DUPE ALERT! NARS Yachiyo Dupe from Born Pretty Store

Press Sample

I am a huge fan of NARS Cosmetics but they are on the expensive side so I spend a lot of time looking for good dupes. When I was offered the chance to try out this fabulous brush from Born Pretty Store I was super excited.   It is a great, affordable dupe!

First off, if you are unfamiliar with the Yachiyo brush it is a handmade; hand-spun with natural wisteria to preserve its unique traditional character.  It has a tapered spiral dome head.  The dupe of it is very similar with some small differences.  The main difference being that the Yachiyo brush was sold for $50 and this one is $9.99.

The brush has lots of hairs in it but they are longer and and give quite a bit with pressure.  The movement of the hair in the brush is what gives the most brilliant, blended application of blush.  Truly perfection.


The Handmade Rattan Handled Blush Brush from Born Pretty Store is a beautiful brush and I can’t find any faults.  It is soft, it feels lightweight and comfortable in my hand, and it does what it is supposed to do.  It is also 1/5 of the price tag!  You can get 10% off of your orders on Born Pretty Store if you use the code LGH10!

What is an exciting dupe that you have found lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Affiliate links in use.
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IT Cosmetics Hydra-Sponge VS Beauty Blender

Since the day the Beauty Blender came on the market I have been looking for a dupe.  I have tried all kinds and for the most part none really compare.  I have had several dry rot, the color bleeds into the foundation with some, and some just aren’t good at all.  I was recently sent the IT Cosmetics Hydra-Sponge to try and I thought this would be a fantastic post to bring to you.

“This reusable little blue wonder will bounce and blend your foundation to a flawless airbrushed finish, giving you your most beautiful skin ever! Say bye-bye to harsh foundation lines; with its versatile egg shape, you can reach every area of your face effortlessly! Use the bigger, rounded end to smooth and stipple larger areas; the smaller, pointy end can be used to delicately apply to small spaces, such as around the eye area. Can be used wet or dry and as always, Hydra-Sponge™ is 100% cruelty free!” – It Cosmetics

In the first picture the sponges were dry and in the picture directly above they are wet.  You can see that they both just about double in size.  The one from IT Cosmetics is larger than the Beauty Blender.  The Hydra-Sponge being bigger means that it can cover more area off the face in less time. 

You can see in the picture directly above the texture is very different.  The Beauty Blender looks more sponge like and when pressed down it gives quite a bit with little pressure.  The Hydra-Sponge is a different foamy-sponge material.  It is much more dense and doesn’t give much when pressed upon.  
As far as makeup application, the results are very similar.  Both can roll or bounce/stipple the foundation on with both sponges, but the feeling is a little different.  Both deliver an airbrush-type of effect.  It really boils down to your preference.  I like to use the Beauty Blender with thicker, more full-on coverage foundations and the the Hydra-Sponge with thinner, more sheer coverage foundations.

Even though it says you can use the Hydra-Sponge dry or wet I would definitely recommend using it wet.  I am not a fan of using it dry because it is a little hard, when wet it becomes much more supple and bouncy.
Remember how I mentioned how large it was?  Look at it wet in the palm of my hand.  My hand is rather small, but wowzers!!  

IT Cosmetics Hydra-Sponge retails for $24 and can be found at itcosmetics.com, qvc.com, and Ulta Beauty stores as well as ulta.com.  I do recommend the Hydra-Sponge.  Although it is technically the same thing as the Beauty Blender I wouldn’t call it a perfect dupe because of the differences in texture, but they essentially deliver the same results.
*Some of the items in this post were provided for editorial consideration.  All links are for your convenience only and all opinions are my own.

Happy Mother’s Day 2013

I just wanted to ramble on a bit and share a bit of beauty related pics from my Instagram feed.  First off, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all of you mothers that visit my site.  What a fun day to treat that special lady in your life or even get spoiled by your own fantastic families.  I hope that you all make the most of this beautiful Sunday!
After I took a shower this morning my power went out directly afterwards… :/  I wanted to do my hair and look cute (for the first time in weeks) but apparently the electricity-gods didn’t want that.  So my hair went up in a bun.  While I was sitting in my bathroom in the dark I started looking at the mess that has accumulated on the side of my vanity sink.  I started thinking, “Wow… I never talk about any of this stuff but I use it just about daily.”  I want to list out for you today some things that are my dailies that don’t get mentioned.  

Sephora Tweezers - I have had these tweezers for years… like at least 4 years.  They are still perfectly sharp and never fail when I need them.  These are the slanted ones but I also have a needle nose pair that rarely get used because they are kind of scary.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer - This stuff is a miracle.  It covers ANYTHING I need it to.  I have no other words for it really except AMAZING.
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick - It is such a pretty color and I attempt to wear it all the time but it is very very bright so I never actually go through with it.  I keep it out though to remind me to try it everyday until I convince myself to wear it! LOL
Cotton Pads - I remove my makeup with these, clean up during makeup application, you name it.  I am constantly repurchasing these things.  I don’t ever really think about how VITAL they are to my beauty routine but I think it would be like having my hands cut off if I were to have to go without them.
Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream – Skin PERFECTER!  No joke.  I love this stuff.  I finally wrote my review on it a few days back so feel free to go read that for my full opinion.  Heaven sent!

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray - This is a small sample that I got a LOOOONG time ago but this little guy hasn’t given out yet.  It is pretty fantastic stuff as far as lid primer goes.  I have been doing very minimalistic looks but it really makes the discoloration on my eyelids neutralized so that the actual colors I put on my lids show through!  Good stuff!
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – I actually really love this stuff and I am a long, long time user.  I have had great skin since becoming pregnant but my laziness/feeling ill in the most recent weeks have left me falling asleep with makeup on and not taking care of my face like I should.  I started having breakouts that are completely my fault recently and this stuff is my go-to blemish control!  If you haven’t tried anything from Mario Badescu and you have acne: USE THIS!!  It will turn you onto the brand as a whole.
There are a few more things but I wont get into those.  The ones I mentioned are always sitting around like that and are all worth trying.
Julep Zelda is gorgeous.  I did my nails with them late last night and I am amazed.  I got it in my May Julep Maven box and I never actually did a post or wore them until now but the entire box was amazing.  In fact… I kinda want to go and play with the lipsticks that came in my box now!  :D  The polish called Zelda (pictured above) looks almost exactly like another polish I have from Chanel called Delight.  It was limited edition from last year’s summer collection (link to my post on it found here)!  
If you weren’t able to get your hands on it try to pick up the Julep shade.  Here is my referral link if you want to sign up for Julep under me. You can get your first box for free and after the initial box you can chose to get your box or skip it each month.  
My Mother’s Day Face Of The Day is really my basic FOTD!  
Products used:
FACE:
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat 
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer 
Rock & Republic Powder (finally using a backup I am hoarding)
NARS Lovejoy
NARS Albatross
EYES:
 Benefit Stay Don’t Stray
Makeup Forever Aqua Cream in 13
Dior Brown Sequins Eyeshadow
MAC Cork
a couple other Dior shadows that I can’t remember the name of (SO sorry)
MAC Mystery in outer-v and on brows
Too Faced 3-Way Liner
Bare Minerals Waterproof Liner for tightline and waterline
Ellis Faas mascara
LIPS:
Khroma Beauty Gloss in Orange Blossom Honey
Hope you enjoyed my rambles!  I enjoy doing them! 

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream Dupe: Urban Outfitters Sea Dust

I am a huge fan of many Deborah Lippmann polishes, but I often wont spring for them.  They are highly duplicated by many more affordable brands so I like to sit back and collect those.  I was strolling through Urban Outfitters a few weeks back and I sifted through the nail polish bins as I always do.  Most of the time I don’t find anything interesting or unique, but this go round I found a nail polish called Sea Dust which is the DL dupe for Mermaid’s Dream.

For those that know nothing of the original, let me describe it.  It is a nice metallic sea foam green base with small hex glitters that are either blue or teal… I really can’t tell.  

The polish is beautiful.  I use 2-3 coats when I wear it and it looks amazing.  I would think that it would be slightly gritty but I find that it is amazingly smooth.  

You can see that with a flash it is highly reflective.  Very hard to capture it’s beauty on film (or electronically)!  

Urban Outfitters Sea Dust is amazing and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.  I am now going to try more UO polishes in hopes they are all as amazing as this one!
What nail polish dupes have you found that you love?

Konad Dupe Alert!

Hello ladies!  I have no talent what-so-ever in the nail department.  That never stops me from tryin though! LOL  Here is a horrible picture of my Konad Dupe experience.  I promise they don’t look this bad in real life.  Don’t blame the cheap Flirt system for the bad picture…  It was all user problems.   I included a video below showing you exactly how it works.
I am completely thrilled about this system.  I have a whole new interest in doing my nails again.  Now I need to buy a gazillion plates of designs!  O_o <~~~ gone crazy!

Hope you enjoy my less than mediocre skills with my cheap Konad dupe!

Milani Minerals Blush

I was strolling through my local CVS recently because I had some ExtraBucks I needed to use (they expired the day I was in the store) and stopped and took notice of the beautiful Milani blushes.  The prices weren’t marked so I went to the kiosk and scanned them and WOW!  They rang up to be $1.75.  I had $8 worth of ExtraBucks so my heart skipped a beat.  :)  I hurriedly scanned several items and got lots of discounted Milani.  I picked up all of the blushes except the orange one.  I just received an orange blush from the beautiful Mira (Sleek Aruba which is d/c) so I didn’t feel the need to get another one!  
If you are interested in picking these up, please don’t get discouraged that they aren’t marked sale.  Go check the price.  Not everything is on sale but there are lots of things that are.
Here are the swatches in natural daylight.  
Sweet Rose didn’t really make me stand up and pay attention in the pan but I can see that this will REALLLLY work with my coloring well.  It is a nice cool toned pink.  It is matte and blends very smooth.
Mai Tai is GORGEOUS.  I think that it is my favorite one.  It is matte like Sweet Rose and has the same texture.  It is spectacular.  Below I have swatched it with a very surprising dupe.  *HUGE GRIN*
Luminous seems to be one of the more popular blushes from this line but it seems to be less pigmented than the others.  It is said to be a dupe to NARS Orgasm.  I no longer own Orgasm but it does appear very similar.  This one has shimmer and I am not quite sure this one is as pretty or unique as the others.  

Here are the same swatches indoors with a flash.

Here is the special dupe swatch that I promised from above.  Milani Mai Tai and Rouge Bunny Rouge Orpheline.  Wow right?  I bought one blush for over $30 and the other for less than $2.  
When I was swatching and playing around with the Milani blushes it just hit me all at once…  Mai Tai is sooo close to Orpheline that I could not resist putting these comparisons up.  This is the picture taken in natural daylight.

Here are the blushes pictured indoors with flash.

The swatches will show you just how similar these are.  WOW.  Mai Tai is slightly more peachy/orange but honestly very similar.  And I would like to mention that the texture isn’t terribly different either.  The Rouge Bunny Rouge is a more creamy feeling powder where the Milani feels a bit silkier.

These are the same swatches taken indoors with a flash.  These are more true to color.  This really shows how similar they are.

I am in love with these Milani blushes.  To be able to compare one of them to a Rouge Bunny Rouge blush without batting an eye should say so much.  RUN TO YOUR LOCAL CVS AND SNATCH THESE UP ASAP! *Do note that if you are allergic or react to the ingredient Mica, that these do contain Mica and I would be careful!*
Funny extra.  
I was finishing up taking these pictures and I sat my camera (on the tripod and all) down on my kitchen counter and it snapped this picture.  You can kind of see that my kitchen is filled with makeup/nail polish and package boxes. I am glad that all of the items sitting out on the counter aren’t showing.  lol  Who does that?  Food is supposed to be on counter tops, not a ton of makeup. :)

Thanks for stopping by and taking a minute to see what I am talking about this go round.  If you have any review requests or questions just let me know.  :)  Have you tried Milani Minerals blushes?

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish Dupe!

Well!  That time of the year is coming around again!  It is almost time to start showing off bare legs and arms!  They have been hibernating all winter and it is time to slough away the dead skin!  I have tried the Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish but at $65 a pop, who can afford it?

I think I have found a pretty decent dupe!  I was walking around my local Publix (also recently seen at Ulta and Walmart) and was on the, of course, beauty aisle!  I saw this product and just couldn’t resist.  And get this!  It is less than 1/10 of the price!  Literally!  It was $6 plus tax!  Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub is an absolute gem!

The smell is gorgeous and it does the exact same thing as the Fresh exfoliator!  Plus you get 2 more oz with the cheaper product!

Thanks for reading!