Monday, February 17, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit Review

The Product: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

Price: $40

Quantity: 3.0 g/ 0.11 Oz. each powder pan

The palette comes with 6 different contour and highlighting powders.

Pigmentation: 10/10 As pictured below, the swatches show how pigmented the powders are with just one swipe. Although pigmented, it's not with difficulty to apply each powder either in a subtle way or intensely.

Longevity: 10/10 Though these powders are not at all waterproof or smudge proof they adhere to the skin just like any powder and last moderately well through out the day. However, it wouldn't hurt to apply a fixing or setting spray as added assurance.

Application: 9/10 It was easy to apply and blend the powders once applied to the desired areas of the face. The powders are not at all powdery or chalky and are velvety smooth to the touch.

Swatches: (Left to Right) Vanilla, Banana, Sand, Java, Fawn, Havana

Packaging: Sturdy black card board with strong magnet to keep the metal powder pans in place. There's no mirror in this palette, which may or may not be a good thing. Personally, I don't mind that the palette does not have a mirror because it gets dirty anyway and quite frankly it would only pose as a challenge to apply these powders on my face with a small mirror. 

I like that the name of each powder is written on the back of the pan, so there's no mystery in trying to figure out which is which.

Overall: I really like these contour and highlight powders. The contouring powders gives the most natural looking contour whenever I use it since they are of matte finish. The highlight powder Sand is pretty and the only one with shimmer finish. It reminds me of a powder version of Benefit's High Beam with it's pink undertone (but more subtle).
I barely use the Vanilla powder although this would be good matte highlighter. My favorite powder is hands down Banana because it's great for highlighting and brightening under my eye areas. It reminds me of Ben Nye Banana powder except this is the pressed form.
Moreover, I like the convenience of reaching for one makeup palette and having the different powders for contouring and highlighting all in there.

How I use it: After applying my foundation and/or concealer, I then set with my face powder. Then I lightly dip my brush into all three contouring powders and apply them onto the sides of my cheeks, outer parts of my forehead, jawline, and sides of my nose bridge. Using a small brush, I take Banana and apply that under my eye areas. I take the highlighting shade in Sand and apply it on the high points of my cheeks, under by brows, nose bridge, and a little bit above my eye brows or forehead area. As I mentioned earlier, you can use Vanilla instead of Sand or maybe even mix the two for highlight.

I would definitely re-purchase this palette in a heart beat!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Favorite Products for February

Hi there! So today's blog post. . . my favorite makeup products for the month of February! With the exception of my Smashbox O-Gloss, CoverGirl Lash Blast mascara, MAC Power point pencil in Engraved and CARGO blu-ray powder, the following are my new found faves for this month!
I cannot rave enough about these brushes and though I'd hate to compare these brushes with my expensive MAC brushes, these may actually be deemed better! The quality of Real Techniques brushes are amazing since the price point are no where near in the range of MAC brushes. These taklon synthetic (cruelty-free!) brushes are not only affordable but also very soft, easy to clean, and picks up product well. I can't pick just one brush from the above four picture that I would say is my favorite as they are all my favorite face brushes.
Since my skin right now is free from bumps or pimples, I can actually get away with just using my NARS radiant creamy concealer in Ginger. I simply apply this at areas where I have discoloration, redness, and under eye circles and voila! flawless face!
On days when I want to go for a fuller coverage and more dewy look, I reach for my Too Faced Amazing Face Oil-Free Foundation in Honey Beige. I absolutely love this foundation for this winter weather, when my skin can get quite dry. This foundation hydrates my face and does not emphasize nor does it sink into lines. I wouldn't say that this is a full coverage foundation more like a light to medium, but it is buildable.
My CARGO blu-ray high definition pressed powder has never failed me when it comes to setting my foundation. This powder is very light and gives the skin such a natural look. The only downside is that it only comes in 4 shades, mine is in Medium.

Sometimes, when I've eaten too much ramen or when I'm looking like a puffer fish due to bloating, I like to use my Anastasia Contour palette. This palette is an absolute must in any girl's makeup stash! The powders are nicely pigmented so you don't need much and are like velvet in texture. The banana powder is my favorite! I think it's like a spin-off on the infamous Ben Nye banana powder (thanks Kim K). Anyways, I love using the banana powder for my under eyes to set my concealer, which opens up my eyes while also adding more coverage for those pesky dark circles.

Ah, NARS Exhibit A. This use to terrify me. I mean it is a real red blush! However, if you want a rosy, natural looking flush (because nobody naturally blushes with a candy colored pink flush to their cheeks, right?) this blush is what you need to achieve that or you can just pinch your cheeks.
Just like all NARS blushes, this one is highly pigmented so very little is needed to get a beautiful flush to the cheeks. It's long wearing too!
So another optional item for me are my Hourglass Ambient lighting powders in Mood, Radiant, and Diffused.
MOOD LIGHT is a soft, sheer lavender pink powder that mimics the softest most forgiving light and reveals your brightest complexion - See more at:
DIM LIGHT is a neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones - See more at:
DIFFUSED LIGHT is a soft, warm, pale yellow powder that conceals redness and gives skin clarity – like a soft ray of morning light - See more at:
Diffused Light - I like to use this under my eyes.
Dim Light - gives a bronzy effect to it if you ask me. It is the most obvious glow on my skin in terms of pigmentation. If you want a natural sun kissed glow, this would be perfect. I imagine this would be more beautiful at night time or over a tanned skin.
Mood Light - this is actually nice to apply on the cheeks if you want to skip on blush. It just brightens the cheeks ever so lightly. You can also use it as a highlighter on the high points of the face since the lavender and pink in it are so subtle.

This is the brush to apply the Ambient powders with. Its a great quality brush. Very soft and easy to use. Just glide this onto the powder and then glide flat onto the area of the face where you want the powder.
For my brows, I've been Anastasia Dip brow pomade with the Anastasia brow dual ended brush and spoolie. Let's talk about the pomade first, the shade I use is ebony. I really like this pomade because it is creamy, waterproof, smudge proof, and can be used as an eye shadow base or as an eye liner. The only thing I don't like is that you have to be fast when applying this because it dries up so quickly! Also, a teeny tiny amount is sufficient and if you get too much you could end up with an un-natural looking set of brows that are neither sisters or cousins, more like angry birds.
The brush is okay, not something that needs to be specially purchased to use the pomade in my opinion.
I am still using my CoverGirl Lash blast waterproof mascara but to curl my lashes I use this eye lash curler from Sephora. It's so cute! It comes in different colors and it works great. Before curling my lashes, I use my MAC power point eye liner in Engraved. This is such a great eye liner for tight lining my upper lash lines, which again opens up my eyes and gives me that more awake look!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Urban Decay NAKED 3 Palette

I know this is a bit late but I wanted to talk about the Urban Decay NAKED 3 palette. About this palette, it is currently available online and in person at make up stores such as Sephora and Ulta.
I purchased mine online at sephora for $52. This is the third NAKED palette released by Urban Decay and it goes by the rosy gold theme.
There are 12 eye shadows in this palette, just like the other two NAKED palette. The packaging is a sturdy metal with a mirror, which was a great relief in my opinion, since the first palette's packaging was a disappointing velvet type of material that harbored lint and it's label NAKED easily rubbed off.
The eye shadows are pigmented. My least like eye shadow is Dust because of the fall outs but that's easily fixed if applied wet onto the lids or on top of a good base.
The colors are neutral and a mix of matte and shimmery finishes. This palette offers versatile colors that are wearable for both morning and evening looks.
Just like the NAKED 2 palette this offers a dual ended eye shadow brush, a dome shaped and flat. However, I find that the flat shader brush on this palette is fuller than the one from the NAKED 2 palette. All in all the brush is well made and not at all some cheap freebie type of brush that other palettes includes. This dual ended brush was meant to be used with this palette.
I also like that Urban Decay took the time to actually put the logo on the brush. I think it adds exclusivity.
My Urban Decay NAKED palettes (with flash).
(without flash)
It's obvious that the palettes are different and that Urban Decay are really improving their NAKED palette from the mirror to the brush.
All in all, I highly recommend these palettes. They are truly a must have as they offer the basic neutral eye shadows.

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