Wednesday, April 30, 2014

EOTD: Silk Naturals Spa, Vineyard, and Taffeta

This was a gift.
I purchased this.
PR sample.

I wanted to wear something spring-like today, and inspired by the lilac bush in my yard that is just starting to bud, I decided to go with a soft purple and soft green. This is what I ended up with, and I really like how I turned out, despite being quick and simple. I feel like I'm spoiling myself rotten every time I use Silk Naturals.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance all over eye area
Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue all over eye area
Silk Naturals
  - Spa on inner 2/3 of lid and lower lash line and around tear duct area
  - Vineyard on outer 1/3 of lid and lower lash line
  - Taffeta in crease
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Natural on brow bone
Eddie Funkhouser Ultra Definition Eye Lining Stylus in Absolute Black lining upper lashes
Dior Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
Elizabeth Mott They're So Big mascara
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Swatches & Review: Darling Girl Cosmetics' New Blushes!

PR samples.

Darling Girl Cosmetics just released eight new blushes. These are the new shades, with descriptions from Darling Girl's site and links directly to each one:

I'm not really that into blush. I tend to find a small handful of tried-and-true favorites and stick to them. It takes a lot to "wow" me with a blush, so I was really surprised at how excited I got over these blushes when I first swatched them. They are really gorgeous and such great quality.

All photos are taken in indirect sunlight with flash.

Top row, L-R: The Magic Lamp, Little Mischief, Kiss The Frog, Wicked Stepsister
Bottom row, L-R: To Love A Beast, Mermaid's Dream, Don't Eat The Apple, Love's True Kiss

Top row, L-R: The Magic Lamp, Little Mischief, Kiss The Frog, Wicked Stepsister
Bottom row, L-R: To Love A Beast, Mermaid's Dream, Don't Eat The Apple, Love's True Kiss

Top row, L-R: The Magic Lamp, Little Mischief, Kiss The Frog, Wicked Stepsister
Bottom row, L-R: To Love A Beast, Mermaid's Dream, Don't Eat The Apple, Love's True Kiss

These swatches are applied with a lighter touch and blended out:

L-R: The Magic Lamp, Little Mischief, Kiss The Frog, Wicked Stepsister, 
To Love A Beast, Mermaid's Dream, Don't Eat The Apple, Love's True Kiss

Each of these blushes applies smoothly and evenly, blend out nicely, and their staying power is quite good. I wore Little Mischief yesterday. I put it on at about 7:00 a.m., used a makeup setting spray as I typically do, and when I left work around 5:00 p.m. last night, the blush was still holding strong.

The blushes are available in samples sizes through Darling Girl's Mix & Match Sample Sets (a sample is approximately 1/8 teaspoon). You may also purchase a Petit jar with 1/4 teaspoon of product for $2.50, or a 1 teaspoon Full Size jar for $5.90.

My favorites are Little Mischief, Don't Eat The Apple, and Love's True Kiss and I think I'll be placing an order for them. Quite a few of these shades are eye-approved, as well, and would make gorgeous eyeshadows. (Don't Eat The Apple, Kiss The Frog, Love's True Kiss, and Wicked Stepsister.) The website description for Don't Eat The Apple doesn't bear any warnings about it not being lip-approved (as it does for others). I'm going to double-check, but if it is safe for lips, it's going to make a gorgeous duochrome lip shade.

Do any of these blushes stand out to you? Are you thinking of picking any of them up? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Born Pretty Store - Kiss Beauty Eyeshadow Palette and Beijin Travel Brush Set

PR sample*.

I was given the opportunity to test and a review two more makeup products from Born Pretty Store. The products I choose to review are:

The products were mailed from Singapore on March 28 and arrived on April 9, securely wrapped in layers upon layers of bubble wrap. 

Kiss Beauty 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette

I picked this particular palette to try because I was so pleased with the last palette I got from Born Pretty Store and was curious if the quality is the same in all of their products. This Kiss Beauty palette is available in six different color sprectrums. I received #4, which has a few pinks and purples with a number of neutral tones. In the pan, each of the eyeshadows has a shimmery finish.

The palette is not boxed or sealed. The back side lists the ingredients, which is something I always value.

Following are swatches of the products. They are all swatched over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

I did not have the results I had hoped with these eyeshadows. They are very poorly pigmented and I couldn't get any color payoff at all. The shimmer finish of the brand new shadows in the pan disappears as soon as you run a brush across the surface. The first use of the color picks up the shimmer, but after that, they are somewhere between a satin and matte finish with a hint of sparkle. The eyeshadow texture is chalky and lumpy. It was very difficult to get an even swatch of color, as they tend to apply quite patchy. When using them in an eye look, I was unable to build up color and found them very difficult to blend.

The eyeshadows are poor quality, as you can see in the next photo, where you can see white spots throughout the shadows, as the formula wasn't mixed thoroughly. Every color in the palette had these white spots.

This is a look I created using four of the eyeshadows from this palette. As I mentioned, I was unable to build up the color, had difficulty blending, and really struggled to create a wearable look.

I'm sad to report that overall, I'm really disappointed in this palette. The palette is only $5.67, and at that price point, I don't typically expect much, but had hoped for better after being so pleased with the last palette I received from Born Pretty Store. I don't think that anyone who is used to working with quality eye shadows would be happy with this palette.

Beijin 3 Piece Bamboo Handle Portable Cosmetic Brush Set

The next product for review is a 3 piece travel set of eye makeup brushes. I need some travel brushes, so I figured why not give these a shot?

The brush bristles are definitely synthetic, but the packaging is almost entirely in Chinese, so I was unable to determine what type of synthetic fiber is used.

The brushes are really soft and the handles feel nice in my hand. They're much better quality than I expected.

I used each of these three brushes (among others) when creating the look with the Kiss Beauty palette above. It was difficult to tell how the brushes worked since the eye shadows were so poor. So I pulled out a random powder eyeshadow and a random cream eyeshadow and played around with them a bit.

I actually really like how well these brushes work. They do a good job of working with powder eyeshadow, but a particularly impressive job of applying cream eyeshadows. The synthetic bristles are just perfect for grabbing on to the cream eyeshadow and applying it perfectly and evenly around the eye area. I particularly like the flat angled brush. The angle has the slighest curve to it, which makes it ideal for placing color beneath the lower lash line. These brushes provide smooth and even color every time.

This brush set is only $4.17, and I think it's well worth it, particularly for application of cream eyeshadows. I imagine that the next time I travel, I will bring these three brushes with me. They are surprisingly good quality for the price.


I'm disappointed by the Kiss Beauty eyeshadow palette. I have tried several products from Born Pretty Store, and it's the first and only one I'm really unhappy with. Thankfully, I'm quite happy with the makeup brushes. While I would not purchase this eye shadow palette, I would gladly purchase the bamboo handled brushes. At their low price point, they'd make great stocking stuffers at Christmas or little extras to throw in with gift packages. 

Born Pretty Store is giving a 10% discount to their store to all of my blog readers! Please click on the banner at the top of my right sidebar, and use discount code SKG10.

*Products received for consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

EOTD #2 with Sleek Vintage Romance Palette

I purchased this.

I pulled out my Sleek Vintage Romance palette again yesterday. I wanted to try out the gold shades in the palette. I have a feeling I'll be using this palette every day this week!

Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion
  - Love in London on outer corner, blended into crease, and beneath outer lower lash line
  - Lust in L.A. on outer 1/3 of lid, including on top of Love in London, and blended into crease
  - Court in Cannes on middle 1/3 of lid, blended into crease
  - Meet in Madrid on inner 1/3 of lid, blended into crease, around tear duct area and beneath inner 2/3 of lower lash line
Random pressed powder to blend out crease
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline linine upper lashes
Benefit They're Real! mascara
Maybelline So Very Berry Great Lash mascara on top of They're Real! on upper lashes

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EOTD with Sleek Vintage Romance Palette

I purchased this. 

I haven't posted much lately. Between catching the Spring Cold from Hell, I've also been busy, busy, busy. I just ticketed flights to go to London and Iceland in a few months. I'm heading to London to see my musical idol, Kate Bush, in concert, which is a dream I never thought I'd live to see since she hasn't toured since 1979. On the way back, I had a layover in Reykjavik, and I've always wanted to see Iceland, so I'm going to stay over for a few days. I am going all my self and am so excited to have time to travel on my own schedule and do what I want when I want. I'll probably end up posting some pictures here even though this isn't a travel blog! But that's still five months away, so for now, let's get back to makeup talk...

I recently picked up the Sleek i-Divine Palette in Vintage Romance. We don't have Sleek in the U.S., although it's probably my favorite drugstore brand. I usually have friends in the UK pick up things and send them to me or purchase on blog sales. However, I bought this one on Amazon. I have a friend who told me that this seller is selling this particular eye shadow palette for $9.99 plus $2.50 shipping.  I received a shipping notice the day after I purchased the palette online. The package shipped from the UK, so it took about two weeks to arrive. In addition to the friend who told me about that seller, I have another friend who also bought from the same seller, and also had a great experience. It's great to find a reliable, reasonably-priced resource for Sleek! However, you'd better believe when I'm in London this fall, I'm going to hit up the big Superdrug on Oxford Street and buy some Sleek products!

I really love this palette. The colors are beautiful, have a really gorgeous finish, and I love what high quality they are at such a relatively low price point. Today, I opted for a pink and purple look using this palette.

Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion
Sleek Vintage Romance palette:
  - Marry in Monte Carlo on inner 3/4 of lid
  - Bliss in Barcelona on outer 1/3 of lid and outer 1/4 of lower lash line
  - Forever in Florence in crease
  - A Vow in Venice beneath inner 2/3 of lower lash line
  - Pretty in Paris around tear duct area
Eddie Funkhouser Ultra Definition Eye Lining Stylus lining upper lashes
Benefit They're Real! mascara
Chinovi Cosmetics Brow Powders in Dark Brown and Deep Auburn