First Look: Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume IV (Volume 4)

With so many anticipating the release of Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Volume IV, the brand offered an exclusive sale of a a limited quantity of the covet-worthy palettes to lucky fans at Sephora’s Times Square location earlier this month. The rest of us—well, we’ll have to wait for its release. But never fear, I have a feeling it’s coming sooner that we think, I currently see it on the Sephora website with a “Coming Soon” notation. This will without a doubt, be one of holiday 2011’s most wanted, buzzed about releases.  [Read more…]

Currently Loving: Smashbox Camera Ready 5-in-1 Beauty Balm BB Cream

Hi. I’m Amber, and over the summer—I’ve become a BB Cream-aholic. There, I said it.

The concept of BB creams is still kind of new here in the U.S., and I’ve heard grumblings from those who have tried the original BB creams from Asia—that the U.S. versions are no match for the originals. Well, being I’m as American as apple pie, I can only tell you what I know about our versions of BB creams, and let me tell you—I’m pretty impressed with what I’ve tried. I checked out Boscia and loved it, I tried Dr. Jart (review on that coming soon!), and here’s a new contender from Smashbox, their Camera Ready 5-in-1 Beauty Balm. I’ve avoided true full-coverage foundation for almost a month now, just to test the benefits of this Smashbox version of a BB cream, and here are my findings… [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Collection

We are in the middle of a heatwave, and I’ve been trying to wear as minimal makeup as possible because I’ve just been sweating it off. Our office gets hardly any air circulation, and the A/C isn’t exactly doing the best job! It’s so funny to me to look in the mirror at the end of the day, only to see the two things that haven’t budged are my eyeliner and mascara. The trick this week has been wearing a shade from the NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Collection each day. The hardest part about wearing them has been asking myself—what color shall I wear? There are nine pigment-packed shades to choose from:

Via Veneto — rich black
Via Appia — metallic copper
Rue Saint-Honoré — dark royal blue metallic
Santa Monica Boulevard — bright crisp white
Abbey Road — iridescent turquoise
Bourbon Street — vibrant amethyst metallic
Madison Avenue — medium slate grey
Rue Bonaparte — light almond
Rue De Rivoli — dark hunter green metallic [Read more…]

What’s New: Maybelline Great Lash 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Designer Tubes

Maybelline reaches a huge milestone with their 40th anniversary of Great Lash! To celebrate, the iconic pink and green tubes received a makeover from three well-respected fashion designers; the perfect collaboration for such an historic event. The Vivienne Tam, Max Azria, and Tracy Reese designed Great Lash mascara tubes are available now on, and will be released in Target stores on August 21st—but they definitely won’t last long!

Did you know…

  • in 1971, Great Lash’s legendary green and pink tubes were inspired by designer Lilly Pulitzer’s cheery fabrics?
  • Maybelline is the official cosmetic sponsor of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week?
  • celebs Mary J. Blige, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Richie, and Kate Beckinsale are known Great Lash lovers? [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss Collection

New this month from NARS, the Larger Than Life Lip Gloss Collection promises crazy shine that hydrates and doesn’t move for hours—which seems like an impossible feat! Larger Than Life is available in nine gorgeous shades (I would expect nothing less from NARS). They range from a pale, cool beige to the brightest cherry red—so we’ve started off on the right foot already. With a friendly gang of emollients, anti-aging compounds, and other lip-nurturing ingredients…let’s see if NARS really pulls this off!

Front to back: Norma, Place Vendôme, Coeur Sucré, Como, Pirée, Odalisque, Gold Digger, Tiber, Spring Break

The shade breakdown…

  • Norma — bright cherry red
  • Place Vendôme — bold strawberry pink
  • Coeur Sucré — bright cool pink with shimmer
  • Como — demure shimmering berry
  • Pirée — creamy rose pink
  • Odalisque — creamy warm cantaloupe
  • Gold Digger — champagne shimmer
  • Tiber — creamy cool beige
  • Spring Break — pale pinky-beige with golden shimmer

A thinner, shorter bristled brush applicator with a slight taper towards the tip helps for a more precise application…  [Read more…]

Cheap Swaps for High-End Makeup
Cheap Makeup Swaps

You don’t always have to shell out the big bucks for quality products — these drugstore imitations of high-end faves are proof

Cheap Makeup Swaps

This is a budget products article

Who doesn’t love a good deal? We appreciate bargains just as much as the next gal, which is why we hit up one of our favorite makeup artists for drugstore picks that are practically exact duplicates of high-end brands. Start saving by checking them out here.

See swaps

Review & Swatches: Urban Decay Baked Bronzers in Gilded & Baked

This fair-skinned lassie doesn’t do sun, so bronzers and self-tanners are my best friends this time of year! I’ve tried so many this season, but none have really knocked me out lately. There are a few coming up that also rocked, but first up are these from Urban Decay. They’re available in three shades, so there’s one to flatter your skin tone for sure; Toasted a matte version that’s a little darker, Gilded (my FAVORITE) a peachy hue with gold veins running through it, and Baked—their classic radiant bronzer with slight shimmer. (Toasted not photographed, sorry!)

These babies started as dough (believe it or not), and then were baked in terra cotta dishes in Italy in a quaint village—finished by Italian women, and you know they put LOVE into everything they do! This results in a smooth finish that applies nice and fine, without any streaking. You can use these wet or dry, and on your face or body. Try a little Gilded on your collarbone or the front of your shins ladies with that sundress…I promise it will look awesome!

Swatches:  [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss

This isn’t just another lip gloss in a tube, ladies. This is L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss. What makes this different are the non-sticky ingredients that make the formula nice & comfy on the lips. This is the first mass market gloss that I’ve tried that has argan oil in the formula, blended with Omega 3 and Vitamin E for the ultimate in lip comfort and care.

I tried out four colors, and I’m going to play devil’s advocate here: I didn’t think they were as pigmented as they could be—but I did try out very light colors. When I looked at the rest of the collection at my local CVS, the colors looked much more pigmented than the four I tried out. So that’s something to keep in mind if you really want a dose of color!

Swatches: [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Milani Paint Eyeshadow Palette

In addition to the other July exclusives from Milani (don’t miss the reviews for the Haute Flash Lip Glosses and High Speed Nail Lacquers), you may have spotted this Paint Eyeshadow Palette at your local CVS. The bright colors drew me in, like a moth to a flame! Milani is known for their excellent pigmentation at affordable prices, but I have to say—this palette doesn’t measure up to the Milani quality I’ve grown to love. There’s an exception for everything, right? But what went wrong?  [Read more…]