Coastal Scents Revealed Sampler Review | Birchbox

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While there are always new varieties of makeup coming out one thing never changes, nude palettes. While I am a dedicated Urban Decay Naked fan, I was pleased to receive a shadow sampler from Coastal Scents new Revealed palette in my latest Birchbox.

The Revealed set comes with 20 nude and metallic shadows which seems perfect for the natural smokey look or even something a little shiny for a special occasion. The sampler I received came with four shades from the set; a plum, a olive, a silver highlight, and a black. I figured these were the perfect colors to use to create and nice smoke (I will post my youtube video below of that tutorial!)

Giving that I am an opinionated beauty junkie I figured I would share with you all my full run down review of this sampler, so here we go!

Right off the bat I was pleased with shades I received, I tend to not overdo eyeshadow and focus more on liner so I thought this would be a great time to makeup outside of the box. I was surprised with the pigmentation of the shades,mi thought they had a nice amount of shimmer and shine, all though the colors did come off a little more muted than I would have liked. My biggest problem with these shadows was the fall off, there was a ton! I always do my foundation before my eyes because I’ve never really had a problem with fall out. Up I really found myself making quite a mess of my face while applying. The other problem I had is that I found them a little more difficult to blend and once blended the colors became muddy. The one plus I will give them is that the colors lasted throughout the day with very little creasing.
While I don’t think this palette is a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked, it is a nice alternative at a more affordable cost (retails for $32). However I don’t see myself purchasing the full size product because I have no need for it, perhaps it will work best when blending it with some shades for the Naked pallet.

That’s what you get when sampling products, you can either not care for something or find your next big thing!
Lots of love,
Kate

Wanna see my tutorial for this sampler?
Youtube.com/users/KatesTillMidnight

Wanna sign up for Birchbox?
https://www.birchbox.com/invite/tlwgm

Dr.Scholls For Her Comfort Insoles | A Life (and foot) Saver

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I can tell by the clusters of orange and yellow on the ground that the chill of fall is officially in full swing. While this might bring some sadness to some people, to me it brings great joy in knowing that I can now crack open my closet and unleash all my shoes again!
Fall not to me not only means comfy sweaters and cardigans but also a great arrays foot candy like booties,wedges,boots,oxford flats,sneakers and any more! While I appreciate the much needed variety to my footwear, fall also means sore feet! I can no longer get away with wearing comfy flip flops and sandals ,or run around barefoot anymore, so my feet get really sore! But beauty is pain..right??
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be! I use to just suck it up when it came to foot pain and I would cram my already throbbing toes in to my studded booties and go on with my day, but the older I get the harder it is to ignore the pain and even recover from it. My last night out I swear my feet hurt so bad that my toes were numb for a week…totally not healthy.
That’s why my newest box from Influenster could not have come at a better time! Not only did I get lots of goodies to pamper myself with, but I also got a pair of the Dr.Scholls For Her comfort insoles to try on my tired feet. I never really thought of trying insoles out in my fall flats so I wanted to give them a good go so I could give you my honest verdict….and I love them!
They really helped to comfort my feet, my biggest problem is cushion. My fall shoes never seem to have enough comfort for me in the soles and that’s what leads to all of the foot and leg pain, and in one day I felt such a difference. My legs were not nearly as sore as they usually are and the bottoms of my feet did not get numb. Best part is I was able to spend a whole day out with the kids in some of my most fashionable shoes without any missteps.
So I am here to tell you girls, you do not have to suffer anymore! You no longer have to trade beauty for pain or make sacrifices on days out with the family by
by throwing on those grandma shoes…you heard it here first!
So thank you Dr.Scholls and Influenster for letting me try these out and I’m happy to spread the word!

Lots of love!
Kate

Wanna try out Influenster? I have a couple of in invites left and I’m looking for avid opinion givers to join me, so let me know if that’s you!

Have you subscribed to my youtube channel yet?
http://www.youtube.com/users/katestillmidnight

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e.l.f Hits and Misses!

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Like every girl I have been known to blow a great deal of time (and money) in Sephora and while I love my cosmetics I love finding beauty products that amaze me at little cost to myself even more.  Over the years I have to come to collect quite a few e.l.f products because who can resist getting full size products that range from $1-$5 especially if they can be a dupe for the high end stuff I normally go for.  I first saw e.l.f products in Target and was really drawn to the packaging, I think their marketing team did something very smart, they made a simple logo, black with white lettering that is very reminiscent of MAC labels.  Like most beauty brands there will always be hits and misses, so I pulled out my large collection to give you my rundown!

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Left to Right: stipple brush, small stipple, bronze brush, face brush

Lets start off with products I tried first.  I was looking up and down for a stipple brush that would be dupe for MAC’s because I couldn’t see myself paying so much money for a single brush, so behold I found this large stipple brush.  This use to be my go-to brush but I have since moved on to buffing brushes, I mainly use this now for heavier foundations because I find with this brush I don’t need to use as much product.  Now onto my favorite e.l.f brush which is the small stipple brush.  It is perfect for blending out under eye concealers and cheek tints and does a great job of blending into smaller areas!  And then finally we have the face brushes, the bronzing brush’s bristles are a little uneven which I was concerned would cause a messy contour but it didn’t.  The full face brush I had originally bought as a powder brush but because the bristles are so dense I use it mainly as a blush brush.  All in all I was pleased with the brushes and best of all they don’t shed when you clean them which means they have longevity!  All four of these brushes cost me $8.  Not too shabby! 

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e.l.f Eyeshadow Pallet

I received this pallet as one of those ‘rainy day’ surprises from my husband.  At first I was a little bit nervous about it because the colors were all shimmery and most times of the year I go for matte, but it was a gift so I just kept strutting on.  This pallet has colors ranging from pearls whites up to jet blacks and everything in between.  To be honest, the only shades I have used are the natural colors so I can’t get into specifics with the bright colors, but as far as those go they were great!  They held up pretty well throughout the day and the only major bug I have with them is that because they are so shimmery when they do eventually wear down that all that is left is sparkle.  Overall I would say I was pleased with this pallet and I look forward to playing with the colors a little more! This pallet retails for around $5.

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e.l.f shimmering face whips in lilac pearl and white

Next we come to our first miss!  These cute little tubes are e.l.f shimmering face whips and are suppose to add hints of shimmer and color to your cheeks.  At first I really liked the dewy look of these on my cheeks and highlighted areas but the love soon wore off.  After about an hour these turned super cakey on my face and fell into pores and the last thing you want to do is bring attention to your flaws!  That was only day one so day two I decided to give them a second look..and then I opened the tube.  Instead on the cream “whip” coming out when I squeezed it a big glob of oily liquid came out.  The only thing worse then a cake on your face is a pile of oil.  So these unfortunately are headed for my makeup graveyard.  If you’re bold enough to try them they retail for only $1 a piece.

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e.l.f. bronzer in Sun Kissed and all over color stick in Golden Peach

Here we come to a couple more of my dreaded misses.  First we have the e.l.f bronzer in Sun Kissed which is a really light shimmery  bronze which I was really excited to try because yes, I am a bronze queen.  As fast as I was to try it I was equally as fast to dislike it.  It could be a fault of my own but the shade didn’t not show up on my skin whatsoever.  All that appeared on my face was a bunch of glitter which looked totally awkward on my contour lines.  Next we have the all over face color in Golden Peach which is like a color stick which can be used for eyes, lips and face (AHA clever!) I was looking to use this to add slight color to my cheeks and instantly after I applied it I had a big problem, it was sticky!  I could literally feel it pulling at my skin and falling into fine lines and worst off all after a day the entire stick dried up!  If you are in a daring ‘let’s go for it’ mood both of these retail for $1.

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e.l.f liners in silver, gold, black and e.l.f waterproof liner pen

Now onto my favorite beauty tool in the entire world, eyeliners!  I will take eyeliners any way you can give them to me.  First we have the three liquid eyeliners I tried in silver,gold and black,  Normally I would never buy silver or gold eyeliners but they came as a gift set so what the hell.  I only used the silver once because it was super bright and gave me really bad highschool flashbacks but the gold I surprisingly loved.  I use it on top of my black liquid liner to add a touch of sparkle for those special days.  The black eyeliner has to be my favorite e.l.f product of all time.  It is a brush tip liner which makes me feel like I have a lot of control over my lines and the black pigment seems to last me most of the day, I have to say this has been my go-to liquid liner for a year now and while I know they’re are better, more expensive ones out there I still find myself coming back to this time and again.  Lastly we have the waterproof lining pen, and while I’ve read reviews that sings it praises, I was far from impressed.  It did not go on smoothly at all and it caused a lot of skipped lines and worst of all (which seems to be a theme with my e.l.f misses) it dried out in a week.  These eyeliners retail for $3 a piece and the 3 piece gift set I purchased for $5.

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Left to Right: Matte Lip in Nearly Nude, Lip Stain in Crimson Crush, Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Pink Umbrella and Movie Star.

Lastly we come to the lips!  I have to say…I adore ALL of these products!  The matte lip stick feels more like a crayon which I didn’t think I would like but I found it gave me more control over the color.  I was looking for an awesome matte nude almost corpse like lip wear and this does the trick.  While it does seem to be drying I find that if I prep my lips first with a lip butter I can make the color stay on longer.  Next is the gorgeous lip stain in this super red color (If you saw my last post you saw me wearing this in my after pic.)  I love the way it feels on my lips and the color is so pigmented it really does stain and I only find myself re-applying after a long day.  Last we come to jumbo gloss sticks.  I bought these in the lightest shade and the darkest shade for contrast I these have quickly become my go-to’s for everyday.  The red isn’t too deep so I can wear it during the day without feeling like a clown and the pink is a perfect summertime shade plus the best part is these are super moisturizing and unlike most glosses these don’t make my lips feel like their covered in honey.  All in all these are a must have for me.  Each retails around $3.

There you have it,  My official breakdown of a brand and while it seems like I have a lot of misses I think the hits more than make up for it.  These products are super affordable so I encourage you to make your own opinions.  Instead of blowing that check on a couple high end products, this month test out the line and see what hits and misses you find for yourself!  

If you have tried the e.l.f line and have your own hits and misses I’d love to hear all about it so leave me some love below and don’t forget to subscribe.  If you want more of my quirkness follow me on instagram @mkateholmes or give me a shout out on twitter @RecycleRex and as always, happy blending!

-Kate

Summer Inspired Blue Eyes

I happen to be a lady who loves color, especially in the spring and summer.  There is no better way to bring myself out of the NY winter funk then to enjoy the blue skies.  I just received  my Lancome color palette in the mail (review coming soon!) and one of the shades is a wicked dark blue which inspired me to do a blue smoked out eye with a touch of green and plum to celebrate to coming summer.

To start I washed, prepped and primed my face and then applied my normal foundation and concealer routine (I held off on the powder till the end, you’ll find out why!)  Because the blue family is so bright and vibrant I wanted my face to stay neutral to avoid the clown effect.

I then primed my eyes with Cult pink primer and started building the blooms.  I wanted a good mixture of colors, so on top of the blues I have sage, plum and pink as well.   For the base color I used Sephora eye shadow in sweet candy, which is a baby doll pink, and I applied it all over my lid and up under the brow line with a medium brush.

I then took my blue base which was Maybelline eyeshadow in turquoise jewel, which is a brilliant blue shade with a hint of sparkle, and blended it in on the lower lid up into the crease of my eye using the same medium brush (make sure to wipe brushes if you use the same one so you don’t mix before blending) I then continued to sweep the turquoise under my lower lash line for dramatic effect.

Next I took my sage pot of gold I call it (it’s an old loose powder that Victoria’s Secret used to carry but any light green/sage color will do) and worked it from the center of my lid blending it out to the corner.  For a little extra drama I used this green on the bottom corner of my eye.

It is very important, especially with bright colors to blend if you want a smoky effect, so with every color I built on I would blend as I went!  I then grabbed my glorious midnight blue from Lancome’s Midnight Rush palette and blending it from the outer corners up to the crease and out to the corners smoking and blending as I went with a medium brush and finished it off with a blending brush.

I then lined my eyes with Avon liquid liner in plum making the line thicker on the corners and thiner at the inner corners.    Using the silver color from my Lancome palette I added highlights under my brow bone and in the inner
corners of my eyes.    Last step was to curl and coat my lashes using L’oreal million lashes mascara.  I finished off with my setting powder at the very end, this way I could also use to powder brush to sweep away any fall off from the eye shadow powder, which will happen with high pigment powder.

The best part about a high pigment color look is that it can be achieved with any color you wish.  It’s a great smoke effect with pinks and plums, greens and purples, even yellows and oranges!  It really depends on your mood.

The end result was a great summer look which I wore out that night to celebrate the warm weather and the frozen drinks.

 

*For my face I used Maybelline fit me foundation, concealer and powder in #210, Avon minerals blush in wine, Covergirl Lipstain in peach and Avon eyebrow pro in dark brown.

Date Night Red Lips

If you’re like me, you get scared of red lipstick because the last thing we wanna look like on a date is a clown.  That is why I have perfected the perfect date night lip routine to keep your lips soft and kissable.

To start you should buff your lips.  We buff our skin and rid it of dry, dead skin so why not do the same where it really counts?    What I do is I apply naturals chap-stick liberly all over my lips as a base, then in a small jar I mix 1TBS of honey with 1TSP of sugar.  I coat my lips with this sweet mixture and rub in.  After I let it sit and absorb the dead skin for about 2 minutes I take a washcloth and dampen it with warm water and buff my lips until the mixture and the dead skin is gone!

Next it’s time to choose your products.  I have very thin dry lips so two key parts of my date night lips are a good chap base and lip liner.   Lips are always the last thing I do in my makeup routine, especially with red lipstick because it can be a big mess!  So after my face is done up and perfect I base my lips with a all natural lip balm, this time I used Neutrogena all natural lip balm.  Then I lined my lips with Sephora cream lip liner in base which is a nude color.  I try not to use dark lip liners because those can often look tacky even with red lips so I stay as nude as I can, I don’t use lip liner for color but to just define my lips.  I prefer to use a lip brush when it comes to red lipstick because it is such a high pigmented color that any little bump and mistake will show without the right precision.  For the lipstick I chose my Maybelline Red Revival in the brightest red I could find, which is number 645.  Using the lip brush I start at the bottom lip and sweep up to the corners, but make sure not apply in the corners because that is how you get clown mouth.  I usually put a lot of focus into the top of my lip so I can really define the arch giving it a plump look.  To top it all over and glossed my lips with a clear sparkle Sephora lip gloss in pearl.  After my lips are done I blot them with some tissue and pull my finger through my mouth to take off any excess.

I have red hair so sometimes red lips can be a bit too much for a date so I try to make it whimsicle.  Here I added my Makeup Forever gel liner in teal and one of my handmade hair pieces.  This is my version of a 20’s girl in the city!

So remember, the key to perfect date night lips is for them to be kissable and soft, so always keep your lip balm and gloss on hand for touch-ups and the best way to pull off a bright red lip is confidence!  Happy kissing.

Sephora Smoky Cream Liner

I was walking around NYC not too long ago and decided to free my mind at the local Sephora, I consider these trips special because I can never enter a Sephora store without blowing my bank account.  Spring was just in bloom and I was inspired by the bright blue skies and the flowers and the breeze so I made an impulse purchase of electric blue gel liner.  The official product name is Sephora Smoky Cream Liner in Electric Teal.    I grew out of the electric blue shades phase in my late teens and I’m still not sure why I wanted to give it another go, but here it is!


To create this look I used a pink palette…like I said I was inspired by spring.  As always I primed my eyes with an under eye concealer and the lid with a shadow primer.  For the base color I used Avon true color eyeshadow quad,aquadelic and I used the coral crush color.  To add the smoke effect I used bright pigment shadow from Cupcake Cult in electric pink and to highlight I used Sephora highlighter shimmer in Aspen Summit.   Finished my look with the Sephora Electric Teal liner and L’oreal million lashes mascara.

There really is no reasonable place for me to wear this color unless I’m out at a club but nonetheless I thought it was wild and fun and a good mix for spring.  Coming in at a modest $12 I expected a lot more.  While the color was bright and lived up to it’s electric name the application itself was a tricky one, not to pat myself on the back but I can put on liquid liner in the dark.  It is indeed a gel base and I’ve had difficulties with them in the past.  I expected it to glide on a lot smoother then it did, it was almost bumpy and I kept getting those skip marks which isn’t a deal breaker, just adds more work.  It was easy to build up more drama with each new stroke but after a while I noticed it started to crumble as some gel liners do.  At first I thought maybe I was pressing too hard but on a softer application it still crumbled.    Overall I did achieve the look I wanted, bright springy, young and a little wild but it took more work then I think it was worth.  With the product alone I wasn’t 100% pleased but I did love the color and the dramatic effect and would continue using this product until it’s finished..whether or not I buy another one is yet to be seen. Happy blending!

L’oreal Studio Secret Magic Perfecting Base

If you have problems covering flaws on your skin with foundation and concealer alone then you should always start off with a good primer.  Primer is not only important to help flawed skin but is also a great base for your makeup.

I recently started using L’oreal studio secret professional magic perfecting base.  It’s lightweight and creamy and has a fresh smell to it, unlike the harsh toners that you can find in beauty department stores.  It is my “spackle”.  I have dry skin with red patches on my cheeks and chin and some acne scars from when I was a kid and I found that if I use foundation and concelear alone I still have a lot of trouble keeping my face smooth.  This magic perfecting base almost goes on like a second skin it not only fills in some scars and lines but it also helps my foundation to glide on smooth for a more even skin tone.

My routine with this primer is I also cleanse my skin before putting on makeup because chances are I left behind some dirt and oil from the night before and putting makeup on dirty skin will only lead to breakouts and clogged pores.  Before I put on the primer I use a lightweight day moisturizer that has some SPF in it to help protect against sun damage and will also keep my skin soft throughout the day.  I wait a few moments before using the magic perfecting base to that my moisturizer has set in to my skin.  Some people use brushes and sponges for the base but I find this base to be thick enough to use with my fingertips so i’m not wasting any that would be absorbed into the sponge.  I always start out with my problems areas, mainly my cheeks and chin and dot it on and blend it into my skin in a circle motion using my fingertips.  After the primer has set in you can feel if you’re missed spots by running your fingers over your face.

Even if you’re not wearing makeup on top of the primer it still works great to keep your patchy skin even.  There are only a few problems I have with this product, I find that if it isn’t blended well enough into my skin that it can get patchy and sticky so it does add a few extra minutes to my morning routine.  Also it retails at $13 which isn’t a bank breaker but coming it at only .2 ounces it doesn’t seem to be enough product for the price, and I use it every time I apply makeup or go out for the day so I go through a lot of it.

I think it is very important to use a primer for your makeup especially if you have dry prone skin like I do.  I would recommended this primer because it’s creamy and rich and gets the job done, as long as you can overlook the price!

*Image belongs to L’oreal