Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Product Rave: ELF Studio SPF 45 UVA/UVB Protection Powder

This powder can be purchased here:
Unfortunately, I was unable to find this in Target.

I can't rave about this product enough.
SPF 45 blocks about 98% percent of rays, so this is absolutely amazing.
I have not been able to find a product similar to this, that is affordable!

I live at the beach, so when I go to the beach, I usually do other things throughout the day, and I hate applying sunscreen to my face, and ruining my makeup!
I apply this with a retractable kabuki brush (Purchased at Wal Greens for around $5), as the puff enclosed soaks up way too much product to use on your face. But keep it in the container, or else the powder will get everywhere!

I've heard so many complaints about this product, such as:
-"The powder is too messy to carry in my purse."
Make sure you line the edges up when you close the container, do not turn the lid past the square edges, or it will loosen. Keep the puff in the container. If you do not want as much product to come out, keep the little clear sticker that comes on it to seal off the holes, and poke only a few holes out with a toothpick.

-"It only comes in one shade."
That's true, it does only come in one shade. It is a very neutral shade, that I think fair to medium woman can wear. It suits my skin perfectly, I'm a light beige kind of skin tone. It does have some pretty strong pink undertones, but I don't think that'll be a problem for a lot of women.

-"It's not translucent."
It's not, you're right. BUT it provides great coverage! Which is amazing if that's the only makeup you're going to wear at the beach or outside.

This retails for $6, but with many promo codes on the internet, you can most likely get it for $3. Try the code "ECD21" at check out, but hey, you didn't get that code from me! :)

I know Physician's Formula makes an SPF pressed powder, but I recently looked in Wal Mart and K mart for it, and couldn't find it. I think it retails for around $13 though.
This powder is everything you need to touch up your makeup AND your sun protection, whether all year long, or during the summer months only.
This is a summer must have!
Even if you don't normally apply sunscreen, this makes sure that you have some SPF protection on the place that shows sun damage the most.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sinful Colors Professional Nail Enamel in Secret Admirer

Purchased at Wal greens for $1.99. This shade is a gloss black with silver micro glitter. Great alternative to plain black; very rocker-esque. I used Nail Life Gripper base coat, 1 semi-thick coat of Secret Admirer (It has amazing coverage) and 1 coat Nail Life Speed Demon top coat.
The formula for this is great, it's very easy to apply.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Current obsession: Sky Blue Nail Polishes (and my hunt for one!)

Lately, I've really wanted a light blue/sky blue nail polish. I just think it's a perfect shade for summer and spring. But, I've been so indecisive about which one I actually wanted to purchase, because I've been on a budget lately.

This one is the dream polish I want.

Chanel in Riva- about $40
This beautiful sky blue has a white microglitter that is apparently gorgeous in person. I have not seen this in any store, and it retails for about $40, so I will not be purchasing it. But it is so gorgeous!
I've heard that some dupes for it are China Glaze Sea Spray and China Glaze Moody Blue, but they're hard to get your hands on.

Another close dupe for "Riva" is apparently Hard Candy nail polish in Sky. about $6
I've been wanting this polish for quite some time, but always pass on buying it because I've heard that formula is really bad, very thin, gloopy, hard to work with, and that it chips very easily. The bottle is so small for the price too. But it's such a gorgeous color! 

The sky blue that I came across sometime last month that started all of this, is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda- About $8
I've seen this one in Wal greens and Target, but keep passing it up because I really hated this formula.  The only Complete Salon Manicure I've tried, I hated it so much, that I actually returned it. (It was in "Sequin Scandal" I hated the way the formula applied, the way it dried- it was awful! It looked so bad. The brush was hard to work with- just a disaster!) Plus this retails for about $8-which I find expensive for drugstore polishes.

And then comes the cult favorite, China Glaze For Audrey- About $7
But this one is a little too teal for what I'm going for. Apparently a dupe of the copyrighted shade of Tiffany Co. Blue, this one is very pretty though!

In Sally's Beauty Supply, I recently saw Finger Paints Tiffany Imposter- About $6
Which I guess is a dupe for For Audrey? Still a little too teal though.

Then I heard about OPI's What's With The Cattitude from The Shrek Collection- About $9
Which seems absolutely what I'm looking for- but apparently it also goes on the hard to come across list.

Then, I think I found the one I'm going to buy. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Blue Away- About $5
$5 seems like a good deal to get a blue polish that I've really been wanting. I read some reviews about this online, and this one seems to be the best fit for me. Relatively cheap, quick drying, and beautifully sky blue and opaque. I've looked for this in Wal Mart the past few times I've been there, because Sally Hansen polishes seem to be the cheapest at Wal Mart, but they haven't had this shade. So I'll most likely be on the prowl for this at drugstores for the next few days.

The Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda and Hard Candy in Sky were the first two I saw and contemplated buying for some time. While in my local Dollar Tree, I came across what seemed like the perfect dupe for Barracuda- except it was in a really strange packaging, that included a nail file in the cap, and the brand was called "Mini Divas." and the color called "Star." I figured for $1, it couldn't hurt to try it, right? Well- it turned out to be this little kid type polish that was as sheer as water, basically.  So, I may have to invest in one of these polishes after all, if I can't get this formula to look good after a white base and a few coats.
Which one would you decide to purchase?
Do you own any of these polishes?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ELF Essentials All Over Color Stick and Cover Stick Swatches

These are all $1. At first, I didn't like the All Over Color Sticks at all, but now that it's summer, I've really grown to like them.
These are the ones I own, from L to R:
Cover Stick in Honey, Color Stick in Golden Peach, Color Stick in Pink Lemonade, Color Stick in Persimmon
Honey purchased at
Golden Peach and Pink Lemonade purchased at The Dollar Tree
Persimmon purchased at Kmart.

From L to R: Cover stick in Honey, Golden Peach, Pink Lemonade, Persimmon (With Flash)

All Over Cover Stick in Honey: This is a great product. It's small enough to keep in your purse for touch ups throughout the day. The shade "Honey" has a strange orange undertone to it, however, it seems to blend well and not look orange. This is great for covering acne, and can even be used on under eye circles. The formula is really moist and creamy and blends well.

Golden Peach: I will not be repurchasing this one. The formula is the most dry out of the ones I own, and it's hard to blend. It's also very sheer. The swatch above is very thick. If I use this, I put it on the very top of my cheekbones as a highlight, or I use it as a base for wherever I'm going to apply bronzer. This helps to hold powder bronzer on all day. I'll also occasionally use this for an eyebrow highlight. The color sticks are great for summer though, as they last a lot longer than powder, don't sweat off, and help hold your powder on. It is way too frosty for lips, but it's not bad for eyes. I do find that the Color Stick formula is way to dry to wear on lips, besides the frostiness being an issue.

Pink Lemonade: This one is my favorite Colorstick, and probably the only one I would repurchase. For an incredibly quick makeup look (That is summer sweat proof too!) I'll put this on my cheeks, use the Cover stick on blemishes and throw on waterproof mascara and waterproof eyeliner on the top lid, with a little bit of a wing. Try ELF's Studio Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara and ELF Essentials Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Pen.
This is very pigmented and a little goes a long way. If you have very fair skin, this may be too harsh. Since this is such a dark pink, it looks almost sickly on eyes. It's way too frosty for lips too.

Persimmon: I just purchased this one yesterday. It looks completely different swatched, then in the tube. It's actually a very light pink/lilac frost, but in the tube it looks brownish.  I'm thinking this is going to be similar to ELF's Studio Shimmer Eye Palette- the product you can use as an eyeshadow base to make your eyeshadow last longer and give it shimmer. This does not make a good color for lips-none of them do though. It could be used as a highlighter too.

For a quick and easy summer makeup look using all of these products, try using the Cover stick on blemishes and under eyes, Golden Peach as a brow highlight, and a cheek contour, Pink Lemonade on the apples of the cheeks, and Persimmon on the eyelids. You can add in mascara, eyeliner or lipgloss to complete the look.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Look of The Day featuring ELF products!

I submitted this to ELF's Facebook Fan of the week contest.
I realize they are not good pictures of me! But you get the point!

Products used & How-to:
Step 1: Applied Revlon Age Defying DNA Advantage cream foundation spf 20 in Soft Beige applied with ELF Studio Powder brush all over face. I used 2 pumps.
Step 2: Applied ELF Essentials All Over Cover Stick in Ivory to blemishes, and under eye area, rubbed in with finger.
Step 3: Applied ELF Essentials Clarifying Pressed Powder in Light Beige applied with ELF Studio Concealer Brush only to the areas I applied the AOCS, to set.
Step 4: Applied ELF Essentials Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Sun Kissed applied with ELF Studio Blush Brush to cheek bones, jawline, sides of nose, around temples, and forehead. Lightly blended all over face for a glow.
Step 5: Applied ELF Studio Blush and Bronzer Duo (Bronzer only) applied with ELF Studio Blush Brush to contours of cheek, jawline, and under neck.
Step 6: Applied ELF Studio Blush in Tickled Pink applied with ELF Studio Blush Brush to cheeks only.
Step 7: Applied ELF Studio Blush in Gotta Glow applied to face with ELF Studio Blush Brush, above cheek bones, above eyebrows, down center of nose, cupid's bow, and center of chin. Also applied to brow bone, lower eyelid, and tear duct with ELF Studio Contour Brush.
Step 8: Applied ELF Studio SPF 45 Sunscreen UVA/UVB Protection Powder with ELF Studio All Over Face Brush, all over face.
Step 9: Applied ELF Studio Brow Kit in Dark with both brush ends in kit, first the wax side, then powder to set.
Step 10: Applied Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Kitten Heel all over eyelid and past the crease with a Q-tip. Any light pink eyeshadow can double, or any light colored shimmer shadow.
Step 11: Applied Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Colour de Jour in outer creases with a Q-Tip. Also applied to lower lashline with ELF Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush.
Step 12: Applied ELF Essentials Liquid Eyeliner in Black on top lash line only, winged outer edges.
Step 13: Applied ELF Studio Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara in Black on top and bottom lashes. 1 coat.
Step 14: ELF Studio Minty Lip Gloss in San Diego all over lips- yummy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Some Elf Swatches & Mini reviews

All items can be purchased at
These are a few E.L.F. Items I own.

E.L.F. Essentials Brightening Eye Color (Quads)
Butternut is a quad of browns. All four shades are shimmery. Great for brown smokey eye. Shades 2-4 are nicely pigmented. Shade 1 is a highlight. Shade 4 works great if you only want to use one color eyeshadow that day. (I got this as a free gift from E.L.F.)

Drama is by FAR my favorite quad! All the colors are spectacular. Very pigmented, blend very easily, lasts all day without creasing. This is an E.L.F. must have! A friend recommended this to me, so I picked one up. Then, I went with a friend one day and recommended it to her, so she picked one up. Very useful for smokey eyes. Shades 2-4 also make great eyeliner on the lower lid when applied with an angle brush. ( I purchased one at K-Mart, but also received one free from E.L.F.-which was great, since I already hit pan on shade 4!)

This one disappointed me. Shade 1, in the pan, is a glittery white, but it comes out as just a shimmer on the skin, it had no white pigmentation at all. It's also very chalky. Shade 2 is pretty, I do like it, but it's also just like a shimmer-not much color deposit. Shade 3 is supposed to be a purple, but it hardly shows up! It is not pigmented at all! Shade 4 is the only one I love. But, I'm a sucker for black eyeshadow. When I reach for this palette, I usually only use shade 2 and 4. (Purchased from

While I wasn't that happy with Rocker, at least I grab for it sometimes when doing my makeup. This one just sits there- I never reach for it. Shade 1-where is shade 1? It barely shows up. Shade 2-same. Shade 3 and 4 are so light, you can barely see them also. None of these shades are pigmented well at all. When I wear colored eyeshadow-I like everyone to know I'm wearing a colored eyeshadow! This palette, along with Rocker, may be for those colors who are very fair skinned and can't handle a lot of color, but enjoy color.

E.L.F. Studio Blush and Bronzing Powder in Blushed and Bronzed
I went through the blush so quickly! I only had this about a month before I hit pan, and I didn't use it every day. I've heard that "Blushed" is VERY similar to the Studio line blush in "Candid Coral" and to the Essentials Line Natural Radiance Blusher in "Glow." So, this is the better buy, because you get a bronzer thrown in, practically for free, in comparison to "Candid Coral". I actually really like this bronzer. At first I thought it was too dark, but I realized it wasn't when applied with a light hand. It doesn't make my skin glow at all though. (I use E.L.F. Essentials Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Sun Kissed for that) But it is good for contouring my cheeks and jawline. The blush isn't GREAT, but it's certainly not bad. I probably won't repurchase this though, because I went through the blush so quickly. The blush DOES have some slight glitter in it. (Purchased at

Eyeliners from the Essentials Line
1. Essentials Liquid Eyeliner in Copper
2. Essentials Liquid Eyeliner in Black
3. Essentials Liquid Eyeliner in Silver
4. Essentials Waterproof liquid eyeliner pen in Coffee
5. Essentials Waterproof liquid eyeliner pen in Plum
1- I didn't know this was going to be a clear eyeliner with copper glitter. I thought it was going to be a copper pigment with copper glitter. I don't really know what to do with this one, except put it over a pigmented eyeliner. So, I put it over black, in the very last swatch. (Purchased at
2- A friend recommended this, so I picked it up. I really like this. As you can see in the swatch, it takes a little while to dry, so you have to be careful not to smear it while it's drying. But for a basic, black, liquid eyeliner, you can't beat this for $1. Must have! (Purchased at K-Mart)
3- I don't know why I bought this. I don't know what to do with it! The pigmentation is there, but I don't know where to put this. It looks weird when I line my upper lash line. I thought it would be great for lower lash line, but it was so runny, that I couldn't apply it there. I guess you could use this in the inner corner of your eyes? I never use this. (purchased at
4- This was actually the first brown eyeliner I've ever purchased! I have been a loyal eyeliner felt-tip pen user since I discovered them in high school. So when I saw these for $1- I freaked out! I usually pay $5-$10 for these at the drugstore. I really like this one. The color is very dark brown, and I like using with brown eyeshadows. May/may not purchase again-might try the essentials liquid eyeliner in coffee next time. (Purchased from
5- I actually purchased 3 of these, the third one in black, but I cannot find it right now. Plum wasn't purple enough for me, so I might try the new one called "purple" next time. When I opened this one, the tip was more stiff than the other 2, and the ink seems to have dried up a lot quicker-therefore it is more sheer than it started out to be. Will most likely purchase "black" again, but not "plum" (Purchased at

E.L.F. Essentials Lipstick and E.L.F. Essentials Luscious Liquid Lipstick

1- E.L.F. Essentials Lipstick in Seductive- this is a semi-coral pink shade. It's pretty. But I have to say, the packaging for these resembles those plastic lipstick toys you used to have as a kid. For $1, you really can't complain, because they have great pigmentation and the formula IS creamy. I have heard stories of these breaking upon first use-So, don't push too hard when applying to your lips. Also, I've worn these a few times and noticed they start to travel south, past your lip lines when you have it on for awhile. So, you may want to blot excess off, or line your lips before applying. (purchased at
2- E.L.F. Essentials Lipstick in Posh- I HAD to get this one because of the name! Posh?! Hello?! :) This is like a cranberry shade. It's very pigmented and can be quite dark. To lighten it, try using a lipgloss over it.
3-E.L.F. Essentials Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Ruby Slipper- I really like this a lot. It's like a lipgloss, but it's pigmented like a lipstick. Best of both worlds?! The best part about it, is that it's like my lip color, only with a red tone. It's very nice. I really like this product! It has a great vanilla mint smell to it also. Very easy application- and very quick for a pigmented lip color. Will most likely repurchase. (Purchased at my local Dollar Tree.) Great buy!

Thank you! Hope this wasn't too overwhelming, as there will most likely be more of these to come, because I have A LOT of E.L.F. stuff, and we all know their swatches on the website aren't ehm.. the best. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Product Rave: LA Colors MyStic Foundation/Concealer Stick in Beige

I picked this up at Dollar General for $1 after my favorite concealer got discontinued.
I always used a Maybelline concealer cream that came in a squeeze tube- I had multiple backups, and only used a small amount at once, so I actually continued using the product a few years after it was discontinued.
On the hunt for a new concealer, I just happened to pick this up. I used a concealer stick in the past and really liked it, but since I tend to have dry skin, I was more happy with the liquid/cream concealer from Maybelline.
I actually used this for about a month or two and then somehow forgot that I had it.  I watched a few youtube videos and read some blogs about people's opinions on best drugstore concealer. After hearing many people love Hard Candy's Heavy Duty Glamoflauge Concealer- I went to Wal Mart and picked it up right away, because it was so similar to the discontinued Maybelline concealer. I used it for a few months and really liked it. But I started to notice that after a few hours it disappeared, even if I set it with a powder.  I also started to notice I could visibly see the color patches it left if I didn't blend it well enough.
I came across my L.A. Colors MyStic and decided to give it a try again.
Since it's summertime now, this actually withstands sweating, and lasts all day. I couldn't believe I stopped using this! And for the price, it really can't be beat.

I think the coverage is one the best I've ever seen in concealers. Since it's labeled as a "foundation/concealer stick" I think the coverage is intended to be more than that a regular concealer, since it can be doubled as a foundation.
I would not recommend this as a foundation though because it is very thick and would be very hard to blend all over the face.

I recently purchased an All Over Cover Stick from, in hopes that it will compare to the MyStic. As a very small package, it can easily be kept in my purse for touch ups.

The Make Up Alley reviews for this, are all very good, it gets a 4.2 out of 5.  Who would think L.A. Colors would deliver such a good product? I've had used a few of their products in that past and was very disappointed. This can be found at Dollar General, some Dollar Trees,, and I've even seen it in a Food Lion grocery store before.
I use my ring finger to swirl some product on the pad of my finger, warming it up, to make is spread more easily. Then apply with my finger and blend. I do set this with a powder, (Palladio Rice Powder in Translucent) but you don't have to.
As of right now, this is my Holy Grail concealer. Love it!
Hope you can find it in a store near you!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Duochrome Nail Polish for <$4!

If you've never heard of "duochrome" before, it's sort of like those prism or chameleon paints you sometimes see on cars. You know, from one direction it looks a certain color, and from a different angle, the color changes?

I recently purchased what I thought was going to be a great duochrome.
It's from the Fast Dry line Wet and Wild released this spring, called Gray's Anatomy.
When I was about 12, I have a color very similar to this, that I loved, so when I saw this, I couldn't pass it up.

I purchased this at K-Mart for about $1.89 I think.  I couldn't wait to try this polish on!
It was so sheer, I had to put four coats to somewhat achieve a color that shifted from purple to green. Otherwise, it was this mucky gray. I love gray nail polish, but I didn't think was going to be gray. What a let down.

I decided to try this polish with a base color underneath. 
The first color I tried was black. This was a very cool effect, but it took away from the gray/silver base that I liked.
So the second color I tried was Sinful Colors in Nirvana. This is a gray/taupe/brown shade that's really popular this year. It is also a dupe for OPI in "You Don't Know Jacques."
I purchased this at Walgreens for $.99, regularly $1.99. Essie "Chinchilly" is a similar shade.

(I used a base coat and top coat to make the polish last longer- the Wet and Wild polish will chip without one.  I used Nail Life "Gripper" as my base coat, purchased at Sally's for $5, regularly $7.50. and Nail Life "Speed Demon" as my top coat. Also purchased at Sally's for $5, regularly $7.50. You do not need a top and base coat for this look, but it will make your polish last longer.)

I used 1 coat of Gripper, 1 coat of Nirvana, 2 coats of Gray's Anatomy, and 1 coat of Speed Demon.
I was very impressed with the results. The duochrome had just the effect I was looking for. It was so much opaque than from just the Gray's Anatomy alone.

 This is the finished look. On the two fingers to the left, you can see the green undertones, and on the two to the right, you can see purple. The thumb shows both colors.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Random Makeup Tips and Tricks I've Learned

Some random tricks of the trade I've learned or have been taught:

-Baby wipes make amazing makeup remover cloths. They're a fraction of the cost of popular name brand makeup removing clothes. They also come in a much larger package.

-To avoid getting lipstick on your teeth, right after applying, put your index finger in your mouth and pull it out quickly with your lips around your finger. This gets off the excess lipstick on the inner part of your lips that might rub against your teeth.

-If you do not have any lip liner or do not like lip liner try this instead: use a liquid concealer with a  small brush to line the outer edges of your lips, to keep lipstick from traveling off your lips.

-Try using a shimmery cream colored eyeshadow as a highlight on top of your cheekbones, above your eyebrows, down the center of your nose, forehead, and chin, and in the inner corners of your eyes. This adds light onto your face to brighten it up.

-Lip stain can double as cheek stain, as well as lipstick can double as a blush.

-Use an old toothbrush to exfoliate your lips before putting on a vibrant lip color to get rid of any peeling skin.

-Try using a gentle exfoliator on your legs before shaving. Don't have one? Try sea salt or sugar with some of your normal body wash.

-You can use chapstick to keep your brows in place.

-If you purchase makeup and are unhappy with the product or the color you chose, you can return it with a receipt. 

-Make your own nail polish by mixing pigment into clear polish. You can use eyeshadow, glitter, or any loose pigment.

-Put chapstick on before any other makeup. Then by the time you've finished your makeup, you can wipe your chapstick off and apply lipstick or lipgloss-your lips will be smooth and provide a better application for the gloss/stick.

-If you use a more expensive makeup product daily, consider taking the time to find something similar in a low end brand. You can use this product for days that you're only going to the grocery store or to run a few small errands. This way, you use up less of your favorite, more expensive product and don't "waste" it on days where you barely leave the house.

If I can think of any more, I'll add them!