Sunday, March 31, 2013

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation Review

hey guys! just a quick happy easter to everyone, hope its a great day for all :) 

although my skin is rather clear and smooth, i do have a bit of redness and unevenness to it, so i usually throw on some bb cream or a light coating of foundation to balance it out. a balanced face is the most important part (as far as i'm concerned) to your makeup routine! today i am reviewing Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation... a holy grail (HG) product for many, many bloggers and makeup artists. 

MUFE's website describes this foundation using a "new generation of makeup.. invisible to hd cameras and the naked eye.. the HD foundation is oil-free, medium to full coverage which covers skin imperfections, while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. its extremely fine texture is supple and easy to apply. enriched with moisturizing agents, it leaves the skin soft and radiant." (Make Up For Ever)

it comes in many shades, 25 to be exact, and is best applied with a sponge or a brush with nylon bristles. here is what i thought of it...

this particular foundation had been on my wish list for a long time, and although i did not believe i needed a medium to full coverage foundation, i bit the bullet and splurged ($42) on it. sephora has it ranked at a 4.4 out of 5, which sold me! however, the reviews i read through were all over the place. one person says it's "too blotchy and thick" and another exclaims the "light coverage, you're better off buying a bb cream." hmmmm okay.

in order to make sure i get my money's worth, i decided to politely ask a Sephora consultant to color match me. after a few trial and errors (my skin tends to go a bit neutral), i was matched up to 115 Ivory. it is the second to lightest color they have and is "for light skin with pink undertones." ah, i'm so pale!

so below i have the three step process on the back of my hand: pump out a dollop, smooth a little, smooth out completely. it really is a great color match for my skin!

just a bit!

smoooooth it out a tad


so of course i have used this foundation since i have purchased it back in january, and feel like i can give you a fair review on how i feel about it. the color is perfect for my skin and the consistency of the foundation is surprisingly lightweight. however, i did have trouble applying this to my face and making it look perfect. even after switching my moisturizer (oil-free foundation and heavy moisturizer does not work together), it just never really sunk into my skin. regardless of how well it smoothed out on the back of my hand, it just did not have the same effect for my entire face. some days i thought it looked nice, others i just couldn't put my finger on what was going on. even with primer, it just clung onto any little dry spots i had on my face. i found it didn't cover as well as it promised, but still looked heavy on the skin. 

Overall Review: i wanted so badly to like this foundation, as i'd shelled out the money and heard great reviews. i was happy with their shade selection and imagine anyone will be able to find their perfect match. the bottle was made of lightweight plastic and the pump was easy enough to use, so that was a plus. however, the formula did not work well with my skin, even after a change in moisturizers and primers, so i simply cannot say it made my skin look the greatest. i did hear this happen to others, so maybe it only works on certain types of skin. sigh. still on the lookout for my holy grail foundation!

Rating: C

happy easter!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

currently listening to...

the lumineers! ho hey! so i nabbed the lumineers self-titled cd from a very thoughtful friend and have really been loving it. i was just delighted to hear that the two founding members of the band began writing and performing in ramsey, new jersey, not too far from where i live. of course like any wanna-be successful band, they picked up and moved to new york city, found it to be too cut-throat, and moved to denver, colorado. this is when they met Neyla, the female cellist, after posting an ad in the paper.

so get this coolness: two entertainment managers from a record label saw a video the boys and gal posted on youtube of them performing "ho hey" from their apartment. a raw, dark, amateur video and that was that! signed. the rest is history. 

you can check out their original video of the song here: the lumineers - "ho hey" and after, watch the new official video and see how similar they are!

so here is my breakdown of the cd in its entirety:

* currently, it is not a cd that i will play throughout without skipping songs. there are a few that i have to be in the mood to listen to. 
* there are TWO songs that have a certain sound to them; a sound that reminds me so much of a very intimate moment. ya know, it seems like its meant to play during that time.
* one song reminds me so much of a song i've heard before, and i simply can't place it. a song from the 70's.
* i have two current favorites: "stubborn love" and "big parade"

the lumineers just released the new music video for "stubborn love" february 8 and it definitely pulls at your heart strings.... check it out!

i just adore this band and how they make me feel. indie/folk is right up my alley, as it just makes me feel so free and calm. if you love mumford, check these guys out. you won't be disappointed!! now, onto ticketmaster to check their tour dates! :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

MAC's Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish Review & Swatch

hi lovies, today i am here to review another MAC product that i have been hoarding since January! it was another item that made my february favorites! as you can tell throughout my blog i have been a fan of MAC cosmetics for a while. unfortunately, their new collections haven't really done it for me, but i am still a fan of their classics and certain types of items. one of those is the mineralized skinfinishes. kinda a big fan. i have a ton of them that i have bought throughout the years. i can't resist how darn pretty they look. see for yourself!!...

back in 2010, Stereo Rose was re-released and sold out in minutes of going online! since its been 3 years, MAC decided to release it again with their Apres Chic Collection and made sure they had a good amount in stock. however, it has recently sold out again! this time, i was able to nab it for myself and man, i'm rather happy i did.  

at $29.00 a pop, it is rather expensive, but you do get 0.32 oz. and believe me, it lasts FOREVER! you don't tend to use a lot because its meant more for a highlight/blush, not for the entire face. since i am uber pale at the moment (i'm talking NW 15), i have been using this in place of blush. as it does lean more coral, i have to use a slightly lighter hand because i don't want to over do it. however, when spring and summer come, it will look a bit more natural on my tanner skin. 

veiled in golden shimmer and peachy pink, MAC's Stereo Rose is surely a unique find. every single one looks different! in fact, some people prefer to go in-store to pick their own mineralized skinfinishes due to how different every single one looks. i didn't, as i noticed most tend to blend out and look the same haha.

swatched on the back of my hand and finger, with flash

OVERALL: a total beauty, i'm glad i picked this up before it sold out. it is a bit too bright for my skin coloring right now, but i imagine i will be using it throughout the spring and summer once i get a bit tanner. although it is marketed as a blush and highlighter, i have been using it lightly in place of my blush. i love MAC's skinfinishes, but they do have downside: wear time. although great pigmentation (as show on my finger), it doesn't seem to last the longest on the skin. i imagine about 4 hours was its wear time. not too great. however, its smooth finish, beautiful color, and great pigment makes it still a great product! 


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

you know you are sick when...

i have come down with this nasty little bugger of an ear/throat infection thing and have been mostly bedridden since last friday, so i have tried to beat my cabin fever by lethargically tweeting oddities that have proven to me that i am indeed really sick. i've organized them here for you all to see. what else do i have better to do? probably sleep, which is all i've done :(

you know you are sick when...

* your ears are so sensitive to noise, that you have requested the family to turn down the television at least 5 decibels.

* when House Hunters International (a favorite) comes on tv, you shrug your shoulders, mutter "meh," and turn it off.

* your evening routine consists of popping two horse pills and a dose of nyquil before heading to bed at 10.

* you finally muster the courage to take a shower, and emerge entirely exhausted and out of breath.

* your toothpaste tastes a whole lot like black licorice. and that's just horrible.

* your cocoa butter chapstick has traded flavors with vanilla cake batter. & maybe you're delusional, but you don't quite mind the trade off.

* water tastes better than any other drink.

* changing your clothing takes 3 times longer than usual.

* you feel a chill, so you pop in the thermometer just in case you have a fever again.

* no matter if you slept all night and took long naps during the day, you are still so exhausted.

* you've become best friends with your cats and they are sleeping closer to you at night because they want you to feel better too. at least, that's what your sick, delusional mind thinks.

* do i have a show on tonight? i don't have a clue because i don't know the day or date. or even if it's still winter outside. 

* you want to read that book so badly, but holding the pages open to read is so freaking hard.

* forget about listening to music, that shit will burn a hole on your uber-sensitive ears.

* you draw yourself a nice warm bath, which hasn't occurred in a year, with stress relief bubbles and a candle in hopes it miraculously cures you.

* you miss the taste of food sooo much.

* chicken noodle soup has become breakfast, lunch, and dinner. well, actually, just lunch & dinner because you sleep through breakfast usually. and sometimes dinner.

* you are watching a tv show, but you aren't really watching it. you most likely are staring at moving images with the volume close to mute.

* your favorite pair of cozy, over-sized sweatpants have been glued to your hips since the very first signs of the black plague that has encompassed your life. in fact, they probably should be washed. 

* you never drink tea. but now you do.

* you've finally depleted the supply of christmas tissues in the house so mom can put out the 'spring' supply. which you will probably go through as well.

* you think you are feeling better, so you start to catch up on your favorite tv shows (i know, big steps), and you stop halfway because you have no idea what is going on.

* writing this entire post has worn you out and now you need a nap...

Thursday, March 07, 2013

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder Review

another of my february favorites, i'm here to review the Nars Light Reflecting Setting Pressed Powder! this powder had sold out immediately online the day it was released, so i popped over to closest full Sephora store (a solid 45 minutes from here!) and nabbed one for myself. whew, the relief! here's my review...

it came in this cute little black pouch

this little gem released about 5 weeks ago and is a weightless, translucent pressed powder meant to reflect a flattering light on the skin, without a trace of color. because of the lack of color, i was not able to show you a swatch because you aren't meant to see anything but matte, smooth, flattering skin! 

according to the Sephora website:

In final clinical test results:
- 84% agree that the product was non-drying
- 72% agree that the product blurred enlarged pores
- 72% agree that the product blurred fine lines and wrinkles
- 94% agree the product smoothes out skin’s appearance
- 91% agree that the product absorbs excess oil
- 81% agree that the product sets the foundation
- 75% agree that the product helps the foundation and other makeup to stay put all day

clicked to make larger, you can see a tiny bit of shimmer, but it doesn't carry over to the skin

OVERALL: this powder is good. based off of reviews, it seems to be the holy grail product of the year so far, but i think that i need to really play around with it more and consider what it actually does for my skin. yes, it feels nice on the skin, i can't see it at all when i apply it (good thing!), and it holds my makeup nicely throughout the day. however, i haven't really noticed a difference between using this and using my conventional drugstore pressed powder. in fact, i sometimes throw this on top of my pressed powder because i don't think it quite works well enough alone. i use a dense, but larger, buffing brush with this, and i can't even tell if its on my brush or not. again, this is a good thing, but i kinda feel like maybe i might not be picking any up on it? you know how a blush can get a weird cast over it that you have to use your nail to slide across? it seems to do that, so i'm not too sure its on my brush. it did come with a thin white powder press, and i find it works a little better because i can apply it and see a bit of a white color before blending it out, knowing well it has actually transferred to my skin. overall, i would like to continue using it, as it is $34. a pop and has hope. 


hope i helped you in your consideration of this product :)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light & Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer

hello lovelies! 

so i am here to review some of my february favorites!! Hourglass has become one of my absolute favorite makeup brands and i have recently been drawn to their new products especially. but believe me, i will be making a effort to collect a few of their staple items that have been around for years. their products are top-notch and their packaging is sleek and well-made. i adore them. 

so let's start my Hourglass venture with two products that i recently ordered from Sephora, both purchased after much deliberation and research on the blog-o-sphere. let's see how they faired!

first up is the Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused, $45.00, my most lusted after product of the spring season! released February 6, the Ambient Lighting line consists of universal finishing powders that are meant to recreate different types of flattering light. according to the Hourglass website, "Each powder captures, diffuses, and softens surrounding light with groundbreaking photo luminescent technology." From a pale, cool translucent Ethereal, to a Radiant golden bronze, its easy to find one that will work for you :)

i chose Diffused after much research of which color would work best for my skin tone. here is the breakdown from the official Hourglass website of each individual color: 

Diffused Light A soft, warm, pale yellow powder. Light your skin with DIFFUSED LIGHT to reduce redness and give skin clarity – like a soft ray of morning light.

Ethereal Light An opalescent sheer, cool white powder. Light your skin with ETHEREAL LIGHT to mimic a moonlit glow – even in broad daylight.

Radiant Light A sun-kissed golden beige powder. Light your skin with RADIANT LIGHT to extend a summer glow, or enhance the overall complexion with believable, subtle, warmth.

Mood Light A soft, sheer lavender pink powder. Light your skin with MOOD LIGHT to mimic the softest most forgiving light and reveal your brightest complexion.

Dim Light A neutral peach beige powder. Light your skin with DIM LIGHT to blur imperfections and highlight a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones.

Luminous Light A champagne pearl powder. Light your skin with LUMINOUS LIGHT to create a soft, incandescent candlelit glow – day or night.

in order to figure out my ideal powder, since i really wanted to buy at least 4 of these, i consulted with not only some fabulous bloggers (that's you, Christine!) but watched some YouTube videos to see the colors in a more realistic setting. Josh Collier's video review is a great place to really focus on what powder will work best for your skin tone! now let's get to those pictures!

Diffused Light in natural lighting

Diffused swatched on back of hand, not blended; natural lighting

OVERALL: i am happy i purchased the Diffused Light powder, as it seems to settle quite well into my skin. a common misconception of this product tends to be the fact that it really does nothing because you cannot even see it on your skin. however, that is the intention of the product. you do not want to see powderiness or chalkiness on the skin. it seamlessly blends into your skin and just makes it look better. its quite magical. i intend of buying a few more once my bank account stops crying :\  Rating: A

my second Hourglass purchase was a very well-reviewed primer and serum in one called No. 28 Primer Serum, $22. for 10ml, $65. for 30ml. hearing those two words together immediately sucked me in! i tested this puppy out in Sephora and the formula was so silky smooth and it smelled amazingggg. check this out: not only does it hydrate my sooo thirsty winter skin, but its jam packed with nutrients (28 of them!) that is supposed to nurture my skin and prepare it for a seamless makeup look. SOLD.

Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum, 10ml

OVERALL: Hourglass has done it again. they have taken my heart, and my money, and refuse to give any of it back. so be it. it's also suitable for all skin types and is free of all the nasty fragrances, sulfates, dyes, parabens and happens to be vegan-friendly. Rating: A

both items were a bit on the pricey side, but for the amount of product you get, as well as the amazing item itself, its worth it to me. 

*i always say, instead of spending tons of money on useless makeup at Walmart, buy some nice higher-end products that will work well for your skin and make you look your absolute best. its worth it, gals ;)

check back regularly for more reviews from my february favorites

Sunday, March 03, 2013

bits & pieces

another fun-filled installment of bit & pieces here for you!

* so as you all may know, i love my 2 cats Annabelle & Fritz. they are kind of adorable and so so sweet. i'm not quite the cat lady yet, but i'm thinking these few items may just put me over the edge: i'm probably going to need this for my car. for some light reading, probably this book and this book. i do get sad leaving my kitties at home, so i keep pictures on my cell phone that would be really safe in this rubberized cover! i'd definitely have to don this fabulous tank top if i had to run errands around town. excellent, think i'm all set!

my cats have done this creepiness to me too.

* while on the topic of cats, here's a HILARIOUS video of a news anchor who simply couldn't keep it together during a news report: Swimming Fat Cat... i honestly couldnt.stop.laughing.

* so this past monday, Jeopardy! contestant and high school teacher, Colby Burnett, won the first round of the Tournament of Champions and celebrated his big win with the "suck it" move. "yeahh beetch...uhh.."

these kids got kicked out of a Korean McDonald's for buying a tremendous amount of french fries. apparently in Korea, large fries have been on discount and students have been throwing "potato parties" and spreading them out amongst a table to share. why did they get kicked out? not only did they delay the orders of other customers, but kids have left large messes for workers to clean up and have disrespected Japanese culture by leaving behind uneaten food. this isn't the first time the Japanese have done something rather silly... does anyone remember the Bagel Head Trend? 

* sometimes, a little color therapy is all i need to feel a little bit better. whether that is coloring my nails, or coloring in a coloring book. aside from all the disney coloring books, i've come across some pretty neat kaleidoscope coloring pages and geometric shapes that you can print off the internet, color in, and hang around your house or give to that someone special ;) haha

* ever since i made the Overnight French Toast Casserole on Christmas Eve, my family has asked me to make this almost every weekend. its kind of delish, give it a try! (i make it sans nuts) bonus? all you have to do is heat it up in the oven in the morning and voila! nom nom.

i'll forever laugh at this hahahaha...

this&that: my current obsession with the mini-series The Following...Annabelle always being near me, even when i blow dry my hair...The Lumineers CD on repeat in my house...setting my alarm 10 minutes earlier in order to get to work at a decent time...enjoying some books by Steve Martin, given to me by a thoughtful friend...

& here's my darlin' annabelle as i snap some pics for the blog.

hope you have a great start to the week!!

february favorites!

i am a makeup fiend... as some of you may already know, i spend a hefty part of my extra money on makeup. i consider it some sort of therapy. this month, i bought a good amount of makeup, upscale and drugstore, and have sorted out my favorites among (many of) the products!

1. MAC's Shaping Powder in Emphasize
2. MAC's Alpine Bronze Mineralize Blush
3. MAC's Melba Blush
4. MAC's Mineralized Skinfinish in Stereo Rose*
5. MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush*
6. MAC 266 Small Angle Brush*
7. Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum*
8. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light*
9. NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder* 
10. Real Techniques Buffing Brush and Expert Face Brush
11. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in N115*

* a full review is in the works!

here's a small breakdown of all items mentioned above...

1-3. i won't go into too much detail here, but MAC's Shaping Powder in Emphasize, MAC's Alpine Bronze Mineralize Blush and MAC's Melba blush have all been integrated into my daily routine... & i still love them all! check out my review of them all here 

4. MAC's Mineralized Skinfinish in Stereo Rose was a little gem i picked up when it was re-released in the Apres-Chic Collection. unfortunately it is sold out, just like it had within minutes in 2010. although i need to use a light hand with this corally-golden because of my pale-ness, it is quite the beauty!

5-6. while we are on the topic of MAC, i bought two brushes of theirs that i have been dying to try! i got the 208 Angled Brow Brush and the 266 Small Angle Brush. keep an eye out for a review of both these brushes and a new lipstick i picked up! 

7-8. Hourglass has been one of my favorite brands for years and years. i remember my love for their tinted moisturizer and their duo eye shadows, which apply like butter. well, i love my face primers so i just HAD to try Hourglass' No. 28 Primer Serum. my skin has been rather dry so i picked this baby up after some great reviews from different bloggers, as well as its promise for a "ultra-hydrating and nutrient-rich primer and serum infused with 28 beneficial ingredients to nurture your skin." SOLD! i'm lovin' this primer/serum and recommend it to anyone who is suffering from dry skin. Hourglass also just released their Spring Collection & ever since i first heard word of their Ambient Lighting Powder, i knew i had to get my hands on it! this powder is amazing. i ordered it in "Diffused Light" (the consensus around the blog-o-sphere concluded this was one of the better ones) and couldn't be happier. 

9. NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder is also a new product for the Spring, and also a product i have had my eye on before it even released! unfortunately, it had sold out online immediately, so i had to venture to the nearest Sephora and grab it. NARS currently does not have it for sale on their website (they do have the loose version), but Sephora does have it in stock still!

10. Real Techniques brushes have become my go-to to apply anything from foundation, highlighter, concealer, face powder, blush, you name it! Samantha & Nicole Chapman, or "Pixiwoo" on YouTube, are two lovely sisters who have developed these brushes after years of makeup tutorials online. in fact, they are my favorite to watch! i have the entire set of brushes, and although they are all fabulous, the two i really find myself using the most are their Buffing Brush and the Expert Face Brush. i tend to use the Buffing Brush as a finisher for my foundation as well as to apply powder. the Expert Face Brush is perfect to apply foundation, if you want a little bit more coverage. i bought these at Harmon Discount, but you can purchase at Ulta!

11. my last product is the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in N115. i have been wanting to try this foundation for the longest time, so i picked this baby up on my last Sephora trip! very nice formula and a smooth finish :)

that's all for now, keep an eye out for those reviews! ;)