Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nars Love

I was just looking at the Nars website and found this beauty. I think I'm in love...

Nars Modern Love Eyeshadow Palette


  • Alhambra (top left) Metallic Rose Mist
  • Jezebel (top middle) Shimmering Sable
  • India Song (top right) Shimmering Walnut
  • Tokyo (bottom left) Soft Silver-White
  • Habanera (bottom middle) Sparkling Charcoal-Plum
  • Pandora (bottom right) Matte Black
$50, 6 eyeshadows.... $8.33 per shadow??? That's a deal right?

So much for my budget.

Products that won't die

I'm trying to be good and to use up products that I have before going out and buying more but these products just won't die. No matter how much I use and how close I think I am to finishing, it just keeps going on and on and on. Which would be great if I liked them but I hate them. Isn't it ironic that the products that you like runs out so quickly and the one's that you hate live forever.

Beauty on a Budget

With the economy the way it is, maintaining a budget while easing a makeup addiction can be challenging. I've been rummaging through some of the samples that I've collected through the months but have been to lazy to use and thought that a blog on being smarter with makeup purchases would be fun to write. Here are just some random ideas...

1) Buy in Bulk
I've always been an advocate of buying value packs. You get so much bang for your buck that way and some of the sets that are available these days are amazing. On face value, it's always harder to shell out that much money at the onset but if you divide the cost between the products, it's so much cheaper. Why would anyone pay $18 for a single stila eyeshadow when they can buy a set and pay less than $10 after dividing the cost?

2) Discount Websites is one of my favorite beauty websites. They offer steep discount on older Stila products. I was able to purchase Stila look books for around $10, a 6 pan shadow palette for under $10 when they are usually priced at close to $30. Websites like Sephora or also have sale categories where you can get high end products on the cheap. I was able to pick up a Nanette Lapore perfume 1.7 fl oz. usually priced at $55 for around $20.

3) Frequent Flyer
Be aware of loyalty incentives. offers 5% back on your purchase. Stila has a rewards program where you get perks like free shipping or $50 to $100 back if you spend up to a certain amount each year.

4) Friends and Family
Splurge on high end products that rarely go on sale during friend and family sales. Most of my Nars collection is from friends and family sales. I usually reserve my high end splurges to products like Nars that rarely go on sale in the US. Also, your friends and family can be a good source for makeup as gifts during Christmas or birthdays, especially for products that can be a little more pricey.

5) Discount Stores
Nordstrom rack for me is not only a great place for clothing and shoes but they also carry great hair products, makeup and perfume. Burberry perfume, Stila makeup, CHI hair products... I've also heard that Marshells, TJ Maxx stores sometimes carry high end products for steeply discounted prices as well.

6) Make Lemonade
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Experiment with what you have already. Make homemade tinted moisterizer this summer with your sunscreen and foundation instead of going out to buy one. Mix lip products that did not quite work to make a different shade that is more flattering. I mixed together all the "nonmatched" sample foundations from everyday minerals sample kits collected when I was still finding out the right shade for myself and was able to get a full size jar of mineral foundation that was a good fit for my skin tone.

7) Multitask
Buy products that serve multiple purposes. Stila convertibles are $25 which is a little steep but when you think that you can use it as both a cheek and lip product, it makes a little more sense to invest. You can make the product work harder for you.

8) Palettes
Palettes are another way for you to get amazing savings. Just like the value sets, they are an investment but they are totally worth the initial cost. For example, the nars palettes are usually priced at $65 which is a lot. But you are getting 4 shadows, 2 blush/cheek products and 4 lip products. That is just amazing value especially when nars lipsticks and cheek products are $25. Granted they are not full sized but there isn't a better way for you to get to try out high end brands like Nars than with these palettes. The versatility and portability also needs to be considered with these palettes. When literally, all you need is the palette to create endless looks... who wouldn't get it?

9) Rediscover Drugstore
There is nothing wrong with drugstore makeup. Especially when brands like Revlon are coming up with foundations and liners that match if not work better than department store brands. And there is no need to buy a high end mascara for that much money if it's just going to be tossed out in 3 months. Especially when there are so many comparable drugstore mascaras out there. Think of the savings if you are able to find drugstore alternatives for staples like foundation and mascara that you are using on almost daily basis. Also drugstore dupes are great places for potential savings. Rimmel has a great blush in peach which is similar to Nars orgasm. HIP eye kohls are great alternative to the Guerlain. Also when buying drugstore, look for BOGOs. They happen so often that it doesn't make sense to buy drugstore products full price. Stock up on essentials like mascara when they go on BOGO. Why would you buy mascara for $7-10 when you can buy for $3?

10) Sample Sale
Ala Jennifer Aniston in Friends with Money. I'm sure I'm not the only person who gets conned into buying makeup for the sample packs that are offered. And with samples being given at each purchase, it's not difficult to accumulate quite a few of them. But even with this, I rarely reach for them because I'm just too lazy to use it. They are really a great resource for great high end products. I'm definately working to dig out my box of samples and try out a few of the products. I pulled out an alterna shampoo and conditioner sample and was able to use it over a period of three days for my hair. I've accumulated 3-4 samples so if I use it regularly, I'll have close to 2 weeks of alterna. I have a few Fekkai products as well and should be able to complete the month with the rest of my samples. I did the same for a urban decay primer potion sample... who knew there was so much product in those dinky things. Perfume samples are also a great way to either experiment with new scents or stock up on scents that you love without having to go out and buy. I have literally close to 10 samples of J'adore by Dior and don't see myself purchasing anytime soon because I'll never finish using it all.

Wow... that was a long one. I love makeup and I'm guilty of overspending but at least by doing this, I can limit some of the damage.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nudes Part II

I guess I'm more obsessed than I thought. Here are a few nude lipsticks that I found in my collection that I didn't even remember buying. The top two are definately great neutrals. The bottom two, I wasn't too impressed with.

1) Avon Ultra Color Rich in Classic Nude
Not really classic nude but still a very nice neutral. It's more mauvy nude. The packaging is sleek and classy. Overall great quality lipstick. Avon is definately underrated brand. (Top Left)

2) Elf Mineral Line in Nicely Nude
Packaged in Nars-esque lipstick container but actually pretty impressive for ELF. I'm very impressed by their new mineral and studio lines. The color is more pinky nude but also very nice wearable color. (Top Right)

3) L'Oreal Colour Riche in Nude
Mauvy Nude. The scent is so overpowering. I can't even describe. It's like an old lady flowery smell. The consistency is grainy. Even though the color is nice and wearable, I can't bear to wear it becuase of the smell. (Bottom Left)

4) Covergirl In the Nude
Hideous lilacy nude. (Bottom Right)

Search for the Perfect Nude

It's taken forever but I think I've found some Nude lip products that don't make me look like death.

My favorite nude lipstick of all time is Maybelline moisture extreme lipstick in Nude Blush which is a nontraditional pinky nude. It gives the perfect "your lips but better" look. It has a pinky undertone which is universally flattering with a hint of shine. It feels great on the lips, goes on smooth and keeps your lips hydrated. It has a melony scent. Best of all, the price doesn't break the bank. (Top Left)

My recent nude lip finds are from NYX. I recently purchased the tinted lip spa in Spirit and Copacabana. First off, I love NYX tinted lip spas. They really are lip balms with the pigmentation of a lipstick. They are extremely moisturizing. The staying power is decent. It's also got the minty tingle of your typical lip balm or chapstick which I love. The Copacabana is a more traditional nude while Spirit is a pinky nude. They are a little pricey for NYX but if you purchase them on sale, they can be quite cheap. I got mine during the NYX anniversary sale for 50% off and ended up paying only $2.50 each which is phenomenal bang for your buck. (Top Right, Spirit is on the left, Copacobana is on the right)

High end wise, I'm honestly too scared to experiment with... It's so hard for me to find a nude lipstick that I like that I find myself very reluctant to experiment with high end products. I do have the Nars 9941 palette and love Honolulu Honey which is a nice matte peachy nude. I think I'm going to invest in the full sized tube. I'm also dying to try Belle du Jour because of the rave reviews. (Bottom left)

My last product is something of a work in progress. The infamous Revlon matte lipstick in Nude Attitude. It's loved by almost every makeup guru on Youtube so I had to try it out. I really wanted to love it but it made me look like death and I still haven't figured how to make this work for me. It's a true, matte, "concealer on your lips", "erased lip" nude. I tried a lighter application which does help a little but I think I'll have to play around with it a little more. I've also heard that applying a nude gloss on top is helpful in making the lipstick work. Honestly, if I have to do that, it's too much work. I don't see myself spending the extra time and money to buy another product to make it work when I can just reach for my Maybelline nude blush and be done with it.
(Bottom right)

On the horizon, Airy Fairy by Rimmel London. I'm just discovering Rimmel London as a makeup line and I'm loving the products that I've used so far. I've heard that Airy Fairy is supposed to be a very good nude and am eyeing it for my next nude lip purchase. After all, you can never have too many good nude lipstick.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Lela Rose Bag

I can never resist a sample bag but with this one, they completely outdid themselves. This blows all other sample bags from the past out of the water. I can't even say enough about the makeup bag itself. It's made of sturdy canvas with a metallic Lela Rose accent in front. It's adorable, simple but classy. The lining is plastic with an inside pocket and slots for your makeup brushes.

And the samples... It's supposed to be valued at $150. There's actually a full sized Stila eyeshadow! That alone is an $18 value. The other winner in this sample kit is the Laura Geller Blush N Brighten in Golden Apricot. I've never understood the MSF craze until I saw how beautiful this blush is. The veining is just gorgeous. I could just look at it all day. With summer just around the corner, I have a feeling this blush along with my Nars Luster is going to be by go to blush. And the bag is chock full of other goodies, all delux samples at that. I've included a list of the products below. Love, love, love.

1. Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara, Black
2. Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten Compact, Golden Apricot
3. POP Beauty Eye Magnet Primer, No.1 Airbrushed
4. It Cosmetics My Youthful Smile Duo, Signature Blue
5. Nuxe Tonific Fermete Intensive Firming Cream
6. Bliss Best of Skintentions with SPF15
7. Borghese Piede Vitale Foot Creme
8. ARCONA Papaya Enzyme Gel, Rejuvenate PM
9. BVLGARI Omnia Amethyste Body Lotion
10. Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Angel Wings Ultra-Light Styling Paste
11. Rene Furterer Fioravanti Shine Enhancing Detangling Cream Rinse
12. Jonathan Product Straightening Lotion
13. CLARISONIC Gentle Hydro Cleanser, All/Sensitive Skin
14. PHYTO Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Shampoo
15. Stila Eye Shadow Pan, Shore

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer Makeup

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm looking forward to lazy summer days and planning on looks for the poolside.

I just received this palette in the mail from avon and I'm loving it so far. It's the mark flip it compact in Los Angeles. The palette comes in a metallic compact with a blush and two eyeshadows on one side. The palette flips over to reveal four lippies, 2 lipsticks and 2 glosses. It's pretty much a look in a palette. All you need is foundation and mascara and your set to go. The compact is sturdy enough to carry in your purse during summer outings and for travel. For $20, it's a little pricey but you get a lot of bang for your buck. I'm looking towards purchasing more and am eyeing the Sidney and London palette.

I've never been much of a bronzer person. I have one bronzer in dallas and I barely use it. On the other hand, I can't ever resist a blush. I found a great compromise in Nars Luster blush. It's described as a sheer golden apricot. It's basically a great blush which I think will look great during the summer.

Spring Corals

I've been really enjoying the great corals that have been in the makeup collections this spring.

Stila's pearl shimmer gloss in Ocean Currant is my absolute favorite for the spring. The texture is moisturizing and feels almost like wearing a lip balm. I find myself rubbing my lips together throughout the day because it's so smooth and feels so good on my lips. It last a long time for a gloss. And the color is beautiful. It's a shimmery coral which gives your lips a nice fresh flush. It's pretty much been my go to gloss for the season.

I've also been loving Benefit's Coralista. It's fast displacing Gorgia as my favorite Benefit powder box. It looks a little scary in the box but it actually goes on pretty sheer. I've been applying to the apples of my cheeks for a nice pop of color.