Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder Review

So I am a little late with this review for the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder.  Many have raved over this setting powder for some time.  I have not seen many women of color reviews, so I though that I might snag a travel size during this spring's VIB sale.  Check out Sephora' s spill:

Infused with the finest French “cashmere talc,” this non-dusty, non-drying translucent powder sets makeup and creates a flawless finish. A unique light-reflecting ingredient creates a soft-focus appearance that smooths away fine lines and imperfections as it sets your makeup. The translucent shade looks and feels natural on all skintones, and creates a flawless finish. Use it to add a velvety finish to any makeup or for a bit of color and coverage when foundation is not worn.

What attracted me to this powder was that it is a cream color versus the typical white translucent powder.  I was still searching for a powder that sets my makeup without adding significant amounts of color.  Most white translucent powders can leave a white/gray cast on women of color or cause flashback in photos.  Many recommend Laura Mercier because it claims to not cause flashback.

This powder is finely milled and applies smoothly even with the powder puff included in in the travel size box.  The first time I used the powder, I set my entire face.  I still felt as though I had a white cast on face.  After a few minutes, the cast was less noticeable.  I did not significant change is photo quality. 

I also tried setting under my eyes only.  I experienced the same slight white cast, but I felt more comfortable with it under eyes versus my entire face.  Once the powder sets, the makeup has a flawless effect.

Am I in love? No.  I think that I may have to have the right match for this powder...meaning finding the best product to compliment it.  I used it with Urban Decay, Kat Von D, and Nars so far.  Because of the great quality of the powder, I will continue trying to work it in my makeup regimen.

You get 1.0 oz for 38.00 USD, which is comparable to other high-end setting powders.  Have you tried this?  Stay FABULOUS!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit Coming Soon

 ABH is definitely conjuring up some good stuff in their makeup lab.  ABH released online that there will be another glow kit...the palette will be the Sun Dipped palette.  It's full of bronzy goodness!  I wanted to start a makeup no buy, but I would be lying if all of these products release in the next couple of months!  I definitely do not need anymore hightlighters, but they are addicting.  The launch date has not been disclosed, but I will keep you posted.  Will you be snagging this palette?  Stay FABULOUS!

New Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette Coming Soon

Anastasia Beverly Hills has released several sneak peeks of the upcoming summer palette:  Modern Renaissance.  The warm tones and pinks have my head spinning!  The palette will retail for 42.00 USD, which is much more than the previous eyeshadow palettes.  The exact release date has not been disclosed.  Keep an eye out.  I definitely want to get this palette.  Will you be snagging this?  Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Milani Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation and Powder and Even Touch Powder Foundation Review

So, I have still been on the hunt for a good drugstore foundation.  The struggle is finding a product that works well for my oily skin and has a good color match for women of color.  Milani is a popular brand with many women of color friendly products.  Recently, they have released their 2 in 1 foundation that works as concealer and foundation.

The line comes with 14 liquid foundation shades and 9 powder foundation shades.  I am impressed with the color tones especially for the women of color...not too yellow or pink.  I chose the color number 13 Chestnut, the second to darkest shade, and it is a perfect match.  The foundation comes with a pump.  The product is a more of a watery consistency, so be gentle when pumping the product.  I used a beauty blender for application, and the foundation blended wonderfully.  The foundation set to semi-matte finish.

The chose the darkest shade, 08 Warm Toffee, in the Even Touch Powder foundation and it's a good color match for my skin tone.  I purchased the powder foundation solely to set my liquid foundation.  The Milani website states that this powder can toggle between a setting powder and touch-up powder.  The powder adds good coverage and creates more of a matte finish in combination with the liquid foundation.  I prefer this finish over the semi-matte due to the oiliness of my skin.  The final look wore well for 6 six hours without shine. 

Both products retails for approximately 9.99 USD depending on where you purchase the product.  Due to my demographic location, I was not able to find any of the women of color shades in my local drugstores.  I purchased my products directly from the Milani website.

Overall,  I am impressed with quality, longevity, and coverage of this foundation.  I think that it is definitely one worth a try.  Have you tried this foundation?  What's your favorite drugstore foundation?  Stay FABULOUS!

Check out my photos below...

After 8 hours...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Another late review...better late that never, right?  Hourglass's infamous ambient light powders have become many individual's go-to powder.  Definitely not new to the market, Hourglass created these finishing powders to capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on the skin.  Check out the write up:

Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on skin. Unlike traditional powders, which merely cloak imperfections, Ambient Lighting Powder utilizes photoluminescent technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion. The powders deliver a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, making it appear softer and lit from within. The finishing powders enhance skin in any type of light, including flash photography. With three universal shades available in the Ambient palette, you can create any desired effect.

I must say that Hourglass did an awesome job of capturing the exact the desired results.  The Hourglass palette includes three finishing powders:  dim light, radiant light, and incandescent light.  Of the three, I use dim light everyday.  I use dim light to set my makeup all over.  This powder truly cloaks imperfections and gives me a smoother, softer appearance.  There is not cast or flashback from any of these powders.

Radiant light works well as a highlighter for me. Honesty, I own so many highlighters that I rarely use this one.  Incandescent light is too light for my skin tone and may work well as a highlight for fair to light skin tones.  In the future, I will repurchase dim light only.  The palette is 62.00 USD for 3 powders.  A single 0.35 oz  for 45.00 USD.  Have you tried anything from Hourglass?  Stay FABULOUS!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks Coming Soon

I knew those lipsticks sales were for something....making room for a whole new lipstick collection, maybe?!  Urban Decay just reformulated and has an upcoming release of over 100 new lipstick shades.  Some shades are returning from the revolution line.  20 Shades will be exclusive to Sephora, and 20 shades will not be in Sephora but present at other retailers.  The shade range is enormous, and I do not even know where to start!  Even though I have enough lipsticks to last a lifetime, I will probably snag a few colors.  The collection will release June 5th everywhere.

In the meantime, the revolution lipsticks are still on sale for 11.00 USD at all retailers.  Grab a few colors for the low.  I really liked the matte revolution lipsticks, so I may grab one or two more colors while they are still available.  Are you excited?  Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

ORS Curls Unleashed Leave In Creme Review

First off, when you open this product, it smells like a lemon meringue pie!  That's about the only pro that I have...it smells good.  This product is meant to be a leave in moisturizer, but I actually feel as though it made my hair drier.  Weird, right?  The product is a thick cream and it applies smoothly seemly melting into the hair.  After a couple of hours, I noticed that my hair felt a little hard, rougher in texture.  My hair felt like when I had put too much protein in my hair in the past.  The product states that it's paraben free, mineral oil free, and alcohol free...but it doesn't feel that way.  There may be some sneaky ingredients in there.  But overall, I was not impressed with this product and will not repurchase it again.  I was surprised writing this review for ORS because I have loved their products in the past, but this one was not it for me.  Oh, the joy of finding the hair product staples!  Have you tried any of the ORS line for naturals?  Stay FABULOUS!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette Available Now!

Hey Beauties!  Surprise! Jaclyn Hill has another collaboration with Becca Cosmetics.  The new palette includes two shimmering skin perfectors (Champagne Pop and Prosecco Pop), two mineral blushes (Amaretto and Pamplemousse), and one luminous blush (Rose Spritz).  All shades are new except for the infamous Champagne Pop.  The palette retails for 52.00 USD.  The palette is expected to release 5/26 online and 6/16 in Sephora stores.

*Becca just posted a early bird release!  Download the Sephora app and type champagneglow into the search field to purchase the palette now.  While supplies last!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sephora Vs Ulta (Battle of the Beauty Stores!)

There are two large beauty retailers in the United States. Sephora and Ulta are many of our go-to beauty retailers that satisfy our beauty fixes. Would you pick one over the other? Hard choice, right? Now this may be a slightly biased battle of the beauty stores since I am employed with one of these retailers. Hey, I'm all about love not war...hehe! But, let’s jump into the battle of the beauty stores.

1. Products


      Sephora a child of Luis Vuitton carries most luxury brands in cosmetics, hair care, and fragrance. Brand reps have events and provide services on specified dates. Mini makeovers require no appointment, and full makeovers are available by appointment only.


      Ulta carries some luxury brands as well as drugstore brands. Ulta also includes a hair salon service counter and a brow service counter. Makeovers and hair services are by appointment only.

2. Pricing


      Sephora is your definitely high end store. Many prices are above 20.00 USD for a single item. Sephora does have their own collection which includes more budget friendly options.


      Since Ulta carries drugstore and high end products, the prices range is enormous. Ulta also has their own cosmetics line with budget friendly pricing. You can find retail prices as low as 3.99 USD.

3. Sales

Sephora :

      Sephora does not have "sales" per say, but they do have a sale section which includes a large number of products. The products are updated daily.


      Ulta has many sales. They have bogo sales for drugstore cosmetics, nail care, and haircare all the time. The sales differ each week and can be found in the store catalog or via email subscription. Ulta also has a sale section on their webpage stating all items on sale for that week.

4. Coupons


      Sephora does two sales per year. The VIB sale is held in April and November of each year. The coupon varies from 10%-20% off. The discount applies to all merchandise.


Ulta has several coupons released during any given week. Most coupons found are 3.50 USD off of 10.00 to 15.00 USD or 20% off. The coupons for Ulta do not usually include prestige brands, which are most of the high end brands. Every so often, the coupons are able to be applied to all purchases.

5. Rewards/Membership


      Sephora has a rewards program called Beauty Insider.  There are three tiers to the program.  A beauty insider (BI) spends less than 350.00 USD per calendar year.  A very important beauty insider (VIB) spends over 350.00 USD per calendar year but less than 1,000.00 USD.  Rouge members spend over 1,000 USD per calendar year.  All members have access to the same rewards gifts which are deluxe samples of different products.  The number or products and size vary based on the number of points in your bank.  Each dollar spent earns one point.  There are opportunities to get 3x, 4x, etc. during special occasions.  Your do not expire.  All members receive a free birthday gift.  VIB and Rouge members do receive early access, complimentary makeovers, free access to makeup classes at select stores, and additional 10% coupons.  Rouge members also get free two day shipping, which is a 10.99 charge for a yearly subscription of two day shipping for all other members.


     Ulta has a Perks program.  Each dollar earns you one point in your bank.  There are opportunities to get 3x, 4x, etc.  These points offer dollar amounts off of your purchase.  Yes, actual money off!  Now, these points do expire after a certain amount of time.  Platinum members spend over 450.00 USD a calendar year.  All members receive a free birthday gift.  Platinum members receive early access and additional coupons.

6. Returns


      Sephora has an awesome return policy.  You can return just about anything with no questions asked.  You must have at least 75% of your product remaining and packaging and/or receipt.  You have 90 days to return an item for a refund and after that store credit or exchange is available.  You also have the option of looking up a purchase with your rewards card.


      Ulta has a 60 day return policy.  I must admit that they are not as welcoming of returning products as Sephora.   Items with no receipt or rewards card will be issued store credit.

     So, this is just a breakdown of some similarities and differences and what each store offers. Do you have a favorite? I still get benefits from both stores, so it is too hard for me to choose. Lately, Ulta seems to have more exclusive releases than Sephora. So, I have been hopping from one store to the next. Does this post sway you to one store or the other? Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

A new skincare review for you Beauties.  I normally do not try too many skincare products because like they say...if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  But, sometimes our skin becomes desentisized to products.  So, my skin needed a change.  I have previously reviewed the cleanser by Kate Somerville, and I was very impressed.  I can also say the same for the Exfoilikate Intensive Exfoilating Treatment.  You get 0.5 oz retails for 24.00 USD.  The larger sizes varies from 85.00 USD to 125.00 USD.

See what Kate Somerville says:

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is Kate's top-selling product, and the next best thing to seeing Kate in the clinic. This signature, expert formula works both physically and enzymatically to deliver safe, dramatic results in one application—and in the comfort of your own home. It effectively combats acne and blackheads, reduces discoloration, and polishes skin for a smooth complexion. Ideal for all skin types except sensitive skin, it harnesses the power of fruit enzymes to clarify skin by removing dead cells and eliminating bacteria. Skin will appear healthy, youthful, and vibrant. 

The product contains a green, thick product with medium to large exfoilating particles.  I rub the product in for 30 seconds as instructed and rinse the product away.  This definitely makes my skin feel polished and smooth.  I love a product that feels gentle during the application process but leaves your skin feeling like you must have gone through a deep treatment.  I have noticed a more radiant and healthy appearance to my skin.  I tried the product out for about 6 weeks twice a week.  The instructions state that you can you can use it morning or night and daily.  I got a great deal with the cleanser and exfoilator for 50.00 USD at Sephora.com.  The special includes a full size cleanser and a 0.5 oz exfoilator.  What's your favorite exfoilator?  Stay FABULOUS!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Beauty Blender vs. All Other Sponges

Is the beauty blender different from all of the other beauty sponges on the market?  I get this question several times a day. ..

My honest answer is yes.  A sponge is sponge, right?  Yes, to a certain extent they all serve their purpose.  I have used sponges from Real Techniques, brand sponges from local beauty suppliers, and more.  Most sponges are noticeably firm in comparison to the Beauty Blender.  I believe the firmness is meant to prevent absorption, but the flexibility and manageability of the sponge become comprised.  In my opinion, it does not really matter if these sponges are wet or dry.  The product will just soak into the sponge or just sit in the creases of the sponge.  The application can vary for just about every sponge that I have tried.  With the exception of Real Techniques, the application can be a bit streaky.  I can say that all of the sponges that I have tried have gotten the job done. 

What I have learned about Beauty Blenders…Beauty Blender claims to have created their beauty blenders with a unique and exclusive material that contains an open cell structure.  This open cell structure allows the blender to fill with small amounts of water when wet.  The fullness of the Beauty Blender allows the product to sit on the blender for application and prevents waste of product from soaking into the sponge.  The Beauty Blender has a soft, extremely spongy feel even when dry.

Think you see the key difference?  The density and material of the sponge…  I think Beauty Blender has mastered the art of creating an application tool that does not waste product and provides an even, smooth application.  I have not found any close comparison.  What about you?  Is there a difference?  Stay FABULOUS!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Oil Free Review

More tinted moisturizer reviews for you beauties.  Laura Mericer has been one of the top tinted moisturizer brand for several years.  Known for having a fuller coverage tinted moisturizer.  This was one of the first oil free tinted moisturizers that I tried in college.  Check out what Laura Mercier states:

This lightweight formula provides ideal protection from the sun’s harmful, damaging rays with broad spectrum SPF 20 UVB/UVA sunscreen. It also controls oil-breakthrough with hydration to prevent dryness and soften and ease fine, dry lines. An antioxidant complex of vitamins C and E acts as a free radical scavenger to protect the skin from even the most aggressive effects of the environment, all while extremely long-wearing color stays true and wears evenly in a natural, semi-matte finish. Non-comedogenic and dermatologist- and allergy-tested to minimize the risk of irritation, it is perfect for all skin types, including sensitive ones.
There are 15 shades in the line which is a whole lot for a tinted moisturizer line.  There are about 4 women of color shades.  I originally tried walnut, the second to darkest shade, and it was a tad bit too light.  I must add that I love tinted moisturizers during the summer.  My tanned skin can be difficult to match.  Walnut required too much manipulation to work for me.  The darkest color mocha is a decent color match.  I felt as though the two darker shades do have slight grey cast to them.  This may be from the sunscreen in this product.

The coverage is like that of a light foundation.  It is definitely one of the thicker tinted mositurizers similar to the thickness of a BB cream.  This product will maintain oil control for about 2-4 hours. The price is 44.00 USD for 1.7 oz.  This price is comparable to other high end tinted moisturizers on the market.  What's your favorite tinted moisturizer? Stay FABULOUS!

Overall, this is a good contender for a tinted moisturizer.  When I first tried this product back in college, there were not that many women of color and oily friendly tinted moisturizers out there.  Now, I feel as though there are some better products on the market such as Nars and Urban Decay.  But it is worth a try.  Have you tried this?  Stay FABULOUS!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sephora Collection Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation Review

I do not review Sephora Collection items that often.  It's not that I dislike them, I am just drawn to so many other makeup brands in the universe!  I received this foundation in gratis.  This is part of the Sephora Collection which is exclusive to Sephora.  You receive 0.67 oz for 24.00 USD which is steal compared to other foundations on the market except MAC.  Here is Sephora's take:

The ultra-fluid texture of this formula flawlessly melts onto skin for buildable light-to-medium coverage and the feeling of wearing no foundation at all. The formula glides on for foolproof application and moisturizes to create visibly smoother skin.

So, my thoughts.  This foundation comes with  dropper similar to some of the new high end foundations out such as Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, and so on... I am not thrilled with using a dropper or spatula applicator to apply my foundation.  I suppose one pro is that it saves on foundation.  But, one con that I have noticed working in Sephora that this product is hard to get out of the bottle once you go below 30 percent or so...now you are wasting product.

The consistency is more liquidy.  The application yielded a lightweight, medium coverage.  I definitely had the feeling of no foundation.  It wore comfortably throughout a workday.  It left a more satin finish.  This foundation is not marketed toward oily girls like me because of its infusion properties.  I started becoming oily within two hours, but I did not have to blot excessively throughout the day.  I wore the foundation in no more than 6 hour time frames.  Beyond that time could have resulted in really oily mess.

The color match was decent.  There are really only three women of color shades.  I wore #45 which is second from the darkest.  The darkest is like a 5 shade difference in color.  I found the shade just a little too light for my preference, but nothing a darker powder couldn't fix.

This foundation is decent and nothing to write home about.  It will be an easy lightweight foundation to throw on when I running errands and not going to be out all day.  For a similar price, I could actually get a good MAC foundation.  But, this is something definitely worth a try for dry, combination beauties looking for lightweight coverage on a budget.  Stay FABULOUS!