review

February 2014 Favorites

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February is finally over, and I can’t say I’m sad about it. While I did have some great times last month (including visits from a few of my favorite people), I am entirely ready for this grey dreary winter to finally end. Come on March, I’m expecting sunshine and over 30 degree temperatures, please! Since February is the shortest month I have a pretty short list of monthly favorites, so let’s get started.

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ELF Blush Brush – I’ve avoided powdering my face at all costs during this dry winter weather, but without a little setting powder on the bridge and sides of my nose my glasses are doing a slip ‘n slide by the end of the day. This pinpoint powder application has left my much-loved big and fluffy Real Techniques Blush Brush in the dust, as I’ve found the smaller ELF Blush Brush perfect for the job. Its soft synthetic bristles and tapered tip are excellent at precisely applying powder to the undereyes, spots of concealer, or in my case, right around the nose. For just $3 this is definitely a brush to add to your collection.

ELF Blush Brush

ELF Blush Brush

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof in Blonde Ambition (06) – If you haven’t tried one of Sephora’s waterproof eyeliners yet you’re seriously missing out. Available in 35 colors of the rainbow, these $10 liners go on creamy smooth and set to a waterproof finish that won’t budge. Last month I loved wearing Blonde Ambition smudged under my lower lashline as a highlight or in my waterline to brighten up my eyes.

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof in Blonde Ambition (06)

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof in Blonde Ambition (06)

MAC Syrup – I’ve been in a serious love affair with NARS Damage lipstick for a few years now. It’s the perfect My-Lips-But-Better color and leaves me with a slight raspberry sheen that lasts all day. Sadly though my tube of Damage is nearing its last days, and while I’ve been savoring every last application I’ve also been on the hunt for a replacement that’s a little easier on the pocketbook. Enter MAC Syrup, a cult favorite that always looked too plain in swatches and that I continued to overlook when visiting the MAC store. I finally decided to give it a try though and was pleasantly surprised to find it gave them same rosy shine as Damage- hooray! While MAC lipsticks are hardly drugstore, they’re at least a little less expensive than NARS, so I’m happy about that. With its lustre finish Syrup seems to be quite a chameleon, so definitely try it on to see how it mixes with your natural lip color and compliments your complexion, I bet you’ll fall in love too.

MAC lipstick in Syrup

MAC lipstick in Syrup

Swatches of MAC Syrup (left) and Sephora Blonde Ambition (right)

Swatches of MAC Syrup (left) and Sephora Blonde Ambition (right)

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil – I received this heat protection oil in my February Birchbox and I have been obsessed with it all month. It acts as a great barrier for my dry ends when I’m heat styling while also imparting some moisture and leaving my hair with a delicious sweet scent. I believe this is a Birchbox exclusive product, so head over to their online shop and check it out!

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

There you have my little list of February favorites. If you tried any new products in February that you’re loving, leave a comment and let me know.

-LMC ♥

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New at the Drugstore: Wet ‘n Wild, Maybelline, Rimmel, & NYC

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New and limited edition Spring 2014 products have already begun to hit the drugstore shelves, so I’m here with a roundup of a few of the new products I’ve purchased over the past week. As I sit writing this and looking out the window at another grey, snow-filled sky, all I can think about is how completely ready I am for spring to finally arrive. While the weather certainly isn’t cooperating, these bright fresh makeup items are at least a reminder that spring is on the way– we’re going to make it!

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast nail color in Candid Affair (34360) and Sophisticated Lady (34359) – I think Spring ’14 is going to be all about shimmery pastel nails, so WnW is spot on with these  shades. There are six total limited edition Megalast shades in this collection which I spotted at Harmon’s, but should also be showing up at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid soon. It’s no secret that the Megalast formula is one of my favorites, and these two shades are no exception. Candid Affair is a pale shimmery lilac, while Sophisticated Lady is a frosty rose gold.

Wet 'n Wild Megalast polish in Candid Affair (left) and Sophisticated Lady (left).

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast polish in Candid Affair (left) and Sophisticated Lady (right).

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink – This shimmery peachy pink blush stick is part of Maybelline’s limited edition Dare To Go Nude collection that recently hit drugstores as well. Thought to be a potential dupe for the NARS Orgasm Multiple, this cream blush is a dream to apply, but is slightly lacking in pigmentation, even on my fair skin. For darker skin tones I’d say this would be a beautiful cream highlighter, and for me I think I’ll need to play around a bit more with the level of intensity I can build up. While it’s no NARS dupe, it is a great cream blush formula that has me wanting to check out some of the permanent collection shades.

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink swatched

Maybelline Master Glaze Blush in Barely Pink swatched heavily on the right and blended out on the left.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe (007) – Ever since reading rave reviews about the Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paints from British beauty bloggers I’ve been dying for them to make an appearance in the USA. Good news is the wait is finally over and these definitely live up to their reputation! If you’re a fan of the Maybelline Color Tattoos the Rimmel Paints will be right up your alley, as they have the same excellent versatility (worn opaque or sheer, as a shadow, base, or liner). Chestnut Taupe can be worn intensely for a beautiful metallic look or blended out with a fluffy brush for a more natural wash of color.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe 007

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint in Chestnut Taupe 007

Chestnut Taupe swatched heavily (right) and blended out (left).

Chestnut Taupe swatched heavily (right) and blended out (left).

Wet ‘n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony (129) – I’ve already shared my love for the WnW Balm Stains (here) so I decided to add another color to my collection. I was on the hunt for Rico Mauve, but when it was sold out decided to give Nudist Colony a try. I typically stear clear of nude shades as it’s hard to find one that suits my complexion, but I figured there wasn’t much to lose here as these balm stains retail for just over $2. I’m still not convinced that the brownish orange Nudist Colony is the right shade for me, but the next time I’m feeling like my look should include a nude lip I will definitely give it a go.

Wet 'n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony 129

Wet ‘n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony 129

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose (020) – As you can tell I can’t say no to a chubby lip crayon, so when a new NYC display popped up at my local CVS I picked up Riverside Rose to give it a test. Truth be told it’s a lovely pinky mauve that is a perfect My Lips But Better shade on me; however, I absolutely cannot get past its terrible fragrance. I’m not normally one bothered by fragrance in cosmetics, but the cheap, sweet, fruity scent of these NYC lip crayons are too much for me to handle. Definitely try these at your own risk, especially if you’re sensitive to strong scents in your makeup!

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose 020

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose 020

Wet 'n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony (left) and NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose (right)

Wet ‘n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony (left) and NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Riverside Rose (right)

Well there you have the newest additions to my drugstore makeup stash. So far I’m loving the Spring ’14 new releases and can’t wait to get my hands on the limited edition Maybelline Color Tattoos or the new Rimmel chubby lip pencils too. Let’s hope that rocking some of these fun spring shades will encourage the weather to get the hint!

Have a great weekend,

-LMC ♥

Birchbox- January 2014

Welcome back lovely readers to another monthly edition of Birchbox show-and-tell. Birchbox was very good to me in January, so let’s cut straight to the chase and talk some deluxe samples…

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Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Let me start off by saying that I’ve been dying to try this product since first hearing British beauty bloggers rave about its skin transforming capabilities. Then when I heard last fall that Birchbox would be offering exclusive Liz Earle sample kits I was over the moon, until month after month my box would arrive sans the cute little Liz Earle blue box. This month that all changed though and I finally got the chance to try what many claim is the holy grail of hot cloth cleansers, and (are you ready for it?) I was left disappointed. Perhaps it just couldn’t live up to its cult status and hype, but there’s no way I’d choose Liz Earle over my current favorite Boots Botanics balm (see love for that stuff here). The bottom line: it’s a good hot cloth cleanser with adorable packaging that doesn’t irritate the skin or sting the eyes, but if you’re looking for something to impart heavy duty moisture or break down serious makeup, I’d still reach for the Boots Botanics.

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy (Midnight Monarch scent) –  I’m loving the hand creams from Birchbox lately, and this version from Camille Beckman is no exception. It goes on rich and creamy and absorbs quickly so you aren’t left sitting around with greasy hands for an hour. The scent is a bit perfumey for my taste, but isn’t overly offensive and doesn’t stick around for too long.  A little goes a long way too, so this tiny pot should last me for at least a week or two.

Nelson j Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask – I suppose I should preface by stating that my hair is dreadfully over-processed and dehydrated, so it’s basically a miracle if I notice any sort of difference after just one use of a conditioning treatment. I definitely have no complaints about this argan oil, rosemary, and mint infused mask, it did the job and left my hair feeling moisturized yet non-greasy, I just didn’t work any magic so I probably won’t run out to buy the full size anytime soon.

Ruby Wing nail polish (Kitten Heels) – I wanted to love this little polish, after all my cat’s name is Ruby, and I love a good hot pink mani. I was even more excited to discover that while this polish goes on pink it morphs to a cherry red shade when exposed to sunlight– awesome! The polish went on smooth and fairly opaque (I didn’t use a base coat and it was fine, but I probably will next time just to help the neon pop a bit more) and hasn’t begun to chip although I’ve had it on for a few days. The only downfall is its color-changing claims, which I haven’t gotten to work! Granted, there isn’t much opportunity for sunbathing in New York City in January, but even on a sunny day while walking outside for 15-20 minutes I noticed  no change at all to the color. It’s a good polish though, so I’ll keep it in my stash and give it another go once summer rolls around.

Under Armour Braided Mini Headband – Thank you, Birchbox, this is just what I needed! I’m in the process of growing out an asymmetrical bob that’s pretty unruly, especially when I try to pull it back. This headband fits snugly and stays in place thanks to a rubber lining on the back of the fabric, and its bright colors and braided design pop against my newly darkened hair. When you compare this with lifestyle extras from past months (hello Chapstick and crushed pretzels?) it’s a HUGE win!

Overall I’d say this was a great month for Birchbox, with an excellent combination of products, all of which performed pretty well. I’m excited for what February has in store! Leave a comment and let me know what you got in this month’s Birchbox and how you’re liking your samples. Until next time…

-LMC ♥