31 October 2011

SweetPea & Fay Ultra Pigmented Lip Gloss

As I mentioned in the eye shadow post, I was also able to pick up three lip glosses with my Heartsy voucher for SweetPea & Fay. SweetPea & Fay divides their glosses into two categories - ultra pigmented and sheer.  The three I chose, Sailors Delight, Congo Kick, and Miss Lady, were all sold as ultra pigmented.  And they definitely are.  They're also thick and creamy and might be better described as liquid lipsticks, since they're so pigmented and they don't really give any noticeable shine or gloss to my lips.  Don't get me wrong, I really do like them, I'm just not sure gloss is the best category for these! 



Congo Kick - is a really unique shade of lipgloss. It has a mod like feel to it, like it`s straight out of the 1960s.  It`s a really soft peach color that shines when applied.  I'm not sure I get a mod feel from this, but it's a beautiful peach colour! Probably my favourite of the three.

Sailors Delight - Pinup girl inspired, super pigmented hot pink lipgloss.  Not a super hot pink, but it is a nice, wearable bright pink.  Leans a little towards coral on me.  Texture-wise, this one is a bit thicker than the other two.

Miss Lady - is a stunning orangey peach lipgloss. It has hints of sparkle which makes it slightly metallic looking.  I don't see a whole lot of orange or peach in this one.  On me, it's more of a slightly peachy, brownish nude.  That said, I feel like I constantly struggle to find nudes I like on me, and this one is both pretty and wearable.

I never realized how hairy my hand was until I started taking swatch photos like this one, LOL:P                               (L to R) Miss Lady, Congo Kick, Sailors Delight

The Bottom Line
I'm quite happy with these glosses.  They're nicely pigmented and they feel smooth and creamy and leave my lips nicely moisturized.  For $5, you get a generous 8mL of gloss, so they're also great value.  And with SweetPea & Fay's return policy, you really can't go wrong - if you are not happy with a product, you can simply return it for a refund or exchange.  Overall, I'm really pleased with these and I'd be likely to repurchase.  I just wish they had more colours to choose from!

And lest you think I forgot -
I hope everyone's having a spooktacular day!


        

29 October 2011

SweetPea & Fay $1 Haul + Eye Shadow Swatches


I love bargain hunting.  Thrift stores, sales, or just a regular inexpensive find...they all get my heart pounding.  Online bargain hunting can be good fun too, which is how I first came across Heartsy.  If you haven't heard of it, Heartsy is a site that offers deals on handmade items from online sellers.  Similar to sites like Groupon, you buy a voucher which can then be redeemed for some percentage more than the actual purchase price.  SweetPea & Fay was on Heartsy over the summer and being a company I was already interested in trying, I decided to pick up a voucher.  Vouchers were $6 for $17 worth of merchandise, or $27 for VIPs.  I got a $5 credit for voting for SweetPea & Fay's deal initially and it happened to fall in the one month when I had already paid for VIP membership, so I ended up paying only $1 for the $27 voucher!  I'm not sure how much sense that story made, but needless to say it ended up being a fairly epic deal!

I wanted to try out SweetPea & Fay's lip glosses, which happened to be out of stock for a couple months while they found new packaging, I believe, so I only ended up spending my voucher a couple weeks ago.  I was able to pick up 3 full size lip glosses and 17 eye shadow samples ... pretty awesome for $1!  I haven't had a chance to do more than swatch these, so this won't be a review, but on first impressions, while a couple colours did go on slightly patchy, for the most part they applied smoothly and without any issues.  I'm going to do a separate post on the lip glosses, so look for that over the next couple days.  For today, here are the eye shadow swatches - apologies that these photos aren't the best quality.  We haven't had much sun lately and you won't be able to see all the lovely shimmer and sparklies in these as a result :(  Swatches are done dry over Detivore's primer.

Top Row (L to R): Kapow, Bulder Dash, Copper Bird, Kangaroo Prints, Courtesan / Bottom Row (L to R): Love Lies Bleeding, Smithereens, Tom Foolery, Suave Gentleman, British Accent

Top Row (L to R): Courtesan, Scalywag, 93 Phobias, Shrooms / Bottom Row (L to R): British Accent, Moe Madio, Numchucks, Fresh Oil, Atropos

(L to R) Suave Gentleman, British Accent, Moe Madio -- Ergh, fall lighting!  These don't all look the same in real life!
 
(L to R) Fresh Oil (black with blue sparkles), Atropos (black with copper sparkles)

Top Row (L to R): Kapow, Bulder Dash, Copper Bird, Kangaroo Prints, Courtesan, Scalywag, 93 Phobias, Shrooms / Bottom Row (L to R): Love Lies Bleeding, Smithereens, Tom Foolery, Suave Gentleman, British Accent, Moe Madio, Numchucks, Fresh Oil, Atropos


        

27 October 2011

Mascara Comparison: Zuzu Luxe & Gabriel Color

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably already know that Zuzu Luxe has been my holy grail mascara for a good while now.  I've tried other options, but it's what I've always come back to.  You can find my longer review here, but basically, as natural mascaras go, I've found it's the best in terms of both volume and length, and once it's on, it doesn't budge - I'm talking absolutely no smearing, smudging, or flaking, and it stays on until you wash it off.

Gabriel owns both Gabriel Color and Zuzu Luxe, but back when I first tried Zuzu's mascara, Gabriel Color's mascara was a completely different formula, and for whatever reason, I never tried it.  At some point, Gabriel switched the Gabriel Colour formula over and it's now identical to the Zuzu Luxe one...at least in terms of ingredients.

What I find confusing is that, for all that the ingredients are the same, they must still be different formulas, because they don't perform the same.  In terms of the appearance of your lashes and staying power, both are excellent, but they also have a few key differences.  I mentioned in my original review of Zuzu's mascara that it can sometimes leave your lashes hard and crackly feeling - this is not a problem at all with the Gabriel Color formula, which, as a result, is much more buildable. 

Unfortunately, the Gabriel Color one doesn't seem to last very long.  I always make a note of when I start using a mascara so I know when it's time to toss it, and after using it for less than two months, my Gabriel Color mascara has changed smell and frankly smells a bit funky.  I don't know if I just got a dud tube or something, but at this point, I really don't feel okay using it anymore.  These days, I toss my mascara after 3-4 months, but I've never had this problem with the Zuzu formula, even after as long as 8-10 months.  (Which is terrible and gross, I know.  This was back before I knew all the icky reasons for tossing mascara a lot sooner)

The Bottom Line
It looks like Zuzu Luxe is still my HG mascara.  Like all Gabriel Color products, the mascara is a couple dollars cheaper than the Zuzu one, and I did really like that the Gabriel was more buildable and didn't leave my lashes crunchy, but when paying $15-17 for a mascara, I want something that can make it to the 3 month point without spoiling!


         

5 October 2011

Review: Gabriel Moisturizing Liquid Foundation

I feel like I've been hunting forever for a natural foundation that offers a good colour match AND provides the coverage I want.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably already know that I'm a big fan of both of Gabriel's makeup lines, but I'd never tried either of their foundations.  When I read the Glamorganic Goddess's rave review of Gabriel's Moisturizing Liquid Foundation, I knew I had to give it a try.  She even compared it to her old MAC foundation - high praise indeed!  

I put it to the back of my mind, but remembered just as I was placing my most recent order from White Rabbit Beauty and ordered a sample in the second lightest colour, Soft Beige.  There was a slight mixup with my order that delayed shipping an extra day and Jean from White Rabbit ended up throwing in two extra samples in Rose Beige and Natural Beige to make up for it.  (Talk about great customer service!)

The good news is that Soft Beige is a fantastic match for my skintone - probably the best I've found in any foundation.   In terms of application, I experimented with applying this a few different ways.  I find it's prone to going on a little cakey, even with just the thinnest layer.  What I look for in a foundation is something that makes my skin to look nice, but also not like I'm wearing tons of makeup.  The best way I found to apply this was just with my fingers and then stippling over it with a damp sponge.  This gives a nice, natural, slightly glowy finish.  It also got rid of most of the cakeyness, but up close, I still felt like you could tell I was wearing foundation, as it clung to any hint of dryness on my face.  My skin is normal to oily, so I definitely wasn't expecting that, especially from a foundation that claims to be formulated for dry complexions.

For all that this doesn't make it sound amazing, I probably would have purchased a full size and kept using it, at least until I found something better, if this was my only complaint.  I used this for about a week, and unfortunately, I started breaking out on my cheeks a few days in.  Of course, I can't absolutely say it was the foundation, but I'm definitely leaning that way.  I still have some left from my sample, so I may give it another try in a few weeks, just to be sure, and if I'm wrong (I really hope I am!), I'll update this.  Also keep in mind that I do have sensitive skin - sensitive to the point where I don't wear much face makeup on a day to day basis just because a lot of products make my skin itch so much that I have to wash them off.  So, even though this bothered my skin, if yours tends to be less sensitive, it probably would be fine for you.

The Bottom Line
This foundation was not a good fit for my sensitive skin.   In terms of coverage, because of the cakeyness I experienced, I don't think it's very buildable, but it does give medium coverage.  It also lasts well - on my skin, it lasted all day, even without a powder on top, though you might want to use one if you have oilier skin.  Despite Gabriel's marketing, I'm not sure this is the best foundation for dry skin, but I think it'd be worth at least ordering a sample to try.

Annnnnd I'm still on the lookout for my perfect foundation - if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!


        

1 October 2011

September Favourites

I can't believe I'm actually managing to get my favourites up on time this month!  Honestly, I haven't used a ton of products this month, but here are a few things I've reached for a lot recently: 

September favourites, minus the lotion bar

Running Bug Farm Unscented Organic Shea Butter Lotion Bar
I bought this from Running Bug Farm on Etsy a while back, but originally I found it a little waxier than I wanted it to be, so it ended up being set aside.  With the weather getting colder this month, my cuticles have gotten a bit dry and  I've been using this on them at night.  It's waxier than a liquid lotion or body butter and doesn't really rub in fully, which is why I tend to only use it before bed.  It works amazingly well and when I wake up my cuticles are moisturized and soft again, no matter how dry or cracked they might have started out the night before.  I have the unscented one, so the beeswax smell really comes through, which I love, but they do make these in various scents as well.
Photo from Running Bug Farm -- mine is mostly used up and looking a little mangled
 

Revolution Organics Innocent Lip Gloss  
This is a great baby pink gloss.  It's very sheer, so ends up being a subtle, glossy 'my lips but better' colour.  As a bonus, it moisturizes my lips as well or better than a lip balm.  Seriously, if this was less expensive, I think I'd use it all the time, in place of lip balm!  My only complaint is that there are tiny beads of wax (you can see them in the swatch) that feel a little gritty when this first goes on, but within a minute or two, they melt and it feels smooth on my lips.  In Revolution's defense, this was left out on my front step by the mailman in the middle of last winter and ended up getting partially frozen, which likely is what caused this problem.
 
(L to R)

Silk Naturals Wistaria Butter Cream Lip Glaze
I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but Silk Naturals makes some of my favourite lip products.  Wistaria is a gorgeous pink with just a hint of purple to it.  On my lips I feel like it looks purpler than it does in the swatch.

(L to R) Darling Girl Sugar Plum, Silk Naturals Shangri-La, B. Koi White Gold, Silk Naturals Wistaria, Revolution Organics Innocent

B. Koi Cosmetics White Gold Eye Shadow
This is the dream highlight shade I never knew I needed.  It's a gorgeous shimmery cream with golden undertones that looks amazing as an inner corner colour.  It seems to fit perfectly no matter what other colours I'm wearing on my eyes.  Applied with a lighter hand, it also works really well for highlighting the cheekbones or other areas of the face - it's a bit shimmery, but overall it's got more of an iridescence and no chunky glitter anywhere in sight.

Darling Girl Cosmetics Sugar Plum Eye Shadow
Sugar Plum is a difficult colour to photograph!  I don't think it looks anything like the swatch on Darling Girl's website and it's only sort of true to how it looks in my swatches.  Darling Girl describes it as a 'metallic slightly pinked purple,' which is definitely true, but I also see a golden iridescence in it.  It works nicely with other pinks and purples and also with golds and browns.

Silk Naturals Shangri-La Eye Shadow
This was a gift with purchase with one of my orders, so unfortunately I don't think it's available to buy.  As you've probably noticed by now, I'm not the best at describing colours, but to me, this looks like a metallic black raspberry or a dark pinky purple shade.  I use it a lot in my outer corner or crease, but with different placement, I think it'd make a beautiful purple smokey eye too.

(L to R) Darling Girl Sugar Plum, Silk Naturals Shangri-La, B. Koi White Gold

And that's all we have for this month - all makeup, save one thing, but that's what really has stood out for me lately! 


         

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