Friday, September 27, 2013

Big ELF Haul Swatches

Hi All!
   Over on my youtube channel I posted a video with a large ELF haul but I figured a few extra swatches wouldn't hurt to show the true colors of the products.  The ELF website doesn't show the best swatches, and often the products aren't the colors they are shown on the site, so to help ya'll out here are a few from my purchase!

ELF Cream Blush in Heartbreaker
This feels like a mousse in constancy and seems to be pigmented but without being too much. 

ELF Studio Blushes in Candid Coral (L) and Peachy Keen (R) 
Both shades have a sheen/ shimmer to them which does leave a pretty highlight on the skin. I've never used a peachy blush so this could be interesting.  

ELF Eye Primer & Liner Sealer
It'll be interesting to see how this primer holds up to the other very popular ELF eyelid primers.  This is much thicker, like a concealer stick, but still smooth.  The liner sealer just seems like a good idea to have instead of tons of different color liners.  I've never actually tried a liner sealer, so this will be a real trial. 

ELF Baked Eyeshadow in Toasted
The shadow really looks sheer without a primer, but I could actually see this used as a bronzy cheek highlight.  With a primer (left side swatches) shows much better pigmentation. 

ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzer in St. Lucia
So the bronzer looks like it can be pretty dark, but the blush looks a lot like Benefit's Dandelion box blush.  I don't know about anyone else, but there seems to be a sheen/ very light shimmer int he bronzer pan, but it does not seem to show up in the swatch.  

ELF Baked Blush in Peachy Cheeky
This is sooo light in my swatch and very shimmery.  This is very much a cheek shimmer or highlight, but it almost feels too shimmery.  I'll have to see how I can play with this little baby.  

ELF Studio Eyeshadows
Swatches L-R: Amethyst, Saddle, Wild Wheat, Buttercream
I really haven't heard people talking about these eyeshadows so I was inclined to try them out.  Without a primer (swatches on left) the light shades like Wild Wheat and Buttercream don't show up well, and the darker shadows don't show up as impressive as they seem in the pan.  But with some primer, the shadows seems to brighten up.  The only shadow I am a little bummed out on is the Amethyst because I thought it would be more purple rather than dark brown.  

ELF Studio HD Blush in Diva
So I'm sure with this swatch you see a line where I first started to blend this blush.  Not even 30 seconds later I went to blend this color more, and I saw the original swipe.  This is truly an over pigmented blush and already seems like it'll be more work than I want to put into for a quick swipe. 

ELF 3 in 1 Mascara Lengthen, Define & Volumize
I've never used an ELF mascara so it'll be interesting to test out if it is truly a lengthen, define, and volumize. 

ELF Studio Palettes Spotted & Sporty (Front) and Day on the Beach (Behind)
Spotted and Sporty is the more colorful of the pair, but some of the color swatches come out very pale and muted.  The blush on the palette is quite pretty, but I'm not a huge fan of the lipsticks being with the palette because the powder products can get in.  The spots in the eyeshadows do add some depth to shadows and even make them a little more wearable.  The Day at the Beach palette is more pigmented shadows and had a nice range of matte and shimmer shadows.  I don't see any doubles in the shadows too, which is a good option.  The big dud is actually the blush which was SO chalky and SO unpigmented that it was just a waste of time.  

32 Warm Palette
This palette was a great purchase especially to expand neutrals because it puts to perspective what ARE neutral shadows.  There are some dud shades like the dark black, matte shade that actually ends up looking like a dark grey.  The shade in the top right corner is extremely flaky and chunky, but most shades are worthwhile.  

Have you tried any of these products? What was your experience with them?
If you would like to see my entire haul here a link to my video!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Empties! (Traveler edition!)

Hi All!
    Hope that this summer break is treating you well! I am really excited to bring you guys another batch of empties (no I did not pack empties from my home to take with me for this post) This is strictly a post of what I have finished on this trip so that I don't have to carry back to the USA a large bag full of empty plastic containers (I think TSA would find that kinda crazy too!)

So what have I finished?

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towels:
These were okay towelettes, I bought the sample pack before my trip yet I
found that I didn't use them as much.  These just didn't feel like they actually
got all my makeup off.  Plus these stung my eyes. 

Make-up Remover Facial Wipes:
These I got from the Dollar Store, and didn't really like these for my face. They were small, and not very saturated.
I actually used these to spot treat my makeup brushes.

 Neutrogena Oil- Free Acne Wash:
This was another product I picked up in a previous haul
just so that I could try out some other facial products.  This was a pretty good face wash I might go back and purchase it in the future.

L'Occitane Shower Gel Mini (x3):

I had a whole bunch of mini L'Occitane products from my hotel and I really
like the way this smelled.  It had Rosemary and Mint and just felt so
refreshing! Would I purchase this on it's own...probably not because it is pretty pricy. 

Asira Body Wash:
This was from a hotel I stayed in YEARS ago (yep I hoarded mini bath products)
Anyways, I found that this wash dried my skin out, and anyways I can't purchase this any I'm just glad I have less crap hanging around my room.

L'Occitane Shampoo (x3):
Yep, I told ya I had a bunch of these minis! The shampoo was pretty good,
but it doesn't work better than drugstore shampoos like Garnier or Herbal Essences. 

L'Oreal EverSleek Reparative Smoothing Conditioner:
So this conditioner worked pretty well for my hair.  I think I actually like the conditioner
more than I like the shampoo (the shampoo always left my hair feeling greasy).
Would I repurchase it? I don't think so, because I like so many other conditioners. 

L'Occitane Conditioner:
ANOTHER conditioner (do we see a theme here?) Anyways this was also nice stuff
but I just can't justify purchasing the full bottle at that price when so many
other conditioners work just as well for much cheaper.  I think I'll
just enjoy it in the hotel sample bottle form.

Jade Hand & Body Lotion (x2)
FINALLY! This is like the last of many minis I had in my dresser drawer (but let's
not talk about the big vase full of minis that my mother has that I need to start working through). I
liked the scent of this lotion though, it had a light and fresh rose fragrance.  Yet, it was
also a hotel sample so I have no idea where to buy it.

Dove gofresh Cool Mini Deodorant:
This was a life saver while I was here in Poland the first few days.  I was still running around
trying to get all my little items and kept forgetting to grab deodorant (oye!)
I liked this for the few days that I used it, but I had the full size in the past
and got really sick of the scent after a while.  So I might repurchase a mini to keep on hand, but not the full size.

ELF Exact Lash Mascara in Black:
So after the big hoopla about lower lash tiny brush mascaras, I went out and bought
this thinking "AWESOME! It's cheap and I can really use it." First off, I don't usually wear
mascara on my bottom lashes, and Second...this sucked.  The brush handle was too short so that caused a mess, the formula was barely there, and at times it looks like it was dried out because no color would come off.  This was just a waste and I'm glad I used what I could (which was not much anyways). NOT repurchasing.

NYC Lipstick in 319 Violet Shine:
This is a beautiful lipstick color that has some shimmer in it.  This is very much a "my lips but
better" color, it's not very purply as the name suggests, it's more of a pinky with hint of purple.
I wore this a lot this year so it was going to finish out sooner or later.
I would purchase it again, but I have a lot of similar colors to this.
PS I was NOT going to dig out the color from the tube...not worth all the extra fuss. 

Julep Nail Color in Grace:
This is a perfect "clean nail" polish.  When I wore this it just left my hands looking so fresh.
It did take about 4 coats to make it opaque (but it was still not fully opaque), and this polish
went very quickly because of that.  I don't know if I'm going to purchase this again
because of the price of the polish (14 bucks).  I have many similar colors
so I think I'll work on finishing out those colors.

NYC Loose Finishing Powder in Natural Veil:
Well, I can already say that I'm shocked that I finished this product out so fast.
I'm not a fan of loose finishing powders, and this one did not help keep my face shine free as long as I would have liked neither did it help my makeup from breaking down as quickly,
but hey it was a product I really wanted gone and done!
There was a sifter, but I popped it out and lost it. Oops

LaSource Relaxing Body Lotion from Crabtree & Evelyn:
I love Crabtree & Evelyn products but I just could not get behind this scent.  It was a spa scent but it
was also sickly sweet on me.  It's just not a fragrance I would have chosen
for myself.  I'd rather look towards the thick lavender or rose creme.
Vitamin C Tablets on Left, On Right LaSource

Vitalsss Plus Witamina C Tablets:
So these are just effervescent Vitamin C tablets that I took while my stay at the dormitory.
We have had 3 rounds of heavy sicknesses in our dorm and I took these as preventive measures.
Boy was I happy to have done that because I didn't even cough during my stay here!
Anytime I travel I always take a pack of these because it helps my immune system
battle and airplane bugs and transition to the climate colds.

Carea Cotton Rounds:
These are just generic cotton rounds that worked really well for taking off makeup.  There are 120
rounds and they cost less than a buck, so it's a win win situation for me.

TREsemme Freshstart Dry Shampoo:
So the first few times I used it, it was ok.  Then the second half of the bottle felt like I was spraying
liquid onto my scalp.  I've heard from quite a few people that they
also have this problem the with this particular dry shampoo.  I have to say, I'm not on the whole
dry shampoo band wagon though, I still feel gross when my hair isn't washed.
I might give this another go another day, but for

NIVEA Stress Protect Anti-Perspirant:
So I have to say, I was a little skeptical when I first bought this antiperspirant, because it is
milky and not a heavy duty men's product.  But even on the 100 plus
degree days, this worked really well.  I wish the US carried this product (or
at least it was more readily available).

Timotei With Jericho Rose 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner
I really liked this shampoo, I found that it kept my hair feeling REALLY soft despite the hard water here in Poland. I still did follow up with conditioner, but this lathered well and smelled really nice.  Sadly this is a product I've only seen here in Poland, so I probably won't see it in the US.  Oh well.

L'Occitane Body Lotion
This was another one of my tons of minis I had with me.  But this was probably my most disappointing products form L'Occitane that I've used.  The lotion was very thin and watery and did not soak into the skin.  The scent was ok, it strong resembles goat milk products, which I personally do not mind.

L'Occitane Conditioner (x2)
 Yep, I know...didn't I already post earlier about finishing one of these...well I finished two more and the way I've been writing about these products is as I go through them.  So you, my readers, will have to deal with a double on the list. I liked the conditioner...but still feel there are much more and better products for much lower prices.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub (Fresh Skin)
Um... someone care to remind me why I stopped using this product? (Erm...guilty I had too many face washes and couldn't justify going out and buying so much more until I finished a few...oops) I found that the scrub was nice and gritty and very useful for opening up the skin for another cleanser so that it could get in real deep.  When I get back home, I'll be purchasing a large bottle of this!

Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser
This stuff makes my face tingle! But in a really refreshing and clean way.  Did it perform miracles when it came to my breakouts? Not really, and this surprised me.  I have a few other products that work a lot better and faster.  

Needless to's been a busy summer of empties!
What have you finished?