Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Too Faced I Want Kandee Collection

Call it the power of suggestive advertising and excellent product placement. I was planning to skip the new Too Faced x Kandee Johnson collab collection (exclusively at Ulta and, but I got sucked into swatching and playing with the collection since it was the first thing I saw walking into Ulta.

Well done, Too Faced. Ya got me.

Although you likely already know, there is one eyeshadow palette, one cream highlighter, one banana powder, one liquid liner, and four melted matte liquid lipsticks in the collection.

I will say that I actually restrained myself to two selections: the Too Faced I Want Kandee Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick in Freshly Baked ($21) and the Too Faced I Want Kandee Candy Liner ($18).

Let's start with the Melted Matte liquid lipstick. One of the reasons I picked up this product is because I've been side-eyeing the line every time I go to Ulta. I've wanted to try it but didn't like the lighter shades. Freshly Baked seemed to exactly what I was looking for.

With the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte Longwear Lipsticks, you get 7ml/0.23fl oz of product. It also comes with an angled applicator.

Notice the small details that are different from the permanent collection- like the cap itself.

Now, let's talk about Freshly Baked. I feel incredibly guilty sharing this with you since intermittently it's sold out on Ulta's website- but it was still available at my local Ulta in-store. Freshly Baked is a MLBB matte dusty rose according to the website.

I agree.

This whole collection is totally scented like candy.

Here's what it looks like on my lips, freshly applied:

I also decided to give the formula a wear test. Here's my first check-in on my iphone:

It does look lovely in flat outdoor light, right? This is totally an office-friendly shade- something I was looking for!

Next, I decided to play with eating and drinking. This does transfer a bit:

Yes, that's my laptop and blog in the background.

After drinking, it still looked pretty darned good. And not just because it's close to my natural lip color.

Now, the ultimate test- does it hold up to eating? I decided to put it up against a formidable foe- Chipotle.

And the results? This is blurry but you get it. I'll also mention that I could taste something sweet on my lips while I was eating. Interesting.


Still, I really like the formula, it didn't kill my lips, and it held up pretty well. I could manage this with a single reapplication at lunchtime at work.

So, in summary- this lipstick didn't kill my lips (but the ABH primer probably helped a ton). Does it hold up to drinking? Yes. Chipotle? Hell no.

I'm toying with picking up Sweet and Sour, the orangey-red shade. I'll also be unafraid to try the rest of the line now!

Now, let's talk about the other product I picked up The I Want Kandee Candy Liner Black Licorice Liquid Eyeliner.

You get 3ml/0.1fl oz of product in the liquid eyeliner.

Real talk time. I suck at winged liner- and at liner in general. I could blame that on my hands being a bit unsteady, or on the fact that my eyesight is so poor that without glasses I'd be considered legally blind. But no- time to woman up and just say that I suck at it. I've been working at it though.

Normally I hate brush-tip liners. But it's the shape of this one that pulled me in.

This is supposed to make winged liner easier. I need anything that would make it easier for me.

I played with this for a few days, mostly right before I was ready to take off my makeup. It took a bit, but I think this is a great liner. It did improve my wings.

Here's a swatch:

It's quite an inky black, so I wholeheartedly approve. It also doesn't bleed on the eyes, either. One warning: it's not matte; it's quite shiny.

Bottom Line: I'm quite happy at my impulse purchases, and these formulas are great. I won't be as apprehensive to purchase Too Faced special collections in the future.

As a bonus, here's an iphone collection swatch on my hand in Ulta when I was debating between products:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipsticks 372 Petal Devotion & 374 Kitten Paw

Back in late July, I featured the new L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipsticks on the blog for the first time, vowing that I'd eventually purchase more shades. I have, and will continue to do so.

In that post, I noted two shades that I saw on L'Oreal's site but not in the Walgreens where I first found the display- 372 Petal Devotion and 374 Kitten Paw. I've got them for you today.  I purchased mine from Ulta, and I suspect that they're a retailer exclusive.

For a quick refresher of the claims on this formula, it's touted to be 16-hour wear. I find these to dry down to full matte (any shine in photos is because I was too impatient/didn't want to deal with removal issues). Like every other matte liquid lipstick, they're slightly drying. I love using the Anastasia Beverly Hills lip primer to help combat that.

372 Petal Devotion appears to be a mid-toned warm pink in the frosted tube.

These types of colors tend to pull a lot darker on my pigmented lips. Consider that a spoiler.

Honestly, the applicator is one of the excellent things about this product. It makes precision so easy.

Swatch time:

Remember what I said about things pulling darker? I struggled with grabbing representative photos. Here we go:

So, you can see how matte liquid lips tend to dry out my sensitive lips very quickly. Still, I think this is a lovely rosy mauve that's honestly a staple in any liquid lips collection. I'm happy to have it in my collection, but it's not terribly unique.

Now, let's talk about shade 374 Kitten Paw.

I don't know how to describe this one.

Greyed lilac? It has a purple hint in the tube but I honestly thought this would be wearable.

Maybe it was wishful thinking. Here's a swatch:

So yeah, there's a white base in there. I cringe to show this on my lips but it will demonstrate my point.

Ick. It reminds me a lot of the Infallible Lip Paint that's lilac. I just can't see this being flattering on me ever.

Take a look at these tubes again- I'm just not sure how the lilac and the tube really correspond, but they do. Insert a shrugging Emoji here I guess.

Here's a comparison swatch:

I still think this is an excellent drugstore liquid lipstick, but my experience with Kitten Paw has made me pull back on just buying blindly from the line. It's still the same formula, but I don't want to make another $10 mistake.

Bottom Line: Still love the line, but do your research first on shade!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator Palette & Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Diamond Dust

This is an interesting post today- it's a combo of two that I'd planned. It's the same line, but two reviews in one post. I also don't have a lot to say about either palette- so they make a good pairing.

Today I'm sharing my thoughts on the Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator Palette. This isn't a new item, so it's not that exciting. However, I wanted to push this review out because this is one of the Ulta Hot Buys through this version of Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty.

This is currently on sale for $19.20 (regularly $32) , and will be through Saturday, September 23. It appears to currently be sold out online, but many local stores have the product in-store.I purchased mine originally at Nordstrom sometime after the holidays (I think this was a holiday feature for the retailer last year) for that $32 original price.

In terms of packaging, it's unimpressive- like most of Laura Geller's palettes. This is a brand that focuses on product over packaging. This is a light-feeling, burnished gold cardboard palette. There's a brush that normally comes with the palette (no clue where mine is, sorry), and a small mirror in the back of the lid. It's made in Italy, and you get 0.07oz/2g of product each (there are 3 pans in the palette). For comparison, you get 0.16oz/4.5g for $26 with the singles. The listing claims this is an $80 value.

I originally purchased the palette to try the cult-favorite Gilded Honey; I now own all of the currently-available shades. The formula is extremely metallic but with a good natural bristle brush and a light hand it can be used on the daily; this is really more meant for those who like that metallic glow.  These do double as lovely shadows.

There are three pans- Ballerina (described as candlelit rose gold), Gilded Honey (described as effervescent caramel honey), and Peach Glow (described as peachy champagne shimmer).

And some swatches- remember, I'm NW13-15ish.

If I'm honest, Peach Glow is the only one I'm comfortable with wearing as a highlighter on a daily basis. Gilded Honey is both pretty dark and blingy for my tastes, but it's gorgeous. Ballerina's an eyes-only shade for me.

These perform well and have earned their cult-favorite status. I'm actually a huge fan of Charming Pink (cool toned light pink) for my complexion, but I'm very happy to have this palette. These are great products- not just for reference reasons.

Now, for the other product from Laura Geller's Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator Line- the limited edition Diamond Dust ($26, 0.16oz/4.5g). I picked this up when it was first introduced (for the brand's 20th anniversary) but didn't plan to feature it because I didn't know how long it would be available.

Well. It's going to be around for awhile, and is even part of the brand's Holiday 2017 collection. When I spotted this on Ulta's website, I decided to do a mini review here as well.

Diamond Dust is a shade done by many brands- I actually referenced it in my Ulta highlighter palette comparison swatches. I call it a white pearl that flashes pink, but let's go to the actual brand for the claims.

Per LauraGeller.com"Diamond Dust: Holographic, pearlescent pink that moves with the light; made with patented technology that allows the shade to flip from violet to pink."

I haven't personally seen violet, but I think this shot shows the pink pearl the best:

It's just there.

In person, the pink shift is clearly visible in the light, but I've found it's darned near impossible to capture on camera.

I find this white-pink shifting duochrome to be one of the most wearable shades for my skintone. This one doesn't pull frosty- it's more metallic. This lasts all day, but this is one I really think flatters the lighter skintones rather then my deeper friends. To be fair, I think Diamond Dust and Charming Pink flatter the light skintones, Peach Glow and Gilded Honey are for medium skintones, and Gilded Honey and Ballerina flatter deeper skintones the best. So, everyone has at least two shades in this line.

Here's a swatch on my hand... it's hard to see the shift though.

See what I mean about it being great for my skintone? I do like this and reach for it in rotation. This shade is available via the brand's website and Ulta.

In sum, I really urge you to find the right shade or two out of this formula for your skintone. It's a great formula.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Dreaming: QBB Breaks Down Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Week Three

Week Three: the Homestretch.

If you've seen either of my previous posts, you know what's about to happen. Let's get into the daily breakdowns of Week #3!

Week Three:

Day Fifteen/September 17, 2017: In-Store: Philosophy Time in a Bottle Serum $38 (50% off), Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector $15 (50% off) Online PLATINUM ONLY: Urban Decay Razor Sharp Longwear Liquid Eyeliner $11 (50% off)

QBB Says: I'm passing today as well. Not really a great start to Week Three, but this low buy is making me think twice before just buying everything. I've swatched the Becca before and it's really for medium or deep skintones- I'd recommend it for those readers. I also don't like the Urban Decay liner.

Day Sixteen/September 18, 2017: In-store: Lancome Auda(city) Palettes $34.50 (50% off), Shiseido Triple Task Masks $19 (50% off), Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara $11.50 (50% off) Online: Not Into Aging Start Up Kit $10 (50% off)

QBB Says: I'll be passing this day, but highly recommend the Shiseido pack for those who haven't tried the brand's masks. The Lancome palettes might have tempted me before, but I'm so overwhelmed with palettes that I'm getting picky.

Day Seventeen/September 19, 2017: In-store: LORAC Front of the Line PRO Liquid Eyeliners or Eye Pencils $10 (regular $20-23), Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum $51 Online: Japonesque Makeup Setting Spray $14.50 (50% off)

QBB Says: I'll be passing this day, but if you're looking for a retinol serum I'd highly encourage looking at the Algenist.

Day Eighteen/September 20, 2017: In-store: Clinique Take the Day Off Eye Makeup Remover $9.50 (50% off), MAC Lipsticks- Velvet Teddy, Russian Red $8.75 (50% off) Online: Woosh Beauty Spin-on Lipgloss $8 (50% off)

QBB Says: It's like Ulta was answering my silent prayers. I can't find my Velvet Teddy, so I'll happily purchase another. Russian Red is a nice classic red but not my favorite. I'm also not that familiar with the Clinique makeup remover but know the balm is preferred to the liquid overall. I may still pick it up. I've watched a few reviews on the Woosh products and am sketpical about the spinning applicator.

Day Nineteen/September 21, 2017: In-store: Laura Geller Balance n Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation $16.50 (50% off), Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser $7.50 (50% off) Online: Meaningful Beauty Ulta Deluxe System $39.50 (50% off)

QBB Says: The Laura Geller powder foundation has been a featured product before- either 2 or 3 years ago. It's also my favorite discovery ever from 21 Days of Beauty. I've panned two of them. I'll be picking up a backup in Porcelain, and buying one in Light to put aside for next spring when I start self-tanning again. Although it's not for me, the Clarins is a nice way to see if this product will work for you.

Day Twenty/September 22, 2017: In-store: Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara $10 (regular $23), Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant $9 (50% off) Online: Dermadoctor 50% off

QBB Says: This is another strong day. I enjoy the Tarte mascara, so I'll likely pick up a tube. I think I've explained in the past that I tend to use mascaras for 1 month only, so I love picking up high-end tubes at drugstore prices. Although I'll be passing, I'm recommending the Demalogica scrub if you're in the market because the brand makes incredibly awesome products through and through. I just don't have a need right now.

Day Twenty-One/September 23, 2017: In-Store: Benefit Ka-BROW! $12 (50% off), Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum $22.50 (50% off) Online: Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss $12 (50% off)

QBB Says: The final day of 21 Days tends to be incredible, and this is no exception. I'll be purchasing two colors of Ka-Brow- which I adore. I'll also probably be buying the Eye Gloss after resisting for a long time. I don't recommend the Vitamin C due to the packaging.

What I'm Planning to Purchase from Week Three: MAC Lipstick (September 20), Laura Geller Balance n Brighten Baked Color Correcting Powder Foundation (September 21), Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara (September 22), Benefit Ka-Brow! Eyebrow Color (September 23), Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss (September 23)

What will you be picking up?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Quickie QBB Life Update

Well, hello everyone!

Let me set the scene for all of you lovelies. I've just gotten back from an Ulta/Chipotle run and have a literal mountain of beauty products sitting on the bed with me. I'm thinking I'll eat before deciding what to tackle next.  It's gotten warm here again, so I've got a full face of first impression/testing going on that includes some Fenty Beauty, the Natasha Denona Lila palette, some items from the Too Faced I Want Kandee collection, a Dose of Colors blush.. you get the idea. Fashion-wise, I'm rocking some distressed Kut from the Kloth jeans paired with a white cold shoulder T- paired with two items from my latest Rocksbox (code Laurasbff28 for a free month!!)- Kendra Scott fall necklace and a rose gold drusy ring. There's some college football on the tv, although I don't have an alma mater to root for so I have to go to childhood allegiances (I didn't go to a D-1 undergrad, and my D-1 grad school doesn't play football.)

I've been busy even though I haven't been posting. I''ve been careful to photograph items as they come in so that I can test and then post.  I actually made a 14-hour, 500 mile round trip one-day trip to visit with my mother for her birthday yesterday. (I did make a slight detour to get Catrice items.) I've also not been feeling well and have been crashing at 9PM every night- so that leaves me little time to blog when I get home from work at 7PM.

So, all of that blah blah blah aside, I'm hoping to hit the blog hard over the next two days and queue up a few days' posts and edit photos for a few others. I have almost too much content to write.

So, I'm going to give you a brief list of some of the items I could feature. Please let me know if there's something you'd want to see sooner.

Natasha Denona Lila Palette  (I'm going to do this ASAP after I can show 3-4 looks), Ofra Holiday Pro Palette, Milani new releases, Too Faced I Want Kandee, Sleek Blushes, Sleek Highlighters, Sleek Eyeshadow Palettes, Catrice Primers, Catrice Fall Copper Palette, more shades of L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick, bareMinerals bold lipsticks, bareMinerals nude lipsticks, bareMinerals Holiday Face Kit, Pur My Little Pony Palette, Revolution Makeup Brow Revoltuion, Revolution Makeup Slogan Palettes, Natasha Denona Highlighter, Natasha Denona Blush Duo, Too Faced base products, BrowGal Pencil, MAC Girls Palettes, Naked Flushed Trios, Maybelline City Shayla Palette, J.Cat baked trios, Ofra Highlighters, Dose of Colors Blush, Lipstick Queen Nothing But the Nudes, NARS Cheek Palette, Fenty Highlighter, Fenty Lipgloss, BH x Shaaanxo Palette...

There's more, too.

Please let me know what you want to see first!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Dreaming: Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Week Two

Week Two, Here we go. Unlike Week One, I think this one might be more expensive.

Day Eight/September 10, 2017: In-store: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Precision Eyeliner $10 (50% off), Strivectin Power Starters Tightening Trio $44.50 (50% off) Online PLATINUM ONLY: NARS NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette $27.50 (50% off)

QBB Says: This might be one of my favorite days of the whole 21. First of all, I've eyed that NARS cheek palette so many times. I'll stay up all night to nab it. It will be mine. I also love picking up the Tarte liners- this is a really nice, simple felt-tip liquid liner. It's in-line with drugstore prices at 50% off. I'm also a huge fan of those Strivectin products in the set if you're not familiar.

Day Nine/September 11, 2017: In-store: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer $10 (50% off), Proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief or Makeup Cleansing Wipes $10 (50% off) Online: Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense $8.75 (50% off)

QBB Says: If you're in the market for a good primer, nab the Too Faced. Their Glitter Glue is a staple of mine, and I've only tried sample packets of this version. I'll be picking it up to test. I'd call the Proactiv and the Clinique liners a hard pass.

Day Ten/September 12, 2017: In-store: Stila MATTE'ificent Lipstick $11 (50% off), Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel $19 (50% off) Online: Dermaflash Facial Exfoliating Device $94.50 (50% off)

QBB Says: Truth told, I'm not a huge matte lipstick fan, so this day is a pass for me. The Stila lipsticks might be worth stopping by your local store and swatching for yourself, but I'll be sitting this out.

Day Eleven/September 13, 2017: In-store: Dermablend Loose Setting Powder $13.50 (50% off), Smashbox X-Rated Mascara and Photo Finish Lash Primer $10 (was $23) Online: Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum $29.50 (50% off)

QBB Says: I'm a little intrigued by the Dermablend but have too many powders already. Same goes for the Origins- I'm hoarding skincare these days and shouldn't be purchasing anything else right now that's a serum to be honest. It might be worth researching the active ingredients at 50% off though.

Day Twelve/September 14, 2017: In-store: Juice Beauty Kits 50% off, Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid $14.50 (50% off) Online: LORAC TANtalizer Buildable Bronzing Powder $16 (50% off)

QBB Says: I see two items that are must-haves on my shopping list. I've been working my way through my color correctors, so I'll be picking up the purple and yellow Urban Decay color correctors.  I'll also be picking up one of the LORAC bronzers, a release from this past summer that really intrigued me (I bought Becca instead initially)

Day Thirteen/September 15, 2017: In-store: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo $11.50 (50% off), Clarisonic Single Cleansing Brush Heads BOGO Online: Eyeko Mascara 50% off

QBB Says: Every sale, there's an ABH product featured. I'm so happy that it's the brow powders again- I'll be stocking up. I'll be picking up the few shades I lack in my kit, and replacing the Medium Brown that I stole from my kit (unused) for personal use about 6 weeks ago. I'll also check-in with my mother to see if she needs restocking. I don't use a Clarisonic, but I'll flag this sale for those that do!

Day Fourteen/September 16, 2017: In-store: It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation $17.50 (50% off), It Brushes for Ulta Airbrush Complexion Brush #115 $12 (50% off), Benefit Cosmetics Free Brow Wax with $50 service Online: Dose of Colors Liquid Lipstick $9 (50% off)

QBB Says: Another expensive day for me. One of my must-haves every 21 Days of Beauty are the brush deals. The It for Ulta line makes some really nice brushes, so I find the different brushes to be a great way to sample the line. I'll also be testing out the It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation even though I'm way overstocked on powders at the moment. And.. I've been waiting for an excuse to try Dose of Colors' liquid lips. Sold.

What I'm planning to pick up from Week Two: NARSisst Cheek Studio Palette (September 10), Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Precision Longwear Eyeliner (September 10), Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer (September 11), Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid (September 14), ABH Brow Powder (September 15), It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation (September 16), It Brushes for Ulta (September 16), Dose of Colors Liquid Lipsticks (September 16)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ulta Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette

Today I have a really fun item from the Ulta Beauty collection to share with you. I spotted the Ulta Beauty Holographic Eye & Cheek Palette ($16) online, and then later in store. Of course, I immediately got Kat Von D Alchemist vibes and wanted to give this a try.

It's been awhile since I've seriously given anything from the Ulta in-house brand a try, and I've never tried any highlighters.

The palette comes in a cardboard package, and the information on the back shows that these are 0.07oz/2g each. They're made in China but distributed by Ulta.

The four round pans are protected by a piece of plastic. Let's take a closer look at each shade individually.

First up is Fairy.

In the pan, it looks like a lavender shimmer. The actual swatch was a surprise.

The lavender pigment appears to mostly be a silver sheen. Hmmm.

The second shade, Pixie, is an opalescent pink.

Here's the swatch, but these are notoriously difficult to capture.

Next up is blue-leaning Nymph.

Here's a swatch of Nymph:

Last shade is the green-leaning Angel:

Here's a swatch of Angel:

When I was swatching, I found these to be nice to the touch, blended beautifully, but reminded me of other things in my collection.  I decided to dig deep and here's what I found:

For someone who tends to stick with more understated highlights, I seem to have collected quite a few less ordinary shades!

OK, let's take them shade by shade.  First up, let's see what dupes for Fairy I own.

L-R: Ulta Fairy, ABH Purple Horseshoe (Moonchild), KVD Ultra-violet Amethyst

They really don't look similar in person or on camera. Fairy is a deceptive color- in the pan, it looks purple but really it's a pinky-silver shade.

I felt like I knew Pixie from about 10 places in my collection.

L-R: Ulta, Pixie, NYX Duochromatic Snow Rose, Laura Geller Diamond Dust, KVD Pink Opal, ABH Pink Heart (Moonchild)

At first, I assumed the NYX would be a perfect dupe but it's a lot lighter. I felt like the Laura Geller is pretty darned close to Pixie despite being a little bit brighter. I felt like the KVD was very similar, but really with this shade all of them give the same overall effect on the face. I just was being picky.

It's almost impossible for the camera to properly pick up that pink opalescent shift on my skin, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Swatching Nymph, I was lamenting that the NYX blue Duochromatic highlighter I owned broke because it was screaming out as a dupe.

L-R: Nymph, KVD Blue Saphyre, ABH Blue Ice

One of the things I've learned is to take a voice note when I'm swatching live. My actual comment was "oh my!". By itself, Nymph looks really blue but next to the KVD it looks quite purple. The KVD has more of a royal blue shift in comparison.  Blue Ice really was in the middle of these two shades. It's a little lighter than Nymph but in the same family.

As I was swatching Angel, I immediately thought of ABH Helia.

L-R: Angel, KVD Green Emerald, Helia (Aurora), Lucky Clover (Moonchild)

I know.  I was so thrown by Helia that I thought I forgot to swatch these comps and re-swatched.

As it turns out, my comment was  "they're really similar, guys" instead of vs Helia. It shows that especially with these types of shades, your memory and eyes can be fooled. I felt like Angel was sliiiightly more yellow. And while swatching, I was reminded that I wanted to pick up another Alchemist palette because I destroyed one of the shades and haven't wanted to use it since. Helia was way yellow in comparison but Lucky Clover was back in line with the other shades.

While swatching, I kept saying "you don't need all of these."  Which is why I wanted to review this for you. It's fun, it's affordable, and if you don't own these other, higher end palettes, it's quite similar and I'd recommend it. There are differences, but those aren't enough to justify all of these crazy highlighters that I own!

I won't be afraid to sample more products from Ulta's in-store brand after playing with this palette. I look forward to playing with this more (especially on the eyes) in the middle of winter.