Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil is Quick and Fabulous

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Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

When I ran out of my Anastasia Brow Wiz I wanted to try another brow pencil and I have heard great things about this one from both my readers and other bloggers/beauty obsessed people. I got the shade Dark Brunette after some swatching. One thing I will say off the bat, the colors are all ashy, which is just amazing. I am all about ashy brow products since I fell in love with the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow which is amazing in its ashy glory. I find ashy colors just look so much more natural on me.

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the spoolie

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the pencil

I love pencils for my brows since they are so quick and easy, but this pencil is especially quick. I find the double ended pencil and spoolie is just so convenient. You need a good spoolie when filling in your brows to help blend everything in. The spoolie on this pencil is really good one and super handy.

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the cool tip

The pencil tip has a unique triangle shape. You can use the shape to easily and quickly define arches, tails and the front of your brow. I find this pencil shape makes it especially easy to fill in my brows, its just so much faster than the traditional pencil shape. I will admit the triangle tip took some getting used to but, once I got the hang of how to use it, filling in my brows became super quick and easy.

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Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette

The formula is a bit waxy, so if you have pretty well behaved brows you won’t need a brow gel with this product. You can go from a subtle filled in look to a very full and bold brow with the product very easily thanks to the great tip shape. It also somehow still looks very natural and not thick or painted on.

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bare brow

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brows filled in with Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

I really enjoy using this brow pencil since the color, formula and, unique tip shape are all spot on. The pencil is geared towards quick and perfect brows. It makes it easy to fill in your brows while keeping them natural looking, which is kind of my dream brow product description.

You can get this brow pencil at Hourglass counters, online and, at Sephora for $32.

The rundown: A

Givenchy Le Rouge in 202 Rose Dressing Has Opened My Eyes

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Givenchy Le Rouge

I heard about this lipstick from another blogger, well actually, quite a few bloggers. It seems to be a high end lipstick favorite and I have to say I was mega curious. Sephora was (or still is since it was very recently) offering a sample of this lipstick in shade 202 for 100 points. I honestly would have taken it regardless of the color since I was just so dang curious about the formula at that point.

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Givenchy 202 Rose Dressing

The formula claims to be semimatte and long lasting, and it is both. I find it a very interesting texture, I actually haven’t felt anything like it before. Its almost powdery on the lips, but somehow not in a drying way. Its almost confusing, but its so good, I can’t help but like it. Its not drying. Even with the powdery (ish) finish. I find it can settle in lines in my lips but since the formula isn’t full on matte, it doesn’t make lips look dry.

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Givenchy Le Rouge in 202 Rose Dressing

I don’t know how to explain it. The formula is really unique. I’m kind of addicted. The shade range of these lipsticks is also phenomenal. The nude is just stunning and they have lots of great rose shades and a fabulous red (love). You might be able to tell, I’m scoping out the range for a full sized purchase of one of these. I’ve tried other high end lipsticks before, but this formula is by far the most unique (and in a really great way). The color is also just stunning. Rose Dressing 202 is a great bright pink for summer. Its beautiful.

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wearing Givenchy Le Rouge in 202 Rose Dressing

Overall, I love this lipstick. If you are into semimatte finishes, long lasting lipsticks (4-5 hours on my lips) and, are in the mood for a splurge I could not recommend these lipsticks more. They are worth it. You can get Le Rouge lipsticks at Givenchy counters, online and at Sephora for $36.

The rundown: A+

My Favorite Blushes for Summer 2014

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the blushes

If you don’t know already, I think this post will enlighten you. I am a blush fiend. A fanatic even. Certainly a blush lover. This past summer I have been all about the coral/peachy shades since I just love that look with bronzed cheeks and eyes. I think its just the perfect effortless summer look.

I decided to detail my love (in its many blush forms) so you know which ones have stuck it out. A large amount of blushes have hit counters this past summer but, these ones are the standouts for me.

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swatches from the left: Torrid, Lovejoy, Ginger, Peach, Plum, Streak

What kind of blush post would this be without NARS?! I have Torrid (coral with shimmer) and Lovejoy (rose/tan with shimmer) on my NARS lovin’ list. Back to the Clinique Cheek Pops (which I loved and still love). My big hitters are Peach and Ginger but when I am feeling pink I grab Plum (all blushes are satin/sheeny). The last blush I fell in love with is also here, its the blush in the Urban Decay Naked Flushed palette in Streak. This whole palette is just so good but this matte peachy/coral is just love.

What blush have you been loving this summer? Is there a shade you have gravitated towards (like I very obviously did, not much shade variation here)? What blush formula are you all about (side note, I am a NARS freak)?

L’Oreal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara is Just the Best

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L’Oreal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara

Lately I haven’t been happy with my mascara. I dunno, the lineup of open ones I have now are all new to me and none of them really wow me. When this happens, I go back to my failsafe mascara, L’Oreal Voluminous Full Definition.

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the brush!

This mascara is just everything I love in a mascara. It has a natural bristle brush. Its volumizing. Its super black. Its lengthening (some) and, it does not clump.

It checks all the boxes for me, and I always love my lashes when I am using this. They just look super dramatic since they are both longer and much fuller.

 

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bare lashes

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wearing L’Oreal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara

I feel like that picture didn’t do this mascara justice. Lets try again. Please note the fabulous volume and length without clumps.

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See what I’m saying? Much better.

This is my favorite, standby, go-to mascara. Its just perfect in my eyes. I have mentioned this mascara previously on this blog in favorites posts, but I haven’t reviewed it before.

You can get this amazing, amazing mascara at drugstores and Target and the like for about $9 (price can vary). Its a steal, its a winner. I highly recommend trying this the next time you see it if you love bold, voluminous lashes.

The rundown: A+ (and a favorite status)

My First Mani Monday – Essie Turquoise & Caicos

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Essie Turquoise & Caicos

I love this slightly off-mint nail polish colors. I mean, I like the whole mint thing, but sometimes I find it a little too bright. I tend to prefer colors that have a bit more grey tone in them so they look more muted on my nails. My favorite in this color category is OPI Mermaids Tears (it was sadly limited edition and, I am dangerously close to finishing it). This one by Essie is also (sadly) limited edition. Turquoise & Caicos is part of the Essie summer collection and if you are into off-mint polishes, I would snap this one up now.

I like Essie polishes, they last a good 3 days or so on my nails (which is pretty good for my nails). The picture above is with three coats (this shade is a bit sheer) but it doesn’t go on streaky, which is nice. My one big gripe with Essie polishes is the small brush. The brush on these things is so skinny! I have too much nail for that brush, but if you have smaller nail beds the small brush could be helpful. I always end up missing my big honkin’ OPI brush when I use Essie polishes. Thankfully, the formula is still great.

You can get this polish at drugstores, Ulta or Target for about $8.50 (prices may vary). This shade is available for a limited time as part of the summer collection, so if you like it, snap it up quick!

The rundown: B+

Some Staple Repurchases

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The Repurchases

I love reading/watching empties reviews since they are a really in depth review of a product. Usually the person I am watching/reading the blog of lets you know if they want to repurchase said product. I think a better testament to a product is if it gets repurchased. With all the new releases and tempting products, even if you find something you love it can be hard to go back to it.

I wanted to write a post on products I just keep repurchasing. I think its a true list of products I love and use. Even among all the new and cool products that come along, these ones always see me through.

1. Benefit Hello Flawless Powder. This is my third compact of this pressed powder goodness. This is for people who like powder, as it is a completely matte finish and medium to full coverage. It has great lasting power and oil absorption, so if you want those but not the powdery look, you can finish with a setting spray.

2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I love this stuff and this is my second tube. I don’t tend to go through base products very often since they are one of my favorites to try. I have way way too many foundations and concealers, but this one I use almost daily. It has great coverage and blends like a dream.

3. A Brow Pencil. This is a new version, but brown pencils are a staple of mine. They are my favorite way to fill in my brows since they are super quick in the morning. No need to fuss with a pot or tube and a brush (way too much work in the AM).

4. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. I am not kidding when I say I have all the colors these come in. I also have one in basically all my purses. I find that my lips just love this stuff and at the end of the day using them my lips are always in good shape. They can be deceiving if I haven’t used one in a while, but once my lips get over the initial “oh gosh its back we are going to shed all our dry skin”, they love it.

I am currently scoping out some new releases at NARS (the fall collection and some Bleecker products, thank you Bella for the recommendations!) and I am hoping to get some things from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this weekend (this weekend is going to be bad for my wallet). Gotta try out new products while loving the staples :)

Are you planning on shopping the Nordstrom sale this weekend? What are your staple products? Have a great weekend!

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow is my New Smokey Love

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NARS Malacca

NARS Malacca released this summer but is now a permanent shade in the NARS single eyeshadow line (thank goodness!). This shadow is kind of in the same vein as MAC Club but, I personally prefer it. Besides the great creamy, pigmented, no fallout formula that I love from NARS. This shadows has a more complex shift and the color has some great purple tones in it. The shadow is also one of those that looks different when you blend it out. So when you pack the color on the lids, its all shimmery emerald and then when you blend it out the purple and brown tones come out. This makes it perfect for a one-stop-smokey eye.

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NARS Malacca swatched on my NC/NW20 skin

I really love the tones and colors in this shadow. I think it will really complement all eye colors. It blends beautifully (that crease effect is killer, since it turns into a plummy brown) and lasts all day on primed lids (I always prime).

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NARS Malacca on my lid

I don’t know if you can tell, but I am completely obsessed with this shadow. This is going to be my go-to smokey eye shadow for a while.

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NARS Malacca on my lids

You can get this stunner of a shadow (so much love!) at NARS counters, online and at Sephora for $25.

The rundown: A+

 

A Bronze Polish, OPI Brizbane Bronze

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wearing OPI Brizbane Bronze

This polish first came out years ago as part of an OPI Australia (I think?) collection but has since made its way into the permanent line (thankfully). I love metallics on nails since they are still kind of a neutral but with a little more flair.

For the summer I love using bronzes on my nails and toes (toes are a great way to start if you aren’t into bronze on your fingers yet). Its the summery metallic. I get great wear time out of this polish at 3-4 days (I have ver chippy nails). I am wearing two coats above and I get opaque, non-streaky color (I have ridgey nails if you see lines above).

I really love this shade of bronze, it can lean cooler or warmer based on the lighting and your skin tone, but there are tons of gold sparkles in it. You can get this polish at salons that carry OPI and Ulta for about $9 (prices can varry).

What color polish do you love to wear in the summer? Do you like bronze polish? Have you tried it?

The rundown: A

 

Tanned This Summer with St. Tropez Tanning Mousse

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St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse

If you are like me and have a job inside a building (a nice place but, a building nonetheless) you don’t see much sun. I know I don’t. This summer I stepped into the world of self tanner to combat my pale skinned self. I have always been terrified of self tanner, mostly because of the possibility that I miss a spot or a pass and end up striped or patchy.

After looking around at the options I heard the most positive reviews of the St. Tropez mousse self tanner. I got the mitt to go with this. The deal is that you dispense some of the foam onto the mitt and then use quick, smooth motions to rub the product over your skin. This mousse dries quite quickly, so I would recommend using small amounts in small sections and just keep blending! Since this product has a guide color its very easy to see where you have distributed the product (which is extremely helpful).

My favorite part of this product is how quickly it dries down on the skin. After only about a minute (but I usually wait about 5) the product dries down and won’t rub off on clothes or sheets (so long as you don’t get wet). I like to apply this at night after a good exfoliation and light application of body cream (helps it blend). The next morning you wash off in the shower and you are tan (magic!).

Well, not really magic. This self tanner (and basically all others) cause a chemical reaction with the top layer of your skin. Since the reaction is on the top layer of your skin (which sheds off) the tan lasts about 3-4 days on me (length of time the tan lasts will vary by person).

This tanner will cause a different color tan on whoever uses it but, on me I find its a very natural golden tan. Its not orange or red but, a solid golden. Its also a light tan when you use it once (you can use it again before the tan fades to deepen the color). I do find that this doesn’t smell immediately after application but, it does start to after a few hours. It smells like Fritos (seriously). But since I apply at night I usually sleep through the smelly part.

All in all, this venture into self tanning with St. Tropez has been very nice. I did not see any streaking and the color faded evenly. I did not turn orange either (serious plus).

If you are interested in trying out a self tanner, this one is great for beginners (its pretty fail safe with the mitt). I really enjoyed the color and simple application. I have used this multiple times now and, I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to try self tanner for the first time or even a pro who wants to try a higher end self tan.

You can get this product at Sephora, online, at Ulta or Nordstrom for $42 for 8 floz.

The rundown: A (and sorry for the wordy post)