Chieseled to Perfection with Anastasia Cream Contour Kits

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This contouring trend has been on a roll for a few years now, showing no signs of stopping. No matter how many professional makeup artists tell us it’s not a technique meant for everyday makeup, we’re not gonna listen, are we?

 

Because of this ‘more is more’ mentality that we see with each new contouring mini-tutorial on Instagram, I want to at least set the record straight when it comes to proper cream contouring technique.

 

Unless you’re a beauty guru and travel around with your lighting system, high-tech camera and photo/video editing technology on you at all times, chances are that you find it hard to translate the tutorials you see on YouTube into real life application. This is because when you step out of the perfect ambiance of a beauty ring light and into real-life, no-secrets daylight, you find that heavy cream contouring or using two foundation shades to sculpt your skin is not the most flattering application of makeup.

 

Fortunately, Anastasia’s Cream Contour Kits make shaping the face a breeze!

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I’m Rocking Tom Ford Lately

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“I don’t pop Molly, I rock Tom Ford..” – so true, haha.

While in Austin, I visited a Tom Ford counter at Nordstrom, and saw this beauty sitting out on display front and center. I’ve played around with Tom Ford products at counters before, but to be totally honest, sticker shock and employee intimidation have always kept me from purchasing.

Every time I talk to the SA’s, I feel like they kind of think they’re humoring me. I don’t always look like the typical ‘luxury’ client, pushing a crazy toddler in a stroller with my day-two hair in a bun, but I still like to be treated well when I’m planning on dropping some serious dollars on their products.

 

This time was no different, but fortunately, I took the plunge anyway!

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Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani – The Blush Palette


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The partnership continues! In case you missed it, I reviewed the Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette after its December launch, and this blush palette is my newest purchase from the Urban/Gwen collaboration.

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Vanity Organization

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After posting a photo of my vanity to Instagram the other day, I got some inquiries about the glass units you see above holding lots of blush, bronzers, and highlighters. I love seeing collection videos on youtube and the way others organize their stashes, so I figured I’d let you in on my secret!

 

Having your makeup displayed makes it easier to remember what you already have, ensures that your product is always accessible, and allows you to really showcase beautiful packaging (if that’s your thing).

 

Unless we’re talking nails, I’m not really an acrylic girl. So, when I spotted these vanity organizers on an endcap at Target the other day, I knew I’d found a solution worth investing in! Continue reading →

Take Me Away to Dior’s Glowing Gardens!

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Spring 2016 is a great season for makeup lovers, my friends! I’m so excited for several of the launches we’re seeing pop up everywhere.

 

Just like Guerlain’s holiday meteorites, Dior’s Nude Air Glowing Gardens illuminator in Glowing Pink is the product that I’ve been most excited for. So, instead of saving the best for last, I’ve decided to show it to you now! I have absolutely no restraint, it’s true.

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MAC Ellie Goulding – Blush/Bronzer Compact

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As promised, today I present to you MAC & Ellie Goulding’s Blush/Bronzer duo in Hold My Breath!

 

After seeing all the beautiful promo work for this collection, as well as the glowing sneak peak reviews from other bloggers, I knew this was a must-have. Attention to detail is apparent in this piece as well, with the EG logo embossed on the powder.

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NARS x Steven Klein

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Let’s get abstract for a minute:

 

Shade, light, color, perception vs reality – these components make up both the art and cosmetic worlds. They’ve got the same DNA! That’s why I love seeing collaborations like these, and I have to say that NARS does them best (Andy Warhol, anyone?).

 

The artist in me finds makeup counters and galleries equally appealing, but I’m no where near an art historian. After being entranced by the packaging of NARS’ holiday collection, I did some research on Steven Klein to check out more of his work. His photography is iconic! The muted tones and surreal images presented on the packaging of each product are beautiful and thought provoking. Who doesn’t want a cheek palette that doubles as a vanity art piece? There’s no need to shove this beauty in a drawer when it’s so easy to display on your counter.

 

As a NARS blush lover and collector, I already owned Dolce Vita, Luster, and Laguna before investing in this palette. Laguna is a classic brown bronzer that’s perfect for those that hate orange and want a little sun-kissed sheen. Dolce Vita is a neutral red blush that adds a perfect apple-y flush to cheeks. Luster is one of my all-time favorite neutral blushes, and here’s why – all NARS blushes, regardless of how warm they look, actually have a pink base. This makes them blend seamlessly on the skin and look extremely natural, and makes Luster in particular give your skin a beautiful healthy glow, as if you just went on a run. I love it when my makeup does the working out for me!

 

I was excited to see the inclusion of contour duo Paloma, as I’ve never tried this product before. Unfortunately, the matte highlighter didn’t do much to brighten my tired fair skin, and the contour shade looked much warmer (almost red) than I would prefer.

 

Blaphemy and Robotic are both exclusive shades, and I found them very smooth and pigmented. I was so glad that a warmer pink was included, as I find that many NARS pinks run very, very cool. Having both a cool and warm pink also gives the palette a little more variety that previous blush collections from the brand have lacked.

 

Speaking of which, die-hard NARS fans will also be excited to know that Orgasm is NOT included this year! Thank the heavens, I think we probably all have about 20 pans of it by now.

 

One thing I would’ve liked to see added to the selection here is a shimmery highlight, but overall this piece still is a great investment at $69. It’s limited edition and a Sephora exclusive, so grab it while you can!

 

 

Add Ambiance to Your Complexion with Hourglass’ Holiday Offering

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As a beauty addict, I love to read other bloggers’ viewpoints on coveted makeup items. However, I never let them sway my own. This little beauty has received a lot of negative press- but we know that size doesn’t matter. A palette’s a palette, no matter how small!

 

I’ll admit that I was a little taken aback by the size of this one, too. But, being very well acquainted with Ambient products, and after a little bit of experimentation, I still think this is a good value (especially if you’re a first time Hourglass user).

 

I’m not made of money either, so let me explain! As plenty of people have pointed out in the reviews of this product on sephora.com, Dim Light alone in this size pan retails for $22, making the palette of 6 shades at $80 a total steal. Ambient powders also go a very long way, trust me. I’m heavy handed and product-happy, so cosmetics that last awhile for me have some real durability.

 

Now, what exactly is an Ambient powder? Think of them as Instagram filters for your face- blurring, perfecting, and very forgiving. They’re also talc free, which means that they’re non-drying and don’t settle into pores and fine lines.

 

Dim Light (my favorite!) is best suited for all over application on top of a liquid foundation. Diffused Light makes for a great concealer setter due to its white-gold tone. The only exclusive shade, Iridescent Light, is a pretty pinky gold highlighter, but can also be used to color-correct a foundation that reads too yellow on the skin.

 

The cheek enhancers here are Mood Exposure (a pretty neutral blush, ideal to balance out a bold eye or lip look) and Luminous Flush, a perfect pop of pink for the cheeks. Luminous Bronze Light is a very fair bronzer, but works well to create a soft warmth for fair-medium skin tones.

 

All in all, I say Haul! This palette is a great way to introduce yourself to the Ambient lines, or a travel-friendly way to tote around your old favorites. Let me know what you thought of the Ambient Palette!

 

 

Naked on the Run

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Sounds scandalous! The muted tones and extreme wearability of this palette tell a different story, though.

 

This collection from Urban Decay came out right before Christmas last year, but was definitely the least talked-about of all the Naked Family. Personally, I would call this an underrated hit with a couple of minor drawbacks. Apparently, I’m not the only one, as what was once labeled ‘limited-edition’ has now seemed to (hopefully) become a permanent piece!

 

Let’s go ahead and gloss over the Perversion mascara, as I think it deserves its own full review, but just note that it is a *WINNER*! The 24/7 liner pencil provides a smooth application, long wear, and is a very pretty, rich satiny brown. Both the liner and mascara are travel-sized, however a full sized Naked lipgloss is included in the shade Sesso. This gloss is definitely a hidden gem! It’s darker than I expected, but is a shimmery, complimentary garnet/berry color that works surprisingly well with the selection of eyeshadows. Speaking of which, the second shade from the left (called Fix) is the most perfect taupe-y grey matte shade I’ve ever used. I feel like I could blend out anything with this color! The other shades are soft and beautiful as well, but Fix is truly holy grail status. Such is always the case with limited editions – boo.

 

Now for the fails… I think what made this palette sort of a flop among consumers is the shockingly orange bronzer, paired with an in-your-face, bubble gummy, bright pink blush. In application, the soft consistency makes them easy to blend to achieve a warm radiance with a pop of color on the cheeks. These powders are very finely milled and sit on the skin just the way they should, but I think they’re aesthetically challenging and a major turn-off to many wearers. The luminizer is a gorgeous neutral pearl shade, but is so itty-bitty that I generally just find myself using a full-sized version of one of my favorites instead.

 

I’m one to travel with basically every cosmetic I own crammed into a train case and 46 makeup bags, but if you like to pack light, this is perfectly portable and gives a truly complete look- just add complexion! The beauty of the packaging makes it hard for me to take it anywhere, though. It comes with a hard, tortoise shell design that looks both chic and fragile, and is a bit bulky for every day, toss-it-in-your-makeup-bag use. Looking for a gorgeous, functional piece to leave atop your vanity? That’s the real ticket.

 

Be sure to check this out at Sephora or on urbandecay.com, and have a happy, productive Monday!

 

 

Go Chisel Yourself with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

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I have a small obsession with all things beauty; small in this case meaning that it’s not quite enough to land me onto an episode of hoarders yet. Skin care, cosmetics, fragrance, brushes, hair care – you name it, it’s taking over my bathroom/bedroom/life. For some reason though, complexion products are my absolute weakness! I could wear a different blush, bronzer, and highlighter every day for 3 months and still have new ones left, I swear.

 

That being said, Anastasia’s contour kit makes me L-A-Z-Y! It’s rare that I hit pan on anything, but at a recent makeup show in Dallas, I actually had to replenish the shimmery highlighter (and pick up a couple of new ones, of course!). It’s neutral, it gives beautiful sheen and glow without too much shine, and the lack of glitter keeps it daytime appropriate.

 

The matte, pinky-beige shade is ideal for setting concealer to color correct blue undertones in dark circles, or for warming up a neutral under eye concealer that has left you looking a little grey. While you’ll find beauty gurus in every corner of the blogosphere singing the praises of a banana colored powder, I find that it actually works for only a handful of skin tones. A medium olive complexion looks fantastic with this as a highlighter, but anyone too fair, deep, or pink-complected will probably neglect it the majority of the time. Of the 3 contour shades, the middle grey-undertoned powder is the best fit for a fair-medium contour. The ashiness gives it a shadowy quality that truly mimics a chiseled cheek or jawline, while the outer two orange-y shades are great for adding warmth and bronzing the t-zone.

 

The only downfall that I’ve found to this product is that the pink-beige highlighter is a little on the sheer side. While I like the immediate effect of the concealer set that it gives, it leaves a little to be desired as my makeup wears throughout the day.

 

The real deal is that if you’re not a junkie like me, this palette serves up all of your bone structure enhancing needs in one convenient, slim case. If you ARE a junkie, this product was an instant classic that no self-professed beauty hoarder should miss out on anyway!