Category Archives: Reviews

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

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TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

Today I want to show you the new(ish) Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette from theBalm.  Ipsy had the palette available for half off, so I went ahead and grabbed it.  I own the Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette, but I think that this new matte palette is better.  Though it is definitely not going to be a palette for everyone, the Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette is a great addition to my collection.  TheBalm describes it as “The special occasion palette. Featuring nine versatile shades, these matt(e)s are ‘suit’able for any occasion. With a velvety smooth texture, triple-milled formula and true-to-pan payoff, your look will live on happily ever after. Always easy on the eyes, Meet Matt(e) Trimony transitions from business casual to black tie in no time.” Take a look.

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

The Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette is a good palette for those who like neutrals and purple tones. It contains nine romantic shades that are great for a date night or a wedding, but neutral enough to fit in at the office.  The pans are huge and easy to get a brush into.  The formula is not creamy like Lorac and Urban Decay, but that could be a good thing for those who find soft shadows crumbly and hard to work with.  TheBalm shadows are easy to blend and have great pigmentation, but don’t have the same fall-out issues that softer shadows do.  I think it’s a good formula that applies evenly, blends smoothly, and looks great.

The shades in the Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette lean toward the purples, so if you avoid those colors normally, then you should skip this palette.  If you like purples though, Meet Matt(e) Trimony is laid out really well.  There are several medium crease or transition shades.  There is a lovely bold cranberry shade and a deep purple for your pops of color.  A matte cream, dark brown, and soft black round out your basic neutrals, making this a solid palette.  With my skin tone, I can create several whole looks with this palette, without needing to bring out any supplementary shades.  The brown and black make good liner shades.  This is sort of a simple, unassuming palette, but I think it is really good and worth picking up.

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette Swatches

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette Swatches

The Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette is available on thebalm.com for $42.  Like I said, I did not pay full price for this palette, and I’m not sure that I would do so (the Nude ‘Tude palettes are only $36).  However, it is definitely worth it if you can find it on sale.  TheBalm is often featured on Hautelook, and they have sitewide flash sales once or twice a year.  You can get 20% off theBalm right now (for a limited time) by using the code Ipsy20.  That brings the palette down to around $34, which is much more reasonable and I think a fair price for the Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette.  I think that it is definitely worth checking out.

Geek Chic Stamping Plate

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Summer Fun nails

Summer Fun nails

Today I have this Geek Chic Stamping Plate from the Born Pretty Store for review.  I am really liking these long rectangle style stamping plates.  They are such a bargain and hold so many stamps.  There are 14 large size, full nail designs on this plate.  They are all very different from each other and this is a really versatile plate for a wide variety of manicures.  You can go sci-fi futuristic, throw it back to the 80’s, or anything in between.  Let’s take a closer look.

Geek Chic Stamping Plate

Geek Chic Stamping Plate

Though Born Pretty advertises this plate as “Geek patterns,” that doesn’t tell the whole story.  You will find gears, circuit boards, and video game controllers in the patterns on this plate, which certainly qualify you for the nerd herd, but that’s not all.  You can create an adorable summer mani with the umbrellas and sunglasses.  Sneakers and pencils are great for the school year.  The planes, cars or directional arrows might be fun on vacation, and the goofy faces are good all year round.  There are a lot of option with this plate, and it’s a good addition to my nail art collection.

Summer Fun nails

Summer Fun nails

I went with bright summer colors and some of the fun summery designs.  I wanted to show off as many stamps as I could, so I chose a different design for each nail.  Some of them are more tricky than others to stamp cleanly.  I had some trouble with the sunglasses design, but overall, it’s a good quality plate. The plate is currently on sale of $2.99.

I have several reviews for products that I have received from the Born Pretty Store, and you can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should definitely plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive like holiday items and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website bornprettstore.com, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcodeFTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

Party Owls and More

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Party Owls for my Birthday

Party Owls for my Birthday

My birthday was on Friday, and I had this absolutely adorable Party Owl manicure to help celebrate.  These owl and cupcake water decals are just a few of the great designs that are part of this 10-Piece Water Decal Set from the Born Pretty Store.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, water decals are some of my favorite things.  I am not very good at nail art, but water decals make it so easy to have a really interesting and complicated-looking manicure whenever I want.  If you want to talk about a great deal, this is it.  There are ten sheets of water decals with owls, flowers, and more in this set now available for a sale price of $5.00.  That’s only 50 cents each.  Most of these sheets are available individually for $1-$2 each, so getting them in this set is a huge savings.

BPS Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

There are some great designs in this set.  I really love the cartoonish owls and the birds with feathers.  There is a pretty good variety of floral decals.  Some are pop-art and modern, and some are more classic and feminine.  And of course, you know me, I can not wait to use that nautical themed sheet of decals.  There are so many possible manicures out of this set that go from fun and funky to classy and sophisticated.  Here is a closer look.

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

I haven’t had time to use all 10 sheets of decals, but here is a shot of three different manicures that I have done.  The party owls are over Essie Find Me An Oasis.  The blue flower/butterfly design is over Sinful Colors Snow me White.  The black floral decals are all by themselves with no base color.

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

I can not recommend this 10 Piece Water Decal Set enough.  I really think that it is a great deal.  I have several reviews for products that I have received from the Born Pretty Store, and you can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should definitely plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive like holiday items and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website bornprettstore.com, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcodeFTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

Derma MD Skincare, New for 2016

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Derma MD Skincare

Derma MD Skincare

If you have been following my blog for a couple years, you may remember my experimenting with Derma MD skincare.  The brand sent me a ton of products to review, and I had several Derma MD giveaways throughout 2014.  I am a fan of the brand, and the CoQ 10 moisturizer is still one of my favorites.  So, when the good people at Derma MD approached me to review some of their new skincare products, I jumped at the chance.  You can read all about my previous experience with Derma MD and see my review of six products by following the link.  This time around, I’ll be reviewing the new 10% S.L.A.C. Exfoliating Peel Pads and the new Sensitive Pearl Cleanser.  My experience with these products is a little mixed, so let’s start with the Peel Pads.

10% S.L.A.C. Exfoliating Peel Pads

10% S.L.A.C. Exfoliating Peel Pads

The new 10% S.L.A.C. Exfoliating Peel Pads are easy to use, concentrated exfoliating pads that are designed to slough off dead skin cells while working some anti-aging magic.  Formulated with both Salicylic Acid & Lactic Acid, with the addition of both Vitamins A and C, it gently exfoliates without irritation, and is supposed to “brighten,  firm, improve texture, increase collagen synthesis, smooth and protect.” Derma MD claims that it is excellent for all skin types.  I am a fan of salicylic acid exfoliators.  They tend to work pretty well for me.  I actually really like what this product does for my skin, but I can’t use it.  Unfortunately, there is a very strong rosy perfume smell that I can not handle.  It is so strong, and it clings to the skin and my clothes.  I tried using the Peel Pads during the day, but I had to wash my face because I couldn’t stand the smell.  I can use the Peel Pads at night before bed, but I can still smell the powdery rose scent on my bedding and night clothes when I wake up in the morning.  Granted, I am extremely sensitive to scent, especially rose.  It’s possible that someone else might be able to handle the scent better than I can, and maybe even like it.  For me though, the smell ruins an otherwise good product.

Sensitive Pearl Cleanser

Sensitive Pearl Cleanser

My experience with the Derma MD Sensitive Pearl Cleanser was completely different from the Peel Pads.  I love the Sensitive Pearl Cleanser.  This moisturizing cleanser has a silky pearly cream base that feels lovely on the skin.  It fights premature aging with multiple antioxidants, stimulates collagen synthesis and has anti-inflammatory properties.  This cleanser is excellent for dry or sensitive skin.  It feels like you are washing your face with lotion, but it still feels completely cleansed when you are done.  It doesn’t dry my skin out in the slightest and it doesn’t give me that tight, squeaky feeling after I use it.  I would recommend this cleanser to anyone.  It’s great.

For more details on these products, or any of the ones that I previously reviewed, check out Derma MD’s website.  I’ve been checking their Facebook page, and have noticed several promotional sale events and special offers ranging from free gifts with purchase, opportunities to win gift cards, and 20%-50% off discounts.  They also offer a discount just for signing up for their mailing list.  You can find some Derma MD products available on sites like Hautelook, Groupon, and Zulily, which are all great ways to save up to almost 75%.

FTC Disclosure: The products reviewed in this post were provided to me for free by Derma MD for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other compensation was accepted.

Bright Stripes Rainbow Nails

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Rainbow Nails

Bright Stripes Rainbow Nails

Check out this super fun and colorful manicure using these bright, stripey Water Decals from the Born Pretty Store.  I am so happy with how it came out.  Can I just say that water decals have become my nail art obsession.  They are so easy to use.  The Born Pretty Store has a huge selection of water decals and you can find unique designs like these ones.  I have several reviews for products that I have received from the Born Pretty Store, and you can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  But first, let’s talk about these super bright rainbow decals.

Rainbow Nails

Bright Stripes Water Decals

There are 11 sets of designs on this large sheet, so the possible design combinations are endless.  There are 5 colors, pink, orange, yellow, blue, and green in all 11 design sets, so it is very easy to mix and match elements to create your own unique looks.  The thinner stripes can be a little finicky, so I recommend using tweezers to remove the decal from the backing and place them on the nail.  Once you get the hang of it, they are easy as pie to work with and so much fun.  Here is a closer look.

Rainbow Nails

Bright Stripes Water Decals

Rainbow Nails

Bright Stripes Water Decals

For my manicure, I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White for the base color.  Then I kind of mixed and matched designs that looked interesting to me.  There are so many that I can’t wait to create another look using this sheet.  The only issue that I ran into is that the yellow designs are a little hard to see.  Perhaps with a different base color there would be enough of a contrast that the yellow would show up better, but it got lost into the white.  Even with that one caveat, I definitely recommend this sheet to you.  It’s a great deal to get all of these designs at once instead of having to buy them individually.  Two thumbs up.

Rainbow Nails

Bright Stripes Rainbow Nails

The Bright Stripes Water Decals are on sale for only $3.88.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should definitely plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive (like for a vacation or holiday items) and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website bornprettstore.com, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcode

FTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

Lorac Pro 3 Review and Swatches

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Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

I am so excited about today’s post where I get to show you the brand new Lorac Pro 3 palette.  It’s no secret that I love Lorac shadows.  I have both the previous Lorac Pro palettes and the Mega Pro 2.  In fact, the Lorac Pro 2 is my all time favorite eyeshadow palette.  So, when I saw that Lorac had released another Pro palette, I had to get my hands on it.  The Lorac Pro 3 will be available online on Sunday 6/12 at ulta.com and in stores on 6/26.  Ulta did a pre-release for Platinum members, so I got my palette in the mail last Saturday.  I’ve been playing with it all week and have done several looks with it, so I am ready for a review.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

The Lorac Pro 3 comes in similar packaging to the previous two Lorac Pro palettes.  I am not a fan of the fleshy greige color this time around, to be honest.  The black and the gray packaging was much more attractive than this one, in my opinion.  But, the palette is still sleek and easy to store, and comes with a full mirror.  All of the Lorac Pro palettes come with that NARS-like rubberized exterior, so they do tend to collect fingerprints and powder.  They wipe down easily enough, though, so if that bothers you it is an easy fix.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

If you have the previous Lorac Pro palettes, then you know the drill here with the Lorac Pro 3.  There are 16 shadows total, the top row are all matte and the bottom row is all shimmer.  I really like the Lorac Pro formula.  The shadows are buttery and smooth, have great pigmentation, and blend like a dream.  The soft shadows do kick up a lot of powder, and that is a big complaint for some, but I don’t mind it.  As long as you don’t dig in with your brush and you tap off the excess you should have no problem.  I think the shadows in the Lorac Pro 3 live up to the quality that I expect from the brand with one huge disappointment.  The third shadow in on the bottom, Medallion, is a terrible shadow.  It is gritty with chunky glitter that gets everywhere.  When I tried to apply it the first time I could feel the fall out dropping on my cheek and I had glitter all over my face.  I don’t know what happened with that shadow, because I’ve never had that issue with any of the other Lorac Pro palettes, but it is a major dud.  Otherwise, if you loved the formula of previous Lorac Pro palettes, then you will love the Lorac Pro 3.  All of the Pro palettes are neutral, and the Lorac Pro 3 is the most neutral and natural palette of the bunch.  The first two Lorac Pro palettes had pops of color, but all 16 shades are neutral in the Pro 3.  The shades are lighter than the previous two, so if you thought that the original Pro and the Pro 2 were just too dark for you, then the Pro 3 will be perfect.  The shades are lovely, with a good mix of warm and cool tones.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

  • Blanc– Off-white matte with slightly yellow tones.
  • Canvas– Light cool-toned beige, and a perfect shade to dust over the whole eye to give you a blank canvas.
  • Cool Taupe– Medium-dark taupe brown.
  • Pink Nude– Light beige with strong pink tones.
  • Lt. Gold– Very light peachy gold with a pearl finish.
  • Almond Pearl– Shimmery champagne with a touch of mauve undertones.
  • Medallion– Warm bronze with chunky glitter.  As I said above, Medallion is gritty, and the worst shadow in the palette.
  • Lt. Pewter– Light-medium shimmery taupe.
Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

  • Clay– Light mauvey-brown with red undertones.  This is a great transition shade.
  • Terracotta– Medium brown with very strong orange tones.  This is a great transition shade if you have neutral or warm skin.
  • Dk. Brown– Dark brown with neutral tones.
  • Jet Black– Matte black.  This shade is in every Pro palette.
  • Amethyst– Deep plum with a satin finish, a really beautiful shade.
  • Rose Bronze– Aptly named rose toned medium bronze.
  • Dk. Mocha– Deep, rich shimmery brown.
  • Truffle– Deep blackened plum with subtle micro-glitter.

And there you have it.  The Lorac Pro 3 is $44 and comes with a mini of the Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.  It may not be the most unique or inventive palette, but it is solid and can be used by almost anyone.  Do you already have these shades?  Possibly.  But it is a lovely palette and I am glad that I own it.  It has been compared to the UD Naked 3 and the Lorac Unzipped palettes.  I don’t have Unzipped, so I can’t really compare, but I do have Naked 3 and can say that they are not similar.  Though there are a couple rosy shades, Lorac Pro 3 is not a rose toned palette.  If you like lighter neutral shades that are appropriate for any occasion, then you will love this palette.  And of course, if you are a Lorac fan, you will probably feel the need to buy this palette to complete the set.  (Gotta catch ’em all!)  You can find the palette at Ulta later this month.  The Lorac Pro 3 is not limited edition, so don’t feel like you need to stalk the internet to be the first to get it.  They hype over LE palettes selling out has been crazy lately, but rest assured that Lorac Pro 3 is part of the permanent collection, so you can take your time.

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.