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Splurge or Steal?: My new handbag!

Do you splurge on handbags, purses, wallets, and things of that nature?  Or do you go for a steal?  Do you think you would be able to tell the difference between a splurge or steal item?  There are some out there who are absolutely convinced one way or another.  Well, let’s test this theory out!  I’ve recently purchased a new handbag for this upcoming fall season.  I want you to comment on whether you think I splurged on this purchase or got a steal! List your reasons for why you think it’s one or the other.  The answer will be given in the near future!  Stay tuned for my response!

P.S.  For those of you who want to learn more about my shopping habits, feel free to look at older posts on my blog because you may get some hints to help you decide whether I splurged or got a steal!

Here’s my splurge or steal purse:

Make sure to leave a comment if you want your vote to count!  Results will be shared soon so make sure you have subscribed to The Word on Beauty blog by signing up with your email and then confirming the subscription email you receive from WordPress.com.  I’m excited to see what you all think!

Today’s Close-up and Product Reviews: NYX Eyeshadow Base & NYX Triple Shadows for Sexy Babe’s Eyes Only!

The other day I purchased my first NYX products ever on my Ulta Loot-y Call!  I bought the NYX Eyeshadow Base in #ESB03 Skin Tone (a matte flesh tone) and the NYX  Triple Shadows for Sexy Babe’s Eyes Only! in #TS03 with Nude (a shimmery light golden cream), Taupe (a shimmery warm taupe), and Dark Brown (a less shimmery deep brown) palette.

Here’s today close-up using those NYX products:

In addition to the NYX products, I also applied a touch of Victoria’s Secret’s Beauty Rush Wet/Dry Shadow in Gold Rush on the center of my eyelid for an eye brightening effect as well as the darkest, almost black eyeshadow from my BH Cosmetics 88 Neutral Palette in my crease (well, technically I don’t have a crease–instead, the area of where a crease would be, almost where you can feel the eye socket) and outer corner for extra smokiness.  I followed up with my Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackened Brown on my upper lash line, Styli-Style Line & Style 24 Twist Eyeliner in Black Brown on my inner rim/water line, Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base, and Maybelline Define-a-Lash Volume Waterproof Mascara in Black on both my upper and lower lashes (after curling them first!).  If you have questions on any of the other products I’m wearing with today’s close-up, feel free to leave me comment!

The final word on repurchasing NYX Eyeshadow Base in #ESB03 Skin Tone:

  • Just so you know, I don’t use eyeshadow primer ever because I’ve never had any problems with creasing or my eyeshadow wearing off too quickly, so my opinion may not be the best to rely on if you do have issues with creasing or lasting eye makeup issues.  I am not even going to offer pros or cons on this product, instead I will just give you my observations.
  • This primer seemed to do the job I believe eyeshadow primers in general are meant to do.  I had no problems with my eyeshadows wearing off as the day went on and the colors stayed true to how they appeared  in their pans.
  • The flesh tone left a neutral base for your shadows which I think would be especially beneficial to those who have discolored or vein-y eyelids. NYX also has a pearl and white toned base as well.
  • Very budget friendly price (I think around $6)!

Yes, I will repurchase if I decide that eyeshadow primer is an essential to my makeup routine.  I do recommend those of you who use eyeshadow primer on a regular basis to try the NYX eyeshadow base if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the cult classic Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion which I know is much pricier.

The final word on repurchasing the NYX  Triple Shadows for Sexy Babe’s Eyes Only! in #TS03 with Nude (a shimmery light golden cream), Taupe (a shimmery warm taupe), and Dark Brown (a less shimmery deep brown) palette:

PROS–

  • Beautiful colors in this trio of shadows I selected
  • These neutral shades would work beautifully on most skin tones
  • Texture of the shadows was soft and easy to work with (good blendability)
  • Good budget friendly price of ~$8
CONS–
  • Due to the soft texture, there was some fallout onto my cheek
  • The darkest brown color was not as dark as I had hoped for my smoky eye look that I was trying to achieve, a separate black eyeshadow was also used for this effect
  • Packaging felt a tiny bit flimsy and cheap, but not a big deal since I take care of all my products

Yes, I would buy this palette again and I do recommend anyone looking for an easy and natural eye look to keep this trio in mind!

Has anyone else tried any NYX eyeshadow trios or their single pans?  What is your favorite budget friendly eyeshadow brand?  What is your favorite budget friendly eyeshadow base/primer?  Looking forward to reading your comments!

Loot-y Call from BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents!

If you are a beauty blog or vlog regular, you have probably heard from many others about the various makeup palettes that BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents have to offer.  Well, I needed to find out for myself what all the hype was about and check out if these palettes were as fantastic (or not so much) like other makeup junkies have stated on their blogs or YouTube videos.  I placed both of my orders last Monday and received my BH Cosmetics package on Friday and then received my Coastal Scents package on the following Saturday, so both were pretty timely with their shipments which is always a good thing.

Here’s the loot that I received from BH Cosmetics:

I purchased the 10 Piece Professional Blush Palette ($16.95) and the 88 Color Neutral Eyeshadow Palette ($24.95).  My first impression of these two palettes were AMAZING, WOW, and WHAT A SMOKIN’ DEAL!!  Most all of the blush colors seem wearable and there are several of them that are absolutely gorgeous!  The eyeshadow palette had a good selection of natural, everyday wearable, work appropriate colors in both mattes and shimmers, but there seemed to be quite a few shades repeating in the palette and/or were very similar to one another! Overall, I still thought the eyeshadow palette was pretty awesome because of the value!

Here’s the loot that I received from Coastal Scents:

(BH Cosmetics also used bubble wrap to protect their palettes, as well as placing their palettes into boxes like the ones above from Coastal Scents, but with the BH Cosmetics logo of course–I just forgot to take the photos of the BH palettes because I was so excited to open them up!)

I purchased the 88 Ultra Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette, the 88 Color Eyeshadow Palette, the 88 Metal Mania Palette, and the 88 Warm Palette (all four palettes were sold as Combo Set 5 for $69.95 which saves you around $20 if you were to purchase each palette separately).  Again, I was very pleased with my first look at all four of these palettes!  A wonderful variety of colors in various matte, satin, shimmer, and metallic finishes are found in these four palettes and should be able to satisfy most beauty addicts!

I was especially curious about the 88 Warm Palette from Coastal Scents compared to the 88 Neutral Palette that I received from BH Cosmetics.  I had researched both Coastal Scents and BH Cosmetics online and many people were stating that all of the palettes actually come from the same manufacturer in China and therefore, I was assuming that these two palettes would be identical since they look very much alike.  Once I had both of the palettes side by side, I did notice differences in the shades offered, but this could be attributed to the fact that maybe the eyeshadow pans are placed in different groupings/order?  Take a look for yourself  one more time and you can be the judge:

BH Cosmetics 88 Neutral Palette is on the left and Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette is on the right.

Since I’ve only had these palettes for just a weekend, I’m going to continue playing with them for a while before writing a full review and providing photos of swatches, so stay tuned for more!   (However, I’m already convinced that they are going to be a hit with me–I just love makeup in general!)

For those of you who can’t wait to get some of these palettes for yourself, check out:

http://www.bhcosmetics.com

http://www.coastalscents.com

FYI: I purchased this palettes on my own and am in no way affiliated with these companies.  The opinions that you are reading are those of my own and are completely honest and truthful.

Shame on me, I had to make a LOOT-Y CALL yesterday!

Don’t tell my husband (actually he’ll eventually find out since he likes to check up on my blogging!), but I picked up a few items that I’m running low on and wanted to “research” to put onto my blog!  I tell my husband as a good beauty blogger, I must stay current with all the new beauty products and trends that are coming out almost all the time.  My readers deserve to have a well-informed self-proclaimed beauty expert who is up-to-date with the greatest and latest that the beauty and fashion world has to offer.  Hopefully I can convince him to believe this because it’s true, for the most part–haha!

Now let’s get to the good stuff!  Here’s all my loot from my most recent loot-y call:

My loot-y call at Nordstrom Rack:

  • Stila Mineral Matte Eye Shadow in Kalahoo (a grayish-lavender-taupey-brown)
  • Stila Mineral Matte Eye Shadow in Nanda Devi (a deep cooler-toned brown with hints of deep plum)
  • Stila Collectible Travel Palette No. 1 with Snow Bunny Eye Shadow (a pale silver shimmer with very light lavender undertones), Valley Girl Eye Shadow (a mid-toned lavender shimmer), Southern Belle Eye Shadow (a shimmery pink with lavender undertones), City Chick Eye Shadow (a dark, but not too deep shimmery purple-plum), and Convertible Color for Cheeks and Lips in Hibiscus (a gorgeous mid-toned rose with a touch of peach with no shimmer)

My loot-y call at Sally Beauty Supply:

  • Beauty Secrets Pure Acetone (to use as a really strong, but drying nail polish remover)
  • China Glaze Nail Lacquer in #617 Love Letters (a sheer pinky-peach) and #202 Innocence (a pale opaque pink)
  • Out the Door Top Coat (supposedly the #1 super fast drying top coat in America!)
  • Palladio Liquid Eyeliner in Black/Brown
  • Palladio Baked Blush in #BBL01 Blushin’ (a shimmery mid-toned rosy pink)
  • Palladio Herbal Liplicious Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss in #PTL05 Natural (a mid-toned nude with gold shimmer)–got this on clearance for $1.99!!
  • Palladio Herbal Lip Gloss in #PGL18 Bubble Gum (a bright pink with a hint of shimmer)
  • Andrea Modlash False Eyelashes in #21
  • Ardell Invisiband False Eyelashes in Babies
  • Andrea Modlash False Eyelashes in #53
  • Duo Eyelash Adhesive in Dark tone

My loot-y call at Ulta:

  • Japonesque Travel Eye Shadow Crease Brush
  • Sally Hansen La Cross Gentle Curl Lash Curler
  • Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder with Real Cocoa (a mid to deep-toned matte bronzer with true brown undertones as opposed to orange/pink/red)
  • Tarte Park Ave Princess Matte Waterproof Bronzer (a mid-toned matte bronzer with brown and slightly more warm/orangey undertones than Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer; very similar to my Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Light)
  • Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain in Exposed (a light pinky-nude) and Envy (a rosy-berry)
  • NYX  Triple Shadows for Sexy Babe’s Eyes Only! in #TS03 with Nude (a shimmery light golden cream), Taupe (a shimmery warm taupe), and Dark Brown (a less shimmery deep brown)
  • NYX Eyeshadow Base in #ESB03 Skin Tone (a matte flesh tone)
  • NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in #155 Perfect (a shimmery pink), #122 Natural (a creamy nude with beige undertones and no shimmer), #129 Beige (a creamy pinky-rosy nude with no shimmer), and #120-a Sponge Cake (a shimmery mauvey-rosy nude)
  • Tarte Zip-up Tote Bag (free with a $30 Tarte purchase)

Don’t worry, I plan on posting reviews on products as I try them out!  I’m excited with everything I picked up and hopefully you are too!

Do you own anything my loot-y call list?  If so, can you comment on any of the products?  What’s the most you spent in one day doing a loot-y call of your own?  Please share your beauty wisdom with everyone!  Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

My Paint Box: The Original 1st Edition Sephora Blockbuster Palette!

For my basic, everyday makeup wardrobe I tend to stick to very similar colors and variations of such shades which most of the general public would not be able to tell the difference.  But of course, myself being a makeup aficionado and others like me, can assure you that we possess a special ability to discern between multiple shades that might be considered by others to be the exact same color.  Since I tend to wear mostly neutral taupes, grays, and browns on my eyes, pinky-peaches on my cheeks, and various versions of nude on my lips, it is quite rare for me to invest in other colors out of my comfort zone.  I find the best way to purchase a variety of other colors, especially when I do not plan on wearing them often, is through makeup palettes which often times are at a value price versus paying for each individual shade.  One such palette that I like to use when I am going out, feeling daring or fun, needing a pick me-up, or doing makeup for others is my Sephora Blockbuster Palette (the original 1st edition which I believe cost me $40?) which contains a wonderful variety of bright colorful shades, in addition to some of my more familiar neutrals.

As you can see this palette houses 64 eyeshadows, 8 blushes (one that is similar to a highlighting powder), 22 lip colors (some glosses, some fuller coverage lipsticks, and a couple glittery balms), and some cheap-o brushes and applicators.  The variety of eyeshadow colors range from pinks, lavenders, purples, grays, pearls, creams, golds, russets, browns, taupes, greens, teals, blues, and I’m sure there’s still other color families I’m not including as well.  Lip colors range from plums, mauves, roses, pinks, reds, russets, nudes, golds, corals, browns, tans, and glittery balms in silver and clear (who I have no idea would use unless they perhaps work in a Vegas show?!?!).  The blushes in this palette are all very pretty and wearable; shades of pinks, peaches, corals, roses, light reds, plums, and a very pale pink highlighting powder are included.  I do have to note that all of the blushes in this palette do contain shimmer, some more than others.

With all of the shades that are provided in this palette, there are an endless amount of looks that one can create.  The ~$40 I paid was an absolute steal for all of the product that you are getting!  The eyeshadows seem decently pigmented, but not quite as much color payoff than other makeup lines such as MAC or Shu Umera or other artistry lines.  I don’t mind having less pigment in the eyeshadows because wearing the bright colors sometimes makes me feel like a clown or something, so the softness and sheerness is appreciated by me.  However, the blushes are definitely more pigmented than the eyeshadows and a light dusting with my blush brush gives me beautiful color on my cheeks!  The lip colors are my least favorite part of the palette because I just have too many other lip products that I like much better.  Although one way that I do enjoy using the lip colors is to blend them with other shades (either from the palette or other lip products I have) and create my very own, unique lip color!

It will take me forever to use up this palette, but I do encourage other makeup enthusiasts to invest in a palette like this if you are wanting to be more creative with your looks, like to experiment, and have lots of options! Sephora has since come out with many versions of this palette, some smaller or larger in size.  Many makeup lines also make palettes that are similar.

As a side note, I have recently purchased some palettes from Coastal Scents and BH Cosmetics.  I’m very excited to see what all the hype is about that I’ve read on various beauty blogs and on YouTube about these two palettes, but am wondering for those of you who already own palettes from either one or both of these companies, what are the eyeshadows and blushes color payoff/pigmentation like?  I’ve seen some who rave about the quality being similar to that of MAC’s and others who say they are chalky and definitely require eyeshadow primer to really show off the colors?  Please share your experiences with the palettes from Coastal Scents and BH Cosmetics!  I will be posting reviews of both once I receive my palettes, so stay tuned!

Do you own any makeup palettes?  If so, which ones?  Why do you like makeup palettes?  Is there a makeup palette that you are dying to have?  Feedback is greatly appreciated!

Product Reviews: It’s Time to Prime! Your face that is…

Makeup primer used to be a product that only true beauty gurus knew of, used, and purchased back in the day.  Only very high end or makeup artistry geared lines carried these “magical” makeup primers that were supposed to “prime” your face for the absolute “perfect” makeup application afterwards.  Many primers claim to work by prepping your skin into a smooth, poreless, shine minimized canvas that would allow your makeup to go on flawlessly and endure hours of wear without looking greasy and worn down by the end of your day/evening.  One of the industry leaders of makeup primers would be Smashbox Cosmetic’s Photofinish Foundation Primer which is said to on Sephora’s website do the following:

The silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants smoothes and perfects skin while the unique formula helps to inhibit the destruction of collagen, and fills in fine lines and pores for a flawless finish.

I have indeed purchased and used this primer several times and really do believe in the claims it makes, but the price for the amount you get ($36 for 1 oz or $42 for added SPF 15) seems a bit too steep and unjustifiable even for beauty addicts such as myself who will go to any length to get the products that work.  Especially with the surge of most makeup lines, including many drugstore brands, coming out with a makeup primer of their own, I had to see what else was out there.

Recently I have purchased Avon’s MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20 which retails at $10 and Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer which I purchased for $7.59 at Ulta, both for 1 oz of product.

Avon’s MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20 is described on Avon’s website as:

A magical air-light gel-powder colorless formula that makes all skin tones look flawless… invisible coverage; instant perfection. Banish shine up to 10 hours. Apply evenly before sun exposure or as needed. 1 fl. oz.

“This colorless formula is perfect for anyone who want to look naturally flawless and beautiful without looking like you’re wearing any makeup. It’s universally flattering and a secret weapon in your makeup bag.”
— Jillian Dempsey, Avon’s Global Creative Color Director

Targets pores: visibly minimizes pores with patent-pending Optix Light-Diffusing Technology.

Banishes Shine: holds back shine for up to 10 hours

Smoothes Skin: reduces the look of fine lines…skin feels softer than ever.

Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer is described on Rimmel London’s website as:

Create a perfect canvas for foundation application. – Skin Perfecting primer smoothes and evens out your complexion – prolongs the wear of your foundation – Minimizes Pores

Here are my own personal opinions (the following comments only reflect how the product applied and wore on my combination to oily on the t-zone face, which of course will be different from others and their skin types!) on the Avon MagiX Face Perfecter SPF 20 primer:

PROS–

  • has light reflecting particles which imparts a slight shimmery glow to my skin
  • has SPF 20 which is fantastic to protect my skin from the sum
  • feels lightweight on my skin
  • the product comes out of the tube like a thick gel-cream and transforms to a powdery texture almost immediately when rubbed onto my face
  • my makeup held on well throughout the day with maybe 1-2 touch-ups on my t-zone with an oil-blotting paper to reduce shine
  • great price point and easy to purchase online or I guess through an Avon consultant if you’d prefer

CONS–

  • since the product is the consistency of a thick gel-cream, I found it difficult to squeeze out of the tube (kind of like old toothpaste??); I either squeezed to lightly and barely got anything out or squeezed with too much force getting way too much product than needed for one application to my face
  • the primer’s powdery texture once on the skin makes it hard to spread around evenly so my drier areas on my face like my cheeks got either too little or too much primer
  • the shimmery light reflecting particles might have made my t-zone shinier than needed as the day went on
  • moisturizer really is necessary underneath the primer to hydrate those drier areas, even though I prefer to use only a makeup primer in place of a daytime facial moisturizer since my skin is not excessively dry

THE FINAL WORD ON REPURCHASING–Yes, if on sale which Avon does quite frequently and to use especially during the summer season when my face is oilier and needs the extra SPF 20 protection.

Here are my own personal opinions (the following comments only reflect how the product applied and wore on my combination to oily on the t-zone face, which of course will be different from others and their skin types!) on the Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Primer:

PROS–

  • has a really nice, light, creamy fluid-like consistency that feels moisturizing enough to replace a daytime facial moisturizer for my skin
  • spreads on evenly and smoothly
  • absorbs in quickly, but not as fast as Avon’s primer
  • eventually dries leaving behind a smooth canvas without a powdery feeling like Avon’s primer which is good for my drier areas on my face like my cheeks
  • my makeup held on well throughout the day with maybe 1-2 touch-ups on my t-zone with an oil-blotting paper to reduce shine
  • great price point and easy to find in most drugstores and general variety type stores like Target and Fred Meyer

CONS–

  • no SPF protection included so either my foundation will have to include one or I must also wear a  separate product with SPF or use only for the evening
  • primer is tinted with a sheer apricot color that seems to blend into my skin tone, but may be a problem for others
  • a couple of minutes is needed to fully absorb into my skin
  • squeezes out a bit too excessively since the primer is more fluid-like than Avon’s so care must be taken to not waste product

THE FINAL WORD ON REPURCHASING– Yes, I will repurchase if I happen to see it on sale because I like the consistency of Rimmel London’s primer more than Avon’s and I will have to make sure my foundation has SPF protection and/or not plan to be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time.

Both of these budget-friendly makeup primers do what they say and each has its definite advantages for use and wear.  However, neither of these two are my ultimate, Holy Grail worthy makeup prime rand therefore, the quest continues.

Anyone out there have a good makeup primer that can replace my daily facial moisturizer, has SPF protection, and won’t break the bank?  If so, please do share with all of us!  What is your favorite makeup primer regardless of the features I’m specifically looking for in a primer?  Does anyone think primers are an absolute unnecessary product that companies have promoted just to make more money?  All thoughts are welcome!

What turns you on? And no, I don’t mean it in that way… My hubby’s in need of a new fragrance!

Here’s Adam and his almost empty bottle of Lacoste Essential fragrance after using it daily for almost two years now.

At any given time I have a collection of at least three to five fragrances that I rotate through and therefore,  I very rarely ever finish a bottle completely before purchasing a new one to throw into the rotation.  Adam, however, being the simple man that he is sticks to just one fragrance until it runs out.  With that said I need your help suggesting some new fragrances for Adam to try when his Lacoste Essential is finally done.  Since he’ll be wearing this fragrance everyday for about the next two years or so and since I have to live with him (of course–haha!), this needs to be an absolutely fantastic scent that he’ll enjoy and even more important, I’ll enjoy and won’t get sick of smelling 🙂

Sephora describes Lacoste Essential as having the following notes:

Tangerine, Bergamot, Tomato Leaves, Cassis, Black Pepper, Rose, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Wood Accord.

I’m no fragrance expert, but Adam’s Lacoste Essential smells really clean, crisp, and masculine in a light and fresh way similar to another popular men’s fragrance, Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio, which I also thoroughly enjoy and believe is the sexiest way for a man to smell.  So those of you who are thinking of recommending scents that are overly musky or woodsy or earthy in general should probably take note.

Any ideas?  What fragrance does your significant other wear that simply turns you on?  We’re open to all suggestions!  Adam and I both appreciate your input (and especially my nose)!

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