It’s time for a new Makeup Wars and I’m excited about this one. I can’t wait to read what the other bloggers have chosen as their SPLURGE vs STEAL items. For my edition I decided to stick with neutral palettes since they are so popular. Urban Decay Naked palettes started the craze with Too Faced Chocolate Bar and Chocolate Bon Bons following. At $54 and $49 respectively it’s hard to own all the ones you are interested in…. so here comes the steals.
I read this type of article often in magazines and the first thing that comes to my mind is the question of Quality. Yes, two items may look similar, but is the steal something you’d want to wear/use? I have made sure that my steals are ones that I can recommend without question.
URBAN DECAY is the brand that I believe has led the way into the neutral revolution. They have excellent marketing and know how to get the word out with some cutting edge products. Just look at how they’ve promoted the Gwen Steffani items! People are going nuts over them. Also their Naked palettes don’t go out of favor. When I was pulling this together I realized that I can’t find my Naked Basics and Naked 2. Just because they are older doesn’t make them any less relevant and now I’m thinking about purchasing them. I looked to see how to compare my ‘steals’ to my Urban Decay and Too Faced. I hope I’ve succeeded.
NYC Cosmetics has a new collection in collaboration with Demi Lovato. I received several items that I’ll be reviewing in full and I’m loving them. This $6.99 palette LOVATICS BY DEMI is incredible and a perfect match for the original URBAN DECAY NAKED PALETTE. $6.99. vs $54. Now that’s what I call a Splurge vs Steal. When you find this at Walmart, Target or wherever NYC is sold, grab it before it’s too late.
These two are so close that I can blindly reach for either to achieve the same looks. This is a $54 vs $20 Splurge vs Steal except that Ulta’s palette is always on sale and you can use their coupons. This particular week all ULTA products are buy 2 get 2 free, last week this palette was $12.
There are 32 eyeshadows in MAKEUP REVOLUTION’S AFFIRMATION PALETTE. This Ulta exclusive is $15 with BOGO 1/2 currently going on. It’s also available with the $3.50 coupon that Ulta advertises. I had to seek out two palettes to match up with the AFFIRMATION palette because it has so many versatile shades.
Urban Decay Naked Smoky contains these shades: champagne shimmer micro-glitter, medium bronze, metallic taupe iridescent micr-glitter, metallic silver taupe tonal sparkle, light metallic gray, medium charcoal micro glitter, jet black satin, deep plum taupe, cool taupe matte, rich brown matte, soft pink taupe and light beige satin. Look at the above picture – recognize those shades?
Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons contains these shades: matte mauve, cool greige, matte suede, matte plum brown, gilded rose, electric fuchsia pearl, cherry cola shimmer, satin nude, smokey sapphire, deep metallic amethyst, gilded cocoa, metallic taupe, metallic cocoa bronze, and matte warm cream. You can find duplicates of all these shades in the Makeup Revolution Affirmation palette too.
While I love my Urban Decay palettes I shudder thinking about how much money they’ve cost me. Makeup Revolution USA Affirmation isn’t as pigmented as UD and TF but I end up with the same colors and looks. I’m the only one that knows that the Affirmation palette costs a fraction of the other too.
Last is the Covergirl trunaked Nudes palette which is a beautiful rendition of a nude palette. The colors are exactly what you need to create daily looks as well as smoky eyes. The palette sells for approximately $12.99 but you can find sales on it. Currently at Ulta it’s $11.98 with a BOGO 1/2 on Covergirl products. I have been blown away by the color and quality of this palette.
I think these steals are pretty fabulous and the true definition of Splurge vs Steal without compromising quality. What’s your favorite steal? – Marcia
*NYC, Covergirl, Makeup Revolution received for editorial consideration, others are self purchased
This week Makeup Wars is about Beauty Tools that we love. I have quite a few that fit that category but I’m going to talk about one in particular: MiniMD by Trophy Skin. The MiniMD has won me over and I think it will win you once you see what this is and what it does.
MiniMD is the smaller version of Trophy Skin’s RejuvadermMD Dermabrasion System. The MiniMD is the mini handheld microdermabrasion system that you can easily use on yourself to have younger and more radiant skin at home. This is perfect for me since I hate going out for appointments especially in the winter. This is not only a time saver but it’s a skin saver. I’m crazy about this. This takes approximately 5 minutes to use which is nothing in the scheme of things.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Inside this box you’ll find the MiniMD apparatus, a Diamond Tip for exfoliation and a set of 30 Black Wool Filters. The apparatus comes complete with the Diamond Tip attached. There’s also one of the black wool filters inside. This system is so easy to use even if at first it looks difficult. The hardest thing for me was to figure out where the filters went. I didn’t realize that I had to unscrew the diamond tip in order to place the black wool filters. I feel silly for that but maybe now you won’t have that problem.
What makes the MiniMD unique is the 100% Crystal Free Natural Diamond Tip for exfoliation. This isn’t a crystal tip so it doesn’t cause irritation or undue redness. The Diamond Tip sloughs away dull skin cells and primes your skin for the products that you use and love. Trophy Skin sells an Argan Oil Anti-Aging Serum which I haven’t tried yet but I’ve been using my current skincare serum and it’s working just the way it should.
You can start using your MiniMD within minutes of receiving it. It’s powered by electricity so you plug it in, push the power button to turn it on and go. BUT I do advise reading the booklet first.
The number one thing you need to know is that you should start on Low for the first few times you use this. After your skin is used to the MiniMD then hit the power button a second time to adjust it to High. You can readjust the power for different parts of your skin too.
The second thing you need to know is that it takes a total of 5 minutes to do your entire face. Even after several weeks of using this I still don’t go over any area more than twice.
Number three is to only use this 2 – 3 times per week. I’ve been using it twice a week and I find it especially helpful on my nose and chin where I get flaky.
Keep the Diamond Tip flat on your face to keep the suction working. Whenever I stop I can feel it pulling on my skin. It’s inevitable that this happens to me several times when using this so it’s not a big deal – but it’s when you can really feel what the MiniMD is doing.
When I’ve done all the passes I want to on my face I turn it off and use the washcloth that I’ve used to cleanse with and go back over my skin. You’ll find that you need to remove all the dead skin that has been exfoliated. You can also do this with a toner but I prefer to wipe it off first with water, tone, then serum and moisturizer. My skin can feel a little dehydrated after using this but that’s all the better to soak up my skincare and make it more effective.
When finished replace the wool filter. The wool filter looks like it does nothing but it does two jobs. It keeps the motor clean so that dust etc doesn’t accumulate. And it picks up the dead skin so it doesn’t go back into the machine. You can purchase a set of 30 for $15, they’ll last you 3-4 months depending on how often you use your MimiMD.
So why do you want to try this?
*It’s only $99 for everything you need.
*You use this in the privacy of your home when you feel like it.
*This is known to help with pores, fine lines, wrinkles, age and liver spots, sun-damaged skin, acne scars, and uneven skin tone and texture.
*The MiniMD can be used on your face, hands, feet, and neck. (I’m going to start using it on my hands for sure).
In a 6 week Trophy Skin Microdermabrasion Clinical Trial
- 80% experienced decreased wrinkle depth
- 95% had softer, more hydrated and refreshed skin
- 85% had less noticeable blemishes
I’m thrilled to be using this and I’m noticing a difference. One of my goals this year is to work on my pores and fine lines and the MiniMD is the way to go. Exfoliation at home for 5 minutes several times a week to help me with anti-aging? Color me happy. — Marcia
*sent for editorial consideration (all opinions are my own), affiliate links
Join the others to see what has blown them away as much as MiniMD has with me.
<!– end InLinkz script ?
Welcome to Makeup Wars or as I call it this week, Spending Wars. I splurged over the holidays and many new products ended up at my home. I’d be taking pictures forever and a day if I showed you everything so instead I’ve chosen two brands, Viseart and Tom Ford Beauty, that I’m most excited about. I did go overboard but I “needed” these. Didn’t I??
Last year Tom Ford came out with a limited edition Boys & Men collection. I admit I bought even more last year than I did this year but I couldn’t resist. These are small lipsticks and probably not worth the $35 each but I just had to have them. I prefer wearing lipstick and Tom Ford lipsticks are my favorite ever. They have a slight vanilla fragrance that I don’t really notice at all. They are moisturizing and I feel like a million bucks when I wear my TF lips.
“Tom Ford Lip Color is filled with rare and exotic ingredients including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil to create an ultra-creamy texture with an incredibly smooth application. Specially treated color pigments are blended to deliver pure color with just the right balance of luminosity.”
Austin is a light coral with a slight metallic finish. This is a combination of peach & pink and I find it very versatile.
This is actually my second Flynn. I bought it last year, fell in love with it, wore it a LOT but was afraid to wear it more. Once it was brought back I had to buy another. Now one is constantly with me while my newest one can live at my vanity. On me Flynn is a light pink that’s neutral. There is a little touch of peach so that it’s not a bubble gum pink. Different lip liners can change this up so it can look perfect no matter which blush I’ve chosen for the day.
Jude is my pink of the group. This is a cool, blue based pink. It’s not too light and it’s not too dark so it must be just right!
Justin is different than any of my other Tom Ford lipsticks. It has more depth to it than I usually choose. It’s a purple based pink that I’ve seen described as fuchsia but it doesn’t turn bright on me.
If you want to see swatches of all the Lips & Boys Lip Colors visit my friend Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog for her great description and awesome photos and swatches.
There were some great sales on Viseart palettes but even without a sale these palettes are the cream of the crop. They are a splurge at $80 each but the quality is unsurpassed. I prefer their satin palettes to their mattes but I still indulged in two matte palettes since I know how outstanding these are. At some point I’ll have to give in and leave my beloved satins behind so when that time comes, I’m ready.
I have (and reviewed) a similar palette to Sultry Muse, it was a gift from Lisa and my first experience with Viseart. It stopped me in my tracks. The shades in Sultry Muse are mostly neutrals with a few shades that pop. The brown tones are my favorites, especially the top row. But there’s also a rose gold, silver, and charcoal w/blue undertones that make this quite unique. Viseart shadows practically apply themselves, that’s how smooth they are.
Of all the Viseart palettes this is the one that truly shines. I question the name “bridal” only because most makeup artists that I’m friends with use a very subtle eye look on their brides; this is far from subtle. I’d call this “Rehearsal Dinner Satin”. Some of the shades look similar to Sultry Muse but they are just variations. Bridal Satin is brighter, more vibrant and is a palette to wear any time you want to look your best. The shades are both warm and cool making it quite adaptable. Satin eyeshadows from Viseart have a small amount of shimmer to them. If you pat them on you won’t get glitter, you’ll get shine.
Neutral Matte is the palette I’d use on a bride. It amazes me that these are mattes in the way they perform. They are silky soft and glide on without any patchiness. The hues are in the warm range with shades of beige, bone, brown, taupe plus an orange, black and charcoal. The only shade I can’t personally wear is the orange one in the second row.
Dark Matte is darker than my picture shows, my lighting isn’t the best, although the photo with all 4 palettes is more accurate. The shades are livelier than Neutral Mattes and is a great companion piece. Dark Matte is more a a cool neutral palette. The oranges in the middle row are much easier for me to wear as they are softer. If I had to pick only one of these two matte palettes I’d get the Dark Matte since it works better for my coloring and preferences.
What do you think of my splurges? Would you use your hidden money to buy any of these? What about your own splurges? Will you share? — Marcia
Please join my friends in Makeup Wars to find out what these bloggers have taken the plunge and bought!
Makeup Wars has chosen a favorite topic for me this time around — nail polish. I’m the blogger that bit my nails for most of my life. And not just bit them but kept at them until they bled. I considered it a hobby (not really but it felt that way). When I decided to stop biting it was because I wanted a French Manicure. It took a long time and a lot of broken nails to get my nails strong enough to have that french mani but guess what? I hated the look on me. Then I turned to red and pink polish and wore the same ones over and over and over again. When the dark nail fad became real, I changed and now you can’t stop me. I’ll be the woman in the nursing home with neon or holographic or glittery nails loving every minute of it.
Back to the topic of winter polishes!! I’ve found some beautiful ones this winter and wanted to share some of my favorites today which means KBSHIMMER. We were lucky enough to receive the polishes and I do mean lucky since there’s nothing like KBShimmer for quality and color.
My blog partner Lisa shared these with you:
Pictured here are Coal in One, a charcoal gray holographic polish that is one of my favorites for this winter. It glistens with micro glitter. Next is Kind of a Big Dill, a fabulous glitter loaded polish with micro and medium size glitter. This is perfect for Christmas (and for St. Patty’s Day). Smoke Signals is the one to wear by the fire with its orange, red and aqua glitter in a very light gray base. Claws and Effect is my very favorite polish from this collection. I knew once I saw it that I needed it. This is a navy holo with teeny holographic shimmer. I love it in all lights but it’s very special in bright light. Chilly Pepper is Christmas red personified. It’s a beautiful creme polish that wears and wears. Fleece Navidad is the sleeper of the group. It looks like a light silvery gray polish but it comes alive on nails with blue micro flakes and holographic glitter.
Six more to admire!
sELFie has the best name. I just love how clever it is. Here’s another green but this one is more glitter laden. It has a heavy load of glitter and is textured. I think it’s best with a white or green base and then one thick coat of sELFie over it so it doesn’t get too thick.
Oh Holo Night (another fab name) is a top coat with heavy glitter and silver and blue holo mini stars swimming among holographic blue and silver hex glitters. It stands out best over white but has an unusual touch when worn over a dark shade too.
How Corn-y was inspired by Indian Corn with a light creamy yellow base and lots of colorful glitter in fall shades of burgundy, red, orange and gold.
Yule Worthy is a beauty and not what you normally see. The glitter in this absolutely shines. Move your hands and you’ll see micro metallic flakes that look prismatic. The base is a brown burgundy crellie/flakie.
KB Shimmer’s Owl Miss You is the most office appropriate – as long as your office doesn’t mind stunning hidden glitter that is. This has a very soft neutral beige base but within it is the beauty of gold and copper flakes.
Brrr-tiful Dreamer is gorgeousness!! The base is a crellie that is a muted grape with grey that’s loaded with aqua, sliver, purple and fuchsia glitters.
KBShimmer polishes are $7 for creams and $8.50 for holos and glittery shades. They are worth every penny. Beauty Info Zone will soon be having a giveaway for the last 6 polishes so be sure to come back with your wishlist!
I had a lot of polishes to share with you but these are the ones I’m craaazy about for winter. I hope you are too. — Marcia
Let’s check to see which other bloggers have some beauties to share.
* sent for review consideration
For Makeup Wars today we are sharing our favorites for holiday beauty. For my post it’s the products I recently used to go out for a special dinner and that I’ll be replicating on Thanksgiving when someone else (hallelujah) is hosting a very elegant dinner. Come along and see what my special items are.
During Sephora’s F&F sale I treated myself to a Surratt Beauty Relevee Eyelash Curler ($30). I already own lash curlers and use one daily or my eyes disappear, but the hype on this was so strong that I needed to try the Surratt one. It has its pros and cons but for me it’s mostly a pro.
I feel like my lashes are curled better than ever without having any crimps in them. The curl seems to last longer too. The problem with this is that it’s black and my eyelashes are very dark so it’s sort of a game using the lash curler. I can’t see if my eyelashes are in there straight so I just wait til it feels comfortable and squeeze; move it again and squeeze. So far so good.
As an eyeshadow base I used Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Eyeshadow in Champagne*. This is one of the two liquid eyeshadows sold together on QVC ($34). I love both shades and wear them when I want some gorgeous shimmer that won’t wander – ever. On my non-oily lids I don’t need an eyeshadow primer since this does the job.
The swatches are applied heavily but on my eyes it becomes a sheer wash of color. My powder eyeshadows become even more vibrant and long lasting when using these as a base but these cream shadows are great all by themselves too.
Right now I have a crush on Lorac Pro Metal Palette ($28). I bought this after seeing a review on Beauty Junkies Unite and knew it had to be mine. I love a high shine and these 8 shades do it right. Quartz is very white on me which is why the Wander Beauty base is better for my brow bone. I love Gilded‘s gold on my lid and Graphite‘s golden taupe in my crease. The palette in general though is fabulous with Rose Gold, Onyx (dark charcoal), Amber (copper), Clover (golden khaki), and Cobalt (navy). These shadows are like silk. This is limited edition so if you love these kinds of shadows be sure you check it out.
Youngblood Luminous Creme Blush in Taffeta is my favorite blush ever. I use up just about nothing cosmetic wise but I’m on my second pot of this. It’s a go-to blush for me that I feel is the perfect pink for my skin. I really didn’t think it could get better until Jennifer Bradley The Glow Stick ($28)* came into my life.
The Jennifer Bradley Glow Stick is a light pink cream highlighter that can be used on cheeks, face and eyes. It’s got a luminous quality without a single drop of glitter or shimmer. It feels almost magical when applied. This comes in a plastic tube with a wand ball applicator that makes it easy to apply. It doesn’t migrate on my face. I’ve used it on my browbone, over a blush and on the cupid’s bow of my mouth. While it’s subtle, it gives a twinkle when you move your head certain ways or in some lights. It’s the perfect strobing product for people who want the glow without the fuss. I store mine upside down in a lipstick holder and shake it just before use.
Smashbox’s Brow Tech Gloss Stick ($21)* brings a new dimension to my quest for good eyebrows. I follow a blog (If Makeup Could Talk) and she always has the most amazing brow look. I never could figure out how to get my brows to look glossy like hers. I didn’t want anything sticky.
Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick is the answer to my question. This wind up brow stick comes in 4 shades. I was sent both Taupe and Brunette. I can use them both but it’s Brunette that really gives me that special look. These are glossy without being over the top. They add a beautiful, non-sticky sheen to my eyebrows while filling them in well. I save these for nights out so that I can feel special when I’m trying to look my best.
Of course there’s more to it than these 6 products but this is gist of my favorite look lately. I feel it’s holiday ready and ups my everyday face to something more special. Each of these are products I can highly recommend.
What are your favorites for holiday party looks? — Marcia
*products were sent for consideration, rest are personal purchases