Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Will E.L.F Wrinkle Refiner Turn Back the Hands of Time?

I just crawled out from under a pile of school books and flashcards to post this quickie review of E.L.F Wrinkle Refiner.  In case you missed it, I am part of an intensive training program which will keep me away from blogging through early Dec. I will sneak in a few, so I don't feel like a total slacker.

E.L.F  Wrinkle Refiner is a type of product that you always wish would work, but never really does.  But E.L.F prices are so reasonable that I figured I may as well try it.  As I mature, I find my biggest concern are the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes (WEAR SUNGLASSES...Seriously Yo.) So I really wanted this product to work.

Here is my before.  You can see I have one deep under eye wrinkle that absolutely infuriates me.  It's amazing how eye makeup finds it's way into that wrinkle and just zips across my face.  Even a slight diminishment would impress me.

 Here is my after.  So this stuff does exactly what it says it does.  This absolutely smoothed out my fine lines and wrinkles..a little too well...ingrate, I know.  This made my undereye so smooth that the rest of my face kinda looked haggard and weird.  Hard to explain, but the smoothness really stood out.

I also noticed a few side effects worth mentioning.  The product itself is the consistency of any eye serum you might buy, like Olay Regenerist, things like that.   After putting this on (you don't need much) my undereye felt tingly.  Not burning or hot, but tingly.  I felt swollen, which makes sense since it was plumping the lines, but it almost got to the point where I felt my vision was ever so slightly disrupted.  My lower lids felt puffy.  The side effects would not keep me from using this, but I feel some sensitive skin people may feel differently.

The lasting power varied.  The first time I used this it looked very smooth and full for maybe 15 minutes. After that the wrinkles came back.  However, I used this another time and the effect lasted several hours.  I feel like I used the same amount, but perhaps not.

Final Thoughts

This does exactly what it claims, but I think the undereye appearance it provides is not natural, at least not to the people who would be really excited to try a wrinkle minimizer.  If your skin is smooth, but you have a few lines, I bet this will please you.  If like me you have lines and some crepeing of the skin, then you may need to pass.

Where to buy: Target and other E.L.F retailers
Price: $3.00

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Purple Peepers..BFTE Edition!

So, all of a sudden I love purple.  This was something I tried to resist, but just like my summertime "Orangefest" Autumn is heading into the "Purplezone"  Today I am sharing some BFTE purples I recently picked up.  With over 50 purples to choose from, I should be able to stay busy.

Speaking of busy.  As I've mentioned before, I am part of an eight week class for a new position I am taking at work.  Between full time work, part time school and Mommyhood, something has to give.  Until mid December, it is going to be blogging.  I hate stepping away from something I enjoy so much, but I have too much on my plate.  While I won't vanish, my posts will be greatly reduced.  Once I pass my certs, I will be back with an ever growing mound of pretties to share with you.


Spiced Gumdrop

Spiced Gumdrop is a mauved rose with green sparkle (so much prettier in person)


Precious is a rosy lilac  (applied a bit patchy, more so on swatch then on eye)

Belle of the Ball

Belle of the Ball is a dark matte purple  (MUST HAVE)

Blackberry Sorbet

Blackberry Sorbet is a orangeish rose base with a strong lilac reflect

Love Potion #9

Love Potion # 9 is a deep rich aubergine with purple sparkles (MUST HAVE)

Final Thoughts

BFTE has a really broad variety of purples, red based, blue based, hell one is even orangey based.  Spice Gumdrop is way prettier in person and one you should not pass up. Belle of the Ball is one of the nicest mattes I've used and makes a spectacular smokey eye.  If you like sultry, intense colors, Love Potion #9 is gonna do you right.

Where to buy: Beauty From the Earth
Price:  Samples $2.00 Full Size $6.50

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Get Purple Peepers w/ Shiro Cosmetics

I live in the coolest place in America.  We are home to multiple amazing indie cosmetics brands, including Shiro Cosmetics.  I was turned onto Shiro by the blog  After reading a few reviews and seeing her swatches, I knew I wanted more.

These were actually the first shadows from Shiro I tried, not sure why I didn't review them sooner. 

Reverse Psychology

Reverse Psychology is a crisp grape purple with green shimmer and sparkles.

Task Force
Task Force is a dark purple/wine color with rose glitter.

Final Thoughts

These are both great shades for the purple lover in you.  They have a very nice formula and wear fantastic.  I don't think either of these are particularly unique or noteworthy, but they are solid and worth trying.

Where to buy: Shiro Cosmetics
Price: Sample (1/4 tsp in baggie for $1.00), Mini (1 gram for $3.50) , Full Sized (2 gram for $5.00)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wonderful Fall Colors from BFTE and a Personal Update.

Checking in for a quickie swatch post for some browns I snagged from BFTE.  Some of you may be aware, my posts for the next 8 weeks will be abbreviated and somewhat sporadic.  I am in an intensive training program following a promotion at work.  So any post I can get up will be brief and swatchy.  I seriously need to get through a TON of BFTE...not even close to kidding about that.  Damn!

Here are some browns.  Enjoy!


Baked is a light shimmering golden tan


Moonwalk is a mushroom over an orangish base


Cocoa is a medium taupe over a slightly redtoned base

Bat Wing

 Bat Wing is a deep rich shimmering golden brown with gold sparkles


Rogue is a shimmering rusty brown with blue sparkles

Final Thoughts

Another stellar group.  Standouts here are Bat Wing and Rogue.  Bat Wing is a staple for those who like a golden yellow toned brown.  It is rich and beautiful.  Rogue is a new color from BFTE and it does a great job of bridging the gap between their reds and browns.  The blueish sparkles are a fun touch.

Where to buy: Beauty From the Earth
Price:  Samples $2.00 Full Size $6.50

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup: 9/29

BFTE and the Bold Blues

Blues are so hard for me, I love them in theory, but it is the color I think makes me the most uncomfortable.  I think everyone has that color which feels weird to wear.  I have two, blue and pink.  However, I love forcing myself outside my comfort zone, so I am working my way through some of the gorgeous blues offered by BFTE.

BFTE currently has over 50 shades of blue to choose from, so light or dark, navy or baby, there is something for everyone.  When I do wear blue, I like the deep, dark indigo end of the spectrum, so that is where I started.


Insomnia is a black base with a navy blue reflect and sparkles

Patriot is rich matte navy blue, similar to brand new dark wash jeans

Indigo is a matte indigo blue with subtle silver sparkle.  Reminds me of a starry night

Black Listed

Blacklisted is a charcoal base with generous amounts of blue sparkle.

Blacklisted and Insomnia are very picky colors.  When used over Too Faced Shadow Insurance they were very patchy and sparse.  However, when applied wet?   Daaaaaamn.

Insomnia bottom, Blacklisted Top applied wet

You can foil both Blacklisted and Insomnia or use them wet to make dramatic, stunning liner. 

They also play well with sticky bases, like the Whip Hand Eye Creme in Thermal I reviewed here.

Final Thoughts

I am nearly 100% happy.  I wish Blacklisted and Insomnia were better on their own, without needing that extra oomph to get them going.  As eye shadows I wouldn't buy them again, but as liners I absolutely would.  I don't think you can find many user friendly liners with payoff that even comes close to these two shadows.  Patriot and Indigo are must haves, especially for those looking for a new was to dress up the classic smokey eye.  BFTE mattes are some of the best I've used and these are no exception. 

Where to buy: Beauty From the Earth
Price:  Samples $2.00 Full Size $6.50

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Must Have Eye Shadow Base: Whip Hand Cosmetics Eye Creme in Thermal

Over the last month you might have seen me mention finding my absolute favorite eyeshadow base, Whip Hand Cosmetics Eye Creme in Thermal.  It is high time I share this amazing find with you!

Whip Hand Cosmetics is line of premium-quality cosmetics developed and produced in Detroit.  Whip Hand advocates confidence, strength, independence, intelligence and personal style.  I've followed Whip Hand from the beginning and I love sharing their phenomenal products with others. 

I've tried and loved Whip Hand Lip Cremes, Blushes, Shadows but nothing has me as excited as Thermal Eye Creme.  I suffer from horribly oily lids and this lead me to try numerous bases and primers, in hopes of controlling creases and fades.  Lately my base of choice is Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  While it does a great job of stopping the creasing, it does very little to amplify and boost pigmentation.  The best product I've used for amplifying color is Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy.  Pixie Epoxy  is great for boosting color, but I can't blend at all once the color is down, so I really only use it as a glitter adhesive.  So what now...

This is a swatch of Whip Hand Eye Creme in Thermal.  In the pan Thermal is a creamy white with gold sparkle.  Once you apply this to the skin, it is essentially transparent, leaving behind a faint dusting of golden shimmer.  So what does this product do?  It makes bad shadows good and great shadows AMAZING!  I've compiled a series of photos to show you what this product is capable of.  I hope you are all as excited as I am!

Transforming low pigmentation

I picked up a few of these Fresh Mineral shadows on clearance and was totally underwhelmed.  Dry, hard, no pigmentation.  I had no use for them, until I found Thermal.  Check it out.

The top swatch is Wondering Eyes over Thermal, the bottom swatch is Wondering Eyes over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  Pretty amazing change.

Here is another example using the recently released E.L.F Disney Villain Palettes which suffered a serious lack of pigmentation.

Top swatch is Peddler's Cloak over Thermal, the bottom is Peddler's Cloak over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  Again, pretty amazing.

I picked up a few BFTE  blue glittery shadows recently that we unremarkable over primer, but look great wet.  I wondered how they would look over Thermal.

Top swatch is Blacklisted over Thermal, the bottom is Black Listed over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  Wow.

So we've seen how Whip Hand Eye Creme in Thermal can overcome a lack of pigmentation.  So what does it do for great shadows?  Here are my Whip Hand Loose Pigments swatched over Thermal.

Whip Hand Pigments on their own are luxurious and very pigmented, but even these great shadows benefit from the quality of Thermal.

Rocket over Thermal

Crush over Thermal

Shift over Thermal

Blacklight over Thermal

Wash over Thermal

How does it work with Mattes?

The only reservation I had about the product was using this with a matte shadow.  Since there is gold sparkle deposited on the lid, I was afraid it would conflict with mattes.  Here is what happens.

This is BFTE Mississippi Mud over Thermal.  Thermal leaves the mattes finish 99% intact.  If you click on the photo and look at is closely, you can see a minute trace of sparkle, it is not visible on your eye.  I've found other sticky bases can pull the matte apart and leave it looking patchy and gross.  Not Thermal.

Application and Blending

Thermal comes in hand poured 3oz pans that fit all standard palettes.  It is easy to use, work the product with you finger to warm it up, this makes it easy to apply across the lid.  With more pigmented Eye Cremes like Corset, I apply the shadow with my finger and buff it a bit with a brush.  With Thermal you can skip the buffing, since it applies transparent.  A little goes a long way so a pan is going to last.

The final thing that takes this product from amazing to legendary is the ability to blend shadows after placing them over Thermal.  Earlier I mentioned how hard it was to blend shadows used over Pixie Epoxy.  In my experience, once that shadow hit the Epoxy, it is locked in place and nothing short of brute force or an act of God is going to blend it.  A few times I glued my eyelid to my brow bone, which is always attractive. Thermal is the exact opposite.  It grabs the color, it pulls out the shimmer, shift and nuance just like Epoxy, but you can still move the shadow around.  I never feel like my color is in lock down.  You can blend and soften the color as needed, in most cases, without losing the complexity the product provides. 

Even with this flexibility, it keeps your shadow in place, free of fading and wandering.  I love using this under my eye since it keeps my lower lid shadow from migrating onto my cheeks.  I can't say this product leaves me entirely crease proof, but it is close.  I still use Too Faced Shadow Insurance under Thermal to combat creasing.  If you are prone to creasing, I suggest you do the same. If you have dry lids, not naturally prone to creasing, you are going to be just fine. On it's own, Thermal keeps me 80% crease proof, which for me is good.  When used with Too Faced Shadow Insurance, it is 99.9%  My color looks exactly the same 8 hours after application. No fade, no crease, no migration. 

Do you see why I am in love??!!!!

Whip Hand has over 20 colors of Eye Cremes to choose from, I own four and they all perform just as well as Thermal.  But if you would like to try one out and you want something that works under every color and every finish, get Thermal.  You will not be disappointed.

Where to buy:  Whip Hand Cosmetics
Price: $9.00

Whip Hand Cosmetics has free shipping with no minimum within the US, International Shipping does not exceed $10.

Please note, these products are hand poured so there may be imperfections in the surface of the product (the product above was poured a little over full and some stuck to the lid) it has no effect on the quality of the product.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Goodbye to Summer Look (Ode to Orange)

Today I wanted to do a bright, punchy look and I rediscovered my favorite orange/yellow combo.  I wore a similar look throughout the summer.  I believe orange and yellow do not get the love they deserve!

Products Used.

Lid: BFTE Desert Sand
Crease/Lower Lid: Shiro Cosmetics Moltres blended with  MAC Dreammaker
Liner: UD Zero blended with BFTE Wizard's Wand
Mascara: Clinique High Impact

Which colors do you think are under appreciated.?

BFTE and the Elusive Duochrome.

I am about to do the impossible....photograph bigfoot a duochrome!  I've held onto these shadows a criminally long time working on photographs that would do them justice.  I was going to swatch them over a black base to show the effect, but I never wear them that way, so I will try to show you the shift au naturale. The following is a break from my usual format and constitutes serious effort on my part, so you better like it!

The three shadows I am showing you are Dew Drop, Mermaid, and Splash.  Dew Drop is a deep rosey pink with a golden green shift.  Mermaid is a golden lemon yellow with a strong green shift. Splash is a powder/baby blue with a green gold shift.

Here is another picture of the shadows in their "natural state"

Here are the shadows...looking shifty.....


Yet more shifty.

The base you choose will dictate the amount of shift from subtle to OMG my blue shadow is now green!!!  BFTE has a great selection of these shadows listed on their site under Duotones. I've never met a duochromes I didn't like, but Mermaid is one of the most useful and stunning duochrome colors.  If you are new to BFTE duotones, I would start with Mermaid, you can also check out the Two Faced (Duotone) Get the Look Set, which includes Beautiful, Dew Drop (pictured above) and Riddle.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Can Revlon Just Bitten Balm/Stain in Romantic Break My Losing Streak? my track record with lip products lately has been pretty damn lame.  I've spent close to 40 dollars on lipsticks with roughly the same pigmentation as Chapstick.  Things have got to change!!!

I've walked past Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm/Stain hundreds of times.  But, I walk past thinking "Fool me once....."  Well, I caved.  But just this once.

I looked at a few shades, but I have a thing for red so ultimately I decided to try Romantic.

Romantic is a sheer tomato red.  It glides on easily and leaves your lips moist and glossy. 

Romantic is a great shade for people who don't feel comfortable rocking a full out dramatic red's also a great summertime alternative to the red lip (sigh, Summer, why u no last longer?)

Final Thoughts

About freaking time I buy one of these balm/stains that actually has some color!  As a tinted balm I think these are great.  I love lipgloss pencils and that is exactly what this reminds me of.  As a stain?  Meh.  It does leave a slight trace of color as it wears off, but it also has a tendancy to bleed and feather, which I do not enjoy in a stain.   The wear time of this for me was about 2 hours.  This is not a long lasting formula. 

I would absolutely buy more, however, I recommend using a primer or a a product like E.L.F Lip Lock to keep your glossy color on your lips.

Where to buy:  Drugstores
Price: $8.00 *Look for Revlon Coupons, you can easily save $1+ on Revlon items