February 27, 2011

Swatch Posts Catch Up (January/February)

Hello, Beautiful!

I know I've been posting a lot of longer posts that include a bunch of swatch photos. Because some are so long they get pushed back a few pages on this blog. That means they may be missed by some readers. I figured it would be nice to do a Swatch Post Catch Up at the end of each month to link to all swatch posts from that month for easier reference, sorted by swatch type (nail polish, foundation, eyeshadow, etc.). I won't link to non-swatch posts, although there are plenty of them too. You can always go to the left side and scroll down to the "My Posts", "Browse By Category", or even "Search My Blog" if you're looking for something specific.

Since I want to do this every month, beginning this year, I'm also including posts from January.

* click on any subject below to re-visit that blog post *

Swatch Post Catch Up: January & February 2011



Eyes (eye shadow, mascara, liners, etc.)

Lips (lip gloss, lipstick, etc.)

A little of this, a little of that
  • January 2011 Birchbox: There are no actual swatches, but there are photos of each item in January's Birchbox, along with the info card (front & back), and price breakdown showing the value of January's shipment.
  • February 2011 Birchbox: There are no actual swatches, but there are photos of each item in February's Birchbox, along with the info card (front & back), and price breakdown showing the value of February's shipment.
  • Benefit's Stay Put Set: Includes swatches of Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in the shade R.S.V.P., Benefit's Erase Paste in the shade Medium, and Benefit's Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow & concealer primer; plus review of each product.

February 26, 2011

Just some pics from Saturday morning

Hello, Beautiful!

My friend came to visit on Thursday with her daughter (who is a year younger than my son). They went home this morning, but not before we took the kids out for a fun photoshoot at the playground.

Here are a few of my favorite pics of the two of them (my kid is the boy):

My son looks nothing like me. He's pale, has blonde hair and blue eyes; the only part of me that I can see in him are his eye lashes. He's got great, long eye lashes!

This is my son's "famous" hat. Everywhere we go someone comments on it; actually, it's more like 20 people that comment on it. In case you want to know (since many people have asked), we found the hat at Hot Topic. He says it's his werewolf hat :)

My friend's first try with WEN: before & after pics

Hello, Beautiful!

While my friend was visiting I had to see how WEN worked on her hair. She has great hair to begin with - thick, shiny, healthy looking - but I still wanted to try WEN on someone else that I could take before and after pics of.

I first tried WEN back in September, and fell in love right away [click here for my review and before & after WEN pics]. It made such a difference in my hair. My hair was super soft, silky, smooth, shiny and all around just beautiful. I couldn't stop touching my hair after I first used WEN. Then I kind of fell out of love with it for a brief period of time. I didn't think it was really working anymore, but really what happened was I was so used to it and when I went back to regular shampoo & conditioner I realized what I was missing.

My first WEN was the Fig, which I hated the smell of but loved the way it helped my hair. Since I hated the smell I tried a different WEN, the Sweet Almond Mint. I liked the smell a lot better, and it still worked for my hair, but it wasn't as moisturizing as the Fig. Thinking I'd surely go back to the Fig just for the better benefits I was ready to re-order when I saw the new WEN scent/formula, the Pomegranate. I ordered in hopes it may be the best of both worlds: good smell and good benefits for my hair. Well it basically is! It's not quite as moisturizing as the Fig, but it's better than the Sweet Almond Mint. Now keep in mind that this is just my experience with WEN, and everyone has a different experience depending on their hair texture and needs. Each WEN doesn't just smell differently, they also do something different for different hair types.

Anyhow, onto my friend's experience with WEN...

My friend's hair stats:
Length: medium-long hair
Type: naturally wavy-curly, fine hair - but a lot of it, so it looks really thick
# of WEN Pumps: 48 (12 per section)
Type of WEN She Used: Sweet Almond Mint

I was up in the air with what WEN I would use on her, but in the end I picked the Sweet Almond Mint since it's the most universal. It's where you should start with WEN if you really don't know what to pick.

I explained to her the way to use WEN and sent her on her way to the shower. Fifteen minutes later she came downstairs and I went into pretend hair dresser mode (I say pretend hair dresser because I'm definitely no where near a pro, but I still like to pretend I can do hair). I made sure she put in the WEN Styling Creme (3 pumps), which is something you should use after using WEN if you plan to style your hair with any heat (including a blow dryer), plus the Styling Creme helps add that extra something, something to make the hair better. I have the Fig styling creme, so that's what she used.

I blow dried her hair in sections, and then (per her request), straightened her hair (I did use the CHI Iron Guard before using the straightening iron).

Her hair was easy to work with thanks to the WEN, and in the end her hair was softer, smoother, and shiner. She loved the way it looked and felt (she too couldn't stop touching her hair) and even the following day she woke up with great hair.

Below are her before & after pics. And remember, she already had great hair - WEN just made it greater :)

* click on an image to view it larger *

And the winner is....

Hello, Beautiful!

Thank you to everyone who entered my February Giveaway! With over 400 entries (including bonus entries) there was a great response to the giveaway.

And the winner is...

Katia M. from the PolishMeHappy blog!

[I used Random.org to generate a winning number from all entries, including bonus entries. Random.org chose number 76 out of 423 entries]

Congratulations Katia!! I'm sending you an email right after I make this blog post! You've won everything you see in the photo below:

Thank you again to everyone who entered the February Giveaway! And no worries if you didn't win; I'm throwing a big March Giveaway too!

The March Giveaway will include multiple prizes, meaning more people will win something! I'm putting together 10 prizes!! Woo hoo!!

Keep checking back to this blog for more giveaways, swatches, reviews, and more! :)

February 24, 2011

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation: Swatches of ALL 18 shades & review

Hello, Beautiful!

Maybelline's Fit Me Foundation is their newest concept to makeup; their first shade-aligned system of foundation, powder and concealer. I was very intrigued by this foundation and had to buy it. I ended up picking up a shade that wasn't right for me because I didn't have any samples to try ahead of time. But then something wonderful happened. I opened up a magazine and saw all 18 shades in sample form! I jumped for joy as I ripped it out of the magazine and put it in my "to swatch" pile.

I finally got around to swatching them today, so here they are, all 18 shades - shown individually and as an entire group. Of course the sample amount of each was tiny but enough to get an idea of the shade.

Review & info on this foundation is at the end of this post. Enjoy!

* click on an image to view it larger *

What the foundation bottle looks like (and the powder, and concealer)
(photo from magazine sample card):

All 18 shades together:

Now I'll break it down shade by shade...

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 110

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 115

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 120
Classic Ivory

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 125
Nude Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 130
Buff Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 135
Creamy Natural

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 210
Sandy Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 220
Natural Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 225
Medium Buff

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 230
Natural Buff

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 235
Pure Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 245
Medium Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 310
Sun Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 315
Soft Honey

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 320
Honey Biege

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 325
Cream Beige

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 350

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Shade 355

Review & Info:

Coverage Level: Sheer to Medium buildable coverage.
SPF?: Yes, SPF 18
Wear: Average. Not super long lasting, but it didn't go away quickly either.
Shade Selection: 18 shades to choose from, offering a nice selection for almost every skintone.
Price: Very affordable - around $6 to $7 depending on where you shop.
How To Apply: Maybelline suggest applying with your fingertips, and I would say that application method does work great with this foundation. But any foundation brush or sponge will work just fine.

From Maybelline's website:
It's makeup that fits you. No oils, no waxes, no nonsense.
Natural coverage that leaves skin the way it was meant to be... fresh, breathing, natural.
Exclusive translucent base and lightweight pigments allow skin's natural highs and lows to show through.
Non-comedogenic (which means it won't clog pores) and dermatologist-tested.

My personal thoughts:
I wish I had better skin because I did like this foundation. I think for the price you're getting a great foundation, but the coverage level just isn't enough for my full-of-flaws face.

Update with my shade selection:
Originally I picked up shade 230, but that was before I had the opportunity to swatch them. Now that I've swatched them I'm going to try out shade 235, which looks like a better "fit" for me :)

Have you tried this? If so, thoughts? If not, will you try this out?

February Giveaway! Enter by tomorrow night!!!!

Hello, Beautiful!

You have today and tomorrow to enter my February Giveaway if you haven't already entered. Don't forget about the bonus entries too!

Click here to read all the details and to enter the giveaway. Giveaway ends February 25th!

Win everything you see below!!

Stila It Girl Palette: Swatches & Review

Hello, Beautiful!

My best friend and her daughter are coming into town today (they live in a different state) and they're staying for a few days so I likely won't have time to post any swatches. I still wanted to get some beauty swatches up on the blog so I dug back into my swatch "archives" for this post. These swatches were taken back in June 2010.

I picked up the Stila It Girl Palette from Sephora's website last summer. It was one of their weekly specials, priced around $10 or $15 (I can't remember the price I paid). It contains three full sized shadows, including their popular Kitten shade.

I really like the quality of the shadows, but I only wear the Kitten shade. Even now, months later, I still only use the Kitten shade. I'm sure I'll eventually have a use for the other shades, because they are pretty, but for now, this palette just gets used for Kitten :)

These shadows have decent pigmentation (Kitten has the most), have good wear and can be worn wet or dry. The sizes are really nice, although Stila's website says they are slightly smaller than their normal full size shadow pans.

You can't buy this palette at Sephora anymore, but I found it on Stila's website for just $14. I don't know how long it will be available, so grab yours now if you're interested.

Onto the swatches...

* click on an image to view it larger *

Here are the shadows in the palette:

All three shades swatched on my hand:

Now each shade individually on my eyes (sorry about the shadow fall-out on my lashes; I was too lazy to do clean up that day and just wanted to show the shades on my eyes. My eyes were also really tired, sorry again!).

Shade Description: A pale yellow gold shimmer.
This is the most sheer shade out of the three, but can easily be built up or applied wet for more intense color.

Shade Description: A copper gold shimmer.
This shade swatches a bit darker than it looks on my lids, but I could build it up to make the color more intense.

Shade Description: A light shimmery pink.
My favorite of the three!

Do you own this palette? If so, thoughts?

February 23, 2011

Benefit's Stay Put Set (Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner, Erase Paste, Stay Don't Stray)

Hello, Beautiful!

It's pretty rare that $10 can get you far with better brand beauty products; however Sephora.com has a great Benefit minis set for just $10 that will give you three of their "Stay Put" products in mini sizes (which will still last you awhile). Click here to check out the set on Sephora's website.

The kit contains the following three products:
  • Erase Paste in Medium (0.11 oz)
  • Stay Don't Stray (0.09 oz)
  • Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in R.S.V.P. (0.11 oz)

Sephora's website says the value is $35, but I come up with the value being $38.76. Either way, a great deal for only paying $10!
  • Erase Paste - $19.12 value (full size is 0.15 oz @ $26)
  • Stay Don't Stray - $6.54 value (full size is 0.33 oz @ $24)
  • Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner - $13.10 value (full size is 0.16 oz @ $19)

Let me break it down, product by product...

Erase Paste
This is a cream concealer. It's supposed to be a brightening concealer that makes signs of stress and fatigue disappear. The full size is only available in three shades, so it's probably best they chose the middle shade for this kit. However, that is the downside. If you're fair or deep then the Erase Paste is pretty much useless, or if you're a medium shade with olive or golden undertones (like me) it may be useless too.

(the swatches below were taken over the summer when I had a tan)

I actually really liked this concealer, I just wish the undertones were different. I know it's supposed to be brightening with "melon undertones", but I question what melon they're talking about. To me, this concealer has pink undertones in it - so the only melon that comes to mind is watermelon. But what other melon could they be talking about? Honeydew melon (which is green)? I even went as far as looking up different melons, but all the colors I could come up with ranged from green and orange to pink and red. All of which I don't think would work well with my undertone (which is olive). It didn't just brighten and blend into my skin. Instead it stood out, looking like pink spots on my face wherever I tried to use it. So this sadly did not work for me. But if I ignore the shade I can honestly say this is a great concealer.

The name is misleading/confusing a bit. The word "paste" makes me think this product is stiff and difficult to work with, but this is actually a nice creamy concealer. It blends out easily, non-drying, and provides great coverage. I just wish they expanded their shade choices a little.

Stay Don't Stray
This a primer for your eyelids and under your eye to prime for your concealer. It's supposed to prevent your concealer from creasing and make your shadows go on vibrant and stay on longer without creasing. I've tried it and I like it, but I don't love it. Then again, I'm just so head-over-heels in love with Too Faced Shadow Insurance that I rarely reach for anything else when priming my eyes. A great option if you want one product to not only prime your eyelids, but also under eyes for your concealer!

(the swatches below were taken over the summer when I had a tan)

Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in R.S.V.P
I really, really like this cream shadow! It's one of those "mistake proof" cream shadows. Really easy to work with, and the R.S.V.P. shade is beautiful (a sparkling champagne - although it looks pink in the jar).

(the swatches below were taken over the summer when I had a tan) 

 This particular shade wouldn't work as a liner, but this product (in another shade) can be used as a liner as well. You can also build the color up if you want (just put one layer on, let it set for 30 seconds, then apply a second layer). It wears long too, which I love. It's great to wear alone or top it with another shadow (For Halloween I used this while it was still creamy to put glitter on top, which bonded the glitter to my lid once the shadow set).

Overall, this set was a great value and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to try out these three products from Benefit.

Do you own this set or any of these products by themselves? If so, tell me your thoughts.