Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara Review

I heard a couple of months ago that Max Factor was coming back to the US and was pretty excited about it. When I first started watching beauty videos on YouTube, I’d heard great things about the brand, but that they were no longer being sold stateside. So when I saw the Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara on the shelves at Target I snapped it up immediately. I couldn’t wait to try it out, even though I’m still in the middle of another tube at the moment.

Here are my thoughts. I included a snap of the claims and application tips from the back of the paper packaging.

Packaging. It’s a pretty standard tube with gold detailing on the cover and gold writing. The design reminds me of Art Deco. The mascara wand has a brush with plastic bristles, which I’m typically a fan of anyway. It’s not quite as bulky as the Covergirl mascara brushes which is nice because it’s easier to maneuver in the inter corners of my eyes. Overall, it’s a win for me. Rating: 5/5

Performance. The plastic bristles definitely help to separate the lashes and coat them evenly. The formula delivers in adding volume to my lashes without getting too clumpy after two coats. With the third I had to work a little harder to keep the separation between my lashes, but it was worth it for the extra volume it added. Your lashes still feel flexible after the formula dries, but I think the Covergirl Lash Blast holds a curl better. The smudging of this mascara is practically non-existent, it only started showing signs of darkness under the outside lower lash line after more than 12 hours of wear. This stuff delivers on pretty much all of it’s claims, so it gets my full rating here. And sorry the test photos aren’t great, I’ve been sick and just don’t have time to retake them. Rating: 5/5

Price. I got this at Target for $9.99, which seems to be midrange for mascara at the drugstore lately. Drugstore prices are definitely creeping up these days, but if the product does what it says I really can’t cimplain. And because this one delivers on everything it says, I gotta say it’s worth it. Rating: 5/5

Overall impression. This is a winner in my book. If it was more lengthening it would be practically perfect. I’m going to experiment with using a lash primer to see if it will help to add some length. I’d definitely pick this up if you see it on the shelves and let me know what you think!

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Fall 2016 Wardrobe Update


I took advantage of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to get a few new items for fall, and I got a couple of pairs of shoes after, just to bolster what I already have for the colder weather. I’ve been weeding out my closet gradually whenever the mood strikes and just trying to add items that I think will be more well-loved from year to year. I have a really hard time letting go of clothes, even the ones I haven’t worn in years. I always have this “you never know” mentality and think I might somehow want to wear them again. But I actually put a few pairs of shoes in a bag for donation last week because seeing all the shoes pile up was starting to get to me. Anyway, here are the newbies to my closet crew.

1. Love by Design Mock Neck Patch Pocket Pullover


I actually wasn’t crazy about this when I was browsing in-store, but I decided to try it on anyway. I can never have enough sweaters for the winter. After that I had to get it. It’s just such an easy basic and I love everything oversized. The pockets add a little something different to a pretty classic top. I tried to link this but it sold out, this is similar.

2. BP Cross Front Woven Blouse


I thought this was a nice blouse to wear for any occasions that where I’d need to be slightly more dressed up and I love this deep burgundy color for fall. I like that it’s drapey and that its a bit longer in the back to hide any extra tush. Sorry it’s so wrinkled, but I quickly wanted to take some photos while my mom was hanging with Ava.

3. BP Plaid Square Scarf


I’ve been wanting a plaid scarf in this style for the past two winters and just never got around to getting one. But since this was in the sale it was the perfect opportunity to pick one up. It adds some interest to an otherwise more plain outfit and since it’s blanket style, it adds some extra warmth too.

4. BP Long Sleeve Tunic Tee


I know, boring right? Well I realized I don’t have enough long-sleeved basic tops in my closet. These are great for layering and go with everything. I have a black & white striped one from Target that I love, and I actually just ordered the white one because it’s on sale (even cheaper than the Anniversary price too!). I like the longer length for more coverage and I can always tuck it in for certain outfits too.

5. Madden Girl Two-Piece Block Heeled Sandals

I love the whole block heel trend for fall and needed a pair of nude strappy heels to round out my shoe options. These are a 3″ heel and added with the added thickness they are actually pretty comfortable. I used to think a 4″ heel was NBD, but ever since having Ava I just can’t deal with heels anymore. It can be kind of a bummer because most shoes I’m attracted to are at a higher heel height and I never buy them because I know I’ll likely never wear them. These I wore them to my cousin’s rehearsal dinner with no complaints. These are the only item I didn’t get from Nordstrom, they’re from Macy’s. They’re listed as a blush color, but I think they’re more nude/taupe.

7. Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry Capri Mules

photo via lulus.com

I had to jump into this mule trend for fall with these slide-on flat mules. I saw them on damselindior’s IG and immediately looked them up. I was initially kind of unsure whether I liked this trend at all, but she made them look so chic. I’m still waiting for these to come in the mail, if I’m in love with them I’ll update this post with a picture of them on. If you’re not into the mule trend, there is also a the regular loafer version with the back in the same style.

8. HM Belted Vest

I actually bought this in the beginning of the summer, knowing I wanted it for fall. It’s a great piece for layering and I’m looking forward to wearing it once the cooler air hits. It’s one of those things that you can just throw on when you feel like your outfit isn’t quite complete. I like this better unbelted, so I just tie the belt in the back to give more of a cinched waist appearance. It’s no longer for sale, but I found this one from Asos that is very similar.

What have you been buying for fall? Any good deals to share? I’d love to know!

Current hair favorites: Summer 2016

I’ve been trying a few new hair care products over the past few months and thought I’d do a quick round-up of the ones I’ve been loving.



DP Hue Cool Blonde Shampoo. I’ve been doing the whole bayalage thing since last year and this shampoo has been helping to keep the brassyness at bay. Asian hair tends to pull warmer tones when it’s dyed lighter, so it can get that undesirable orange look weeks after being color treated. I use this once a week to combat that and get me to my next appointment. I’ve also been using the DPHUE Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner (yes I’m cheating on Wen), but I’m no totally in love with them.

Oribe Dry Texturing Spray. To be totally honest, I can’t remember if I talked about this yet. Sorry if this is redundant, but I didn’t want to skip it because I loved it enough to buy another bottle. And this stuff ain’t cheap ($40 to be exact). It adds some extra volume and texture (obviously) to my hair when it’s kind of falling flat. And it smells really good too.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave & Shine Spray. I got this when I picked up my second bottle of the above. I wanted to try something that I could quickly spray into wet hair when I don’t have time to blow dry. I love this because it doesn’t leave my hair feeling dry and crunchy after I use it like some other salt sprays. And it also smells amazing.

Ouai Hair Oil. My hair is perpetually dry at the ends and all the buzz around the brand created by the Kardashians’ hair stylist got to me. So far, I really like it. I use it after blow drying to smooth out the ends of my hair for some added shine. Or I’ll run it through my hair before air drying. This also smells nice and floral, I think like honeysuckle or baby’s breath.

Dr. PAWPAW It Does it All 7-in-1 Hair Treatment Styler. This is another gem I found at Urban Outfitters and it’s a real winner. It’s uses include detangler, leave-in conditioner, split-end reducer, and heat protectant, among others. I spray this in after showering as a leave-in and detangler and my hair has never felt so soft. It’s amazing. And it smells tropical like mangoes and coconuts (if you haven’t noticed yet I’m not very good at pinpointing scents). I will definitely be buying more of this when I run out.

Wet Brush. This baby is even better than the Tangle Teaser. It actually beats it, hands down. The only time I really brush my hair is after I shower and this makes getting through all the tangles so much quicker and less painful. So glad I gave this a try!

So that concludes all my recent hair care loves, if you’ve tried anything I mentioned, let me know how it worked for you!

Hourglass Seamless Finish Vanish Foundation Review

I saw a review for the Hourglass Seamless Finish Vanish Foundation on Beautezine and bought it the second it hit the shelves at my local Sephora. She made it sound pretty amazing, so much so that I stalked it until it popped up as available in-store. I didn’t want to chance ordering the wrong shade online-with foundation I just prefer to see it in person. I wasn’t planning on doing this review, as I wasn’t  anticipating blogging again, so I don’t have fresh out of the box product pictures. But you know I’ve used it enough to give a thorough opinion on it.

Packaging. Love it. It’s sleek and functional, a retractable, triangular tube that makes it easy to apply product to your face. The shiny surface can get smudgy, but it can be wiped clean, unlike the rubbery surface of say, a Nars blush. Rating: 5/5

Swatched:

Performance. This is supposed to be a long-wear (12 hours), full coverage, waterproof foundation. The formula glides onto the skin easily when you swipe it onto your face. I’ve used a brush and the beauty blender to apply this and I prefer the latter. It just seems to help move the foundation around more easily than a brush and makes it meld into the skin more naturally. I’ve worn it with and without primer and I think the application is better with the primer. It can cling to dry patches so make sure to moisturize well before use. I’d say it has a satin finish and looks more natural on the skin. It’s also probably the best shade match I’ve ever had in a foundation-I got Sand which is for light to medium skin with a golden undertone.  It’s not as long wearing as the Estée Lauder Double Wear,  so I wouldn’t wear it on a long haul day or if I’m going to be out in the summer heat and humidity. It starts to breakdown around my nose before 8 hours, but I do have an oily T-zone. It looks awesome everywhere else. It would probably last the full 12 hours on someone with normal to dry skin. Rating:4/5

Price. This retails for $46 USD which is super pricey considering you only get 0.25 oz of product. I get that this is a cream foundation and they say that a little goes a long way, but I feel like to get a really good full coverage you’re going to end up using more and you’ll run through it really quickly. If it came in double or triple the amount I think it would be more worth the price. Rating: 4/5

Overall rating: 4.3/5

I would actually buy this foundation again because it applies easily and it looks so natural that I can get away with just slapping it on without even having to bronze or apply blush. With the Double Wear or pretty much any other foundation I’ve tried, it’s obvious that I’m wearing foundation and I need to add warmth and dimension to my face with other products. With this it really is just like “my skin but better”.

If you’ve given this a try yet, let me know if it’s love or hate.

Summer Beauty Favorites 2016

Hey all, long time no blog. I haven’t posted in a minute and have been going back and forth about what I want to do with this blog. I haven’t had time to devote to it in the past few months and once fall hits, I’m going to be in the same time crunch again. But, I’ve been trying some products that I can’t help but share because I think they’re so good!

 

1. Maybelline Master Contour Stick in Medium. I’ve tried a few drugstore cream contour products and this one has me impressed! It’s comes in 3 shades and I feel like they all are a good tone for a contour. I tried another one of the NYX contour products that looks like a double-ended concealer, but the contour shade is a bit to warm. This has both the contour and highlight melded together on a pointed stick, which at this point doesn’t bother me. I have to be a little extra careful to position the product carefully before swiping it on, but as it works it’s way down with continued use I wonder if this will be more difficult. It applies smoothly and blends very easily, no patchiness here. The highlight side is just okay, I much prefer the Nars Creamy Concealer in Custard. I still have a little bit of my Burberry Contour Pen (it lasted much longer than I expected!), but I won’t be repurchasing now that I’ve found this.

2. Holika Holika Magic Pole Mascara 2X. I have a new obsession with Asian mascaras. I had tried the Fairy Drops one in the past, but it smudged like crazy on me. These recent ones are so much better, there is no smudging and they remove easily with water. They don’t hold a curl quite as well as a waterproof formula, but they give my lashes enough length and volume after a couple of coats that I can’t complain. The formula of this one has fibers that give that added length and the wand is plastic with a spikey ball at the end. I got this one from Urban Outfitters but it’s no longer available on their site. I did see them on Amazon though. I just picked up another Asian brand I found at Ulta, hopefully it’s just as good.

3. Elta MD UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen. My skin had been going insane a couple of months ago, thankfully after a trip to the derm it’s been a million times better. I’d thought that maybe the new sunscreen I’d been trying was the culprit (it wasn’t) so I decided to try this dermatologist tested, hypoallergic one. I love it! I easily absorbs and doesn’t leave a white cast. It has a lotion consistency, but doesn’t feel heavy. The treatments I’ve been using have been drying on my skin, so I find that this also give me a little extra moisturization.

4. MAC Fix+. I’m waaaaay late to the party with this product, but so far so good! It’s a nice setting spray and I like that it sprays a fine, even mist on the skin. I still think the UD All-Nighter works best in terms of longevity, but this still does the job.

5. Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I’ve always heard good things about this foundation, but the brand never really appealed to me. It’s always seemed too stuffy and old school to me. But after watching and reading many good reviews I decided to give it a try. The MUFE HD Foundation I’d been using looks great in photos and in the short term, but in the summer heat and for longer days it just doesn’t last. It gives good medium to full coverage and keeps my T-zone from getting too shiny as the day goes on. It also lasts pretty much all day, except around my nose which tends to be my problem area. I use the shade 3W1, it’s a little too light for me right now, but it’s a good match in the colder months.

6. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. Another cult beauty product I’ve wanted to try since ‘baking’ became a thing, but couldn’t justify buying cause let’s face it-I don’t need more setting powder. But then I ran into the travel size while in the impulse buy area (aka line) at Sephora and all of a sudden it wasn’t such a bad idea anymore. Plus, I actually like the small size because I never get through loose powders fast enough. This is probably the best one I’ve tried, it keeps my makeup looking good all day with the exception of my nose area because of how oily it can get. I typically find loose powders to be kind of a pain to use, but I find myself reaching for this one quite often.

So those are all the new (to me) things I’m loving lately. Hope everyone has been having a great summer so far! If you have any summer faves to share, you know what to do!

Wet n Wild Dual-Ended Contour Stick in Medium/Tan Review

Contour products are starting to become as addictive as concealer to me. I’m always up for trying something new, especially from the drugstore. I’m not into buying contour palettes because I feel like I’d end up using only a couple of shades, so I’m always gravitating towards products like the Wet n Wild Dual-Ended Contour Stick. It comes in Light/Medium and in the shade I got, Medium/Tan. While the Burberry Contour Pen is nice, I’d still prefer to find something cheaper and it doesn’t include a highlight shade.

Here are my thoughts.

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Caolin Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack Review

Other than having acne prone skin, the blackheads on my nose are next on my list of complaints. I got them in high school and they’ve been with me ever since. I’m always self-conscious of them, because I can see them from a distance and it just annoys me. I actually am envious when I see people who don’t have them (yes, I’m the weirdo checking out people’s noses). I also have large pores around my nose that I’m not crazy about either. I read an article about new skincare on Refinery29 that mentioned the Caolin Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack and I was intrigued enough to give it a try. I was just coming off the disappointment of another blackhead removal product (reviewed here) and needed a pick me up. Plus, the whole ‘bubble’ thing had me curious.

Did this do the trick? Keep reading to find out.

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NYC Liquid Eyeliner Review

 

I’d recently reviewed the pen style liquid liner from NYC, which only made me more intrigued to try the original. The NYC Liquid Eyeliner is an item I’ve heard good things about many times, but I just prefer the pen style liners better. But I was actually pleasantly surprised with their liner pen, so I figured I needed to see for myself if this was worth the raves.

Packaging. Again, I’m not a fan of this bottle and brush type liquid liner, but I will say that compared to others I’ve tried in the past I do like this more. It’s a brush instead of a felt tip applicator and the brush is small thin enough to get a more precise line. Rating: 4/5

Performance. I have to say I love the formula in that it’s very black and almost creamy in consistency. It dries matte and is so opaque. On the other hand, it’s not waterproof so if your eyes tend to tear you wanna be careful with this one. Although it’s not waterproof, it doesn’t smudge into my crease and lasts until the end of the day. I’ve been using artificial tears like crazy lately and I noticed some of my wing rubbed off when I dried my eyes. It also doesn’t get watery like the liners you have to shake, it just stays the same consistency all the time.

If they could instill the formula into a pen I’d like this so much more. For me, I just have a harder time using it. I always end up bumping the brush against my lashes and getting a whole lotta product all over them. And I take for granted not having the load the brush, get off the excess, apply and repeat as needed when I use a pen. It’s just not as neat and clean of a process as with a pen liner. But I can still get a good result with it despite those difficulties. Rating: 3/5

Price: This was $2.82 at Target and definitely worth the money. I like it better than any the drugstore version I’ve tried. Rating: 5/5

Overall rating: 4/5

I’d definitely recommend this liquid liner to anyone looking for an affordable drugstore option. If the formula was waterproof and came in a pen I think it would be perfect. I noticed a few more drugstore brands that I want to try before I’d repurchase this, but I would repurchase.

 

Current favorites: January 2016

I’ll be the first to admit-my favorites this month are a little boring. I haven’t been using anything super exciting and new makeup-wise for long enough to call it a favorite and I’ve actually been jumping around in terms of eyeshadows, blushes, and lip colors. I’ve been trying to narrow down what I really like and what’s worth keeping to do another makeup purge at some point.

There are a couple of new things in there that I got this month that are worth a mention and some oldies that have been used more frequently too.

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