Monday, December 31, 2012

Wardrobe Must Haves: J. Crew Pixie Pant

Happy holidays/New Year's, everybody!  Since the year is coming to an end, I thought I'd share one of my favorite things that I bought this year.  I've been (and still am) firmly in the leggings are not pants camp.  HOWEVER (now is when I eat my words), I normally stick to skirts and dresses out of personal preference, but sometimes you just need to wear pants.  I'm completely over jeans at this point--they're never comfortable, they never fit me correctly, and they just aren't really my style.  In search of non-legging, non-jean pants, I stumbled across these J. Crew Pixie Pants, which are incidentally the exact same as the J. Crew Factory Ponte Pants (which are a good $30 cheaper on sale right now).  The only differences between the two are that the Pixie pants have a zipper in the back, whereas the Ponte zipper is on the side, and the Pixie pants come in grey, black, and navy, whereas the Ponte pants only come in navy and black.  I picked up a pair of the Ponte pants a few months ago, and I have been wearing them ALL THE TIME.


The Ponte pants are a rayon/nylon/spandex blend, which basically feels like a thick stretch jersey.  One of the things that I hate about leggings-as-pants as that they are so thin--they don't hide underwear lines (or even underwear color often!), and they stretch out and sag.  The Ponte pants are thicker, so they hide everything, and they don't stretch out at all.  They have a thick high waistband, which doesn't cut into my stomach, and a zipper on the side.  At J. Crew I'm often between a 4 and a 6 in bottoms, and since these have stretch I went for the 4, which fits perfectly.

I like to wear these with my Frye Jane boots (they would also be cute with flats, but that's not really my cup of tea) and either a sweater or a cute top.  What I really love about these, aside from the fact that they're super comfortable, is that they're so basic I can wear them with just about anything.  You can style them preppy, like in the photo above, or you can throw on boots, a tee, and a leather jacket and take them in a more edgy direction.  

I really recommend these!  I was a little skeptical at first, but I've ended up wearing them multiple times a week ever since I got them.  They've held up really well, and I might even get a second pair in the navy!  I wish they made these in more fun colors--I could totally go for a burgundy or a hunter green. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

L'Oreal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Advanced Age-Reversing Foundation

I bought this foundation in August, and I've almost used up a bottle, so it's probably time for me to review it (jokes, what is my life).  This foundation has probably the longest name of any foundation I've ever used--Visible Lift Serum Absolute Advanced Age-Reversing Foundation.  The idea is that this foundation has Vitamin C and Retinol in it, so it's supposed to have skincare-esque properties.  I picked up the Classic Ivory shade at CVS for about $14--it's currently $15.79 at drugstore.com.

It comes in a one ounce glass pump bottle with a plastic cap.  My bottle is gross and dirty, but I really like the overall packaging.  The bottle is nice and weighty, and it has a very clean feel to it.

Classic Ivory on me is almost identical to NARS Sheer Glow's Mont Blanc, and it's right between MAC's NW15 and NW20.  It's a perfect color match for me.  This foundation comes in a surprising range of pale shades, although it doesn't have as great of range in the darker shades.  And it doesn't oxidize on me throughout the day!  On the left is a pump of foundation so you can see the texture, on the right I've blended it out across the top of my hand.

Formula: This foundation is a thick liquid or a thin cream, depending on your perspective.  It almost feels a bit whipped.  It blends into my skin very easily, with no streaks, and has a natural finish that skews a bit matte.  I don't usually go for anything remotely matte, but since I have oily skin, the matte aspect of this foundation works really well for me.  I don't think it would be great if you had very dry skin, as I find this emphasizes any dry spots that I have.  It almost may not be very good for extremely oily skin--I think it's perfect for normal or combination skin types.  Also, I've used this for almost a semester, and it hasn't broken me out AT ALL.  I'm pretty paranoid about breakouts, and I was afraid of both the retinol in this foundation and how much coverage it has, but it's actually made my skin a little nicer!

Application: I love that this has a pump! I use two pumps on my entire face, and I apply it with my fingers to really work it into my skin.  I find that it dries down pretty quickly, and then it doesn't budge.

Coverage: I find that this is medium-heavy coverage.  Two pumps on me covers basically everything, but doesn't look heavy or unnatural.

Wear time: I can put this on in the morning (over my Korres primer), run around, go to the gym, get caught in an unexpected rain storm (story of my life) and 15 hours later, it still looks great!  I think this has even better wear time my beloved NARS Sheer Glow.  

Awkward Chic rating: A.  It's great for my skin color and my skin type, lasts forever, and covers all manners of sins.  I wish it was a little cheaper and had a wider range of colors, but I have trouble finding flaws with it.  I will absolutely repurchase.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow

Confession--I bought these like three months ago, and have totally forgotten to review them.  I generally have little faith in drugstore cream eyeshadows, but Tanya Burr (Pixi2woo, she's adorable, please watch her YouTube channel) endorsed these in one of her videos, and they were on sale at CVS, so I picked up two.  I got Bad to the Bronze (25) and Pomegranate Punk (30)--click to enlarge the photos.

Bad to the Bronze is honestly more of a warm, metallic taupe for me than an actual bronze--it's very similar to MUFE's Aqua Cream in 15 (Taupe), which I also own, albeit a slightly warmer and more shimmery taupe.  Pomegranate Punk is such a fantastic color. It's a rusty cranberry metallic with some silvery shimmer shot through it.  It's a little like MAC's Vainglorious eyeshadow and Cranberry eyeshadows had a baby.  I'm one of those strange people who really loves brownish-red eyeshadow, which is admittedly a little strange and hard to pull of at times.  However, I think Pomegranate Punk looks fantastic on the lid and on the lower lashline when anchored with a black line.  It feels a little glam/rock and roll, and can transition nicely from day to night.  Bad to the Bronze is just a pretty neutral that I like to swipe across the lid on days where I don't want to do a lot of work in terms of eyeshadow.  I can just use that and some liner and call it a day, or I can use it as the base of a brown smokey eye.

Application: the shadow feels very firm in the pot, but goes on like butter.  I use my finger to apply, and two or three swipes across the product is enough to cover my entire lid.  I'll blend it out a bit with my finger, and then use a blending brush to smooth out the edges and the crease.  I find that this applies very smoothly, with no patchiness at all, and you have a good minute or two to put everything out before it sets entirely.  The application reminds me of the MUFE Aqua Creams--those have slightly more slip, whereas these are a little more tacky, but it's very similar.

Wear time: I usually put this on around 9AM, and take it off at around 12AM, so I'm wearing it for about 15 hours.  Part of the name of this shadow is 24hr, which implies that it lasts 24 hours.  I don't think it does.  When I get to 15 hours, it's still clearly on my lids, and the color hasn't faded a ton, but it does start to crease and fade just a tad.  I think at 20 hours it would be on its last legs.  I always wear this with primer (MAC's Paint Pot in Painterly), so I can't speak to how it wears without primer.  But who needs to wear eyeshadow for 20 hours?!

Packaging: It comes in a thick glass pot with a black plastic screw-on lid.  The labeling information comes on a sticker, which is a little blah, but I think the swankiness of the glass pot makes up for it.  You get .14oz of product, and in about 3 months I've used up about 1/4 of shadow.  So far they haven't shown any signs of drying out, so I think you could get a lot of use out of these.

Awkward Chic rating: A-.  I wish these lasted a tiny bit longer, but the lasting power is definitely comparable with the much more expensive MUFE Aqua Creams.  The pigmentation and application are great, and these are only $6.99 at drugstore.com.  I think I want to pick up Bold Gold and Tough as Taupe too.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Outfit of the Day

So it's cold in Boston--per usual--and as always, I am in denial.  Perpetual denial.  This is what I wore today.  It is currently 46 degrees outside.  Denial!

Sweater: J Crew (about three years ago), shirt: Stradivarius in Spain, skirt: J Crew factory Accordion Pleat Mini in Dahlia, tights: Hue, boots: Frye Carmen Harness Short.  Apologies for the horrible lighting, we have the sad energy-saving bulbs that don't really make light.

The skirt was originally $70, and I got it for $30 on sale.  Yay!  I love the cheerful fuchsia color of the skirt.  I'm usually a 4 in J Crew factory skirts, but I went up a size because I wanted the silhouette of the skirt to be more of an a-line.  The waist is elastic, making it super comfy, and easy to wear both higher and lower on the waist.  The skirt has two deep pockets, and it's a wool/poly blend.  It has the warmth of wool but isn't too thick or itchy.  Overall I really love it--it's sold out, but J Crew factory currently has 30% off everything and free shipping!

I paired it with a white, 3/4 sleeve shirt I got in Spain.  Since the skirt is such a statement color, I wanted to keep the top neutral.  The sweater is a marled black and white knit with a shawl collar that's really cozy and warm.  I like that it tones down the girliness of the skirt a bit.  The short boots add a little of a rustic, casual twist.

Speaking of shoes, I am constantly struggling to find shoes that I like that aren't sandals or boots.  Literally all of my shoes are sandals or boots.  No flats, no sneakers (aside from gym shoes).  I used to have a pair of Topsiders, but they aren't really me, and I'm definitely not a ballet flat or a Converse person.  I stumbled across this pair of suede tuxedo loafers from DV, and I think I need them.  They're on sale for $62.99 from Zappos right now.  They also come in black, which I'd probably buy, but how cute is the pink?!  I want them.  I like that they're a little retro, a little men's smoking jacket-esque, and very practical.

Image via zappos.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick

So in my last post I mentioned that I've been dealing with the LSAT and applying to law school and hopefully I'd be done with all of that soon--jokes!  Long/boring story short, I have a stomach condition, it likes to act up randomly to terrorize me, and it was horrible on the day of the LSAT.  As in, I couldn't eat anything and almost threw up on the way to the test horrible.  But I took it anyways, because I had studied literally SO MUCH and I'm crazy stubborn, and basically that was a mistake and I'm taking it again on December 1! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy (all of the sarcasm in the world).

 I thought I'd try to get back to blogging regardless, because I kind of miss it (and because I just finished midterms and now I have nothing to be neurotic about in my free time).  I have so much stuff to review!  Here's one of my new favorite things, Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick.

 The casing is very long and skinny--it almost looks like it's going to be a lip gloss.  It's a simple brushed steel on the bottom and shiny steel on the top.  Not ugly, but very plain.  The lipstick twists up, and you can see immediately that it looks insanely dark.  One of my housemates thought I was putting on black lipstick--side note, my nail polish is not black!  It's a super vibrant and dark purple from Zoya that's called Pinta, and it's just lovely, and my pictures aren't doing it justice.

Back to the lipstick!  It doesn't really have a smell, aside from the faintest hint of that typical 'lipstick smell.'  It's extremely sheer, as you can see in that swatch.  I swatched heavily, probably about 8 times, and that's how sheer it is.  Which is actually a good thing, because it gives your lips the prettiest berry flush without looking like you just drank a gallon of grape juice.  It looks really natural on, with just the smallest hint of vampiness.  The formula feels lovely on your lips, almost like a lip balm, and it has a nice amount of shine.  It terms of lasting power, it's called Almost Lipstick for a reason--the lasting power isn't amazing.  This is basically a lip balm and lipstick hybrid, so I'd say it lasts about two hours on me before I feel the need to reapply.  However, it wears off evenly, leaving behind no stain, and doesn't leave my lips feeling chapped.

So, Clinique's Black Honey--does it live up to the hype?  I say yes!  I bought it because I was feeling super '90s nostalgic, and I've worn it almost every day since, and lipstick SCARES ME.  I'm not an easy sell in that realm.  Plus, it's only $15 at sephora.com, so if you want to dip your toe in the pool of vampy lipsticks, it's a good way to ease into the look without spending a ton of money.  Awkward Chic rating: A.

PS: If you like Pride and Prejudice (aka if you're breathing), you should watch this modern adaptation web series.  It has murdered my productivity.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm alive!

Sorry for the epic blogging failure, but I have literally spent every waking moment in September/October working on my law school applications and studying for the LSAT, and doing actually nothing else (can someone remind me what sleep feels like?).  I will hopefully be back to full blogging capacity within the next few weeks!

xoxo,
Megan

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rimmel Foundation Failures

I've been on a drugstore foundation buying spree.  I love my NARS Sheer Glow and Revlon Colorstay to death, but I wanted to branch out.  And I am so sorry that I did.  This is going to be a short review, because both these foundations were so bad that I only wore them once.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation, $7.29 at ulta.com, Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation, $4.99 at ulta.com: I got both of these in Warm Ivory.  I like the packaging.  The squeeze tube on the 25 Hour foundation is easy to use, and the packaging for clean finish feels very fresh.  Both foundations smell straight up like chemicals, big, nasty chemicals.  Clean Finish dried semi-matte on me, whereas 25 Hour was slightly dewier.  25 Hour is full coverage, Clean Finish is medium coverage.  Both foundations went on nicely, blended easily, and seemed promisingly.  AND THEN:

Cue three hours later.  I tried 25 Hour first, went to look in the first, and screamed.  My face was orange.  Dirty, bright orange, dripping with oil, and completely splotchy.  I looked like a practical joke.  Not only that, but I had started to break out.  I wrote 25 Hour off as a fluke, and tried Clean Finish the next day.  The exact same thing happened.  More pimples, more orangey-hued oxidizing, more oil.  

In short, these are horrible.  Do not buy them.  Both oxidized horribly on me, and while I am pale, so it does look conspicuous, they seem to oxidize on darker skin tones as well.  Plus they both broke me out and seemed to break down in the presence of any oil on my face.  

Awkward Chic rating: F.  Stick to Revlon Colorstay if you're looking for a new drugstore foundation, or try one of the new L'Oreal anti-aging ones instead, but run, RUN away from these foundations.


Images via ulta.com, realbeauty.com.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to School Shopping

I've had very possibly way too much free time this summer, so I've been thinking a lot about what I want my fall school uniform to be.  For class, I like pieces that are easy to wear and easy to style different ways, but still pack a style punch.  I've been feeling a very Ali Mcgraw in Love Story, early 1970's vibe lately.  I'm thinking that this fall is going to be a lot of pencil mini skirts, 3/4 length sleeved tops and sweaters, long necklaces, and warm red leather boots.  Here are some of the pieces I've bought so far:

J. Crew Ink-Dip Popover, $72 at jcrew.com, Tippi Sweater in Colorblock Stripe, $95 at jcrew.com: I actually got this J. Crew shirt in Light Lilac (which is really more of a cool blush pink) but the neon pink picture was a lot cuter.  It's a popover, so it's like a button-up but the buttons stop about halfway down the front of the shirt, which makes it a lot easier to tuck into things.  This shirt is a very light, actually pretty transparent, cotton, with army pockets on the chest.  It feels very retro safari/men's shirt, which I love.  I got a 6 (I normally wear a small in J. Crew shirts) because I wanted it a little blousy and I wanted to be sure it would fit across my chest without pulling.  So is this shirt worth $72?  Eh.  It has a nice cut and comes in lovely colors, but it is a very thin cotton button-up for almost $75, so I'm not entirely convinced, but it is adorable partially tucked into a high-waisted denim mini.  I am in love with this Tippi sweater.  The cut is perfect, with the slightly opened up crewneck, the slim body, and the 3/4 sleeves.  It's wool, so it's nice and warm, but it's still a relatively thin sweater, so it's very fall appropriate.  It comes in solid colors, but I thought this colorblocked version, with the navy/white/camel/sky blue/grey was really cute and fun, and would go with a wide range of outfits.

Garment-dyed Denim Mini, on sale for $39.99 at jcrew.com, J. Crew Factory Classic Corduroy Mini, on sale for $29.50 at jcrew.com:  I don't actually have this skirt, I have a J. Crew factory skirt in coral-orange that's basically the same, but this pink is adorable, if impratical (it also comes in a mildly more practical kelly green).  The corduroy mini is absolutely fantastic.  I vary between a 4 and a 6 in J. Crew skirts, and got a 6 in this because it doesn't have a lot of stretch.  It hits just below the waist, is short enough to be a mini but not so short as to be indecent, has lots of pockets, and comes in a pretty, rich navy.  I like corduroy in small, sleek doses, and this one is on major sale!  Pencil minis like these have become my new staple pieces.  They basically go with any top, can be easily dressed up or down, and are both flattering and easy to move around in.  Now I have one in orange and one in navy, so I have the warm and cool ends of the color wheel down.

Forever 21 Union Jack Raglan Sweater, $22.80 at forever21.com, Frye Jane 14 Stitch boots in Redwood Leather, $328 at zappos.com: I bought this sweater in the middle of the Olympics when my London fever was raging, and I totally love it.  It's a little oversized, has a fun, abstract Union Jack on the front, and is so affordable (if a little itchy) draped over a pencil mini.  These boots are my absolutely my new favorite things.  They are definitely not cheap, but they are so well made.  I'm a little spoiled when it comes to leather boots after years of horseback riding.  My boots need to be able to stand up by themselves, and be 100% made of real leather.  These are made of a thick, gorgeous leather, lined with leather on the inside as well, with a little heel just over 2" and a slightly pointed, turned-up toe.  They have such a '70s feel, the leather is the perfect warm brown color, the insole is nice and squishy, there's great arch support, and basically I want to marry these boots and have their babies. 
  
Is anyone else feeling the 1970's for fall as much as I am?

Images via: jcrew.com, forever21.com, zappos.com.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Things I'm Loving at the Moment

And now, for another episode of things I bought myself and liked.

Ray-Ban Vagabond Sunglasses in Havana Texture, $150 at ray-ban.com: I keep thinking that buying nicer sunglasses will keep from from doing dumb things like breaking or losing them...I was wrong.  I sat on my Wayfarers, and the damage is probably fixable, but definitely not by me.  That's why birthdays are great!  I got myself a new pair of sunglasses (to be fair, I have lots of scar tissue on my eyes from a bad case of pink eye, and I am basically blind in the sun, but buying another pair still makes my wallet cry).  I was thinking of getting the oversized Wayfarers, but then I saw these little guys, and decided that I wanted to do something different--don't get me wrong, I love Wayfarers, but it seems like everyone and their aunt has one by this point.
   
They have a pretty tortoiseshell pattern in a soft brown, with dark brown lenses and exposed nail heads at the temples.  The frame is a cute, modified cat-eye.

And now the requisite unflattering face shots.  I really like these sunglasses, guys!  They're pretty wide at the temples, so they create the illusion that my face is thinner (yay), the brown is more flattering than black against pale skin, and the silhouette is a nice combination of modern and '50s inspired.  I wholeheartedly recommend these!  But if you have a very narrow face, they might be too big--they really are wide at the temples.

Voluspa Santiago Huckleberry Candle, $26 at anthropologie.com: I lusted after this candle for a LONG time.  I saw it at Anthropologie, thought it was super pretty and smelled amazing, balked at the price tag, and walked out of the store (about 10 times) before I finally cracked.  I painted my newest room (college y'all) a grey-purple, and I thought that the purple of the candle would look really pretty on my nightstand.  Also, I kind of like to collect candles and leave them out so my room smells pretty.  This one has a 100 hour burning time, is made of coconut wax, and has notes of huckleberry, vanilla, and sugarcane.  It smells sweet, spicy, and juicy, burns cleanly, and has great sillage--my entire room fills up with the scent.  Given, I'm only burning it like once a month because I want it to last forever, but 100 hours is pretty decent.  So is this the best value for money?  No, probably not.  But if you like the aesthetics, you like the scent, and you want to splurge a bit, this is a great buy.

Image via candlesoffmain.com.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Benefit Watt's Up!

I'm a huge fan of highlighters--they're great for making it look like you have cheekbones.  I've used powder and cream highlighters, ranging from MAC MSFs to highlighter cremes.  However, this newest one is my current favorite.  I picked up Benefit's Watt's Up on my last trip to Sephora, and I've been using it everyday since.

Benefit Watt's Up!  $30 at sephora.com: How cute is that packaging?!  The box has a sweet, retro vibe, and is cute enough to actually keep and not toss out.  The product itself comes in a shiny, metallic lilac plastic tube with the product twisting up on one end and a foam blending sponge on the other.  A string of retro-style outdoor lights run around the tube, adding to the packaging's charm.  Overall, I really like the presentation of Watt's Up.  It's modern with it's clean lines but retro in its styling.  Plus, I like that they include a blender, even if I'll never use it--I hate attached brushes.  How do you wash them?!


Here's a medium heavy swatch out of direct sunlight and then in sunlight.  See how the product barely appears in the shade but then pops once in the light?  That's what you want from a highlight, it just looks like your skin is shining.  Watt's Up is highly pigmented, with one or two swipes on the finger covering everything you need.  It's has a solid cream texture, and feels like butter.  The rosy-champagne hue is extremely flattering, and the very fine shimmer keeps it from looking like you have a disco ball on your face.  It blends easily, layers nicely, and is all around very easy to work with.  I just swipe it across my finger twice, dab it on top of my cheekbones and brow bone, and blend it with my finger, and that's it.


The downsides: I'm not sure this would work on darker skin tones--it could end up looking ashy if over-applied.  The lasting power is also meh--I put it on this morning, went for a vigorous workout, and it was barely hanging on by the time I got home.  Given that it's so pigmented and you get so much product, that doesn't concern me very much, but be aware that this won't last you all day.


Awkward Chic rating: A-.  The packaging and application are great, the hue is gorgeous, but the lasting power is less than exceptional.  However, it's still a good value for the money, and I'll likely repurchase if I ever run out.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gym Favorites: JVC and Lululemon

BLOGGER FAILS.  Blame the LSAT.  That's what I've been doing (for all my problems...ahem).  To apologize, I thought I'd share two of my favorite things for workouts--booty shorts and noise isolating headphones.

I'm a bit of a gym junkie--I like to go 5 days a week--so having workout clothes that fit, are comfy, actually work while I'm working out, and look cute is important to me.  I was given a pair of these shorts about 8 months ago, thought they would be way too short on me, and promptly forgot about them.  However, when it started to get ridiculously hot in Boston a few months back, I was rummaging around for something to wear to the gym without passing out on the way there.  These shorts and I then became best friends.

They're $48 at lululemon.com, but I would recommend going into the store because they have wayyyyy more options than the website does (their website is always sold out of things!).  I got a pair in black with a black waistband on one side and a grey/pink waistband on the other.  I know $48 is a ton for workout shorts.  I hate spending money on workout clothes--all I do is sweat on them!   I've had the same beat up tennis shoes for like 6 years.  They look horrible.  But I'm buying another pair of these shorts, and that says something.


So, reasons these are amazing.  They are the comfiest piece of clothing I own.  I actually wear them around the house even if I'm not planning on working out.  The waistband hits at a nice place on the hip, eliminating all chances of muffin top.  The length is good, just short enough to be easy to run around in, not so short as to be indecent (for reference, I'm 5'8', and these don't ride up).  They also make a longer pair if you like your shorts less, well, short.  And to top it all off, I've been working out in these multiple times a week, and they're barely showing any signs of wear.  AND!  I convinced a friend to buy a pair, and she loves them too, so it isn't just me, I swear.

JVC Riptidz Headphones, $7.39 at amazon.com: My Apple headphones broke the other day (and they were my FIFTH PAIR.  Also they SUCK.  I hate Apple headphones.  End of rant.), and I needed a new pair for my workout today, so I picked up these babies at my school bookstore.  I bought them in bright purple, because apparently I'm a child.  Anyways, these are great!  They're less than $10, fit into all my Apple products, and come with three sizes of adjustable ear pads.  I ran with them in, and they didn't even come close to falling out, and the sound quality is excellent.  But my favorite part is that they fit into the ears so nicely that they basically act as noise canceling headphones, meaning that I don't have to turn whatever I'm listening to up as loudly to hear it (aka saving my delicate little ear drums). 
 Recap: Buy these awesome comfy booty shorts and super cheap but effective headphones, be happy at the gym.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Detangler

I've been itching to try Moroccanoil for a longgggg time.  I know it's so over-hyped, but I have dry hair, and anything that promises to fix that catches my attention.  It's pretty expensive though, and I haven't been able to justify buying it yet.  So when I saw that Dove had come out with a detangler spray with argan oil in it, I had to buy it.  Unfortunately it was harder to find than I expected!  I finally found it at Target, on sale, no less, and had to take it home with me.

The Dove Nourishing Oil Care Detangler is $5.69 at drugstore.com: You get just over 6 oz of product, which is pretty solid.  You can see that the product separates in the bottle, with a lighter fluid on top, and you shake it to apply it.  It sprays on lightly and very evenly, which I really like. 


Smell: I don't love how this smells.  I think it's the sweet almond oil in this, because it smells like marzipan.  I hate marzipan.  Luckily the smell fades, but I cringe a bit when I apply it.


Packaging: Like I said, the application process is very easy because the spritzer works really nicely.  I like the bottle--it's simple, but clean.


How it feels: I really like that this has oil in it, but doesn't feel oily when I apply it.  It really feels like my hair absorbs it right up, no matter how much I spritz on it.

What it actually does: I use this to detangle my hair and to give my dry ends some moisture.  It's really great at detangling.  My hair gets gnarly after I shower, and this prevents me from growing dreadlocks, which is always nice.  In terms of moisture, I've only been using it for a few days, but I can say that it does help give my hair more moisture.  My hair feels softer and healthier when I use this.  However, it's certainly not a miracle product.  The amount of argan oil in this is admittedly pretty small, so my hopes weren't sky high.



Awkward Chic rating: B+.  It's a good detangler and moisturizer that applies easily and is pretty darn affordable.  But the argan oil it totes is pretty far down the ingredients list, and I don't think it's a life-changing product by any means.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

I have wanted an Urban Decay Naked palette for SO LONG.  They are so pretty, and have so many sparkly eye shadows, and are such a good value.  I finally caved and bought myself one for my upcoming birthday (hehe).  I picked up Naked 2 instead of the original because Naked had at least two shades I would never use (Creep and Gunmetal skew way too blue for me) and the overall shades were a little warm and a little similar to colors I already owned.  Also, the packaging on Naked 2 is prettier, in my humble opinion.


Anyways, this is the Naked 2 palette, which is $50 at Sephora.  It comes in this plastic tray that holds the palette and the lip gloss.  The palette itself is a warm grey metal, with Naked 2 embossed on the lid.  It opens up to reveal 12 eyeshadows, a good-sized mirror, and a double-ended brush.  I really like the packaging.  It feels modern and sleek, but still luxurious, and very study--I have no worries about this palette breaking at all, and I tend to break things.


Lip Junkie gloss in Naked: The lip gloss is itty-bitty, and has a squeeze applicator.  The color is a pinky-brown with frosty shimmer, and a minty vanilla flavor.  It's a nicely packaged little gloss, but I'm honestly never going to use it.  I don't like sticky glosses, the color is a little blah, and I hate frosty shimmer in my lip glosses.  I wish it had been replaced with a Primer Potion sample instead, although I'm sure the color and the formula of the gloss will really work for some people.


Once you open the palette, you can see that the mirror is actually large enough to apply your eyeshadow with!  So that's exciting (usually those tiny mirrors in eyeshadow palettes are just ridiculous).  You have the 12 shadows, arranged kind of from light to dark, although not consistently, and the Good Karma brush below the shadows.  I really like this brush.  I've been using it with the shadows every day.  It has a flat applicator side and a skinny, but fluffy, blending brush on the other.  The bristles are synthetic (yay), and work really nicely.  It applies shadow neatly and blends it flawlessly.  I'm so glad this brush comes with the palette, because it really does make it travel appropriate.  If you don't need primer, you could just bring that little palette with you and be done with all your eye makeup needs.


From left to right: Blackout, Busted, YDK, Verve, Pistol, Suspect, Snake Bite, Teas, Chopper, Bootycall, Half Baked, Foxy.  I swatched all of these dry--you could get more pigment if you applied them wet, but I found that they all applied very nicely dry and without a lot of effort.  The only issues I had were with Tease and Pistol, which I had trouble getting to show up on my arm, although I haven't had trouble getting them to show up on my eye.


Left to right: Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snake Bite: Foxy is a matte, creamy bisque.  It's hard to see on the far left there because it's such a light color, but it is very pigmented.  It's similar to MAC's Brule, and makes a nice lid shade or highlighter shade if you don't like sparkle in your highlighters.  Half Baked (also in Naked 1) is a shimmering golden bronze.  It's very metallic and applies like butter.  I don't love that it's in both palettes, because that makes it harder to justify buying Naked 1!  Bootycall is a lightly shimmery nude champagne that also makes a great highlighter or lid shade--it's a pink, shimmery version of Foxy.  Chopper is a shimmery copper with silver microglitter.  It's a very similar shade to MUFE's Aqua Cream #12 (which I also own) with the inclusion of silver shimmer.  I like that mixed metallics idea.  It applies, again, like butter, with a small amount of fallout.  Tease is a medium, warm matte brown that reminds me of a slightly warmer, darker version of MAC's Wedge.  It is slightly less pigmented than other shadows in the palette, not to the point where it's hard to use, but the contrast is pretty noticeable when 10 other shadows are much more pigmented.  Snake Bite is a bronzey-brown with a metallic base.  It looks much prettier in real life than on my arm, and it's actually one of my favorite colors in the palette.  It's just such a flattering, easy to work with color.  I've been using it on my lashline and crease for smokey definition that creates shape but isn't too dark.


Left to right: Blackout, Busted, YDK, Verve, Pistol, Suspect: Blackout is a matte black, plain and simple.  It's not exciting, but it is very nicely pigmented, especially compared to other matte blacks I've tried, like MAC's Carbon.  I like that it's in this palette because it's not something I'd buy on its own, but it's such a good color to own, especially for smokey eyes!  Busted is a shimmering deep brown, slightly darker and cooler than Snake Bite.  I like that this palette gives you two different brown options for contouring and smokey eyes.  YDK is another one of my favorite colors.  It's a cool bronze metallic shade, with a bit of a rose gold feel.  It looks like a million bucks on your lids, and it's just such an interesting color that really pops.  Verve is a brownish grey with a lot of metallic shimmer.  I don't usually go for grey eye shadows, but this one pulls warm on me, which makes it much more flattering and easy to wear.  Pistol is a shimmery, deeper, more grey grey-brown (say that 10 times fast) that was really hard to swatch on my arm.  It's not the kind of color I'll wear all the time, but it is nice to have a solid, neutral grey in the palette.  Lastly, Suspect is a golden beige with a metallic, shimmery finish.  It's another one of my favorites because it's such an interesting neutral that would be flattering on a wide range of skin tones.


In terms of lasting power, I've been wearing these with a primer (MAC's Painterly) in the 80-90 degree humid Boston heat, and getting about 10 hours of wear before I get significant fading and creasing.  Given that this heat and humidity is not normal, I'd say the wear time on these shadows, especially in a cooler climate, is pretty darn good.


Awkward Chic rating: A+!  This is such a good value for the money.  $50 for a mini gloss, a good quality brush, and 12 sizeable shadows is fantastic.  I know I'm going to wear at least 10 of these shades all the time, and this is so convenient for traveling.  I'd definitely buy this for a friend--it's a great buy for a makeup addict or a makeup newbie.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Perfect Face Routine (Drugstore and High-end!)

I thought I'd do a round-up of all my face makeup--primer, BB cream, and foundation.  These are all products that I use either everyday or very often.  I like them all, none of them irritate my skin or break me out, and I'd buy them all again, so I really recommend them all.  For the record, I'm very pale with warm undertones, with acne-prone combination skin.  Oh, and there's a pretty nail polish at the end.


Primer: Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing Primer, BB Cream: Garnier Fructis BB Cream:
A friend of mine gave me this primer.  It comes in a 1 ounce, flexible tube, smells like grapefruit, and goes on feeling like a light moisturizer.  I use a pea sized amount for my entire face in-between moisturizing and BB cream. It's chockful of anti-oxidants and other things that are supposed to be good for your skin, and it has no silicone!  Yay!  Silicone primers break me out like there's no tomorrow.  I've been using it every day.  I put my foundation on around 10AM, go to the gym, and bop around all day, and I've noticed that this definitely keeps my foundation lasting longer.  It still fades off my blemishes by the end of the day, but in terms of overall lasting power and keeping redness at bay, I get about 3 hours more wear from using this primer.  That makes me very happy!  I think this tube is going to last me a long time, but I think I'd buy myself one when I used it up.  After my primer I use a BB cream.  I know that sounds silly since I also use a foundation, but I've noticed that with a lighter foundation, like Colorstay, the BB cream helps give me just a little extra coverage and a slightly nicer finish.  I grabbed the Garnier Fructis BB cream because, well it was cheap.  I have the light-medium shade.  It's a pretty thick, moisturizer-esque consistency, with a yummy citrus-floral smell and SPF 15!  Yay SPF!  I love it for that reason alone.  Light-medium is definitely dark on me.  I couldn't wear this as my only coverage (both because it's too dark and it's too sheer), but it has a really pretty finish on the skin, and it's going to last me a long time, so I think it's a winner.


Drugstore Foundation: Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Buff Chamois 150, Nars Sheer Glow in Montblanc:
Sheer Glow I've reviewed before, and I still love it.  However, it's still $42 a bottle.  So that's difficult.  I picked up Revlon's Colorstay foundation as a day-to-day alternative to save some money.  Colorstay is about $12 at CVS and comes in a nice range of shades if you're pale, not so nice if you aren't.  It has a pretty, natural finish, layers nicely (I need 2-3 layers for good coverage), applies easily with my fingers, and lasts almost all day.  It's pretty liquidy and has a certain chemical smell, but I have no major qualms with it.  Long story short, Sheer Glow is definitely a nicer foundation, but Colorstay is a pretty good buy.  In terms of shade comparisons, Montblanc is slightly pinker and deeper than Buff Chamois, which is lighter and more neutral-toned.  Either one is a good match if you're NW15-20, but Buff Chamois is actually a better color for me.   Colorstay has a more natural, slightly matte finish than Sheer Glow, which has a very dewy finish.  They're both pretty negligible in terms of SPF.  Sheer Glow is a medium coverage foundation on me, and Colorstay is light-medium.  They both last for the same amount of time on me, and both work equally well with my combination skin (not making me too oily or dry and not breaking me out).  I wouldn't say that Colorstay is a dupe for Sheer Glow, but it's a viable alternative, especially if you want to save some money.



I know the Korres primer and Nars Sheer Glow are on the expensive side.  They are lovely, and if you can swing them, I recommend them.  However, the BB Cream does act as a decent primer and the Colorstay is a nice foundation, so they're good drugstore alternatives if you're like me and on a student budget.

OPI polish in Call Me Gwen-ever: Please excuse the horrible picture.  Call Me Gwen-never is a really lovely, muted orange-coral.  It's an opaque cream, covers in 2 coats, and lasts a full week on me with Poshe topcoat.  I've been wearing it for weeks--it looks equally good on fingers and toes, and I think it would be flattering on a wide range of skin tones and hues.  I got bored and did two stripes of Chanel Graphite with some tape.  Yay attempted nail art!

Images via: sephora.com, amazon.com, drugstore.com.

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