Review: NYX Lip Suede Cream Lipsticks

NYX has been teasing us with photos of their offering to the matte liquid lipstick trend, Lip Suedes, for weeks on Instagram and many beauty bloggers have been sharing their excitement as well.  Well, it worked.  I was hooked.   I love NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Creams so I was excited to see how NYX’s new offering to the liquid lipstick game would be.  When I saw NYX’s Instagram post that the Suedes were out, I went right to the website and ordered 5.  I’m not alone, because they quickly sold out online.  I’m not one for crazy lip colors so I got a lot of the basics: Soft Spoken, Tea & Cookies, Vintage, Cherry Skies, and, to branch out, Amethyst.  I don’t know where I’ll wear it, but it was a pretty color.

I couldn’t wait to get them, swatch them and see how they wear!  The first night, I did a marathon try-on session.  First impressions, I like the applicator.  It’s very pointed and allows precision application.  You can easily trace the outline of your lips.  I was surprised that they seemed a bit sheer, as you can see in the pictures.  I really had to layer the color to get a full coverage.  I think the original matte lips creams cover better.  They did dry quickly to a soft matte finish.

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Tea & Cookies

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Soft Spoken

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Cherry Skies

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Vintage

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Amethyst

The next day, I tried on “Soft Spoken” with the NYX lip primer, which I love!  It helps it go on smooth and stay on.  Soft Spoken is a nice neutral, but looked more brown than I thought it would.  With the primer, I still had color holding at the end of 8 hours after eating and drinking all day.  It was a bit faded, but still hanging on without touch ups.

Next, I tried “Vintage,” but sans primer to see how they held up, not so good.  I have noticeable fading and smudging, especially in the center of this lips with eating and drinking.  Also, on me, Vintage was very vampy.  It looked like a very deep purple, not the rich red-brown I thought it would.  Next, I put “Cherry Skies” to the test.  Again, this one was darker than I thought it might be, more of a deep brick-red, but was very pretty.  It seemed to wear a little better than Vintage, but still came off throughout the day.  Reds always have a tendency to stain a bit more.

"Vintage" after a few hours wear

“Vintage” after a few hours wear

 

"Cherry Skies" after wear

“Cherry Skies” after wear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, the colors are pretty and vibrant.  The finish is a nice matte, but not drying which is great!  A little tacky at first, but that dries down with wear.  I wouldn’t say the Suedes are waterproof as NYX claims.  They do wear longer than your average bullet lipstick, for sure, but not as well as similar liquid matte lip products I’ve tried such as the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick.   They come off on glasses when drinking or smudge if you touch them.  If you’re okay with touching up and cleaning up edges throughout the day, then these are a great bargain.  But I like the original Soft Matte Lip Creams better!  They give better coverage and wear just as better or longer.

Have you tried the new NYX Lip Suedes?  What did you think?  How do they compare to some of your favorite lip products?

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Mascara Face-Off: Stila HUGE vs. Urban Decay Perversion

I love a volumizing mascara.  What’s the point of puny lashes?  I’m so excited to see a wave of super-sized mascaras hitting the market!  I loved Urban Decay Perversion when it came out last year, so much so, I bought a second one; something I rarely do with mascara since I’m always trying new ones, but the new Stila Huge Extreme Lash sounds like it poses a threat.

I’ve been using the Urban Decay Perversion mascara for a few months, and liked it a lot.  The formula is a little wet, so I actually like it better when it gets a week or so old as it dries a bit.  It gives insane volume, but it is a bit clumpy.  It’s great to layer with something more lengthening, but gives a dramatic overall lash on its own.  If you like a super-black, thick lash, this is your new favorite mascara.

The Stila is a new arrival, and is much hyped.  They had me at “huge.”  It is a great volumizing mascara.  It doesn’t give a lot of length, but does give soft fullness.  It’s not overly defined, but can get easily spidery if you layer it too much.  It’s good, but not a stand out in any way.  Pretty average volume, average length.  Although I’m not floored, I’m pretty happy with it, except for one thing, it’s a little smudgy!  It gets a little black under my eye throughout the day.  I don’t have that problem with the UD one, and it gives more drama, so the UD wins this battle!

 

 

Stila HUGE - a little spidery

Stila HUGE

UD Perversion

UD Perversion

Stila Huge Lash

Stila Huge Lash

UD Perversion

UD Perversion

Unboxing Sephora Haul

I’m a sucker for promotional emails.  Free gifts, discount codes; you’ve got me.  So last week, I received a Sephora email announcing a new 500 point gift.  I spend a good amount at Sephora.  I’m on year two of VIB Rouge, so I have quite a few points in the bank, and for the most part, they stay there because I never really like the gifts.  All the more reason to be excited when I saw a special Clarisonic set!  I quickly headed over to Sephora.com and took a look at the items I had hanging out in my cart.  I poked around on the New Arrivals section, added a couple more things, and checked out.  Two-day lightning shipping, and my box was here.  Here’s the breakdown:

Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in Black Honey20150731_13522820150731_07234820150731_135105

 

 

 

The color really drew me to this mascara.  The thought of the classic Black Honey deep burgundy shade in a mascara was intriguing.  The color was very pretty, but had the effect of a brown.  The brush was okay, but it left my lashes pretty “skinny.”  Unfortunately, after a day of wear my eyelids were red and irritated along the lash line.  This one was returned.

Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow

20150801_192911Sadly, one of the two shades was crushed and crumbled.  I returned it to Sephora only to find they didn’t carry that shade!  Boo hoo.  The one color that remained in tact, Synergy (“a metallic bronze”).  I was hoping for a foiled, high shine finish, given the name and some swatches I’d seen, but no such luck.  It’s a pretty bronze shade, but its not very metallic!  It had a subtle sheen, but wasn’t as bold as I’d hoped.  I feel like the finish would come out more on a deeper skin tone.

 

BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Concealer

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This concealer comes in an easy to apply crayon form and is packed with natural acne fighting ingredients.  Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with acne very much anymore, but I still get the occasional blemish here and there.  I found this to be a pretty light coverage and was so creamy, it didn’t really stick, but moved around.  Overall, I don’t think it covered very well.  I didn’t use it long enough to speak to the acne benefits because I wasn’t happy with the short term results.  Returned.

 

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

I’m not normally a liquid foundation wearer.  I have a long term love affair with mineral foundation and couldn’t imagine wearing anything else.  I like that it’s lightweight and looks natural.  So, when a liquid foundation claimed to do the same, I had to check it out.  I was pleasently surprised it lived up to these claims!  It applies easily, covers well with one layer, and wears well throughout the day, but still manages to look very natural.  I don’t feel heavy, like a mask, or get cakey as you wear it.  I also don’t find that it oxidizes and gets darker, which is excellent.  The only problem that I have with it is it’s a bit yellow.  Even the “Porcelain” shade I got is a little warm-toned.  I’ve heard this criticisim in a lot of other reviews as well, but I’ve also heard there are more shades coming in a couple months!

TooFaced Born This Way after 10 hour wear

TooFaced Born This Way after 10 hour wear

TooFaced Born This Way on the left side

TooFaced Born This Way on the left side

July Subscription Boxes: Ipsy, Popsugar, & Target

I’ve only been doing Ipsy for a few months, but I’m usually not thrilled with the boxes.  I usually get stuff that I don’t really use or have already tried, or it’s been poor quality.  So I was thrilled this month to get a bag that had some pretty great finds.

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Bronzed!

The Bella Pierre lipstick is not a color I will probably wear, but everything else is great.  The lip balm is super moisturizing.  The Cook Way sea salt spray is pretty good.  A highlighter and eyeshadow is always useful.  And the bronzer!  I’m super fair, so I’m not usually a bronzer person, but this Tarte bronzer is soft and natural.  I would buy the full-size product when I run out.

 

 

 

This month also offered an opportunity for the seasonal Target Beauty Box.  It’s the best $5 you can spend.  You can try some great products that are affordable and easy to purchase if you like them.

20150720_223125This month’s box included an Herbal Essences dry oil spray, a full-sized mascara, hair ties, Yes to Cucumbers wipes, a pumice stone (always handy), a full-sized lip gloss, and fashion tape.  Just one of these products could cost $5, so it’s a great deal.  The only down-side is that the box is only available quarterly and you can’t subscribe.  You just have to be on top of it, and buy one as soon as they are posted.

My last box of the month is the well-curated Popsugar Must Have box.  Here’s a closer look at all of the full-sized products in the box for just $39.

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The Good Bean bar

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A Henri Bendel cosmetic case

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Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Wipes

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Sorial card holder

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Portable electric toothbrush

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Supergoop SPF Setting Mist

 

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Hallmark Signature stationary

Reviewing Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser

I love cleansing oils!  I’ve been a long time devotee, so I’ve been thrilled to see them gaining popularity recently.  Anything that “melts” or “dissolves” just beckons to me.  Nothing removes makeup better and doesn’t over-dry, even when following with a second cleanser, so I had to try Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser.  It’s not a typical cleansing oil, which made me even more intrigued.

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I’ll tell you, from the first time I used it, I realized I should have stuck with my old faithful oil.  This product is awful!  I’m surprised it has a four star review on Sephora.com.  It’s the consistency of hair gel, and leaves a waxy film on my face, even after rinsing.  You definitely can’t just rinse it; you have to cleanse with a washcloth, toner or second cleanser.  It also doesn’t remove all my makeup.  I am left with black smudges under my eyes.  I’m very disappointed, but I’ll be sticking with my beloved cleansing oil.  I probably won’t even finish a jar of this stuff.

My Accutane Journey

I recently completed an 8 month course of the infamous drug, Accutane.  In my mid 20’s, it was like a switch flipped in my body.  My metabolism stopped dead, and I developed severe cystic acne.  Thanks, hormones!  I had never really broken out.  While my friends struggled through our teen years, I used some Neutrogena on the occasional zit and got through, but my luck ran out as an adult.  I went to a dermatologist pretty early on, hoping to get a handle on it quickly.  I went through years of trying different treatments including topical retinol-based products (made me very itchy), oral antibiotics (didn’t work after several courses), spironolactone (supposed to decrease testosterone and balance hormones. It didn’t work for me, and I experienced side-effects), and finally several courses of chemical peels and laser treatments.  I would see short periods of time, up to a year, where my face would improve and be manageable, but then it would come back with a vengeance.  After trying literally everything else, I finally gave in to my derm’s pleas to try Accutane.  I had heard so much negative hype that I was kind of afraid of the side effects, but I couldn’t take it any more.  My only regret is not having done it sooner.
I should preface this by saying I’m not a medical professional, nor is my experience guaranteed to be the same as yours.  With that said, I do recommend it.  Now, it was definitely a pain in the butt.  I had to get lots of blood work, and practically sign my life away before I started.  Due to the side effects, mainly the risk of very severe birth defects if you take it while you’re pregnant, they are very careful to monitor you throughout the process.  Although it was annoying and time-consuming, it gave me comfort to know that they were keeping a close watch.  Some people experience elevated triglyceride  levels so they watch for that, as well as liver function and other basic things.  The most common side effect is dryness, and when I say dry, I don’t mean you need to use a thicker moisturizer in the winter dry.  I mean cracked, bloody nose, scaly rough patches, eczema-like rashes, hair breakage, very chapped lips.  Now, I’m normally a dry skin type, so I’m used to dealing with this, to an extent.  I used extra moisturizer diligently and only used cleansing oil on my face and was fine.  They tell you not to really use anything on your face, and they aren’t kidding.  You have to bench your benzoyls and salicylics.  No peels or other treatments.  No waxing, and not just on your face.  You have to be very gentle with everything you use, or your skin will revolt against you.  It was kind of strange at first to simplify my routine so much, but it was kind of liberating to not have to apply 3 treatments products every night, do masks on a regular basis, and be so cautious about what you put on your face to avoid a potential break out.
The dosage is based on a mathematical formula to ensure you get a certain amount over time based on your weight.  You may get a dose based on a factor of one half, 1.0, or 1.5.  I started out on the 1.0 course, but had delayed results.  It took me awhile to see a significant improvement, so I had to extend my course a few months.  After almost 9 months so chapped lips and twice daily meds, was it worth it?
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Yes!  Definitely, yes.  For me, acne wasn’t just esthetic; it was painful!  My face was swollen and irritated.  Not to mention, I work in the beauty industry, and I wasn’t feeling very beautiful.  So now, 9 months later, my lips are recovering and my skin has never looked better.  Now, just to keep it that way.

Reviewing OPI Color Paints

I thought nail art would be over by now, but it’s still going strong!  Not that I can do it!  I’m just recently able to paint my own nails without making a mess and that has taken me years.  So, I was pretty excited to hear about the new OPI Color Paints.  They were advertised as an easy way to achieve nail art looks.  I was sold!

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The formula is like a watercolor nail polish, slightly translucent.  Think of the gels used in stage lighting.  Alone, they provide a tint, but they can be layered or blended to get bolder colors or change the tones.  The collection comes with a metallic silver base that makes the colors really pop.  I’ve played around a bit, but I’m not creative when it comes to designs.  They look cool, but you still have to the work.  Even when I just throw something on, though, I always get compliments on my nails when I’m wearing them.  People think I’ve had them professionally done or that they are Jamberry wraps, so I guess they look better than I think.

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I purchased the sampler set from Ulta that came with 5 paint colors plus the silver base coat.  The small sizes are perfect since you’re not painting your whole nail, and it’s probably not something I will use all the time to justify having a whole bottle of each color.  Of course, as with all beauty trends, other companies have jumped on bandwagon like Sephora’s Infinite Ombre set.  Have you tried any of these new polishes?  What did you think?