beauty

Naked Heat

My improved make-up skills go hand-in-hand with learning what suits me.  For eye shadow, it’s always been warmth.  With my blue eyes and light skin, nothing lights me up like a warm shadow look.  When I heard about the Naked Heat palette, I knew it would be the best one for me yet.

In truth, I don’t reach much for my Naked palettes much any more.  The neutral shades were great when I was apprehensive about eye shadow, but they lack the golden, bronze, and orange shades I’m drawn to.  I love reddish shades and golden-flecked pinks.  Naked Heat swept in and saved the day.

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Rainforest of the Sea vol. II

I’m a big fan of Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea line– the water-based foundation is still my go-to!  The original Rainforest of the Sea palette called to me with it’s wearable, ocean-inspired shades.  I knew I’d have to pick up Rainforest of the Sea volume II  (And hi, I just saw vol. 3 in stores, but let’s focus here.)

Volume II blows volume I out of the water for me.  The shades are slightly warmer, which makes it more appealing to me.

The palette itself features a coral design in purples, blue, and gold– very similar color scheme to volume 1, while still being noticeably different.

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Inside, it’s gorgeous!

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It features shades:

  • pearl (white shimmer, perfect for the inner corner of your eye)
  • conch (a perfect beige base for your shadow look)
  • sunset (yellow gold, quite shimmery!)
  • marina (my favorite warm brown!)
  • seaside (a medium brown, great for the outer corner)
  • siren (dark brown, for a more dramatic look)
  • breezy (shimmer slate)
  • riptide (called “steel blue” by Tarte, but really it’s an off-black)

See it on me:

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L to R: riptide, breezy, siren, seaside, marina, sunset, conch, pearl

I used this palette in my last weekend vlog to create a pretty casual summer look, and I was SO HAPPY with the results.  I started with conch, worked marina through my crease, brushed sunset across my lids, did a little shading with seaside, and added pearl to the inner corners of my eyes.

I’m officially obsessed with this palette.  Have you tried it out yet?!

Lorac Pro Palette

“This is my favorite palette,” said the cashier at Ulta as I placed the Lorac Pro Palette on the counter, “Lorac makes the best eyeshadows!”  With that kind of endorsement, I was excited to get this new palette home!

Going to Ulta is always a treat for me because there’s just not one near me.  I go to Sephora all the time (4 conveniently located, 2 of which are walking distance!) but Lorac is only at Ulta.  (Maybe it was Sephora back when I was in college?  I’m not sure, but I remember owning a single vibrant Lorac shadow back then.)  Lorac makes three beautiful Pro Palettes, all of which I want to own.  I decided to start with the first mostly because it makes sense to start there, but also because of the shade “Garnet!”

Lorac Pro boasts 16 incredibly wearable shades, half of which are matte and half of which are shimmer.  Though I always thought I preferred matte shades, I’ve come to really need a bit of shimmer to complete a look.

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The matte colors across the top row are white, cream, taupe, light pink, mauve, sable, espresso, and black. The shimmer shades are the bottom row: nude, champagne, gold, light bronze, pewter, garnet, deep purple, and slate.

These shades combined are like the perfect library of neutrals with the power to make a very dramatic look as well!  As you might have guessed it’s the garnet shade that really speaks to me.  It was my inspiration to create this look!

I can’t wait to get my hands on the other Lorac palettes.  Which is your favorite?

Golden Hour

You know I love my eyeshadow palettes!  Because I travel as often as I do, I’m always looking for the perfect portable palette– one that has all the colors I look for on the daily!

Enter: Smashbox Cosmetics Cover Shot Eye Palettes!  Small enough to fit in your travel make-up bag with 8 colors to choose from.  There are seven different Cover Shot Palettes, but I was drawn to Golden Hour.

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I actually picked this one up so long ago– as soon as I saw it in stores, actually!  I just knew that this was going to work for me, since the warm neutrals are great for every day looks with blue eyes.  I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I first tried it out!

These shadows are pigmented, but buildable and blendable.  You can go bolder and create something bronzey and metallic, or more subtle to stick with the neutrals.  My favorite shade is turned on— the warm, pinkish shade that makes my blue eyes pop.

You can shop this & the other versions of this Smashbox travel-sized palettes!

GOLDEN HOUR | ABLAZE | SMOKY | MATTE | SOFTLIGHT | BOLD | METALLIC

Which is your favorite?!

Essie Gel Couture

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Lately, nothing compares to Essie Gel Couture.  I love this nail polish, guys.

Let me start by saying I’ve never gotten a gel manicure before in my life.  I own far too many bottles of nail polish to pay someone else to do them.  I have tried the at-home version before with a brand I thought I liked.  I bought the special polish and the special gel top coat but I actually found the quality to be worse than if I did regular polish & regular top coat.  I thought I’d never bother trying again.

Something about Essie swayed me though, and I picked up the Gel Couture color Pre-Show Jitters. It was the exact color I was looking for; though it’s technically white, there’s just a slight pink hue.  I picked up the Gel Couture top coat too, and instantly it felt different than my previous foray into at-home gel manicures.

I loved the color and rocked Gel Couture at a wedding I went to recently.  I didn’t notice a single chip or scratch, despite doing my nails 3 days before the event.  When I do my nails, I usually get a good week out of a manicure– usually 5 days and I push it to 7 with some chips and scratches.  With Gel Couture, I went a full 2 weeks without a chip.  They looked completely fresh for a good 10 days, with maybe some minor scratches by the time day 14 rolled around.

I’ve done my nails many times since then, but I keep thinking about that Gel Couture… and I can’t wait to add new colors to my collection!

Get yourself some Essie Gel Couture now and thank me later.

Swamp Queen Palette

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Grav3yardgirl and Tarte’s Swamp Queen Palette has been out for a while– I actually had it marked on my calendar when it was supposed to hit Sephora, near two months ago.  Of course, I had a little trouble getting my hands on it.  I was able to pick it up on my recent trip to Las Vegas, and thanks to restocks, I’ve seen it in stores at home too.

Now that I’ve had it for a bit and had a chance to play around with it, I wanted to share my thoughts with you!

Though I initially didn’t feel wowed my the packaging, the faux wood is actually pretty nice– it’s textured and sturdy.  When you first open it, you’ll notice– it smells like chocolate!  Yum.  Inside holds 9 eyeshadow shades, a bronzer, blush, and highlight.  This makes the palette somewhat unique, but actually isn’t much of a selling point for me.

I love the eyeshadow shades– I knew I had to get the palette when I saw them.  I’m not a huge fan of Bunny, but I’ve watched here enough to get most of the names.  They are:

  • #SFS (rose gold*): more of a neutral with a slight pink hue and a shimmer
  • natural peaches (peachy nude): a matte, bronzey tone, more neutral than orange
  • dogman (burnt sienna): super shimmery orange-tone bronze
  • big baby (cream): a light matte neutral
  • sassy bun (copper peach): this is more rose gold/copper, more shimmer than #SFS
  • sippy sippy (glittery brown): chunky gold glitter in dark brown
  • haunting (lavender): a neutral bordering purple, almost gray, with shimmer
  • uncommon (purple slate) a darker, deeper purple version of the previous, shimmer
  • mancat (deep plum): matte deep purple, near plum

*Tarte’s color descriptions

The bronzer, sweet tea, is near as orange-tone as the dogman eyeshadow and almost as shimmery.  The blush, does this thing really work?,  is a raspberry pink, again, very shimmery.  The highlight takes the cake– gator wings has chunks of glitter in a very light shade.  It’s SUPER shimmery on; I’m talking crazy sparkle catching the light.  The chunk glitter isn’t apparent in wear.  Now, for me, I can’t put this much glitter on my face; my skin can’t handle it.  I could adapt any of these into an eyeshadow and be fine with them, though.

The eyeshadows themselves are a great array of neutral colors especially great for blue eyes.  There is a lot of glitz involved in this palette, but that’s kind of fun.  I’ve still been able to create some subtle, wearable, everyday looks with it and I’m so glad I got it.  My favorite shade is natural peaches!

Did you pick up this Grav3yardgirl x Tarte palette?  Are you hoping to?  What do you think?

Current Everyday Make-Up

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The alarm goes off.  I do nothing.  The second alarm goes off.  I struggle out of bed, and go about getting ready for my day.  Somehow I always feel like more of a human once my make-up is done.  For work especially, I wear an everyday look again and again– something basic and professional.  I thought today I’d share with you what my everyday go-to products are!

Foundation: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water

I’ve really not been into foundation lately.  It’s hot!  This light formulation lets my skin breathe and still has enough coverage to handle days when my skin isn’t looking its best!

Concealer: NARS radiant creamy concealer & Benefit Boi-oing

Nothing brightens my under-eye area like NARS concealer in shade vanilla– it’s just the perfect color for me.  For the cysts that have been popping up on my chin or the odd zit here & there, Boi-oing is high enough coverage to make them disappear.

Powder: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pressed Powder

I bought this completely randomly, but I ended up loving it for a finishing powder.  It’s colorless and locks my foundation & concealer down for hot days.

Bronzer: Benefit Hoola

Now that I have a bit of a tan, Benefit’s Hoola is perfect for a little bit of contour and a little bit of warmth.  The accompanying brush is nice for contour, but I like to use a larger brush for bronzing.

Eye Primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

This is my go-to eye shadow primer.  I wear the original formula– it’s light, colorless, and keeps my winged eyeliner in place.

Eyeliner: Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner

I’ve discovered a new favorite.  Tarte’s liquid eyeliner is my new go-to for my daily wings that, at this point, are just part of my face.  It is waterproof, but I find removal a lot easier than my previous favorite.  I love the pencil side too– it glides on easily and lasts longer than any pencil that has graced my waterline.

Mascara: Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer & Benefit Roller Lash

My lashes are so sad, I can’t go anywhere without mascara.  Benefit’s primer has been a god-send.  It’s brown, so it darkens my light lashes while lengthening and separating.  Paired with Roller Lash, I got the curl and length I need to make it look like I have lashes!

What are your go-to everyday products?

Hourglass

You know Hourglass cosmetics– sleek packaging and beautiful high-end products.  I was psyched when Influenster* sent me an Hourglass Vox Box.  The only Hourglass product I’ve used (and in fact, use regularly) is the Ambient Lighting blush.  I received Hourglass’s Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick and couldn’t wait to check it out!

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First, an issue: my product arrived damaged.  This is in no way Hourglass’s fault, but it did highlight how messy this product can be.  The cap of the stick runs the length of the packaging and when I opened mine, the entire product was stuck in the cap.  I was immediately devastated, but my boyfriend knocked the product out of the cap and I slid it into the base– not the nicest looking, but it’ll do!

The very idea of stick foundation was off-putting to me, as used to liquid as I am.  I favor water-based, light products these days (Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water, Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation) despite dealing with frequent summer break-outs.  I was afraid that this formulation would feel heavy on my face by comparison, but it’s actually quite light and wearable!  The coverage is more of a medium, and it’s buildable.

They also sent me the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush, so I’ve been using the duo over and over again.  This foundation could be a real contender for a permanent spot in my routine!  I wear shade vanilla and find it a perfect match.

The quick run-down:

  • Long wearing?  Mostly, but the summer heat has given it a run for its money.
  • Coverage?  Concealer-level.
  • Application?  Not quite as fluid/blendable as a liquid, but very nearly!
  • Wear?  Weightless for sure!

I recommend you try it if you want a higher coverage, but light feel foundation!

What foundation are you wearing right now?  Tell me all about it!

*Products provided in exchange for review; all opinions are my own.