Saturday, July 30, 2011

Glamoured: Tarte for True Blood eye pallet review

Let me just start this post by saying that when Tarte made the announcement that they were doing an eye pallet inspired by the HBO series True Blood I was totally ecstatic. I have been a big fan of the series since it debuted (as well as the books), and I am in love with Tarte cosmetics. I am also excited about the Lip Surgence lip stain and natural cheek stain as well, but the eye pallet was a MUST HAVE for me.  This huge kit comes with 17 full-sized eyeshadows in a wide range of shades as well as a full sized emphasEYES aqua-gel eyeliner,a mini Lifted natural eye primer, and a mini lights, camera, lashes! mascara. At $52 you totally get your money's worth here.

This pallet truly contains all the fabulous eye makeup you'll need to look fantastic for your waitressing gig at Merlotte's or for a sexy night on the town at Fangtasia.

The pallet itself is beautifully vampy

As a little added bonus it came with a great eye chart to help you create some easy to achieve eye makeup looks. I also love the full-sized mirror.

Now it wasn't a real shocker to me that this was going to be good makeup. I am well aware of Tarte's amazing quality. I was however pleasantly surprised that I really even like the shades that I wasn't so excited about initially. All the shades are so soft and blend-able. The glittery shades aren't gritty at all. I think the only cons I really have is that there are 3 different black shades, and the colors "The Light" & "Dawn" aren't very pigmented. In all fairness though the blacks work differently when you use them. My favorite of the 3 is the black filled with navy blue microglitter called "Nocturnal". It's so subtle, and gorgeous.

Some of my favorite shades against a pearl white eye base

I had previously never tried the emphasEYE aqua liner and was just blown away at how it works. It's almost like a pencil that turns to liquid when it touches your skin. It glides on incredibly smoothly with a cooling sensation, and seriously lasts ALL day. I don't recommend it on your waterline though because of it's liquid-y quality. I also really like the mascara the set came with. It boasts 430% larger lashes- and it really delivers! I'm still on the fence about the eye primer though. On one hand it makes this eyeshadow last incredibly long. On the other's kinda sticky and doesn't spread so evenly. Maybe I am just too partial to LORAC's studio eye primer but I don't think i'll be buying the full size of this one.

Now onto the good stuff. The looks you can create with this eye pallet are essentially limitless. You do not have to be a makeup pro to get great results either because Tarte is so easy to work with. I re-created 2 of the looks in the eye charts provided in under 10 minutes each.

The Luminous Fairy

I thought this was a cute, wearable day look. Unfortunately it didn't photograph real well. I do like the shade 'Dawn' but you really have to build color.

Vamp Glam

This is a fun look for going out at night. I found it easy to replicate, and LOVE all the shades together.

Lastly I played around with a couple of looks inspired by my favorite fashionable vampire, Pam. 

A wearable day look using werewolf, charmer, telepath, and waitress

A night look using a matte black pencil as an eye base, stake, legend, the true death, and nocturnal

I know, I know my eyebrows look atrocious. But look at the sparkleyness!
Now stare deeply into my want to buy this eye shadow love this eye shadow will head to your Sephora/ right away.........Oh wait that only works for vampires ;)

This is really one of my favorite makeup purchases of the year. But hey...Tarte never disappoints!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Paintwheels: Eye safe?

Recently I discovered a makeup product that I was not familiar with called a "Paintwheel".  Apparently you can buy these (either individually or in bulk) from a private label cosmetics supplier called Lady Burd. However I had to do some research to figure out that these were actually made by Lady Burd because a few indie cosmetics companies sell them as their own product. Now let me make this clear. This isn't a post calling anybody out, and I'm not even going to mention names. I have no real issue with indie companies finding a cool private label product and reselling it at a slight long as they are honest about it, and honest about the products intended use.

Carnival paintwheel made by Lady Burd

However it's a big problem for me when someone sells something as "eye safe" when in fact, it is not. It's also a problem for me when someone marks something "not safe for use near the eyes" on their website but then tries to sell me on this product by having pictures & youtube tutorials using this product on the eyes! I mean c'mon...that's just shady.

Sprite paintwheel made by Lady Burd

I wanted to find out the absolute truth about paintwheels.

So I just called the manufacturer because that seemed to be the common sense approach. They were happy to speak to me and answer any questions I had. The lady I spoke with was nothing but 100% forthcoming about this particular product and it's uses. When I asked her about the eye safety of the paintwheels she seemed confused and asked "Why would you want to use these on your eyes?" . These were never formulated or intended for eye use. It should be painfully obvious- this is body PAINT. It's not an eyeshadow, it's not made for the eyes, and only ONE paintwheel is safe for use near the eyes (Nightfall). She also said that if you're planning to use this anywhere on the face you need to use an eyeshadow base because it will stain your skin- which is another reason you wouldn't want to use it on the delicate skin of your eyelids. I think this woman thought I was nuts...she just could not figure out why I or anyone else would want to wear this as an eyeshadow. If that doesn't set off a red flag or two for you then I don't know what more I can really say.

Even if independent companies are having Lady Burd cosmetics formulate custom colors for them it doesn't necessarily mean that those shades are eye safe. You have to trust that those companies are telling you the truth about what is in those colors. If they refuse to give you a list of ingredients that should speak for itself.

Nightfall- the only eye safe paintwheel

If you have one of these paintwheels and are unsure if it's safe to use near the eyes- there is a simple way to test this. Grind some of it up into a powder and put it into a cup of water. If it mixes completely with the water it is NOT safe for eye use. An eye safe product will never be water soluble. If it doesn't mix well and you get little floaties-you're good to go. This is a great youtube video that demonstrates how to do this ( I did not make this video. I am posting this for educational purposes only).

Like I said, I'm not calling anyone out. My whole purpose in this post is to educate you about a cosmetic that I see tons of people using in a way that could physically hurt them. I know I'll probably take some flack over this post and that's fine with me. I can't please everyone. And I can't say nice things about every cosmetic. All I can do is give you my personal opinion, explain the reasons I feel that way and hope that you'll take my advice to heart.

If you are ever curious about the safety of a particular ingredient in a cosmetic product please see the FDA's list of color additives permitted for use in cosmetics located here

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Get glowing: Summer skin courtesy of Hard Candy

Sorry for the lack of bloggage the past two weeks. I haven't really had anything new to review that I was super excited to talk about. That and the fact that I can only log-in to Blogger about 1/2 of the time. I've also been having some skin issues. I have terrible combination skin so finding a good summer makeup routine can be tricky for me.

I have recently found a few products by Hard Candy that have helped me achieve glowing, moist-looking skin. I have loved Hard Candy for almost as long as I've been obsessed with makeup. I remember drooling over their advertisements in Seventeen magazine when I was around know..back when girls had to read magazines for beauty advice because blogs & youtube didn't yet exist. Lol.


I cannot say enough good things about Sheer Envy primer. It's lightweight, goes on silky smooth, a little bit of it goes a long way, doesn't clog my pores and it's affordable for a big tube. This has totally replaced the other more expensive face primer I was using. My foundation sticks to it really well, and it helps me achieve a nice even skintone even when my skin is not looking so hot.

Glow all the way face and body luminizer is by far one of my favorite products by HC. Lately I have been mixing them with my foundation, and I love the result. In fact, this is how I prefer to use this product. Right now I am using the "Glamazon Bronze" shade because it not only gives my skin a nice non-greasy glow but because it also gives me a subtle sun-kissed look. These also look okay applied on the face, and body where ever you want to add a little highlight. I really like this product because it's light and not overly shimmery. It truly does just give you a great glow. I just picked up the pink "Dollface" shade last night so I haven't had a lot of time to play with it but I am liking it so far.

Okay so... these Mini Must-Haves kits are just are great deal. Period. For $8 you get mini sizes of the sheer envy primer, a lip gloss, a So Baked bronzer/ Blush Crush baked blush and the glow all the way illuminator. The Glamazon Glow kit bronzer comes in the shade "Tropics" which is great if you aren't super tan (like me!). I think the sizes of the bronzer/blush are pretty generous too. The First Flush kit comes with the blush in the color 'Living Doll', which I have used & loved in the past. Both are nice and shimmery. The lip glosses are a nice added bonus as well. I like Hard Candy's plumping serum gloss, but their Plexi-gloss is just a little more sticky than I'd prefer. These kits are great if you want to try these products before getting the full sizes.

 So that's what I'm loving this week. What is your all-time favorite Hard Candy product?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And the Giveaway winners are....

Prize #1:  Celeste

Prize #2: Michelle 

Prize #3: Ana

Congrats guys! I know this was just a small giveaway, but I had fun doing it and I hope you enjoy your prizes. Sally girl mineral eyeshadow mini's & glitter have been a staple of my own makeup kit for quite awhile now :) If any of you have any suggestions for future giveaways you might like to participate in,  please send me your ideas!

4th of July fun, and contest closing!

Did you all have a fun Independence day?

I celebrated by wearing gaudy patriotic makeup! Hey why not? It was pretty hot though so my drag queen look didn't hold up for too long lol.

I've got stars in my eyes

Anyways.. my  1st contest has officially come to a close!  I will be picking winners via, and then  I will email and post the winners here on my blog. Keep an eye out, i'll be posting shortly :) I hope everyone had a fun & safe holiday weekend.