Bold Lipstick; a Mac Impassioned Review

I like lipsticks. In fact, I am guilty of hoarding a bunch of lipsticks I rarely use. I think many women can attest to that because we just absolutely love having a color to choose from at our leisure. In my case, there was a period when I was collecting bold lipsticks for when "that special occasion" would arise. Like a fine wine, I stored each special lipstick in a dry, cool tempered drawer with the lippies housed in their original packaging for safekeeping. 

It wasn't until recently that I started to wonder what the point is to keep them and not use them! So i unboxed them all, and put them with the rest of my lippies. Instead of saving them for an occasion, I decided to use one of my favorites, Mac Impassioned, for a night out that's anything but "glam" - an NBA game! As in the home of hot dogs, chicken strips, fries and a bunch of other yummy eats that is lipstick unfriendly ;) It didn't matter because the shade is so gorgeous and shouldn't be locked away.

Impassioned is a classic fuchsia shade in Mac's permanent range of lipsticks. After seeing this shade on so many people, a particular Korean celeb caught my eye. Jeon Ji Hyun sported a similar fuchsia/bright pink in the drama My Love From Another Star. While I never watched the drama, she was the inspiration for many looks recreated by bloggers. I have to admit, I cannot stop staring at her lips. It's gorgeous! 

Impassioned was the most similar color I could find. The lipstick is so hydrating, and has a gorgeous buttery texture. Since it's an amplified shade, the pigmentation is strong. To make it more wearable for the day, I would suggest using a darker pink, or red gloss to soften the bright neon look of fuchsia. 

I used Starlooks lip pencil in Tipsy as a base to keep the strong lip as long lasting as possible.

Readers, do you like bold lipsticks? Do you tone them down for work/school or save them for special occasions? :)


How to: Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes in a Few Easy Steps

I have to be one to admit... I don't like dishing out a lot of time to clean my makeup brushes. I really don't. It takes a lot of time, energy and willingness that I do not have. But it's a chore that needs to be done for the health of your skin, as well as your brushes. Brushes accumulate lots of dirt, and oil and bacteria from daily usage and the best way to combat it is to simply clean them. In my case, I like to deep clean them for maximum efficiency.

Also, I do not like to spend lots of money on brush cleaners so I make my own solution. It's as easy as buying it, but without the cost.

So here's what you'll need:

1. Bowl
2. Dirty Brushes
3. Disinfecting Soap (I use dish detergent but you can use any antibacterial soap)
4. A silicon "wash board" (more on that later)
5. Microfiber towel or regular towel

Step 1:

Pour a few droplets of soap into the dish. Mix water and soap together to create a antibacterial wash for your brushes. 

2. Swirl your brush in round circle motions to loosen the dirt and grime. 

3. Get a better clean with this silicone wash board. This is essentially an oven glove with ridges. I bought mine at Daiso and you can find these at any discount stores or home stores. Using your brush that's dipped in the soapy solution, run your brush up and down and in circle motions. The ridges will get the dirt that's trapped in the brushes. This is is the "deep cleaning" part. 

5. Rinse your brush in cold water to remove the soap and any loosened dirt. Dry it with your microfiber cloth. Pump a bit of argan oil to condition the fluffy brushes. This will keep the bristles from drying out!

I used Eden's Pure Moroccan argan Oil but you can certainly use any oil you have available, including coconut, jojoba or good old EVOO.

And that's it!!! It's easy as pie and effective. Let your brushes air dry and they'll be ready and waiting for you in a few hours!

What methods do you have in cleansing your brushes? Do share! 


Lorac Mega Pro Palette: Swatches and Review!

Lorac Mega Pro Palette - $59, exclusively sold at Lorac, and Amazon

I know this is a bit early but I was so delighted when i got it in the mail I couldn't stop using it! It's so pretty! I am a sucker for neutrals, and am a bigger sucker for LE palettes that come out around the holidays.

This is actually my first experience with Lorac. I haven't used anything from the brand before and I've contemplated on getting their pro palettes way too many times than I can remember. Because I am new to Lorac, this palette comes as a great alternative to the pro I and II because it's like a mixture of both palettes in one. 

On ordering: I had the most frustrating experience when ordering. On the date of launch, there wasn't a set time the palette would be released so a large part of it was that there was no content other than "COMING SOON" on their website. So I checked every hour or so, and it wasn't until close to noon that I finally saw the "add to cart" option available. I was originally going to order through Amazon and get Prime shipping but that was impossible because it kept going out of stock and then reappearing in stock only to show errors. It was so dodgy I ended up going through their website. I also had questions about charges being taken out of my CC and no one at Lorac was able to answer it - by phone, or email. I am kind of disappointed at that. I mean, this should be at the top of their list despite how busy they are with orders.

And now onto the happy part...the palette!

Cream - off white, bright matte shade. Extremely chalky, with a lot of fall out.
Fawn - cream beige, soft, silky. matte. Lots of fall out as well.
Camel - a light butter brown, matte. Very silky. Not so much fallout.
Sepia - Reddish matte brown. Nice finish, silky texture.

White - Bright white shade, cool undertone. Matte.
Khaki - A beautiful light brown, has a satin-like finish and a soft buttery texture
Brown - A true brown with a matte finish.
Stone - A unique grey with a subtle hints of plum. Matte finish.

Dusty Plum - Has a really pretty reddish tinge. True to name!
Orchid - A bright lavender, soft focus finish. Matte.
Mulberry - A dusty rose shade with a bit of plum. Matte finish, buttery soft texture.
Espresso - Really dark brown black. Has an almost satin finish. Very powdery, highly pigmented.

Lilac - A gorgeous cool toned lavender. Bright matte finish.
Wisteria - Seems to be a mix of purple and grey, a little muddy looking. Not my favorite.
Gray - This is not a true grey. This is more of a charcoal grey with blue tones. Powdery finish.
Black - True to name. Semi satin finish but mostly matte.

Opal - Champagne gold with a metallic finish. Bright. Ethereal.
Sand - Peachy gold and shimmery with a metallic finish.
Copper - Pretty brown with gold shimmers. Metallic finish.
Sienna - A medium brown with a bright shimmery/frost finish.

Vanilla - White with a silver frost finish.
Cashmere - A golden shade with a pretty gold finish. Frost.
Smokey Topaz - Metallic medium brown with a shimmery frost finish
Dusty Rose - A reddish brown with a shimmer finish.

Apricot - A dusty copper shade with silver shimmers. So beautiful!
Blush - A cool toned pink with a frosty finish. Lots of fall out, very powdery.
Merlot - A warm reddish brown with plum undertones. Metallic finish. Gorgeous shade!
Indigo - This is a gorgeous dark blue with light blue shimmers. Bold color. A bit glittery though.

Granite - Dark brown with shimmers.
Maroon - Reddish brown, soft warm color.
Deep Teal - Blue/Grey  shade with a muddy color payoff. Not the prettiest.
Caviar - A blue black shade. Inky color, soft buttery texture.

All in all, this is a gorgeous value packed palette. What I've noticed is that the light shades have a ton of fall out, and are usually powdery. The darker shades have a buttery, silky texture with better pigmentation and lasting power.

I like that there is a great combination of matte shades as well as shimmery ones. All have good color payoff if you build it up but the lighter shades need a bit more work. The shimmery colors are gorgeous, especially Indigo! It's got a really worldly sheen to it and reminds me of Revlon's Galaxy nail lacquer.

Lorac has done a good job with this holiday palette. It's professionally made with attention to shade ranges. There was a lot of blending of colors, and each shade is unique as their names. I would highly recommend this palette for a collector and for someone who loves the Urban Decay Naked palettes as much as I do. Mega Pro is unique and has a great blend of shades that step just right outside the neutral zone without going over too much.

Readers, have you or will you be purchasing the Lorac Mega Pro Palette?


Deals & Steals: Concealer!

I'm going to keep this post simple and talk about two concealers that I think are quite comparable and very similar. 

I'm a huge fan of the Lancome EFFACERNES - Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer - HUGE fan. I feel like the concealer is top notch quality and is super blendable and so natural looking. It's highly pigmented but it doesn't look harsh. However, for around $30 USD and only .50 oz worth of product, it definitely gets a bit pricey to replenish! 

In comes the solution! After searching high and low for a concealer that's "just right", as in, not too pigmented that it looks caked on, not too sheer that it's pointless, i've finally settled on a happy medium. The Maybelline New York Mineral Power Concealer is an absolute MUST-HAVE. It greatly defines the best aspects of all high end concealers but for a fraction of the cost! Like the Lancome one, it is also really blendable, liquidy enough to sheer out (or build up), and has a great brightening effect. 

Obviously, I have two different shades here but you can definitely see how similar they are in terms of texture! They both have that same liquidy feeling and blend effortlessly! I have some very pigmented concealers that take awhile to blend out but this covers imperfections in little time, which I love. I also can travel easily with the both of them with no issues. 

Honestly, my favorite concealer is the Maybelline one. It's definitely an HG product I have used for years! I don't think I'll deviate far from it because it's always been handy and reliable. I've used it during times of stress and no sleep and it's brightened my undereyes like no one's business! ;)

Definitely recommended. Both are great to own, but if you must be thrifty, I would suggest looking for the Maybelline one as it will not disappoint! 


Deals & Steals: Blush Edition

Welcome to part II of the affordable makeup series!

Blushes are, in fact, all that is pretty in the makeup world. They are the most versatile, most collected and most lusted after. Fr the  good thing is that there is never a shortage of pretty colors. Bad thing, however, is that it can be costly if you're a collector (like me) and it would be nice to get that dupe while you save up for the real prize.

Case in point, I lusted after Chanel blushes for the longest time. I still do. But for $45.00 each, they can add up and become quite pricey. Because my stash is quite massive already, I really have to consider if they are worth picking up.

I definitely do weigh out if I really want something, whether it is worth the splurge or if I can play around with a similar color. In many cases, I try for dupes. I think it's the most effective way for me because I couldn't justify buying a blush over really nice skincare.

The Splurge 

Chanel JOUES CONTRASTE in Rose Initiale, $45.00, Dept Stores - seriously the prettiest petal pink I have ever encountered. Smells lovely too! It's a gorgeous shade with a silky texture that is pigment rich yet subtle enough to create an inner glow.

Loreal True Match Blush in Rosy Outlook, $10, drugstores - This one is a warm glowy rose shade that is both gorgeous in the pan and gorgeous in person. The shade is very true to color and such a pretty pink! The pigmentation is a bit less than the Chanel one but it's also buildable so you can layer on the color to your liking.

As you can see in the swatches below, you can definitely tell Rose Initale is much denser in color, but the Loreal one isn't too far off the chart. It looks like a more subdue version of Chanel, and I am VERY okay with that! It seems like it's the same family ;)

 What I like is that the Loreal one seems to be a matte blush with a hint of sheen. Many drugstore blushes are heavily packed with shimmers that makes it too obvious you're wearing a blush. This one is honestly such a gorgeous neutral pink.

Another midrange blush I really like is the Stila Convertible color. It's basically an all in one cheek and lip combo. For a cream blush, it's quite nice and the color payoff is fantastic.

What are your favorite blushes? :)


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