3.31.2015

Better Than NARS? Introducing the Glo Minerals Suede Matte Collection

glo minerals released their Suede Matte Collection for Spring 2015 consisting of their new Suede Matte Crayons ($16) and Suede Matte Sticks ($16), each with six shades. Let's see how many times I can say 'suede matte' in one sentence, shall we? I was given the opportunity to test out two of the crayons and one stick, and similarly to my first experience with glo minerals (review here), these left me very impressed.

I have the Suede Matte Crayons in the shades Sorbet, a purple-tinged fuchsia, Bombshell, a classic red, and the Suede Matte Stick in the shade Bliss, a medium, brown-nude with a hint of rose.

L to R: Sorbet, Bombshell, Bliss
As far as I'm aware, the formulas between the crayons and sticks are more or less the same, based on both the descriptions on the glo minerals website and my own personal experiences. These glide onto the lips without tugging or dragging, and they definitely don't lack in the pigmentation department at all. The three shades I have offer saturated color with a velvety, true matte finish that manages to make lips look smooth and plump and never dry or prune-y. They're very comfortable to wear and even offer a bit of hydration too, despite being a matte formulation. The lasting power is truly impressive (I might touch-up just once throughout the day), and they last much longer on me than do the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils (less drying too). These have a light, minty scent that creates a subtle, short-lived cooling effect upon application. I also appreciate that the lids on the Suede Matte Crayons conveniently house sharpeners. The only potential downside is that there is a slightly tacky feeling when I press my lips together, but I personally don't mind too much because I find that it helps aid in longevity.

L to R: Sorbet, Bombshell, Bliss
Of the three I have, Sorbet is by far my favorite. Although I have quite a few bold pinks in my collection, I love its matte finish and the purple-undertone really sets it apart. If you've been wanting to try the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, you may want to take a peek at the glo minerals Suede Matte Collection first. Not only are these a bit more affordable, but they're longer lasting and more comfortable to wear, all with comparable pigmentation and a plush, velvety matte look on the lips.



Disclosure: The products in this post were sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experience with the products.

3.29.2015

Clinique Cheek Pops in Heather Pop, Fig Pop, Ginger Pop & Plum Pop

Clinique Cheek Pops ($21) have to be one of my favorite blush formulas. I originally owned only Plum Pop, which I reviewed here, and despite being a powder blush, it's quite different from the other powder blushes on the market. These have medium pigmentation that is very easily buildable to pack a stronger punch, if that's what you're after, and the texture is firm and completely non-powdery. You'll never see any product sitting on top of the skin because it just blends in so incredibly seamlessly, and the finish is like a satin but with a glow. It's not shimmer, but rather a luminosity that you have to see on your skin to truly appreciate.

It took me a surprisingly long time to add another Cheek Pop to my collection, but Ginger Pop eventually found its way in a few weeks ago, and as soon as the eight (!!) new shades were available online at Sephora for VIB Rouge, I made sure to make Heather Pop and Fig Pop mine as well. #noregrets

L to R: Heather Pop, Fig Pop, Ginger Pop, Plum Pop

L to R: Heather PopFig PopGinger PopPlum Pop
Heather Pop is quite similar to Plum Pop, even though they look completely different in their pans. In reality, when worn, Heather Pop is more muted and mauve, whereas Plum Pop is brighter and more cool-toned.

Fig Pop is similar to Ginger Pop (clearly I gravitate towards certain types of shades), but Fig Pop is deeper and a bit more terracotta compared to Ginger Pop, which is lighter and pinker.

All four shades have that gorgeous, luminous sheen that I love about the Cheek Pops that is subtle, yet illuminating. These wear well all day without fading or going patchy, and the formula is a great one for blush newbies because it's easy to control the intensity of the color, and blending is cake.

Wearing Clinique Cheek Pop in Heather Pop

Wearing Clinique Cheek Pop in Fig Pop
I'm elated that Clinique finally added more shades to this range, because the formula was just too good to stop at four. I like the look of Nude Pop and Melon Pop as well, but I think I'll refrain from picking them up until I can swatch them in person as I'm afraid they may be too pale to show up on my complexion, but we'll see. I'd certainly be okay with stopping my collection here as well, simply based on how much I absolutely adore each of the shades I currently own, but you know me - I swear I won't buy something and then it mysteriously shows up either in my bag or on my doorstep somehow. No idea how it happens ;)

Have you tried the Clinique Cheek Pops?


3.26.2015

An Incredible Friday Deal: IT Cosmetics CC+ Your Way to Radiant Skin!

I've only tried a few things from IT Cosmetics, but I've been really impressed by the brand thus far. So, when I found an unexpected package on my doorstep containing their CC+ Your Way to Radiant Skin Five-Piece Collection, you could say I was more than a little ecstatic. The collection launched tonight on QVC (click here), and the special price of $59.96 ($172 value!) is only good through the end of the day today, so I had to hurry and make sure I'd tested everything out in time to tell you about them!

The collection contains three new products: Your Skin But Better Anti-Aging Full-Coverage Physical SPF 50 CC+ Cream Illumination, Heavenly Luxe Radiance Wand Brush and Luxe High-Performance Anti-Aging Eye Shadow Trio in Pretty in Spring. It also contains two existing products: Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disc and No-Tug Dual Airbrush Eyeshadow Brush.

One of my two favorites in the set is the Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disc, which includes a matte bronzer, an illuminating powder and a blush stain. All three powders are pigmented, silky smooth, blendable and have incredible lasting power on the skin. The matte bronzer is beautiful and has the perfect amount of warmth to it without pulling orange. The highlighter is a slightly pinky champagne shade that is quite strong, although not overly frosty or metallic, but it looks gorgeous on the high points of the face. The blush is a bright, pinky coral with fine shimmer in the pan, but on the cheeks, it appears to have more of a satin finish. It's fresh and brightening, and I can see myself getting tons of use out of it, especially in spring and summer for a punch of color.

The Luxe High-Performance Anti-Aging Eye Shadow Trio in Pretty in Spring contains a matte mauve-pink, a matte, cool-toned taupe-brown and a shimmery champagne. The shades are smooth, pigmented and blendable, but without primer, I find that these fade on me over the course of a normal working day, although it's worth noting that I don't experience any creasing. It's a basic eyeshadow trio that is good enough, but certainly not a must-have.

Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disco (left three swatches) and Pretty in Spring Eye Shadow Trio (right three swatches)
Would you look at that glowy, luminous shine? Not exactly subtle, but there's no denying the beauty of the highlighter in the Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disc.
I already have and love the original Your Skin But Better Anti-Aging Full-Coverage Physical SPF 50 CC+ Cream, so I was really excited to see they had come out with an illuminating version. I have the shade Medium in both, which is too dark for me at the moment and would best suit NC25-30 skin tones, and compared to the original, the illuminating version is just a touch paler and has silver micro-shimmer throughout, which may not be to everyone's taste. It's definitely detectable on the skin up-close, but I don't find it to appear glittery from a normal distance. Similarly to the original, the formula has medium-full coverage, is equally as easy to apply with brushes, sponge or fingertips, has a hydrating, skincare-like quality on the skin without being greasy, and would suit an array of skin types, from dry to combination. Oily skinned gals may find the formula to be too moisturizing, while normal to combination skins may find that they can even skip their daytime moisturizer when using this. For me, I love the coverage, the healthy, dewy finish, and how it feels like it's nourishing my skin when I wear it.

My second favorite product in the set is their new Heavenly Luxe Radiance Wand Brush. It's meant to be used with bronzing, illuminating and blush shades, although I've been so obsessed with using it for bronzer that I haven't tried it with anything else. Remember how much I said I loved using the IT Brushes for Ulta 225 Complexion Powder Brush for bronzer in this post? Yeah, well, this one has got that beat. It's ridiculously soft and has the perfect dome shape with bristles that are packed just densely enough so that it applies the perfect amount of product every time. It might just be my favorite bronzing brush ever.

The last product in the collection, the No-Tug Dual Airbrush Eyeshadow Brush, has a combo of a flat shader and a fluffy blending brush on one end that's good for both applying color to the lid using the side of the brush and blending color into the crease using the tip, while the opposite end has a stiff, straight edge brush that's dense, but still soft enough to comfortably apply color to the lower lash line without feeling like you're jabbing your eye with a torture device or fluffing powder into your eyeball.

Original CC+ Cream in Medium (left) and Illuminating CC+ Cream in Medium
Wearing all of the products from the IT Cosmetics CC+ Your Way to Radiant Skin Five-Piece Collection
For me, the Anti-Aging Vitality Face Disc, Heavenly Luxe Radiance Wand Brush and Your Skin But Better Anti-Aging Full-Coverage Physical SPF 50 CC+ Cream Illumination comprise the three solid reasons why you should pick up this set. Although the eyeshadow brush and eyeshadow trio are good, but not fantastic, they're kind of like freebies when you consider the price of the set versus the price of each product individually. For example, the face disc and CC+ cream each value at $38, whereas you can get all five pieces in the set for just under $60, if you order today. 

I'm just saying it's a really good deal. Like, really good. And the products are really good, too. Just sayin'.

Click here to be directed to the IT Cosmetics CC+ Your Way to Radiant Skin Five-Piece Collection ($59.96 on 3/27/15 only!) on QVC.



Disclosure: The products in this post were sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experience with the products.

3.23.2015

A Go-To Work Look

Everyone's idea of a work-appropriate look is going to vary, and I probably wear more makeup than most, simply because I really enjoy makeup (obviously!), but as long as it's nothing too bright, too shimmery/glittery/metallic or too dark/smokey, it's fair game for me.

Lately, this has been my go-to makeup look for work. By Terry Cover Expert has been my foundation of choice since I got it (review here), and Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Powder is my favorite powder for setting just about any foundation for additional longevity and oil-control without a dry or powdery appearance. Nowadays, I pretty much just powder my t-zone and not all over, as my skin doesn't need it anymore. For under-eyes, Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is still my main squeeze, but I like the additional brightness Maybelline Age Rewind Brightener adds, and the light texture means it doesn't look heavy or cakey on the already thin and delicate eye area.

One of my favorite eyeshadow palettes to use for work, and any time I want a neutral eye look, for that matter, is the Glo Minerals Metallic Smoky Eye Kit* (review here). Despite how unoriginal the shades may appear in the pan, I actually get compliments when I wear them, and the quality is truly what sets them apart.

For a subtle warmth, I reach for my CHANEL Les Beiges Powder in No.30 on a dense bronzing brush, and Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight remains the most work-appropriate highlighter, in my opinion. It makes the glow look like it's naturally occurring and not the result of makeup. A blush that I recently rediscovered is Rimmel Santa Rose. This is one of my must-have drugstore blushes, and it gives a beautiful neutral, rosy pink flush to the cheeks that goes with just about any look.

On my lips is another love from Rimmel - their Exaggerate Lip Liner in Eastend Snob. I've been lining and filling in my lips with this before topping it off with Dior Addict Extreme in Incognito. The color combo is really pretty, and I like that the lip liner has a great texture that glides on but is still long-lasting without being drying.


What is your go-to work look?

*PR sample


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Disclosure: The product denoted with (*) was sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experience with the products.

3.16.2015

Contouring Powders for Light to Medium Skin Tones

Like plenty of other beauty lovers, I'm sure, I've only just added contouring to my regular, everyday makeup routine. Prior to the recent onslaught of contouring powders, creams and palettes on the market, I typically reserved chiseling out my cheekbones for special occasions only. After a long period of really only having one contouring product in my stash (NYX Blush in Taupe $5), I recently added Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium ($44) and Alima Pure Contour Powder in Sombra ($20) to my collection, and not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think this trio contains pretty much everything you could ever want or need for light to medium skin tones.

L to R: Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium, NYX Blush in Taupe, Alima Pure Contour Powder in Medium
My contouring brush of choice is the Real Techniques Contour Brush. It's soft, doesn't shed and is the perfect size for carving out the cheekbone. Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium is the deepest of the three powders, and it's a medium brown with cool, grey-undertones. NYX Blush in Taupe is noticeably more taupe and mauve in comparison, but still very cool-toned. Alima Pure Contour Powder in Sombra is the palest of the three, and it's a cool-toned tan-brown. Notice the common theme here? They're all cool-toned. This is key for any great contouring product, as a natural contour is meant to look like a shadow under your cheekbone, and not a sunlit warmth or radiant glow (like bronzer).

For the longest time, I only owned NYX Taupe, and I thought it was a decent enough powder - soft, medium, buildable pigmentation, and adequately blendable. However, after I tried the powders from Kevyn Aucoin and Alima Pure, those two quickly surpassed NYX on every front. Sure, Taupe is still a fantastic drugstore option, but when you compare the three, Kevyn Aucoin's is much more richly pigmented, blendable and smooth, and Alima Pure's applies more smoothly than NYX's, and Sombra appears much more natural on the skin than Taupe. If I had to rank them, I'd say Kevyn Aucoin comes in at the top with Alima Pure coming in at a close second, and NYX in third place, although it is still a great product, especially for the price.

My method of contouring includes applying the product directly under my cheekbone first, so that the most product is concentrated there, before extending it to my temples and down under my jawline. Occasionally, I will ever so lightly contour the sides of my nose too. Then, blend, blend, blend. For my cheeks, I always blend the product upwards, never downwards. I keep the contour product under my cheekbone only (I extend the contour from my ears to about two to three inches in...I stop around the outside corners of my eyes), and never under the apples of my cheeks.

Wearing Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium
If you have a light to medium skin tone, like I do, and you've struggled with contouring and muddy looking skin, give one of these three powders a try. After you have the right product at your fingertips, all it takes is practice, and you'll get there in no time.


3.13.2015

Let's Talk: Hyped Products

Whether you write a beauty blog, read a beauty blog, make beauty videos on YouTube or watch them, you've probably experienced hyped products firsthand on more than one occasion. When I first started my blog, hyped products (cough cough MAC) used to suck me in like a riptide. I'd obsess over promo pics and early swatches online, then buy several products from limited edition collections the second they popped up online or in-store, only to find these same products collecting dust in the back of my makeup drawer a few, short months later.

Since then, I've slowly learned to take an editing eye to my wishlist, in order to avoid falling victim to the hype. Though I'm not against PR samples or sponsored posts, I do take these reviews with a grain of salt, depending on who they're from. For example, if I'm looking up reviews for a product and the only ones that pop up are PR samples and from bloggers/vloggers that I'm not as familiar with, I may not buy into them. However, if bloggers whom I respect and trust tell me something is good, I'm much more inclined to believe them, regardless of whether they paid for the product themselves or received it from the company. 

I always try to consider the skin type and general makeup style and preference of the person recommending the product as well, because a product could very well be amazing, but if it's not to your personal taste or formulated for your skin type, you may not enjoy it or get much use out of it. For myself, personally, I like buying makeup to actually use and not to collect, so I try to really consider whether or not I could see myself using a product for months and years to come (I know, I know...expiration dates), or whether it would just become another frivolous purchase.

With that said, what are your thoughts on hyped products? Do you often fall for the hype? How do you avoid it? What was the last product your fell for that left you underwhelmed or disappointed?


3.09.2015

The Best Moisturizer I've Ever Tried?

It would be pretty dramatic to start off a post saying this moisturizer is the best I've ever tried, butttttt the MV Organic Skincare Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturizer is the best moisturizer I've ever tried. The brand had been on my "need-to-try" list for quite some time after reading a few raves here and there, but I hadn't taken the plunge just yet, as the products are only available online and run quite pricey. However, as luck would have it, Karima held an MV Organics Skincare giveaway recently, and that is how yours truly came to be the proud owner of the aforementioned moisturizer.

MV Organic Skincare Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturizer ($135) is unique in that it's meant to be applied very sparingly onto dampened skin. Half a pump is all you need, unless you have oily/combination skin like I do, in which case, it's recommended to mix only a quarter pump with their Rose Hydrating Mist (I use the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater instead) to create a light lotion before smoothing it over the skin. 

At first, I wasn't convinced such a tiny amount of product would actually be enough to hydrate my entire face, but much to my surprise, the quarter pump mixed with two pumps of facial spray was enough to smooth across my whole face and neck. The fact that I need so little product per application makes me feel like the price tag isn't as hefty, since one bottle should last quite a long time. It absorbs quickly and though it feels light on the skin (no pore clogging greasiness here), it somehow manages to still pack a punch when it comes to hydration. It preps the skin nicely for makeup, too, because it doesn't sit atop the surface where I'm constantly reminded of its presence, yet I know it's there, simply based on how soft and glowing my complexion looks and feels. Quite frankly, the main reason I love it so much is because my skin feels like silk after applying it. 

This is a moisturizer I could see working well with my skin throughout every season, and I like that I can adjust the hydration level based on how much product I use and how I apply it. As its name suggests, it's incredibly soothing and would work beautifully on most all skin types, including sensitive skin (I swear the eczema on my neck breathes a sigh of relief every time I apply it). Those with very dry skin may find their skin requires something a bit heavier than this. It has a natural, fresh rose scent that isn't overpowering, and it dissipates quickly after application.

I think this may be the start of an expensive skincare obsession...


3.06.2015

By Terry Cover-Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation

After a rather hyped up foundation failed to impress me (read about that here), I had an itch to find the next best thing. Certainly, I have a few foundations already in my collection that I love, but sometimes a girl just wants to try something new, ya know? After doing some research and digging up some rave reviews from Rachel, Taylor and Sandra, I knew By Terry Cover-Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation was next on my list. 

By Terry Cover-Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation ($66) claims to be higher coverage and provide smoothing and plumping properties, all with a natural matte finish. I've been applying it with either the Real Techniques Buffing Brush or another foundation brush that I'll review soon. Although the consistency is definitely liquid and not mousse, Cover-Expert has a soft, velvety feel on the skin, and it blends easily and beautifully. It offers medium-full coverage (meaning, a touch more than medium, but not quite full) while still managing to look natural on the skin and never heavy or cakey. The finish is indeed a natural matte, but it seems to melt into my skin and look perfectly healthy and slightly luminous as the day wears on and my natural oils start to peek through. I love that the formula is comfortable and hydrating enough for my drier areas (it doesn't accentuate dry patches), while also providing enough oil-control for my oily t-zone. I initially doubted the plumping claim, but when I examined my skin up-close, it was hard to deny how smooth it looked. I've been wearing it to work most days since acquiring it, because I know I can count on it lasting well throughout my shift. It's also great for nights out because the higher coverage really perfects the skin and creates a flawless complexion, and the lack of sun protection allows it to photograph well. Despite having to order blindly online, I found a great match for my NC23 skin tone in shade 7 Vanilla Beige, thanks to Rachel's swatches

The only con for me is the packaging. A very fluid foundation in a tube means that when the tube is placed upright, the foundation tends to drip out and pool inside the cap. To prevent this, I keep mine upside down in my makeup drawer. Despite this minor set back, Cover-Expert has quickly become one of my top three foundations.


Before (left) and After

Wearing By Terry Cover-Expert in 7 Vanilla Beige


3.04.2015

A Fast Favorite: L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil

You know the feeling when you try something for the first time, and you immediately think, "This is good. Yup, it's gooood!" That pretty much sums up my first experience with the L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil ($22). Using it for a couple more weeks only confirmed its spot as a favorite in my skincare regimen. 

After massaging about a pump and a half of oil onto my dry skin, I wet my hands and emulsify the oil before rinsing it off. Not only does it remove every trace of makeup, including waterproof mascara, but unlike The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (review here), this one rinses off completely cleanly and leaves behind no residue whatsoever. Because of the 5% shea oil content, my skin feels soft and lightly hydrated after cleansing, and as a result, I've found that I've loved using this cleansing oil for makeup removal, but actual cleansing as well, meaning I also reach for it in the mornings or for a second cleanse at night, something I didn't do with The Body Shop one, if you recall.

The scent of this one is a combination of their shea butter scent (which I love) mixed with a bit of "grandma makeup" fragrance (it reminds me of L'Oreal lipsticks). For some reason, although I don't exactly enjoy the scent, it doesn't bother me so much either, but I could potentially see some disliking the oil for that reason, too. It's worth noting that the fragrance hasn't negatively affected my skin, in any way.

I love this cleansing oil and will definitely repurchase when I run out. I've tried quite a few cleansing oils, and this one comes in near the top, second perhaps only to the One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover (review here), if we're talking about using them for cleansing, but the L'Occitane beats out OLO for makeup removal.

Also, thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last post! 


3.02.2015

Will Work for Makeup Turns 5, Sharing the Love + a Giveaway!

I'm still finding this hard to believe, but this month marks the 5th birthday of Will Work for Makeup! It seems like just yesterday I decided to sit down and write my first post, and to this day, blogging has remained my longest standing hobby. Pretty cool.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to talk about in this post, and in the end, I decided to focus on sharing the love, since the relationships I've formed with people in the beauty blogging community (readers included!) are one of the main reasons I continue to enjoy what I do here. These are some of my absolute favorite blogs and bloggers (this is definitely not an all-inclusive list):

:: Lilly at Genuine Glow
Beautiful Lilly's blog is my go-to for all things green beauty and skincare.

:: Sandra at ttsandra
The best way I can summarize Sandra's blog and Youtube channel is #makeupgoals.

:: Jessica at Jessica Beautician
Quite possibly the sweetest beauty blogger/Youtuber out there, with gorgeous photography to boot.

:: Tracy at Beauty Reflections
Tracy's blog is a go-to for me because her posts are always incredibly honest and thorough.

:: Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book
One of the best beauty blogs out there, without a doubt, Sabrina's blog creates lemmings for me on a daily basis.

Whenever I feel a blogging rut coming on, Anna's creativity always succeeds in providing me with some much needed inspiration.

Lastly, what would a blog birthday celebration be without a little giveaway? This year, as a thank you to all of my readers for the past five, amazing years, I wanted one of you to enjoy one of my favorite beauty products as of late, something that just screams "special occasion" - the gorgeous Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Luxury Palette (read my review here). Best of luck, massive thank you to all of those who frequent my little space on the internet, and here's to another year!



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