eye makeup

Tarte cosmetics giveaway! (International!)

Tarte cosmetics giveaway

ITS FALL, Y’ALL! I am soooooooo excited for the start of September! While I find something to love about every season, there’s no denying that autumn is my favorite. Pumpkin lattes, cozy scarves, and long hikes through autumn leaves—I love it all!

I know the official start of fall is still a few weeks away, but I couldn’t wait any longer to start celebrating. I’ve also been wanting to do a little giveaway to celebrate getting back into blogging. And finally, school is starting back up—and whether you’re heading off to school yourself or packing up your kids for another year of classes and activities, I bet you could use some new beauty goodies to freshen up your routine for a busy new season!

So, I’m giving away a bundle of beauty loot from Tarte! One lucky reader will win a Tarte Dream Big Eyeshadow Palette, Leave Your Mark Eyeshadow Palette, Maneater Self-Sharpening Liner in Black, Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara in Black, and Arch Architect Brow Pencil & Gel. The Tarte cosmetics giveaway is open internationally and will run through September 10th; you can enter as many times as you like using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product review: Dermalogica Precleanse oil and wipes

(Disclosure: I received samples of the products mentioned in this post for testing purposes; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Dermalogica Precleanse

What it is: Dermalogica Precleanse oil ($38/5.1 oz.) and wipes ($18/20 ct.). Available through major beauty retailers like ULTA or through the Dermalogica website.

What it does: This lightweight cleansing oil works to dissolve excess dirt, oil and makeup on the surface of the skin prior to regular cleansing, allowing your regular cleanser to penetrate more deeply, resulting in a deeper, better clean. The wipes are biodegradable and travel-friendly.

I tried it: I feel like the best test of any “precleanse” or makeup remover is what I like to call the “classic Hollywood face”: foundation, liquid liner, mascara, and of course matte red lipstick. These precleansers took it all off with ease, allowing me to move on with my regular cleanser (which isn’t designed to remove makeup, especially around the eyes).  I usually use coconut oil to remove heavy makeup and I think that these were definitely less messy,not to mention they left behind less residue. Neither irritated my skin or eyes.

Final thoughts: A couple of things keep me from totally loving this duo: first, the price, and second, the long list of less-than-natural ingredients. It’s true that these precleansers are a little less toxic than some others on the market, but they still contain ingredients like phenoxyethanol and a handful of parabens, so they’re not as “green” as I’d like. (You can view the full ingredients list below.) I do have to admit that they’re much less messy than natural oil and if you have nut allergy concerns then these might be a more attractive option. For performance I would give this product a 10/10, and overall a 6/10.

Ingredients: Oil: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (To-mato) Extract, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Decyl Olive Esters, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben. Wipes: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Mentha Viridis Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium PCA, Sodium Benzoate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Citral, Phenoxyethanol. Dermalogica is listed on the Leaping Bunny website as a bunny-friendly company.

Product review: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons

Happy weekend everyone! Today I’ve got a review from the vault, as it were, for one of the items I picked up as part of my birthday makeup haul. Hard Candy products have always been kind of hit-and-miss with me but I was really curious to see how these jumbo shadow pencils would stack up, and at just $6 apiece they seemed like a worthwhile gamble. Read on for the review and swatches!

The product: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons; $6 at Walmart stores

The claim: Twelve hours of waterproof wear. Creamy color that won’t budge, fade, or crease.

Ingredient notes: I don’t have the packaging for these, but I do remember that they contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. However, Hard Candy does not test their products on animals, so they are suitable for some vegetarians.

I tried it: I’ve been searching for hot pink and purple shadow pencils for a while, but didn’t really want to plunk down the cash for Urban Decay’s pencils. I was hoping that these would be a suitable dupe at a lower price point, and from the swatch on my arm (above) they look gorgeous! A little skippy perhaps, but pigmented and very budge-proof. The purple is, thank heavens, on the warm side–not the standard bluish-purple, which is fine I guess but just not really up my alley.

I decided to create an exaggerated wing with After Hours all across my lid, and use Pink Lady as a liner and accent on the lower lid. Right away, I ran into problems: these pencils skipped and dragged horribly, and there was virtually no color payoff. It took a lot of work to get a decent amount of color onto the lid, and good grief it hurt. I’ve never had to press so hard with a pencil that it left my eyelid sore! Obviously from the look I posted here, working out the edges of this color was difficult and in the end I was left with a pretty oddball look. Oy.

Once the color is on, it stays put, which is awesome…but it’s so hard to get the color on in the first place, it’s just ridiculous. These pencils are beyond dry, even after sharpening off the top layer. I just don’t get it, because I’ve seen other bloggers use them with better results. These are the polar opposite of the NYX shadow pencils; whereas those are so creamy they smudge and crease like no tomorrow, these are so dry you can barely apply the color.
 
My final thoughts: I really hesitate to say that these are bad pencils per se, because as I said–other bloggers whose reviews I trust seem to have not had the same issues that I did. So with that in mind, I’m willing to say that perhaps I got old pencils or pencils with a bad formula. But I definitely wouldn’t repurchase or recommend these. I’m thinking I will find some way to use them, perhaps by crushing up the crayon and mixing with another formula to create something creamier, and then applying with a brush. But man, what a disappointment! I guess my search continues…

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild Tough Girl eye shadow and nail polish collection

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true–we’re halfway through September already! Who authorized the days to fly by so quickly?! Not me, that’s for sure! LOL.

Well, since it’s a new month…I have a new giveaway for you guys! I was lucky enough to scoop up the full Wet n Wild Tough Girl limited edition eye shadow and nail polish collection. There are six shadow trios and six textured (yes, textured!) polishes in this collection. Scroll down for close-up shots of each.

Entry is simple: just leave a comment telling me which of these shadow.polish combos you’re loving the most! You can earn extra entries by following me and sharing the giveaway on social media, but please remember that if you do not complete the mandatory comment entry your extra entries will be invalid. Because of shipping restrictions on nail polish this giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States and Canada only. The giveaway will close at 11:59 PM PST on September 25th. Please read through the full giveaway rules (click “terms and conditions” on the bottom of the Rafflecopter widget) before entering! And good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, on to the closeup shots of these lovely items. Each of the six shadow trios coordinates to one of the polishes. First we have a trio of rose and peach shades called Spoiled Army Brat, with a rose cream polish called Fatigue Glam.
Support Our Troops is a trio of black, grey and white shades and is paired with a grey cream polish called Tough Girl.

I Don’t Do Camouflage is a trio of blues with a bright cobalt blue cream polish called Left, Left, Left, Right, Left.

Soldiers in Charms, a trio of olives and greens, is easily my favorite of the bunch. Atten-Hut! is a shimmery olive polish.

Zero Dark Flirty (great naming, that) is a trio of rich purples paired with a slightly shimmery purple polish called Beauty Is A Battlefield.

Finally we have a trio of khakis and browns called Enlisting For Beauty, which actually comes with a bonus MegaProtein mascara (the mascara is not vegan, FYI). The shimmery champagne polish is called Femme Trouper.

Product review: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Eye Shadow

Another product from my birthday haul! I have wanted a budgeproof teal shadow for some time now and thought I would check off two objectives by also trying out a new product: a creme shadow from Hard Candy. Read on for a full review and swatches.

The product: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Shadow, $5; shown here in Tidal Wave. Available at Walmart stores.

The claim: From their website: “Vibrant, long wearing crème eye shadow lights up and enhances eyes. Our groundbreaking hybrid formula has a soft cushion texture that allows it to be worn as eye shadow or eyeliner. This crease proof, stay put formula is blended luminous, multi-colored pearls that provides glamorous evening looks. Available in 10 gorgeous, vivid shades!”

Ingredients:  Isodocane, mica, polyethylene, tribehenin, isohexadecane, polysilicone-11, isobutylmethacrylate/bis-hydroxypropyl, dimethicone acrylate, copolymer, dimethicone, silica (in gold and green shades), C13-15 alkane, phenoxyethanol. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, manganese violet, ferric ferrocyanide, carmine, ferric ammonium ferrocyanide.

Ingredient notes: Hard Candy products are not tested on animals and this appears to be vegan. These products are made in the USA. This is chock full of strange chemical names, but most seem to have a fairly low toxicity.

I tried it: The packaging is a basic small plastic jar with a screw-on lid–nothing fancy. This shadow is incredibly dry, which I did not expect. I had to use a cotton swab to dig it out of the pot and apply it on the lid, and then used my fingers to blend it out. In my opinion a brush just won’t do the job. You’ll also want to use a cotton swab to shape and blend the edges of the color very quickly before it sets, because once it does, it’s budge-proof. I think the drier texture–while a total pain in the butt during application–helps it last longer with out creasing or slipping on my oily lids.

Here is the look I put together using this shadow for my main allover lid color. I used my mini Hard Candy Meteor-Eyes baked shadow in Bad Reputation on the inner corner, around the outer corner of the eye and up across the crease to soften the edges of the teal shadow, and then along the lower lash line. I used a pop of peachy shadow under my arch. I lined the upper lash line with the Milani Ultra Fine Liquid Eye Liner in Black Vinyl and lined the lower lash line with my Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero. I’m wearing Hard Candy Flat to Fab black mascara in these pics, and if it’s starting to look a bit droopy–that’s because I was wearing it all night!

This shadow is pretty vibrant. It works best if you apply a thin coat and then possibly a second to build up the color, or top it with a matching powder shadow (though I don’t own any powder teals). Despite gripping your lids all day, it does remove fairly easily with waterproof eye makeup remover, and does not stain the skin. Because it’s so budgeproof, it works great as a liner.

My final thoughts: This shadow is just kind of “meh” to me. I guess I like the overall end result, and it’s hard to find cheap, vibrant vegan shadows, but I just wish the texture wasn’t so dry and difficult to apply. I think I would possibly consider purchasing more shades in the future, but I’m not rushing out for more at the moment–I’ll be looking at some other brand options first.