Category Archives: Makeup Revolution

Latest Favorites 2016

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Latest 2016 Favorites

Latest 2016 Favorites

I have a Favorites post for you today.  I haven’t done a Monthly Favorites post for a few months because I didn’t feel like I had enough diversity in the products that I was using.  So instead I decided to do more of a seasonal favorites for the products that I’ve been loving for the last few months.  Some of these items have been featured in recent reviews, but most of them are new.  Let’s take a look.

Ofra Silicone Primer Gel

Ofra Silicone Primer Gel

First and foremost, I have really been loving this Ofra Silicone Primer Gel.  I have always been a fan of silicone primers, and my usual go-to option is the Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer.  The Ofra Silicone Primer Gel has a great, silky-smooth formula.  It’s much more lightweight than the Smashbox primer, but still fills in my pores and wrinkles.  It really makes foundation glide on smoothly and last all day.  It also has a cooling sensation when applied that feels great and is nicely invigorating.  I am a huge fan of this primer, and am glad that I gave it a try.

 It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is nothing new to the market, but I had never tried it.  I picked up a deluxe sample after a friend recommended it to me, and I really enjoyed it.  The next time Ulta offered me a 20% off coupon, I had to purchase the full size version.  I love the formula.  It has great coverage, but still looks casual and natural.  It’s the perfect foundation type product for the summer to look like you put in some effort but not too over-done.  It also has SPF 50, so it offers some good sun protection.  It’s a cult favorite for a reason, and I love it.

Makeup Revolution Blushes

Makeup Revolution Blushes

I recently discovered Makeup Revolution Blushes, and I am so impressed with the formula and pigmentation.  It shouldn’t be a surprise, since I love Makeup Revolution Blush palettes, but sometimes the formula differs between palettes and single products.  That’s not the case here.  I started with The Matte Blush in the shade Fusion.  The pigmentation is off the charts here.  I use a duo fiber stipple brush to apply my blushes, so I love a blush with some really good pigmentation.  It is very finely milled and super smooth.  I’d say that it easily holds up to blushes that are 2 or 3 times the price.  Fusion is a lovely warm shade that looks great on my skin.  Next, the Makeup Revolution Baked Blusher in Make Love Instead took me by surprise.  I bought this blush on a whim because it is not my usual fare, but it is so pretty.  My cheeks just glow with it on.  I am way more likely to opt for something fun and shimmery in the summer, and this blush has been perfect.  It’s not as good quality as the matte blushes, but I’ve been enjoying it.  I have been so impressed with the Makeup Revolution brand in general, and these blushes have done nothing but keep the brand in high esteem.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

It should be no surprise for you to see the Lorac Pro 3 Palette in this mix.  I love the Lorac Pro palettes, especially Pro 2, so when Pro 3 came out, I had to play with it.  I did a full review with swatches in June, so I am not going to get into too much detail here.  You can go ahead and click the link to get all of that information.  Let’s just say that the palette is great, surprisingly versatile, and definitely worth checking out.

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

I reviewed TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette earlier this week, so again, I won’t get into too much detail.  These shadows are really nice.  They will be especially good to have as we transition into Fall, but I’ve been enjoying them now too.  I definitely like this matte palette better than the previous matte palette from theBalm.  It’s laid out so much better and I feel like I will reach for it way more often.  In general, I think that theBalm is an underrated band, but this is a solid palette.  Be sure to check out my review post.

BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé

BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé

Is there any better time than summer to wear the BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflés?  They are so gorgeous, and I think that the smooshy gel to powder formula is pretty unique.  I got these on a super sale, but I think that they are worth the splurge even if you do have to pay full price.  I apply them with my e.l.f. Small Stipple brush, and they go on smoothly over foundation and powder for a radiant look.  I am especially loving the Watermelon/Moonstone shade (left), but the Papaya/Topaz (middle) is a fantastic shade for that bronzed goddess look.  I also have Raspberry/Opal (right) which has a cooler tone, but is just as lovely.  I know that that they are rather splurgey for this blog, but they are so beautiful.

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble

I am still loving the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble.  It’s so good!   I love how transfer proof it is.  I hate it when lip product gets on my straws or glasses when I drink water (which I do all day long).  I am not going to reach for an ultra matte lip all the time, but I do love how I can put this on and forget about it.  I know that it won’t budge on me.  I also love this dusty terracotta color.  It looks so good with my skintone.  I need to pick up a few more of these.

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

A few months ago I pulled the trigger on the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette.  I’ve used it several times now, and I really like it.  This is an obvious drugstore take on the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning products that are ridiculously priced.  This handy little gadget is about $15, which some of you may still think is ridiculously priced, but you can use the Ulta $3.50 off coupon to knock it down to $11.50.  With two brush cleanser samples included, I thought it was a reasonable price to try it out.  Anything to make brush cleaning faster and more efficient.  It really works.  It fits comfortably on my hand, and the little nubbies do a great job of agitating the bristles to get a deep clean.  The lip catches water nicely and it is dishwasher safe so you can keep any residue from building up.  Thumbs up.

ULTA Regular Instant Nail Polish Remover

Ulta Regular Instant Nail Polish Remover

My final favorite is this Ulta Regular Instant Nail Polish Remover.  I have never used one of these sponge removers, so I’m not sure how the Ulta version compares, but it is so good and only $4.  It easily takes off my polish, even when I’ve done some stamping and there are several layers of polish and topcoat, or if I am wearing water decals.  I don’t find the smell particularly offensive, which I appreciate.  The cuticle dauber is great for stubborn spots and can be used on toe nail polish if you so desire.  I’ve been using it for a couple months, and it is still going strong.  I will definitely repurchase when this tub is gone.

That’s it for what I have been loving lately.  I am not someone who feels like I have to stick to seasonal trends, so they may not necessarily be summer specific products.  But they definitely are great products that I can not get enough of.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

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Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

Today I am reviewing and swatching the Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette that I mentioned in my last Monthly Favorites post. Since it was a favorite, it should be no surprise to hear that I love this palette.  Like I mentioned in that post, the shadows are gorgeous and they apply smoothly.  The formula reminds me of the Wet N Wild 8-pan palette shadows like Comfort Zone that I’m sure most of you are familiar with.  They are cult favorites for a reason.  While Makeup Revolution shadows aren’t going to compare to higher end shadows like Kat Von D, for instance, they are still really nice.  I don’t have issues with flaking or fading, and I think that the Makeup Revolution formula is solid.  According to Ulta: “New-Trals are the new Neutrals! Upgrade your new natural eye looks with the new generation of natural shades in Makeup Revolution’s New-Trals vs. Neutrals.”  I do want to point out that this is the second Makeup Revolution palette that I have reviewed, and they are very different.  Back in October, I reviewed the Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette, which is one of the $7 palettes with a clear plastic lid as opposed to the $10 New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette that comes with a full mirror in the lid.  While it is a decent palette for the price and worth a look, the shadows aren’t as good as the ones in the New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette.  Perhaps it’s because the other one is an all matte palette, but the New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette is definitely a better buy, and only $3 more.
Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

I bought this palette because the shades looked similar enough to the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette to allow me to resist the temptation of buying it, but as it turns out, the New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette is a good alternative to quite a few palettes.  Violet Voss, Manny MUA/Makeup Geek, these warm neutral palettes with pops of peach, copper, and red are all the rage right now.  I am not necessarily one to follow makeup trends, but if you do, then the New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette is right on trend.  These are great shades for the Summer that can bring you right on through the Fall.  And don’t get scared away by those bright red tones.  You can get a ton of neutral eye looks with this palette that are completely office approved.  Then, when the work day is over, pop some of those fun colorful shades in the crease, and take your look from day to night.  Let’s look at the shades.  The palette comes with a clear plastic cover that has all of the shade names.
Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

  • Bias – light pearl shade.
  • Neutral – very light pinky brown with a matte finish.
  • Personal – vibrant peachy pink with shimmer.
  • Vogue – fiery coral with a satin finish.
  • Trend – orange toned brown with a matte finish.
  • New-Tral – deep berry pink with a satin finish.
  • Tone – deep red wine shade with a satin finish.
  • Custom – cool-toned deep brown that is mostly matte.
  • Cool – matte bone shade.
  • Style – light glittery pink with metallic finish.
  • Partial – pinky mauve with metallic finish.
  • Mode – copper bronze with metallic finish.
  • Adapt – medium brown with mauve undertone.  It has a matte finish.
  • Buff – satin shimmer taupe shade.
  • Suit – deep gray-brown with a demi-matte finish.
  • Strong – matte blackened plum with burgundy glitter.
Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette

These swatches are over naked skin, no primer or anything.  Most of the shadows are great.  I did have trouble getting Neutral and Cool to show up on my skin.  They are both very light shades, and not quite as opaque as the others.  Custom can apply a little patchy, so you have to blend it out a little more than the others, but it is still workable.  I am personally not a fan of shadows with a matte base and glitter, so I will probably not reach for Strong, but that is personal preference and not a problem with the formula.  Otherwise, I have no complaints about the shadows.  They last really well on me, and with a primer they can last all day.  I recommend the Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette to everyone.  For only $10, you need this in your life.

Monthly Favorites and Fails for April 2016

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April 2016 Monthly Favorites

April 2016 Monthly Favorites

We are already into the first week of May, and that means that it’s time for a Favorites post.  How can it possibly be May already!  This year is flying by.  Today I have my April Favorites and Fails.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  Fails are products that simply did not work out and I do not recommend, because it is just as important to know what products to avoid as it is to know which ones to get.  I’ve been preforming with my band at the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire all month long.  We have a stage show, so my makeup has been very specific to go with the guidelines that our costume designer has set forth.  I’ve been playing with some new items, and also busted out a few old favorites that I hadn’t used in a while.  Let’s take a look at what I’ve been reaching for all month long.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

My first Favorite that I want to talk about is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.  This stuff is amazing!  I had a sample from Sephora around the Holidays that introduced me to the product.  I loved it so much, that I featured it in my December Favorites post.  I have chronically dry lips, and this lip treatment makes a huge difference.  I am going to say right off the bat that this formula is not going to be for everyone.  It is thick and waxy when you apply it, but once it warms up on the lips it melts into the skin.  This isn’t a lip balm that you throw in your pocket.  It is definitely an overnight lip treatment mask.  The main ingredients are lanolin, agave nectar, and jojoba oil.  A little does a long way, and even though the tube is only half an ounce, I am sure that it is going to last me a year.  I don’t love the $26 price tag, but I think that for my lips it is worth the splurge because it is wonderful.  (Although, I lucked out because I had a gift card to Sephora, so thanks Sarah, I put it to good use. 🙂 )

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble

Speaking of lips, a surprising Favorite for the month was the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble.  I really did not expect to love this product so much.  I was worried that the ultra matte formula would be too drying and uncomfortable on my lips, but it really isn’t.  With long hours that I’ve been spending out at Faire, I wanted a lip color that would stay all day through singing and drinking a lot of water.  I also can’t stand it when my lip color transfers to cups or straws.  Bumble does not budge, and it is exactly what I was looking for.  As long as I don’t eat anything greasy or oily, then I am golden.  (Oil breaks most long-lasting lip colors down.)  These lip colors go on as a liquid lip color and definitely dry down completely matte.  You can see a reflection is this photo where the swatch was thicker and hadn’t quite dried yet, but the rest of the swatch is matte.  ColourPop describes Bumble as a “dusty warm terracotta” shade.  It is beautiful, and has been the perfect lip product for me this past month.

NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir

NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir

I’ve been playing with some different primers lately, and I rediscovered my NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir.  I forgot how much I liked this primer.  It has a creamy, lightweight formula with a fresh, unassuming scent.  It infuses the skin with CoEnzyme Q10 that brightens and softens for a flawless foundation application.  NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir is especially lovely for those with slightly dry or mature skin.  The added moisture boost will leave your skin soft and supple, but not so much so that it mucks up your foundation.  CoQ10 boosts collagen and elastin production, which wains once you leave your twenties behind.  The Renew Skin Elixir will help to temporarily gain a smooth, bright, and youthful appearance.  I think that NYX Q10 Renew Skin Elixir is targeted at those with normal to slightly dry skin or mature skin.  The Elixir does a great job at smoothing out flakes and rough patches so foundation doesn’t get stuck on them.  The formula absorbs quickly and does not leave skin tacky or sticky.  It feels lovely and my foundation lasts all day.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Another surprising Favorite for me is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.  For years I have said that I prefer flat-top kabuki brushes to apply my foundation.  I’ve tried beauty sponges, including this sponge, and never understood the draw.  My skin went through a period where it was rebelling, and I’ve had some texture issues.  I just wasn’t liking the way my foundation was laying on my skin, so in desperation, I tried the Real Techniques sponge again.  You guys, seriously, I don’t even know what to say.  It’s like someone flipped a switch in my brain and I suddenly get it now.  I have seen the light and I am freaking loving this silly little sponge.  I’ve been using the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation for it’s staying power, and the sponge applies it beautifully.  The foundation lays really well when I use the sponge, even over texture issues.  I am not saying that I will be giving up my flat-top kabuki brushes forever, but beauty sponges in general, and this Real Techniques sponge in particular, will definitely be a part of my regular rotation from now on.

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette

A new item that has become a fast Favorite is the Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette.  I promise to do a full review with swatches soon.  In the mean time though, let me just say that you all need this palette.  According to Ulta: “New-Trals are the new Neutrals! Upgrade your new natural eye looks with the new generation of natural shades in Makeup Revolution’s New-Trals vs. Neutrals.”  I bought this palette because the shades looked similar enough to the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette to allow me to resist temptation.  The shadows are gorgeous and they apply smoothly.  I don’t have issues with flaking or fading, and I think that the Makeup Revolution formula is really nice.  The formula reminds me of the Wet N Wild 8-pan palette shadows.  Bonus, this palette is only $10 and you can use the Ulta $3.50 off of $10 coupon, so you can get it for $6.50.  Seriously, put this palette on your list.

The Body Shop Brazil Nut Shower Cream

The Body Shop Brazil Nut Shower Cream

My final Favorite for April is The Body Shop Brazil Nut Shower Cream.  It’s an odd scent for this time of year, I know, but it smells so good that I can’t resist it.  I love the Shower Cream formula.  It is so moisturizing.  The formula is silky and smooth, and so luxurious on the skin.  I love the Brazil Nut scent, though it’s hard to describe.  It’s like caramel, white chocolate, or vanilla, but… not.  It’s sweet and nutty and delicious.  I’ve really been loving it.  (So, I got this bottle a while ago and didn’t realize until today that The Body Shop has discontinued the scent.  You can still get it online, but not from The Body Shop.  Sorry about that.)

That does it for my Favorites, now onto my Fails.

LORAC Color Correcting (CC) Cream

LORAC Color Correcting (CC) Cream

I only have one Fail for April, but it was such a disaster that one was definitely enough.  I’m talking about the LORAC Color Correcting (CC) Cream.  I got the CC Cream as an Ulta 21 days of beauty special, so it was only $15 instead of the full $30 that it normally retails for.  This product is straight up horrible.  The CC Cream is supposed to “instantly neutralize redness and imperfections with a natural-looking, semi-matte finish. This 6-in-1 specially-tinted makeup neutralizes, primes, moisturizes, brightens, soothes and helps your skin look healthy and youthful. CC Cream is oil, silicone, paraben and fragrance free and is suitable for all skin types.”  What the CC Cream really does is apply streaky, sinks into pores, and emphasizes every flaw.  I got the “Light” shade, and it is very light with highly yellow undertones.  I tried it on two separate occasions, applied once with a brush and once with the RT sponge I mentioned above, and both times were so disastrous that I had to completely remove my makeup and start over from scratch.  Am I missing something?  Do any of you have this CC Cream and like it?  Please tell me your experience and let me know if you have any tips because it didn’t work for me at all.  It’s like my skin was rejecting the formula.  I really don’t know what LORAC was thinking.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for April 2016.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  I still can’t believe that it is already May.  I’ve been super busy and will continue that way for at least another month or so.  Things should ease up over the summer.  I don’t know if I mentioned it here on the blog, but I injured my knee pretty seriously over the Holidays, and I am still healing.  I am doing much better now, but I am still using a crutch or a cane and keeping my knee in a brace.  My difficulty getting around makes me so much more tired and makes it a lot harder to get things done.  I’m sure that you’ve noticed that my posts have been pretty few and far between lately.  I’ve just been having a hard time over the last several months and I’ve had to let go of the blog a bit.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.  Anyway, what were some of your favorite products for April?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Haul Time: Some Goodies from Ulta

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Ulta Haul

Ulta Haul

It’s haul time y’all.  I have been so good so far this year at not buying any beauty products, but I definitely took advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty and their 20% off coupon to pick up some great deals and some items that had been on my wish list for a while.  I didn’t get all of this at once.  This is three orders spread out over the last four or five weeks.  Let’s take a look.

BECCA Best Of Becca Blushed Radiance set

BECCA Best Of Becca Blushed Radiance set

BECCA Best Of Becca Blushed Radiance set: Create the iconic BECCA glow with a collection of bestselling products that impart natural luminosity and a subtle flush of colour. Includes: Mineral Blush in Flower Child (0.087 oz), Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal (0.085 oz), Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight Wand in Moonstone (0.17 oz), and Backlight Priming Filter (0.2 oz).  I have been wanting to try some more Becca products for the last year or so.  I only have one small sample size of the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal and it’s beautiful.  I’ve missed out on previous sets like this, so I could not resist this one.  When I received the Platinum 20% off perk, I added this to my cart right away.  I am so excited to try these products out.

LORAC Riesling Romance Palette and CC Cream

LORAC Riesling Romance Palette and CC Cream

LORAC Riesling Romance Palette and CC Cream: LORAC’s Color Correcting (CC) Cream instantly neutralizes redness and imperfections with a natural-looking, semi-matte finish. This 6-in-1 specially-tinted makeup neutralizes, primes, moisturizes, brightens, soothes and helps your skin look healthy and youthful. CC Cream is oil, silicone, paraben and fragrance free and is suitable for all skin types.  Both of these items were 21 DoB deals.  The Riesling Romance Palette was a Black Friday special that I missed out on, so I wanted to pick it up when I saw that it was back.  The CC Cream was a gamble for me.  I don’t have a lot of experience with CC Creams, but I like Lorac, so at half price I wanted to give it a shot.

Stila One Step Correct Triple Swirl Helix Primer

Stila One Step Correct Triple Swirl Helix Primer

Stila One Step Correct Triple Swirl Helix Primer: This primer, color corrector, brightener and anti-aging skincare serum does it all with the help of Stila’s Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex. Green tone instantly neutralizes redness and conceals blemishes. Lavender tone counteracts sallow undertones for a vibrant, energized look. Peach tone brightens, illuminates and helps diminish the appearance of sun spots. The weightless, creamy formula blends imperceptibly into skin and won’t clog pores or settle into fine lines…so all anyone will notice is your perfectly flawless skin!  I had heard some good things about this primer, and color correction is something that I definitely need.  The 21 DoB price point was easier for me to swallow than regular price, so I went ahead and took the plunge.  I’ve tried it a few times so far, and am still making up my mind.  I’m glad that I got it, but I’m not sure that I love it yet.

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette

Makeup Revolution New-Trals vs. Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette: New-Trals are the new Neutrals! Upgrade your new natural eye looks with the new generation of natural shades in Makeup Revolution’s New-Trals vs. Neutrals.  I have been really enjoying the products that I have tried from Makeup Revolution, and this palette is gorgeous.  It was already in my wish list when all the hype for the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette hit.  I see some similar shades in this palette to the Sweet Peach.  I’m not saying that they are dupes, but I think this palette will help stave off the temptation to buy the Peach palette.  Since this palette is $10, you can use the Ulta $3.50 off of $10 coupon and get it for $6.50, which is worlds better than the $49 for the Too Faced palette.

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara and

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara and CoverGirl The Super Sizer Mascara

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara: Get the royal treatment! Essence’s Lash Princess Volume Mascara is presented in a fantastic evening gown design and has a unique wand applicator designed for extra control to reach every lash. The prestige inspired cobra brush is specially shaped to lift, separate, and cover each individual lash for the most majestic volumeCoverGirl The Super Sizer Mascara: The CoverGirl Super Sizer Mascara gives you 400% more volume for fuller lashes.  I’ve been having problems with mascara lately.  I’ve been trying to go through all of the samples and gift with purchase mascaras that I have, but I haven’t been liking any of them.  I have heard a lot of people rave about this CoverGirl mascara for the last year, so I am finally going to bite the bullet and try it out.  I also picked up the Essence Lash Princess because I have used it before and know that I really like it.  So, if the CoverGirl mascara bombs, at least I’ll have a mascara that I know I will enjoy to fall back on.

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette: The Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette helps sweep away makeup, oil, and impurities from bristles to give you truer, more consistent color application. Performance-grade silicone is lightweight and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably over your hand. Exclusive multi-textured surfaces designed to gently work between the bristles for enhanced deep cleansing. All synthetic materials that are easy to clean, and 100% cruelty-free. Heat resistant and dishwasher safe.  I had to try this new Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette.  This is an obvious drugstore take on the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning products that are ridiculously priced.  This handy little gadget is about $15, which some of you may still this is ridiculously priced, but again, you can use the Ulta $3.50 off of $10 coupon to knock it down to $11.50.  With two brush cleanser samples included, I thought it was a reasonable price to try it out.  Anything to make brush cleaning faster and more efficient.

So that’s my haul.  I should be set for some time.  Several of these items have been in my wish list for a while, so I’m very excited to play with them.  Did you take advantage of Ulta’s 21 days of Beauty?  How about the 20% off coupon for Platinum members?  Or have you been saving your money for Sephora’s spring sale?  Let me know what you’ve been hauling in the comments below.

March 2016 Monthly Favorites

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March 2016 Favorites

March 2016 Favorites

It’s the first day of April, so that means that it’s time for a Favorites post.  Today I have my March favorites and Fails.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  Fails are products that simply did not work out and I do not recommend, because it is just as important to know what products to avoid as it is to know which ones to get.  March was pretty low key for me, makeup-wise, so you will probably recognize most of these products.  Let’s get onto what I’ve been loving.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

I’ve been wanting a natural-skin look lately, so I am still loving the Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation.  It just works really well for me.  It has a lovely satin finish, and I can get away with only one layer for nice, natural coverage.  It evens out my redness, but I can still see my freckles ever so slightly peeking through.  I love it.  It’s not for everybody.  If you have normal skin or are only a little dry, you will probably love this foundation. People with very dry skin (thankfully I’ve managed to exit that category) or oily skin will have problems with this formula.  The color selection is also pretty tricky because many of the shades lean either strongly yellow or strongly pink.  But, if you can find a shade match and you are neither too oily nor too dry, this foundation is great.

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

I’ve been totally digging the Ben Nye Banana Powder this month.  I really like the yellow tones in this powder to help combat my redness.  My skin tone is mostly neutral with some warm yellow undertones, so the banana powder works very well for me.  It is very finely milled and the powder gives me a smooth and brightened look that I enjoy.  Loose powder is not my favorite thing because it is such a mess, but I have been enjoying it a lot.  It gives me a great finished look.

Inglot Palette

Inglot Palette

I’ve been reaching for my Inglot palette a lot this past month.  I was really tempted to get the TooFaced Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette.  Those warm orangey browns really called to me, but I didn’t want to buy it because I thought that there were only a limited number of looks that I could get out of that palette.  Then I remembered that I had similar shades in my Inglot palette and could accomplish roughly the same looks.  Once I started using the palette again, I couldn’t put it down.  For those who haven’t tried them, Inglot shadows are fantastic.  They are extremely pigmented and easy to apply.  This is a Freedom System palette, meaning that I bought the empty palette and then filled it with any shadows I wanted.  The shadows are huge, come in hundreds of shades in a variety of finishes, and are $7 each.  I chose greens, oranges, pinks and gold with a few neutrals to anchor the palette.  There are so many different looks that I can get out of these shadows from extremely bold and colorful, to a neutral day look.  I definitely don’t feel like I need the TooFaced Peanut Butter and Jelly anymore.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

My go-to blush product all month has been the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice.  Specifically, I’ve been reaching for the first two shades in the palette.  I have a full review and swatches of all 8 shades in this palette, so be sure to check that out for more details.  The blushes are pigmented, smooth, and last well on my skin.  For $10, you get six blush shades in varying finishes and two shimmer highlight shades. It’s a great palette and I can’t get enough of it.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Jasmine

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Jasmine

I don’t actually have my last favorite to show you, so I am including the product picture.  I got a sample of Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Jasmine from Sephora, and I love it.  I’ve mentioned many times that the original Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia is one of my favorite fragrances.  I had to try this version.  I am not great at describing scents, so here is the description from Sephora: “The warmth and serenity of Acqua di Gioia takes on a new lushness with Acqua di Gioia Jasmine. This floral, fruity new interpretation blends key notes of jasmine with green apple, orange flower, and sweet base notes for a greener, crisper interpretation.”  It is just as fresh and clean a scent as the original, but the fruit and florals evoke a completely different experience.  I really love it.

That does it for my favorites, now onto my Fails.  Always keep in mind that my reviews are based on my specific experience with these products, and good or bad, you may have different results.  So, just because I give a product a bad review, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad product.  It just means that it did not work for me.

CoTZ Face Natural SPF 40

CoTZ Face Natural SPF 40

My first fail was a sample of the CoTZ Face Natural SPF 40 that I got from Ipsy.  I ran out of SPF and was going to be out in the sun, so I threw this item in my makeup bag.  Though it did offer me some sun protection, I felt that it dried out my skin.  I did not like the way that it felt, and I thought that my foundation looked odd layered over it.  This would probably be a great product for someone with oily skin, but it was not a good fit for me.

Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

My final Fail for March was the Smashbox Full Exposure  Mascara.  I am not sure if this is the waterproof version or not.  It’s in a silver tube, but it doesn’t say waterproof on the product.  I can’t for the life of me remember where I got this mascara (I didn’t go out and buy it), so I can’t check.  Either way, I am not impressed.  First of all, the brush is gigantic.  It is so big that I keep poking myself in the eye.  Second, the formula just doesn’t do anything for me.  My lashes are short and pretty wimpy, so I look for length and volume in a mascara.  Smashbox Full Exposure didn’t help me in either department.  It coated my lashes, but they didn’t look fuller or longer.  It really didn’t work for me at all.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for March 2016.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  I will be trying some new products in April that I recently hauled during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, so stay tuned to see if any of those pop up in my next Favorites and Fails post.  What were some of your favorites for March?  Let me know in the comments below.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

I have the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice to show you today.  You may remember that I reviewed the Sugar and Spice palette in November.  Definitely check out that review for all of the information about these blush palettes.  Both palettes perform with the same great quality and I go into detail in the previous review.  Today I mostly want to show you swatches of the Hot Spice palette so you can decide which one would suit you best

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

The Makeup Revolution Blush Palettes are both sleek and thin, with a full mirror.  The packaging is sturdy plastic that clasps shut and is great for travel.  The palette contains eight shades in varying finishes.  All of the shades in the Hot Spice palette have peach and coral undertones, and are all warm shades.  If you have cool undertones to your skin, stick with the Sugar and Spice Palette.

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

Many of the shades in the Hot Spice Palette have some shimmer.  There are only two true matte shades.  The two shades on the far right of the palette are baked shimmery highlight shades, which I swatched last.

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

The first shade in the Hot Spice Palette is a dark, burnt orange shade with very subtle shimmer.  It is absolutely beautiful, but a little goes a long way.  The second shade is a warm medium pinky-nude shade with a matte finish, very wearable.  The third shade is a bright peachy pink with subtle shimmer.

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

The first shade of the second row is a very shimmery coral with orange undertones.  This shade has straight up glitter, which is unfortunate.  The second shade is matte and is a medium peachy nude.  It is very similar to the shade above it, but leans slightly less pink.  The third shade on the bottom row is a bright satiny peach.

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice

The first of the two baked highlight shades looks cool toned in the palette next to all these super warm shades, but it swatches as a neutral pink shade.  The second baked shade is a fiery coral, really lovely on the right skin tone.

Just like the Sugar and Spice Palette, I think that the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice is a winner.  Unless you have very fair skin, I think that you can probably make most of these shades work for you.  You definitely need neutral or warm undertones, though.  Light-Medium skin will fall in the sweet spot, but there are some shades that will look gorgeous on deep skin too.  The Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palettes are only $10, and can be found at ulta.com.  Some Ultas carry the brand in-store, but mine does not, so be sure to call first before you go.  Makeup Revolution is available for the $3.50 off of $10 coupon that Ulta always offers, so don’t forget to use it.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

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Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

I mentioned in my October Favorites that I have been loving the Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice.  Here is the full review and swatches, as promised.  I purchased the Blush palette at the same time that I got the Essential Mattes Redemption Eyeshadow Palette that I reviewed last month.  Go ahead and click the link if you missed that one.  So far I have been very impressed with the brand, and their prices can’t be beat.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

The Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice comes in a thin palette that contains a full mirror.  The packaging is sturdy plastic that clasps shut and is great for travel.  I took it to Walt Disney World with me, and it was so convenient.  The palette contains eight shades in varying finishes.  All of the shades in the Sugar and Spice palette have pink undertones, and they are a mix of warm and cool shades.  Makeup Revolution also has an Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Hot Spice with shades that are more on the warm peach side.

The formula for the Sugar and Spice Palette is really nice.  The shades are extremely pigmented, so you need to use a light hand.  They are finely milled, but not powdery or chalky.  I use my duo fiber stipple brush to apply, and I have no issues with blending them out.  They wear well on my skin, and last all day on me.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Many of the shades in the Ultra Professional Blush Palette are matte.  The two shades on the far right of the palette are baked shimmery highlight shades.  To be honest, I don’t use those two shades too often.  I am not someone who reaches for a super shimmery highlight, though they do make beautiful eyeshadows.  I think Makeup Revolution chose well when it came to the six blusher shades.  The mix of warm and cool tones and the variance in vibrancy make this palette so versatile and flattering.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

The first two shades in the palette are my absolute favorite, and are the most user friendly.  The first shade is a dark, warm pinky-peach with a subtle shimmer.  The second shade is a matte light peachy nude.  I like to mix them together.  The third shade is a bright flamingo pink matte.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Moving down to the bottom row, the first shade is the darkest in the palette, and is a cooler toned plum-berry shade with an off-matte finish.  Use a very light hand with this one.  Next to that is a raspberry shade, also with an off-matte finish.  The third shade in the bottom row is a lovely matte coral shade.

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

I swatched the two baked shades last.  The top one is an icy pink with multi-dimensional shimmer.  It is a beautiful highlight for those that go for cooler tones.  The bottom of the baked shades is a very cool frosted pink with hints of lilac.  It may be too dark to wear as a highlight for many, and too frosty for a true blush shade.  It is pretty on the eyes, though.  This is the only shade in the palette that has me scratching my head.  It can be a tough shade to work with on the face.

Over all, I think that the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice is a winner.  I like it so much, that I just ordered the Hot Spice palette from Ulta.  Unless you have very fair skin, I think that you can probably make most of these shades work for you.  Light-Medium skin will fall in the sweet spot, but there are some shades that will look gorgeous on deep skin too.  The Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice is only $10, and can be found at ulta.com.  Some Ultas carry the brand in-store, but mine does not, so be sure to call first before you go.  Makeup Revolution is available for the $3.50 off of $10 coupon that Ulta always offers, so don’t forget to use it.  And make sure that if you are shopping online that you use Ebates first.  Here is a post explaining what Ebates is, and my Ebates referral link.  It’s not a scam.  I’ve been using it for years to get cash back on the purchases that I make already.  Ulta and Sephora are both on Ebates, so with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals about to happen, be sure to sign up to get cash back on your haul.