Monthly Archives: June 2013


Ipsy Glam Bag June 2013 - Review, Swatches & Tutorial

Ipsy June Glam Bag - “On the Wild Side” included some fun makeup products and a dry shampoo
Subscribe to Ipsy here (referral link) 
 Mackenzie’s Notes: 
I recently received my June Ipsy Glam Bag and I wanted to share with you all the goodies included as well as how they swatch and how I wear them.  This month’s bag was titled “On the Wild Side“, and the bag included fun makeup products (such as cream glitter), vibrant shades (bright lip liner) and a dry shampoo fit for those big hair days or long nights. 
Ipsy is a monthly subscription service at $10 for which you receive five full size or deluxe sample products, curated by YouTube makeup gurus.  Make sure you check out my original post on Ipsy here as I have additional details on this subscription service.
I will include swatches of all makeup and a small tutorial on how I use the highlighter pencil, as it is one thing I have incorporated into my daily routine.  I was very happy with this month’s bag as all the products are new to me and I have heard many good reviews about all of them.  Also, this month’s cheetah and fluorescent make up bag was great quality, made of a sturdy material and lined, so many thumbs up on that!  I hope you enjoy this post and that you get to know Ipsy better to see if it would be a good match for you.  So far, I recommend it, and will keep you posted next month as well. 
Ipsy June 2013 “On the Wild Side” TOTAL - $44.50 
One swipe swatches of each shades

1. NYX Mosaic Powder Blush in “Dare” - $7 (0.20 oz, full size)
I was excited to receive this mosaic blush since it includes several shades in a mineralized finish.  This NYX Mosaic product is a pigmented blush that looks good on my skin.  I tried using the bottom orange shades as a bronzer, but these were too shimmery and golden for that purpose.  I either swirl all colors for a natural shade or only the pinks for a pinker toned blush. If you like depth in your blush, the NYX Mosaic Powder Blush is the way to go!

After applied, I blended the pencil with my finger as the warmth helps blend the product in better
2. Chella Lace Highlighter Pencil - $18 ( full size)
I love this pencil and I am so glad this was included in the bag, as it’s something I really wanted to own but never justified spending that much money on a skin toned product.  The formula is really creamy and blends in easily, while still providing you with results! I use the highlighter pencil around my brows to define them and hide any stray hairs I might have; I add it to inner corner and top of eyelids to give myself a more awake look.  The color fits me perfectly and is light enough to show up without being too stark.  I use this daily now, but my only disappointment is the fact that the pencil has to be sharpened and it’s not twist up.
3. Starlooks Lip Pencil “Tickle Me Pink” - $12 (full size)
This Starlooks lip pencil is very pigmented and creamy; it applies on like a dream!  The color is very opaque, and it is a bright mauve-pink, it almost reads dusty.  I would wear this alone or with a bit of gloss on top for extra shine, this is a nice quality lip pencil.
The glitter stuck to my fingers and I applied it in a circular motion to my skin to deploy all the glitter onto my hand

4. JCat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette in “Suzie” - $4.50 (full size)
I was excited to receive something sparkly, as I don’t own much glitter based products in my makeup collection.  These glitters come in golden based colors and include different variations of glitter (chunky, smaller copper pieces, a mix, etc) in a clear, jelly (or oil) base.  These contain a lot of glitter which I’m happy about, but I still need to figure out the best way to apply them in a more even fashion.  I want to use these around the eyes, on the face (maybe Halloween) or on the lips but as a heads up, JCat specifies to be careful when applying this product to not get glitter pieces in your eyes if you do decide to apply it on the face.

Love how this is air travel friendly, perfect to carry on you as you’re traveling

5.  Pssst Dry Shampoo - $3.00 (travel size)
I have heard so many good things about this particular dry shampoo and couldn’t wait to try it.  This Pssst Dry Shampoo smells so nice and fresh (not a hairspray smell) and I am glad it doesn’t add lift, as I just want to get rid of the extra oiliness in my hair.  I have used it a couple of times, and so far I don’t see it removing the extra oil as efficiently as say baby powder, but maybe I’m applying it wrong.  I hope that changes as I really like the scent and the powerful aerosol application.

If you want to learn more about the program, be sure to visit Ipsy - Subscribe to Ipsy here (referral link) 

Reader’s Recommendations: What did you receive in your July Glam Bag? Let me know of any tips on how to apply the glitter shadows or dry shampoo!


Skincare Review - b.liv Products Review

b.liv Japan silk mask and b.liv youth preserving serum

Miranda’s Notes:
In my continued search for the perfect skincare routine (which I’m sure exists, it must!), I recently had the opportunity to try several b.liv products.  The b.liv company, pronounced “believe,” is a comprehensive range of products meant to tackle different skin issues like pore reduction, black heads removal, anti-aging, and skin brightening.  The items are laboratory-formulated for premium salon administration, but offered as part of an easy to use, at home personal skincare regimen.  The b.liv representatives are very helpful in assisting with recommendations and what products would work work best for your skin specifically - it really does feel like you are visiting a virtual salon ready to tackle your skin concerns.

b.liv Japan Silk Masks - affordable, effective and easy to use

b.liv Bright is Right Masque (available here) and b.liv Knock off Age Masque (available here)
These b.liv masques are quite different from the usual masks I’ve tried (different in a good way!). There are no stiff paper materials that make you look like strange Frankenstein characters and there is no product to actually paste to your face - the b.liv Japanese silk masks are a very sheer, very soft, and malleable material that actually stays put on your face. There are open holes for the eyes and nose and mouth but because of the material you can actually easily widen or even tear the mask to fit your face (that’s a big plus for b.liv because I want my eye area protected).  After trying both of these masks, I definitely noticed my pores shrank and my face just felt tighter all around.  Using the b.liv Bright is Right mask also helped with skin brightening and redness - my sensitive skin responded wonderfully to the ingredients and had no reaction (the masks have no scent, but some ingredients list fragrance so be sure to check the full ingredients list).

Overall, b.liv masks have quite the interesting ingredients - think caviar extract, pearl powder, and pure Swiss apple - all of these combine to effectively rejuvenate skin.  Now, I wish I could give this product a full grade because I absolutely noticed the results but there are some issues - some of the masks have parabens so if you are looking for all natural products, you may not be able to use some b.liv products. Both masks made my skin feel too dry, and I ended up having to apply moisturizer immediately after.  However, if you have oily skin, these masks should work great (I took a look at the b.liv section for dry skin and dehydration issues which has several items, so I recommend experimenting with products from this section).
Grade: 4/5

b.liv Youth Preserving Serum
b.liv Dump off Drawn Youth Preserving Serum (available here)
Because I have noticed some fine lines and laugh lines, I have also been trying different anti-aging serums.  The b.liv Dump off Draw is meant to energize, brighten, and firm complexion quickly using ingredients like Resveratrol, Soy Isoflavone, and pure L-ascorbic acid.  The serum is a clear, odorless liquid that applies hygienically from a quite-inventive bottle (the packaging also keeps the serum contained and thus more potent).  When applied, the serum feels a bit tacky to the touch but quickly absorbs into the skin.  Unfortunately, I did not notice any anti-aging results with this serum - my skin felt somewhat more moisturized and less dull, but there was no impact on the fine lines.  Coupled with the high price of the product, I recommend actually trying the b.liv silk masks, you can actually feel those tightening skin and diminishing fine lines.
Grade: 3/5
b.liv Dump off Drawn ingredients

Visit the b.liv website and b.liv official Facebook page to learn more about the available products - b.liv tackles everything from aging to pore issues and spot treatments (and also contact b.liv as they are very helpful in giving recommendations that work for you - I plan on trying other products that are better suited for my skin issues).

Disclosure: Press Sample product sent for consideration, opinions are all our own. 


MAC All About Orange Lipsticks - MAC Swatches, Haul, and Review

MAC All About Orange Collection - MAC Lipstick Swatches 

MAC All About Orange - L Razzledazzler, Sweet & Sour, Tangerine Dream R
Mackenzie’s Notes:
MAC recently released a new collection for summer, “All About Orange” - this MAC collection contains seven lipsticks, three lipglasses, three blushes, three nail polishes and one eyeshadow quad.  I was so excited for this collection since I wear a variety of orange and coral hues in my daily makeup routine, be it a pretty peachy pink blush, a pop of bright eye shadow or a striking orange creme lipstick.  Orange complements my yellow skin tone beautifully, and looks great with or without a tan, (even on many other complexions). This All About Orange lipstick collection does contain some true orange colors as well some pinker leaning colors, in a variety of finishes.  The lipsticks retail at $15 a piece and you can find them in store at Macy’s or stand alone counters; this collection is also available on Mac’s website as well as Nordstroms.  The three MAC lipsticks I picked up were: Razzledazzler (Lustre finish), Sweet & Sour (Cremesheen finish) and Tangerine Dream (Lustre finish).  
I will include both face and lip swatches (paired with a smokey grey look inspired by the MAC All About Orange quad) and provide small reviews on each of these lipsticks.  I would recommend checking out this collection and trying on some pretty oranges, as they are on trend and can look chic and flattering on everyone!
The colors on aren’t similar to what they look like in the tube so I strongly recommend you try these on if you get a chance to
The classic MAC packaging; I was a little disappointing they didn’t debut a special packaging for this collection (just think of all the possibilities)
MAC All About Orange Swatches - L Razzledazzler, Sweet & Sour, Tangerine Dream R
1. MAC Razzledazzler - A Lustre creme finish, but quite pigmented, feels very comfortable and moisturizing on lips.  Coral is a soft orange coral leaning pink.  Razzledazzler is a very wearable color and it is the one that I reach for most, flatters my light/medium skin tone beautifully!
2. MAC Sweet & Sour - A Cremesheen finish, so it is a more pigmented and thicker formula than the Lustre finish.  The color is similar to Razzledazzler but much lighter, and white based.  Could be worn as a pretty nude with orangey pink notes.  I wear it with a darker lip liner as it is slightly too light for my skin tone, but this color looked beautiful on my sister who has a lighter skin tone (so she kept this one!).  
Miranda’s Notes: If you still haven’t found that perfect lipstick for the smokey eye look, MAC Sweet and Sour should be the winning pick.  I absolutely love this shade and feel very glam when wearing it. 
3. MAC Tangerine Dream - A Lustre finish, less pigmented than Razzledazzler but still very moisturizing and lightweight formula.  The color is definitely unique, as it is a yellow based orange; the color can be layered an intensified.  I was most excited for this color as it is very unique and it does look great on a medium yellow based skin tone, but I find it difficult to wear due to its yellow tint.
L MAC Razzledazzler, MAC Sweet & Sour, MAC Tangerine Dream R

Readers’ Recommendations:  Were you able to try anything from this collection and what are your thoughts on it?  What’s your favorite lipstick from the MAC All About Orange line?

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

Striped Manicures - Neon Geisha and Pretty Aztec Nail Art

Busy Girl’s Summer Nail Art Challenge - Striped Nail Art Challenge 
Busy Girl’s Summer Nail Art Challenge - Stripes Nail Art #busygirlnails
Summer nail art means bright colors, lots of glitter, playful shapes, and all around experimentation with designs. When we found out about the Busy Girl’s Summer Challenge, we knew we had to join - we have both been definitely busy lately and this challenge was perfect for some summer motivation! The rules for this challenge are simple and perfect for the busy blogger - follow different themes each week, post on any day of that week, and participate in as many or few weeks as you’d like (it doesn’t get any easier than this!).  The weekly manicures can be shared on Instagram using the #busygirlnails tag or shared in a blog post.  
If you’re still looking for inspiration, be sure to visit the talented and lovely hosts @beautybykrystal, @drinkcitra, @mirandasmakeup, and @beautybyarielle. For the stripes nail art theme, we picked completely different approaches - Mackenzie created a neon Geisha design and Miranda opted for a pretty Aztec pattern! 
Miranda’s and Mackenzie’s picks for the striped nails challenge 
Miranda - Aztec nail art using Essie pastel nail polish

Miranda’s Notes: 
Because my technique is not that steady with direct stripes,  I chose to do an Aztec pattern where texture and lots of lines adds to the nail art (and because it’s summer, I also opted for bright colors!).  I initially started with small, three level triangles at the top of the nails but feeling more adventurous, I built on the detail.  I like varying the base colors to create depth and I sought to balance the various accents.  Overall, I’m very happy with my pretty Aztec nail art - and no ultra straight lines required!

Quick tip on how to achieve straight lines (thank you for the reader comments!) - we used a Kiss Nail Art kit which is very affordable (available here).  The brush should have a really long end so you do do not have to actually drag the brush to create a line - just lie it on the nail and the straight stripe shape comes naturally.

Mackenzie - neon nail art using Color Club London Calling nail polish
Mackenzie’s Notes: 
This stripes nail art challenge was a way for me to experiment with techniques I’ve been dying to try, and the outlined nail look was one of those!  I eventually chose outlined nails, some bold stripes in a sunshine pattern, and semi moon accent details in bold and fresh colors.  I think of stripes as being very dramatic and chic - I decided to really have fun with a graphic manicure inspired by geisha culture and bright, confident neon colors.
I’ve seen the outlined nail art turn out so beautiful and striking on long talon shaped nails, but no one said us short nailed girls couldn’t try it out.  Just keep in mind to keep the outline very fine, maybe slightly thicker at the base of the nail to achieve that long nail effect.  If you’re looking to be creative - think black roses, neon tips, and sunshine stripes - I hope you get inspired by this neon geisha nail art. 
Mackenzie used Color Club London Calling (swatch) and Miranda used Essie Muchi Muchi (swatch)