora. Remember you might be on a waiting list for a while. They will email you when you've made it into the subscription. They don't take the money out until you are to start receiving the subscription box.
So I got the highly anticipated Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003. I got mine in Fine Gold because the other one was pink and I don't care for pink highlighters. So the set comes with like a thousand sequins or so and a brush which is super soft, a double ended highlight stick which is a colorless balm and then a gold cream highlighter on the other end. The pigment is a golden duo chrome.
So you can wear this at least three ways probably more.
you can use the pigment on it's own
you can use the balm + pigment over it
you can use the highlight + balm + pigment
The balm I feel can also be applied alone for a "wet" look.
This isn't just for cheeks but anywhere you want that highlight to "pop."
Above we have from left to right:
balm + pigment
highlight + balm + pigment
So this is a great set no doubt about that. It's $72 and that's expensive. So I done a little test. I noticed that the balm was very similar in consistency to lip balm that is super slippery like in a squeeze tube. Nothing too waxy or with menthol. I'm not telling you to go out and do this, but I tried it on myself. You could easily use a face balm or cream highlighter.
The pigment I noticed was very similar to Makeup Geek Voltage eyeshadow. So in the pic above is the PM balm + pigment in Fine Gold on the left and then lip balm + MUG Voltage on the right.
The picture below is side by side comparison's of both the shadow and the skin fetish pigment.
So let me get this out before everyone assumes I'm bashing this. The Pat McGrath set is bomb. It's got a nice brush, the double ended highlighter/balm combo is very cool and very good quality. The balm is an amazing base obviously and keeps your highlight intense through out the day. The pigment is of course beautiful. She does a great job with pigments as always. The brush I don't care for that much. I don't feel like it does any better than my Morphe highlight brush which I think is the M501 if I'm not mistaken, and I prefer the Morphe one to this one actually. The golden cream highlight makes this pigment darker so my women of color are gonna look gorgeous in this. That's the one up that this does have. I do think you could find a golden cream highlight for cheap as well. I know Wet n Wild just released some cream stick highlighters and the Benefit Watt's Up would probably work fine too if you already have that on hand.
Like I said, this set is awesome but it's $72 and knowing that Voltage which is $6 from Makeup Geek is very very similar... that makes it a really good cheaper alternative if you need one. I'm not saying one is better over the other, I'm just saying if you could find a cream base/balm to put under Voltage you would have the same effect and look.
So there ya go. Take it or leave it.
Colour Pop released a new formula of lippie stix. Well not technically new, they released Matte X with the lippie stix Trust Issues earlier. I'm assuming that they realized it was bomb and then they decided to release an entire line. Which I'm in full support of.
So they released 15 shades of the Matte X formula. They do have other mattes, these are more matte obviously. So I've heard great things about all the neutral and more wearable colors. However, I heard the ones that were bright and different were harder to work with and of course I went with those.
Above I'm wearing Topless on the top left. Barely There is the bottom left. Climax is on the right.
I got two shades that I heard were difficult and then one that wasn't. I personally didnt have an issue with any of them. The swatches above are: Climax, Barely There, and Topless.
Yes those names are the real names lol. I find them comfortable. Way more comfortable then most liquid lipsticks. They can look a little dry but with a good lip balm they're fine. They wear really well for a long time. If you don't like liquid lipsticks but you need more staying power from a lipstick i woukd get these. They are $5 a piece and you can't beat that.
The color Topless is very similar to CP Pacific and Botanicals or in between. Pacific is matte formula and a shade darker than Topless where Botanicals is more like a sherbet color.
Barely There is very similar to ABH Sweet Talker liquid lipstick. Super similar. Darn near dupe.
Obviously I dont have anything close to the shade Climax which is a matte blueberry color. Most blues that I have are very metallic with shimmer in them. Its hard to find a matte navy blue.
So that's it. Short and sweet, they're awesome and I highly recommend them. If you find they do get too dry or look cakey just apply a good balm first. Or use a more moisturizing one if the one you have isn't doing enough moisturizing.
Here I have some really awesome, really beautiful pressed glitters. If you're on Instagram or are in any way affiliated with the makeup community you've probably seen the talk of pressed glitters. There are some really well known ones but the ones I'm going to talk about are less expensive and really great.
It seems like pressed glitters are over $10 usually, but I've found some that are well below that. I tried actually to get some pressed glitters from a pretty well known company. $50 and a few emails later.... no package. Luckily, I have pay after delivery so no harm no foul, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth. Thus, I went to some smaller companies that always seem to have better customer service.
The first set that I'm gonna talk to you about are from Fairy Vibez on Etsy. These pressed glitters were only $4. You read that correctly. Right now, you can choose a palette of 6 or 12 for 30% off which makes it even cheaper. Now pressed glitters are something that still need a base in my opinion. A base of glitter glue. These are not like waxy glitters that wet n wild used to serve up these are legit pressed glitter in a pan, that is best applied over a glitter glue with your finger. It's gonna give you a very opaque glitter finish. Not sparse glitter here and there. Solid glitter.
So above is some swatches from Fairy Vibez:
Dragon Scale has some bigger cuts of glitter in it which is awesome. Teaven is a gorgeous green that I love and Terra Kota is absolute fire. I recommend these pressed glitters above any others that I've tried so far. If you want to know what bases I use, it's NYX Glitter Glue and Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue. Right now I mainly just use NYX,
These 3 shades are from MBA Cosmetics. They were $6 a piece also on Etsy.
Swatches from top to bottom
Amethyst Moon (my fave)
Amethyst Moon looks like a Unicorn freaking threw up in a pan and gift wrapped it. I love that color. Speaking of pans, you will need a palette to put these in as all of them are pan only. So grab a coastal scents empty palette, an ABH palette if you have one handy, a Z Palette, whatever, just make sure you have a palette to put these in. I don't like to mix mine with eye shadows either. One wrong move and it could be lights out for the shadows that you have in there that are now a hybrid of glitter and pigment. They aren't super messy I'm just super protective.
So there you go. I'll leave the links for MBA and Fairy Vibez. I hope you check them out just remember get some glitter glue. You will get some fall out naturally. Not much though, not nearly as much as you would with loose glitter.
Terra Kota and Rosa glitters
Amethyst Moon glitter
Dragon Scale pressed glitters
So being in and out of the hospital quite a bit makes me have a makeup bag to go almost always. A lot of times for travel I use deluxe samples or travel size stuff to take up less room. This is why I'm so adamant about always using promo codes to get free deluxe samples of things from Sephora and Ulta. Even if you don't know if you'll use it, there's no harm in trying it.
This is going to be cut and dried kids. Just literally the essentials.
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Real Techniques Setting Brush
Angled blush brush
Blending brush for face
Crease Brush (Morphe 441 or Sigma E25)
Pencil Brush (Serenity + Scott travel size
Large Crease Brush (Morphe E27)
I usually just take a BB Cream. My pick is Dr. Jart+ BB Cream (I use this because it's not too much hassle and easier on your skin than foundations)
Makeup Forever HD pressed powder travel size (for setting the under eye and the rest of the face)
Benefit Hoola Bronzer ( I use this for bronzer/contour and as a crease color to define the eye socket some
I use the Anastasia quad palette that is interchangeable and pick 4 shadows to take with me usually all matte. Or I take the Kat Von D Shade Light quad palette in Rust but it's bulkier.
Benefit Gimme Brow Volumiizing Fiber Gel in Dark (to lightly fill in and give brows some shape)
Liquid Liner (sometimes I use this sometimes I don't but you can't go wrong with winged liner. You look more pulled together with it even when you're doing very little)
L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer
Sephora Collection Bright Future Corrector in Peach (I can't not have peach correctors with me)
Bobbi Brown Face Base (awesome moisturizer)
For Skin Care
Kiehl's line reducing eye brightening concentrate eye cream (again awesome)
Makeup Wipes (I'm using Burt Bee's Cucumber and Sage right now)
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, or Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash ( I prefer Fresh though because it's easier to pack)
Glam Glow Thirsty Mud as my night moisturizer and it's also like a sleeping facial
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate as my night eye cream
Burts Bees lip balm in squeeze tube.
Most every skin care item I take in in a squeeze tube so that they fit into my makeup bag easier. Which makes traveling easier and less messy.
That's pretty much it. When I look at it, it seems like a lot.
So this is the new Tarte Tartiest Blush Palette. It has 4 shades it's the same size, package wise. There are 3 matte shades and 1 shimmery shade. I won't be showing swatches because the swatches are disappointing. They don't do justice to how the pigmented the blush actually is when applied. So I don't want you to google swatches and then think this sucks. Because that's what I thought at first. I'm really enjoying it though.
Now this is $38 for 4 shades with beautiful packaging. Makeup Revolution has blush palettes that have 8 shades in them that are awesome for about $10 that are also awesome. Not identical mind you so if you love these shades in the Tarte palette then I'm all for getting it.
The four shades are Live, Laugh, Love, and Dream. Live and Dream are the brighter ones. Live is a warmer bright pink, Dream is a cool toned bright pink. Laugh is my favorite and I wear it constantly because you can't see the shimmer it's just super healthy looking. Love is a matte more neutral shade. They all wear extremely well, and apply really pigmented so go light at first and build from there. I went in heavy because the swatches weren't much and ended up buffing some of the color off.
I've worn all of them and they all can be pretty universal I think, which is very cool and not something you can get in a palette of blushes. You usually have several shades that are not wearable , or pigmented, too shimmery, so on so forth. This one seems, to me, to be a great palette that would be a good investment if you find that most colors work well for you.
As always if you're going to buy this it's available at Ulta and Sephora (out of stock at the moment). As always use Ebates and get you some cash back.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.