November 29, 2010

November 2010 Favorites & Not-So-Favorites

Hello, Beautiful!

I can't believe November is nearly over and I haven't made a November Favorites post yet! This month has flown by in the blink of an eye, and I don't see December being any less crazy. I'd like to pretend that I have a ton of time to do swatches right now, but I just don't. Please forgive me if this post references past posts too much or is without new photos.

Before I get started, I want to quickly mention two important things:

#1: Today is the last day of the Cyber Monday sale at Hundreds of items are marked down at super low prices that will expire at midnight tonight!! You can also earn up to 16 FREE items with your order. Visit the website for full details. Shop before the sale is over!


#2: The Ears To You fundraiser is almost over (ends tomorrow). Use the code EARSTOYOU to save 10% off your order (no minimum purchase required) and help support this great cause. I'm sure we'll host another Ears To You fundraiser in the future, but we don't know when. Please participate in this fundraiser so we can help them expand to hospitals and cancer treatment centers in your area. Full details on our fundraiser (and what you'll receive) can be found by clicking here.

Alright, onto my November favorites....

Products I love for November 2010

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation

I'm impressed. Seriously, this has quickly become one of my new favorite foundations. The price is great (averaging $7.99 at most stores). They have a shade that works for me, although there are definitely no shades for those with deeper skin tones. The coverage is medium to full, with the ability to layer for greater coverage (this layers seamlessly). It's moisturizing, as it has a built-in primer. I still need to use a concealer with this foundation, but I probably could get away with not using a concealer if I really worked on layering this correctly (or if my skin would just behave for once). I don't need to use a setting powder with this foundation. It dries quickly and lasts all day. It will start to fade by bedtime, but who cares because by then I'm ready to wash off my makeup. I'm absolutely head over heels in love with this because of the price. My husband is too, because he's used to me buying $30 to $50 foundations. He understands my need/want for makeup, so he doesn't complain (too much), but he jumps for joy when I can find a $7.99 foundation that I actually love. I jump for joy too :)

Review & swatches posted here.

Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation

Yes, another foundation on my November favs list (I actually tried out about 7 foundations this month). I am out of my samples that I originally purchased, so it's time to buy the full sized version of this amazing foundation. And by the way, one sample has lasted me about 6 full uses on my face!

Even though I really love the Rimmel foundation, I find myself wanting to use the Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation all the time. It's so quick and easy to get a flawless complexion. And again, the coverage is wonderful!

Review & swatches posted here.

it Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer

I only tried out one new concealer this month. I picked it up after seeing it on QVC for about a minute at the end of its presentation. I had no real clue if it would be good or not, and I kind of purchased this blindly (I did no researching). I have to say, this may be my new favorite concealer. The coverage level is wonderful, but what I love the most is how non-drying this concealer is. It looks natural on your skin and covers all your imperfections. I plan to do a full review and swatch post soon.

Laura Geller Champagne Spackle

I don't like many Laura Geller products, but I do love her Spackle (which is her version of a makeup primer). I have the tinted spackle, which is bronze tinted, but I only use that in the summer. Then I see she comes out with the Champagne Spackle and I had to try it. It's BEAUTIFUL! It has such a pretty pearly champagne glow... yet it still works as a great makeup primer. I will do a full review with swatches on this product soon, but I highly suggest you try this out!

My new Maxx New York purse

I don't have a photo of it (yet) but I'm absolutely in love with my new purse. I love purses, but I'm not one of those people that buys designer bags. I don't own a Coach purse, not even a knock-off Coach purse, I've never paid more than $85 for a purse (although I do have one Kate Spade, which I won from a radio station several years ago). Most of my purses come from Target, any clearance rack, TJ Maxx or Ross.

However, my last Target purse purchase left me totally frustrated. Although I loved the look of it (an eggplant purple with zebra lining and plenty of space), the straps never stayed on my shoulder. Plus, I not only wanted a purse with a zipper top, I found I needed a purse with a zippered top. I can't even tell you how many times my purse has spilled out. I've lost medications that way too. It's just not good.

Since I was so frustrated I decided to do a little more QVC shopping and browsed the clearance section. I stumbled upon a Maxx New York Triple Entry Satchel that I just could not pass up. The color I chose was "rose", a pretty pink (looks red in the online photos) - although I kind of want it in black too.

This purse holds everything... and I mean EVERYTHING! It doesn't look like it would hold it all, but somehow it does. It's very sturdy too. I love all the individual pockets, including the two on the outside of the purse, which I use to put my phone and glasses when I'm going in and out of stores. But most of all, I love that it's all zippered so nothing will ever fall out again (or get wet in the rain). Even though spending $73 on a purse is almost three times the amount I would normally spend, I don't regret my choice and I'm very happy with my purchase (now if only I could get my husband on board with the purse price).

Not-So-Favorites for November 2010

Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation

Can you tell I tried out a lot of foundations this month? I was excited to try this out again for the second time. All I remembered from the first try was the color wasn't right, but the coverage was there. I ordered this in M30, which looked too dark online, but since M20 was too light (the shade I ordered a year ago) I figured this would work. Nope, still too light (and very yellow - like a butter yellow). The coverage is still there, but now I remember what I didn't like about it. It's too dry. For a cream compact it's not all that creamy. It's hard to warm up with a brush, sponge, or your fingers. It's stiff to blend on your skin and it shows off every dry and flaky patch your skin may have. As much as I wanted to like this again, I think I'm going to give up on this product. Back to Sephora it goes.

Smashbox Mega Palette

I ordered this from QVC, although you can find the same thing at Ulta and other stores (just a different layout so they can claim it's exclusive to them). The first thing that turned me off was before I even opened this palette I had brown powder all over my fingers. Upon opening it, brown powder was everywhere. I found out that one of the brow powders (the only shade that would work for me, the brunette shade) had broken and gotten all over every single area. Then, the brushes included were awful. The tops came off from the handles within seconds (not even using it, just picking them up). The colors and selection in this palette are no where near what Smashbox quality truly is.

This is such a cheap palette - it even has that cheap makeup palette smell. The pigmentation of the shadows were lack luster, again, the same as all the other giant makeup palettes (like the ones Sephora and Ulta create). The brow wax wasn't even the same - this was pink tinted, and it's normally a beige look to the brow wax (which, of course, goes on clear). The blushes are that cheap makeup palette colors - barely there colors because the pigmentation is not there, so they describe them as "soft colors" to make them seem favorable. The cream liners aren't that great either, not up to the same quality as their regular cream liners. The glosses are worthless too. Not to mention if I were to actually clean up the palette most of the product would be gone because the brown brow powder is all over everything. I've been meaning to return this to QVC... actually, I'll go pack that up right after this blog post because it needs to get out of my life. I just hope I'm within the return window so I'm not stuck with this!

Lack of Sleep

My insomnia is back and I'm starting to really feel the effects. I'm worn out, I'm tired, and I want to get back on a normal schedule. My problem is I have so much going on that I feel very overwhelmed with everything. I find that I can get things done once everyone is alseep, but then I work all night and I'm so tired all day (and still have to work). Last night I tried to go to bed by midnight... but that did not happen. I was in by at 4:30am and up at 7:30am to take my son to school. What's worse is I'm out of Red Bull!! I swear, I just can't function without it! I'm not a coffee drinker, so Red Bull is my only means of energy (since regular soda does nothing for me).

So there you have it, my favorites and not-so-favorites for November. I will do my best to make proper blog posts this week with swatches, reviews, tips, tutorials, etc. but don't be surprised if I have to pull from the archives yet again. Not only do I have a lot of work to do (both with and home related projects) but I also have my grandmom here visiting, so I need to make time for her too. On top of that, my husband is sick so I expect him to be out of commission for a few days. Once the next batch of inventory is up on the website then things will calm down. I hope to have it all up on the website by Sunday night, which means Monday is going to be a day to prop my feet up and relax!

I hope everyone is doing great and had a wonderful weekend! Have fun shopping all the great Cyber Monday sales! Don't forget about!

November 24, 2010

Too Faced products (many): Swatches & Reviews

Hello, Beautiful!

Just two reminders before I begin my review and swatches of several Too Faced products.

Now onto the review and swatches...

So today is another day that I need to pull from the swatch archives. My son did go back to school today, but today is a half day of school so I don't have much time to work before he gets home. My house is still a complete mess, but I always seem to get things done one way or another.

Since I've been pulling from the archives a lot lately I decided I'd post a bunch of products in one post. A bit of a swatch over load. These swatches are from the Too Faced Decade of Glamour kit, which is one of my favorite kits (although I barely use this kit). I don't know if you can buy this kit anymore, but I'm sure you can find most of the individual products. Along with the swatches I'll post a mini review of each product. Enjoy!

This is what the kit looks like from the outside. It opens into several sections.

Too Faced Beauty Balm in Pink Grapefruit
This is a pretty pink lip balm with shimmer. It's creamy and applies smoothly. I really like the color and I thought it was a good balm; meaning I felt it moisturized and protected my lips.


 Too Faced Bauble Gloss Ring in Pop
The color looked like a shimmery deeper nude brown, which I thought may look pretty if it went on sheer enough. Upon swatching this I realized it is very sheer, almost without any color; just lots of shimmer. I didn't really like this product, not in color or consistency. It was nothing special.

Too Faced Eye Shadow
I like Too Faced eye shadows. They're nicely pigmented, apply nicely, blend easily, and look pretty. Out of the six shades this kit included I'd probably only wear four. I don't like green eyeshadow, so I'll never use Astro Turf. The Zsa Zsa shade is another shade I probably won't use unless I have a very specific brightly colored look. I love the shade Label Whore - probably my favorite out of all six shades. Pixie Dust is a pretty color, as it Lovey Dovey, but I have a lot of shades just like them. The shade Ooh and Aah is a pretty one, but I love all gray and silver toned shadows.

Too Faced Exclusive Bronzer (Spring 2008)
I don't know how much of a "bronzer" this bronzer really is. I would say it's not a bronzer at all, but rather it's a highlighter. As a highlighter I think this is really pretty. The four shimmery shades blend together perfectly for that pretty glow. You have that pretty golden pink, then you have a butter yellow, then a silver beige, and finally the golden bronze. I don't use this as much as I should, simply because I don't pull this kit out all that often, but I know if I had this by itself I would probably use this very often. I just like the glow it gives my skin. I use this mainly as a blush or to the tops of my cheek bones. You can also use these shades as eyeshadow.

Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Love Bites
Eh, I don't know what to think of this. It's hard to determine the consistency of a gloss when it's in palette form. I didn't really like how this went onto my lips; it wasn't even and it still looked spotty in areas. I'm not a big fan of this shade; it's a little darker than my typical taste in glosses. Over all, this was not a winner for me. I haven't used it and I wish it wasn't in this set so I could give it to someone who would make better use of it.

Too Faced Gossip Gloss in Sabotage and Tattle Tale
Again, it's always hard to tell the true consistency of a gloss when it's in palette form. However, with that being said, I liked these glosses and I felt they applied nicely to my lips. I like both shades, which was a surprise to me because Sabotage is a purple-pink shade and normally I would never go for a purple shade of anything for my lips. But I found it went on so pretty and it opened my eyes to what purple can look like on lips! Don't knock it until you try it! Tattle Tale is a really pretty nude shade.

Too Faced Juicy Jewels in Vanilla Ice
I didn't really like this duo, and again, it could just be because they're glosses in a palette form. The colors themselves are pretty, but the cream color (the one on the left in the swatch photos) didn't apply evenly. The shimmer color is pretty, but nothing special. Pairing them is pretty too, although I somehow forgot to take a swatch photo of that combo.

Too Faced Lash Injection (Black)
This mascara was just okay for me. It did make my lashes fuller, but other mascaras still do a way better job. Plus, my Lash Injection felt a little dry. I already have pretty good lashes without mascara, so for a mascara to impress me it really has to give my lashes that wow factor. This didn't. My lashes in the swatch photo below just look normal (and I'm only wearing the mascara on the top lashes in the swatch photo below).

Too Faced Lava Gloss Eyeliner (black)
Okay, I know I had a swatch of this on my hand, but I can't seem to place it right now. But really, it's not that important because this wasn't impressive or special in any way. I don't think it's glossy at all, which you'd think this would be based on the name of the product. It went on smoothly, but it was just a black liner. Nothing more, nothing less.

Too Faced Lip Injection in Crystal
I love the shade name of this gloss :)  But in all seriousness, this is just a typical lip plumping gloss. The shade is clear, so nothing special there. The plumping effect is that stinging/tingling feeling; similar to Lip Venom. These kind of plumpers always make the rim of my lips red, which you can see in the swatch photo below. It didn't do a great job of plumping, although I felt like it worked. Minimal plumping for me, but lots of redness - which is never a good look.

Too Faced Lipstick in You're No Lady and Marcia Marcia Marcia
This lipstick is a nice formula. Not super creamy, but not dry either. They colors applied fairly evenly on my lips and I liked the shades. You're No Lady is probably my favorite of the two. It's a beautiful pinky nude shade with golden undertones. Marcia Marcia Marcia is a purple pink with blue undertones; and again, I normally wouldn't pick a shade with purple in it for my lips but I actually liked the results.

Too Faced Ooh La Rouge Blush in Pink Provacateur
Generally I'm not a fan of blush duos. I don't like knowing that if I don't mix the two together perfectly the shade won't come out just right. Sure, you have the option of using each shade alone, but generally they are designed to use together. I thought the formula was nice - soft, easy to blend, nicely pigmented - but I wasn't a big fan of the colors. The left side swatches more cool toned while the right side swatches warmer toned. Mixed together they would probably compliment most skintones, but this just isn't a blush I reach too (although as of lately I barely wear blush because I don't want to call attention to the flaws on my cheeks).

Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer
I've heard and read so much about this bronzer so I was excited to have it included in the kit. I think it swatches a little different then it looks (although I know my camera was slightly off in coloring in the photo below on the left). Combined together they look great although I don't have a swatch photo showing the combination. I don't use this bronzer, but I don't use bronzer all that often. This does have shimmer, so that's probably why I shy away from it. I like bronzers that are matte or have luminosity to them, but not shimmer. This is a great bronzer though, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for one. The two separate shades allow you to use one or the other, or combine to create a blended bronzer look. I like the shade on the left as a highlighter in the summer.

Whoa... that was a lot of swatches and mini reviews for one post! I won't make a post tomorrow (Thanksgiving) so hopefully this post will give you enough swatches and reviews to get you by for two days.

Some upcoming posts (once I have time to swatch these items):
  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer with Collagen and Vitamins C & K in shade Medium (I have to say, I like it... I like it a lot!). Swatches and a full review coming soon.
  • NARS Beauty in a Box: NARS Junkie. This kit was under whelming for me. Not as spectacular as I was hoping. Mostly the eyeshadows disappointed me and the size of the bronzer. But the gloss and multiple were great. Swatches and full review coming soon!
  • Tarina Tarantino Magic Hour Cream Shadow in Black Diamond. Review and swatches.
  • And plenty more!

And remember, we won't have any specific Black Friday sales. There are enough out there you need to worry about. Come back to on Monday (actually, it will likely be on Sunday) for Cyber Monday deals. I'll post all our Cyber Monday deals on this blog on Saturday. If you're a newsletter subscriber you can look for your newsletter sometime on Saturday night or Sunday with the deals (and possibly an exclusive coupon).

Do you go out shopping on Black Friday? I don't. I used to, but I hate it... and I mean I HATE it. I don't like to shop with big crowds. To me, that takes the fun out of shopping. People are crazy too; they push, they shove, they act like animals. It's all very unpleasant, stressful, and the least bit of fun to me. Sure, there are really fantastic deals but most of them are offered online. And last year most of the Black Friday deals repeated themselves just a couple weeks later. I won't be going out on Black Friday, but I will be shopping online. I also heard they are having "Small Business Saturday" this year, but I don't know if that applies to local small businesses or to small online business too. is certainly a small online business, but we won't have anything on Saturday. Cyber Monday usually has just as good (if not better) deals than on Black Friday.

I promise will have some awesome deals on Cyber Monday... lots of Freebies too. Details coming very soon!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

November 23, 2010

Maybelline Shine Seduction Glossy Lip Color: Review & Swatches

Hello, Beautiful!

Just two reminders before I begin my review and swatches of Maybelline's Shine Seduction Glossy Lip Color.

Now onto the review and swatches...

I really love Maybelline's Shine Seduction Glossy Lip Colors! I want them all because they're all very wearable colors. I wouldn't be afraid to wear any of the shades, and I generally don't wear deep/dark colors or bright reds. But these glosses are so pretty, can go on sheer, and look beautiful! The colors aren't so intense that you need to be careful of what shades you select. You could pick a color out of a hat and it would look good on you (okay, maybe not on everyone... but on 98% of people).

They go on really smooth, feel hydrating on the lips, are non-sticky, and give you beautiful shiny lips! I keep one in my purse at all times. I own several shades, but for some reason I only have swatches of two shades (don't worry, more swatches will come later in the Valentine Beauty Closet). I had to go back to the swatch archives for this post because my son is sick (he's been home from school yesterday and today) and I don't have a lot of time to make new swatches. I still need to clean my house before Thanksgiving.

Anyhow, here are some swatches:

[This is probably my favorite shade out of them all.]

You can purchase Maybelline Shine Seduction Glossy Lip Colors at for just $1.75 each! There are currently 11 shades available on the website, but I have several more shades that will be added with the next upload of products. 

Do you own any of these glosses? If so, what do you think?


We will not have Black Friday specials. The 5-pc Beauty Bonus and 10% off your order is the only special that will be available that day. However, as usual we will have our Friday Freebie.

We will have Cyber Monday specials (which may start on Sunday). Details coming soon!

November 21, 2010

Wet n Wild Rock Solid Nail Lacquer in 228 Ice Crystals: Review & Swatches

Hello, Beautiful!

Just a quick reminder before I start my review & swatches of Wet n Wild's Rock Solid Nail Lacquer in #228 Ice Crystals. Now through November 26, 2010 you can receive a FREE 5-pc Beauty Bonus (all FULL SIZED products) and 10% off your order of $40 or more!

Check out this page for all the details and the coupon code you need to use!

Now onto the review & swatches...

I already wrote a brief review of Wet n Wild's Rock Solid Nail Lacquer, but as I continue to paint my nails with the colors I'll continue to add swatches and reviews to both this blog and The Valentine Beauty Closet.

With all the Christmas movies on this weekend... especially on the Hallmark channel... I was in the holiday spirit. I sat around way too much on Saturday watching Christmas movies, although I always try to relax a little on the weekends (but I still always end up working... especially now with all the great new inventory that is coming to the website soon). Since I was in the holiday spirit I decided to paint my nails a snowy white shade. I have several shades that would work for what I had in mind, but in the end I decided to use Wet n Wild's Rock Solid Nail Lacquer in #228 Ice Crystals.

This shade is a pretty winter white with shimmer/glitter. From far away it may look just white, but upon closer inspection you can see all the beautiful shimmering and glittering details. In any light the nails just look pretty... like glistening snow!

I did use four thin coats to get the color you see in the swatch photos. This shade applies very sheer, which I don't mind with a shade like this. I can use this shade to layer over other colors, or I can build the layers up like I did to wear it alone. If you like the way sheer polishes look on your nails then you can stop at 2 layers.

I love this color and will probably be inspired to wear this shade again once the first snow fall of the year happens. I'll probably layer China Glaze "Fairy Dust" over top for extra glitter goodness.

You can purchase Wet n Wild's Rock Solid Nail Lacquer in 228 Ice Crystals on for $1.49 each. Other shades are available.

Some other news & upcoming blog posts:

  • Prices have changed at! I recently lowered many of our already low-priced items. Now you can save even more when you shop with us!
  • We will not have a Black Friday sale, but we will have a Cyber Monday sale! Details will be posted soon.
  • Our Ears To You fundraiser will begin tomorrow and last through the end of November. I'll give you all the details in tomorrow's blog post!
  • I've decided to hold all the new inventory for one big upload, rather than small uploads. I just don't have the time to do all these multiple product photoshoots. Instead, I'll just go step by step for all my new inventory and upload them all at once. I predict they'll go up on the website during the first week of December.

November 20, 2010

Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation: Review & Swatches (three shades)

Hello, Beautiful!

It seems the past two months have been full of foundation testing. I always seem to be on the search for the next best full coverage foundation - something that is truly full coverage, looks natural, and lasts. Recently I fell in love with Rimmel's Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation (you can read my review and check out swatches here). I still love and use that foundation now on a daily basis, but I've had my eye on the Illuminare line of foundations for awhile now.

A makeup artist I used to work with first told me about them, but I never really looked into them. Then I saw they had a foundation sample pack on their website and quickly placed my order. You get to try out three foundations and you get three shades in each foundation (Sienna Sun, Florentine Fair, and Portofino Porcelain).

Here's what's included in the sample pack:

You receive Fantastic Finish Foundation, Extra Coverage Foundation, and Ultimate All Day Foundation. They say each sample can give you 3 to 4 full face applications.
[You can purchase the Illuminare foundation sample pack for $10 on their website. You can purchase the full sized Extra Coverage Foundation for $27 on their website.]


What is it? Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation is described as a foundation that gives you extra coverage without the makeup look. Provides a semi-matte finish. Serves dual purpose as a full coverage foundation and a concealer. Excellent for concealing redness, hyperpigmentation, acne and dark circles underneath the delicate eye area.

Quick Breakdown
Coverage: Full coverage
Finish: Semi-matte
How it goes on: Smoothly; easy to blend. A little goes a long way.
How long it lasts: Without a primer or setting powder, this looked great for around 4 to 6 hours before it started to fade and look noticeable. Using a primer and setting powder will prolong the wear.
Would I recommend it?: Yes, without a doubt! If you have major flaws to cover, or you want a foundation that will give you the ultimate coverage for a special night out, this is it!

So what do I think? Based on my experience, I think this is a fantastic foundation! It is full coverage. It did cover almost all my flaws (and there are many of them) with just one layer. I did layer it over those extra trouble spots and it covered them seamlessly. This probably has the most coverage out of any foundation I've ever used... and I've tried a lot! I didn't use a concealer with it because I didn't need to!

It goes on smoothly and doesn't show my dry or flaky areas. I have combo oily/dry skin and it worked well with my skin type. A little does go a long way. They say a pea sized drop will cover your entire face. I probably used slightly more, but I did layer it in areas. But considering how much I typically use with other foundations the amount I needed to use with this foundation was very little. I used a moisturizer underneath, but not a primer or setting powder (something I typically do when first testing out foundation to see their true wear). I would say that I would have to use a primer and setting powder with this to get the perfect application and wear. It looked natural and pretty when first applied, but maybe 4 to 6 hours later it looked noticeable on my face and had started to fade away. That problem should be solved with the use of a primer and setting powder.

Shade selection and choice? I have to say that if I hadn't seen the shades in person I would have been hesitant to purchase the shade that works for me. Florentine Fair is a near perfect match for my skin tone, yet the name is deceiving. It's not a fair shade at all; it's a medium shade. Sienna Sun would be a great match for me in the summer time... maybe with a little Florentine Fair mixed in. The other shade included in the sample pack is Portofino Porcelain, which is too light for me but I probably could mix that and Sienna Sun to get a shade that works for me (which is what I might do to get the most use of this sample pack). There are only five shades available, but they are very forgiving and wearable shades. You can mix two or more if needed to get the just-right-for-you shade. And if you need a full coverage foundation, and you know how frustrating it is to find one that is truly full coverage, mixing two shades together isn't a big deal if you know the foundation is fantastic.. and this foundation is! The shades blend out slightly lighter than they appear in the tube, which you'll see in the swatch photos.


Here are all three shades of next to each other (you can click on them to view them larger):

Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation in Florentine Fair

Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation in Sienna Sun

Illuminare Extra Coverage Foundation in Portofino Porcelain

I'll do a review and swatches on the Illuminare Fantastic Finish Foundation and the Illuminare Ultimate All Day Foundation very soon. The shade colors are very consistent across all three foundation types, so you can go by the swatch photos above to choose your shade if you wanted to purchase one of the other foundations in the sample pack.

Have you tried this foundation? If so, what do you think?

Have a great weekend everyone!