beauty · luxury

Review: Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm

Happy Hump Day! We’re going to get over this week’s hump with a beauty review. I received the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Woppin’ Watermelon last month. It was one of the items available in Sephora’s Play box from several months ago (I’m not subscribed to Play but I’ve purchase a couple of the excess Play boxes directly from the Sephora website).

This product is described as a “treat” that offers lips “mouthwatering moisture and a hint of soft shine”. The color – Woppin’ Watermelon – is a translucent bubblegum pink. It applied smoothly and indeed felt very moisturizing on my lips. Despite being a much brighter pink than I normally wear, the sheerness of the product meant that I could easily wear it alone or paired with a liner or lipstick.

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Swatch of Woppin’ Watermelon

I paired it with my trusty, cheap, dark brown lip liner and I loved the subtle way that the liner “toned down” the pink. However, I’ll likely wear this product alone, too. It looks soft and pretty: it looks great for work or play. This was in one of the summer Play boxes, which makes sense to me: the formula, packaging, and color all work well for the warm months and days at the beach.

Left – no liner; Right – with liner

Now, here’s the thing: this chubby stick retails for $18.50. My Sephora Play box was only $10, so I got a great value with my purchase. But, I can’t comfortably state that the product is worth the price. The product has barely any color and I feel that the moisturizing properties could easily be found in drugstore products that will deposit equally sheer color. If you can get this during any sales, then go for it. If not, I recommend that you pass.

That’s my brief review of the Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm. Have you all tried it? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

 

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: BITE Champagne Discovery Set

Happy Thursday, darlings! I’m relaxing before a hectic week and I figured I’d tell you about a product that I’ve been reaching for – consistently – over the past few days. I purchased the BITE Champagne Discovery Set a few weeks ago. I’d sampled the BITE Multistick in Cashew a while ago, so I knew that I loved the shade. However, this set seemed like a good way to get a lot of bang for my buck.

The set contains, as mentioned before, the Multistick in Cashew but also has a Lip Pencil in shade 036 and a lip gloss in Champagne. The Multistick and lip pencil are both listed as being “matte rose taupe”, while the gloss is a “metallic champagne with nude and gold”.

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Lip gloss, lip liner, and multistick

Swatch (from top to bottom: Champagne Pearl lip gloss, Multistick in Cashew, 036 lip liner), with and without flash

I tried different combinations of the multistick, gloss, and liner on my lips, but I had to add my trusted dark brown liner because, to be frank, I looked like a caricature without it. There’s something about lighter-toned lipsticks that just isn’t flattering on me. However, when blended with a deep-colored liner, the colors immediately become more wearable.

Lips filled with BITE’s 036 lip liner (no other product)

Multistick in Cashew layered over 036 liner

Multistick, lip liner, and a generous application of dark brown liner blended in (from local beauty supply store)

Same as above, but Champagne Pearl gloss in the center of the lips

Anyway, back to the products. The multistick isn’t exclusively for lips: it can be used as eyeshadow or blush. So, I applied it from lash to brow, blended lightly, threw on some gel eyeliner and mascara, and took a pic. I like it better as an eyeshadow, though it’s a nice nude (when paired with a lip liner).

Multistick as eyeshadow

The lip liner is a nice mid-toned neutral, and, to its credit, it’s a cool nude, which can be difficult to find. I love the texture and how perfectly it matches the multistick. The liner would be great for “lightening up” some of my deeper toned lip looks and making them more suitable for day wear.

The Champagne Pearl gloss smells minty and has a nice taste. The shade is very close to Extraordinary Smile, a liquid lippie that I purchased from Glow by Melodye a while back. You can see the review on Extraordinary Smile here, but I took a side-by-side pic. Champagne Pearl is a tad lighter, and has a smoother texture than Extraordinary Smile, but the lighter hue means that it will need (you guessed it) a dark liner to be more wearable. Even then, it’s giving me early 2000s vibes, so it’s a bit dated for my taste, though kind of cute in its own way. This gloss is very golden – like, really, really golden – and very shiny. This is definitely one that is more suited to evenings out on the town.

Champagne Pearl with dark brown lip liner

For comparison: Champagne Pearl by BITE on top, Extraordinary Smile by Glow by Melodye on the bottom (with flash and without flash)

So, all in all, this was a pretty versatile set. With a couple more products thrown into the mix, the colors are all extremely wearable and can easily go from day to night. I don’t think I’d purchase the set again, but I look forward to using these products and trying some more from BITE Beauty in the future.

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipstick

Happy Hump Day, beloveds! It’s time to review some beauty products because, let’s face it, we’re overdue!

Today, I’m reviewing the Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipsticks. Now, I’ve reviewed Fenty Beauty twice before: first when reviewed the Killawatt Highlighter, then when I reviewed the Lil Match Stix Duo.

I’ve enjoyed all of the Fenty Beauty products that I’ve tried so far, so I was excited to give the Mattemoiselle lipsticks a try. I didn’t want to commit to the full-sized lippie (since I already have far too many lipsticks in my collection) so I got the Mini Mattemoiselles.

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The set includes two mini lipsticks, in the shades Spanked and Griselda. When Fenty Beauty first launched the lipstick line, I was immediately drawn to the intense eggplant-hued Griselda, while I wasn’t as excited about Spanked, described as a “dusty rose” on the Fenty Beauty website.

(L to R) Spanked and Griselda, with flash and without

Swatches – Griselda on top, Spanked on bottom (with flash and without)

However, being a curious soul, I wanted to give both lipsticks a chance. I was impressed with the pigment and the texture: these are matte but not drying. I loved how they glided on and how they didn’t leave my lips feeling dehydrated. My thoughts on the lipsticks are as follows:

  • Spanked is a great everyday shade, but it doesn’t flatter my complexion unless I wear a dark liner with it (blended well, of course). The color is a bit too warm for my taste, but it’s a very classy, elegant shade that works well for the office or casual looks.

Spanked with dark brown liner

  • Griselda is bold and attention grabbing: my kind of lippie! It’s also more neutral (equal amounts of warmth and coolness) so it flatters my complexion more. It can come across a bit harsh during the daytime, so I’d save this one for the evening.

Griselda – no liner needed

I hit pay dirt when I combined the lipsticks. I applied Griselda and blotted off most of the color in the center of my lip, leaving the heaviest concentration of product on the outer edge of my mouth. Then, I liberally applied Spanked in the center of my lips and blended outward, until Spanked faded into Griselda. It created a simply gorgeous, dimensional pout that works from day to night. Score!

Griselda and Spanked combined – my favorite!

All in all, I love these colors and I can’t wait to try more! Fenty Beauty has yet another hit. They always get it right the first time!

Have you all tried any Fenty Beauty products? Let me know in the comments below!

beauty

Beauty Review: Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint

In my latest Sephora sample goodies, I received a lipstick that I’ve never tried before. In fact, I’ve never tried anything from this brand. I figured that a review would be fun, since it’s all new to me and I have no bias when it comes to the brand.

The brand, (you already know what it is if you read the title!), is Tarte, and today I’m trying the Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint. I am a huge fan of liquid lipsticks and glosses, so I was stoked to try a new one. I looked up Tarte and I was really impressed with the eco-friendly stance of the brand, so I had really high hopes for this product.

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Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (photo courtesy of Sephora)

Tarteist Lip Paints come in two different finishes (matte or glossy) and over 40 different shades. I received Birthday Suit, a pinkish nude that I suspected would be a bit too light for my complexion. As always, my eyes didn’t fail me: Birthday Suit was not the nude for my skintone. It was too light, too much salmon/peach, and it came across a bit chalky. To be honest, the color was hideous. That isn’t Tarte’s fault, nor is it Sephora’s: I was sent what was available, and it was free, so no complaints from me!

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My sample of Birthday Suit

However, I don’t believe in quitting, so I figured I would fix it up. A little bit of inexpensive dark brown lip liner, some blending, and I had a wearable nude shade that didn’t look pasty nor did it clash with my cool/neutral undertones. I wore it for several hours before reapplying, and it did a pretty good job of holding up during lunch.

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Before liner and blending: Yikes!

 

After liner and blending: MUCH better!

As part of my review, I looked at some of the comments on Sephora, made by others who tried this lip paint. The consensus was that the formula was drying, and most people really didn’t enjoy the product. I wondered why I didn’t have the dryness that they reported, then I remembered: I used a lip balm about 10 minutes before I applied the lip paint. I tried this later, without lip balm as a base, and I too found it a bit dry. For that reason, I can’t give it a glowing recommendation but I can offer this tip: if you find a shade of Tarteist Lip Paint that you love, just know that you can prevent dry lips by applying balm to your lips first.

Overall, if I had to rate the product, I’d give this product a 3 out of 5 stars. The fact that you need to apply a balm first is a bummer, especially since this product is $20 per tube. For the price, there should be more moisturizing ingredients included. However, it’s a matte liquid lipstick, so too much moisture would probably keep it from having the matte finish that is expected from the product. I hope that Tarte continues to experiment with this formula and perfect it, because I love the company’s environmental and ethical stance, and I would love to support hem in the future! It’s worth a try if you’re committed to using vegan, eco-friendly products and don’t mind using additional products to preserve the moisture in your lips.

 

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Review: KoyVoca Glossies

In late March, one of my favorite indie cosmetic companies, KoyVoca Cosmetics (you remember them – I reviewed them in this post and in this post) announce the upcoming release of their new lip gloss line. The product, Glossy, is, as the company puts it, “[…]the lip gloss you’ve been looking for! Its long-lasting formula provides a glass-like look to the lips.” The company launched 8 lip gloss shades in April and I, ever eager to switch it up from the matte lip trend, made sure that I preordered.

I ordered three shades: Panther, Princess Cut, and Rude Gyal. I got my glosses quickly after the release date and I’ve had a chance to play with all three, so I’m ready for this review!

For starters, kudos to KoyVoca for quickly shipping their products! Every time I order from them I’m impressed by the speed of order delivery. That being said, I also was very impressed with the size and presentation of the glosses:

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(top to bottom: Rude Gyal, Princess Cut, Panther)

There’s a good amount of product in each tube. These also have a light fruity smell that I enjoyed. Here are the descriptions of the shades as written by KoyVoca:

 

Panther – a blue and purple duochrome with red and blue flecks

Princess Cut – a golden pink with holographic shimmer

Rude Gyal – a shimmery wine

I swatched the shades then I swooned. The colors are gorgeous, perfectly pigmented and thick without being sticky (basically, the glosses are perfect).

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(left to right: Panther, Princess Cut, Rude Gyal)

Here I am rocking each of the shades:

Princess Cut

Rude Gyal

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Panther

I find myself frequently reaching for Princess Cut because it’s such a wearable shade. But my favorite, by far, is Panther. It’s deep, dramatic and memorable.

But all that being said, there are still a few things I want to mention about these glossies. These are VERY long wearing! It takes a while for these to wear off, and they have some real staying power even as you eat and drink. The shine is INSANE: highly reflective! I love that these are true glosses and not semi-shine formulas like a lot of companies are selling right now. The smell is pleasant and the formula is nonsticky, so they are very wearable.

I highly recommend these! Check out all of the shades and see which one should be in your collection!

 

 

beauty

Review: IT Cosmetics

I recently received a bag full of IT Cosmetics products from one of my grandmas. Why did she give me makeup? you ask. Perhaps you think that it’s because I love makeup and she would know how much I love it. Well, that’s only partially true.

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Simply put, my grandma loves to buy stuff but rarely uses any of it. All of the products she gave me were brand new and unopened. She ordered the products from HSN because she loves shopping from the comfort of her television!

But, before you assume that I hit the makeup jackpot, let me show you the gag.

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Yeah, none of the complexion products are in my shade. My grandma bought the products suited for tan skin (closer to her complexion) while I’m clearly on the deeper end of the color spectrum. But I’m still a makeup junkie so I’m gonna wear these products regardless of the color mismatch.

This post is both a review and a how-to. If you’ve found yourself stuck with products that are too light for you, this may help you get some use out of them. Who knows: you may be able to “mix up” your perfect shade once you get comfortable mixing stuff together.

That’s exactly what I did: I mixed IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation in Tan with my summer foundation shade (L’Oreal True Match in N8 Cappucino). I applied the Bye Bye foundation as if it were a primer: it even made me a ghostly shade like some of my best primers do (LOL!) Then I blended the True Match right on top.

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At the end of my day

*Tip: if you have a foundation that’s too light, mix it with your summer shade to find a hue that should be pretty close to your winter shade. I generally use a 25%/75 percent ratio (25% too light foundation, 75% summer shade). Your mileage may vary, but if you invested a lot in a shade that’s just a little “off”, this may help you save your money!

The resulting shade matched my chest perfectly! It also held up during the day, even though I didn’t use a primer underneath. Bye Bye Foundation is buildable, so if this was my ideal shade, I could make it go from light to full coverage easily.

Next is the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Concealer, also in Tan. Again, I mixed it with my L’Oreal True Match, and it did a great job of concealing any discoloration under my eyes. Warning: use a light hand with this concealer. A little goes a LONG way, and it is very full coverage.

Both complexion products were lightweight on the skin and looked very natural, after I fiddled with the shade. I finished the look off with the Bye Bye Pores loose finishing powder in (you guessed it) Tan. I only applied that to my undereyes, and I used a light touch (I didn’t want that raccoon eye effect). The powder was nice: no heavy perfumed scent and didn’t settle into any creases. The color was also the perfect shade: not too yellow or too gray. I’ll be adding the powder into my makeup routine for setting my undereye concealer going forward.

I also tried the IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara. I LOVED it! No clumping, defined my lashes and gave them a lengthened appearance, and it had a round tip that is good for applying mascara to the lower lashes. I have seasonal allergies, so it was nice to wear a mascara that didn’t irritate my eyes. Also, I did a light rub test, and the mascara DIDN’T BUDGE! No dark circles after a long day is always a win. This mascara is a keeper.

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Hello Lashes Mascara making my eyes POP! (And a few particles of eyeshadow on my cheek)

The last product I tried is the Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi. Now this product is really intriguing: it looks like a clear balm, but when you apply it, it turns into a “flush” color: pinkish red that just looks like a lip stain with some sheen/shine. It reminds me of those color-changing lipsticks from the 90s, that were blue or green in the tube but turned to pink or coral when they warmed up to your body heat. It’s a cool product that I’d use again, especially on a day where I’m doing a “no makeup” look.

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The Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi

I also got the Live Love Laugh Vitality Face Disc but the colors were much lighter than I could work with. The disc features a bronzer, blush and highlight that would be well suited for a lighter complexion, but looked pale and sort of flat on me. I may try to work the shades into my eye makeup routine, because it’s a LOT of product and I’d hate for it to go to waste.

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Overall, I liked the line. The colors weren’t for my shade, but the products performed well, didn’t have any weird smells, and applied easily. I do have one critique for the product: I wasn’t a fan of the hygienic sealing on the foundation and concealer. The seal is difficult to remove (both because of the hard-to-locate perforation and small size of the sealing), which I normally don’t take issue with when it comes to cosmetics (better safe and hygienic than sorry!) But this was sold through HSN, whose customers are overwhelmingly older women, many of whom may have some vision and physical limitations. I’d guess that customers have difficulty getting into the products because of the wrapping. It would be fantastic if the company explored alternate method of sealing the products that isn’t so difficult for older hands and weaker eyes.

Other than that, I really enjoyed IT Cosmetics. Who knows: maybe I’ll try some of their products in my actual shade in the future! Shoutout to my grandma for giving me some new products to try!

beauty · luxury

Review: Nicolet Beauty Lip Catnips

During my beauty binge a few weeks ago, I came across Nicolet Beauty. I was intrigued by the line, because they offer vegan lip products in both glamorous and unusual shades. They offer both lipsticks and lip glosses. But that’s not the only thing that lured me in.

Look at the container. LOOK. AT. IT.

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Nicolet Beauty sells “lip catnips” (intensely pigmented lip gloss) in both the standard lip gloss tubs, but they are also offering a few of their shades in these limited edition special containers. Now tell me: wouldn’t you just LOVE to have these on your vanity?

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I ordered two of these limited edition glosses in the shades “Florence” and “Norino” (there are two other shades, as well: Delphia and Zona). The website describes “Florence” as a “Metallic Berry lip gloss”, while “Norino” is described as a “Rose Gold metallic lip gloss”. I found both of these descriptions accurate, and the pigment was intense and true to what is shown on the website.

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(Florence on the left, Norino on the right)

I. Loved. These. Catnips! The coverage is gorgeous and these smell like cupcakes! I’m a bit more partial to “Norino”, mainly because this is the one that I’ve worn more frequently. I have gotten compliments on the rose gold shade when I wore it. I anticipate that “Florence” will be an absolute hit this winter (I usually go a little deeper on my lip shades during the cooler months, so this one will be a perfect change from “Norino”).

(Florence and Norino in their pots)

Now, a few disclaimers are in order. These are both shimmery shades, so if you love your mattes, this isn’t for you. Also, while the website lists these as lip glosses, the website also cautions that these are highly pigmented. So these colors apply like a lip gloss but have coverage and finish like a lipstick. These do not apply as sheers and, since they don’t dry down to a matte finish, they blend well with lip liners (you don’t have to rush and blend because the lip catnip doesn’t dry completely).

Since these are glosses, you can expect that these will remain a little “tacky” and retain their sheen throughout the day. Funny enough, I found that the colors looked a tad shinier when unmanipulated, and took on a more matte look when I pressed my lips together. If you want a shinier look, you will have to layer a clear gloss over the lip catnips, or just remember not to press your lips together too much.

The unexpected surprise of this order was the fact that I got the glam lip brush along with the catnips. I can’t promise you that everyone receives a lip brush (it wasn’t mentioned on the website) but I was delighted to see this coordinating accessory in my package.

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Oh yes, about the package: it arrived quickly (within a week) so I was pleased. These glosses are ordinarily $16, but as of September 15, 2017, these are on sale for $12 each. This is a great way to get some affordable luxury in your life!

That’s my review of Nicolet Beauty. I hope that the company continues to produces these luxuriously packaged items, because they are unique and help me to quickly tap into my inner glam.

What do you think of Nicolet Beauty? Let me know in the comments below!