Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit-A Review

anastasia.net
So the other day I received the Anastasia Contour Kit. 
First let me say, if you become an Instagram Famous makeup artist, you will probably receive these for free and before they are available to the public. 

That is not the case for me. I am not Instagram Famous so I have to stand in line with the rest of the common folk. 

This palette has only been out for a short period of time and it has already reached cult status. Because of this, it is constantly sold out! Plus Anastasia does not offer a pro discount for this item so MUA's you are paying full price. Unless........*twirls mustache*
Unless you are mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and you notice an unassuming post from Anastasia Beverly Hills mentioning that Sephora has the palette stocked. Then you log into your Ebates account and shop the Sephora site at a 4% cash back. Now I know 4% is not much of a discount but if you do as much online shopping as I do, it does add up. 
So I got my order in and within an hour they were sold out again!

This palette is much smaller than I had expected. The packaging is a standard black magnetic flip top with no mirror. You receive 6 refillable colors, 5 matte and 1 shimmer. 

The colors are Top 3: Vanilla, Banana, Sand (Shimmer) and Bottom 3: Java, Fawn, Havana.

anastasia.net
Vanilla is a pinkish toned setting powder, Banana is a yellow toned setting powder, Sand is a cool pink shimmery highlighter. I was very impressed with the setting powders as they do not settle into fine lines, even when you are setting the makeup under your eyes. Also, the highlighter is shimmery without looking like a disco ball exploded on your cheekbone. 

The bottom 3 are all the contour colors. Java is a brown with pink undertones, Fawn is a cool ashy tone and Havana is warm kind of burnt brown. 

Fawn is the reason I really wanted to try this palette. I explained to you yesterday how I like to stick to cool taupey colors to contour and this is a perfect shade for me. When I saw Fawn, I knew I was going to fall in love with her and I was right. I used to use Makeup Forever eye shadow in #127 for my contour. Fawn has replaced her. 

These colors are all very soft and blendable and quite complimentary to a wide range of skin tones. I believe ABH will be expanding the color choices for this palette. If you do not see a shade that is a good match for you, hold onto your brushes, she's working on it. 

I highly recommend this palette for everyone! It's $40 when it's in stock. Each pan is .11 oz

I forgot to mention in my contouring post yesterday, you can contour with cream or powder products. Some people powders like these and some people use multiple shades of foundation. Some people use lighter and darker concealers and some use a combination of powders and creams. Just as long as you have lighter and darker color choices in pretty much any medium, you can get it done. 

Repeat from yesterday-This is very subtle everyday shading.  

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Art of Contouring and Does Everybody Need It?

There was recently a very happy mail day in the Little Goddess household! Not only did I receive a bunch of Face Atelier foundation samples, I received my Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. 

This is another one of those products that people have absolutely lost their Martha Stewart minds over! This kit is constantly sold out so I am happy I was able to get my hands on it. It is already sold out again. 

So let's take a minute to discuss contouring. Right now, if you follow any makeup artist (or makeup fanatics) on Instagram or YouTube, you may notice there is a serious contour trend taking place. I credit/blame Kim Kardashian for this but I'll get to her in a minute. 

I think that most of these overly contoured faces look great in a Instagram photo but may not translate well in the real world. It is seriously a heavy handed look for the everyday woman. This is not a look for anyone who is shy around makeup.

What is contouring?

Contouring is used to create dimension to the face by adding shadows and angles where none existed before. Contouring can create the illusion of a slimmer nose or killer cheekbones. Contouring can literally change the look of your face. 

Is contouring important?

Absolutely! However, it is not important for everyone. Contouring is important if you are going to be photographed. A photograph is a flat, 1 dimensional image. In order for your face to not look flat in a photo, you need to add some angles. You can achieve that by contouring and highlighting your face (Contour retreats/highlights bring forward). Same to be said about if your are going to be filmed. Contour is your friend.

Also, with flash photography, you lose about 50% of your makeup to the flash so the make-up application should be a little heavy handed. Ever notice that you leave your house with a perfect face of makeup and then see a photo and wonder "where did my makeup go?" The flash of the camera ate it.

Should everyone contour?

If you are a model or an actress and you are being photographed for a magazine, then contouring is very important. If you are a bride or you are attending a special event where you will be photographed, then yes you should contour. If you are going to pick the kids up from school or have some lunch with friends, then it is safe to skip it. 

Keep in mind that poorly/overly done contouring can be a super harsh look and can age you. If you want to add a little something to your everyday look, try strategically placed highlighter. It is more natural looking and more youthful! If you absolutely insist on contouring everyday, use a very light hand and make sure to practice! Also, it is very important to know your face shape and contour properly. Not every face is contoured the same so you should know your bone structure before you dive in.

Another thing that gets my goat is I see a ton of people contouring with bronzer and I am not completely on board with that. Bronzer is not meant for contouring, it is meant for warming up the face. Contouring with bronzer can give a very muddy effect. If you insist on using bronzer, make sure it is a neutral (bordering on cool) tone. There is nothing attractive about orange streaks in the hollows of your cheeks. Also, make sure it is a matte bronzer. If you contour with any product that has shimmer in it, the makeup police will literally show up at your house and take you away. 

I stick to cool, taupey tones. Remember, you are trying to create a shadow. Shadows are cool toned, not warm orange. 

So back to Kimmy Kakes! She likes a contoured face. She seems to have lightened up a bit with her makeup since she has become a mommy but she does still like her contour. I credit Kim with this trend because of a few different reasons. When Kim became very famous, a lot of women tried to copy her glamorous look including the contour. Also, she posted a very famous photo of the process her makeup artist (I believe it was Scott Barnes during this particular photo) goes through to achieve those gorgeous angles and then everyone went nutzzzz and tried to copy it. I want to say 50% of makeup photos on Instagram are of women with their pre-blended highlight/contour all over their faces. 


Add captihttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2198352/Kim-Kardashian-lets-fans-beauty-secrets-charts-makeover-process.htmlon

Kim Kardashian has 10000 flashbulbs hitting her every single time she leaves her house. Of course this is going to be part of her everyday look! She is on the cover of every magazine and she has the best glam squad in the game working on her face. The average woman does not so calm down, it's ok if you skip a day. 

Part 2 of my contouring post will be up tomorrow and is a review of this little gem, Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette.



My review will be a love story

Subtle, light-handed contour


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spoiler Alert- April Birchbox Review


birchbox.com

Oh looky, looky! A Birchbox that isn't half bad. I know the past few months I have been bitching out Birchbox for the crappy boxes they were sending me. They must be reading my blog because this months box was much nicer than they have been in the past.

In this month's box I received:
  • Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo   (full size $20)
  • Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Face Polish, Body Scrub and Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut  (full size $34-$55)
  • Sumita Color Intense Pencil in Suman Black  (full size $11)
  • theBalm cosmetics How Bout Them Apples? Cheek and Lip Cream   (full size $32)
Extra:
  • KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt (15 count $11.88)

So first up, the Fekkai shampoo. Birchbox is OBSESSED with sending me shampoos and conditioners. I receive a shampoo product if not every month, then every other month. I have not tried this one yet and I still have prior samples that I have not tried. They are great for travel. I'll need to travel more so I can get around to trying them out.

Nyakio skin care products. I was very excited about this product until I read the ingredients list. People stop putting potential irritants into skin care. It's annoying and I am baffled by this. I am undecided if I am going to take the plunge and try it out. I will definitely try the body polish, I am unsure of the face products. 

http://www.nyakio.com/store/

Sumita pencil. This pencil is super duper soft and glides on like a dream. It's seriously as soft as a baby's breath. It's so soft I am afraid of pushing too hard on it for fear of squashing it. It is quite black and nicely blend-able. 

http://www.birchbox.com/shop/sumita-contrast-eyeliner


theBalm cheek and lip cream. theBalm is a company that gained some recognition around the same time I started Little Goddess Cosmetics. I had watched a news clip about them and I was soooo jealous. They seemed to have created what I had envisioned in my head when I started my line. They have adorable, cheeky packaging and I can't be mad at anyone who is going to put a chiseled, shirtless cowboy on their products. I generally do not like lip/cheek combo products. I always feel the texture is off for one of them. In this case, I will most likely use this as a cheek color than on my lips. The color looks really saturated in the sample but sheers out to a really flattering blush.



Oh hello there sexy cowboy
Lastly, Kind health bar. I ate it and it was yum. So there ya go! This box gets a 7 out of 10.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Lorac PRO Palette Review, An Eye Shadow Lovers Dream

Lorac PRO Palette
One day while strolling through Ulta with me mum, I happened to dip my finger without much thought (except that it was shiny and pretty and directly in my line of vision) into the Lorac PRO eye shadow palette.
Then the sky's opened and the angels sang and I frolicked in a field with some fairies. They fed me Nutella cupcakes and brushed my hair and my world did not suck.
After I awoke from my too much good makeup blackout, I could not stop staring at this palette. I kept dipping my fingers in like I had just seen color for the very first time. I would walk around and shop, while periodically returning to admire this palette. I walked out of Ulta that day without this bar of gold (and Lorac stained fingertips). Why you ask? Because I was sticking to my budget. Like a big girl. I am proud of that but I have never forgotten her and all of her beauty. Fast forward a few months and me receiving a 20% discount code for being an Ulta member, plus 4% back from Ebates and you've got yourself a deal!

So let me introduce you to Lorac PRO Eye Shadow Palette! If I was doing cartwheels over the Urban Decay palettes, I am doing naked cartwheels over this Lorac palette.

First, the packaging. It is sleek and light and sturdy. It feels like a matte, rubbery material that I thought was going to be a nightmare with finger prints but so far, so good. It does not look messy, although I'm sure when powder gets on it (it inevitably will), it will be a different story. I'm not sure how easy the packaging will be to clean. 

Next, the product. If you haven't figured it out from my above comments. I love the product. So soft and pretty and super blend-able. You get 16 shadows, 8 matte (top row) and 8 shimmer (bottom row). Just gorgeous. If I had to pick my favorites, right now my top 3 would be Deep Purple (OBSESSED), Gold and a tie between Taupe, Nude and Lt. Bronze because I just can't decide!


Gorgeousness
I feel like I do such a horrible job swatching and photographing eye shadows so I never do it but if you Google "Lorac Pro Swatches" you can see approximately 9000 of them. 

Lastly, the price. It retails for $42.00 for .32 oz of shadow and you also receive a mini tube of Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, which I haven't used but feels pretty, pretty, pretty good. 

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tips and Tricks: How to Look Younger Using Makeup


         How to             
Look less like this


and more like this

as you age!


Everyone wants to stay young. It's part of the universe's trickery that you get wiser as you get older. Well some of us do. They even say youth is wasted on the young and I have to agree. Unless you are Peter Pan, you are probably aging by the second. Good thing I'm here to teach you the do's and dont's, the tips and the tricks to youthful looking makeup! These tips are good for everyone, not just ladies above a certain age. I feel there is a very heavy handed makeup trend right now that can be very harsh looking and age you before your time. So everyone should listen up.

The Do's 
  • Do switch to a moisturizing foundation or a tinted moisturizer. Dewy is your friend. 
  • Do switch to a cream blush. As we age we lose moisture in our skin, every little bit of dewiness is going to help, so ditch the powders and opt for a cream. 
  • Do lighten up on your eyeshadow application. Stick to neutral tones and only use 1 or 2 colors. 
  • Do darken up your lashline with plums, blue, green, browns and greys. 
  • Do fill your brows in. Darker brows equal youth. Now I don't mean for you platinum blonds to start coloring your eyebrows in black, choose the color appropriate for you and fill em in!
  • Do add pink to your color repertoire. As we age we lose the pigment in our skin tone, a swipe of pink blush or baby pink eyeshadow will do wonders to give a more youthful complexion. 
  • Do add a little highlight to your cheekbones and inner corners of your eyes to add light and dimension to your face. 
  • Do use neutral or bright toned lip glosses or lipsticks. Pinks and nudes are your friends.
  • Do experiment with a nice bright eyeliner like a cobalt blue or turquoise green. Bright colors add modern youthfulness and fun! 

The Dont's
  • Don't apply a mask of matte foundation. Matte skin will age you in a heartbeat.
  • Don't over powder. Lightly powder only where needed. I usually only powder my forehead. 
  • Don't apply a lot of dark eyeshadow, especially in the crease. Try to keep darkness along the upper lash line where you start to lose definition. 
  • Don't put eyeliner or mascara on the lower lash line. Keep it clean. 
  • Don't over contour. Contouring is going to get it's very own post soon but for the sake of this list, harsh contouring will age you. Keep it light and well blended or just stick with a little highlighter. 
  • Don't use too much black eyeliner. Again, anything too harsh will age you. Switch it up and try softer purples, greys, browns, blues and greens. 
  • Don't wear dark matte lipsticks. Brick red, matte lipstick on a woman of a certain age pisses me off.
  • Do not line your lips in dark, lip liner. Lighten it up and skip the lip liner all together or use a nude tone that matches your lip color. Make sure to smudge and soften using your finger or a Q-Tip.  
 
So there you have them! Some quick tips to keep anyone looking like a fresh summer morning and not like some cold winter night! 

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Me trying to keep it youthful!








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Photo Credits: [subbotina]/123RF.COM and [Scott Griessel]/123RF.COM



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Save Money Shopping Online with Ebates


How many people that read this blog shop online? Can I see a show of hands? Oh, everybody does? Good, then you'll want to read this post and learn how to save money while shopping online. I had learned about Ebates from a fellow blogger and decided to give it a try. So far, it is working out great for me and I always like to pass along helpful info to you guys when I get it.

What is Ebates? It is a cash back shopping site. Lets say you want to purchase something from Sephora. You go to Ebates.com, click on the Sephora link and shop as usual. Ebates will offer you cash back when you shop through them. How can they do this? Ebates is an affiliate to many of these online shopping sites. An affiliate (in this case Ebates) will receive a small commission, or a kickback, when they refer someone to a website. They then pass some of these savings onto their members. For example, if Sephora offers Ebates 16% for referring someone, or basically advertising for them, Ebates then gives you 1/2. Sephora gets the sale, Ebates gets the percentage, you get cash back. Everybody is happy!

 Ebates will offer different cash back rates for different companies. For instance, last week if you ordered from Sephora through Ebates you received 8% cash back on your order, Ulta earned you 4% cash back. These rates change all the time. You receive this money at the end of every quarter in the form of a check.

This is what an Ebates email looks like

Ebates works with TONS of online stores (1600), ranging from the big boys such as Home Depot and Target, to the lesser known stores. Besides offering cash back, Ebates will alert you when your favorite stores are running a special. For instance, I was alerted to Ulta's 20% off sale and then I earned an additional 4% cash back. Understand how it works?

I do most of my beauty shopping online. Ebates works with most of the big name beauty sites including Paula's Choice, Skin Store, Bobbi Brown, Lancome, etc.This could spell trouble.

So far I have not had to fill anything out besides my email address. Easy Peasy!

If you are curious and would like to try Ebates for yourself, feel free to click on my referral link.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Review of Era Everyday Foundation


http://www.erabeautyusa.com/p-5-era-everyday-foundation.aspx
I have a crush! Is it weird that it's on an inanimate object? Of course not! It's foundation. 
I have wanted to try Era Everyday Foundation ever sine my friend and makeup artist, Ro Puchal, recommended it to me. 

So what is Era? Era Everyday Foundation is an airbrush foundation in a can. Similar to Dior Airflash but a fraction of the cost. (Dior cost $62 for 2 oz). Era comes in 10 shades (mine is R4-Pink Champagne) and gives you the most natural skin finish, without settling into lines. It is the perfect combination of matte and dewy if that makes any sense. Exactly what skin should be.
http://www.erabeautyusa.com/p-5-era-everyday-foundation.aspx

I have said it before and I will say it again, the finish you get from airbrush foundation is unlike any other foundation I have tried. It is as close to a true skin finish as you're gonna get. In order for the foundation to pass through an airbrush machine, or in this case a nozzle, it has to be thinned out considerably and therefore allows you to achieve a much more natural, skin-like finish. It is not a thick formulation like a traditional foundation. I always say I want it to cover everything and look like nothing. That's never going to fully happen but this sure comes close. 


Pros
  • The finish
  • Good coverage
  • Good staying power (I don't like to powder)
  • Quick application
  • Price ($33 for 2.25 oz although I purchased it for $25 during a sale)
Now the cons. The thing I dislike so much about airbrush makeup, is the actual act of airbrushing. I do not like spraying makeup on my face, whether from a can or a machine. I do not like the feeling of air hitting my face, I do not like the feeling that I may be inhaling some of the makeup, I do not like holding my breath as I am applying the makeup. I am a traditional gal when applying my foundation, so the spraying on the face is not pleasurable. You can experiment and spray on your hand first or into a sponge or beauty blender. 

If you watch the demonstration video from their website, they suggest spraying the makeup on your face in a Z pattern. Then take a velour powder puff and blend it in with downward strokes. I have been applying it in a Z pattern, then taking my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and blending it in using downward strokes. I then spray a little on the back of my hand, take a concealer brush and dab it on wherever I may need a little extra, such as blemishes, discoloration, dark circles etc. Then I take a tissue and press onto my skin to absorb any oils (this prevents having to powder). 

Cons
  • Application
  • When I spray it on my face, I notice a little gets in my hairline
  • Choc full of parabans. I know it is impossible to avoid them all the time, however I do try. I am not sure if this will be a repurchase because of this. Keep this in mind if parabans are of any concern to you and you are considering purchasing.
So time will tell if my crush will turn into a full blown love affair. So far, I am very happy with the results and if you were thinking of trying airbrush makeup, this is a great option to start with.  

http://www.erabeautyusa.com/p-5-era-everyday-foundation.aspx


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 My photos have disappeared from my older post! I have not had time to reapply them, sorry for any inconvenience~
 





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