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Make-up for Olive Skin: May 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's in your make-up bag?

I had someone ask me what I keep in my make-up bag. Well! I actually didn't have a "make-up bag" for a very long time. I'd just do my make up at home before work everyday and just let it do its thing. Now I take my make-up to work with me for those "lazy days" when I feel like I need coffee more than I need make-up (I'm going to be honest, I wake up 20 minutes before I have run out the door, I really do only have the option for one or the other).

So, here it is, the contents of my make-up bag. These are by no means my only pieces nor even necessarily my favorite make-up pieces. Some of them are tried and true faves and others are just the flavor of the week. I'll let you know what they are as I go along!

My make-up bag, from Ecotools from the Alicia Silverstone Line
This bag came with brushes in a separately zipped pouch, it's pretty great!
It's also nice and roomy.
Now on to the contents!
Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in "Baked" 
I'm really loving the Urban Decay Baked Bronzer right now. It wasn't an impulse buy, I bought it because the counter girl put it on my bare face with nothing else and when I walked back to work after my lunch break I got compliments from people on my skin! It's pretty great. It's $24 at the counter.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone palette. 
This palette is a great mix of colors, is pigmented and thin so it doesn't take up much room. It's also only $4.99 at drugstores! Yaaaay!

Benefit Cosmetics "Hello Flawless!" SPF 15 
I love this powder, it's just...what's the word? Nice! It evens everything out and sets all my make up really nicely. I'm a huge fan of the bottom level that houses a mini brush and sponge. I've already hit pan on this, which is hard with so much make-up!

E.L.F Palette with MAC shadows: Satin Taupe, Sketch, Illegal Cargo, Coquette
I enjoy this palette because it's small and cheap, it does the job for $1. These shadows I've collected by swapping for them on Some of these are depots and some are MAC pro pans. I like to use Coquette as my eyebrow fill in color. It's perfect.
Trial size of Benefit Cosmetics stay don't stray
Stay Don't Stray is my favorite eyeshadow primer. It seems to do a really good job of 1)evening out the color of my lid 2)Making color more vibrant  3)Less likely to crease and 4)Makes it last longer.
Revlon ColorStay Makeup, Combination/Oily Skin
This is my favorite foundation, right now. I see that changing because it's not great, but it gets the job done. I'm honestly still on the search for the best foundation for my skin. It may be a never ending quest.

These are the brushes I use for my eyes. E.L.F Shader and Counter brushes and Revlon brow brush.
I use only these three brushes to do my eye make-up. Only when I'm on the go, at home I use way more brushes. Probably because I have a lot.
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer
This is the easiest concealer for me to tote around in my bag. I do like it though, so it's not like that's the only reason I carry it around. It's creamy and easy/quick to use. It also matches my skin very well so it never looks odd if worn alone.
CoverGirl Professional Super Thick Lash Mascara
This is my holy grail for mascara. It's a drugstore brand, but it seriously does for my lashes what no other mascara does. They look full, long, healthy, and not clumpy. It's a truly well kept secret and I wish more people would sing its praises!
Clinique Airbrush Concealer
This concealer is THE BEST one stop shop for my under eyes. When I used to work at the Clinique counter I honestly never understood the power this product has. It took Lisa Elderidge to show me the way of the airbrush concealer to find out that this is what my under eyes had been looking for all along!
Urban Decay Zero/Whiskey 24/7liner from Naked Palette
This eyeliner is pretty much, amazing. It has a black and a brown together so they take up less space in my bag but also they are creamy, blendable, smudgeable, and yet wont budge throughout the day and last FOREVER. I love these 24/7 eyeliners now, it's caused me to buy more colors, all of which are also great.

Well! That's all folks! Hope this was either interesting or informative. Cuz lord knows it can't be both. Either way, hope you enjoyed it!

So, what's in your make-up bag?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Misadventures at Walgreens

I'm going to preface this buy saying that I have a migraine right now, so I may not convey this story in an extremely pleasant manner, but I need to write this before I forget.

I've been telling people who read my blog that you should be able to return a used make-up item to Walgreens (not used up for half away used, but opened and swatched). However, I recently found out this is not the case. Here come the icky details:

I went to Walgreens to return a couple of make-up items I'd purchased. Whenever you have to do a return you have to wait for the manager. So, I wait ten minutes and finally this older woman (who spoke broken English) came to help me. I'd gotten my items ready with their receipt attached so that it'd be a little easier for her.

Manager: Are you returning these?
Me: Yes, please.
Manager: But you used them.
Me: Yes, sorry about that, since I can't try them in store I had to buy them in order to find out if the color fit me.
Manager: Well, then why you no keep?
Me: I'm sorry? Why didn't I keep them? Well, they didn't look good on me...
Manager: Well, you should keep anyway, if you use them.
Me: I should keep items I paid for but do not like?
Manager: Yes, we don't do returns on used make-up.
Me: Well, I've never had this issue before, is this a new rule or one only that pertains to your store?
Manager: No, but you use them.
Me: Well, if you can't do the return that's fine just let me know, I know you have a right to refuse a return for any reason, it says it on the back of the receipt but I'ver never had an issue before. I'd just go to another Walgreens. And just as an FYI, every time I return something it gets returned to the vendor and they reimburse Walgreens for the amount of the item, so it's not like you'll lose any money.
Manager: (becoming ruder than before) How do you know? You no work here, you don't know our policy.
Me: Well, I do, because I've looked it up.
Manager: Well, we don't accept used makeup.

I ended up calling the customer hotline for Walgreens and having the customer service rep explain to the manager that what I'd said was all correct and that if she didn't want to give me the refund she could refuse, but that there is no explicit rule saying they don't accept used make up.
After I hung up the phone she said, "Okay, I do for you, only this time."

All I know that on the receipt she could have seen that I bought several make up items that day, most of which I did not return, as a matter of fact I spend a good amount of money at Walgreens. They used to be the only drugstore in SF. However, now there is a CVS near my work, one that has way better customer service, accepts make up returns without issue and even has make-up purchase rewards. I'm sure I'll be doing all my make-up shopping there from now on.

Sorry for what sounds like a giant rant, but I think it's also useful information. If anyone has this issue it's good to be informed. Hope this helps. Happy Sunday night.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More adventures in drug store shopping

I can honestly say that as soon as I could afford more high end up make up I never turned back to drugstore stuff. I don't know what it was, maybe I had this unfounded belief that drugstore make up would never live up to the new stuff from Sephora. Boy was I wrong!

I think I've had a drugstore Renaissance this week. I've come to realize that there really is a lot of great make-up to be had in the drugstore. Not only are the prices more reasonable, but you can find items that compare to high end brands. Of course, this is not to say that all things in the drugstore are great. Sometimes you may buy something that really sucks, and that is why drugstore return policies are awesome. All drugstores in my area accept returns on used make-up, from what I can tell most do across the US. Now that I've added that disclaimer I can tell you about the one brand that has very much surprised me with the quality of their make-up. Wet N Wild. I remember being a high schooler and buying this brand, back then it was aimed towards teens and so it was all crazy colors and glitter, the quality was subpar as well. However, the brand has come a long way and this has caused me to take a second look. I already did a review of one of their palettes, Comfort Zone. I ended up liking it so much I decided to pick up another palette and a couple of other things.

Hopefully you know that purple eyeshadow really brings out brown eyes, I feel like I've heard it my whole life. Most Olive skinned women with brown eyes can really pull off a beautiful purple eye look. I love doing purple eye shadow looks, but usually fail at picking the right shades to pair together. Luckily Wet N Wild had me covered with one of their Color Icon palettes, Petal Pusher.

Petal Pusher
Left side of palette, colors left to right: brow-bone, eyelid, define, crease.
Right side of palette, colors left to right: brow-bone, eyelid, define, crease.

This palette has some really great colors that are anything but boring. Some of them have a bit of shimmer to them, which some people may not like, but I can honestly say it is pretty muted. This palette is on par with Comfort Zone on how pigmented it is. I love how easily they go on, I suppose that both eyelid shades in this palette could stand to be a smidge more pigmented but for the price this palette is more than my money's worth. I also really loved the color combinations and how they paired so beatuifully together. This palette is really great for people trying to get into more complicated eye looks because it walks you through it in the back of the palette and, as you may have noticed, labels all their eyeshadows so you know where they go. Take a look at the swatches, I feel like they look pretty great on my NC35 skin, I can see creating some flattering looks with this palette.

After liking their palette so much I decided to also try a couple of their other items. I ended up getting a navy eyeliner, a taupe eyeshadow and a two creme shadow pencils. I can say that I was pretty impressed with their prices and, more importantly, their performance.

I love navy eyeliners with certain eye looks, and I'd been looking for a good shade/formula and saw that the Wet N Wild brand had them on sale for $.69 so I decided to grab it. I really loved the color, how creamy and nicely it applied, no tugging and it smudged well. This is definitely not a long wearing eyeliner though, so maybe setting it with eyeshadow would help, but nonetheless, it's wear is not terrible, I'd say about 4-6 hours. Even when it had run its course it didn't look like I had raccoon eyes or anything, just faded.
Color Icon eyeliner in Deep Blue

Swatch of Deep Blue

Someone on MakeupAlley suggested that I try the eyeshadow single called "Nutty." When I saw it in store I realized why they'd suggested, it's a beautiful taupey brown color. When I got it home to swatch it I was even more pleasantly surprised. At $2.49 this eyeshadow single is more than worth it's price, it is like butter when you use it, blends nicely and a little goes a long way even on my Olive skin. This is a color that would great on all people, and I can truly recommend it for its application and performance (especially with a primer first).
Wet N Wild Color Icon "Nutty"

Swatch of Nutty, no primer.

Before walking away from the Wet N Wild display I noticed that they had eyeshadow pencils. I like to use these as bases for eyeshadow and sometimes for highlighting or a smudgey smokey eye look. I decided to get the only two colors that jumped out as flattering and good for everyday. Once I swatched them I realized that they are very very close to Nyx Jumbo pencils. These are a little smaller and a little cheaper at $2.49. I really loved the colors I picked, and the formula and colors were as expected. These will serve well for the purposes I bought them for, as eyeshadow bases, I can't speak of their performance as eyeshadows alone.
Pixie (would be good as a highlighter too right?) and Graphite (would also serve well as a smokey eye pencil)

Well kids, I'm done boring you with my over analytical review. Hopefully if any of you guys were on the fence about any of these items I've helped you make a decision one way or the other. I am very happy with my purchases. I'm looking forward to exploring the brand a little further and seeing if I find any other diamonds in the rough. So, will you be trying Wet N Wild? Are you already a fan of the brand?

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Revlon - Coralberry

Revlon Super Lustrous Coralberry

One of my other purchases from the my last drugstore trip was another coral lipstick. I seem to have a huge thing for coral lipsticks as of late. I love, love, love coral lipsticks, it is just the best color for Spring and Summer especially so on Olive skin.

I find that they instantly brighten up my face and I have yet to find one coral lipstick that doesn't look good on me. I really recommend Olive skinned women who have yet to try a coral lipstick. You could go for red coral or a more neutral coral. The lipstick I'm writing about today is a more neutral/pink coral. It's a very spring-y color!

Coralberry swatch in bathroom light
Coralberry with 
Pink Swoon Blush and Revlon Coralberry lipstick
So ladies, what do you think of the color? I originally thought it might be too light when I saw it in the tube, but thought I'd give it a try anyway. After putting it on without any other make-up on I decided I needed some blush to pull the look together a little more. I decided to put on a little bit of MAC's Pink Swoon and it really made it look instantly better. I have really pigmented lips as well, and this colored them very nicely, but it did take a couple of swipes. In the end the color was gorgeous.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Drugstore fun!

So, I went to the drugstore today to find some make-up inspiration. I walked out with a couple of things, but figured I should spread them out a little. I went in looking for a good neutral-ish eyeshadow palette and a fun red-coral color. I was very successful, not just in finding two things that fit the bill, but also finding two things that look great on me without even being able to try them. I've been noticing I'm getting better at that! (the joys of continuous make-up buying).

I ended up walking out with Wet N Wild's Comfort Zone eyeshadow palette and Revlon's Kiss Me Coral lipstick. I was really hoping that comfort zone would be nicely pigmented but also be really flattering on my Olive skin. For Kiss Me Coral my wish was that it was true to the tube (does anyone else really love how you can see the actual lipstick now before you buy it? I love that clear top!).

Well, my wishes came true! Comfort Zone was seriously impressive. The eyeshadow is incredibly pigmented and so soft and easy to use. I truly adored the consistency from the moment I swatched the the first color. Once I swatched all the colors I fell in love. The best part was that the final color was a huge surprise!

Kiss Me Coral turned out to be exactly what I wanted. A cremey red/orange coral lipstick that was true to the tube. I'm sad to say that it wasn't as pigmented as I had hoped but with a fews swipes I got the color I was hunting for. 

Onto the pictures!
These are the four colors on the left side of the palette. (Left to Right: Brow-bone, Crease, Eyelid, Definer)
These are the four colors on the right side of palette. (Left to right: Eyelid, Definer, Brow-bone, Crease)
Wet N Wild Comfort Zone (notice that last color on the right? So pretty, but looks nothing like the pan!)
Revlon Kiss Me Coral
Kiss Me Coral
Kiss Me Coral
TA-DA! Such a fun and flattering color. =D

Overall my trip was very successful. I am a huge fan of my what I got and know that I will get many uses out of Kiss Me Coral lipstick for summer and Comfort Zone will get me through summer, fall, winter and spring, it's that versatile. I also feel like the colors are so neutral that anyone can wear them, I love universal colors.
I own a lot of high end make-up but every once in a while I love being able to go to the drugstore to find some really great gems! The palette was was only $4.99 and it's as good as a palette I could have gotten from MAC. The lipstick, which was $8.49 (but cheaper on Amazon), was not as pigmented as my MAC lipsticks, but it sure was a beautiful color.

So, will you be trying either of these drugstore finds?