Tarte Cosmetics 30% off Friends And Family Sale!

Tarte Friends & Family 30% off sale? Step away from the blush and nobody gets hurt!

If you’re a bona-fide Tartlette you understand full well my excitement at the 30% off Friends and Family sale Tarte Cosmetics has going on at their website. And even if you’re not a Tartlette yet, now is a great time to initiate yourself into the cosmetic awesomeness that Tarte. Use the code FFAUG through August 8, 2012.

Here are my recommended picks to haul during the sale.

Amazonian Clay Long-Wearing Blush

Blushaholics can’t truly call themselves one unless they own one of these amazing blushes. Made with Amazonian clay, they are moisturizing to dry skin yet oil-resistant enough to withstand even my OPEC-threatening oily skin. These blushes are very pigmented and you need very little to start with and the coverage is buildable. For those with dark skin, be wary of the very light shades as while the color does build up, fair shades will look ashy on dark skin. My favorite blush colors (and the ones I own) are Frisky, Tipsy, Amused and Flush. I’ve tested these in the hot Florida heat and while there was some fading of the color at about 4 – 5 hours, a quick re-touch with a little product brought it back to life.

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Swatches of my beloved Tarte Amazonian Blushes!

Amazonian Clay SPF15 12 Hr Full Coverage Foundation

This foundation is waterproof and is so light on the skin it is a godsend for oily-skinned gals. Unfortunately I returned the color I bought (Deep) as it is made for dark-skinned beauties with yellow undertones, not us red undertoned gals. That aside the foundation performs well, blends effortlessly, is long-wearing and comfortable even on my sensitive acne-prone skin. Hopefully Tarte will make a dark shade with red undertones in the future.

Amazonian Clay emphasEYES Eyeliner

If I didn’t already own an obscene amount of MAC fluidlines and YSL gel eyeliners I would so haul some from Tarte. Made with Amazonian clay, these waterproof eyeliners are softer than MAC’s yet a bit stiffer than YSL’s but come in a very wearable range of five (5) shades. A nice bonus is all shades of Tarte’s waterproof eyeliner come with a brush to line and smudge the product on your lids.

So what are you hauling from the sale? Got anything you’ve just gotta have? Comment and let everyone know!

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Urban Decay’s Friends and Family Sale: 20% OFF!!!

Urban Decay's Spring Friends & Family Sale: 20% OFF!

Urban Decay's Spring Friends & Family Sale: 20% OFF!

Greetings readers!

Are you ready to haul some Urban Decay cosmetics at 20% off?!?  Ready or not, UrbanDecay.com is offering 20% off almost all regular and sale priced items using the code: FFSPRING12.  Only the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette cannot have this discount applied to it.

Here are my recommended picks to haul during the sale:

24/7 Eye  Shadow Pencil

I love how smooth and pigmented these shadow pencils are!  The color is easy to build up and the range goes from neutral to full-on trendy.  Create a gorgeous eye look even if you’re still a makeup noob.

24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash

I reviewed this set a few weeks back and absolutely fell in love with it.  Currently sale priced at $12, the discount knocks it down to less than $10!! Go get one!

Supercurl Curling Mascara

This is my 2nd favorite mascara next to Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes only because it doesn’t come in a waterproof formula.  This mascara is no joke as it quickly builds up and curls your lashes.  I have yet to Florida Test it (I will in April) but when I can’t find my Givenchy mascara, I gladly grab this one.

Primer Potion

With the vastly-improved design and larger size, this is a good deal if you do not have oily to severely oily lids.

UrbanDecay.com offers free domestic shipping on all overs $50 or more.  The sale ends 3/10/12.

Planning to haul from the sale?  Share your finds in the Comments!

Moxie and Killa Red by Rescue Beauty Lounge: The Rundown

By now most of you know of my undying devotion to Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes. Yep, I’m a crazy RBL and want everyone to know it. I got into the RBL polish collecting game late so I missed out on two nail polish shades so cool, so amazing, so stunning I was soo dissapointed…until the Vintage BIB voting brought them back.

So for your consideration and evaluation, I present to you, from the Vintage Bring it Back voting, the two ‘Terror Twins’ of RBL, Moxie and Killa Red! :::cue me putting on Don King hair and yelling ‘Only in America':::

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Rescue Beauty Lounge (RBL) Moxie and Killa Red from the Vintage BIB collection

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Can you handle these? Of course you can!

Moxie

Candlelight in a bottle—that is what Moxie is in a nutshell. This is a beautiful white gold frost that I believe would look subtle on warm skintones but on cool skintones like mine it commands attention. On both skin tones your nails look like glowing orbs. Weird, I know but the effect is hella sexy. Moxie is somewhat sheer in one coat, opaque in two coats and richer with three coats. As this is a frost finish there can be some visible ‘brushstrokes’ if you look really close but I usually attribute that to me being impatient and not letting each coat dry completely before adding another one. When I wore this color out I got a lot of compliments—especially from women of color.

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RBL Moxie: It is truly candlelight in a bottle.

 

RBL Moxie. 3 coats. God how I LOVE this color. Glows like an angel.

The only color I have similar to Moxie is NARS Versailles.  Versailles has yellow-gold shimmer which doesn’t look all that hot against my cool skintone.  It’s even more pronounced next to Moxie and you can see how much more white-gold it is.

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From top: RBL Moxie, NARS Versailles, RBL Moxie (w/ flash)

Killa Red

I am usually not a fan of red nail polishes. Not because of the color (I love red) but because of the undertones. With this color, Ji has come up with the best, most awesome, most-kick ass blue-red cream nail polish that trumps even Chinoise (my other favorite blue red). Where Chinoise seems more trendy, Killa Red is ‘grown and sexy’. It also has a rich translucence that borders on gothic. The color is rich and is opaque in one coat, even more stunning with two coats. I would double-up on the top coat simply to further enhance the shine and dimension of this color.

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RBL Killa Red: the most perfect blue-red cream

RBL Killa Red. 2 coats. WERK!

End of Line Recommendation

As with all RBL polishes I own so far, I get a little over a week of wear with this and only minimal tip wear. As I work in IT I type a LOT (over 120wpm) so while I do expect my nail polish to wear at the tips, shattering and sending dangerous shards of nail polish isn’t something that happens with RBL. In other words, no chipping. Cost per bottle is $18 and free domestic shipping is offered for orders over $100 ($200 for international orders) at RescueBeauty.com. Remember, Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are 5-Free and Made in the USA. So are you seriously itching to get these? You should. But don’t wait to long as they are only available for a limited time and once the supply is gone, it’s gone until Ji decides it’s time to bring it back.

If you’re a edgy yet classy dame, I’d suggest wearing a Killa Red pedi with a Moxi mani. If you don’t think you fit this bill, check out the video below by one of my favorite music icons, Dame Shirley Bassey. You know she’d rock this combo and rock it hard.

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash: The Rundown

I’ve never been a fan of Urban Decay’s 24/7 eye liner pencils.  There, I said it.  So it’s very wierd that I have become hopelessly addicted to their 24/7 eye shadow pencils.  I had always swatched them in-store and thought they were appeared in Sephora, I snapped it up using my 20% VIB discount.

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Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Shadow Pencil Stash. I can't lie--the bright blue is what made me buy it.

The set consists of five (5) travel-sized versions of the full sized 24/7 shadow pencils. I would say they are about 2/3rds the size of the full-sized ones. Packaged in a cardboard compartmentalized box in a plastic sleeve, the set consist of three (3) neutral shades and two (2) bright shades. As these are pencils and not classified as a liquid, cream or gel, this flat box it comes in is very handy to toss into your carry-on.  Take that, TSA!

The Neutrals

The darkest neutral shade in the set, Rehab is a semi-matte taupe color.  Very nice to use as an eyeliner or to ‘smoke out’ the edges of a neutral smokey eye.  Juju is the second-darkest shade in this set and is a set-exclusive shade.  It is a frosty taupe that looks very nice on the lid alone, blended with Rehab for a neutral smokey eye or lined with Clash for an intense pop of color. Sin has to be my favorite neutral of this whole bunch. It is a bright, shimmery beige color that is the most perfect thing to highlight the inner corners and browbone of your eyes. The color is shimmery as compared to the glittery annoyance that is Midnight Cowboy, and you can buff it out with either UD’s Good Karma brush or another synthetic fiber blending brush (like e.l.f’s contouring blush from the Studio line) to blend out and tone down the shimmer to your liking.

The Brights

Let’s start with the obvious star of the bunch, Clash.  Clash is a bright turquoise blue that reminds me of those pictures you see in travel magazines of the Caribbean Sea.  It is a very shimmery color and while it packs a punch, if you use a light hand or a blending brush, it can provide a lovely cool wash of color to your eye look.  If you have brown eyes like I do, blues and greens are your BFFs.  Not daring to compete with brightness but instead with an intense dark sparkle, Delinquent is not for the faint of heart.  You can use it for an intense smoky eye look, or a not-quite-black eyeliner.

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From top: Clash, Sin, Juju, Rehab, Delinquent (w/ flash)

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Thick and thin swatches from top: Clash, Juju, Sin, Rehab, Delinquent (w/ flash)

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Without flash from top: Clash, Juju, Sin, Rehab, Delinquent

Color Hack

For comparison I’ve done swatches against some of the 12 hr waterproof eye shadow pencils Sephora has come out with. While the neutral shades appear to look very similar to the 24/7 shadow pencils and cover very well, they just  aren’t as vibrant. UrbanDecay also bests the turquoise and violet Sephora pencils in vibrancy and opacity. Considering Urban Decay’s shadow pencils retail for $19 and Sephora’s retails for $12, if budget is an issue and you couldn’t get your hands on this set you can pull off a good color hack with Sephora eye shadow pencils.

As compared to the Sephora neutral shades, Urban Decay’s 24/7 shadow pencils go on smoother and offer more opaque coverage in fewer passes than the Sephora ones do. My only gripe is that this set doesn’t include the crazy gorgeous green Clinic or the reminiscent of the 80’s Morphine. If I had my druthers I would have gotten rid of Juju (it’s too close to Rehab in my opinion).

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From top: UD Sin, Sephora Beige, UD Juju, Sephora Brown (w/ flash)

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From top: Sephora Turquoise, UD Clash, Sephora Violet, UD Delinquent (no flash)

Brown Girl Notes

Another quality I look for is opacity when it comes to shadow pencils. It is easy for a shadow to cover fair to medium skin. It isn’t as easy when it comes to dark skin because the pigmentation needs to be heavier and that usually translates into a higher price. All five (5) of the 24/7 shadow pencils built up opacity very quickly with very few passes. Even when blended out the color still retains its vibrancy on my lids.

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Smokey look w/ UD's 24/7 shadow pencils in Sin (inner lid & highlight), Juju (whole lid) and Rehab (blended in outer lid). Lipstick is Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Rose Bengale

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Eyes lined with UD 24/7 shadow pencil in Clash. Lipstick is Chanel Rouge Allure Satin in 'Enviree' w/ Chanel Bagatelle glossimer (Spring 2012)

End-of-Line Recommendation

While the set is definitely a better deal than the single pencils ($7 compared to $12.56 for 2/3rds of the full sized price), the real value comes from the neutral shaded ones (Juju, Rehab, Clinic). While I believe these colors look best on cooler-toned skins, they are gorgeous enough to enhance all skin tones. Toss in the pretty violet purple and turquoise pencils and you have a set that is very versatile and ready to go jet-setting when you are. As of this writing, these sets are available at UrbanDecay.com, Sephora.com and Beauty.com.

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Eyes 'smoked' with UD 24/7 shadow pencil in Rehab, lined with Delinquent. Lips in Chanel Rouge Allure Satin in Famous & Rouge Allure Laqcque in Triomphal (Christmas 2011)

Hervana Blush by Benefit: The Rundown

In general I’m a big fan of Benefit’s blushes. Bella Bamba and Coralista are among my favorites.  I figured the case would be the same with Hervana but I was sadly mistaken.  This is the first product I have ever returned to Sephora because I was truly dissatisfied with it.

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Hervana blush by Benefit. You are too pretty to require so much effort.

What should have set my ‘do not buy’ radar was the large amounts of white pigment in this blush.  Swirled together all of the colors looked a powdery orange-pink.  Press photos seem to hint this color leans towards a cool pink.  Swatches I’ve seen on fairer-skinned ladies seems to show the same thing.  So I have no idea if it is because of my undertones this color went on the orange side or what.

The color itself wasn’t bad but it seemed I had to get a lot of product on the brush for it to even show up a hint on my skin. I hadn’t had this problem with other Benefit blushes so I was very disappointed to have it happen with this one. There is no discernable shimmer in this blush but it is very powdery and ‘dusty’ which translates to ashy on dark skin unless you use a cream blush base. And even with that it seems to take a lot of product for it to even show up. In terms of value this is a deal breaker. Why should you go through a $28 blush so quickly just because you have dark skin and the pigmentation is light so you have to use more product? I have NARS blushes that are matte (my beloved Gilda) and the pigmentation is amazing with no ashiness.

Overall I’m very disappointed with this product. I wouldn’t recommend it to dark-skinned folks who are say, deeper than NC/NW30. But even if you are fair to medium skinned, I don’t think the quality is as up to par with Benefit’s other blushes. Definitely swatch in-store to see if it is for you.

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Unlike other Benefit blushes, this box is hinged. An absolute pain in the butt.

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From bottom: Hervana heavily swatched alone, over NARS Lokuom cream blush, over MAC Shine Mixing Medium

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Wearing Hervana without anything beneath. Can you see it?

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A closer look. Can you see HerPurgatory, I mean Hervana?

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Let's try Hervana again this time over NARS Lokoum cream blush

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To paraphrase Dolly Parton, it takes a lot of work to make Hervana look good.