Review: Amazing Cosmetics Velvet Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation

Last month, I was checking out the newness at Sephora, and I came across a new end-cap. As in—they had literally just finished installing it. I was super excited, because I’ve heard of Amazing Cosmetics, but I hadn’t tried out any of their products yet. Friends have assured me that their concealer is nothing short of amazing, but since I wasn’t in the market for a new concealer—I picked up their Velvet Mineral Pressed Powder Foundation instead.

After selecting my shade (Light Golden), I marveled at how incredibly silky the texture was. And I also noticed that even though it’s a matte formula, it didn’t make the skin look flat. But once I got it home, I noticed that it just wasn’t for me after all—and the excitement I had over my new-found treasure quickly disappeared the next morning when I went to apply it as my foundation for the day.

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Review & Swatches: MAC Bloggers’ Obsessions Collection

If you haven’t heard by now, MAC just made nine beauty bloggers’ dreams come true—to have their own Lipglass or eyeshadow shade. I don’t know about you, but I would probably faint if this opportunity were bestowed upon me! I’m incredibly happy for the chosen few, and I think they did a great job designing their personal shades.

MAC says:

No one <3’s M∙A∙C more than a Beauty Blogger. To thank them for their passionate devotion & always honest feedback, we invited NINE of our favourites to our lab in Toronto to custom-create their own Eye Shadow or Lipglass. Exclusively online, just like the makeup-mad minds that created them.

Here’s the shade breakdown:

Eyeshadow shades

  • Sparkle, Neely, Sparkle! — deep rusty brown with champagne-colored sparkle (designed by Amber Katz of Beauty Blogging Junkie)
  • Jealousy Wakes — Seething emerald green with teal and gold pearl (designed by Christine Mielke of Temptalia)
  • Parisian Skies — muted grey-blue (designed by Lesley Ellen Mirza of Lipstick Powder N Paint)
  • Hocus Pocus — dark sooty grey with silver pearl (designed by Lianne Farbes of The Makeup Girl)

Lipglass Shades

  • Evolution Revolution — warm peachy pink with subtle purple, green, and blue micro-glitter (designed by Karen Monterichard of Makeup and Beauty Blog)
  • All of My Purple Life — deep purple/grape with subtle sparkle (designed by Patrice Yursik of Afrobella)
  • Caqui — persimmon orange (designed by Lily Nima of Beauty Maverick)
  • Sonoran Rain — deep coral-red with gold and silver pearl (designed by Aileen De Los Angeles of The Shades of U)
  • Nitro:licious 2046 — intense shiny red (designed by Wendy Lam of Nitrolicious)

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What’s New: bareMinerals Prime Time Primer Shadows in 6 Fun Shades

New in July from bareMinerals, check out these Prime Time Primer Shadows—six metallic budge-proof cream eyeshadows. Great for wearing solo or layering under dry shadows, you can add a surprising pop of color or apply them very lightly for a sheer wash.

The shade breakdown:

  • Bronzed Twig — iced chocolate
  • Chroma Violet — shimmering plum
  • Racing Green — vibrant emerald
  • Sundance — sunlit peach
  • Gunmetal — midnight silver
  • Urban Nature — duo-chrome moss green

I found these to last all day (even with weather in the 90’s), and without any creasing! Prime Time Primer Shadows give just enough time to manipulate on the lid before locking in, for super long wear. These are waterproof, free of preservatives and fragrance, and are perfect for the summer. [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Urban Decay Rollergirl Eyeshadow Palette for Summer 2011

Remember going to the roller rink on Friday nights for “lights out” skate? If you don’t—it’s okay! For me, it was a middle-school thing and my girlfriends and I lived for it. We planned out in advance what songs we were going to request from the DJ (I often asked for Debbie Gibson), and I think know that we all wished for a cute guy to come hold our hands to skate for the slow songs. NEVER HAPPENED. But it was still fun! Apparently I wasn’t the only one in love with the roller rink back in the day, especially since the new Urban Decay Rollergirl Eyeshadow Palette was inspired by the summer of 1986—when Ms. Decay had her first kiss at the roller rink at the age of 13—those were the days, fun times!

As an ode to the roller rink, this new summer palette houses four spectacular shades of eyeshadow, a travel size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, and also includes a travel size Lip Junkie gloss. [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: COVERGIRL Intense ShadowBlast Primer + Rich Shadow

Last month, I was so excited when I heard the news that COVERGIRL would be releasing a line of liquid-to-powder eyeshadows. I’m even more excited that I finally have a few shades of the new COVERGIRL Intense ShadowBlast Eye Colors to share with you! Intense ShadowBlast is a liquid shadow in a tube that can act as a long-wearing cream eyeshadow all on its own, or act as a primer to anchor a powder eyeshadow to the lid. I’m loving this concept, especially since it’s available in six shades that were designed by Pat McGrath.

  • Platinum Pop
  • Blue Bomb
  • Extreme Green
  • Brown Bling
  • Beige Blaze
  • Forever Pink

More photos, and the review! [Read more…]

How to Pronounce Foreign Beauty Brands
How to Pronounce Foreign Beauty Brands

With one quick read of this handy guide, you won’t have to feel shy at the makeup counter ever again

How to Pronounce Foreign Beauty Brands

This is a makeup article

Do you ever feel silly when you ask to try a certain beauty product only to have the salesperson correct your pronunciation of the brand in question? To make sure that doesn’t happen again, check out this guide that phonetically spells out how to say the names of 10 popular brands.

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Review: TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System Starter Set


It wasn’t really that long ago, just a few years actually—that airbrush makeup systems seemed completely out of reach to everyday consumers. While they’re still considered a luxury by many, they’re becoming more attainable and affordable with each innovation that hits the market. One of the most recent is the TEMTU AIRbrush Makeup System Starter Set. I think one of the reasons I didn’t try it sooner is because I was under the impression that it was really complicated to use. I took one look at the AIR pods that contain the foundation, and I was convinced that it was something I didn’t want to get involved with. Another case of Amber Judges a Book By its Cover and Couldn’t Be More Wrong. I’ve written about other airbrush systems in the past, and I’ve called them “easy to use”. But NO. This one—it’s REALLY easy to use! Scout’s honor. I think I even tweeted something the first time I used it, to the effect of “Sorry other airbrush systems, but TEMPTU just kicked your butts!”

The system itself is a lightweight, compact, and portable device that is ready to go—after you’ve attached two cords, and an AIR pod. One cord is the air hose, and the other is the AC adapter, both of which took me just a few seconds to do. The most challenging part will probably be understanding the AIR pods.  [Read more…]

Review: COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara

If you haven’t noticed the COVERGIRL NatureLuxe frenzy yet, just wait until this new addition to the NatureLuxe lineup has its wide-release in drugstores next month! If it’s as well-received as its sister products in the recent past, the roar will be pretty hard to ignore. Late last year, I shared my first impressions of the line—which at the time, consisted of NatureLuxe Liquid Silk Foundation, and NatureLuxe Gloss Balm. COVERGIRL has introduced the NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara to help complete a more “au naturel” look, with less synthetic ingredients to mirror the rest of the line. I had a chance to try it out, and I wanted to share what I think…

What makes it a little different…

While NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara is not an all-natural product, COVERGIRL has swapped out some of the synthetic ingredients commonly found in mascara, to give the product a lighter look and feel. By incorporating naturally-derived ingredients like beeswax, tapioca polymers, and carnauba wax—they hope to deliver a more luxurious product that performs just as well more costly products, but with a “luxury touched by nature” feel.

Let’s take a look at the brush…

The brush resembles what I believe to be one that’s very similar to many on the mass market today. Nothing that’s over-the-top or radically different (no gimmicky monstrous brush here), but notice how the bristles are in close pairs—that typically helps to result in natural-looking volume. A tapered tip like this one helps make it easy to maneuver in both the inner and outside corners for even application. The bristles are flexible, so they can coat the lashes pretty evenly with ease.  [Read more…]

What’s New: bareMinerals 35 Years of Love & Happiness Collection

This year, I celebrated my 35th birthday—and I know I didn’t do it alone—bareMinerals turned 35 this year too! (Coincidence? I think not.) To celebrate, they’re busy releasing limited edition products and collections in recognition of this huge milestone. Did you see the limited edition foundation jar yet? 35 years in beauty is quite an accomplishment! So when I opened up the latest, the Love & Happiness Collection, and started playing with it—I wanted to email Leslie and ask her if she was playing tricks on me—like, did she create this collection specifically for moi and not tell me about it? Like—SURPRISE AMBER! This is for YOU! Happy 35th, you rock girlfriend! Here ya go!

Well…a girl can dream, can’t she? So please don’t take that away from me. It was a nice daydream, right?

I feel that way about many of the collections bareMinerals releases, like they’re perfect for just me—and obviously millions of other women feel the same way. But this one—made me feel a little more gorgeous, it put a little extra spring in my step. It just made me feel happy, loved, and relaxed. I even broke my cardinal rule: no using the products until the first photographs have been taken. That went out the window, because as you can see—I went to town with this one right away!

Enough about me…here are more photos and info about what’s inside!

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