MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Rouge Collection Review

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Today I was so lucky to receive three shades from the new Artist Rouge lipstick collection from Make Up For Ever*. The collection has 45 shades total, all cremes and mattes, and will be sold at Sephora. Artist Rouge is meant to be a highly pigmented, long-wearing, comfortable product. Let’s get started!

The three shades I was sent are…

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C502: Creme lilac with grey undertones

C404: Creme true red with blue undertones

C211: Creme mauve pink with purple undertones

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Colors

I really like all three colors for different reasons. The lilac isn’t super weird but is definitely different. For fall, it will be super pretty with neutral and golden eye looks to dress up tights and a baggy sweater. Still, I can’t see myself wearing it daily.

The red is totally classic. The bullet style applicator is easy to use and doesn’t cause a lot of smearing which is super important in reds.

The mauve will probably be a go-to for every day for me. It is pretty neutral on my olive skin tone. It resembles a mauvey nude I used to have from the Balm back in the day.

(Excuse my horribly unlined lips above. I was so excited that I just started slapping them on. )

Formula

Just in the short time I’ve been wearing the product I can definitely tell it’s long wearing. It sticks to your skin so be careful to use liner and concealer for a clean line when applying. The formula is incredibly comfortable on the lips. It doesn’t need a thick coating to look fresh. I forgot I was wearing it because it didn’t come off on my drinking glass or feel sticky. This may be one of the most worry free formulas I’ve tried in a long time, almost having the effect of a liquid lipstick which really stays put. The one-two punch of a comfortable long-wear that doesn’t feel cakey or dry is a real winner.

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Packaging

My favorite section. These lipsticks feel very professional. They are encased in a black, matte, metal tubing with simple branding. They click shut so no worrying about the cap popping off in your bag. The metal is very cool to the touch and feels durable.

Final Thoughts

I will definitely be purchasing more neutral colors of this product when it arrives in my local Sephora! The formula is long wearing, doesn’t fade, crease or smear, and feels like bare lips.

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*All products shown above were freely provided to me through Influenster to test. All opinions are my own.*

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January ipsy Bag

As promised, a January ipsy bag opening and review! This bag just arrived in the mail today and most of my girlfriends haven’t even received theirs yet so hopefully I can give all of you ipsters awaiting your bags a sneak peek.

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Let me first take a moment to appreciate this Warholesque bag. It really is a piece of art in itself and makes a real statement. This year’s cosmetic bags have really upped the ante with new textures, shapes, and historical and cultural influences. Score one for ipsy. Now on to the products…

Screenshot 2016-01-14 at 11.16.33 AMThis month’s bag is so on trend! I give it a 4/5 stars.

First up, Ofra Cosmetics with an eyebrow pencil! I have been loving my Elizabeth Mott Queen of Brow since I received that in a bag a few months back. Having naturally full brows, a gel formula is usually enough for me for everyday. But I had been thinking I’d like a pencil for going out to get those enviable sharp lines. And here it is! This shade is a universal brown. We will see how well that goes once blended. If you’re a fellow ash brown girl, feel free to comment below and I can give you a heads up if this will work for you once I try it out. (Ash browns have golden undertones instead of red like most brunettes so root covers, extensions and brow pencils often appear too red and thus unnatural on us.) EDIT: This pencil is a true brown and safe for all my fellow ashes!

Next, another product from theBalm! I was always obsessed with the packing of theBalm and the names and quirkiness of the brand as a preteen aimlessly admiring the shelves of Sephora. It seemed like as soon as I was old enough to afford (and pull off) all the brand’s fabulous mattes, it disappeared! Now it seems that ipsy and theBalm.com (haha thebalm dot com, that’s great) are the only reputable places to find the stuff! I am always so excited to get these products and this is no exception as I have been craving a deep chocolate pencil for easy, daytime looks. (FYI: This one has a plum tonality.)Sometimes black liner is just so severe. This self-sharpening pencil is very fine and should make application a breeze.

Beau Paris, mon cherie! This brush feels EXACTLY like my MAC Enchanted Eve brushes that I got for Christmas and it looks like them too! This smudge brush will be so soft against the eyelid that it will be perfect for day time looks and detail work when your Sephora brush is just pulling too much product. A nice addition to my collection.

Yum! This stuff smells delish. Not just peppermint but peppermint CREME for the win! But is it just me or does this brand, Lasting Smiles, sounds dentisty/teeth whiteny? I don’t know. Someone comment about this brand and give me the 411. I can never have too much lip balm especially this time of year. I keep a tube in every jacket pocket, handbag, work locker, you get the picture.

Finally, a palette. Palettes are a great value in ipsy bags because even a decent drugstore one costs close to $10 and the whole bag is $10 BUT this palette is called Falling Leaves…and rightfully so. Yes, neutrals can be used all year round. Yes, this is an eye-makeup focused bag. And yes, I am happy to have a small palette with taupe, brown and rose-tone because those are my everyday shades and the small package makes for easy carrying. HOWEVER, it’s rightfully a fall name for a fall palette. And I can’t help but feel a teensy bit failed on this particular item because  it seems like something they had chilling in the magical, mythical ipsy warehouse from October. Weird? I know I know.

So that’s this month’s roundup, kids! Have a great rest of your week and share share share those ipsy thoughts and reviews when you get your bags in the comments below.

And if you haven’t joined ipsy yet, skip the waitlist and join now.

xo,

BGB

December ipsy Bag

Hi guys! Happy (belated) Holidays! I have been busy working the holiday retail grind and have not been active here on PT so today I hope to update ipsy and Influenster for you guys. I have two new bags and a Voxbox to share deets on and this Vox, I was able to try yet-to-be-released products so I’m super excited to give you guys the inside scoop before these go BIG.

Ready? Let’s get started with my review of December’s ipsy bag!

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The first product I received for December was the Julie G Longwear Nail Polish in Pin Up Girl. Love the name (vintage is so in when it comes to beauty packaging right now). However, the color leaves much to be desired. It reminds me of the shiny, cliche Christmas red I wore in the fifth grade before mattes were a thing. I can’t imagine any fashionable fifties femme would rock this. The formula is average, nothing much to talk about.

Item two: lip liner! Score! I LOVE lip liner and have been going through my nude ones literally weekly lately so I was so excited to receive a new one. Initially I was thrown and thought this product was neon pink like the cap but it’s nude! This is a product from ModelCo. I find their products to be about a 7 in quality- better than drugstore but the highlighting palette I received from them is not as pigmented as I’d like. Still, their packaging is definitely model worthy. The cases are hardy and they have deep wells so you get a lot of product in a small space.

Next up is an all-natural product with the most darling packaging! This nude natural lipstick is from Pacifica. Though it’s a little drying the color is FABULOUS. It really works as a perfect rosey nude on us olive-complected girls. This line is available at Target which makes it easy to get a refill when you undoubtedly use this one up.

Finally, a hair mask. Again, one of my favorite products to receive. Since my balayage, I take extra care to use a deep conditioner on my ends at least weekly to keep my color healthy. This Marc Anthony product is gentle enough to be used on color-treated hair and uses coconut and shea butter to make your hair feel and smell like you just walked off the beach. Definitely getting me into the summer mood.

I was so excited to see a new brand in this box in the form of Jersey Shore Cosmetics because A) It’s an exfoliating lip scrub and other than exfoliating my lips with a toothbrush, I’ve never really delved into lip exfoliation. During these winter months on the east coast, I could totally use this product. But B) The product is made right here in New Jersey in small batches. You know I’m all about supporting the cause of local businesses.

Let me tell you guys, this stuff smells ah-ma-zing. I use it in the shower and it does an awesome job without making my lips feel raw. It does a nice job on cuticles too!

 

*Pro tip: If you’re new to exfoliation, don’t break out it out for the first time on the night of a hot date. Exfoliation is an overnight/Sunday afternoon activity. If you use this product (or any comparable one) and then try to go straight into your lip routine you will fail miserably. Your skin (yes, even your lip skin) will shed and sloff off. That’s what exfoliation does! And you’ll end up with all little chunks in your lipstick. Not cute.

 

A special note for ipsters everywhere: Tons of people ask me, “B, how do you get such great bags? It seems like you always like almost every product. My bags stink!” My answer to this is review, review, review. I review every single bag and not just yay or nay. I give details. I take my time to use the product, watch YouTube videos on application, and then make my decision. I give good feedback and retake my style quiz with the seasons. ask and you shall receive, ladies.

 

Now head on over to the beauty section for the January ipsy bag review! It just arrived today! And if you haven’t already, join ipsy now! Use my referral code by clicking here and skip the wait list.

 

Thanks,

BGB

November Ipsy! Beauty Blast

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This month’s Ipsy came and boy is this bag killller. It’s sending me to galaxies far, far away…

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Tucker Ashley Perfecting Moisturizer

I’ve never heard of this brand but it smells really good and the white tube makes it feel somehow high-endy. Just me?

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

I have used this guy before. I like it a lot! It reminds me of a stiletto mascara: lacking a little in volume but great for long, spiky length. And the name is just cheeky enough.

ModelCo Highlighting Trio

Me? Model? You shouldn’t have! But seriously, the only thing better than gel formula is a cream and this blends better. I love having a gold, silver/white, and peachy glow all in one palette.

Absolute NY Nano Liner

Who doesn’t love a product with nano in the name that promises a thin precise eye line? I’m in! Comment for a tutorial.  

Trestique Matte Lip Crayon

I’ve gotten Trestique products in Ipsy bags before and I like them. I would compare them to elf quality. The matte only makes it better.

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Follow my instagram for more ipsy tutorials and looks!

@bianca_blando

 

Dollar Tree Drugstore Beauty Haul

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Hey guys! So I was around town today and happened to stop into my favorite hidden treasure: Dollar Tree. Now I know what you’re thinking but this Dollar Tree is in an affluent neighborhood and is the size of a small supermarket. It tends to have some really high-end brands, albeit in small quantities, so I encourage you to shop frequently.

Today was my day off so I just went to the store out of convenience, not for anything in particular. Shocker: I ended up finding some serious deals in the beauty aisle! I picked out three packages of Essie Sleek Sticks. These are nail wraps or stickers, similar to Jamberry. They are a whole manicure in one. I didn’t know how much they retailed for but being Essie, I knew it was definitely more than a dollar.

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(From L to R: stickers and stones, over the moon, glam it on)

Next big deal were the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr shadows. I actually picked these up because I recently saw in a magazine (which one, I can’t remember) that these were a top makeup artist pick for fall or something along those lines. They are apparently really pigmented and blendable and come in a range of colors. I stuck with neutrals but there were gorgeous goldenrods, pinks, and blues as well. Again, these were in small quantities. There were maybe a dozen total shadows in the store.

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(buff & tuff, downtown brown)

I also picked up a Milani Shadow Eyez pencil in brown deluxe. I love shadow pencils in golden brown colors to use on my lower lash line to make my eye shape really pop. The shadow sticks are as easy to use as liners but smudge a lot more easily.

Finally, my last find was a package of tribal Hot Jewels, the As-Seen-On-TV variety of flash tats. Those are the metallic temporary tattoos that kind of look like jewelry and have been popular all summer. I’ve been wanting to try them but hadn’t been able to validate the cost. For $1, I figured they were worth a try. (Plus, tonight is Roglow, a huge paint/glow party you will hear more about soon.)

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Some of you are probably thinking: B, why not just pull out your trusty smartphone and see exactly how much these items retail for as you go? Well you see dear readers, I am a deal-catching fanatic. When I’m done deal hopping, I run directly home so I can look up the retail cost of each item and marvel at the glory of how much I saved (even though I usually didn’t need anything I bought). So for me, the chase is the best part. I love using my own knowledge-base to estimate how much I’ve saved. So here’s the roundup…

Essie Sleek Sticks: $9.99 (Target)

Maybelline Color Tattoo: $6.79 (Walgreens)

Milani Shadow Eyez: $6.49 (Walgreens)

Hot Jewels: $9.99 (Target)

That means I spent $7 for $60 worth of product! That’s a savings of over $50!

So check out your local discount spots; you never know what you’ll find.

-BGB

*everyone runs to Dollar Tree*

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September Ipsy Bag (and a note on Ipsy customer service)

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Calling all makeup mavens!

I have been receiving ipsy bags throughout the summer. My parents bought me a one-year subscription for my birthday which is an awesome gift idea for the woman in your life. It’s a present every month!

Basically, ipsy is a cosmetic subscription service. You can pay for ipsy each month or for a year (in which case you’d get a month free). Each month, you receive a bag with five high-end cosmetic products ranging from skincare to hair products, makeup and nail polish, and beauty tools like brushes. This all comes in a makeup bag designed exclusively by ipsy and it all arrives in one of those metallic pink bubble mailers that probably took over your Instagram at some point. Before receiving your first bag, you fill out a detailed, online quiz to choose which types of products you prefer, as well as your skin, hair, and eye colors.

I have been so happy with the products I have received and this month is no exception. I particularly love the lux material and color of this month’s bag. Below are the products I knew I was receiving through my sneak peek email.

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My bag arrived yesterday and I opened it so excited and major bummer- there were a couple of problems. First off, I received two lipsticks and no lotion. Second, the amazingly smelling, high quality argan oil should probably have been individually wrapped because it spilled out and saturated my bag’s liner with oil.

The rest of the products were fine but I contacted ipsy customer service about the lotion and oil/bag. Their primary mode of contact is email. A few hours later I received a thoughtful email back apologizing and issuing me an entirely new bag! I will let you know how it pans out when it arrives but the customer service experience was great. Prompt, thoughtful, apologetic, and willing to make things right. No wonder people love ipsy.

If you’re interested in subscribing, ipsy costs $10 a month or $110 for a year. There is often a waiting list so feel free to use my referral code below to start getting your bags and earning points toward bonus products!

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Stay tuned for reviews and have a wonderful day, gorgeouses!

-BGB

Photos courtesy of ipsy.com