Thursday, August 31, 2017

CPNA Find: The Sage Lifestyle

Press Sample

Happy last day of August, everyone! With the first day of fall only three weeks away, it is difficult to believe summer is almost over given the heat advisory we are experiencing here in Northern California. We are expected to be in the triple digits or immediately under for at least another week, so if I disappear and everyone starts to wonder about me, chances are I have melted in the heat. Let's jump in on today's post before my brain fries for the day!


I'm back with another beauty find from last month's Cosmoprof North America for today's blog post. I had the pleasure of meeting with Sage, the creative owner behind the brand The Sage Lifestyle, and I brought two of her beautifully scented perfume oils back home with me. Named for different gemstones, Sage took the time to research the history of each stone in order to select the perfect assortment of flowers and essences that evoke the colour and mood of each specific stone. As an avid rockhound and stone collector, I have a lot of respect for additional time required to develop each of these unique scents. I got to smell almost the full brand scent lineup at Cosmoprof North America, and I was thoroughly impressed with how well each scent truly seemed to fit their own individual inspirations. Let's get a closer look at Diamond and Onyx perfume oils!

Diamond Roll-On Perfume Oil

The Diamond: the strongest substance known to man- known for clarity, resilience, and exquisite timeless beauty. Sage waited for over a decade to approach this most iconic stone and translate into a scent- waiting for the right materials, the right moment. And finally, it has come- the scent itself is shimmering and clear, acting as its namesake to conduct both light and heat, and reflect the wearers true beauty. With the sheerest base notes blending together to create this scent, both soft and warm, we experience the subtle hint of Indian sandalwood, white crisp amber, clean oceanic musk - and a touch of rain dew on the skin at morning- letting the light in.

Yes, dear readers, this perfume oil is as glorious as this description pulled from The Sage Lifestyle website! I have an affinity towards fresh scents, and I particularly love the subtle aquatic touch! It also has really nice lasting power on its own, and I could clearly still smell this fragrance on my arm eleven hours after application! This is a beautiful fragrance for a day-time scent and one I have been enjoying often this past month!

The Diamond Roll-On Perfume Oil is stored in a 1/8oz roll-on bottle. The bottle is then packaged in this beautiful handmade Japanese Washi paper box, making it the ideal travel companion!

Retail: $45.00

Onyx Roll-On Perfume Oil

Onyx: (Birthstone for August) A fragrance that is as darkly opulent as the stone for which it was named, Onyx begins with a bewitching top note accord of black coconut, tobacco and oakmoss. Its rich and enveloping base note accord of vanilla, amber and sheer musk caresses the skin like sweet dew born of nocturnal tropical air. A perfume of almost primeval intensity, Onyx evokes nature's beauty in its darkest forms: a jungle's depths, volcanic heat and velvety night skies.

Onyx is the perfect fragrance for when you want to leave the lighter scents behind and wear something sumptuous and deep! As much as I like my lighter scents during the day, I want something a little more intense and bold for when I want to feel sexy or a night on the town. This gorgeous scent is sure to get a few temperatures rising! Even though this is a scent I personally prefer to wear in the evenings, I have tested it for longevity during the day and could still smell this fragrance on my arm eleven hours after application.

Like Diamond, the Onyx Roll-On Perfume Oil is packaged in a 1/8oz glass bottle with a plastic roll-on applicator. Onyx is also then places in a handmade Japanese Washi paper box, which serves for stunning presentation as well as additional security to make it the ideal travel perfume.

Retail: $45.00

I am really impressed with the quality of these perfume oils from The Sage Lifestyle! These fragrances certainly evoke the essence of the gemstones that inspired them, and I enjoy that the scents are so long wearing. When it comes to scents, I prefer roll-on style applications over a mist type for finer control of scent placement. Can we talk about the packaging as well? The glass bottles with the beautiful brand logo is really nice, and the golden cap makes you feel like you are holding a quality product. I adore the extra step of providing handmade packing that is an exquisite addition that suits the brand perfectly!

These and a range of other perfume oils, candles, and jewelry items can be purchased from The Sage Lifestyle located here. If you are in the market for the your own favorite fragrance, I definitely recommend starting with this brand! Even if the descriptions of Diamond and Onyx aren't quite right for you, there are many other offerings that smell equally amazing. I know there are a few other scents going on my wishlist!

Are you in the market for a new fragrance? What gemstone-inspired fragrance do you think best suits your personality and taste? Before this post, were you familiar with The Sage Lifestyle? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Born Pretty Store Watermelon Water Decals

Press Sample


Happy hump day, dear readers! After a busy, jam-packed summer, I can't believe August is almost over along with the summer season! I naturally had to get watermelons on my nails before summer comes to an end, and I used water decals from Born Pretty Store to make that happen. Let's check them out!


Water decals are an easy and affordable way to sport nail art on your finger tips, and I fell in love with the patterns on this particular sheet from BPS. There are 10 images of each of the images, and this particular sheet includes watermelon slices with a black and clear background for one design while the other is leopard print with hibiscus flowers and lush greenery. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I wanted to enjoy some watermelon nail art so I used that particular segment of this sheet to create the look in today's post. Let's check it out!


Prior to applying the water decals, I started out by painting my nails that would contain them with a white nail polish. Once my nails were completely dry, I cut out the segments I would need for my nails.


After removing and discarding the protective plastic film, I submerged my watermelon cutouts in water. After 40 or so seconds, the water decals floated off of the light cardboard backing.


Based on previous experiences with water decals, I have found they are easier to place and shift into position as needed on a damp nail. I quickly dipped my nail in my container of water before placement. I gently retrieved the now floating water decals with a pair of tweezers and carefully positioned them where I wanted them on my nails. Once I was happy with the position, I took a small piece of paper towel and soaked up the excess water by gently tapping on the top and along the sides of my nails. In order to fit nails of all sizes, they are too big for my nails, and I used a brush dipped in acetone to gently eat away the excess materials along the sides and tips of my nails. You could try to cut them to size while they are still on the heavier backing before submersing in water, but I personally prefer to use this method. After waiting a few minutes to ensure my nails were dry, I topped my nails off with top coat, wrapping my tips to ensure a longer lifespan on my nails.


If you are looking for a super easy way to put nail art on your fingertips, I would check out water decals! They are easy and quick to use, and using them doesn't require extensive skills!


Born Pretty Store offers a large variety of nail art supplies, including many water decals! If you decide to pick anything up from the website, be sure to use discount code QWL91 to save 10% on all full-priced items in your cart!

Have you tried any water decals? What is your go-to product for easy nail art designs? Are there any special nail art techniques you'd love to see me try next? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lyn B Designs: September Polishes of the Month

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers! I hope your week has been off to a fabulous start! It's been business as usual around here as this is the first regular week after all the summer routine shakeup, and it feels wonderful! I know the routine lifestyle isn't exactly glamorous, but my kids thrive with the consistency and that certainly makes my life easier! At least I can always count on nail polish to change things up and keep things interesting....

For today's blog post, I have the Lyn B Designs polishes coming to the the shop this Friday. One is a brand spankin' new polish for the month while the other is a returning favorite from a few years back. Let's check them out!

Gruntled

If you are ready for shorter days, cooler temperatures, boots, changing leaves, Halloween, and all that jazz, you may love this jaw-dropping autumnal shade! Gruntled is a new shade to the Lyn B Designs lineup, and it is September's official Polish of the Month. Described as a golden to green shifty shade, this polish is loaded up with holographic shreds for even more eye catching sparkle! I had to use fewer lights in my light setup than usual to actually catch the shiftiness of this polish, hence the slightly darker than usual photos, but I have kept the overall polish colours as accurate as possible. Even though it is described as a gold to green shift, I never really got to see any of the green shift. Instead, I only saw a light golden yellow to burnt orange shift, which I personally adore. Perhaps the green shift is more apparent with a different light source, but I really like Gruntled just like this! The colour is beautiful, and the formula is on point. Not too thick or thin, it applies easily to the nails. While I used two coats plus top coat for these photos, it is densely pigmented. Those that tend to paint with heavier coats may find they only need one coat for opacity.

Ragdoll

Ragdoll is an older shade from the Lyn B Designs brand that is making a comeback as the Throwback Polish of the Month. I actually remember when this polish was released as part of the Nightmare Begins Collection way back in 2013! The original collection was inspired by my beloved Nightmare Before Christmas movie, and those that are familiar likely can see how the character Sally influenced the creation of this shade. I'm not entirely sure when it was removed from the shop, but in any case, I am glad to see it back for the next month! A deep violet crelly, Ragdoll is packed with blue to green color shifting shimmer. The formula is fantastic: it practically applies itself! I have it shown here with two coats plus top coat although those with longer nails or who paint with very thin coats likely will need to use a third coat for opacity. 

Gruntled and Ragdoll will be available for purchase on the Lyn B Designs website September 1st at 7pm EST. Each of these polish will retail for $10, but you can save some money with the Lyn B Designs Labor Day sale. The sale will run from September 1st through September 8th, and you can save 50% on your orders with the discount code LABOR.

Are you excited about these September polishes from Lyn B Designs? Which shade is your favorite? Is there anything else you are planning to pick up during the Labor Day sale? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Ellagee for September's Polish Pickup: Ablaze

Press Sample

Happy Monday, dear readers! I'm not sure where the weekend went, but here we are again! In my previous blog post, I shared a new shade coming next month to the September Polish Pickup. I am excited to report that Ellagee is going to be participating in the Fall Foliage & Fun-themed Polish Pickup with an exquisite red polish that screams fall. Let's get a closer look at Ablaze!


Ablaze is described as a brick red jelly polish packed with gold and copper flakes and shimmers. It was inspired by the brilliant colors that set the trees ablaze in autumn. I am crazy in love with this swoon-worthy shade! There is nothing like a classic rich red shade, but add my beloved jelly squishiness and metallic shimmers and flakes and I am unable to resist such loveliness! The formula of Ablaze is a dream come true. Not too thick or thin, it applies perfectly even with all the added shimmers and flakes. For those that tend to avoid jellies due to sheerness, there is no need to worry with this beauty: I only needed two coats for full opacity to cover my nail line. In addition to two coats of Ablaze, I added a coat of top coat for extra shine and to help smooth the ever-so-slight texture created from all the added goodness.

But I didn't stop there. Oh no, this beauty just BEGGED to have a matte top coat added, and who am I to say no? Check it out below with a matte finish!


As much as I love the squishiness with the shiny top coat, I think I may actually prefer this with a matte finish. The base shade is lovely on its own, but you can really appreciate the flakes and shimmers even more like this! I'm glad to see this beautiful polish join the Polish Pickup lineup!

Ablaze and other shades from the September Fall Foliage & Fun Polish Pickup will be available for purchase from the Polish Pickup website for a limited time: September 1st through September 4th only! That is this weekend, so be sure to be there so you don't miss out! Please note that all purchases through the Polish Pickup are a preorder, and orders will ship in approximately three weeks. All the indie brands participating have really knocked it out of their park with their creations, and they are well worth the short wait!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Ablaze! Are you a fan of red jellies like I am? Do you prefer it with a shiny or matte top coat? Will you be adding this to your purchase list when the Polish Pickup shop opens on Friday? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Lyn B Designs for September's Polish Pickup: Leap Pile

Press Sample

Happy Saturday, dear readers! I know I don't post often on the weekends, but I have a beautiful polish to share with you; I just HAD to hop onto my blog this afternoon and share it with you. Let's jump in!

For today's blog post, I have the gorgeous Leap Pile by Lyn B Designs to share with you. Rather than releasing this on her own site, Jenna, the creative mastermind behind the brand, has joined up with the Polish Pickup for the month of September. If you're not familiar with Polish Pickup, let me fill you in! Developed by the ladies of Fair Maiden Polish, Polish Pickup is a multi-brand project with a specific theme suggested and then selected by Facebook fan group members. Once a theme is selected, assorted indie brands set to work to create a polish that fits the theme. These polishes are them available for a preorder purchase on the Polish Pickup website the first full weekend of each month. This is NOT exclusive to Facebook group members and anyone can purchase from the website. This is a great way to buy themed polishes without having to commit to a full collaboration box that may include polishes you aren't interested in. You buy only the polishes YOU want, whether it is a single shade, the full set of offerings, or nothing at all if nothing appeals to you. Be forewarned, even if you think you won't want the offerings based on the themes or only want a single shade, chances are several will catch you attention! There are no set brands that participate in this project, leaving brands to participate when the timing and themes work best for them.

The theme for the September Polish Pickup is Fall Foliage & Fun, and this is the first month that Lyn B Designs is participating in the Polish Pickup. Introducing: Leap Pile!


Two coats plus top coat
  
I have a weakness for warm rusty reds, especially when it comes to the chilly autumn days, so I am thrilled to see this shade join the Polish Pickup lineup next month! Jenna describes Leap Pile as a rust red base with linear holo, green galaxy flakes, and copper micro glitter. How perfect is this polish for the fall! One thing to note about this polish is the green flakes are not the vivid green hue one might expect based on the description, particularly if you are not an indie polish maker yourself. Rather, these galaxy green flakes are of a pale, almost sheer, variety, so while they do add a little something to this polish, the effect is much more of a subtle kiss of colour than a full on KAPOW. If you want the flakes to pop more, the best way to do that is to add matte top coat, like I have in the following photos.


While the flakes were more subtle when I had shiny top coat over the swatches, they are much more obvious with a matte top coat! The copper micro glitters are also fun with a matte effect as well!

I was really happy with the formula of Leap Pile. It had a consistency that I love: not too thick or thin, and it applies easily to the nails. I had a random flake lay beyond my nail tips upon application, but they are easy to push back up onto the nail or pull off as desired. I adore this colour, and if wearing can't get you ready for fall, nothing will!

Retail: $10

Leap Pile and other shades for the September Polish Pickup will be available for purchase from the Polish Pickup website located here September 1st through September 4th. Please note this is the ONLY time these polishes will be available for purchase; if you want any of them, be sure to mark the dates on your calendar! Also, purchased through the Polish Pickup are made as a preorder; orders will start to ship as soon as all polishes have arrived from the individual polish brands at the Polish Pickup headquarters. Please allow three weeks for shipping of your order! Trust me, it is well worth the wait!

What are your thoughts about Leap Pile? Is this a shade you would wear for the fall? Do you prefer it shiny or matte? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful weekend!
XO!

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Friday, August 25, 2017

CPNA Beauty: Lisse Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream

Press Sample

TGIF, dear readers! It has been a BUSY week around here, both on the blog front and with my family, so I am looking forward to getting a little relaxation in somehow over the next few days. I'm hoping to head to the beach for a couple hours and am crossing my fingers the weather is cooperative. It's never particularly relaxing with two little boys in tow, but I might be able to get them to sit down for a picnic lunch at some point. Here's hoping, at least! Now on to today's blog post!


For today's blog post, I wanted to share with you a fabulous beauty find from last month's Cosmoprof North America. I had the pleasure of visiting with numerous Korean Beauty brands, and one of the products that really stuck out to me is the Lisse Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream. Rather than an ice cream meant for consumption, the Yuza Snow Ice Cream is a cooling cream that is meant to be applied to the skin. This intriguing product utilizes hydrogen water to remove toxic waste from the skin and adds moisture to skin. It also contains aqua micro capsules that burst upon the tapping application onto your skin, resulting in a true cooling sensation as your skin temperature is actually lowered. Rather than mint products that give the illusion of a cooling effect, the Yuza Snow Ice Cream is the real deal on that front!

In addition to hydrogen water and aqua micro capsules, the Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream obviously contains yuza extract. Yuza contains three times the vitamin C as lemons and 22 times the vitamin C found in apples; needless to say, yuza is an excellent source of this vitamin! Vitamin C is well known to tighten pores, brighten skin tone, and restore elasticity to the skin. It also contains their patented formula for Evermat to tighten pores, reduce shine, and provide sebum control. Papaya extract and grapefruit peel oil are also included to remove dead skin cells and leaving your skin feeling smoother. With all these quality ingredients, I was certainly looking forward to testing out this product!


The Lisse Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream is applied to the skin after you have already washed your wash and applied you usual toner and moisturizer. Because this product already has a moisturizing effect and my skin does not always agree with extra layers of products over the hot summer months, I tested this out both with an without my normal lightweight gel moisturizer. My skin felt about the same to me regardless of which method I used, so I continued to apply my moisturizer first for subsequent tests.

The Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream is packaged in a 3.5oz/100g screw-lid jar and comes with a small plastic spoon for scooping. Once you open the jar, there is a light plastic barrier between the lid and product. It is not sealed to the jar and serves to keep pressure on the product so it remains in the jar rather than spreading all over the lid, especially during transit. I removed this layer and scooped the product with the included spoon before removing it with a clean finger and spreading it evenly over my face. I then followed up with tapping my fingers across my face to pop the aqua micro capsules and cool my skin down.


I am really impressed with this product! My skin felt cooler almost immediately after gently tapping my face, and given that it's still summer around here, I can appreciate the cooling sensation. While it did make my skin feel cooler, it didn't at any point feel cold; the Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream will still be comfortable to use during the colder winter months, at least for me. My skin definitely felt softer after applying this to my skin, and I'm sure it appreciated the added boost of moisture while removing cellular waste products that might have been having around on my face. The only issue I had with this product is it made my face feel the slightest bit sticky to the touch. It wasn't a big problem for me as I continued on with my primer and makeup routine each day, but it was a slight annoyance on the days I didn't add anything else to my face. Of course I normally don't go around touching my face so I likely wouldn't have noticed it if I weren't specifically touching my skin to get more in site on this particular product, but I'm still mentioning it here should the tackiness be a sensation that would bother you. The finish of this cream is matte after application to the skin

I have really enjoyed trying out the Lisse Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream! It applies easily to the skin, and I suspect the cooling effect has helped to keep my makeup in place over the hit summer days. Because of all the ingredients, it isn't exactly scent-free, but scent is light and fresh, even for my ultra-sensitive nose! I generally can't wear a lot of scented products on my face just due to smell alone, so if you're like me, you likely won't mind it unless you don't care for the scent of yuza. I did appreciate that it can with its own scooper so I'm not inadvertently introducing my normal facial bacteria to the product and causing it to spoil or have contamination issues. While this can be stored at room temperature, something I will be doing in the cold winter months, it can be stored in the refrigerator for an extra cooling sensation for application. I have applied this product pulled from both storage conditions, and I certainly could appreciate the extra cooling on our really hot days this summer! It still has a cooling effect even at room temperature although it is more subtle. Ultimately how you choose to store it will come down to your own personal preference.

The Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream can be purchased from the Lisse website located hereThe retail price is $29 for 3.5oz (100g).

Have you previously heard of the Lisse Real Hydrogen Yuza Snow Ice Cream? Is it a product that you would be interested in trying? I'd love to hear your thoughts about this innovative K-Beauty product!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!


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Thursday, August 24, 2017

CPNA Beauty: B Fragranced Embellish By ME Hand & Body Lotion

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Thursday! I hope you've been having a wonderful week and have something fun to look forward to this weekend! It's been great having my 4 year old home again, and he started his pre-K program this week. There is definitely truth to the saying the days are long but the years are fast! After all the random trips this past summer, I'm really happy to be getting back to our normal day-to-day schedule within nothing to disrupt it in the immediate future. I know it isn't exactly the most exciting life, but I prefer the consistency, especially since it makes my kids a little less crazy. I'm getting off topic here so let's jump in on today's blog post. Ready? Let's do this! 


I was not kidding when I said I discovered a lot of brands while attending Cosmoprof North America last month, and today's blog post features the brand [ME] by B Fragranced LLC. Even though it may be new to me, the company launched its first fragrance, Embellish, in the US market in 2014. Designed to be a light and fresh fragrance for women, the fragrance is available in an Eau De Parfum spray or rollerball depending on the size selected. It is also available in a Hand & Body Lotion; I have the latter here to share with you today!


While I thoroughly enjoy fragrances, my nose is not the most adept at picking out and pinpointing the particular nuances about a scent. Below is the description of Embellish as provided by B Fragranced.

Classy, Romantic and Glamorous... all characteristics of a sophisticated lady. An indulgent light fragrance, Embellish infuses sparkling notes of apple and peach with a splash of citron. Effervescent notes of jasmine and honeysuckle balance the base of soft amber and sandalwood.

This scent screams sensual femininity to me. It is a beautiful scent, and if you tend to prefer warmer scents, you should definitely check it out! As for my own personal scent preferences, this is a type of scent I tend to wear over the cooler fall and winter months. It isn't particularly heavy by any means, but I tend to be drawn more towards aquatic scents over the summer. That being said, I have been enjoying trying out this lotion so I can share my thoughts with you!


The lotion itself has a lovely thin but silky consistency. It smoothes out over the skin before being quickly absorbed, yielding a nice light-weight moisturizing effect. The final result is skin that is beautifully moisturized with no greasy or oily residue, and the scent remains on the skin. I've used this lotion both as a hand lotion and as a body moisturizer, and even with full body use, I didn't find the scent to be too overpowering. It is definitely present and noticeable by others in the vicinity, but I only ever received compliments on it from close neighbors while out and about my day. I also found the scent remains on the skin for a rather long time and could still easily detect it within 7 hours of application.

While I found the Hand & Body Lotion to be moisturizing overall, those with very dry skin may find it isn't quite moisturizing enough on its own with a single layer. I don't have particularly dry skin, but I did notice it wasn't heavy enough for me after shaving in particular. I fully anticipated that to be the case so I wasn't surprised, but I'm still noting the particular experience here.

Retail: $24.00 6oz

I'm really liking this product! I enjoy the scent, and I love the silky feeling it leaves on my skin! It's starting to get cooler around here, and while we have quite some time until it gets "cold", I'm already seeing myself wanting to use this more often just for the scent alone!

B Fragranced also launched Essence of ME in 2016, a cologne for men featuring bergamot, precious woods, and musk scents. It is certainly a company to keep your eye on; I know I certainly am looking forward to what they release next!

Embellish By ME Hand & Body Lotion and other B Fragranced products can be purchased from the website here.

Are you familiar with Be Fragranced or [ME]? Does the scent description of Embellish appeal to you? Do you like wearing scenting body products? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!


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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Nail Art Featuring JulieG Bohemian Dreams Collection

Press Sample

Happy hump day, dear readers! I've been eager to create and share more nail art on my blog lately, so when I saw the new JulieG Bohemian Dreams Collection, I knew I had the perfect shades to create the designs that had been on my mind lately! It's been awhile since I've done a water marble, so that was my first look I created with shades from the collection.


Polishes used:
Karma
Eden
Faith

I topped my nails off with top coat for added shine.

On a recent post, someone suggested that I post a drag marble on my blog. It's been quite some time since I had attempted one, and I was reminded that they always look easier to create than they actually are, for me anyway! I still enjoyed creating the following look, and I hope you enjoy it as well!


Polishes used:

Harmony
Henna
Aria

I also added top coat for these photos.

I'm really digging these looks and the colour palette of the Bohemian Dream Collection! All six cremes are gorgeous shades that will have your nails on point as we transition from summer into fall. The collection is available for purchase now, and each shade retails for $3.99 at Rite-Aid Stores and Jesse's Girl Cosmetics. This collection is limited edition and features a cap with a wood-like appearance. If you want any of these shades, be sure to snap them up quickly before they are gone!

Have you tried any JulieG polishes? Which ones are your favorite? What sort of nail art would you create with these polishes? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette, Rogue Matte Lipstick, and a Giveaway

Greetings, dear readers! I hope this post finds you well and your week has been off to a fabulous start! For today's blog post, I wanted to share with you the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette and new Matte Lipstick in the shade Rogue. I bought these products without a second thought at the launch on the ABH website, fighting the internet crowds and the crashing website alongside many others. I had really loved the ABH products I had tried up to this point, and I even picked up a second palette to give away on my blog. When the sh*t hit the fan shortly afterwards with the negative reviews, I actually had a difficult time deciding whether or not I wanted to even post a review, let alone a giveaway, before I had my own palette in my hot manicured hands. After a lot of thought and testing, here I am writing this post and continuing with my giveaway as planned. If you want to see my eye looks and check out my thoughts on the palette, along with entering my giveaway to win one for yourself, please read on!


Phew! I don't know that I've ever had to put so much thought into a blog intro before! Since I'm jumping in on this post, let's go ahead and dive into Subculture first. Photos of the Subculture palette were leaked on the Makeup Addiction subreddit three months ago by someone claiming to be a friend of an (assumed ex-)employee of ABH, so if we really want to be honest, this palette has been surrounded by drama since fans first knew of its existence. Besides the obvious "you're going to get your friend fired" type of response, the internet was aflutter with polarizing opinions by fans. Before it was released or even sent to the first reviewer, fans either loved or hated the colours in this palette. I personally loved the shades and couldn't wait to play with them upon the release. Please note all comments on this blog post are my opinion based on my experience with my specific palette.


In the highly unlikely chance you haven't seen the Subculture Palette, this is what the inside looks like. There are 14 shades composed of grungy mattes and a handful of sparkling metallic hues. The Subculture Palette is reported to complement the Modern Renaissance Palette, a wildly popular palette released by Anastasia Beverly Hills last summer. Pictured below are my finger swatches of the shades in this palette along with a description of each as described by ABH.


Cube: Duo chrome pink pearl
Dawn: Ultra-matte sand
Destiny: Ultra-matte sage green
Adorn: Metallic bronze
All Star: Ultra-matte vintage wine
Mercury: Ultra-matte slate grey
Axis: Ultra-matte blue-green

Key features to note:
Cube appears in the pan as white with pink shimmer, but in application, it is more of a transparent powder with pink shimmer. This finger swatch included several passes into the pan in order to have a sufficient amount of colour show on my arm.

Mercury may be described as a slate grey, but I personally found it to be more of a grungy purple-learning taupe.

Dawn, Destiny, and Mercury feel soft and "cushy". Adorn feels even more cushy and almost wet even though it is not. All Star feels a little powdery to the touch from the get go and Axis feels even more powdery still.

Axis is super incredibly ridiculously pigmented. If you've watched any of the YouTube videos by others that have used Axis in their eye looks, this is a very key feature of this particular shade.


Roxy: Ultra matte muted coral
Electric: Duo chrome lime-gold
Fudge: Ultra-matte warm bronze
New Wave: Ultra-matte citron orange
Untamed: Ultra-matte tarnished green
Edge: Ultra-matte gold mustard
Rowdy: Ultra-matte blacked purple

Key features to note:
Electric isn't quite as pigmented as the pan leads you to believe although it does have nice colour. It is very firmly pressed into the pan, notably more so than the other shades in this palette. This feature makes is a little more difficult to pick up this particular shade for use although it can be built up easily.

Roxy, Fudge, New Wave, Edge, and Rowdy all have a nice cushiness whenever I touch their respective pans. Untamed feels a little more powdery than the other shades in this row, but it isn't as noticeable as Axis or even All Star from the top row.

I played around with this palette and have three different looks I created with it for this post. I hope you enjoy them!


Shades used:
Dawn
Mercury
Fudge
Destiny
Electric
Cube

Key features to note:

Eye glitter glue may be one of your besties if you choose to use Cube or Electric. I dabbed a little on my eyelid to help Electric pop rather than building it up with multiple layers. I also carefully placed some on the inner corner of my eyes to help Cube show better without needing multiple passes. I also placed Cube on my brow bone without glitter glue so the pink shimmer is even more subtle.


I completed my design by adding Olive When Pencil Met Gel eyeliner by Julep. I paired this eye look with a French Toast lipstick by Gerard Cosmetics. It is one of my favorite neutral lipstick shades so I just had to mention it in this post!

This particular look is obviously a lighter and less intense use of the Subculture Palette, but some days I just want to look a little more bright-eyed and not as colourful. With so many vivid shades in the palette, I was happy to discover I could keep it looking more simple for the days I wanted just that.


Shades used:
Edge
New Wave
Roxy
All Star
Adorn
Electric
Axis

Key features to note:

Axis is hella pigmented. Yes, I am aware I mentioned this previously, but if you don't take away anything else from this post (but I hope you do, of course!), Axis requires a very light hand if you don't want to have your entire eye look taken over by blue-green. I actually had not planned to use so much Axis beyond a little under my eyes, but even a slight tap into the pan yielded so much pigment I just ran with it as my eyeliner. I do love the colour and plan to use it again. Whenever I want to use it again in small amounts in the future, I will actually be wiping my brush off on a clean hand towel to remove excess colour as I don't know if it's possible for me to touch the pan light enough to not end up with too much pigment.

Again, I pulled out my glitter glue to make Electric pop in my design, this time at the inner corners of my eyes.


I completed this look by adding a bright lip using Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Spicy.

This is my favorite look from this blog post. It's colourful and fun, and in the end, I just felt beautiful! 

Shades used:
Dawn
Mercury
Adorn
New Wave
Untamed
Rowdy
All Star

Key features to note:

Patience is key. The lighter shades are a little more forgiving, but the darker hues are not. It is best to very lightly tap your brush into the shadow pans once for application and repeat to build up to a deeper shade if desired. The colour really sticks to the areas first touched by your eye brushes and doesn't blend out easily. Constant blending in areas can actually result in balder patches with little to no colour remaining on your lids. You can see some of this balding in the photo below on the left (technically my right eye, but your left looking at your screen).


The bald spot is located on my eyelid just above my lashes where New Wave and Untamed are supposed to meet.

I paired this eye look with ABH Matte Lipstick in the new shade Rogue (more on this below).

This particular eye look gave me some trouble, and while I could have (and did after snapping this photo) touched up the bald area with a fresh dab of colour, I did want to show the balding effect. You can also see where All Star didn't want to blend into the rest of my eye look when I used a heavier application. In spite of some of the added difficulties, I still had a lot of fun with this eye look.


My budget only had room to allow the purchase of one of the new Matte Lipstick shades (well, not really, but it somehow happened anyway), and I selected Rogue. I really like muted reddish-brown shades, and since I drive a (Nissan) Rogue, it was meant for me. Too much of a stretch? Perhaps, but that still didn't stop me ordering it when it launched!


Here is a closer view of Rogue on my lips. This is actually my first ABH Matte Lipstick, so I wasn't too sure what to expect going in with this item. The first thing I noticed was just how firm the lipstick bullet was! I don't know if this is typical of the brand, but I found myself having to push harder on the bullet against my lips than I normally would have liked in order to transfer the shade onto my lips. That being said, the colour is perfection and I was impressed how long it lasted on my lips before needing a touch up. I was able to wear this lipstick for about five hours before I needed to touch up. This was through my cup of coffee and a light meal; I suspect chomping into a burger would have required a touchup much sooner! Even with a firmer bullet than I normally prefer, I really like this colour and have worn it numerous times since purchasing it.


Final Thoughts

In spite of the trepidation I felt going into the testing process, I was really eager to give it as fair an assessment as possible. I had hoped to go into it blind, but I couldn't help but see a lot of the backlash this palette received on social media before mine even arrived. Yes, this palette is pigmented, even more than may actually be necessary. While some shades felt a little powdery to the touch, I did not experience the extreme fallout reported by many. As much as I would like to say my palette was more firmly pressed than others, based on the reviews I watched, I feel technique plays a huge role in this variance. To be clear, I am in NO way, shape, or form insulting the techniques of the YouTube beauty gurus; I certainly have a lot to learn from them myself! The biggest difference I observed is they would either swirl their brushes into the shadow pans or tap into each shade multiple times before transferring colour onto their eyes. Whenever I apply darker or bright shades of any brand, I gently tap into shadow pans once before applying to my eyes, building up from there as desired. Utilizing my normal method, I had very minimal pigment flyaway over the palette itself, and I did not have much fall out during application onto my eyelids. In fact, after the dozen or so uses my palette has seen thus far, there is no pan in sight and my palette still looks quite tidy and gently used. Will Subculture be going on my list of top products from the year? No. It's still a little too pigmented when it comes to some colours (throwing more shade at you, Axis) while Cube in particular just doesn't have the payout I would expect from a palette from a notable brand like Anastasia Beverly Hills. It does have some issues with blendability, although going in with a light hand does seem to make a big difference. Subculture also won't be going on my list of products I hate either. Yes, it takes extra effort and time, but at the end of the day, I felt beautiful with all the looks I created with this palette. That in itself helped to redeem this palette in my eyes. It is for this reason I have decided to not only keep my palette, but to give away a palette to one lucky reader as well. I think the Subculture palette has a lot of potential to create gorgeous eye looks as long as you use a gentle hand and very precise placement. This precise placement becomes especially important when it comes to working with shades on the opposite end of the colour wheel. Once you start to blend together yellow with purple, red with green, or orange with blue, you're going to see some "muddy" colours, especially since the shades in this palette are so pigmented. Your best bet with the Subculture Palette is to keep these complementary shades separate without blending them together if you wish to keep the shades as true as possible. I personally enjoy playing with muddy, or the more accurate terminology, de-saturated, hues from time to time, but there is definitely an art to it, and I am definitely still learning how to do it properly with this palette. I would have preferred for these to not be such an issue with a $42 palette, but with so much pigmentation, it is just inevitable. In the end, I can't really say "you must have this palette" or "run away and spend your money elsewhere" because this is a complex palette with many nuances that need to be taken into consideration. In the end, only you can decide if the Subculture Palette is work picking up based on your own application techniques, whether or not you may be willing to modify current techniques if needed, and how you want to put together the specific colours to create your eye looks. I may not be able to answer these questions for you, but I hope this blog post helps make it easier for you decide one way or another.

If you'd like to try your luck at winning this palette, please enter my giveaway below!



Open Internationally to participants age 18 years and older. Winner will be notified at the end of the giveaway with the provided email address and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to claim prize within the designated time frame will result in forfeiture of the prize and a new winner selected. Prize will be shipped by myself within 10 days from being claimed. Giveaway prize has been purchase by myself, and this is not sponsored by any parties.


Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

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