Makeup Wars: 3 Travel Tips for the Beauty Obsessed

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I could write a book about Traveling While Addicted to Cosmetics. I mean, honestly – it ain’t easy trying to decide which nail polishes, blushes and eyeliners to bring on a 2-day trip. And don’t even get me started if I’m traveling for more than 2 days. I’ve hit the highways and airways enough to finally know how to pack efficiently. Plus, when you keep loosing your luggage at airports or have that $26 lotion spill out over your new sandals, you learn a thang or two.

And yes. Those things have actually happened to lucky ole’ me.

 

So first things first: Use travel-sized bottles

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Yeah, I know it seems like an obvious tip but there have been plenty of of times where I’ve been lazy and thrown an entire bottle of shampoo in my luggage. Aside from adding to the weight of the luggage (which sucksssss if you’re flying), you risk the chance of  something spilling over. Your favorite body wash doesn’t come in a travel size? Purchase a smaller bottle or re-use one. Label them accordingly and POW – smaller bottles.

Don’t forget the Qtips!

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I know. I’m so obsessed with these things. We already know how awesome they are but they double as makeup brushes, exfoliating tools and eyelining. Taking Qtips with you means you can likely leave some other beauty stuffs behind.

Keep the essentials IN the travel bag

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For the most part, when I travel, I don’t have to “pack” any of my essentials. Every thing is ready to go and all I need to do is add whatever extras I want to take. Plus, who really has the time to constantly pack and re-pack the essentials each time you travel? I’ve got my own set of cleansers, tweezers and makeup products that reside in my travel bag.

And if you learned nothing else, darlings – whatever you do, if you can help it, don’t take your most expensive beauty and skincare products when traveling. Just don’t. You’ll never forgive yourself if that Dolce & Gabanna lipstick you took to the Bahamas never made its way back to the States.

Never.

*sigh* On to happier times – check out what my fellow Makeup Wars chicas have to say about beauty bloggin’ travels.

Beauty Blogger Packing

Mascara Monday: Maybelline The Rocket by Volum’Express mascara

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Oooooh yeah, Maybelline has a new mascara in town. I’m mad late on reviewing it but ya know…that whole “having a baby” thing kinda threw me off a bit, ya know? :cool: But alas, here we are with a review of one of the most popular mascaras to hit shelves this season.

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Price: $5.94 at Walmart and Walmart.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Washable Mascara’s patented supersonic brush with micro bristles loads on big, sleek volume instantly. Its fast-glide formula keeps lashes smooth. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Washable Mascara: The most explosive, beautiful lashes ever, 8x bigger, Explosive volume in rocket time, Smoother Zero clumps” (source)

The Truth: It’s not my absolute favorite Maybelline mascara but it’s okay.

What I Loved About It: Super awesome wand that helps with separating wonky lashes. .

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t volumize the way I really needed it to.

Overall: This mascara totally took me by surprise. I felt like I just reviewed a Volum’Express mascara not too long ago and then along comes The Rocket. The hype didn’t seem to be as prevalent with this one than with other Volum’Express releases. I mean, think about it – the Falsies was everywhere. This kid? Not so much. The thing is, Rocket’s claims aren’t all that spectacular and she isn’t toting any special tricks. She’s just another ‘VolumExpress mascara that promises volume and a pretty awesome wand to boot.

And the wand IS awesome.

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It’s an awesome wand if you really need to separate your lashes. I mean, this baby gets them out there. This is actually my favorite kind of mascara if my lashes are doin’ crazy thangs and looking all wonky. Which, by the way, is all the time. And as great as this wand is when it comes to separating, it isn’t so hot in the volumizing department. Plusher wands are better in this regard.

But that doesn’t mean The Rocket sucks. She doesn’t. I just think her volumizing power is mediocre. Lengthening too. Her strength does lie in longevity though. I didn’t get the waterproof version of this mascara but I found that it did a darn good job at lasting throughout the day without any flakes or smudges. Which is always HUGE in my book.

So if you’re bored enough and just want to try something new, this is a great mascara to holla at. But if you’ve got huge expectations, meh…brace yourself to be a tad bit disappointed. Or, Maybelline’s the Falsies mascara. That kid is truly the winner in the Volum’Express department.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Only if you reallllllly want to try something new.

Whatcha think? Have you tried this mascara yet? Is it just me or do some of the other ‘VolumExpress mascaras seem to do a better job?


Urban Decay’s Theodora palette

My my my my my my myyyyyy – Urban Decay does it again. They’ve released another palette that you pretty much NEED in your life. This is what they do. They produce beautiful and sparkly palettes and your wallet goes, “Seriously?” Yeah. That is UD’s goal in life. To make your wallet moan and groan.

I’ve had my hands on this palette for a while but Elle the Belle doesn’t give a darn about the seriousness of getting product posts up. Worry not. I am slowly teaching her the important things in life. Like how to be nice and kind. And how to give Mommy at least an hour a day to work on Clumps of Mascara. Hard lessons but we’re learnin’ :cool:

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So back to this gooooorgeous Theodora palette. Which definitely had me at hello because the art is just spectacular. Inspired by the Disney film, Oz The Great and Powerful, UD is giving us 2 limited edition palettes that represent both the good and evil witches. Of course Theodora ain’t nothin’ but evil but honey, if this is considered “evil” then, wooooow…

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Flip open the sturdy tin of a palette and you get 6 full-size pods of gorgeous eyeshadows. And 2 of the removable pods have two different eyeshadows. Cool stuff!

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TOP ROW:
Broken, Beware, Bewitch

BOTTOM ROW:
West, Spell, Jealous

You also get a Zero eyeliner pencil and a stunning Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color pencil.

Swatches

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This is my first time dabbling into UD’s regular shadows since they reformulated them and they are fantastic. They are just as creamy and pigmented as you’d expect and I found that each shade did a darn good job at popping up on my complexion

Color Descriptions:
Broken – Pale cream satin
Beware – Warm brown matte
Bewitch – Dark charcoal brown satin
West – Deep metallic brown shimmer
Spell – Black satin with green and gold shimme
Jealous – Pale green pearl

I think the color selection for this palette is consistent and not only sticks with the theme but also works well for neutral lovin’ folx and adventurous folx alike. I don’t wear green eyeshadows much but Jealous is a nice start and I love that it isn’t TOO intense, ya know?

And then there’s the Theodora lip pencil. Ooooh honey. These pencils regularly retail at $19 and if you think you’ve seen lip pencils before, you haven’t seen one THIS glossy. At least I haven’t.

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I love everything about this bright red cream. My camera may gives it a bit more orange but no brown girls, we can rock with red alllll day, baby. All day.

You can currently grab the palette online at Sephora.com and UrbanDecay.com. It retails for $49 which I think is a great price considering you get those full-size eyeshadow pods, an eyeliner and lip gloss. Stay tuned for my upcoming review of the Glinda palette. You’ll probably want that one too so go ‘head and save your pennies. :wink:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I know most people hate this commercialized holiday but I love love therefore Valentine’s Day doesn’t bother me too much. Plus, holidays now give me a reason to take embarrassing photos of Elle. Who puts their baby in a laundry basket for a photo shoot? Yeah. I’m a mess.

But I hope you love me for it.

XOXO

New on the scene: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss polishes

Well well well…look who is joining the reindeer games! CoverGirl did a little something that surprised us all and launched some beautiful new polishes. I’m almost positive that they had nail polishes back in the 90’s but I’m not sure if I dreamt them up or if they actually existed. Either way, me thinks it was a good idea for them to get up on the obsession that many of us have with nail polish.

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Good decision, CG.

The brand has a good 45 polishes that they’ve already launched and more will be making their ways to stores soon. I got my hands (haha, literally) on 4 of the polishes and wanted to show ‘em off for you.

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Just a note: You can get these anywhere CoverGirl products are sold. I’ve been seeing them at CVS and Walgreens store locations for weeks now.

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Frosted Forever is a pale pink cream that almost looks white and it took a whopping 4 coats to get an opaque finish. But that’s usually the case with polishes like this. It’s a beaut. I found it to be super shiny without a top coat.

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Coy Coral – ohhhhh, it’s another coral. Coral polishes are actually growing on me and I really like the peachiness of this one.

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Golden Opportunity is a subtle gold foil that has a silvery hue to it. Depending on how the light hits it, it shifts from cool to warm.

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Wine Stain
is a dark burgundy creme and man, I don’t wear burgundy polishes enough but I should because this one is just fabulous. It has a squishy consistency and shines beautifully without a top coat.

These are just 4 of the 44 polishes that CoverGirl has currently developed. If you spy the stand in stores, you’ll see that they have a ton of different finishes; cremes, glitters, foils, shimmers…and I’m lovin’ them all. They are priced right at $5.49 and since CoverGirl products regularly go on sale in drugstores, you can easily get them cheaper.

Performance-wise, I would say that these are pretty stellar. I didn’t have any problems with the wand or formula. I found that all 4 polishes tended to be on the thin side so while you can get away with 2 coats, I think you’ll achieve a much better finish applying 3 coats of polish. And I can’t forget the shine factor. CoverGirl says that these polishes don’t need a base or top coat and I agree. I didn’t feel the need to wear a top coat with any of these polishes because they’re just so shiny. I haven’t pushed their longevity yet but then again, it’s hard for me to wear any polish for more than 3 days.

But so far…I’m impressed! I can’t wait to scoop up more of these babies. Have you spotted these polishes in store yet?

Mascara Monday: Prestige My Biggest Lashes Big Lash Effect mascara

So remember that time I reviewed Prestige’s My Waterproof Lashes mascara? Well, My Biggest Lashes Big Lash Effect is the mascara that came alongside that one. I got those 2 mascaras in a pack together. Prestige Cosmetics has yet to really woo me with their mascaras but I’ve still got hope. Some brands do great in other beauty bits and just aren’t all that in mascaras. I can live with that. But come on, I need at least ONE good mascara from ya, Prestige. Help a sista out.

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*crosses fingers*

Price: $6.50 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Full, plush brush coats each lash, intense, long lasting color, one coat application” (source)

The Truth: *yawn* This mascara put me to sleep. There’s nothing to it.

What I Loved About It: It’s got a decent price point.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s one of those mascaras that doesn’t provide much of anything at one coat or 3 coats.

Overall: Oh boy. I’m disappointed, Prestige. I expected this one to be a winner. I mean, when you give a mascara a name like My Biggest Lashes, you kinda expect some kind of ooomph. I got anything but that from this mascara. And that made me sad. The wand is a plush brush and it’s not one of my favorite type of wands.

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Can you effectively apply mascara with it? Absolutely. I did, however, struggle with the mascara’s formula. It’s not too thick or too thin but it’s got a barely there feel to it. Okay, it’s not invisible but it’s the kind of mascara that when you apply a coat to your lashes, you look at your lashes to see if you actually applied anything. It’s weird stuff, I tell ya and I can’t make this stuff up. I think it’s the large brush and its inability to pick up enough mascara that created this problem. Either way, I just know that after I would apply 3 coats, I would have some serious “barely there” mascara-covered lashes. Boo.

And even when you get the mascara on, it seems to slowly disappear throughout the day and as it disappears, it flakes in the process. Boo and double-boo. I don’t have much else to say about this mascara except that even though it’s on the cheaper side, it may not be worth your pennies.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Nope. I’d pass by this one.

 

Have you tried any  Prestige mascaras? Whatcha think about this one?


The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 77

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Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Welcome to our new Lipstick League member, the fabulous My Beauty Bunny, who will be bringing us the latest in cruelty-free beauty every week!

Gouldylox Reviews – Wondering what drugstore BB Cream gives great face? Check out this Foundation Half & Half with results that one reader insists must be photoshopped! (It’s not!)

Lipglossiping – puts together a bright Spring look in an attempt to defrost the winter chills!

My Beauty Bunny – My Cruelty-Free Product of the month is the DermOrganic Leave-in Treatment. See why it’s awesome!

Nouveau Cheap – What’s the closest drugstore equivalent to a $25 lipstick? In my humble opinion, it’s these new Milani Color Statement Lipsticks, which feel so sublime on the lips you won’t believe they’re under six bucks a pop.

Phyrra – is in love with Virus Insanity Eyeshadows! Check out the beautiful duochromes and holographic sparkles.

Prime Beauty – deems the new shades of Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Colours the best on the market!

Vampy Varnish – loves the HBO show GIRLS and now Deborah Lippmann has a new nail collection out to celebrate it!

we heart this – shares their 3 latest drugstore purchases (a leave in conditioner, nail stickers and Stef’s girl crush’s new lipstick). Come on by and share yours!

Clumps of Mascara – is loving Sally Hansen’s gel nail kit. Gel nails at home? Sounds ideal!

EauMG Pamper yourself or your Valentine with one of the many pretty scented items on Victoria’s 2013 Valentine’s Gift Guide!

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Gouldylox Reviews – This week, I wanted to share the blog, Oh So Pretty, The Diaries. I love their tutorials, hair ideas and descriptive photos. Check them out for some inspiration beyond reviews.

Question of the Week:

If you could have a shopping spree with any
cosmetic brand, who would you choose?

 

B says, “Whoa! Talk about the hardest question everrrrrr. This is a tough one but I think I’d go with Make Up For Ever. I would haul every single one of their shadows and blushes. “

What brand would you pick?

 

Sally Hansen Gel Manicure Starter Kit

My poor nails. They look a hot mess dot com. I’m not apologetic about it either because you it beez that way sometimes. A few days after Elle was born I cut off all of my nails, removed the nail polish and haven’t really had the chance to do any nail pampering. Which kinda makes me sad but dude, baby girl requires lots of time.

Buuuut, I had a little help with my Mom and sister and since I’d rather not waste a good product like this gel manicure starter kit on my nubs, I figured my sister would be a fantastic model.

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Have y’all seen these in stores yet? Sally Hansen released these back in November 2012 and nail polish lovers have been goin’ crazy. These kits come at a good time. You know, with the whole gel nail thing sweeping the nail world.

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Priced at $69.99, you would think this kit is like ridiculously expensive, but nah…it works out to be priced well. Think about it: a gel  manicure generally starts at a good $25 but with this, you can do TEN manicures and Sally Hansen says that they’ll last 2 weeks at a time. Not bad, dude. Not bad at all.

What comes in the set…

•Cleanser Pads
• Base Coat
• Color (choice of three shades)
• Top Coat
• Remover
• LED Light
• Application Accessories: Cuticle stick, buffer and alcohol cleaning pad

As of now the sets come in 3 different colors. I’m hopin’ they will sell the gel nail colors individually. 3 colors is a great start but I’d be more likely to use this regularly if I had a good 20+ nail polish colors to choose from.

The best thing about the kit – the fact that it comes with a LED light.

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These things can be pretty pricey alone so it’s great that it comes with the kit. Plus, you can use it over and over again with all gel nail polishes. Instructions are easy peasy too…

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The key is to apply thin coats of each polish. A thicker coat may result in the gel polishes lifting in a matter of days.

My sister’s nails before:

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Her nails after:

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Impressive, right? The shine is impeccable and while I didn’t apply the polish as perfectly as I would have liked to, the outcome was still nice. 3-4 days later and her nails are still shiny with minimal chipping. 2 of  the gel nails ended up completely coming off but we think that may be attributed to poor application. Still. Not bad at all.

While not ideal for crazy polish fanatics like me, these are great for guys and gals who don’t want to do their nails all the time. I can’t wait to try this out on my toes. While I’ll polish my nails regularly, I don’t even want to tell you how often I change my toe nail polish. HA!

Price: $69.99 or less
Availability: Drugstores, Target and Walmart. I see it for $64 at Walmart.com.

Whatcha think? Are you a gel nail lover or would you rather rock traditional nail polish?