Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Review (Opal, Rose Gold and Champange Gold)

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The craze of 2014 was definitely highlighting. Yes, I admit I became victim of it too. Whether it’s a matte highlight or a shimmering glow, highlighting is what 2014 brought to everyone’s immediate attention. With the rave of doing matte highlights, such as concealer, there was also a huge portion of clients looking for that soft or dominant glow on the high planes of their face. That’s where pressed and loose shimmering highlighters come into play. Becca Cosmetics, an Australian brand, is one of the leading high end cosmetic brands with raved about products, especially highlighters. Their called shimmering skin perfectors and they come in a range of shades suitable for all clients no matter their complexion. In my eyes, Becca Cosmetics is one of the leading queens in highlighters, or at least currently.

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During the holiday’s last year, I decided to splurge on several highlighters from this brand to really see what the hype is about this brand. Their pressed shimmer skin perfectors run for $38 which isn’t bad considering the amazing product that’s in the compact. I picked up their top seller Opal (above image) Rose gold and their limited edition Champagne gold. I skipped out on Moonstone which is another popular shade for the reason that it’s pretty light. Opal is very comparable to MAC’s whisper of guilt limited edition highlight if you’re familiar. According to Becca, Opal is described as a golden opal pearl.

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Who doesn’t love Rose gold? Becca describes Rose gold as a softened gold with rose tones infused into it. This highlighter is definitely a must have if you like a bronzey glow yet softer than a bronzer. Sometimes a golden glow to the skin is great but I feel that this highlighter just goes the extra mile. I love wearing this on my cheek bones on rather than on other areas on the skin to highlight. I prefer contouring and pushing this highlighter a little on top and above to create an amazing cheek look! Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t see this baby!

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Who doesn’t love limited edition products? This Champagne gold beauty was limited edition during holiday of 2014 and when I saw it, I knew I had to have it. I’ll admit I am a sucker for limited edition products, I mean look at the gorgeous imprint on the highlighter! Limited edition to me means they know how amazing it is so you can only get your hands on it for a limited time! This beautiful highlighter is a lot darker in comparison to the other highlighters that I have mentioned. The great thing about this product is that I have to barely tap my brush in this product to get the desired pay off that i’m looking for.  This highlighter is definitely not targeted for my specific skin tone therefore for all my followers who are a little deeper than me, try to find this!

Overall my opinion of the Becca shimmering skin perfectors is A+. I love the soft buttery texture, the ease of application and the instant gratification that they all deliver. The shade range Becca offers to their clientele is great, and I only hope they expand in the future. For application, I recommend taking a nice fluffy brush to lightly apply this all over the face. Good brushes to use with this these products are the Sigma F35 tapered highlight brush or the Sephora Pro collection #65 fanbrush .

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NARS One Night Stand Blush Palette Review

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For holiday 2013, NARS came out with a  Guy Bourdin collection. This collection consisted of nails polishes, eye shadow duos, lipstick sets, blushes and most importantly of all, a cheek palette. This palette consists of one bronzer, one highlight and four blush shades. This collection was limited edition because it was only for holiday, so unfortunately it is not longer readily available. This six pan palette consists of some holy grails from NARS as well as three limited edition colors. Each individual pan in this palette weighs 0.14oz however if you were to purchase a blush alone you get 0.16oz of product. With each pan almost being almost full sized, it makes the price worth while in my opinion.

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Packaging wise, I love it. This is my first NARS cheek product, and I will admit it is luxurious. This matte black palette has a simple autograph of Guy Bourdin in red lettering on the top. Once the palette is opened, you find a decently sized mirror to accompany these shades. This palette is pretty large, size wise, it’s even bigger than your hand. Even it’s size does not prevent me from taking this palette as I travel. The colors that are in current rotation and available individually are Laguna, Orgasm and Deep Throat. Whereas, Mistinguette, Goulue and Devotee are limited edition.

This palette comes with three well known classics. Starting off with the only bronzer, this palette comes with Laguna which is a warm toned bronzer with a soft sheen. Following this popular trend this palette is accompanied with Orgasm blush, a soft peachy pink with golden sheen. This next blush is partially the reason to why I purchased this palette, Deep Throat. Deep throat is a beautiful blush that is basically a toned down more rosey version of Orgasm. This blush is amazing because it works well with any combination of eye or lip look and it’s my personal favorite. Now onto the new goodies, first starting with Mistinguette blush which is a classic bright pink blush. The last blush that is in this palette is Goulue which is more of a medium rose pink. All blushes have a sheen/shimmer in them except Mistinguette. Last but not least is this amazing pink silver highlighter called Devotee.

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So what are my overall thoughts? I love how this palette has three of the top sellers with three blushes/highlighter that are not as easily available since they are limited edition. The color wheel of this palette is great because it’s versatile enough to apply to a wide spectrum of clients. I think this a great palette to have for a client who is just starting out with NARS blushes and wants a couple of the top sellers. Also you can’t beat this price for all six colors. Just as a note this type of palette is only released once a year, typically around holiday time. To my knowledge, there have only been two other palettes like this released in the past, so this type of product is somewhat new.  Thanks for reading my review, until next time!

Hourglass Ambeint Lighting palette review

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Hourglass Cosmetics is a luxurious brand that is known for the amazing foundations, long-lasting lip stains and most of all, their ambient light powders. Hourglass currently has six different ambient lighting powders. The ambient lighting powders capture and diffuse light in a way that brightens that skin while concealing imperfections. These powders are unlike your typical powder, these powders use photo-luminescent technology that is particles that refract light and create a transparent coverage. There is a wide range of shades so that there is a shade for every one.

Now onto the main course, the palette. This palette was limited edition for 2013 Holiday. As soon as I heard about the release of this palette, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. Not only was it limited edition, but it was a great way for me to try out three different ambient powders at the same time. For the price point and the size of the powders, I thought it was a complete steal. It was also very reassuring that when this palette became  sold out everywhere, I knew that I had already added it to my collection.

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Packaging wise, this palette is very small and sleek, it literally fits in the palm of your hand. This palette has a good weight to it, truly makes it understandable that it is from Hourglass. The packaging is this medium deep brown shade with a super glossy finish. This palette has a small opening mechanism and inside comes with a decently sized mirror. This palette comes with three shades, Dim Light and Radiant light which are in the collection and then Incandescent light which is the limited edition shade. Dim light is a neutral peach that has both warm and cool tones. Radiant light is a golden beige that gives a subtly warmth to the face. Incandescent light is an opalescent pearl that truly brightens the skin.

This palette is accompanied with Hourglass’s only facial primer, the mineral veil primer. The mineral veil is suited for all skin types which conceals redness, softens the fine lines in the face and is pore minimizing. This primer also has a spf of 15 which is nice! Hourglass is also a cruelty-free brand that is without parabens, talc, fragrance and gluten. This primer glides on with ease and a little amount goes very far. I thoroughly enjoy this primer because I have very red cheeks, dry skin and love to minimize my pore size. The color of this primer is white iridescent that gives a luminous finish to the skin.

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Now that you have a good concept of the palette, let me tell you my thoughts. I love this palette, to put it shortly. I am using the incandescent light the most currently to set my under eye concealer. Every time I wear this product, I always get compliments or questions to what exact product is it.  My second favorite shade is Dim light. I love using this shade to set my face all over to give a glow to the skin. I am trying more and more ways to incorporate Radiant light into my every day wear since it’s just as gorgeous as the other shades. The more and more that I use this palette, the more and more I fall in love. I don’t remember when the last time I used translucent powder to set my face, I just use these powders instead. 

Now should you get them, is it worth the hype? Yes!! They have a range of shades that fits everyone. This is a luxury brand so you are truly paying for the high quality of the product. Dim and Radiant light which are in the palette are permanent, so those are readily available. Each ambient lighting powder is $45, which is a lot I know, however it is totally worth it. Unfortunately this palette was limited edition so it’s no longer available. They might have a similar holiday set for 2014, so keep an eye out. If you haven’t played with these powders, or do not own any, please find interest in these powders because they have a lot to offer!

OCC rep Queen of Blending comes to work!

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) is 100% vegan and cruelty free New York based brand that is simply amazing. Their products are long wear, highly pigmented and are on the cleaner side for cosmetics. Like every brand, there are brand reps that go around and visit locations where their brand is sold at in order to promote the cosmetic line and obtain sales. For OCC, the only current rep is Lauren, also famously known as the Queen of Blending. If you are not familiar with who she is, you really need to step your game up.

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I have been personally following her since 2006, back in the Myspace days. It is thanks to her that inspired me to get into the cosmetic field and really pursue this itching desire of mine. Her daring bright looks is what attracts me as she is not afraid to step outside the border of what the “norm” of make up is. Now her name states that she is the Queen of Blending, that is literally no joke. Blending is a key for makeup collectively whether its complexion, eye make up or even cheek and lip products. Her blending is literally just as immaculate in person to how you view it on social media. I can’t even explain enough of how amazing her artistry is, please check out her social media platforms to view her art.

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When I gained the first chance to meet her in 2012, I literally died. We actually had time to talk it up and she got to learn my name and understand how much of an inspiration she was to me. Also I was featured on her social media of the image that we took at IMATS. The next year when we saw each other, we literally chopped it up in discussion and she remembered who I was!! When that wasn’t enough, people started walking by saying “who is the girl Queen of Blending is talking to, she like really knows her!” I lightweight felt like an important person!!

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Fast forward now, I found out that Queen of Blending was coming to the bay area to visit both Sephora locations, one on Powell Street in San Francisco and then my Emeryville location. I literally died when I heard that she was coming to my work location because I just saw her at IMATS the past weekend in Pasadena, California and was amazing as always! It was nice to see her come to my neighborhood because every time I’ve seen her it’s been at IMATS. My excitement was out of this world as I brainstormed to think of what look I could do that would truly represent how much of an admirer I am of hers.

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On January 28th, I came in early to work so that I could purposely hear her training in the morning and have time to hang out with her before I had to work.  When I came into work, I walked in to the back and her reaction when we saw each other was priceless. We both got over joyed and were excited to see one another. After that, we were literally attached at the hip. She did a morning training, that is what your viewing in the image above. She discussed how pigmented the liptars are, how they can be used multiple ways such as cheek colors, bronzers and even highlighters. She also brought the newly released cosmetic color pencils that were launched on Sephora’s website that same day. The colored pencils are not defined to be lip pencils only so they also can be used for the eye area. I was so excited cause she mentioned that I had the pencils so if you wanted further knowledge, Caitlin knows! I literally died when she said that and couldn’t stop smiling.

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After the training, I hung out with her on stage, but one hour before my shift started, one of my co-workers said we should go eat. I offered it to Queen of Blending if she was hungry and she jumped on the offer. So um yes, I definitely had lunch with the Queen of Blending, it’s still unreal. Not that we went anywhere fancy, it is a mall people, but just the idea that I can sit down with her to eat as one of her friends, ah! I truly gained time to just talk to her as a person, not trying to grab a pic and do small talk like most do at IMATS. We talked and talked, laughed it up and she opened up on how warming our cast and location is and how it’s better than Powell street in SF!

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At lunch, I asked her if Shrinkle was coming since she was at Sephora Powell st location yesterday and she said no because she was busy. If you’re not familiar with Shrinkle you should be! Shrinkle aka Amy, is the owner and founder of Sugarpill Cosmetics. This is another brand that the Queen of Blending works very close with. Sugarpill Cosmetics is phenomenally pigmented, vegan and cruelty free as well. They specialize in vibrant colors that are packed with pigment. Literally no other brand in the game is as pigmented as Sugarpill.  Anyhow later in the day it turned out that Shrinkle got free and stopped by Sephora too! Another fan girl moment, when Shrinkle and I saw each other she said “Hey, I just saw you last weekend at IMATS” ahh I literally died again. I am so happy that both of these women remembered who I was after 1-2 encounters with them. Just when that wasn’t enough, Cora decides to pop in knowing that Queen of Blending was going to be here. So duhh I had to take a picture with all three to capture this golden moment. Overall this day was AMAZING to put into one word. Our parting was bittersweet but it won’t be too long again before I see her next. Thank you Lauren for coming to my location, reassuring everyone how amazing OCC is, hanging out with me and still being my constant inspiration in this make up world ❤

Urban Decay Naked Palette 3….. Is it worth the hype?!?

As we all know, the rumors have finally been confirmed. Urban Decay has added yet another naked palette to the collection, now totaling at three. You have the first naked palette, the amazing warm toned palette packed with soft champagnes, browns and golds. I remember so clearly when this palette came out, that I needed to have it. It was your basic eye shadow palette that had so many applicable every day shades that no one could turn it down. These shades were great for all year round, especially in spring and summer season. Overall, the naked one palette had only two mattes and all the rest had shimmer, satin or frost. The two matte shades in this palette are Naked and Buck, both of which are soft warm brown shades ideal for the crease or transitioning color.

When it couldn’t get any better than that, they added the naked two palette, which is composed of cooler tones ranging from soft taupe shades, to silvers and deep gunmetal blacks. This palette completely screamed fall and winter season because of its cooler tones. This palette has three matte shades, Foxy, Tease and Blackout. When they just  had two palettes, they initially had the whole year covered, expect there were always going to be those people who complained about not having enough matte shades in the palettes or shades that every complexion could wear. Shortly later, Urban Decay released the naked basics palette, consisting of five all matte shades (Foxy, WOS, Naked 2, Faint and Crave)  and one shimmer shade (Venus). This portable palette, smaller than the size of your hand was all the rage. People flocked left and right to get this palette because it became almost or just as popular as the naked and naked two palette. As we all know, Urban Decay is dominantly shimmer or frosted shades with having only a handful of matte shades. So, when Urban Decay understood their consuming market wanted their highly pigmented, buttery smooth matte shades, they made them more readily available in this small palette. Price point, these palettes today go for some money. Both naked palettes are currently at $52, when they used to be $47 when I got them. However the naked basics palette has stayed the same only at $27.

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Now onto the main topic, the naked palette 3. With this palette, Urban Decay chose to go a completely separate way, a rose gold way in fact. This brand new 12 eye shadow pan palette is consisting of warm and cool tones rose-gold tinted shades. Now, who doesn’t love rose gold?!?! A great key to note is that these are also 12 brand new shades that have never been released before!! I think it was great marketing and strategy to go this way with rose-gold tinted shades because honestly, they look great on everyone! At first when I heard about the release in Europe from one of my girlfriends, I didn’t believe it to be true. Looking on all the blog posts, Pinterest, etc, I got vague images of the palette, which to me at first just looked like a combination of both naked and naked two. I tried tweeting Urban Decay so that I could get an official confirmed answer about this possible trick  however they were unresponsive, which I now understand. However, now with actually being able to see the shades, matte vs. shimmer ratio, and how pigmented these shades are, I completely have a different opinion on this palette. The shades in this palette are gorgeous, just simply gorgeous. I feel like these shades are visually stunning and they can and will make the individual wearing them feel so amazing.

Packaging wise, this palette, similar to the naked two, with having the aluminum tin packaging and comes with a dual sided brush. Now there is some controversy on the brush since most people do not use it. However, I believe the quality of the brushes that have come in both the first and second naked palettes are great. I believe it is the Karma brush, the dual ended flat shade brush and crease brush. So with all that said, should you get it? Well if you are an Urban Decay junkie like myself, don’t have any rose-gold shades, then yes it is worth the hype! I have both naked palettes, so I feel by gaining this one to complete the series is justified. I would only advise to not get it if you already have a collection of rose gold shadows. If you feel like they’re is not enough matte shades, just tag along your favorites matte shade with this palette. I don’t think that because this palette does not have enough matte shades is justification not to get this palette because that is obviously Urban Decay’s style. They are not hear to boast about their matte shades, their pride is in their shimmer, satin and frost shades. This palette is readily available for purchase online on Urban Decay’s website for $52 and will be hitting Sephora’s near you mid Decemeber, so keep a look out!  Until next time 🙂

Summer Empties 2013

This video is taking a little bit of a different turn on the typical beauty guru monthly empties. I’ve accumulated and finished all of these products over the summer, so why not have just one video honoring them? There were some months where I didn’t have as many and some months where I had a lot. What were your summer empties? How many did you have? Leave a comment below and i’ll respond!

Products mentioned:
Neutrogena makeup removing cleansing towelettes (2 pack)
Neutrogena oil free grapefruit cleansing towelette
Lorea’l Magic smooth souffle foundation
Too faced Shadow insurance (eye shadow primer)
Hard Candy Cosmetics Lashaholic mascara
NYX HD Studio photogenic foundation
Covergril Stay Fabulous outlast 3-in-1 foundation
Simple Replenishing rich moisturizer
Covergirl Lashblast Length mascara
Lorea’l Telescopic Shocking extensions mascara
Tarte clean slate poreless 12 hour perfecting primer
NYX extra creamy round lipstick in Power
Almay eyeliner crayon in Black Noir
Shiseido Refining make up primer
Visine advanced redness relief
Sephora doe eyed liquid eye liner
Stila Stay all day liquid eyeliner (AMAZING!!)
Benefit Cosmetics Total moisture facial cream
Benefit Cosmetics Stay don’t stray eye shadow and concealer primer
Benefit Cosmetics That gal brightening face primer
Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional face primer

Check out Tarte Cosmetics:
http://tartecosmetics.com/

Check out Rachel’s channel that I mentioned in the video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/icallitambrosia

Missed my August favorites? Check it out below!

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Sephora Haul

To make this blog post not super lengthy, i’m just going to sum up the past couple weeks for you all. I’ve recently changed employment and now reside at Sephora. Through working at Sephora, they heavily believe their cast of workers should try out as many products so that they all can give their honest opinions on them. So what does that mean for me? Well, I now have a couple more goodies to add to my makeup collection, all of which I’ve never tried or owned before. Let’s go ahead and get right into the goodies!

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Shiseido created this advanced protection for the face that is a sheer, hydrating, and oil free tinted cream that protects your skin from sun damage. This product claims to blend easily and give a healthy looking glow to the skin. This product contains Superveil-UV 360, which gives your skins surface protection, and Profense CEL which protects cells and helps inhibit enzyme activity which causes wrinkles and uneven skin tone. This product can be used as a makeup base and is water resistant!

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Introducing the newest scented lip treatment from Fresh Inc, Cherry tinted lip treatment! This is a hydrating treatment that protects, plumps and nourishes your lips with some color pay off.  This product contains reparative oils and waxes that give generous moisture.  It is also packed with Vitamins A, C, E, antioxidants and grapeseed polyphenols. This is a paraben free product and gives moisuture for up to six hours!

This mini sized Sephora waterproof eye makeup remover is suitable for any client, even those who have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses. This waterproof formula contains a lash-strengthening complex which has olive wood and flavonoid extracts. This is a paraben and sulfate free product. The last kick to this product is that it contains HydroSenn + which is a plant derived ingrediaent that is exclusive to Sephora. This ingredient leave the skin feeling very soft and comfortable after usage.

Introducing the newest cosmetic item from Benefit Cosmetics, their Stay Flawless 15 hour primer. This pro-longwear primer acts as a magnet to hold your foundation in place for up to 15 hours with still looking fresh/flawless. The product is a tan-translucent stick primer that you can apply directly to the skin and gives your foundation a natural looking finish to the skin. This is a paraben free product and it is best to close and seal the product after each usage so that it does not dry out.

Ahhh how I love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Liptars!! If you’re not familiar with liptars, you should be! Liptars have the formula of a long wearing lipstick with the easy application like a gloss. You can apply this product directly from the tube but it is advised to use a lip brush for more percision. You must know that a pea size amount of this product is already too much for your lips. This highly pigmented lip color glides on easily to your prep’d lips giving off a beautiful ray of colors. These liptars contain blends of oils such as hemp and peppermint which give you a cooling and comfortable feel to the lips and also soften. The color above, NSFW is described on their website as a true balanced red.

I’ll admit, this is my first Makeup Forever product and I now think that I am hooked. This is the Makeup Forever Smoky (yes there is no e) Extravagant Mascara. This mascara claimed to add volume, length and curl, the three ideal claims we as consumers look for in mascara. This product claims to use 4D technology, uses a microdefining wax complex that coats the lash surface with ultrablack pigments. With one stroke, this mascara delivers long wearing rich black mascara with no clumping!! The shape of this brush is pear shaped, or hourglass shaped. Because of the shape of the wand, it allows you to get in close to the inner corners and coat those lashes we sometimes miss!

Wow, Marc Jacobs! You have now gained access to two of the products that are going to be released by Marc Jacobs via Sephora in two days, August 8th. First starting with the mascara, this is the Marc Jacobs Lash lifter gel volume mascara in Blacquer. This mascara claims to lift, lengthen, volume and curl. What more else could a girl ask for? Oh it gets better? The sleek, classy, black laquer packaging is what comes standard on all of Marc Jacobs new beauty line. Sophisticated packaging, amazing product, that’s great in my book.  Following the same packaging concept, I also was blessed to receive the Lust for Lacquer lip vinyl in No Regrets. Who couldn’t love a rich red gloss that can be sheer and opaque when layered?  The lip viny;s are champagne-grape infused, color drenched and lust worthy. These lip vinyls will come in 12 shades.

Check out my video on these products: