Monthly Archives: December 2017

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Product Review – COL-LAB Cosmetics Line From Sally Beauty

COL-LAB Cosmetics

If you follow me over on Instagram then you already know that late last month I received a gift card from Sally Beauty. I decided the best way I could put this to use is to go pick up some of the new COL-LAB line and test it out for all of my readers.

In case you haven’t heard about COL-LAB yet, it is Sally Beauty’s latest beauty line. It launched just this November, so future reference that is November 2017. It was created in collaboration with several well know beauty influencers. In fact a couple of my favorites were involved, shout out to Dani from Coffee Break With Dani and Lizzy from What Would Lizzy Do. Eight different influencers were involved in this brands creations, each with different skin types and cosmetic preferences.

My goal when I went shopping was to pick up everything I needed to create a full face of makeup using just this brand. I did not include anything that I don’t do at least 50% of the time or more. For instance, brow product is not something I always use, so it was not included in my purchases. I also did not see an eyeshadow primer or setting spray in the store I purchased at, so I used my normal products for those.

So let’s take a look at what I got and my thoughts on each of the products.

COL-LAB Collection Makeup

1.  Palette Pro Eyeshadow Palette in Best of the Day – This is one of five options in an 8 color palette. I picked this particular color option because I felt it had the biggest variety in colors and thus offering the most options of looks. However you will notice that my picture looks a bit different from what is shown on the website. I think that my picture more accurately shows the colors.

Overall I thought these were definitely quality eyeshadows. I found the colors to be very pigmented. They applied well to the lid with little to no dust pick up. I was able to create a few decent eye makeup looks. However, I had some difficulty blending them. They seemed to set in place quickly. Even though I felt this color selection had the broadest selection of colors, I still felt a little limited in what I created. That is not anything bad against the palette itself, I am just not the kind of person that is prone to doing the same makeup look more than a time or two. So for me, I prefer a lot of colors as options. If you are someone who does their eye makeup pretty consistently the same then this would make a great palette for you.

I will share my favorite look I created at the end of this post.

2. Soft Spot Sheer Blush in Meet Cute – Meet cute is a unique color, or at least I think so. It is sort of a mix of a red and a mauve with some brown thrown in. This is one of six color options available in this blush. It is a sheer buildable blush.

The first time I dipped my brush into the blush, I really thought this was going to end up being too much of a color for me. Just with the smallest of dabs my brush had picked up a ton of powder. But I am happy to say that it lived up to its claim of being a sheer blush. In some ways it reminds me of a NARS blush.

3. Set The Stage Ultra-Fine Loose Setting Powder in Porcelain/Ivory – This is one of six color options in the setting powder. It is milled very fine and has a super soft texture. The package comes with a powder puff, however I personally would recommend using this with a powder brush.

I chose a shade lighter than my skin in this powder because I was concentrating what I used on setting my concealer under my eyes and I wanted to brighten that area. However my under eye area is also really dry, so it is usually challenging to set my under eye area without leaving it looking cakey. This setting powder worked wonderfully though. And after a little setting spray it was practically invisible. I was highly impressed.

4. Bold-Faced Liner Waterproof Eye Lining Pencil Drama Queen – This is one of six shades available in this eyeliner. The shades are all darker colors. They are all shades of blue, brown and black. Drama Queen, the one I chose, is a very dark true black.

This is waterproof, which is something I almost always want in an eye liner since I like to put them in my waterline most of the time. I would have like to see more color options, maybe a beige skin tone and bright pop of color or two, but perhaps they will be adding more things like this in the near future. I did think it applied beautifully, and the wear was good. It did not outshine my very favorite eyeliner, but it takes a very close second place.

5. The Filter Highlighting Powder in Glow For Gold – This is one of four color options for the Filter Highlighting Powder. It has a soft silky texture. It is meant to give the skin a soft glow.
This highlighter is way more subtle in use than it looks in the package. Maybe a little too subtle for my personal preferences. But again this is a personal preference thing. I don’t really own any other highlight to compare to this one. But rather than it having glitter or a sheen finish it felt more matte. I thought the texture was wonderful and it did blend it very easily and I really liked that. This would be a great highlight for those of you who want to highlight, but don’t necessarily want to have all the glow on your face.

6. No Flaws Cream Concealer in Ivory/Sand – This is one of eight options for colors in this cream concealer. It comes in a twist up stick. It is made to cover both under eye circles and uneven skin tone.

Let me say first that I have tried a lot of concealers in a lot of different forms, and I have had an extremely difficult time finding ones I thought worked well on my dry textured skin, especially right under my eye area. It always seemed like they would either look cakey, settle in the fine lines around my eyes, or be so watery that they wouldn’t cover any dark spots. This concealer however is my dream concealer. It glides on so soft and smooth. It is super lightweight that you can barely tell you have anything on. Not drying or cakey and covers beautifully. It has never settled in a line or creased. I can’t imagine anyone designing a better concealer. This just blew all of the other concealers in the world out of the water. Seriously, you need to try this.

7. Full Body Lipstick in Really?? – This full body lipstick comes in sixteen color options and two finish options. Really??, the color I have is a matte finish. These lipsticks are designed to go on in a cream and dry down to either the matte or satin finish.

I thought that it applied and wore well. The color applied in one even swipe, which is really hard to find for me. Even though it is a Matte it was not drying. It is a very similar feel to Urban Decay’s Comfort Matte. And I thought the wear time was insanely good. I will definitely be picking up another shade or two to try at some point.

8. Bright Spark Radiant Foundation in Sand – The radiant foundation comes in ten color options. It is a low to medium buildable foundation. It is meant smooth and even your skin tone and leaving you with a soft radiant glow. (Side note: radiant foundations work best for normal to dry skin)

This is probably the product I was most hesitant to try since my experiences with drug store level foundations have not been good and I end up reacting to them. However, I am happy to report that I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. There was no detectable fragrance in this, so that is always a plus in my book. It comes in a bottle with a pump, so no touching the product or exposing it to the air unnecessarily. The foundation comes out in a very moussey texture and after applied dries down to a satin finish. The finished look, feel, and wear is very similar to the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation but with just a tiny bit more coverage. The color is a better match for me than any offered in the Nars line, at least at my current color level.

9. High-Rise Insane Length Mascara Extreme Black – This is one of three color options for this mascara. Made to lengthen and lift your lashes. Comes in a unique package with a long skinny wand. And I believe the brush is silicone.

This is fantastic mascara. Just like the foundation, I have struggled to find a drugstore level mascara that I really liked since they discontinued one I really liked years ago. I love the very skinny wand and brush design. This definitely makes my top five favorite mascaras. It wears and performs very similarly to Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara, but it is harder to remove.

Final Thoughts

There were definitely three stand out stars for me in the products I tried. It is probably pretty easy to guess that those are the No Flaws Cream Concealer, the Full Body Lipstick, and the High-Rise Insane Length Mascara. I also really enjoyed the foundation, but I don’t know that it was as much of a star as the other three products.

I think everything I tried were good solid products, even the things that were not necessarily what I would want for me. Nothing was an outright fail. There are definitely things I think that could be improved upon in the line, mainly the selection of colors in the face products. I really hope that they make an effort to add a broader range of shades over time.

Overall, I was really happy with this line. There are more things that I hope to try in the future that I didn’t try in this go around. Please let me know in the comments if there are any products in particular you would like a review of.

I did snap some pictures of my favorite makeup look I created when testing out this brand, and I wanted to share that with you.

Let me know in the comments below what you have tried from COL-LAB or what you are dying to try.

 

The gift card I used to purchase my products for this review was sent to me by Sally Beauty, however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. My reviews are all completely honest.

 

 

 

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Splurge Worthy Beauty Items Of The 2017 Holiday Season

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Whether you are looking to buy a more extravagant gift for someone else or just splurge on yourself, you want to know that your money is going towards something that is a quality product. To help you I have put together a brief list of items that in my opinion are totally splurge worthy.

Everything included in this list will be over $30, and I believe any beauty lover would be ecstatic to receive these items. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, you can check out my list of Beauty Gift Under $30.

For the sake of this post, I am going to divide this into two categories, Makeup & Skin Care and Beauty Tools. Some of these items are available at multiple locations. I will be providing links to either the place I purchased from, or alternatively somewhere you can purchase cheaper. Prices listed are full retail prices and do not reflect any sale prices or possible discounts or additional shipping. So let’s get started.

Makeup & Skin Care

Splurge worthy beauty sets and palettes of holidy 2017

1. Too Faced White Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette –  Sells for $49.00. One of two new palettes released in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Collection. This particular palette is filled with soft pastels and a couple of bold pops of color. Like the previous palettes released it has a nice mix of mattes and shimmers. And as always, every chocolate bar palette is infused with real cocoa powder and the smell of chocolate fills the air each time you use it. If you are looking for something bolder or flashier for the holidays, or are just into really cool packaging, you should check out the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow Palette.

2. LORAC Mega PRO Palette 4 – Sells for $59.00. This large palette is filled with 32 highly pigmented shades. It contains a mix of mattes and shimmers. I think this is the most unique Pro Palette LORAC has released. It has a wide range of colors that include both warm and cool tones.

3. Dr. Jart The Original BB Set – Sells for $34.00 (But I found several sellers on Amazon selling for $28.00, so that is where the link leads). This set includes each of the four types of BB Cream from Dr. Jart all in deluxe travel sizes. Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ Shade #01 is filled with peptides and antioxidants that smooth skin and even out tone for youthful-looking skin. Radiance Beauty Balm SPF 30 corrects uneven skin tone while brightening and hydrating. Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm smooths skin’s texture, covers blemishes and large pores, and tightens the look of pores. Black Label Detox Beauty Balm contains purifying botanical actives that soothe and smooth blemishes and camouflage uneven skin tone. This set delivers four subtly distinct finishes, from glowing and sheer to matte and fuller-coverage. If you haven’t tried a Dr. Jart BB Cream before, be prepared to fall in love.

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Smooth & Flawless: Peel + Moisturize – Sells for $48.00. This set includes 14 of the Dr. Dennis Gross’ iconic daily peels and a trial size of the Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion. The Alpha Beta Peels from Dr. Dennis Gross will leave your skin looking great and feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom. And if you are a makeup wearer it will leave your skin in the condition to be the perfect palette. This is the original formula, but you can also get two other formulas. If you have sensitive skin go for the Smooth & Silky Peel + Nourish Ultra Gentle 14-Day Challenge Set or if you need something a little stronger try the Smooth & Radiant: Peel + Brighten Set.

5. Clinique Moisture Overload Set – Sells for $42.00. This is a three-piece set from Clinique’s Moisture Surge line. You get a 1.7 oz size of the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, a 1 oz size of the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, and a .17 oz size of the All About Eyes. I would recommend the Moisture Surge line to anyone for their skin care no matter their skin type. But if you are looking for a set with a little more variety in it, then check out the Holiday Swag Box.

6. Kevyn Aucoin Electropop Pro Eyeshadow Palette – $57.00. Sells for This palette contains 12 intensely pigmented metallic chrome shades. Designed to create three-dimensional looks. Shade vary from light and sheer to high impact opaque color.

7. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some More Lip – Sells for $68.00. Unfortunately this set is sold out online at Sephora, they are highly popular and for good reason. There is a decent chance your local Sephora will have them in store. If you do not live close to a Sephora then I highly recommend checking out the smaller versions like the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip or if you aren’t a lipstick fanatic you might like the Sephora Favorites Glow For It Kit.

Perfume Subscription Service

Beauty Tools

1.  str8glam Wet/Dry Hair Straightening Brush – Sells for $54.75.


I have very course thick hair. It is very hard to do anything with it. In the past I have tried a lot of tools including flat irons, but never had any success with them working on my hair. But in recent years I have tried a lot of new tools trying to find something to do with my hair. This has been one of the few success stories. It not only straightens my hair it does it quickly and easily. Plus its way less damaging to your hair and no worries about burning yourself either.

2. Valuetom Professional Ceramic Hair Curler with Temperature Control – Sells for $42.99  
Another one of my success stories for my hair is this unique hair curler. You may have even seen videos on YouTube of people trying them out and freaking out, or saying they were too afraid to use them. But this is the one and only thing that has worked to curl my hair. I have even had problems with getting perms to hold in the past. Curling by any other means falls out fast. In fact many of you commented on my hair in the BOHO styled post I did with Simply Be a couple of months ago. And this is what I used to get that curl. When I use this on my hair the curl lasts until I wash my hair. It is amazing. It even lets you decide what type of curl you want.

3. Akean Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer Machine – Sells for $49.99

Another product that I highly recommend and that a lot of you expressed interest in after I posted the video on Social Media of me using it is this makeup cleaner and dryer. It works fantastic and is a huge time saver. It literally cleans and dries your brushes in just seconds.

Tell me in the comments what your big beauty splurge is.

 


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The Best Gifts For Beauty Lovers Under $30

Best beauty gifts under $30

Best beauty gifts under $30

Everyone has at least one beauty lover in their life. But picking a gift for a beauty lover can be difficult and overwhelming if you aren’t really familiar with all the brands and items. And many of the most coveted items can be pricey, and maybe not really in your budget for a typical gift. That is why I have come up with a list of the best gifts available this year for the beauty lover in your life.

I have broken this into three categories: Lips, Eye & Face Palettes, and Everything Else. Most of these items, but not all, can be purchased at multiple locations. But for the sake of this post I will be linking to the stores where I purchased from, unless I find it somewhere cheaper for you. The under $30 price tag is based on full regular price, so no chance for you to have to pay more.

LIPS

Best lip products for gifts in 2018 Christmas Season1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick – Holiday Kiss Collection – Sells for $17. I got mine in the color Rebel which is a Sephora-exclusive metallized nude shade of Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick. This is perfect for the lipstick collector that loves limited edition.

2. Urban Decay Little Liquid Vices – Sells for $28. Know someone who loves liquid lipstick or has been wanting to try them. With this set you give them the opportunity to try four mini size shades for just a little more that the price of a full size. In this set you get to try two formulas, comfort matte and metallized. And you get the shades Backtalk, Amulet, Purgatory, and Crimson.

3. Urban Decay Little Vices Lipstick Kit – Sells for $25. You get five deluxe samples of Vice Lipsticks for about the same price of one full size lipstick. You get three finishes (cream, comfort matte, and metallized) in the colors Violate, 1993, Double Crossed, Love Drunk, and Mad. This is perfect for the lipstick lover who wants a variety of shades and/or finishes, also great if you are just unsure of what your beauty lover likes in a lipstick.

4. NYX Professional Makeup Meet The Metallics Lip Vault – Sells for $25. A lipstick vault is for the true lipstick fanatic. And you will be hard pressed to find a vault of any kind, even of a drugstore brand, for under $30. In this particular vault you get 12 lip colors. Despite what the name implies, not all of the lipsticks are metallic. You get 6 metallic shades and 6 soft matte lip creams. You get the colors Monte Carlo, Copenhagen, Paris, Budapest, Rome, and Dubai in each of the formulas.

5. Sleek Makeup Mini Major Matte Metallic Set – Sells for $10. (If metallics aren’t your thing, there is also a regular matte version available for the same price.) In this set you get four minis of what they call metallic matte lip gloss. To me I still consider this more of a lipstick, but you be the judge. But it’s definitely something every beauty lover will want to try. And at just $10 its affordable at even the smallest budget.

6. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip – Sells for $28. These lip kits, as well as some of their other kits are quite popular at Sephora. I can not link to the exact one I am showing since I purchased it at a JC Penny’s Sephora and they have their own special ones not available online. However I am linking to one of the most similar ones in regular Sephora’s. I have bought them from both places as they offer different items at both locations. And often when the ones are sold out at regular Sephora’s then they still have plenty in JC Pennys. So always check there if you are looking for one of the Sephora favorites kits.

7. Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Lip Set – Sells for $25. The Contour & Lip Strobe Sets are packaged in a covetable lip-shaped tin, each set features a full-size Lip Contour, a mini Liquid Matte Lipstick in a complementary shade, and a mini Lip Strobe. This set was originally offered in five shade combos at Sephora. Pictured above is Bombshell & Ritzy which has already sold out at Sephora, I am unsure about other sellers. There are still three shade options left that I think are equally lovely. There is Trendsetter & Snobby, Trophy Wife & Shameless, and Silver Fox & Angelic.

 

e.l.f. cosmetics

Eye And Face Palettes

Eye and face makeup palettes under $301. bh Cosmetics Zodiac Palette – Sells for $21.99. In this palette you get 25 eyeshadows (12 baked shimmers, 12 buttery mattes) and 1 luminous baked highlighter. This palette is slightly reminiscent of the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Palette. I think this would be a great gift for any beauty lover who missed out on that palette or anyone who likes unique or themed palettes.

2. Sleek Makeup Bring On The Night Gift Set – Sells for $30 (it does look like Walgreens is clearancing this set out for half price, but I am not positive). In this set you get the Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette, the Solstice Highlight Palette, and the Take A Cheeky Peek Blush Palette which can each be bought separately as well. There are really some great color choices in this set, and you get a lot bang for your buck. This might be a great option for someone who is just getting into makeup and you want to give them a little of everything.

3. Wet N Wild Fantasy Makers Paint Palette – Sells for $13.78. This is a little different from the other palettes. Instead of traditional makeup its is face paint palette, so something for those in your life who love to do costuming and do a lot of makeup with it. The one I am showing is the pastel version, but there are several color options available.

4. Stila Written In the Stars – Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set – Sells for $25. (Please note this set has sold out everywhere since I started working on this post. However each of the shades in this set or there is a larger set available if you are looking for sets.) In this set you get three deluxe sizes of the Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow. Colors included are Diamond Dust, Kitten Karma, and Smokey Storm. These shadows are really fantastic and the perfect gift for the girl who want her eye looks to pop.

5. ColourPop Semi Precious Shadow Palette – Sells for $26.00. This palette contains 8 metallic shades inspired by star stuff and celestial lights. Available online at both Sephora and ColourPop’s websites. Also available in certain Sephora stores. This is a great gift for the Colour Pop fanatic or the beauty lover who always wants to try the latest thing.

6. Femme Couture Naughty Metals Eyeshadow Palette – Sells for $9.99. This palette contains 8 metallic shades perfect for those Holiday looks. If metallics aren’t your thing try the Nice Nudes palette. Really want to elevate your look? Get both and mix shadows from both palettes. The perfect gift for the beauty lover who follows the trends when you are on a tight budget.

7. COL-LAB Pro Eyeshadow Palette Best of the Day – Sells for $14.99. This palette is available in four varieties, I am showing it here in Best Of The Day. Each palette comes with eight colors in three formulas (matte, satins, and metallics). This is from the new exclusive collection at Sally Beauty created by some top YouTube Beauty Gurus. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover who wants to support her favorite YouTuber.

8. Maybelline The City Mini Palette – Sells for $6.49-$9.99. I purchased mine through Amazon Prime Pantry. That is the cheapest place to purchase it but if you are not a Prime member, then you can also find it at Walgreens. This palette is available in 7 color options, pictured is The Urban Jungle. Each palette contains six shades that are a mix of mattes, shimmers, and metallics. These are the perfect gift for the beauty lover who likes experimenting with bold looks.

9. NYX Cosmetics In Your Element Shadow Palette, Air – Sells for $30. This palette is also available in Wind, Earth, Fire, Metal, and Water versions. The air palette features pastel shades to create ethereal looks. Each palette comes with 12 shade, all except he metal palette offer a mix of textures. The air palette has a mix of mattes, satins and shimmers. This is a perfect gift for the beauty lover who fancies herself a unicorn at heart.

 

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Everything Else

1. Urban Decay Urban Lockdown Travel Duo – Sells for $19.00. This set includes an Optical Illusion Complexion Primer Mini and a Travel Size All Nighter Setting Spray. This is a great gift for the woman who is on the go all day and night, and needs her makeup to stay in place while she is out.

2. Love OPI, XOXO Mini 4 Piece Set – Sells for $14.99. This set comes with four mini colors that are perfect for the holidays. You get Ornament to Be Together, Coalmates, Holidazed Over You, and My Wish List is You. This is the perfect gift for the beauty lover who is obsessed with doing her nails.

3. Nails INC Sparkle Like A Unicorn Set – Sells for $19.00. This set includes one Sparkle Like A Unicorn printed sheet mask, two Mini Nail Polishes in Unicorn Vibes and Unicorn Dot Com, and one Lip Trippin’ Iridescent Strobe Lipstick in Unicorn Tribe. Unicorns are really popular right now with kids and kids at heart. This gift is perfect for the beauty lover who is all unicorns all the time.

4. Clinique Moisture Favorites Set – Sells for $18.50. This set includes three mini size products perfect for travel or just to try the products out. You get a Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, a Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief, and a Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm. This is a great gift for the friend that is more into skin care than makeup or someone who has dry dehydrated skin. This is a great choice for sensitive skin types, or if you just don’t know what skin type they have.

5. Bitzy Body Shimmer Spray – As you can see there is no link to this product. That is because since I started working on this post a couple of days ago every place that had it seems to have sold out, at least online. I bought mine at Sally Beauty, so you could possibly find some in your local store. If you want something similar you can get the Glitter Powder Spray from HUBEE on Amazon for around the same price I paid. I personally think this would make a great gift for a young beauty lover or someone who likes to sparkle.

6. Models Own Celestial Lip Glitter Kit in Rose Meteor – Sells for $14.99. Also available in the color Moon Dust. This kit comes with everything you need to do a glitter lip. It can be worn alone or over your own lipsticks. These would make great gifts for the beauty love who loves doing lip art or who follows all the Instagram trends.

 

So there you have my top picks for beauty gifts under $30. Tell me in the comments if you think I left something out that people should know about. What beauty item is on your wish list this year?

 

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