Monday, September 23, 2013

Starlooks Starbox Review! September 2013


I am VERY excited to do this review, as I have been following the Starlooks Starboxes on youtube for almost a year now, and I am absolutely thrilled to finally receive one that I can review for you all! But before we get into the goodies that I received for September, let me explain a bit about Starlooks, who they are, and what the Starbox is!

Starlooks is a professional cosmetics company that has their full line available at starlooks.com Over the past year, they have provided a subscription service called the "Starbox" to help get their products to consumers in a fun, affordable way. The great thing about Starlooks is that they have very high quality cosmetics (some of their cosmetics chemists worked for MAC and other high end lines) and the Starbox allows you to try 3-4 of their products each month. These are not samples, either! They are FULL SIZED cosmetics.

Another great part about the Starlooks Starbox is that each box is specially curated. It's never just a bunch of random cosmetics thrown into a box. Each box is carefully planned based on professional beauty and fashion forecasts, in order to guarantee that each box contains a complete “look” that is on trend during that particular month

The price is $15 a month, and you will ALWAYS receive full size products from their line that retail for far more than the cost of the box. This particular month, I received a box worth $42!

Another fun thing? They send you a "Birthday Box" which I haven't heard of ANY other company doing. On your birthday month, you will receive an extra box on top of your regular monthly box with a small assortment of cosmetics, for free to celebrate your birthday. Kind of awesome, right?

Now that I've rambled a bit about Starlooks, let's get into what I received this month in my September Starbox!

The box arrived in a white bubble mailer and I pulled out a very cute white box with a pink letter attached.


The box is very slim, and very nice-looking. I have seen some of the past boxes, and I believe that they change up the box every month depending on what the theme is. They're quite nice and would make nice storage boxes! I thought the envelope was very nice, too! It was even sealed with wax! (How fancy!)


Inside the envelope was an invitation code to try a month of Ooberluxe, which is a company that is essentially a virtual assistant. I took a quick peek at the site, and it's kind of neat if you're a busy person, IE: If you have to do a lot of research and would like help!


I popped the box open right after the envelope to find a nice array of pretty white and black boxes! 



Let's do the obvious first. The black box with a set of lashes. I was a bit let down, only because I'm obsessed with lashes, have tons of them, and also have very specific brands that I use. I decided to take them out of the box and see what I thought of them anyway.



The shape of these lashes is no too bad. They seem to be shorter on either end with some longer lashes in the middle. I prefer demi-cut lashes, where they are shorter on the inside and fan out to longer lashes on the outside. It gives a larger appearance to the eyes. I also didn't like that these lashes looked a bit plastic-y. They didn't look like actual lashes, but more like the plastic, cheap ones that you see around Halloween. I have yet to try them, though. They haven't won me over yet. If they DO, I will post an update!

Next item was a lip gloss!


This lip gloss is called "Pearl Necklace" and while it appears a bit peachy in the photo, it's more of a cream-white color with a shimmer of a similar tone. I did a quick swatch here:



It does look a bit "clear" on my skin tone, but it does have a light color to it. It's very shiny gloss and is actually an excellent formula. It has a very light tackiness too it (it's NOT watery/liquidy) but it's not sticky or thick at all. It's very comfortable on the lips as well. This is a nice color, but I would most likely never buy a shade like this as there isn't much color pay off. It's very nice to wear alone or on top of a bold lip for a bit of shine!

The next product was a gel eye-liner.



This is probably my favorite item in the entire box. I really love gel liners, and I especially love that they've sent us a white one. I think this would make a great base for eye shadow, but more importantly, it can be applied on the water line and on the inner corners of the eye to really make them pop! White eye-cosmetics are always useful when you want to achieve an awake/bright eye look, and I'm really happy to receive a product that I don't already have in my collection! Here's a swatch:



This is just one quick swipe, too! It's very pigmented and has a really beautiful, frosty/shimmery finish!

I really like that everything compliments each other well in this box. I think you can come up with a nice pearly, fresh look with the products in this box, and I look forward to making a look out of them! Here's a photo of everything I received. Note: There is a small tube of lash glue and a little quartz crystal  as well. They include a crystal in each box as a little extra :) There's also a card with a few shots of their models wearing this month's products with more information about each product on the back of the card. (You can also see better the shade of the lip gloss in this photo!)


 Overall, I am very pleased with my Starlooks Starbox. I really look forward to what they have in store for next month, especially because it's Halloween! If you sign up before the 10th of the month, you will receive October's box as well! If you're interested in trying Starlooks Starbox for yourself, sign up on their website: STARLOOKS 

Using the link I posted above will give me credit for you signing up! So thank you in advance and I KNOW you will love this service! :)


PLUS! Our boxes, unlike other subscriptions, are NOT comprised of random selections of product. Our Creative Team (a wonderful group of highly trained professionals from the beauty and fashion industry) carefully plans each month based on professional beauty and fashion forecasts, and products are carefully selected to guarantee that each box contains a complete “look” that is not only fashion forward, but also current. - See more at: http://starlooks.com/pages/faq#sthash.NUnmNwDw.dpuf
PLUS! Our boxes, unlike other subscriptions, are NOT comprised of random selections of product. Our Creative Team (a wonderful group of highly trained professionals from the beauty and fashion industry) carefully plans each month based on professional beauty and fashion forecasts, and products are carefully selected to guarantee that each box contains a complete “look” that is not only fashion forward, but also current. - See more at: http://starlooks.com/pages/faq#sthash.NUnmNwDw.dpuf

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ipsy Bag September 2013 Review!


My favorite time of the month arrived sooner than expected, and I was surprised to see my Ipsy bag at my door step much earlier than the tracking info stated! No complaints here, as last month they had a  lot of issues with the shipping. I had already peeked at my glam room to take a look at what I was getting this month, but it was still exciting to see and test everything! Let's take a look at my bag this month!


First off, let's just talk about how Ipsy only costs $10 a month? If I were to purchase each of these items separately, it would cost me $45.75! Not to mention the makeup bag that all of your products come in every month! I feel like Ipsy just gets better and better and I am so thrilled to be a subscriber! Now onto the reviews!

1. NYX Single Eyeshadow in "Morocco"
I am a huge fan of NYX products. There are some people that disagree with me and complain about the quality of their cosmetics, however I think that they are a great combination of affordability, quality packaging, and quality cosmetics. Of course they're not on par with Urban Decay, or another high end line of makeup, but I think their makeup is as good or better than most drugstore brands, and they use modern packaging while keeping the price at a drugstore level. What's not to love? I received the single shadow in the color "Morocco" which at first glance, looked like a boring navy blue. Not until I opened and swatched it did I realize it was a shimmery, smokey, grey/purple color. It's absolutely stunning and I am so thrilled that I got it! It's not the most pigmented color ever, but it does have a very nice color payoff overall and the shadow is nice and soft.

2. Elizabeth Mott "It's So Big" Mascara
Elizabeth Mott is the company that invented the ridiculous and gimmicky "Lash Cards" which I absolutely despise. If you're not familiar, they are curved shaped pieces of cardboard that you hold under your lashes while applying mascara. Yea. I can't even begin to tell you how much I think those things are stupid and overpriced. (I mean, they're pieces of cardboard!!!) However, this "It's So Big" mascara is definitely not a gimmick, even if the the name is a little questionable! :) It's actually a nice mascara. It did give a nice separation and volume to my lashes, as well as a bit of length. I don't think it's anything mind-blowing, and I don't think it's worth the $20 price tag (for full size) but I do think I will continue to use it up as it performs relatively well on my lashes!

3. CAILYN Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm in "Big Apple"
Ipsy had given out CAILYN cosmetics gel liners in a past bag (I believe in June) and I wasn't lucky enough to try one, so I was very excited to get this lip balm in my bag. When I read the description of the product I assumed it would a be a tinted balm, obviously. However this product packs a lot more punch than the name would suggest. CAILYN's products have the weird-shaped cover, that has a little brush tucked into it, so I used the brush that it came with to apply the the product. This is not a "balm" at all. This is a very opaque red color that does tint/stain your lips quite nicely if that that's the effect you're going for! I am a huge fan of red lips so I am very happy I got this. If you're hoping this will give you a light tint of color on your lips, I wouldn't go for this product. If you DO want a flattering, easy to wear red lipstick, Big Apple is a great choice as it's not too intense color-wise, and it's very easy to apply with the attached brush.

4. BUTTER London Nail Lacquer in 'La Moss'
This was the product everyone had their eye on this month and of course it was the one I was most excited about receiving. I was lucky enough to be one of the subscribers that got this half-size bottle of Butter London polish, and It's probably the most PERFECT color for fall! I have never tried a  polish from this company before, but I have heard really good things and see the line in Ulta all the time, so it was really fun to see what the fuss is about! I wasn't blown away by the formula or anything, however. I think it performs the same way as may other polish brands perform. I don't think it's worth $15 for a full size, personally. However, it HAS been on my nails for 4 days with no chips, and that is a huge feat for me! haha :) I think what wins me over with this polish is definitely the color. It's a dark, oxblood (deep red/burgandy hue) and after one coat, it's a bit too streaky-looking. However after two coats, it looks more black than oxblood on the nails.  Not my favorite polish ever, but I am definitely going to continue using it through fall!

5. Starlooks Obsidian Kohl Pencil Liner
Starlooks is a makeup company that does monthly subscription boxes (I've contacted them about doing reviews on their boxes. Stay tuned!) and includes their own cosmetics in the boxes that are curated month to month. However, their products have started popping up in Ipsy bags as well, which I suppose is good marketing on their part! I received a lip pencil back in June, however it was a bright salmon color which is a shade I NEVER wear and it looked pretty terrible on me, so I tossed it into a makeup drawer and that was that. However, I was excited to see I was getting the Kohl liner so I could try a product of theirs that I would actually use! This kohl pencil is nice. It glides on pretty easily, although I had a bit of a tough time getting it onto my water line. I think it performs well, and would be suited well for a smokey eye. I don't think it applies dark and deep enough to get a solid line for non-smokey looks. But it's a nice pencil overall.

I have to say that this month is probably the best of the year. I either like or love all the products I received, and I feel like IpsyMatch chose the right products for me to try out. I am already looking forward to next month!

If you want to sign up with Ipsy, please consider using my referral link! You can be sure you won't be disappointed! Join Ipsy Today!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Too Faced Shadow Bon Bons Review



Too Faced was the very first high-end brand I ever tried. I remember walking into Cherry & Webb with my older sister and seeing the makeup counter glowing against the background of tacky green carpeting. It was a week before the first day of 9th grade (1999) and I really wanted to use my babysitting money on something special. Too Faced has always had a fun, feminine packaging, yet in the early days (Too Faced was founded in 1998) all the packaging was black, with neat-looking cat-eyed faced on the compacts. I was a bit of a wanna-be rebel, so this packaging appealed to me immediately. (If you're interested in what some of the old Too Faced packaging looked like, take a peek at this post at Makeup Stash!)

So to cut the story short, I was immediately drawn to their lipsticks, and I ended up choosing a beautiful burgundy color with gold flecks. It was much more "mature" of a color than I was used to, but when I put it on, I felt like a supermodel. From that point on, I was forever hooked on Too Faced!

Recently, I discovered that the Shadow Bon Bons were on sale directly from the Too Faced website. This was a palette that I decided against purchasing at first, because I found it to be a bit similar to some of the other palettes I have. I received the Tarte QVC palette this past Christmas and it is filled with lots of beautiful neutrals and purples, so this one felt a bit redundant. However, I couldn't pass it up at half price! Luckily, my best friend bought it for me!

Here's what the packaging looks like:


It comes in a cute pink box with black print, and within lies yet another pink box with gold print. It has a "fuzzy" feel to it, similar to the original Naked palette. It also includes a mini "look book" that includes 3 different eye looks to try out.

Inside the box you find this adorable layout, which is supposed to be reminiscent of a box of bon-bons. So cute!


The palette contains 12 full-sized shadows which are arranged in 3 color-coordinating rows. Row 1 is a purple look, Row 2 is a warm-toned pink look, and Row 3 is a brown smokey look. You could definitely mix and match between all of these, but this is an awesome palette for anyone who wants something a bit more natural and straightforward in regards to how the palette is arranged. Also included in the palette is a deluxe size Shadow Insurance in "Candlelight" which has some golden flecks in it, as well as a full size tube of the LashGasm mascara. This is a great value, even at the full price! 

Before I get to the shadows/swatches, let's talk quickly about the bonus products. I know a lot of people, myself included, are big fans of Urban Decay's Primer Potion, but I actually prefer Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I really like the way it performs and I think it makes the shadows look much more vibrant than UDPP. However, this particular tube is the "Candlelight" version. Where, as I said above, there is a bit of a luminescence to it. It's not blatant, but you can definitely notice a light golden shimmer once it's applied. It's an excellent formula and I think it will really compliment these shades when used together.

The full size LashGasm mascara is a nice addition, although I've used this product in the past and I'm not a huge fan of it. Honestly, it's not a bad mascara if you're looking for something basic, but it doesn't do much in the way of volumizing or lengthening. It doesn't clump or look bad though, so it's always nice to have as a back-up!

OK, now onto the shadows. Forgive my terrible camera quality! These are swatched without primer, directly onto my skin with one layer. You could definitely pack these one and make them MUCH more pigmented and intense, but I wanted to show you what a quick sweep of these colors would look like.


There IS a color at the very top of my arm *(above the lavender) but it's very close to my skin tone so it is hard to notice. These shadows are VERY buttery, which I love. Even the shadows that contain glitter have very little fall-out, which is always a plus. I really love the purple-taupe color called Framboise, as well as the smokey lavender color called "Cut the Cake." I find them to be very unique colors. 

There are a few different finishes to the shadows in this palette. I am going to go row by row and describe each color as best I can! (Again, forgive my crappy cell-phone pics! They are very close to the actual colors, just a bit blurry!)

ROW 1 
 From Left to Right:
Vanilla- Matte shade. Warm cream color.
Cut the Cake- Satin shade. Almost matte with a hint of gold shimmer
Framboise- Shimmer shade. Very fine gold/purple shimmer.
Coffee Bean- Matte shade. Dark chocolate brown.


ROW 2
From Left to Right:
Peach Fuzz- Glitter Shade. Pale peach with fine gold glitter.
Hot Cocoa- Satin Shade. Warm brown with a satiny/shiny finish.
Candy Rose- Glitter Shade. Soft baby pink with a fine silver glitter
Lovey Dovey- Shimer Shade. Cool brown with a soft shimmer. No glitter.

ROW 3


 From Left to Right:
Nude Beach- Glitter Shade. Pale yellow shimmer with gold glitter. Most glitter of all the shades.
Cinnamon Sugar- Shimmer Shade. Soft coppery-gold color. no glitter.
Marzipan- Matte shade. Light brown.
Licorice Latte- Glitter shade. black-brown color with gold glitter.

Overall, all of these colors are very buttery and soft. Nude Beach is the only shade that has a bit of a roughness to it, and it also happens to be the shade that has the most intense glitter. It's the only shade that has noticeable fallout as well. All of the other glitters are very fine, making them quite easy to apply, and they come off very nicely without looking tacky. 

Shadow Bon Bons is an adorable palette that gives you a nice selection of neutral-toned shadows. You are able to easily come up with a smokey purple look, a warm pink look, and a brown smokey look. I think this is the perfect palette for someone who prefers a natural-colored eye but who also desires to have the option for a light and natural look or a dark and smokey look. It's got a nice array of shades, and shadow textures. All the shadows are very nicely pigmented and apply with ease. I'm definitely happy with this palette and I look forward to using it more often!