Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation Review

There are so many new products coming out at the drugstore that it’s been hard to resist buying any of them. I’d watched and read a few rave reviews about the Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation, so when I saw it at Target I just had to pick it up. The shade selection didn’t include the full range, but Sandy Beige looked like a pretty good match. It was the only one left on the display, so I took it as a sign that I had to try it.

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NYC High Definition Liquid Eyeliner Review

My Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is starting to dry out, so I decided to pick up the NYC High Definition Liquid Eyeliner on the recommendation of Harivain (thank you!). I’d planned to get the liquid liner in the brush and bottle style I’ve seen before, but was happy to see they came out with a new pen style version. I just find using a pen easier so I decided to choose that one.

Packaging. It’s the standard pen style with a felt tip, but the felt tip is very stiff. I was expecting it to be finer, it’s not as small as shown on the outer package. I wish the felt tip was more flexible as well. Rating: 2/5

Performance. I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did, but I was actually pleasantly surprised! I was able to get a good wing with this, although it doesn’t glide as smoothly as a brush tip. The firmness of the felt tip actually gave me more control when drawing the wing. Again, in comparison to the KVD Tattoo Liner it’s not as deep black on the first swipe, you’ll need to build it up to get it as dark as you want. It actually does last pretty much all day without smudging into my crease. Rating: 4/5


Comparison with the KVD Tattoo Liner.


Price. This was $3.62 at Target and for the price I think it’s totally worth it. I do have to work with it a little more to get the results I want, but overall it does the job. I’ll definitely be using this up and I’d even repurchase. Although it’s not perfect, it’s an easy alternative to buying the KVD liner all the time, which does run out kind of fast if you’re using it daily. I can save it more for special occasions. Rating: 5/5

Total rating: 3.6/5


I think the NYC High Definition Liquid Eyeliner is definitely worth a try. I still prefer the brush tip pen liners better, but for the price I don’t mind working a little harder. I’m still curious to try the original liquid liner from the brand to see how that stacks up. I’m thinking the pigmentation might be even better. If you have any thoughts on it, let me know!


Baking basics: Getting that picture perfect face

There are so many makeup trends out there from strobing to ‘Pinterest brows’ to recreating the perfect Kylie Jenner lip look, it’s hard to keep up. Honestly, other than Kylie’s lip color, I didn’t take any of them under real consideration. Until I read an article about how “baking” your makeup could give a picture perfect finish to your makeup look. I’d seen a few makeup tutorial thumbnails on YouTube with titles like ‘Bake Your Face’, but I dunno, that didn’t seem very appealing to me. I wasn’t intrigued enough to find out. But after reading this article, I decided to actually try it. I’ve done it a few times since and thought I’d share my thoughts on the ‘baking’ technique.

So what is it anyway? It’s a technique that has been used by drag artists for years that involves applying a heavy layer of loose powder to set your concealer and areas you’d like to highlight to give it a perfectly set look that brightens and looks great in pictures. After letting the powder ‘bake’ or sit on your face for 5 minutes or however long you want, you dust off the excess and ta-da! You’ve baked your face. I think the heat of your skin allows the oils from the concealer to meld with the powder to get that ‘flawless’ finish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Concealer
  • Makeup sponge (I like the Beauty Blender)
  • Loose setting powder
  • Powder brush

The process is pretty simple. You apply concealer to all the areas of the face you want to brighten, like under the eyes, bridge of the nose, center of the forehead and chin. Apply the concealer in a triangle formation under your eyes and extend it up towards your hairline. After blending in your concealer, use your dampened sponge and load it up with loose powder. Be generous because you want to apply a heavy layer of it to all the areas you concealed. Once that’s done, you let the baking begin. I’ve seen anywhere from letting it set for 5-10 minutes or however long it takes you to finish the rest of your face.

After trying this a few times, I’ve found that putting in a super heavy layer of powder is just too much for me. It’s almost too bright and obvious. So I tend to keep it a little thinner, but still obviously powdered.

This is the result.

My undereyes look much brighter than if I just set them the traditional way, with a light dusting of powder. The center of my face is overall brighter.

For going out at night, I think this is a great look and I do think if makes your makeup look more ‘done’ in pictures. But I wouldn’t do this for a regular day just heading to Target. It can make your undereye area look dry and emphasize fine lines if your have them. You’re not going to notice these things so much in the dim lighting a nighttime event, but in the bright sun, yah it’s not going to be a good or very natural look. So it looks flawless under the right conditions, but in natural, bright lights not so much. I tried it using my Besame powder, which I think can make my undereye area look a little dry even with just a light dusting. Maybe with another powder it would give a better finish.

You can also do this to the area under your cheekbone contour if you want it to look more defined, I’ve tried it on myself and don’t really like the effect on me. It was just too light looking in that area and I had to dust bronzer over it to tone it down.

What do you think about baking? Have you tried it yet?


Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in No Poem Review

I went back to my usual spot to get my eyebrows done and couldn’t resist picking up a new Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer. The one I’d purchased last time was a pale pink shade and I wanted to get something dark for the winter. The owner directed me to the newer shades released for the season and I immediately gravitated towards No Poem.

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2015 Beauty Standouts

I wanted to share the products that were the heavy hitters for me this past year. I don’t have an item for every category, I really just wanted to spotlight what made the biggest impact on my beauty routine. I didn’t do this last year because I had only been blogging for a few months, so some of these items might have been discovered at the end of 2014, but were still mainstays in 2015.

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Tony Moly Skinny Touch Brush Eyeliner Review

Liquid eyeliner is one of my makeup must-haves and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner has been my favorite for the past 3 years. I still like to try other alternatives because you never know when you’ll find something even better. I’ve used a couple from the drugstore, but nothing has compared. I bought the Tony Moly Skinny Touch Brush Eyeliner during my late-night UO beauty spree on the off-chance it could be my new fave. Here’s how it stacked up.

Packaging. It’s a pen style liner with a brush tip and it’s finer than the KVD. You don’t need to shake it up before you use it either. The pen is also a bit shorter than the norm, but not a big deal. I am more a fan of this style liquid liner, versus the inkwell type where you need to dip the brush into the bottle. Rating: 4/5

Performance. It’s not as pigmented as the KVD-I swatched it in comparison to give a visual. I had to swipe it three times to get it as dark as the KVD. Which is unfortunate because it’s even easier to get a good wing with it! I think the brush tip and the way it dispenses the liquid just makes it glide on super easy and I get a nice, smooth line. You can get a more delicate line from it and then build it up as much as you please for a more dramatic look. It’s supposed to be waterproof, so I was surprised to see it smudged away during a workout which doesn’t happen if I’m working out with the KVD on. I wouldn’t wear it on a super hot day, swimming, or to a wedding. But for a regular day I think it’s good. Rating: 3/5

Price: This is $7 cheaper than the Tattoo Liner at $12. It’s not a bad product although it’s not completely waterproof. I wish the pigmentation was better, but it is buildable. And it draws a wing perfectly. Rating: 4/5

Total rating: 3.7/5

Overall, I wasn’t won over by the Tony Moly Skinny Touch Brush Eyeliner. If it had a love child with the KVD Tattoo Liner that combined it’s brush with the KVD formula it would be golden. I think it’s a good liner for someone starting out with liquid, but for now the KVD is still my #1.

Please share your affordable liquid liner faves, I’d love to know!

Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Eyebrow AutoStick Review


Since essentially going back to my natural hair color (for now), I wanted to get a darker eyebrow pencil to fill in my brows. So when I saw the Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Eyebrow AutoStick while browsing the Urban Outfitters Website, I threw it in my cart. I got it in grey/black and hoped for the best. It’s less than half the price of my go-to Anastasia Brow Wiz, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt too bad if it ended up being terrible. I’ve also been wanting to try more Korean beauty products and this filled the need.

Packaging. This pencil is a bigger than the ABW because of the shape of the product. Instead of the superfine pencil of the ABW, this pencil is a thicker ‘dash’ and angled at the tip. It does have a spoolie on the end that works well and is a twist-up so no sharpening required. It’s functional, nothing overly fancy, but the plastic does feel a little cheapie. But it’s cheap so makes sense. Rating: 4/5

Performance. The shape and size of the pencil was a little hard to get used to because I’m more used to the precision of the ABW. I decided to insert pictures of the products side-by-side as part of this review for reference. Because the end is a thick ‘dash’ shape, it’s harder to fill in at the arches of my brows and the ends because it’s more bulky. It’s also a little drier, but once the product warms up on your skin it glides a bit easier. It can seem to clump a little on my brow hairs, but using the spoolie alleviates that. I do like the color, it’s pretty much what I was looking for. I think it gives a more natural look, if you like a sharper brow, I’d go for the ABW. I think the trend in Korea is thicker, straighter brows with no arch so I can see how this pencil would work well for that look. It says ’24hr’ on the side of the packaging, while I didn’t wear it that long, I did work out with it on and it stayed put. Rating: 3/5

Price. At $8, I think it’s worth it. I’ll definitely continue to use it, but I do prefer a fine point to my brow pencil. I think that’s pretty comparable to drugstore eyebrow pencils and it comes with the spoolie and is retractable. Rating: 5/5

I realized the next day that I should have included a picture of what my eyebrows look like without any help. They tend get more sparse as you get closer to the tail end.

Total rating: 4/5

Overall, it’s not a bad brow pencil for those who don’t need a lot of product and just want to fill in a few sparse areas. If you have very little brow hair, I’d stick with something like the ABW that will allow you to draw in individual brow hairs.

Hope you’re having a great Sunday! Christmas is just days away and I’m so excited!