Makeup Wars: Green, Baby. Green!

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This installation of the Makeup Wars is alllll about greens. I wanted to crank out an awesome green look but I’ve been down and out with a terrible  cold. Aaaand, Baby Clumps has a cold too. So yeah. We’re pretty much a wreck. I didn’t want to sit this Makeup Wars out so I thought I’d feature 4 beautiful variations of emerald polishes from 2012. Emerald is Pantone’s Color of the Year. Readdddyyyyy?

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This pine green is on the ‘dustier’s side of being a sparkly emerald but he was still too gorgeous to leave out. It’s the kind of green that actually LOOKS green (and not black) when you’re rockin’ it on the nails.

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Live & Let Die from OPI’s Skyfall collection is an absolute winner to me. Look at how stunning that kid is! Just when you think green polishes have been done a thousand ways already, we get this beautifully rich green with with a dose of shimmer.

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From Zoya’s Ornate collection (which was one epic collection, by the way) we’ve got Logan and this is by the far the greatest example of emerald. Logan is sparkly, shimmery and just…amazeballs.

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Under Mistletoe is a gorgeous green from the Julie G.’s holiday collection. It isn’t as pigmented as the others but it is stunning.

As much as I love green eyeshadow, I’d much rather wear it on my nails. It’s hard to make green look complimentary without looking over the top. At least for me. But who knows – maybe I’ll get creative in the coming months.

Are you a lover of green nail polish? Check out my girls’ posts…




Mascara Monday: Essence Multi-Action Blackest Black mascara

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Soooo I’m back with an Essence mascara. I am slowly but surely making my way through these mascaras. They don’t seem to release as many mascaras as other brands and that’s totally okay with me. It gives me time to mess around with ‘em a bit. Next on the list is this kid…

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Price: $3.99 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “This multi-talented lash lover offers an innovative brush and unique texture with carbon black pigments to ensure more volume, length and curve for the deepest black lashes! A must-have for dramatic eyes!!” (source)

The Truth: It is indeed a super black mascara but man, it’s a flaky son of a gun. Or daughter. I’m not sure of its gender.

What I Loved About It: I’ll always love Essence’s affordability.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s flaky and just doesn’t seem to volumize or lengthen well.

Overall: Ah well. You win some and loose some. My feelings aren’t too hurt that this mascara wasn’t all that. I’ve come across better Essence mascaras and so the disappointment in this one didn’t last too long. For one thing, I’m not a fan of this type of wand.

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I mean, it’s nothing to HATE. I just don’t love it. I find wands like these so tricky to use with my short and wonky lashes. Those with longer and plush lashes will have much better luck. Sweeping through the lashes is challenging if your lashes aren’t all that long but of course it is possible. It just takes some time and sometimes when you only have 5 minutes to do your face in the morning, you don’t really want to deal with super large wands.

But once you get past the wand, actual application is decent. The formula is nice without being too thick or too watery. In fact, I was confused as to why the formula flaked so much because I didn’t find it to be too thick. Typically thicker mascaras lead to flakiness. I’ll tell you one thing though, Essence calling this mascara Blackest Black is dead on. It is a super dark mascara that has the potential to really bring some darkness to the lashes. After 1 coat, I could really see a difference in terms of how dark my lashes looked.

But after 2 coats, I only saw minimal volume and not much length. In fact, if anything my lashes just clumped up a bit. Boo hoo. Hours later my lashes, the mascara seemed to disappear from my lashes and flake away. And nothing sucks more than a flaky mascara. *sigh* So while the mascara does have the potential to give super dark and lush lashes, its inability to last around for hours just wasn’t up my alley.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Doesn’t look like much, uh? And note the flakiness under my eyes. No bueno.

Do I recommend it?: Nope. But worry not. Essence has plenty of other awesome mascaras.

 

Have you tried any Essence mascaras?


Garnier’s New BB Cream for Oily/Combo Skin

Hey, everyone! If you thought that the BB cream craze was over, brace yourself. There’s a whole new crop of BB creams (and CC creams, plus I’ve heard rumblings of a new DD cream…) hitting store shelves in 2013! Today, I’ll be dishing on one that’s particularly interesting since it’s made specifically for oily and combination skin: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin. Whew, that’s a mouthful!

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I came across this new gem while in Walgreen’s and was curious to try a BB cream for oily skin, plus I was pleased to see that Garnier had added a Deep shade to their BB cream lineup. So, let’s get into what the brand claims about the product. According to the box, Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin “immediately mattifies, minimizes pores, and conceals imperfections to give skin a naturally smooth, flawless finish.” So does it live up to its claims?

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In a word, yes. It truly does mattify skin skin upon application, which any oily skinned gal can appreciate. Much of the mattifying action in this BB cream is due to the inclusion of alcohol denat (it’s listed fifth after sunscreen) to act as an astringent. Even though my skin is oily, I typically don’t use skincare or foundation products with alcohol denat in them, as they have the potential to be drying and irritating to skin. I recommend applying a bit of moisturizer to your skin before applying this, especially if your skin is leaning more toward combination than oily.

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Despite the product’s watery texture, the finish and coverage were quite impressive. It made my skin look diffused, camouflaged some hyperpigmentation from a recent breakout, and evened out my skintone. The only problem was that it evened my skintone with a shade that didn’t match my own. Someone over at Garnier was a little liberal with their definition of “deep”. In actuality, the Deep shade was a caramel shade with warm undertones.

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My hand is a few shades darker than my face right now, but you can see in the photo that it’s too light for medium brown skin (I don’t know why, but my skin is still hanging on to a tan I got on a cruise last October. I’m so over it, y’all…). On my face, it matches the center where I’m lighter, but it looked too light on the darker areas of my face, like around my mouth and the perimeter of my face. Sadly, most brown girls won’t find a color match in this product.

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Shade matching aside, Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily Skin really did make my skin look great. It’s a great option for those with oily skin who want light to medium buildable coverage in a lightweight formula. It would even be great as an oil absorbing primer before your foundation. If other BB creams were too greasy for you, you may want to give this one a try!

More About Amber:
Amber is the creator of Brown Bombshell Beauty, where she’s been blogging about beauty for brown girls since 2008. A bona fide beauty junkie, Amber has a serious obsession with huge natural hair, cute shoes, and has rarely met a red lipstick she didn’t like. Follower her on Facebook and Twitter.

Zoya Lovely Spring 2013 collection

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This collection has been posted up in the beauty room for many moons now and I am just now getting around to posting swatches. My baaad. The crazy thing is – it still isn’t Spring just yet so if you’re lovin’ these, you can still purchase them. Weee! I’m not a big pastel lover, but these subtle shimmers and cremes are eye-catching and just darling.

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Jacqueline is a full-coverage, perfect magnolia nude cream and I know description words like “nude” can be a bit deceiving. Because nude to you but may be different than nude for me. Anywho, I like this shade. It reminds me of a delicious icing on top of a cake.

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Neely is a spring green in a glossy creme finish and it’s a light pistachio that compliments my hand beautifully.

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Julie is a soft wisteria purple metallic and while I only applied 2 coats, I probably should have done 3 coats to get more of an opaque finish.

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Piaf is a fresh forsythia yellow metallic and I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s a gorgeous and shimmer yellow that applies beautifully but it’s missing brightness that I like in yellow polishes.

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GeiGei is a blushing cherry blossom pink metallic is your standard pretty pink polish. It’s dainty and girly and fits beautifully in this collection.

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Blu is a soft and delicate pale baby blue with a glossy creme finish and I think this is my favorite of the bunch. There’s just something wonderful about a creamy baby blue nail polish. Plus, it’s the kind of shade that looks good on everyone.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $48 for the collection or $8 a bottle
Availability: Online at Zoya.com and select Ulta stores.
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: Neely and Blu

Whatcha think? Lovin’ any of these?

If you’ve gotta pluck those pesky hairs…pluck with these!

A while back I did a post about the awesomeness that was Tweezerman’s eyelash curlers. You remember that, right? Wellllls, I’m back with a post of one of their newly released tweezers. And trust me, if anyone knows tweezers, it’s Tweezerman. And yeah, you may love your brand of tweezers that cost $3 (ahem…or $30) but chances are, they aren’t performing AS well as Tweezerman’s tweezers. I know. Such a bold statement to make, but what can I say? These tweezers are awesome, ya’ll. And if you’ve tried them, you know what I mean.

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You promise, right? Tweezerman has a TON of different tweezers to fit your needs and every now and then, they come out with beautifully designed tweezers. Like these.

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Fancy, aren’t they? They were designed by designer Cynthia Rowley and they’ve been such a nice little addition to my beauty line-up. They perform as beautifully as all Tweezerman tweezers. They’re just MORE fun because they’re so pretty.

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Don’t act like you don’t judge beauty products and tools by their cover. A lot of us beauty lovers are visual creatures so it’s the packaging that pulls us in first. Am I right? Add these to your beauty wish list. They’re $25 which I know can be a bit steep for some when it comes to purchasing tweezers. But tweezers are an investment. They’ll last forever and if you’re like me, you’ll use them daily. You will definitely get your money’s worth. You can snag these babies at Sephora and Sephora.com.

Any Tweezerman lovers in the house?

How To Create A Mascara Cocktail

One product women have a big love/hate relationship is mascara. We love it because of its seemingly magical powers to make our eyes look more open and awake. We hate it because if we choose the wrong formula we can end up with raccoon eyes. Love it or hate it, mascara is a must in nearly everyone’s beauty arsenal. If I find a formula that isn’t quite perfect for me on its own, I don’t toss it, I create a mascara cocktail!

Mascara cocktails involve using two different formulas on the lashes. When paired together, the result is so satisfying that you are nearly drunk with joy at the masterpiece you’ve created. My lashes never go naked, and when I get bored, I test out new ways to maximize my mascara stash.

Here are some favorite cocktail combos:

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara + Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!

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These are actually two mascaras that I really like solo. However, when paired together, well…that’s when the magic happens. Gifted, is great at adding volume and some length, but Lights, Camera, Lashes! is like a push up bra for your lashes. It gives them curl, and an added lift that Gifted doesn’t. When paired together, the two create the perfect mascara look.

Urban Decay Cannonball + Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

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Cannonball is a waterproof formula, and because of this, it will hold a curl well when paired with a lash curler. However, Supercurl, which features a curved wand, actually curls the lashes on its own sans separate curling device. Cannonball is a light gel formula which makes it ideal for layering. Together, this dynamic duo will give you curled, lifted and waterproof lashes. Just be sure to use Cannonball as your final coat to reap the waterproof benefits.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara in Black + Ecco Bella FlowerColor Natural Mascara in Brown

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A trick I love to wear to make my eyes look really open and awake is using black mascara on my top lashes, and a brown one on the bottom. You could actually use this technique with any black & brown mascara, but this is the combo I tend to use most. Stila Stay All Day gives the most amazing volume to those with sparse lashes. The wand comes with a unique brush/comb combo that lets you load up the product, and then comb through to separate and lift your lashes. It’s really hard to find good brown mascara, and Ecco Bella is the best I’ve found. While it isn’t fully waterproof, it is water resistant, which means no smudging, unless of course you are going deep sea diving.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Lash Boosting Mascara in Black + Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin FakeOut Mascara in Ultra Black

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This is the newest of my cocktail creations. Physicians Formula Lash Boosting Mascara is the first drugstore formula that did my lashes right. On its own it adds amazing length; I mean truly impressive insane kind of length. I think this is probably the most underrated drugstore mascara out there. When I first tried FakeOut, I didn’t see a big difference between this formula and the Lash Boosting formula. However, after I paired them together is when the fireworks happened. FakeOut is a fiber mascara, and the first that I’ve worn that hasn’t irritated my contact lenses. The lengthening combo of the Lash Boosting formula plus the added fibers from FakeOut created the most fabulous false lash like
effect. Plus, all of the ingredients are natural!

So if you ever find yourself unhappy with a tube of mascara you purchased, don’t toss it! Try pairing it with a different formula and mix up your own mascara masterpiece! I don’t ever recommend physically mixing the formulas in the tube. Simply layer the two different formulas; apply a coat of one formula to your lashes, followed by a coat of the other until you reach the desired look. Remember when using a waterproof formula, you should always end with the waterproof one as your final step.

What are your favorite mascara combos?

More about Lisa:
Liza N. Chung is cruelty-free beauty blogger and makeup artist in Connecticut. Using only synthetic makeup brushes, she works to raise awareness about animal testing in the cosmetics industry. Her makeup area of specialty is weddings and special events. After working for various cosmetic brands and working as a teen model, she found her place behind the scenes helping people look and feel their best. Visit Lisa’s blog and follow her on Twitter.

A ‘Baby Elle’ inspired nail look

Hi, I’m Nidia, and I have a little beauty blog called Lit From Within. Thanks, Brittany, for inviting the Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida to help you out while you spend some time with your little Baby Clumps!

All of us BBCF members have been awaiting the arrival of Baby Clumps, who we know now is named Elle. I wanted to do a little nail art as homage to our newest member. It was a celebration of Indies on my blog this January, so I wanted to bring a little of that celebration to Clumps of Mascara!

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This is PolishTBH Tiny Dancer, a sheer iridescent pink with bright blue squares and small glitters. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate polish – it’s soft and pretty, and I’m sure Elle was dancing around in Brittany for these last few months!

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Tiny Dancer had a great formula, and I was pleasantly surprised by the pink shimmer. With two coats, there was still a little visible nail line, but I loved the sheer softness of it so much, I didn’t mind. I knew some nail art was coming, anyway!

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I used Essie Mink Muffs and a nail art brush to make some Baby footprints! I learned the technique from watching a YouTube video. Basically, you make a little bean shape and add toes.

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Few things are cuter than baby toes!

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And a little personalization for Baby Clumps! Congratulations, Brittany, I’m so happy for you and your little family. I wish you all every happiness, and look forward to getting to know Elle.

Nidia Doherty is the writer for her blog, Lit From Within, which focuses mainly on nail polish and art, but also features beauty products. As much as she loves makeup, she believes that the most beautiful thing a person can wear is a smile.

A New Mommy’s Must Have – Concealerrrrr!

When we had our babies, veteran moms would offer their unsolicited advice and say sleep when your baby sleeps. Not helpful. What we needed was a hot meal, a babysitter and a great concealer. Our new babies weren’t the only additions in our lives. Dark under-eye circles took on a life of their own. We needed a one-two punch to deal with these babies (the dark circles, not literally the baby): a corrector and a concealer. When concealer isn’t enough to lighten the under-eye area, a peach or pink corrector is useful. It counters the purple or green tone. . So in honor of Brittany, here is what we wish someone handed us with a hot casserole.

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Ivory’s Favorite: My favorite concealer is Josie Maran Argan Duo Blend Concealer in the shade, sand.

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The corrector is a pink color, which tends to work best for lighter tones. I use the corrector to fake the look of being rested. I use the concealer to even out my skin and camouflage any flaws.

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I love this because it is so creamy and hydrating. With the use of Retin-A (remember not to use this if you are a nursing mom), my skin tends to be dry. This not only helps the drying, it doesn’t highlight it. It stays put for around 6 hours and doesn’t spotlight my (mom worry) wrinkles.

Olive’s favorite: Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer are my go-to’s.

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I am amazed at the difference a corrector can make when my dark circles need more than just a concealer.

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Because I am an Olive skin tone, I use a Light Peach. Darker skin tones should choose a darker peach. I use my fingertip to lightly dab the corrector to the inner corners and underneath my eyes. The warmth from my finger allows the product to blend naturally. I then use the same method to apply the concealer in Natural. To set the concealer, I use a small fluffy brush and dust a yellow-toned powder onto the area.

One of the perks of being a mom is problem solving. Consider this one solved.

Sweet Dreams!

Kim Carroll (Ivory) and Dina Ziemian (Olive) are blogging, opposites attracting, skin tone differing, product reviewing, trend following, witty humor appreciating, makeup loving friends that decided to share our discussing with the world. Visit their blog at IvoryAndOlive.com.