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!

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Today’s Close-up: A Need for Speed aka I’m Just Being Lazy Makeup Look!

How long is too long to do your makeup?  Some might say five minutes and others might say an hour plus.  Well, on average my everyday makeup look that I would, for example wear to work (I’m a fifth grade teacher!) takes approximately twenty minutes or so and provides me with a polished, professional, and presentable look that I’m very satisfied with.  I realize that not everyone enjoys the process of “putting on their face” as much as I do and would think twenty minutes is way too long for just putting on makeup, so I wanted to share with you a close-up of a FIVE MINUTE makeup look that I sometimes use when I’m either in a rush, just running errands, or simply being lazy (which in the summertime when I’m not teaching is almost everyday-haha!).  Even though many of you may think this five minute makeup look would be great as my everyday look and I thank you for the compliments, but I know that I feel a bit more confident about how I look when I have an extra fifteen minutes to “work” on my face 🙂

Here is today’s close-up:

On my face:

  • Rimmel London Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer spread evenly all over my face with my fingers
  • Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Medium lightly brushed all over my face
  • Pur Minerals Mineral Glow (bronzing powder with a light gold shimmer) lightly brushed on the high points of my face where the sun would naturally hit (cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin)
  • Jane Be Pure Mineral Blush in Rose Satin brushed on my cheekbones and concentrated on the apples of my cheeks

On my eyes:

  • Clinique Quick Eyes Cream Shadow in Sea Shell rubbed lightly all over my eyelids from lashline to just underneath my eyebrow using my fingers
  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream in #15 Taupe rubbed lightly on my lashline and blended out halfway onto my eyelids (where my crease would be) using my fingers
  • Styli-Style Line & Seal 24 Twist in Brown Quartz lining my upper lashline and the inner rims of my lower lashlines
  • Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume Waterproof Mascara in Black on my lashes (I did curl my lashes with my E.L.F. Mechanical Eyelash Curler prior to the mascara application)

On my lips:

  • Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude applied straight from the tube onto my lips

The finished close-up:

When you only have five minutes to “put on your face,” what are your must have beauty products?  How long does your everyday makeup look take you to complete and what products are you using for that look?  Share your thoughts!  Feedback is much appreciated!  Remember, although I claim to be “The Word On Beauty,” I’m definitely not the “final” word on beauty so please don’t be shy and contribute 🙂

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!

These are a few of my favorite things (or at least today they are) :

Although I have probably hundreds of beauty products that on any given day might be an absolute must have, the following products are ones that I really do believe that I could not live without EVER and am usually wearing and/or using every single day!  In no particular order:

1. Eyecurl II Heated Eyelash Curler

This is an heated eyelash curler usually sold in Asian cosmetics boutiques and can also be found online. Unlike traditional eyelash curlers, there is no clamp as you can see in the picture. The curl is produced when the user has first applied their choice of mascara and then afterwards (YES, after the mascara is applied!) the user will then place the heated end of the Eyecurl II and place the heating element up against their lashes to “set” their lashed into a curl. I have been using this heated eyelash curler for about ten years now and always have an extra one on hand just in case something happens to it. Friends of mine freak out thinking that the heating element can burn their eyelid skin, but do not worry, the heat is quite gentle and I have never “burned” myself. The heat source for those of you wondering is a single double AA battery. Being lash challenged I have found this type of eyelash curler to actually hold a curl in my lashes all day, where as using a typical clamp type of lash curler which is used before putting on mascara never quite keeps the curl intact.

eyelash curler

2. Latisse-

Keeping on the theme of lashes, this miracle product that many of you have probably already heard of through the heavy marketing both on t.v. and in magazines by celebrities such as Brooke Shields and Claire Danes, truly does work and it is AMAZING! One little drop of the Latisse solution applied nightly to each lash line has over the course of two months or so changed my sparse, wimpy, and pathetic lashes into the longest, thickest, and easy to curl lashes that many of my friends and family have commented on! Yes, Latisse is definitely pricey, but so worth it if you are not so blessed in the lash region like myself. The eyes are a major focal point on your face and with lush lashes framing your eyes, how could anyone resist?!?!

Latisse

3.  Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX08–

When I first got this product I immediately had buyer’s remorse and was upset with how pricey this tiny jar (0.63 oz/18 g) of foundation and/or concealer cost me, but boy was I ever so pleasantly surprised to find the contents of this tiny jar to be incredibly saturated with pigment and thus justifying the cost!  The high concentration of pigment in this product has allowed me to cover blemishes and imperfections so well that not even products from the Dermablend line can compete!  FYI:  Dermablend Cosmetics is a line specifically targeting those who have significant areas on their skin that needs highly concentrated and lasting coverage for scars, birthmarks, etc.  I don’t have any major skin imperfections or anything of that nature, but I do get an occasional pimple or the mark an old pimple leaves behind that does need some concealing and this product does it so well by matching my skin tone, great lasting power, it appears natural on the skin, and does not feel like heavy traditional concealer.  I’m embarrassed to say this because I know better, but even with having this product for over three or so years now, I’ve barely made a dent in the surface because of how concentrated it is–I use maybe a pin point size amount to cover up blemishes.  With that said, I must mention that this foundation and/or concealer should be used very SPARINGLY.  I haven’t tried it as an all-over face foundation because I just don’t have the need for that much coverage, but I know that this product is also marketed as a foundation as well.

4.  Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base–

Alright, back to lashes again…can you tell that I’m a bit obssessed with my eyelashes yet?  My biggest issue with my eyelashes is the ability to hold in a curl.  As I mentioned above, using my Eyecurl II Heated Eyelash Curler after already applying mascara does definitely help to lock in and set the curl of my lashes, but in addition to using the heated eyelash curler, I do also use a traditional metal clamp style curler by Shu Umera as the very first step in doing my lashes.  After using the Shu Umera lash curler, I then swipe on a few coats of the Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base to again lock and set the curl before applying my mascara (which is always waterproof–why?–it sets the curl better of course!) and finally using the heated curler as a last step.  The mascara base is a clear thick gel that goes on just like traditional mascara, but really helps to give your lashes that extra oomph (thickness and volume) and it never makes your freshly curled lashes droop!  Instead the base holds your curl in place so that when you apply your mascara, your lashes never get weighed down and lose their curl.  Truly amazing!  There are great reviews for this product on http://www.makeupalley.com as well!

5.  Models Prefer Automatic Eyebrow Pencil–

Do you ever wonder what crazy women are actually purchasing cosmetics from those t.v. shopping networks like HSN or QVC?!?!  Guess what, I have!  One of my favorite purchases is a great eyebrow pencil from a line that used to be called Models Prefer, but is currently renamed YBF I believe.  This eyebrow pencil comes in only one universal medium taupe shade that gives  perfect, yet natural definition to the brows and has really good texture for being an eyebrow pencil–not too dense, not too soft either, not too waxy, and not too hard.  Other eyebrow pencils I’ve tried in the past look way too unnatural and harsh, but this pencil allows for sparse and thin eyebrows like mine to look fuller and more defined in a way that does not remind you of women who clearly use black eyeliner pencil to “draw” on their brows.  I love these pencils so much I ordered a dozen of them off of eBay just in case they’re discontinued!

6.  Styli-Style Line & Seal 24 Twist–

A long-wearing eyeliner pencil that is self-sharpening, easy to apply because of its smooth texture (no pulling or tugging of the eyelid!), doesn’t rub off onto my eyelash curler whike I’m curling my lashes, and it’s incredibly affordable price makes this product one of my favorite eyeliners in the world!  I used to be quite partial to my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners since I used to work for them, but I got tired of having to clean my eyeliner brushes all the time so I switched over to these pencils and haven’t looked back!  I use these pencils to line both the top of my lash lines and also the inner rim or waterline underneath.  They always go on super smooth with no skipping like other pencils sometimes do because of their hard texture.  The color seems concentrated (I own them in several black and brown tones) and wears all day long without any smearing or smudging to be seen.

7.  Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Powder Pink and Calypso Coral–

Hands down, these are a couple of my favorite cream blushes!  The intense colors in the pot apply very softly once your fingers warm up the product and are applied onto your cheeks.  The flush of color looks like it is really coming from within your skin as opposed to color just sitting on the top layer of your skin like traditional blushes often do.  I must mention that I mostly apply these pot rouges on top of just freshly moisturized skin and/or on skin that has very little foundation on it or at least very little powder since this product can be a bit dense and will not rub out into natural looking cheek color on skin that is not moist and hydrated enough.  Even though this product is meant to be used on the lips as well, I very rarely use them for lip colors because the two shades I own are a bit too bright and too light for what I like on my lips, but I have used them on other people in the past when I worked for Bobbi Brown and they do make excellent lip colors as well!

8.   mark Gloss Gorgeous Stay On Lip Stain in Bare–

A beautiful sheer nudey-pink gloss at first that dries to a very light nudey-pink stain on your lips as the gloss wears off!  Lip stains seem to be all the rage right now and of course I got sucked in.  Other lip stains by Revlon, CoverGirl, and Maybelline seem to be supersaturated with color that never look quite natural on my lips even though I always purchase the shades that seem to have the word “nude” in them or at least look very nude and natural on the cap.  Instead I usually get a bright fuschia pink shade or an ugly orangish-brown shade on my lips that just makes me look horrid!  mark by Avon got it absolutely right with their glossy lip stain!  The color “bare” is absolutely gorgeous and gives off the most perfect bit of natural rosey-nudey-pink stain on my lips once the gloss has worn off.  I can’t wait to try some of the other shades!  One more added bonus is the pleasant minty flavor/scent of this product–not some annoying fruity teenager flavor/scent I would have expected from this line.

Now I want to know what are some of your favorite things (or at least today they are) and why?

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