Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sally Beauty Haul and a $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

If you're a beauty product lover, then chances are you know of or shop at Sally Beauty Supply. Ever since I fell into the beauty world, I've been shopping at Sally's and I can always find what I'm looking for, whether it's makeup, hair tools, hair dye, nail polish or styling products, they have it all (over 7,000 professional quality products, actually) and at affordable prices. They are my beauty store one-stop-shop! I've always loved the fact that Sally Beauty is open to the public unlike other beauty supply stores that I've seen where you need to have a cosmetology license to shop. 

Also, the staff is pretty knowledgeable with their products so if you ever need help with anything, they're there for you! One time, my hair went from a light blonde to a gross dark green shade when I attempted to go dark for the fall/winter! I walked into Sally's looking like Old Gregg and the lovely people there helped me with getting back to a more natural color. They gave me tips and suggested other products to maintain my color, which is nice and totally appreciated.

Luckily for me, my Sally Beauty is literally down the street from where I live, but if you think there isn't one near you, think again! Sally's has more than 2,800 stores worldwide including every state in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. If you want to see if there is a store near you, simply visit their store locator and see where the nearest Sally Beauty location is to you. Of course, you can always shop online at www.SallyBeauty.com.

I visited Sally Beauty recently to pick up some essentials that I've been needing and I thought I'd share them with you all! Some of these are products I've used before and some are things that I've been wanting to try. 


Some or all products shown in this post may have been provided by the said brand(s) and/or website(s) for potential review and/or use. For more information, please read my DISCLAIMER.



Here is everything that I picked up from Sally's!
 


If you don't already know this, I do my own hair at home because I cannot afford going to get my hair done at a salon every few weeks. I've gotten it professionally done in the past, but I never got the results I wanted. My hair is naturally straight, medium thickness and is a medium chestnut brown with lots of red and golden undertones. I like having lighter hair, especially in the warmer months, so I need something that is going to lift my hair color with as little damage as possible. My hair is currently ombre, which I absolutely love and it gets loads of compliments everywhere I go so I want to maintain that. I haven't touched up my ends in a while and the blonde has grown out a lot and they are starting to get brassy so I thought I'd pick up this bleach by Clairol. I've never tried this one in particular, but apparently this one lightens up to 5 levels, works within 10 minutes, adds neutral/beige tones and is ideal for light blonde to dark brown hair. It's also enriched with aloe vera to add moisture.

If you do not know what you are doing, please do not attempt to bleach or dye your own hair. I've been bleaching and coloring my own hair for more than 10 years now and even for me it can be a bit tricky at times. I've messed up my hair more times than I can count and I'd hate it if you end up with results you aren't happy with. I've been there and it sucks! If you want to play it safe, please visit a professional! 




You can't have bleach without developer! This is the one that I've always used and I've never had a problem with it. I don't usually get anything above 20 volume because that's enough lift for my needs. I do prefer the creme formula because it's easier to work with and not as messy as the clear formula.




This durable clear acrylic bowl is great because of it's unique design. The ridges along the inside of the bowl help remove excess color from the brush and the bowl features a tip-proof balanced designed to help avoid messes.




I love this tint brush because of the 2 1/2 inch wide bristles. It makes color application fast and easy. I also love the long handle that helps with control and the pointed end for parting hair.




If you don't know what a toner is, it's basically a hair color that adds or removes tones from your hair. For example, when I bleach my hair, I end up with unwanted brassy tones. In order to fix that, I go for a toner that has blue/violet tones to neutralize the yellow/orange tones. Toners can also be used to warm up a hair color that's too ashy, or if you want to keep your current tone if it's starting to look dull. This is when the color wheel comes in handy. Simply look for the tone that's closest to your hair color, and look for the opposite color on the wheel and that should be the tone of the toner you need, or stay within the same color if you want to maintain the tone you currently have. This toner by Wella always does the trick for me. The results are vibrant, and long-lasting.




I've never tried any of the actual hair dyes from Wella, but since I'm a fan of their toner, I thought I'd give this a shot. I have yet to try it, but it has great reviews, so hopefully it works well. I'll be using this on my roots once they grow out.




This was my first time picking up this hairspray and I am so glad that I did! It is a cheaper alternative to the ever so popular L'Oreal Elnett hairspray and it works just the same but I might just like this one better because it's more affordable. I love that it holds my style without making my hair feel crunchy and stiff, and it smells amazing. It's hard to pin-point the smell, but it smells a little fruity and it isn't overpowering.




As someone that does not wash their hair everyday, dry shampoo is must-have for me! It absorbs excess oil, refreshes my style and blends root regrowth. I wanted to give this one by Beyond The Zone a try since it has a hint of color to help blend in with my hair and it smells nice too.




This is my favorite type of brush to use on my hair. The mixture of the bristles are great for detangling my hair without little to no snagging, even when my hair is teased. This results in less damage, breakage and split-ends. Also, the titanium ceramic enhances natural ion release for shiny frizz-free results. The rounded ball tips are gentle on my sensitive scalp which is great.





Every time I visit Sally's I just have to pick up a new nail polish or two. I really like the bright and fun colors that China Glaze offers, so I picked up Rose Among Thorns which is a neon pink/coral and Be More Pacific, a light, minty/lime green.




This was my first time trying OPI's top coat. It does what it's supposed to do - it gives you a glossy, protective shine and it dries quickly. It doesn't seem to last as long as other top coats I've tried, but it does the job if it's all you can get your hands on.
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$25 Sally Beauty Gift Card Giveaway!

Since Sally Beauty is so awesome, they are giving away a $25 gift card to one of my lucky readers! To be eligible to win, all you need to do is join the Sally Beauty VIP Program. By joining, you will get access to exclusive offers, content and rewards! It's totally free to join, so go on and join and enter for you chance to win! If you love Sally Beauty too, use the hashtag #SallyBeautyVIP and tell your friends about the VIP Program!

Click here to join the Sally Beauty VIP Program

Once you've signed up, please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below so a random winner can be chosen. Open to US residents only. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. If you are under 18, please have parent/guardian permission to enter. The giveaway ends July 22, 2014 at 12:00am PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I hope you enjoyed this post and good luck to all that enter! 




Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Sally Beauty. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Review, Swatches and Look

It is no secret that I love Makeup Geek's stuff. I have done many reviews of their products and I've gushed over them time and time again. Their products are simply fantastic and affordable and any opportunity I have to share their products with you guys, I will. I'm all for saving a few bucks here and there, especially when it comes to makeup since it can be ridiculously expensive, more specifically if you're a makeup "geek" (ba-dum-tss)!

I was sent 10 more eyeshadows from Makeup Geek to try out for you guys, plus a Z-Palette to store them. If you are interested in any of my other Makeup Geek Eyeshadow reviews, check them out here and here.

Makeup Geek's pan eyeshadows come packaged in a cute little envelope and you get 1.8 g/ 0.064 oz of product for $5.99. They are also available in compact form for $7.99. A MAC eyeshadow will cost you $15.00 and you get less product, 1.5 g/ 0.05 oz. Like many others have said before, Makeup Geek's eyeshadows are very comparable to MAC's, and some shades are even better. There are quite a few dupes for MAC eyeshadows in their collection as well.

Besides being affordable and high quality, MUG eyeshadows are cruelty-free, talc and paraben-free, and they ship worldwide.

Some or all products shown in this post may have been provided by the said brand(s) and/or website(s) for potential review and/or use. This blog post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my DISCLAIMER.



Product Description:You won’t have to worry about your dance card being empty if you’re wearing this gorgeous shade. Step out in this shimmery maroon/brown color and you’ll be on the dance floor for the first dance, the last dance and every one in between. This color is perfect for amping up a neutral eye without taking too much attention away from that little black dress you’re wearing. As if the color itself isn’t enough, the rich pigmentation also means your come-hither look lasts longer than the DJ.

My Thoughts:Last Dance is a satin, warm, plummy brown with just the slightest amount of shimmer. This color would look amazing on green or hazel eyes. It applies evenly and smoothly and is very rich and pigmented.



Product Description: There is nothing quite as breathtaking as the soft sandy beaches of Barcelona, Spain. With the same warm color payoff you can now bring the color of the beach home with you. This striking shade will quickly become a favorite as the creamy texture adorns your eyes. With stunning pigmentation and ease of blending, this shade will be one you won't be able to live without. The perfect addition to anyone's collection.

My Thoughts: Barcelona Beach is a matte, warm medium-sandy shade that is great for blending out the crease or it can even be used as a light contour for light complexions. It's soft, creamy and blends beautifully. 


Product Description: Nothing is as refreshing and fun as one of our favorite summer treats, a peach smoothie. Now the same mouthwatering color that draws us in can be used to adorn your eyes. This light peach/beige color has a soft matte finish which makes it ideal for blending out harsh shades or on the lower lid to help create a stunning neutral look.

My Thoughts: Peach Smoothie is a matte, light peach/beige that is great for blending out harsh edges. It's smooth and pigmented too.


Product Description: It's ok if you're not a natural blonde- we won't tell! Just make sure to put on this shimmery light golden eyeshadow- it will complement the "natural" highlights you just added to your hair. 

My Thoughts: Bleached Blonde is a super pretty and shimmery light gold. This works great as an inner corner highlight for warmer and deeper skin tones.


Product Description: You will fall in love with this shimmery taupe color… Borrowing some words of Neil Armstrong: “one small step for your eyes, one giant leap for your beauty”.

My Thoughts: Moondust is a shimmery, metallic, neutral taupe color that looks great on everyone and is a must-have shade!



Product Description: Ninjas are sneaky. Ninjas are silent. Ninjas are stealthy. Ninjas are attractive? That’s right, you heard me…attractive. You too can have looks that kill with this inconspicuous gray eye shadow. 

My Thoughts: Stealth is a matte, mid-tone gray that is perfect for creating monochromatic smokey eyes.


Product Description: Thou shalt not be filled with jealousy or spite, but it’s ok to make all your friends envious by wearing this gorgeous deep green shadow. 

My Thoughts: Envy is a gorgeous, deep, shimmery metallic forest green that is super pigmented and looks stunning on brown eyes.


Product Description: Inspired by the reflective light from Cinderella’s shoes, this elegant shade is the perfect color to make you look and feel like a the princess you truly are. With the velvet like texture and intense pigmentation you’ll be sure to look like the bell of the ball, gaining the attention of every prince in the room. And don’t worry, if you stay out past midnight wearing this Glass Slipper we promise you won’t turn into a pumpkin!

My Thoughts: Glass Slipper is a light, shimmery teal and such a pretty color. It's one of my favorites from the bunch!


Product Description: Lure them in with this deep aquatic shade! We can’t promise you will attract a shark, but no doubt you are sure to catch the attention of that someone special. The creamy consistency and astounding pigmentation is only enhanced by its blendability. Pair it up with darker shades for a sultry summer look or smudge along the bottom lashline for a fun pop of color during the day!

My Thoughts: This color is gorgeous! Shark Bait is a matte, blue-based green that is creamy and blendable without being chalky or powdery. It's uber pigmented, too!


Product Description: Did you know it takes about four light hours to reach Neptune from earth? Well, you don’t have to figure out how to travel at warp speed to discover this vibrant combination of blue and purple in a beautiful matte shadow. 

My Thoughts: Neptune is matte, electric blue that is bright and is a lovely shade for a pop of color on the lids.
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 I used mainly the brighter colors for this look since it's summer here and I wanted something fun and vibrant! 



EYES: 
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk all over lids
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Barcelona Beach in crease
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Peach Smoothie blended above crease
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Neptune on inner and outer corners
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Shark Bait blended into Neptune on inner and outer corners
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Glass Slipper on center top and bottom lids
  • Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Bleached Blonde on inner corners, underneath brows and a tiny bit patted on top of Glass Slipper
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk on waterline 
  • Lime Crime Uniliner in Quill

LASHES: 
  • Sugarpill Lashes in Secret

BROWS:
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Taupe/Ash


Thanks for reading my review! If you liked any of these shadows, please make sure you check out www.makeupgeek.com. I also hope you enjoyed the look I created! 

Make sure you stay tuned for my next Makeup Geek review which will showcase three of their gorgeous new blushes.

Take care!



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Makeup Geek Brushes Review

Like many others, I am a huge fan and supporter of the Makeup Geek line. Their products are outstanding, very affordable and Marlena is a doll! When I found out that they extended their brand to makeup brushes, I was very excited because like their makeup, their brushes are affordable as well. Makeup brushes play an important role in applying makeup and sometimes they are what makes or breaks a look. These brushes are cruelty-free and vegan which is a huge win in my book!

I was contacted by Makeup Geek and was asked if I would be interested in reviewing ten of their brushes for you guys. If you want to know my thoughts on the brushes, then keep on reading!

Some or all products shown in this post may have been provided by the said brand(s) and/or website(s) for potential review and/or use. This blog post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my DISCLAIMER.




Product Description: Applies both liquid or cream foundations fast and streak free. The large quantity of bristles picks up just the right amount of product, evenly dispersing it onto the skin for an airbrushed finish. The smaller size and angled tip fit perfectly around the eyes, nose, edges of the face and along the hairline for precise and flawless coverage. Apply your makeup in style & guilt free with our new brush design!


Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6”

My Thoughts: I really love this brush! I use Tarte's Amazonian Clay Foundation with the brush and it applies the foundation beautifully onto my skin. The bristles are dense which helps buff in and blend out the product without having to use too much. It's also soft and it doesn't stab my face like some other face brushes do. One feature that I love is the angle of the bristles. It gets into those hard to reach places like around the nose and under the eyes with little effort.



Product Description: Buff it out! Designed for buffing powder into the skin, buffing out any harsh blush and/or foundation lines, and leaving your skin looking naturally flawless. This versatile brush also works well softening the edges of contour lines, or doubling as a blush brush in a pinch, adding blush to the apples of your cheeks. The soft yet firm (synthetic) bristles are densely packed for optimal buffing power. The rounded edges are ideal for flawless blending and working around the nose/eyes areas of the face. Once you've worked with this brush and it’s many uses, you won’t be able to imagine your collection without it!  

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 5.5”

My Thoughts: Sigh. This brush is a dream. It is so soft and fluffy, I just want to rub it on my face all day long. The bristles are super dense which makes applying powder a breeze and it also makes the product go on evenly and helps give you a fuller coverage. It works amazingly as a powder brush, but like the description says, you can use it many different ways. I also use this to tone done my blush and contour and it does the trick! I also love the size of this brush. It's small enough to carry in my makeup bag and it feels comfortable in my small hands.




Product Description: The narrow width, and angled tip of this brush were specifically designed to easily apply color to the face. Following your natural bone structure while you contour, this brush adds dimension, which can help slim and shape the facial features. Most commonly used with a darker powder (a few shades darker than your skintone), and applied it under the cheekbones, the dense, synthetic bristles of this brush pick up just the right amount of color, and evenly apply it to the skin. This brush also works well in applying blush, and bronzer for a flawless, natural looking glow.


Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6.5”


My Thoughts: This brush does what it's supposed to do. It's just the right size and angle to use in the hollows of the cheek to contour and also to bronze the face. It grabs on to just enough product to define your features without going overboard. Not as soft as the bristles in the buffer brush, but they're still soft and comfortable.



Product Description: The rounded blush brush is the perfect way to apply just the right amount of color to the cheeks! The rounded edges assure a smooth and well blended application, and the circular shape is ideal for working the color into the apples of your cheeks. Due to it’s smaller size, this brush also works great for contouring. The longer handle balances the brush head for a comfortable and controlled application.

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 7”

My Thoughts: Out of all the brushes I received, this is my least favorite. It's not a terrible brush, but for applying blush, it just doesn't work very well for me. I like my blush to look well blended and seamless and this brush is so small and the bristles are so dense that it makes the product go on too harsh and concentrated. Every time I use this brush, I have to buff out the color because it's just too intense. If you like your blush to be intense, then you'll like this brush. If this brush was bigger and fluffier, then it would be a winner. It's still a great quality brush that I can use for other things, like contouring or highlighting.



Product Description: Illuminate and add dimension to your cheekbones with just the right amount of your favorite highlighting product. Whether you're using cream, liquid, or powder, this soft stippling brush is specifically designed to pick up small amounts of product for sheer, even coverage. This brush also works great for stippling on your foundation, applying a sheer but buildable amount of cream blush, and lightly adding set powders for a flawless, finished look.

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6”

My Thoughts: Another super soft brush! This duo-fiber brush makes applying highlighting products simple. It's so easy to get carried away with highlighting products and this brush is designed to keep that from happening. Since it's not as dense as the other face brushes, this one applies product lightly and evenly. Great size for applying highlight to the cheeks.



Product Description: This multi-talented brush is a must have! It’s soft bristles ensure that less powder will be picked up, where the dome shaped tip feathers the shadow and allows for easy blending. Perfect for blending out the crease, softening any harsh lines, dusting set powder under the eyes, or blending eye shadow when only a little color is desired.  

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6.5”

My Thoughts: I adore this brush! It's one of my favorites. It's comparable to MAC's 224 brush. This brush applies product beautifully and blends it wonderfully. Its rounded and slighted pointed tip makes application a cinch. Not only is it soft, but the shape works harmoniously with the eyes and does it's job amazingly!



Product Description: Blend, blend, blend! It’s what this brush does best. From it’s soft bristles, small size, and angled shape this brush was made to flawlessly blend out your shadows for an overall seamless look. However, don’t underestimate what this brush is capable of! This brush also works wonders forming to every contour of the eye. The thick bristles easily add color to create depth in the crease and add definition to the outer part of the eye. This versatile brush is the perfect addition for anyones makeup brush collection. Apply your makeup in style & guilt free with our new brush design!

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6.5”

My Thoughts: This brush is so versatile. You can use it to blend out the crease, apply shadows to lids, darken outer corners, or even use it to highlight. Although this brush is not as soft as the Soft Dome Brush, it's versatility makes it worth while.



Product Description:  This brush works well for adding color to the natural crease of the eye, and blending it out. Slightly larger in size, with a pointed tip, this brush covers more area in one swipe. The pointed tip of the brush will help prevent over blending in cut crease looks.

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6.75”

My Thoughts: If you are a fan of cut crease looks, then this brush is for you. With it's round pointed tip and stiff, dense, yet soft bristles, you get a precise application without much effort.



Product Description: Perfect the ever popular smokey eye in a breeze! Designed specifically to blend out darker shadows and buff away any harsh lines, the densely packed bristles and short rounded shape of the brush are ideal for achieving the smokey eye look.

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6.5”

My Thoughts: This brush is a must-have for the smokey eye lover! The soft bristles are super dense and short to help you achieve your dream smokey look. You can use it to pack on color on the lids and also use it blend out harsh edges. 



Product Description: The classic Cat Eye is timeless and can be the perfect way to glam up any look. Trouble is it isn’t always the easiest to achieve! However, with the right tool this look can be done in a breeze. The Bent Liner Brush makes for easy application, for both gel and cream liners. It’s small size, and angled ferrule do the work for you, perfectly aligning to your lashline. The bristles form to a fine point that delivers precise lines, ideal for creating the perfect flick at the outer corner to finish off your look.

Features:
Brush Bristles: Synthetic (cruelty free)
Seamless Ferrule: Tightly holds bristles in place to eliminate shedding
Brush Handle Colors: Gunmetal bronze, espresso w/pearl finish
Estimated Brush Length : 6.75”

My Thoughts: This is my favorite type of brush for eyeliner, and this is hands down the best one I've owned. I love that it tapers off at the end to help create crisp, clean lines. The bent shaped is very helpful with applying eyeliner because it makes applying the product close to the lashes easy without blocking your vision. This brush is a must-have in my brush collection!

Overall, I think that these brushes are spectacular. The quality is outstanding and they look and feel a lot more expensive than they really are. Some of these are even small enough to carry in your makeup bag, which is awesome. They perform just as well, if not better than some high-end brushes on the market. They are well made and feel nice in your hand. They're not too heavy or too light, and they aren't overly big either. The fact that they are vegan and cruelty-free makes them so much more amazing and appealing to more people, including myself. They are wallet-friendly and these are a especially great for people who are just starting out with makeup, someone who is building their makeup brush collection, or for someone who is building their makeup artist kit. Once again, Makeup Geek does not disappoint!

If you are interested in trying out these brushes or Makeup Geek's other products, then visit their website, MakeupGeek.com!


I hope you enjoyed this review and that you give some of these brushes a try! What are your favorite Makeup Geek products? I just love these brushes and I adore their eyeshadow pigments and gel liners too!


xo,