BECCA Ultimate Eye Colour Quad in Night Star

BECCA Cosmetics is a brand that I have loved for a long, LONG time.  They released their Ultimate Eye Colour Quads a few months back with their Smoke & Grace Collection.  There are five different quads to choose from: Night Star, Sun Chaser, Eclipse, Galactica, and Astro Violet.  My favorite of the 5 shade choices is Night Star, which is what I am showing you today. 

The outer packaging is their typical brownish-black cardboard with their name in silver.  The packaging of the product is a rubberized plastic with a metallic portion donning their name.  

“What it is:
A luxe quad compact of smooth, highly pigmented eye shadows in matte, demi-matte, and metallic finishes. 

What it does:
Color, contour, and highlight the eyes with one luxe palette. Four velvety smooth powder shadows in matte, demi-matte and metallic finishes offer ultimate looks in a complete wardrobe of intense color with rich dimension. Highly pigmented mineral powders build quickly and blend easily for lasting color in a silky smooth finish.

This set contains:
- 4 x 0.07 oz Eye Shadows

What else you need to know:
This formula is enriched with antioxidant vitamin E that helps to protect the skin from free-radical damage and provides moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain a special blend of powders and emollient agents for a soft, smooth, and uniform application. These shadows are free of fragrance and preservatives. “

The quad itself is surprisingly small.  When I saw it online I was thinking of something along the size of a MAC quad.  My hands are incredibly small (my 7 year old has the same size hands as me) and this quad doesn’t even fill up my palm.  I find that a huge benefit.  It is a compact that contains a mirror and four eye colors with which you can complete an eye look without adding any other colors.  PERFECT!

The eyeshadows themselves are impressive.  A couple are just buttery soft while the others are silky smooth.  While the textures in the palette are slightly different (mostly the same) the quality is of the highest regard.  
There is a shimmery blush/nude shade.  Next is a matte brownish-taupe with a slight green tint.  The darkest shade in the quad is described as a jet black by the company but I would disagree; it is more of a blackened brown–also matte.  The shade in the palette that makes it for me is a shimmery pale slate with hints of green.
I have nothing negative to say about this quad.  I love the brand, I love the product itself, and I even love the packaging.  I put together a look using the quad and I hope you like it.  

Face:
BECCA Line and Pore Corrector
Chanel Perfection Lumiere mixed with YSL LTTE
Hourglass Ambient Powder in Diffused
UD Quickie powder blush
Eyes:
LORAC eye primer
BECCA Night Star quad
Benefit They’re Real mascara
MAC Mystery on brows
GOSH Bananas on waterline
Lips:
MAC Garden Bed
To me this quad can easily be used for bridal looks as well as a night out on the town.  The 4 shades in the quad are perfectly varying enough to be a self-sustaining quad, meaning that you don’t need any other eyeshadows to complete an eye look.  You can even switch around the placement of the eyeshadows to create different looks.  I love versatility in my makeup products.
BECCA Ultimate Eye Colour Quads retail for $40 and can be found on the BECCA website as well as anywhere else that sells products from the brand.
Have you ever tried anything from BECCA Cosmetics?  What is your favorite product from them?  Let me know in the comments below!
*The product mentioned in this post was provided in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Merle Norman: First Impressions

Merle Norman is actually the first brand I have tried in my experience with wearing makeup.  I had a lipstick here and a nail polish there but I had never really used makeup until I made a trip to Merle Norman and got my first powder, which happens to be the Ultra Powder Foundation.  I bought my first one over 12 years ago!!!  I am happy to say that the exact same product still exists and I STILL LOVE IT!  I am excited to show you the other products that I have been trying from the brand.

Brilliant-C Eye Cream
For all skin types and aging concerns. 
Look on the bright side. This advanced eye cream brightens as it moisturizes with our exclusive Bright+ Complex®. It reduces the signs of premature aging, sun spots, dark circles and discoloration of the eye area while soothing botanicals and emollients soften and hydrate. Optical diffusers minimize flaws. Ophthalmologist tested. Fragrance-free. Oil-free.” 

If I have said it once, I have said it 1000 times: eye creams are one of my favorite skincare products.  I am terrified of having saggy, droopy eyes when I get older so I am doing everything I can for prevention now.  This eye cream is rich!  It is nice and thick and a little goes a long way.  I use a tad bit more in the evening, before bed than I do during the daytime.  I only use a tiny dot in the morning and work it around my entire eye and it is the perfect amount.  Really a nice product.  I will keep you updated on my thoughts when I touch on this product again.
Clear Complexion Toner
“For all skin types and acne concerns. 
Battle blemishes and blackheads with this acne-fighting toner. It helps clear up and dry up breakouts with Salicylic Acid. The gentle formula thoroughly lifts away pore-clogging residue. Botanical extracts help refine the appearance of pores and reduce irritation. Clinically proven to reduce acne. Oil-free.” 

I have had a problem with acne and blackheads ever since I hit puberty and nothing has changed since I hit the big 3-0.  Salicylic Acid is the key ingredient in this toner and it is proven to help with drying up acne and breakouts.  It is a nice toner; not too strong.  I feel like it helps with oil production.  Also the botanical extracts in this toner refine the appearance of pores! WIN!  :)  I put this toner on a cotton pad and swab it all over my face… it is like a breath of fresh air.  It leaves a cold, refreshed feeling!
Ultra Powder Foundation
“For all skin types. 
This amazing dual powder-and-foundation-in-one provides versatile coverage whether applied wet or dry. Its ultra-fine velvety texture absorbs oil leaving a flawless finish. It’s a must-have for on-the-go touch-ups. Oil-free.”

This product is PHENOMENAL!  I have used it off and on for years.  When I am not using this, it is not because I don’t like it–I just love trying new things.  The coverage is great and the texture is super nice.  It helps absorb oil and I can say that my face really looks perfect after.  I can’t tell you HOW MANY of my friends I have gotten hooked on this product over the years.  I love it because it is a one stop shop.  I apply this dry and it is all I need for coverage.  It is nice to keep in your purse for touch ups!  
Lasting Cream Eyeshadow
“It’s a base … it’s a shadow … it’s both! This masterfully pigmented cream glides on to provide the ideal base for layering eye shadow application — or for gorgeous, long-wearing, crease-resistant color on its own. Plus, it’s waterproof! Ophthalmologist tested. Fragrance-free. Oil-free.”

I have the shade called “Sugared Almond” and it is a pretty sparkly taupe.  I have work this on its on and layered with other products.  I love it.  It looks darker in the tube than it is on its on.  It lasted all day and looked spectacular.  I have several compliments when I used this as a base for a dramatic smokey eye a week or so ago.  It is really great.
Lasting Cheekcolor
“You need a blush that lasts hours, not minutes, right? This silky powder formula provides stay-true, fade-resistant color that glides on smoothly and blends easily. It leaves a soft, translucent finish. Talc-free. Ophthalmologist tested. Fragrance-free. Oil-free.”

The shade I have is “Angel Glow“.  It is a beautiful peachy pink that is perfect for most (if not all) skintones.  It is silky like it claims and really does blend out perfectly.  It is soft finish so the blending is easy and I have never felt that I OVER-applied it.  Really perfect color and now I am excited to try more.
Merle Norman has been around since 1931 and there is a reason!  Top quality products that perform as it claims.  I have always been a fan, and quite honestly I have this brand to thank for my undying love of makeup.  Without experiencing this brand early on in my makeup adventures I may not have been as taken with beauty products as I am now.  Thank you Merle Norman!
*The products mentioned in this post were provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own.  Links are for your convenience only.

Project Runway All Stars Finale Winning Look

 Although I am sad the season has come to end, I’m excited to share the last great look from the finale of Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars with hostsupermodel Carolyn Murphy, alongside series judges Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman and mentor Joanna Coles, new Editor-in-Chief ofCosmopolitan. Liv Tyler and Margherita Missoni served as this week’s guest judges.  

On this week’s episode, “Go Big or Go Home,” designers were challenged to design six to eight looks in four days. The judges announced Anthony Ryan Auld as the winner.   
Flawless Face:
·         Prep skin with Laura Mercier Repair Crème ($95).
·         Then, apply Laura Mercier Foundation Primer ($32) to ensure makeup stays looking fresh throughout the day.
·         Conceal any redness and imperfections with Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($30).
Eyes:
·         Prep eyelids using Laura Mercier Eye Canvas ($26) to extend makeup wear and prevent creasing.
·         Apply Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Noir ($22) and blend it into the crease and all over the eyelid.
·         Next, blend Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Truffle ($22) gradually to the brow using Laura Mercier Pony Tail Brush ($29).
·         Use Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Noir ($22) again, blending the colour lightly under the lower lashline.
·         Complete the eyes with Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara ($24) to add extra impact.
Cheeks:
·         Dust the apples of the cheeks with Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Heather Pink ($24).
Lips:
·         Add the final touch by applying Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Peche ($26).

I love Laura Mercier Cosmetics and I am so happy to be able to share these face charts with the full spectrum of products used with you!  Thank you for stopping by and reading!
*Information and photographs were provided by PR for editorial consideration.

Sigma Beauty Paris Palette

Sigma Beauty has a limited edition makeup palette called “Paris“.  Sigma had a handful of their top affiliates fly to Paris, France to gather inspiration to create this palette.  It was released months and months ago, but I just got my hands on it and I wanted to share with you my review, swatches, and a Get Ready With Me video using it.

There is an outer sleeve that looks a lot like a letter or a post card, which is tres adorable! :)

There is also an informative insert/pamphlet that accompanies the palette.

When you open it up all the beautiful colors greet you.  8 eyeshadow shades, 2 blushes, a highlight, and 2 brushes.  What a perfect palette, right?

Let’s not forget to mention a large mirror on the lid of the palette.  

The eyeshadow section of the palette is sort of split in two.  Colorful, fun, exciting shades on one side and more wearable, sophisticated shades on the other side.  Both sides have eyeshades named after places or monuments around the great city.

The more colorful side has an array of blue tones and a gorgeous, sparkly black.  The swatches below are the eyeshadows above in reverse order.  One swipe and completely, perfectly pigmented.

Of course, my favorite side is definitely the more neutral side.  

These swatches are also in reverse order of the picture above.

There is a rosy blush called Rouge.

A peachy blush named Peche.

And a GORGEOUS highlighter called Lumiere.

The swatches below are in reverse order of the pictures.

Here are swatches of the entire palette outside in daylight.  

Same swatches taken indoors, with flash.

The brushes that are included are the E55 and the F40.  Both great brushes and essential to any makeup look.

Watch the video below, you can see me play with this palette for the very first time.  
This palette is such a great full face palette.  I give the Sigma Beauty Paris palette 5 out of 5 stars.  It really suits my needs and has a nice array of all of the colors I would typically use.  Right now it is on sale for $49 and there is also a 10% off coupon, “January2013″!  Check it out and do so before they are all gone!

Confident in Beauty

Hello loves!  I wanted to talk to do a recap of my makeup looks in the recent months.  Most of these looks were done before I knew I was pregnant but they were all done while I was pregnant.  And you can really see the “glow” grow.  I also want to touch on a subject that has been difficult for me my entire life.  I have never been thin/skinny/lean by any means… I had just hit a 40 lb weight loss when I found out I was pregnant.  Now I am in the process of gaining weight, which sort of makes me upset…   My body is transforming into an incubator, but I have never been more confident in my beauty.

If my due date is completely accurate I was about two weeks pregnant in this first picture!  :)

It is kind of wild seeing some of these FOTD’s because I am looking at them knowing that I was blind to the fact that I was pregnant!  :)

Going about my daily life as though nothing major was going to be changing in less than a year.

I can honestly say that since I have found out I was pregnant I have been more confident in my beauty.  And I am not saying that in a self-centered way; I am not even meaning external beauty at all.  I am saying pregnant women are amazing.  They are growing a human inside of them and still handle daily life as though nothing ever happened.

Some are already mothers, caring for their children.  MANY have steady employment and lots of other responsibilities.  Not to mention the work of preparing for the newborn.  Doctor visits crammed in where ever you can manage!  Being pregnant is a full time job on it’s own.

This next picture was taken 2 days before I took my pregnancy test.  I was about 6 weeks pregnant in this shot.

You can see that I look sort of sleepy in the next one.  Pregnancy really wears on the body and really drains you of all energy.

But then after a really great rest, you just have to get up and do it all over again!

I am gaining weight, and although I am not happy with where my body is right now I know I am making it extra comfy for my growing child.  This post is sort of an emotional one for me… Mostly because I am emotional but also because this is just me rambling about my inner thoughts that I never usually share with anyone.  Please don’t make fun of me, as I am very sensitive right now! LOL  
When was there a time you felt confident in your beauty?  Let me know in the comments below!!!

MAC Raven Kohl Power Eye Pencil

MAC Cosmetics has released their Holiday 2012 collections and they are repromoting some of their Kohl Power Eye Pencils.  The one I have to show you today is Raven.

Raven is a blackened burgundy with a pearl-like finish.

Because it is a Kohl Power Eye Pencil it is great for smudging but I would refrain from using it in the waterline and for tightlining purposes due to the red hue.  A lot of cosmetics that are red include carmine which is an irritant to many.  I also find that because of the specks of pearl in this liner it is slightly uncomfortable on the waterline or tightline.  This is something I would strictly use on the top lash line.
The swatch below is a pretty heavy one.  You can really see the burgundy and the pearly sparkle.  When a thin line is used on your lash line the color appears as if it were a soft black.

I really enjoy the MAC Raven Kohl Power pencil.  I have used it for a few years now and I love it for the fall months.  It retails for $16.50 and can be purchased at Nordstrom or anywhere MAC Cosmetics are sold.
What is your favorite eye liner during the fall?  Is it a simple black or do you like to throw in a twist?  Do you wear it smudgy or do you like a nice crisp wing??  Let me know in the comments below!
*The product mentioned in this post was purchased by me.  In no way is this post sponsored.  I am making use of affiliate links.

Khaki Ball Makeup + Special Announcement!

Hello everyone.  Some of you know that my husband recently made Chief in the Navy!  Exciting times…  Every year there is a Khaki Ball (which is a military ball for E7 and above in the Navy) and I wanted to share with you the makeup that I wore that evening!  I also have some really exciting news to share with you, so make sure to stick around until the end!

I basically did my everyday look but better for the occasion.  Seriously… I did everything I typically do but I did it very slowly and was careful to do things exactly like I wanted them.  I could typically do this exact look in about 10-15 minutes but I wanted my makeup to last all night and I wanted to look my best so I ended up taking around half an hour to 45 minutes on the look.

I had a haircut the morning of so my hair was particularly bouncy this day!  :D  I hot-rolled it to give it a little extra volume and flip at the ends.

I don’t have any pictures to show you of my dress and that makes me pretty sad.  There was supposed to be a photographer there the evening of to get a shot of me and my sailor together but there wasn’t… and by the time the ball was over I was tired and all worn out… you will know why in a minute! LOL

Products used for this look:
FACE:
Giorgio Armani Face Fabric mixed with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye 
Laura Mercier Loose Minerals in 2
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores
Rouge Bunny Rouge Orpheline
EYES:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Laura Mercier Cream Eyeshadow in Platinum
Rouge Bunny Rouge Caress of Mink
Anastasia Beverly Hills Want You To Want Me Palette for the blending shades
Smashbox Cream Eyeliner in Onyx for wing
RevitaLash Raven eyeliner for tightline and waterline
It Cosmetics Hello Lashes
LIPS:
Giorgio Armani Beige 102
Now for the announcement!
I am pregnant!  This is the picture I posted to my personal Facebook wall (and twitter and Instagram feeds) earlier this week!  Really exciting and definitely unexpected!  I already have a 6 year old (soon to be 7 in a couple months) and figured I would have another eventually but it definitely took me by surprise!  I still haven’t gotten sonograms or anything done, so as those get in my possession expect that I will share them with you or possibly even do a YouTube video.  Who kows!  :D
 I haven’t felt my best for the last couple of weeks–which is why my posts haven’t been so plentiful lately.  I have been extremely tired and had no drive to do anything except work, be a mommy, and go to sleep.   I am sorry for neglecting you guys here.  Expect that I may be extremely exhausted for the next couple of months!  I am apologizing in advance!   Thank you to those of you that comment and support me and give me the drive to keep posting reviews and such!  You remind me why I do this–I do it for YOU!  

REVIEW and SNEAK PEEK: IT Cosmetics Airbrush Blush Stain

I am completely obsessed with blush.  I am set out on owning as many different types, textures, and shades of blush as possible without having any dupes.  I love unique products and I haven’t seen anything as unique as the IT Cosmetics Airbrush Blush Stain.

These beautiful blushes use the same technology as the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores (review coming soon), it is silk-infused and lays down a beautiful cheek color while also diffusing the appearance of pores without settling into fine lines and wrinkles.  This line is hydrating, brightening, anti-aging; need me to go on?  It was developed with plastic surgeouns to create a natural, pretty, long-lasting flush.  
Airbrush Blush Stain also contains ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, vitamins A, B, E, and K.  It doesn’t contain ingredients such as talc, parabens, SLS, mineral oil, petrolatum, phthalates, or fragrance.  It is non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic so it is great for all skintypes.  
One of the shades, Sweet Cheeks, is a beautiful peachy pink or could even be categorized as a lovely muted coral.  It is matte, so there is no sparkle or shimmer.  
It looks pretty full on in the jar and on the powder puff but it is a beautiful silky soft texture, and when applied with a nice fluffy brush like the French Boutique Luxe Blush Brush from IT Cosmetics (review coming soon) it sheers down a bit and turns into a gorgeous shade.  The swatches below are outside in direct sunlight.  The left swatch is a direct swipe without blending it out and the one on the right is blended. 

A shade that is set to release during the Fall/Winter 2012 season is called Rose Glow.  It is a beautiful light rosy pink.  It has a touch of shimmer and leaves behind a gorgeous sheen on the cheek.

I found that when I wore this it really brightened up my cheeks as well as illuminated my cheekbones leaving no reason for me to use a highlighter.  I love products that do more than one thing so this gets two thumbs up for me.  Again, it is the same formula as Sweet cheeks so you can apply it directly for a heaving color deposit or blend it out.  
I wanted to show you the two shades side by side so these next few pictures are comparing the two.  The next picture Rose Glow is on the left and Sweet Cheeks is on the right.  You can see that Rose Glow has a cool undertone, where the Sweet Cheeks is neutral/slightly warm in undertone.

This next picture was taken outside in direct sunlight.  
In the swatches below you can see Rose Glow on the left and Sweet Cheeks on the right.  This picture was outside in direct sunlight.

Same swatches, indoors with a flash.

Typically when IT Cosmetics releases new shades they have a special value set that includes a brush.  Their brushes are fabulous and the pricing on these special sets are usually outstanding.  I don’t know for sure that this will be released that way or what it will retail for, but I would stay tuned for the release.  They usually release products when they have a segment on QVC.

The IT Cosmetics Airbrush Blush Stain retails for $24 at itcosmetics.com, beauty.com and qvc.com.  I am putting my firm stamp of approval on this product for both shades.  
What is your favorite shade of blush?  What type of blush do you use: pressed powder, loose powder, cream?  Let me know in the comments below.  I love reading your comments, they always make me want to try new things!
*The products mentioned in this post were provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own and all links are for your convenience only.

Laura Mercier for Pamella Roland Spring/Summer 2013

I am a big fan of Laura Mercier Cosmetics.  If I could say that one brand summarizes my style as a whole it would definitely be Laura Mercier.  She has a philosophy on flawless skin that appeals to me so much.  She believes that if your skin looks amazing then you will too.  All that being said, Laura Mercier Cosmetics did the makeup for Pamella Roland’s NYFW Spring/Summer 2013 look.  The brand typically does most of Pamella Roland’s runway looks, if not all of them.  I love the look they put together for this show!

Created by: Matin Maulawizada, Global Artistry Director for Laura Mercier 
Lead Makeup Artist: Robert Greene for Laura Mercier
Matin describes the look as “a melange of 1960s glamour and Pamella Roland’s clean, geometric aesthetic that can be worn with ease by the modern woman.”

I don’t have the products mentioned or I would totally recreate it myself for you guys but I may do my own version of this very soon with things I do have from the brand. 
Do you like to recreate looks based off of face charts like me?  I don’t know why but face charts amaze me. I love to visualize the look on myself and eventually get carried away and recreate them.  :)  Let me know in the comments below!
*Images and information provided by PR for the brand.

Japonesque HD Dual Sided Brushes 120 and 130

I was walking around in Ulta the other day and noticed these awesome brushes from Japonesque.  They are the HD Dual Sided brushes in 120 and 130.  I am sort of a brush freak if you didn’t know so that whole brush area realllly appeals to me.  I didn’t pick anything up that day but I kept lusting after these. 

I ended up buying them from BeautyBar.com after I got my most recent Sample Society box (the one with the Deborah Lippmann polish in Private Dancer).  I purchased a couple other Deborah Lippman polishes but was looking for something to add to my order for free shipping.  I told you that these brushes were stuck on my mind so I just searched for the brand on the site (without knowing for sure if they were even sold there) and I was in luck!

You can see from the pictures that one side is like a flat foundation brush type bristle and then the other side is more of a blending/powder brush type of bristle.  This line is completely reminiscent, aka DUPES, of the MAC Semi Precious brushes.  The Japonesque 130 brush looks exactly like the MAC 234 and the Japonesque 120 looks just like the MAC 235.  

I cannot vouch for the performance being the same because I didn’t purchase any of the limited edition MAC brushes, and to be completely honest I didn’t even see them in person at a counter or free-standing store.  I missed them all together.  Either way, the Japonesque brushes are so much more affordable than the 
The Japonesque 120 brush is used for foundation, but you could easily use this to apply cream blush and then blend it out.  The 130 brush is marketed as a concealer brush but I used it the other day to apply an eyeshadow all over the lid.  Such versatile brushes.  I would say run out ASAP and snatch these up!  The picture below shows you the packaging, I wanted to include that so you knew what to look for.  
The 120 brush retails for $17 and the 130 retails for $14, you can get them anywhere Japonesque is sold.  Do you have any brushes from Japonesque?  If so, which ones do you own?  This was my first experience with Japonesque and I am very impressed and looking to possibly expand my collection.  ;)