Category Archives: Makeup

Touch of Spice Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick Review

It’s that time of the year when new collections are released, and I’m ready to upgrade my fall lipstick collection with moody reds and berry shades.  As part of the Color Sensational line, Maybelline recently released their Creamy Matte lipsticks, and I purchased a shade at Walgreens for $11 (that’s drugstore New York prices for you folks).  You can find these cheaper at Ulta or Target, and I strongly encourage you to check those places first.  I picked up Touch of Spice because the other colors in the collection seemed too bright for me, and I was really looking for something more neutral for everyday wear (I might go back for Maybelline Divine Wine though!).

The opacity of these Maybelline Creamy Matte lipsticks is incredible (almost to the point that I might recommend using a lip liner in conjunction with it to soften the color).  In fact, you may also experience some slight staining on your lips from the darker, more colorful shades.  For a sheerer application (because it’s that pigmented!), I recommend combining and applying on top of a lip balm. This particular Maybelline lipstick has a slight floral scent that dissipates quickly after application (but take note if you experience sensitivity to fragrance).

Because of the creamy formulation, the Maybelline Creamy Matte Touch of Spice applies smoothly onto the lips.  In the swatch above, I compared Mac Mehr and Maybelline Touch of Spice - Mac’s Mehr has a dry, matte finish and contains less red tones, while Maybelline’s Touch of Spice is more of a satin finish with red and brown undertones. Overall, I like wearing matte finishes more because matte lipsticks create the illusion of a natural lip color (this differs per person, but for some reason, matte products are more wearable and natural in my case). I recommend purchasing at least one of the shades but waiting for a sale or BOGO deal.

The Maybelline Creamy Matte lipsticks feature a unique velvet formula and wonderful pigmentation (creamy matte may be a contradictory notion but Maybelline makes it work). Now, go add a Touch of Spice to your lipstick collection.

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

Clinging to Pink - September Favorites

September was a full of adventure and early anticipation for the holiday season.  Between traveling to Alabama for work (a surprisingly awesome trip!), experiencing a solar storm with a pink sky, and unpacking my sweaters and scarves, I wanted to cling to the last tidbits of summer.

My September Favorites are my transition (and acceptance) of chilly weather and “it’s time to change my skincare and makeup routine.” I will always prefer warm weather to shivering and cold ears and nose, but alas, the East Coast summer lasts about three minutes.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - after much research and contemplation, I purchased the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and let me tell you, it’s lived up to the expectations and it’s everything you hear! The Better Than Sex Mascara has an hourglass shaped wand which delivers volume and length without the dreaded clumping.  The mascara is long lasting and does not flake and there really is no downside to this product (get it, enjoy it, it’s awesome!).

Essie Under Where - this Essie was my stand against fall trends.  Pink and with very slight shimmer, this nail polish was perfectly suited for my work trip.  Essie polishes are hits and misses in terms of quality, but Essie Under Where managed to stay on and not chip for a few days (but the pigmentation is limited so three coats are needed).

Pink Beauty Blender - my trusty foundation tool is back to save the day (and my dry, dry skin). I’ve compared the Beauty Blender with other foundation application tools, and sang its laurels, so if you have dry skin, consider purchasing the Beauty Blender.  Bonus tip here: if you moisten the Blender with warm water in the morning, your skin (and foundation) will be even more happy.

Embryolisse Lait Creme - is also working it’s way back into my skincare routine.  I’ve been using the Embryolisse to remove my makeup and moisturize before applying anything else on my skin. This multitasking product is a French favorite for a reason (full review here).

Maybelline Limited Edition Buffs Ravishing Rose - I purchased Ravishing Rose a while back from the Spring Maybelline Limited Edition Collection so I’m rushing to wear it while it’s still “appropriate.” Ravishing Rose is a bright, white-toned pink that applies beautifully and in true Maybelline form, has strong pigmentation.

With this September Favorites, I’m officially ready for fall activities and pumpkin extravaganza.

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

Street Style September Ipsy Review (and My Last Ipsy)

ipsy_bag3DSC_00283DSC_0038Ipsy’s September Glam Bag, Street Style, arrived earlier than usual this month in a pretty silver makeup bag lined with studs.  The information card featured Ipsy-affiliated You Tubers who provided street styling tips.  Things were off to a great start, but I’m afraid to say that Ipsy didn’t finish strong.  This will be my last month with Ipsy because I think after more than a year with them, I should try a different subscription box. I’m considering Beauty Box 5, Olia Jewelry box, or Glossybox.  Ipsy continues to be a good value subscription, but I want a subscription service with higher-end products and fashion pieces.  I enjoyed the Ipsy Glam bags where Ipsy included the newly released Urban Decay products or Zoya polishes, but those months have been few and far between to justify me spending the monthly $10.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite subscription box is and why you like it, or what box you would want to see me review.  As a grad student, I am looking to spend approximately $20 a month (and because I really love receiving goodies in the mail, I hope  to replace Ipsy with another service soon). Now, onto the (last!) Ipsy Glam Bag review!

Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush is a double sided synthetic brush that retails for $7.  I’m not a fan of double ended brushes since they are difficult to store, but other than that, this Crown Brush seems to be of nice quality.  I do appreciate the pointed pencil-end pairing with the blending-end as this is a unique combination that could come in handy.

Nourish Organic Moisturizing Cream Face Cleanser is a mild cleanser, and aside from the scent, I have been quite enjoying.  The Nourish Organic Cleanser retails for $10 full size and is available online or at Target. This product cleanses my skin well and provides nice hydration as my skin doesn’t feel tight or dry after cleansing.  I enjoy the Nourish Organic line of products, but the scents are the only thing keeping me from purchasing the full size - this particular cleanser scent reminds me of mushrooms (and I’m not sure ’bout that!).

Pacifica Natural Water Proof Eye Pencil in Gun Metal is a deluxe eyeliner pencil in what seems to be a (you guessed it) gun metal shade.  I have so many eyeliner pencils floating about my apartment right now, that I wasn’t prepared to open and swatch this product. Ipsy has included an eyeliner in almost every bag these past few months (to my frustration, as I’m quite picky about my eyeliners).

Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Gloss is a deep maroon red gloss, and it retails $18 for a full size. The color is on the sheer side, so this gloss may look great topping off a lipstick, but on my bare lips, it appeared a bit off due to the lack of pigmentation. While the formula is comfortable and the color is perfect for fall, this product was more than half empty. I contacted Ipsy Care and Ipsy offered to send me a replacement (still disappointed with the situation because I’ve had these kind of issues with Ipsy previously).

Mitchell and Peach Luxury Hand Cream retails for a whopping $34 for a full size, and well, let’s just say I’m confused and don’t really understand why.  Although this company originates in Kent, England and the fragrances and ingredients are sourced directly from the estate, free of damaging chemicals and parabens, the hand cream did not wow me, formula or scent wise.

So, end of an era for Ipsy (dramatic, I know, but feels like I’ve subscribed to Ipsy forever and it was the first subscription I ever tried). Ipsy, we’ve had our relationship ups and downs, but tomorrow is another day (thought this quote went with the dramatized subscription finale)!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

OCC Lip Tar Fall Picks - Sebastian, Lydia, Nomad

Before my love and appreciation of OCC lip tars, I used to think of OCC as the company with the green and  black lipsticks.  Based on the colorful ad campaigns and my random searches for Halloween makeup, I was stuck with the idea that OCC only created daring shades and edgy hues.  After some much needed research (read: shopping) and after having the opportunity to chat with OCC at both IMATS and The Makeup Show, I’ve come to embrace the more natural side of OCC.

OCC, short for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, features all vegan and cruelty free products that include lipsticks, lip pencils, foundations, and eye shadows (founded  by a theatrical makeup artist, OCC boasts over 200 different shades among its products). Most popular among those items are the OCC lip tars which are packaged in the signature OCC tube.  Lip tars (awesome name, right?) are basically liquid lipsticks with various finishes such as matte, glossy, sparkly, or metallic.  And while OCC tars do come in metallic blue hues, my favorite OCC tars are natural, flattering, and just a bit unique.

OCC Sebastian lip tar may look like a “hmm-not-sure-about-this” gray but the shade is perfect for layering with other colors and creating a muted, matte effect.  Even worn by itself, OCC Sebastian is a beautiful plum-toned taupe that can translate to a nude lip look.

OCC Lydia lip tar is a medium pink that will likely be flattering on anyone wearing it - with a matte finish, OCC Lydia has long lasting power and strong pigmentation.  This lip tar is perfectly suited for any occasion, and the shade can be intensified based on application - Lydia is the your-lips-but-better choice.

OCC Nomad lip tar is a gold-maroon stained gloss.  OCC Nomad sparkles just right, without being distracting, and is the perfect shade to transition from summer to fall.  This particular shade tends to translate as a burgundy and leaves a berry-red stain.  From the translucent finish to the lovely pigmentation, I find myself reaching for OCC Nomad more often these days.

If you’ve never experimented with OCC, I recommend starting with the lip tars and lip pencils (OCC tars are available at Sephora and retail for $18.00).  For a company known for its whimsically bold shades, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the variety and wear-ability of OCC lip tars.

 Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.