Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip Set

Hello beauties! I was so excited when I got the Sephora Give Me More Lip ($59.00) set in the mail. Every year I look forward to Sephora favorites (they get better and better). 

The 2014 Give Me More Lip set contains 17 lip mini's that range from lipstick to balms to stains, in shades of reds, berries, nudes and pinks. 

This set is absolute LOVE! See swatches below. 

This is a gorgeous nude shade with an opaque cream texture. On my lips, it appears more of a dusty rose color, semi-sticky and has a fruity scent. The only con about it is that it does settle into fine lines because of its opaqueness. Heavy texture. I like this, but it's not my favorite.

This gloss is a real MLBB shade. Sephora describes it as a medium brown rose but it's more of a nude on me. The texture is much lighter than the Stila one and much more comfortable to wear. I really like this one and would use it as a daily lip gloss. Hydrating and non-sticky, and isn't tacky and does not settle into fine lines.

 Too Faced La Creme in Naked Dolly
Not the most flattering. This cream lipstick is very pale, and meant for girls with very light complexion. It is a really gorgeous base to conceal the lips for a dramatic color over it. Not something I'd wear on a daily basis. Formula is very balmy, hydrating and soft.

Sephora describes this one as a bubblegum pink but it's such a pretty pink. Nothing bubblegummy at all about it. The texture is really soft, and it feels really creamy on the lips. It's a formula i really like. I might explore deeper red shades next time. One of the most comfortable lip colors I've ever worn!

Minty, and cooling... this lip tint is surprisingly pigmented and has a nice satin finish. I really like pencil lip colors because it offers so much precision and this one gets a plus for having a hydrating formula. I really like this one! this is the most perfect pinkie nude.

This tinted lip balm is PERFECTION. A blue-based lip color that feels wonderful on the lips. It's also such a flattering shade as well. I really like this and will likely repurchase this exact one. Formula is really soft, and has a flexible slip that's not overly oily. It sits well, and makes my lips feel really pampered. Definitely a real treat to wear this!

This lip treatment is nothing less than their sisterly counterparts (see my review here). I absolutely love the lemon-y warm scent and the insanely gorgeous packaging. This lip balm also has SPF 15 in it so it'll protect from the sun too. This balm is enriched with real sugar and black current oil, making it feel so luxe on the lips. The balm has a rich buttery texture and it coats the lips for hours keeping them nourished and hydrated. Absolute LOVE.

In terms of color, this gorgeous lip color from Too Faced takes the cake!!! It is the most intensely pigmented color in one swipe. This is like a cross between a lipstick and a liquid lip color. Texture is extremely silky and silicon-y.  Dries to a satin finish. 
While I love the color, I'm not particularly fond of the scent. It has a very bathroom cleaning product smell and that is quite off-putting. 

The applicator is fuzzy and the lip color spreads around it. 

A pretty fall shade that is light weight and moisturizing. Glides on soft but the color is a little streaky. Color fades  very quickly, and isn't long lasting at all. When it disappears, you just get a streaky mess. Not very good.

Like the Too Faced Melted Lipstick, Bite Beauty's lip color is also insanely pigmented with a gorgeous satin finish. Bite Beauty has been touted as one of the most natural lipsticks you could wear - ingredients are food grade that you can practically eat! One interesting fact about this lip range is that it contains as much resveratrol as five glasses of red wine. 
I absolutely love this gorgeous and super long lasting color. It has a nice smooth feel and not drying at all despite its intense color. 

This brick red shade is a lipstain that dries really quickly into a matte finish. Very long lasting and a great quality formula. Really beautiful bright red! The stain lasts for hours and is a bit drying so you do have to keep your lips moisturized as much as you can. This matte shade also tends to settle into lip lines so before you wear this, definitely pamper your lips the night before.  But overall, gorgeous color! I really love it.

This gorgeous Laura Mercier color is so pretty! It's a  cherry red that's more toned down than the one above. A much more hydrating and lower maintenance red. I really like the way it feels - very smooth and so creamy. Texture feels like a balm. Use a lip liner to avoid feathering and to keep the color vibrant and bright. 

This gorgeous wine colored shade is the perfect cold weather color. This lipstick has a cream finish and an amazing smooth formula. It's also long lasting, and keeps your lips stained. This highly pigmented shade is bold and so beautiful. A definite re-purchase for sure. Feels very nourishing on lips and the vitamin E and coconut oil makes my lips feel divine and soft. 

Black Dahlia is a high opacity lip color that applies as a stain and dries to a matte finish. This shade is a blackened red color, perfect for a sexy vampy look. This lip tar is actually a duplicate in my collection (see my past review here). It has a minty formula, and feels very balmy. This is one of those really high maintenance lippies that needs a lot of care. It takes some priming and aftercare to keep this color looking fresh and clean. Even with all that, I am still a huge fan of OCC and their range of of lip colors. 

This is the only Sephora branded item in the set. This lip stain is so pretty and actually one of my favorites to use. It dries to a really flexible texture. One of the better stains I've used. The formula is really lightweight and soft and isn't drying at all. I really like this!

Of the entire set, one lipstick sits apart from the rest - and it's this one! This Hourglass lipstick is absolute perfection, in both formulation and color. First, blue-based reds are the most flattering for me. Secondly, this shade is truly a classic red. It's perfectly bright, dries to a semi-matte finish, and super long wearing. Feels extremely comfortable, and so high quality. Absolute love. Will be looking into other shades and their gorgeous Ambient Lighting Blushes ;)

....and the aftermath of testing all these lip colors!!! 


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! 


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