Price: $5.99 * Buy At: Ulta
The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is an orange cosmetic sponge. The sponge is cut flat at an angle on one end, and comes to a point on the other end.
The back of the packaging gives instructions for how to use each part of the sponge. The flat edge is designed for contours around the eyes and the nose. The sides are designed to blend large areas of the face, and the pointed tip is is designed for covering imperfections. The sponge has a fairly hard feel to it when it's dry, but it gets much softer when damp. Some people aclaim that the sponge doubles in size, but I don't notice much of a size difference when the sponge is wet. When first testing out the sponge, I tried using the "bouncing" motion I've seen many others use, but I didn't find it to blend my foundation or concealer at all. I find the sponge to work better using small circular or sweeping motions, similar to how you would use a brush. The sponge doesn't take away any of the coverage of the product you are applying and doesn't appear to absorb much of it either. The sponge also comes in handy when applying or blending out cream blush. I still think I'm more of a brush person when it comes to face products, but the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a good, inexpensive choice for people in the market for a sponge.
Price: $18 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 0.31 fl oz / 9.2 ml
This year the CK One Mascara is the free birthday gift for all Ulta members. Ulta will send you the coupon during your birthday month and you can go to an Ulta store to pick up your free mascara!
The CK One Mascara comes in a long matte black tube with a white lid. The wand on this mascara is quite interesting because it can be in two different shapes. As explained on the sticker on the lid, you can twist the top to change the wand's shape. Before twisting the top, the wand is longer and the bristles are further apart from each other. After twisting the top, the bristles twist and shrink closer together. I actually do notice a difference on my lashes with the two different wands, although it's a little harder to see in the photos. The un-twisted wand gives my lashes a bit more of a natural look, while the twisted wand makes the lashes thicker (and sometimes kind of spidery). In the pictures of the mascara on my lashes, the un-twisted wand was used on the left eye and the twisted wand was used on the right eye. The mascara doesn't leave the lashes feeling dry or crunchy and does not flake.
Price: $1.99 * Buy At: Walgreens * Size: 0.11 / 3.3 g
The Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Pinkerbell is a bright yellow toned pink with a cream finish.
I already knew I wasn't the biggest fan of the MegaLast Lip Color's formula, but this color is supposed to be a dupe for MAC Viva Glam Nicki. Just like the previous shade I've reviewed, Just Peachy, Pinkerbell has a dry formula that doesn't apply very smoothly to the lips. Applying lip balm prior to Pinkerbell really helps the formula and application. Although there are some issues with Pinkerbell's application, it actually looks pretty good on the lips. The color is opaque and it adds a nice glossy shine. While I much prefer lip product formulas from other brands, I don't mind getting certain colors from this line.
Price: $2.49 * Buy At: Coastal Scents' Website
The Coastal Scents Shader Medium Synthetic Brush is a flat, dense shader brush made of synthetic bristles. This brush is new to the Coastal Scents line of brushes.
The Coastal Scents Classic Shader Medium Synthetic Brush is the perfect size and shape for packing on a lid color. The brush reminds me of a concealer brush since it's thin, dense and the bristles almost have a silky feel. All the Coastal Scents brushes I've tried have a great quality and I have not experienced shedding or splaying of bristles.This is the kind of brush I was expecting when I ordered the Coastal Scents Classic Shadow Medium Synthetic Brush. You can see a comparison of the two brushes below. The Shadow Brush is wider and thicker than the Shader Brush and also has a fluffy feel versus a silky feel.
Price: $42 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 0.32 oz (16 x 0.02 oz)
Following the massive success of the Lorac Pro Palette is the new Lorac Pro Palette 2! Just like the original, the second version contains sixteen shadows, eight are matte and eight are shimmery. The palette also comes with a sample size of the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer (0.19 oz).
The packaging is the same as the Lorac Pro, except it's grey instead of black. It's thin, sleek and cardboard. It does have a tendency to get dirty, like the Nars packaging. For the most part, all the shades in the Lorac Pro Palette 2 are unique and different than the original. This palette also ventures away from typical neutral shadows more than the Lorac Pro. The top row is all matte and contains the shades Buff (yellow ivory), Lt. Brown (warm tan), Cool Gray (dark off-grey), Nectar (peachy pink), Plum (plum), Navy (navy), Charcoal (medium grey) and Black (black). The bottom row is all shimmery shades and includes Snow (iridescent white), Beige (nude), Rosé (rose gold), Mocha (warm brown), Chrome (silvery brown), Silver (silver), Jade (mossy green) and Cocoa (brown).
Just like the shadows in the original palette, every shadow in the Lorac Pro Palette 2 is flawless. Every single shadow has a very smooth, buttery texture in combination with amazing pigmentation. All of the matte shadows and shimmer shadows blend very easily as well. Some of the shadows can tend to be a little bit powdery, but that is to be expected with the extreme pigmentation and soft texture. For some reason Navy looks a bit chalky in the swatches, but I promise it's not. It's actually the brightest and best navy shadow I've ever tried. I think Lorac did a great job with the Lorac Pro's follow up and I am in love with this palette!
Price: $4.99 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 2.9 g / 0.1 oz
The L'Oreal Pink Plush Colour Riche Caresse Lipstick is a quite sheer pale pink with no shimmer or glitter.
The Colour Riche Caresse Lipsticks come in a sleek gold tube that has the color of the product at the bottom of the lid. Although it is called a lipstick, Pink Plush is more like a tinted balm. It has a very smooth and moisturizing feel on the lips, but it does need to be built up a lot to change the color of the lips. I do like the look of this color on the lips when it's built up, it makes them lighter and adds a subtle shine, great for an everyday look.
Although it won't officially be summer until June 21st, the warm weather is here and I have an eye look incorporating a lot of warm colors, that will work perfectly in the summer! You may notice that my nose and cheeks are pretty red, and that is because my face is sunburned! In case you are wondering, I used the Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Stick Foundation in 115 Ivory and Rimmel Stay Matte Powder on my face. On my brows I used the Sephora Brow Editor in Honey Blonde and the Clear Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.
Step by Step Picture Tutorial
I started off the look with a base. After priming my top and bottom lid with the Elf Eyelid Primer, I applied the Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk on the inner half of my lid and the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in My Two Cents on the outer half of my lids.
To avoid messing up the bright colors, I did the crease and bottom lid color before the lid color. I first applied my transition shade, the Nyx Nude Matte Shadow in Blame It On Midnight, a matte peachy tan, with the Sigma E25 blending brush. I also smudged the same color on my bottom lashline. To darken up the crease I used Buck from the Urban Decay Naked Palette with a Coastal Scents crease brush.
For the lids I used three different colors. I started off by packing a copper shadow, Chopper from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, over the the copper base. Next I applied a vibrant yellow shadow on the inner half of the lids. The yellow shadow is from the Sleek Supreme iDivine Palette. For the middle of the lids, I applied the Nyx Loose Pearl Shadow in Rust. This pigment can be really intense, so I didn't use too much. I also used another color for the inner corner. I chose a matte light yellow because it's different from cream, but still wearable. This shadow is also from the Sleek palette.
I kept it pretty simple with the liner since the lid color is intense. I used the Sephora Color Proof Liner in Matte Brown (which has been discontinued) to create a thin line and a small wing. I also chose to use a white liner in the waterline, but black would also look good. I used a mix of the Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk and the Sephora Nano Liner in Pure White.
Like always, I finished the look with mascara. First I curled my lashes and applied 2 coats of the Benefit They're Real Mascara and 1 coat of Maybelline The Rocket. I used the Wet n Wild Mega Volume and Mega Protein mascara on the bottom lashes.
Price: $5.49 * Buy At: Walgreens * Size: 0.14 oz / 4g
The Rimmel 110 Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick is a classic red with a matte finish. The matte lipsticks in the Rimmel Kate Moss line come in a red tube with Kate's signature in black on the lid.
This line of lipsticks have a fairly strong scent that doesn't appeal to me, but luckily it wears off after application. 110 has a thin formula, but is still quite pigmented, providing an opaque look on the lips. It does have a drier feel on the lips than a lipstick that isn't matte, but the formula also has a bit of moisture. For the best feel on the lips, I suggest applying a lip balm prior to this lipstick. Since 110 has a matte finish, it lasts longer on the lips than a red lipstick with a creme finish.
Price: $3.49 * Buy At: Walgreens * Size: 0.23 oz / 6.5 g
The Softlips Cube in Vanilla Bean is a rounded lip balm in a cube shaped package. The website claims that this lip balm hydrates with Shea Butter, replenishes with antioxidant Vitamins A, C & E, smoothes, protects with SPF 15 and adds shine for a 5-in-1 result.
Of course with the product being a similar shape to EOS lip balms, many people will wonder how they compare. In my opinion, the Softlips feel a bit thinner than the EOS formula, but both feel moisturizing and balmy. Product aside, the packaging of the Softlips cube can be more convenient than the EOS packaging since it's a little smaller and won't roll around since it's a cube. The Softlips Cube has a smooth feel and feels like the classic Softlips in the tube form. As you may guess, Vanilla Bean smells like vanilla.
Price: $2.49 * Buy At: Kmart * Size: 2.2 g / 0.08 oz
The Jordana Blush Powder in Blushing Rose (37) is a mauve with subtle golden shimmer.
The Jordana Blushes come in a round compact with a clear, screw on lid. I was blown away by the quality of Blushing Rose. It has a soft, silky texture in addition to amazing pigmentation. The color doesn't have to be built up at all, in fact I have to sheer it out a little to work with my light skin tone. To make this blush even better, it blends out so easily! While this kind of mauve color isn't typically popular in the summer, I think that it looks gorgeous on the cheeks anytime of year. I really suggest this line of blushes to anyone, especially since they are so inexpensive.