Thursday, 12 January 2017

Maybelline Spring 2017 Master Strobing Liquid

maybelline master strobing liquid swatches

Two of the three new Maybelline Master Strobing Liquids in Light/Iridescent and Deep/Gold

Maybelline’s new $10 liquid highlighter is some seriously hardcore disco frost! — and it isn’t for the faint of heart. No, these big bits of glitter are probably better suited for a crew heading to da club than a gang going to a playgroup.

I’d belong to the latter group, although if somebody started bumping Murder She Wrote at the playground — not gonna lie — I’d bust out the Butterfly, no shame (but I’d have to stretch first!). πŸ™‚

Throwback to my clubbing days

I’m going to leave this product to the ladies who don’t have to deal with pores/fine lines/being over 40. If you’re interested, they’re $9.99 each and available in three super shimmery shades.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. How’s it going tonight? I’m over here trying to find something to watch on TV… Got any recs? πŸ™‚

The post, “Maybelline Spring 2017 Master Strobing Liquid,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Just in Time for the Spring Festival, It’s the MAC Chinese New Year Collection

MAC Chinese New Year Collection

Happy Spring Festival with the MAC Chinese New Year collection!

Here’s something I learned today: Chinese New Year doesn’t fall on the same date every year. It varies! — because it’s tied to the lunar calendar…but it does always fall between January 21st and February 20th. (I think.)

Interesting, isn’t it? This year’s date is January 28th.

So happy early Gung Hei Fat Choy! πŸ™‚

Here’s something else you may find interesting: the MAC Chinese New Year collection arrives today, and the packaging is gorgeous! (The boxes also feel velvety). Minor quibble, but I wish that MAC had done something with the design on the product themselves.

mac chinese new year collection

Eight of 10 MAC Chinese New Year products

Ooh! It’s the Year of the Rooster. Maybe they could have coupled it with that.

Remember Year of the Snake?? They did those incredible pans with the snake design?

mac chinese new year eye palette

Eye Shadow X 9 / Year of the Rooster swatches from top to bottom: Print, Copperplate, Idol Eyes, Shale, Girlie, Honey Lust, Mulch, Wedge and Sweet Lust

Lots of old faves here

Most of the items in the 10-piece collection are re-promotes, like Russian Red Lipstick ($17, a MAC classic!), Fleur Power Blush ($23 and SO PIGMENTED), Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner ($21, and not my fave; the tip feels too stiff).

The Eye Shadow Palette X 9/Year of the Rooster ($32) has some of my all-time favorites, including Wedge, Honey Lust, Shale and Mulch.

It doesn’t take anything away from how good they are, but if you’re a MAC die-hard fan, there’s a good chance you’ve seen these colors before. You may even have them in your collection already.

mac chinese new year blush

MAC Chinese New Year blushes: Fleur Power (top) and Dame (bottom)

mac chinese new year lipsticks

MAC Chinese New Year Lipsticks from the top: Peach Blossom, Dangerous and Russian Red

Peach Blossom Lipstick is bloomin’ brilliant!

My favorite piece in the release is the $17 Peach Blossom Cremesheen. I don’t know if it’s L.E. or permanent, but it’s dang cool… Actually, cool-toned. It’s a moisturizing, medium coverage, super silky, cool-toned peachy nude in MAC’s shiny, slippery Cremesheen formula, and — hallelujah! — the peach color is dark enough to see on my lips. If most nude lip colors wash you out, or you just feel like they look weird on your lips, give this one a try.

mac peach blossom

Wearing the MAC Chinese New Year collection on my eyes (Year of the Rooster Eye Shadow X 9), cheeks (Fleur Power Blush) and lips (Peach Blossom Lipstick)

The Year of the Rooster palette?

Eh, I wish everything here was exciting me as much as the boxes. There are some great colors here and old standby pieces that I really like, but most of them already live in the permanent line.

Also…yup, the palette shadows don’t appear to perform as well as MAC’s regular individual singles. At least I don’t think so. I’m wearing the New Year Wedge, Shale and Mulch in these pics, and I’ve worn those bad boys MANY times over the years, but I really had to pack these on. I even had to wet my brush to ramp up the intensity, which I don’t ever feel like I have to do when I use the regular full-size versions.

mac dangerous

MAC Dangerous Lipstick

mac russian red

MAC Russian Red Lipstick,; Fleur Powder Blush; and Wedge, Shale and Honeylust Eye Shadows

The final verdict

I love the idea of a Chinese New Year collection, and I think the boxes are beautiful, but with the exception of Peach Blossom Lipstick (which I LOVE), this release is a bit underwhelming for me. You can grab most of these pieces in the permanent line anyway.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Just in Time for the Spring Festival, It’s the MAC Chinese New Year Collection,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Follow Me (and My Dark Circles) As I Review the Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen #sponsored

nuvesse masks

I’m halfway through the one-month regimen right now

As a participant in the Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles One-Month Regimen Test, I received product samples and compensation for my time and effort. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are always my own. #sponsored

My parents have a picture of me from my college graduation day in their living room, and in that picture I look completely refreshed and awake.

And I don’t even know how! — because I’m not wearing any concealer in that picture, and my friend Eleanor and I were out all night long at a party the night before.

I think I got a total of 90 minutes of sleep before I had to get up, take a shower, get to the stadium and take pictures before the ceremony.

Ah, those were the days…

It’s not like that anymore, of course. Now, if I get anything less than 10 hours of sleep a night and don’t drink gallons of water throughout the day interspersed with green juices, fiber-full salads and lots of yoga, I have dark circles.

So it’s basically a 24/7 kind of thing.

In an effort to quell/stanch/erase/improve my dark circle sitch, I started a one-month dark circles regimen from a skin care company called Nuvesse. Right now I’m halfway through the one-month regimen, which involves applying a weekly mask and using a daily serum roller.

Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen

The $95 one-month regimen kit comes with four weekly masks and a twice-daily serum roller

What is Nuvesse?

“Nuvesse Skin Therapies, Inc. was founded in 2004 and developed a propriety wound-healing technology, HealSmart Personalized Woundcare System (HealSmart™). The company realized that the application of its newest active delivery technology, Cellulation™ Technology, to skin care had the potential to yield superior benefits and reach and launched its first skin therapy portfolio of products in mid-2014 into the aesthetic medical channel. After further refinement the company just launched its new consumer brand, Nuvesse.”

— Nuvesse

Video Review

Nuvesse has products for consumers for deep hydrating and brightening, eye-firming, anti-aging, eye puffiness and dark circles. They’re all available in serum-infused bio-cellulose masks and serum rollers, which you can use separately or together as part of a regimen, which is what I’m doing right now with the one-month Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen Kit.

The one-month Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen Kit comes with four weekly masks for $95 and this serum roller

nuvesse box back

Mask directions…

The one-month dark circles regimen is for reducing dark circles (obvs), puffiness and fine lines in the under-eye area, all of which are things I really want to happen (!). It comes with four weekly serum-infused masks and a twice-daily serum roller with Nuvesse Celluation™ Technology, which has been proven to deliver the ingredients deep into the skin to make the serums more effective.

Water, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Hesperidin, Retinyl Palmitate, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Caffeine, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Kjellmaniella Crassifolia Extract, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hydrolyzed Sesame Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia

nuvesse serum box

The twice-daily serum roller

nuvesse serum box

nuvesse serum box

Serum roller ingredients

How to Use the Masks

I know you’ve probably used a mask before, but there are instructions on the back of the box. I will say that it might help to watch a video first, because I couldn’t figure out which side to put under my eyes and how to angle them (even though the trays are marked “left” and “right”). It’s a little confusing.

I figured out that the wider side goes under your eye so that it covers as much of your dark circles as possible, and the narrower end with the tab (which looks like you’re supposed to pull on it) alongside your temple.

Also, remember to peel off the blue liners (on both sides).

I used the first mask set on the first day and the second mask set one week later, so I have two mask sets left in my one-month regimen.

The patented power of Cellulation Technology

“Each of our unique skin therapy serums uses patented Cellulation™ Technology which is clinically proven to deliver up to 26 times more vital ingredients deeper into the skin.

Nuvesse serums first act by super-hydrating the skin. This gently creates openings and pathways down through the skin to the deeper basal layers where issues begin and are most effectively treated.

At the same time, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin A and other beneficial ingredients are wrapped in a protective micelle structure that is positively charged. The natural structure of the basal layer has an opposing charge. These differing charges are actively drawn to each other–like a pair of magnets–bringing the beneficial nutrients much deeper into the epidermis than a more passive skin product might.

Having protected the ingredients through the top layers of the epidermis, the micelle structure breaks down and the ingredients are able to do their work. The effect is that the active ingredients are able to act at virtually the same concentration in the basal layer as when the serum was first applied.

By getting more of these key ingredients, deeper into the skin, your skin’s supportive structures–like collagen and elastin–are nourished and sustained for long-term improvement, where it matters most. After just one use, your skin will look and feel more nourished, will be visibly brighter, hydrated and appear more youthful.”

— Nuvesse

nuvesse mask in tray

The masks are marked “left” and “right”

nuvesse peeling mask from tray

Removing one of the eye masks from the tray

nuvesse peeling off blue layer

Don’t forget to peel off the blue liner

nuvesse masks

Adjusting the masks (you leave the outer blue liners in place for a few minutes to let the masks “set”)

Since I’m halfway through the regimen, I’ve used two of the four mask sets so far. I followed the directions and left them on for 20 minutes to let the serum do its thing, although you could leave it on for longer than that. I’ve heard that some people leave them on overnight.

The first thing I noticed about the first mask set was how good it felt — like a super thin, soft fabric soaked with serum — and it felt cooling, but not tingling or stinging or freezing cold like some masks. It’s like putting a cool, damp washcloth or slightly chilled cucumber slices on your eyes, but way less awkward and clunky.

They feel fantastic and make me want to put my feet up and take a cat nap, buuut I usually just check Instagram and catch up on whatever Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian fiasco is happening on that particular day instead. Of course, you can also do other things while you let the masks work, like, I dunno…take a leisurely walk around your neighborhood while waving and yelling “Hi!!!” Or, you could bake a loaf of zucchini chocolate-chip bread, because in either scenario, there’s no danger of the mask falling off, let me tell you that. They grab onto your skin and don’t let go, so don’t worry about them falling into your bread batter (side note: how gross would that be?).

  • Power-packed peptides together with Vitamin B3 help to strengthen skin
  • Caffeine and hesperidin visibly diminish the look of fine lines and puffiness
  • Hyaluronic acid significantly increases hydration, softening the look of crepey skin
  • Camellia seed oil brightens the look of dark circles for a more revitalized, youthful look
  • For optimal, long-term results, continued use of both serum-infused masks and serum rollers is recommended to give your skin the boost it needs to look rejuvenated and healthier.
nuvesse masks

After the first few minutes, during which time the masks are setting, you’re supposed to remove the top blue liner

nuvesse masks on

Patting the masks down

How to Use the Serum Roller

I use it in the morning and at night, right after I wash and dry my face, and I leave it on my face (so I don’t wash it off). It only takes a few seconds, and the serum feels very similar to the masks — cool and refreshing like tabby kisses or those cold cucumber slices.

The serum is clear, absorbs quickly and, after I pat it in, the skin under and around my eyes looks dewy and borderline shiny.

nuvesse rollerball

Applying the serum roller

Both the masks and serum, by the way, have the same scent, which is vaguely lemony… I can really only smell it if I take a super deep yoga breath (and I have a basset hound’s sense of smell).

Results & Conclusion: The Halfway Point

Honestly, I didn’t expect this kit to turn back time, so I wasn’t expecting to look like I did when I was 19 and could stay up all night long and still look refreshed the next day, but I do see an improvement after two weeks, particularly in terms of dark circle color.

nuvesse before first mask

The before shot!

My dark circles are usually a lovely shade of purplish blue, but now they’re a tad lighter, less blue and more of a lighter violet.

Nuvesse before and after 14 days

Before starting the regimen on the left, and after 14 days on the right

They’re not as dark and intense as usual. It’s not an incredibly dramatic difference, but I can see a change, which is very promising after two weeks, especially two weeks that included the holidays and all of the junk food I was eating.

nuvesse after first mask

Day 1, after the first mask set

nuvesse after 1st check in

Day 3, after using the serum roller a couple times

nuvesse after 2nd check in

Day 7, after the second mask set

I definitely see a slight difference in puffiness right after I use one of the mask sets or the serum roller, but my eyes aren’t super puffy to begin with unless I’ve been crying, which happens sometimes. I get emo once in a while! But after a normal night when I get an average amount of sleep, I’ll have a little bit of puffiness under my eyes the next morning, and the serum roller deflates the puffiness.

Skin Texture
In terms of my fine lines, I don’t really see big changes there. I still have them, which is no big surprise. My skin does feel softer, though, when I touch it, and when I look in my scary magnifying mirror (I have a love/hate relationship with mine), I think my skin looks a little smoother, even up close.


Day 14, after using the first two mask sets and the serum roller on the days in between

Other Nuvesse Products I’d Like to Try

Nuvesse also has some other products and less expensive $18 one-week trial kits. I want to try their Firming & Anti-Aging Regimen Kit, which has full-face masks, and I’m also curious about the Hydrating and Brightening one because I have dry skin and some age spots, which you can really see in the closeups in the video…which, by the way, was quite terrifying for me to do because the only creatures who ever get that close to my face are my kid, my cat and my husband.

Oh, and me when I’m looking into my frightening magnifying mirror… Again with the scary mirror!

Anywho, so far, so good. I still have two weeks and two mask sets to go. I hope my dark circles are utterly terrified! I’ll keep posting check-ins along the way.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Follow Me (and My Dark Circles) As I Review the Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen #sponsored,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Maybelline Spring 2017: Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer

maybelline brightening creamy concealer swatches

From Fair to Deep, the new $7.99 Maybelline Dream Brightening Creamy Concealers

[whisper] I’ll admit it, when it comes to drugstore concealers, I’ve always been kind of a snob.[/whisper]

I blame it on my teenage years… I started out wearing mostly drugstore products (back in the ’90s), and I had SUCH a hard time finding face products, like foundations and concealers, that matched my skin tone.

It was a ROUGH time for tan girls back then, lemme tell you! Thank goodness we didn’t have selfies and Instagram back in the day, because I already have way too many Polaroid pictures of myself from that era with my face and under-eye area a completely different color than my neck.

Oh, and the drugstore formulas didn’t work as well as the stuff I’d find at the mall, so I’d be wearing concealer for like two seconds before it disappeared.

When it comes to drugstore face makeup, those were not the good ol’ days…

Fast forward to today, and Maybelline’s new $7.99 Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer, which coms in six shades designed for the under-eye area.

Compared to big department store brands like NARS, six shades doesn’t set the world on fire, but $7.99 is a steal. And six shades is more than the usual drugstore range of Light, Medium and Deep/Dark!

All of them have a slight opalescence and pink, peach or orange undertones to cancel out those dark circles. The shade I wear is 05 Medium/Deep, and it deftly deals with whatever purple situation I’ve got going on. It doesn’t look heavy or obvious, either. It instantly brightens and refreshes my under-eye area.

It does settle a bit in my fine lines, and I do have to touch up after about four hours, so it isn’t perfect…but it’s downright amazing for $7.99.

The NARS Soft Matte and Sephora Bright Future Gel Concealers are my Mr. Reliable’s right now. They cover EVERYTHING, last all day long and look completely natural, but if I mistakenly left my makeup bag at home and needed an emergency concealer, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up Maybelline Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer at the nearest drugstore or Ulta.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Maybelline Spring 2017: Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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January #mbbinstachallenge Look 1 (Week of Jan. 9-15): Minimalist Skin and Bright Pink Lips

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks for a Comfy, Pretty Pout

clinique crayloa chubby stick

Two of eight new Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks, $17 each and available now

What are the odds of Connor Claire getting into mommy’s makeup someday and thinking that these Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks are, in fact, drawing implements like actual crayons?

I place the odds at about 96.543%, give or take, LOL! Mark my words, I’ll be Instagramming some crazy-@ss wall art.

Seriously, though, how cute are these? They’re basically your standard-issue Clinique Chubby Sticks for Lips — same mega moisturizing, non-sticky formula and sheer color — but in super special Crayola clothing.

basically a lip balm that’s great for minimal makeup situations like working out),

clinique crayloa chubby stick swatches

Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks in Pink Sherbert (top) and Mango Tango (bottom)

The eight unflavored, unscented shades are $17 each (like the regular Clinique Chubby Sticks), which is, yeah, on the expensive side for a sheer balm, but I really like them. I can throw one on before going to HIIT class and not have to fret about color migrating beyond my lip lines when I rub my lips together, reducing the likelihood of me looking like a crazy person.

And I’ll take all the help I can get under that horrible overhead florescent gym lighting… I swear, if someone made a gym with really great lighting where you could look in the mirrors and not look like a serial killer, I would sign up for a lifetime membership.

Anywho…if you aren’t digging the whole Crayola packaging and just want a really good, inexpensive sheer balm, Neutrogena makes a great one for less than $10.

If, however, you DO love Crayola crayons as much as I do, the Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks are available now for a limited time.

Teach me your calming ways, oh wise one…

On the cover of the February issue of Real Simple: “A guide to creating a calm, organized, and happier life.”

Yes, please! Sign me up. πŸ™‚

I haven’t read the article yet, but I’m gonna read it tonight before bed.

I mean, I’m pretty happy most of the time, but I could use a TON OF HELP in the calming and organizing departments.

If your life is currently calm and organized, please teach me your ways! I’m still doing lots of reminders on my phone (“Siri, remind me to take my vitamins every day at 7:30.” “Siri, remind me to reschedule jury duty tomorrow morning.”), and they help, but I need more!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “The Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks for a Comfy, Pretty Pout,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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This Simple Makeup Swap Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger

Let’s talk about liner today…

Let me start this by saying that I love black eyeliner.

I love πŸ’– it. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, buuut as I get older, I feel like when I wear a deep, dark, righteously rich black liner, it can make me look older.

It depends, though, on how much and where I apply it. Like, I do feel that black liner is ideal for certain types of makeup looks (like smoky rock-and-roll eyes), but it can look too harsh and stark for my liking in everyday natural looks.

That’s why I’ve been swapping out the black liner for something off-black or brown these days, like with a charcoal shade, a grayish black, a brownish black or something similar. You can get almost the exact same effect, whether you’re tightlining or emphasizing your lash lines or elongating your top lash line with liner to make your eyes look longer, but the overall effect is softer, subtler and more forgiving.

I kinda stumbled on this one day by accident. I ran out of my usual steez, Chanel 88 Noir Intense, so I grabbed a dark charcoal gray shade instead, Chanel 914 Feuilles (a Stylo Yeux Waterproof Liner), which has a little bit of shimmer.

When I saw myself wearing it in pics, I loved it! I think it looks softer isn’t aging.

Of course, in makeup land, there are no hard and fast rules. I still use black liner sometimes, like in smoky looks, or just when I’m feeling rock ‘n’ roll, but I’ve been using an off-black liner more and more often.

Give it a try one of these days if you feel so inclined. πŸ™‚

Oh, and here are a couple of wonderful brown liners that also work well for this: MAC Teddy and MAC Costa Riche.

A workout texting buddy

So, it’s a new year, and I wanna get in shape, yadda yadda yadda. I’m trying very hard to stay with — what I’m not calling resolutions! I’m calling them my short-term health and fitness goals. πŸ™‚ And I’m trying to stick with them through at least March 1.

One thing that really helps is having a workout buddy, even if that workout buddy is someone who doesn’t work out with you…like if they’re just someone you text.

My friend Naaman and I both want to get in shape, so after we work out, or if we have plans to work out, we text each other quick encouraging notes. Like, today I texted him a picture I took at the gym, and he told me that he was going to do 50 push-ups.

It’s fun and also makes me feel more accountable to tell someone that I’m supposed to do those sit-ups or track my food or whatever. I don’t know why, but it weirdly increases the chances of me actually doing it.

Accountability through the power of texts. Go figure.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “This Simple Makeup Swap Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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