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.

20120730-221022.jpg

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!

Advertisements

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism: PicSpam!

Came home today to the most wonderful package from the UK. It was the pieces I ordered from the Spring/Summer 2012 Human Fundamentalism collection!!

Sit back, relax and enjoy the eyeshadow product PicSpam. A review will follow in a few weeks but as these pieces are starting to slowly appear on Sephora.com (with a Not In Stock message for now) I wanted to give my readers a quick look and swatches for reference.

DISCLOSURE> I own stock in LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Henessy) which is the parent company of Sephora.

20120322-220030.jpg

20120322-220058.jpg

20120322-220105.jpg

20120322-220115.jpg

20120322-220138.jpg

20120322-220146.jpg

20120322-220154.jpg

20120322-220521.jpg

20120322-220535.jpg

Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore”: The Rundown

Bling, bling, Locavore’s the thing!!

Absolutely jam-packed with uniform glitter in light green, dark green and purple, it’s no wonder Locavore took the top spot in the Rescue Beauty Lounge BIB2 round of voting.  The predominance of glittery green appeals to the die-hard Tinker Bell fan in me and I could totally see her rocking this color.

20111209-214947.jpg

Locavore by Rescue Beauty Lounge. So glittery a tinker fairy would be lemming for it!

The glitter brushes on evenly (no ‘push and place’ as with some other glitter polishes) and you can get a pretty nice opacity in two to three coats.  The glitter is very finely milled so when it dries the glitter is barely felt when you touch it.  My favorite use of this polish is to put it over either a dark green or purple polish like Orbis Non Sufficit or Mismas.

20111209-215104.jpg

RBL Locavore on bare nails. 2 coats w/ flash

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 totally lemming for this? You should be. But don’t wait too long to purchase as these will only be available as supplies last.  Get it while you can at retail while you can because she who hesitates will wind up auction sniping.

20111209-215143.jpg

RBL Locavore over RBL Orbis Non Sufficit

20111209-215158.jpg

RBL Locavore over RBL Mismas--Mardis Gras anyone?

butterLONDON Spring 2012: The Rundown

Spring 2012 has indeed sprung for butterLONDON. Check out the display I saw at Ulta Beauty this past week:

20120220-202246.jpg

Butter London's Spring 2012 Polishes displayed at Ulta Beauty

butterLONDON’s Spring 2012 consist of the following shades (description from butterLONDON.com):

  • Disco Biscuit — Tropical hot pink with an undercurrent of tiny iridescent glitter particles.
  • Trout Pout — An opaque shade of cantaloupe, pale and retro.
  • Slapper — A truly teal lacquer, bold and very bright.
  • Bossy Boots — Light, opaque pistachio green. A beautiful take on neutral for this season.
  • Knackered — A sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles.

I picked up Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit because those colors personally appealed to me. I passed on Slapper as I already have Artful Dodger, Deborah Lippmann’s To The Beach and Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue. Trout Pout is a color I think to be easily dupeable. Knackered almost got me to buy it but I’d already picked up Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream.

20120220-202722.jpg

Two of butterLONDON's Spring 2012 offerings: Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit

Disco Biscuit is bright, pink and has glitter so I had to pick it up even though I wasn’t pleased with butterLONDON’s glitter polishes of late. It goes on sheer yet bright and takes about 3 coats to reach some opacity. And by some I mean I still had the dreaded VNL (Visible Nail Line) after all that. I honestly feel this color would work better over a bright white or pink cream polish first to solve the VNL problem but even by itself it is a fun color to wear. As pretty as it is, even with a base and top coat (butterLONDON’s Tops & Tails set) I had tip wear the first day and chipping the second day (more insight to follow at the end of this review).

Now you know me being the geek that I am I had to find out what Disco Biscuit meant, right? Turns out it’s something to keep you ‘dancing at the disco’. So this could range from a cup of Starbucks, a can of Red Bull or something to get you in hot water with local law enforcement and/or the DEA.

20120220-202457.jpg

Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. 3 coats with flash.

Bossy Boots is a nice interpretation of a neutral color. Unfortunately it does remind me of the linoleum floor my Memaw had in her 1950’s style kitchen in North Florida. Still, the pastel looks very nice as a contrast against dark skin like mine though because it has more of a yellow undertone instead of blue, the color looks a bit washed out next to my skintone.  Regardless,  I got lots of compliments on the color. Most folks thought it was OPI and had never heard of butterLONDON until I informed them of it. It is lighter than Illamasqua’s Milf which is a deeper pastel green with blue undertones. While the first coat was streaky (a usual hazard with most cream polishes) and it took about 3 coats to make the finish look even. Another ding against the color is it started to chip after two days and chip like crazy it did.

20120220-202514.jpg

Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. 2 coats with flash.

So by now you probably think my opinion is that butterLONDON is a lousy polish. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very, very, very hard on my nail polishes as I type over 120wpm (which causes crazy shear forces on the nail edge), am constantly typing all day (a hazard of working as an Software Engineer/Business Analyst), use a lot of hand sanitizer as I am a serious germaphobe, then add to that the usual daily hazards and my nail situation is, to put it in statistical terms, an outlier. I’m in the tail to the right of the bell curve. Because of my occupation and personal habits I need a nail polish that performs above and beyond the norm. butterLONDON polishes are very pretty, very trendy and have a great color assortment but the consistency across formulas is not there…yet. I love my frost finishes (Wallis and Fairy Lights wear like iron), have a love-hate relationship with the others (Artful Dodger, Tart With A Heart, Black Knight), and you will have to pry the gorgeous pearly blue-gray Lady Muck from my cold, undead fingers.

20120221-201115.jpg

I'm not a bug, I'm a feature! 🙂

The truth is, butterLONDON polishes need more work on the wear longevity across the range before I can recommend them against the likes of Illamasqua. Illamasqua is the same price (though not as widely available in brick and mortar locations) yet out of the 20+ polishes of theirs I own I have yet to run across one that chips as easily as my butterLONDON polishes I’ve indicated. And cheaper brands such as Sally Hansen and even the awesome indie brand Cult Nails have a longer wear time under my use conditions. So until the consistency improves (and I will continue to buy colors that appeal to me), I wil consider this line to be in ‘Beta’–which in software geek lexicon means the code is right but it’s not ready for use by the general public until the ‘bugs’ are worked out.

butterLONDON polishes retail for $14 USD and are available at Ulta Beauty boutiques and online store, SkinStore.com and Beauty.com. Skin Store has a lot of 20% off sales so definitely check that site out first for butterLONDON polishes to see if they have the color that sparks your interest.

So what have your experiences with this polish line been?  Ping me in the comments!

20120220-202737.jpg

Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. Pretty but a very 'dupeable' color.

20120220-202748.jpg

Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. A pretty tropical pink with sparkles.

Deborah Lippmann Spring 2012 Collection: The Rundown

I’ll admit I am a total sucker for blues. From bright blue to teal green there is something about the color that grabs me. Perhaps because I was born under a ‘water sign’ (Scorpios represent!) or because I am in total love with the bright blue waters of the Caribbean and the South Pacific. And obviously I wasn’t far off as Deborah Lippmann tells Lucky Magazine, “I wanted to create something that felt like a vacation no matter where you are—whether you’re actually going away or just dreaming of it.”

20120219-223737.jpg

Deborah Lippmann's gorgeous offerings for Spring 2012: Mermaid's Dream and At The Beach

Even though our winter here in the Philadelphia suburbs has been relatively mild, I’ve definitely been dreaming of a vacation somewhere warm. So when I saw these two polish up for pre-sale on NeimanMarcus.com I immediately pre-ordered and was overjoyed when they arrived ahead of the estimated delivery date.

Deborah Lippmann’s Spring 2012 offerings consist of two complimentary yet different shades: To The Beach and Mermaid’s Dream. To The Beach is a textbook cyan blue cream which Deborah describes as, “The French Riviera in a bottle’ . I think of it more as Tahiti in a bottle but French Rivera works for me too. It goes on the nails very smooth and the consistency is neither too thick nor too thin. It isn’t opaque in one coat (and looks a tad bit streaky) but becomes a nice opaque cyan in two coats with a smooth glass finish. I personally like three coats to punch up the color intensity. It is more blue than Illamasqua Muse and more cyan than Sally Hansen Instra-Dri Brisk Blue. Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue is a very close color hack of To The Beach. And by very I mean down to the finish and the color. Illamasqua’s Muse is too dark of a teal to be a dupe.

20120219-224031.jpg

At The Beach: Described as 'French Rivera Blue' the Programmer in me sees it as 'Textbook Cyan' (2 coats w/ flash)

20120219-224231.jpg

From top: Sally Hansen Brisk Blue, Deborah Lippmann At The Beach, Illamasqua Muse (2 coats w/ flash)

20120219-224248.jpg

From top: Sally Hansen Brisk Blue, Deborah Lippmann At The Beach, Illamasqua Muse (no flash/HDR)

Mermaid’s Dream is a gorgeous seafoam green pearl with flecks of turqouise glitter and it is hands-down my favored polish of this collection. A glitter-on-pearl look I’ve done separaterly using Boom Boom Pow over Nefertiti but never before did Deborah have a bottle containing both in her polish line. According to Deborah, she likes this as a ‘accent-nail look’ to just wear on your ring finger while the other nails are painted bright blue. This would definitely be a cool look as coupled with To The Beach but personally I think this shade is just too different and glamorous to not have it on all of your nails. Opaque in one coat, this is a perfect ‘glam’ shade to wear for a night out, the prom, full glitz beauty pageants and my favorite, just swimming in the pool when wearing jewelry isn’t a practical option. I have nothing in my nail polish color collection that comes close to this shade. This makes it truly unique and the ‘must have’ from this collection.  I would put it up there with Chanel June as the must-have ‘on trend’ nail shade for Spring 2012.

20120219-224010.jpg

Mermaid's Dream: A glitter and pearl seafoam green polish--a first for Deborah Lippmann (2 coats w/ flash)

With both shades I had minimal tip wear and both shades wore for over a week through intense 120wpm typing/coding through an 8 – 10 hour work day. The performance is in line with the other Deborah Lippmann polishes I own.

Deborah Lippmann polishes retail for $16 on average with some variation according to finish.  At The Beach retails for $16 while Mermaid’s Dream retails for $18.  Both colors are available now at LippmannCollection.com, NeimanMarcus.com and coming soon at Beauty.com.

20120219-224311.jpg

Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream from Spring 2012 collection

20120219-224320.jpg

Deborah Lippmann's At The Beach from Spring 2012 collection

NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte Lipstick: The Rundown

I used to think I’d rather rub a dry stick on my lips rather than use a matte lipstick.  And then I met NARS’ Pure Matte lipstick in Valapariso and fell totally, utterly and deeply in love with it.

20120126-204038.jpg

Sporting NARS Valparaiso on lips with Lhasa and Mekong eye shadow on eyes.

Launched in the NARS Spring 2012 line, this is a matte berry lipstick that it is very pigmented and goes on smooth without any skipping whatsoever.  It feels a bit tacky going on (in a good way and probably due to the wild mango butter in it) but the finish is still matte.  Color payoff is very good and the color goes on opaque and nicely without lipliner.  I got a good six hours worth of wear with this.  Even after having coffee in the morning and lunch, the color faded somewhat but not so much that I had to immediately apply more of this.  When I did touch it up I needed very little to refresh the color.

The closest color I own that looks like this, interestingly enough, NARS Damned Velvet Matte lip pencil.  Both look very similar but the lipstick has more tackiness while the pencil is more dry.  Guerlain Rouge G in Greta looks more red next to it but you can tell it still belongs in the ‘berry’ family.

Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick retails for $24 and is currently available at most upscale retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Sephora and Beauty.com.

20120123-203022.jpg

Close-up of NARS Valparaiso full matte lippie--so smooth!

20120125-210320.jpg

From top: NARS Damned Velvet Matte pencil,NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick, Guerlain Rouge G in Greta, NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte Lipstick (no flash HDR)

20120125-210330.jpg

From top: NARS Damned Velvet Matte pencil, NARS Valparaiso, Guerlain Rouge G in Greta, NARS Valparaiso (flash)

20120123-203014.jpg

NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick and Paramaribo eye shadow duo--so pretty for Spring 2012

MAC Tour De Fabulous Lipglass: The Rundown

By the time you read this, if you are in the US chances are you missed this release. If you are outside the US, pay attention as these are scheduled to be released in February.

20120106-203638.jpg

MAC Tour de Fabulous lipglass --Taste The Rainbow 🙂

Along with the lip pencils I reviewed recently, I picked up three (3) of the eleven shades of Lipglass available in this limited edition collection. The three picked up were Real Posh, StylePacked and Tour de Fabulous. I purposely picked these three to match the four lip pencils I purchased from the Tour De Fabulous collection.

20120106-203656.jpg

Swatches on NW43 skin (indoors with flash)

20120106-203708.jpg

Swatches on NW43 skin (indoors without flash)

Real Posh is a reddened berry that looks quite opaque on. I love how it looked with the Just Wonderful lip pencil but it is opaque enough to wear on its own. I’d almost go as far to say it’s just a degree or two below being as totally opaque as my favorite lipglass by Afrobella, All Of My Purple Life. If you have very pigmented lips I don’t see a problem with this shade showing up on you without lip pencil.

20120106-203726.jpg

Wearing MAC Real Posh lipglass over Just Wonderful lip pencil

StylePacked is an uber-cool blue-toned pink that is semi-opaque. I was quite dissapointed it wasn’t as opaque as my favorite pink lipglass, Pink Poodle but over the Embrace Me lipencil (or even better over High Magenta Chromagraphic pencil) it still looks rather nice. If you have very pigmented lips I wouldn’t look for much color payoff from this shade unless you wear lip pencil. I really think this color would look amazing over Pink Pigeon from the Iris Apfel collection or Pink Nouveau Amplified lipstick. And if you were unfortunate enough as I was to pick up that Niki Minaj Pink Friday lipstick, this lipglass will actually make that hot mess wearable.

20120106-203744.jpg

Wearing MAC Style Packed lipglass over Embrace Me lip pencil

Tour de Fabulous is a pretty semi-opaque coral orange that is more suited to warmer skintones but not so much that cooler-toned gals like myself couldn’t wear. I wore this over Entertain Me and Lasting Sensation lip pencils and while I prefer the latter lip pencil because it leans more pink coral, I was pleased with how this lipglass looked over both. Many people are curious as to how this color compares to Strange Potion first released with the Disney’s Venomous Villains collection and repromoted with Surf Baby! Tour De Fabulous is definitely more orange coral while Strange Potion is more pink. As someone with a cooler skintone, I definitely prefer Strange Potion. If you have Strange Potion in your stash and cash is tight, I would pass over this color and grab the Entertain Me lip pencil to wear with it instead. You would get pretty much the same color as Tour de Fabulous and you can use the pencil with other colors.

20120106-203735.jpg

Wearing MAC Tour De Fabulous lipglass over Lasting Sensation lip pencil

20120108-204838.jpg

MAC Tour de Fabulous and Strange Potion

Lipglasses are usually a MAC staple for most women of color. The pigmentation is translucent enough not to look ‘ashy’ even in lighter colors. They are slightly-tacky and usually last longer over lipstick and lip pencil than alone. Vanilla-scented and taste free, they are jam-packed with moisturizing goodness like jojoba oil to keep your lips soft and smooth especially in cold winter weather. The lipglasses from this collection retail for $14.50 USD and are available now for a limited time. For International release date, MAC press materials project February 15th.

Definitely pick up a few of these lipglasses as they are colors sorely lacking from MAC’s permanent lip glass lineup.

20120106-203612.jpg

MAC Tour de Fabulous lipglass --Yay for more colors!!!