Estee Lauder Pure Color EyeShadow Duo in Raisins

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I've been a bad blogger recently.  Very bad.  I stopped reading other people's blogs, haven't updated my own in about three weeks, and all but vanished from the internet entirely.  Now, I'd say I'm sorry, but what good is an apology once the damage is done?  I'm actually in the midst of a tricky time (my parents are moving away from me, and I'm applying for an international student visa all while trying to wrap my head around this whole hectic situation), so I literally have not been thinking about beauty.  I still wear makeup everyday for work, but that's really the extent of it.  A house full of moving boxes just seems to suck the blogger right out of me.

But now that the UHaul van is almost completely packed in and my visa application fee has been paid, I've finally got a moment to myself to write about my thoughts on a very recent (and BEAUTIFUL) acquisition of mine.  It was exactly two weeks ago now that I finally got my hands on the Estee Lauder Raisins eyeshadow duo.

I had first seen it used in a video by Zoella on youtube, and my jaw literally dropped.  I'm a huge sucker for a product demo, and buy most of my products after having seen them used in youtube tutorials, and because I've actually seen what the products can do in a live setting, I usually have a ton of luck with the makeup I purchase.  Estee Lauder's Pure Color EyeShadow Duo in Raisins was absolutely no exception (oof, what a mouthful).

The pigmentation is rich, the color payoff is intense, and the shadows themselves are crazy smooth and blendable.  The gold packaging is very expensive looking, comes with a huge mirror, and is much lighter-feeling than it appears.  As an added bonus the duo even pops out of its case if you wanted to add it to a larger palette!  Of the two shadows in the duo, the lighter, champagney color in the palette actually reminds me a lot of Naked Lunch by MAC, although it's a slightly less golden version.  And funny enough, the dark burgundy shadow that accompanies it looks quite a lot like MAC's Sketch eyeshadow, although I've always found Sketch very hard to work with as it just doesn't blend well for me.  The two make for an absolutely stunning shadow combination on the eyes, and I find that the purple tones in the darker shade really help my green eyes to stand out, especially when paired with the frostiness of the lighter shade.  I've been wearing them over top of Estee Lauder's Pure Color Stay-on Shadow Paint in Halo, and they have worn impeccably all day without a single crease.

All in all, it's a beautiful and very classic duo that I'm sure would suit every skin tone, pale to dark.  It has all but replaced my other eyeshadow palettes since I've bought it two weeks ago, and even though I've worn it exclusively to work, you could very easily build up the color to make for a more dramatic and smokey evening look.  I would have never thought a smokey eye possible with just two eyeshadows, but the paler shade doubles as a lid color and brow bone highlight, while the darker shade is easily blended out to create a soft and smokey crease.  Simples.

I literally can't fault this product; I can't see myself putting it down in the near future!  I only wish it weren't so hard to get your hands on because I will definitely be repurchasing it when I finish my current one up (which will be sometime later this year at the rate I'm going!), but I literally got the last one they had at the counter that I bought it from (and the saleswoman had to really hunt for it).  It seems to be all sold out online as well, so your best bet on finding it is to try and nail it down at a counter.  In short, this is one product where I can definitively say, 'Hype well-deserved.'

What do you think of the Estee Lauder eyeshadows?  This being my first more high-end eye palette I've ever owned, I'm over the moon with its good qualities!  Any hyped products that you've been really loving recently?  Or not? ;)

Estee Lauder Pure Color EyeShadow Duo in Raisins, $32 | Estee Lauder Pure Color Stay-On Shadow Paint in Halo, $24

Recent Skin Care Buys

Saturday, July 6, 2013

If you have been reading my blog for any time at all, then you'll probably have noticed by now that I have a slight addiction to buying Origins skin care products.  If you haven't, then I'm afraid I have some facts to face.  I have been riding the Origins wave for a few months now, and can attest to the fact that I am hooked, well and truly.  Their packaging is bright and cheerful, their prices are fair, and their products really work!  I wish I could say that I haven't spent hours combing their site for potential new additions to my skin care routine, but alas... On one of these such visits, their home screen greeted me with an offer that was just too good to pass up: a completely free full-size GinZing eye cream when you bought any two skin care items.  Not only did my wish list have at least three Origins products on it at the time, but the eye cream was one of them, so I wasted no time at all in getting down to my nearest Origins counter and selecting my two favorites.  True I left the counter with a slightly lighter wallet, but it was mostly birthday money that I'd spent so it doesn't really count, right?

Origins Zero Oil cleanser was one of the skin care items I purchased in order to receive my beloved eye cream, and I've been using it almost every day as my morning cleanser for just about two months now.  I really can't fault it!  I'd say it works best for people with combination/oily skin, and possibly for acne-prone complexions as well.  It smells fresh, works quickly to remove any excess oils you may have from the night before, and leaves your skin clean but not overly tight.  This also works well in the evenings as my sole cleanser if I've had a light or no-makeup day.

Their Never a Dull Moment cleanser is a more recent acquisition of mine (the other skin care product from the eye cream promotion will make a blog appearance sometime soon!), and is a great complement to the rest of my routine.  While it's not a cleanser I use every day, I find it's great maybe two or three times a week in place of my Zero Oil when my skin is feeling a bit on the drab side.  Listing extracts of crushed papaya among its ingredients, the tropical fruit juices within the cleanser are meant to lightly slough away the outer layer of skin, leaving the healthier skin underneath to show through more brightly.  It is essentially a more everyday and gentler version of the Origins face polisher of the same name (reviewed here).

And finally, the star of this post: my  GinZing eye cream*!  After nightly use for almost two months, I think enough time has passed for me to declare my love.  Although the cream itself is a bit goopy (note the mess in the above photo), it absorbs into the eye area with minimal rubbing and patting, and has left me looking more alert and alive.  I'm even using less of my under eye corrector now when I do my makeup!  With literally zero drawbacks, I don't think I'll ever stop singing this eye cream's praises.

What are some of your more recent skin care purchases?  Are you as Origins obsessed as I am? ;)

Origins Zero Oil cleanser $20 | Origins Never a Dull Moment cleanser $20 | Origins GinZing eye cream*, regularly $30

MAC Mocha Blush

Friday, July 5, 2013

I have a feeling that in almost every post I've ever done, I explain where I was when I bought something, and why I really wanted it.  So here comes another story.  The day I found MAC's Mocha, I wasn't on some desperate hunt for a natural blush, I wasn't even shopping for makeup, but as it always happens, I was strolling past a MAC counter, and it just called out to me.  I finger-swatched, did a road test and fell. In. Love.

This is my first ever matte blush from MAC, and only my third ever from their entire range, but it has quickly jumped to favorite status.  Mocha is just the perfect dusty pink color for my skin tone.  It mimics a natural blush on my cheeks, and makes most of my makeup-looks just a touch more girly.  I'm  not too sure why they've called it Mocha, as it is clearly not very brown at all and is actually referred to on MAC's website as a "light plum," but regardless it's a very natural looking blush, and as the first matte in my collection, it has been welcomed with open arms.

In terms of versatility, I could see this working well on people with skin tones that are a bit lighter or a bit darker than mine (fair to olive).  I also love that you can apply it lightly for a more flirty look (worn this way, it's definitely my best pick for a 'first date' blush!), but that you can build it up for a more intense, bold blush look.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice and simple matte blush that suits year-round wear, and that can be worn with a variety of different makeup-looks.  Can you tell I like it?  I've been reaching for it almost every day since it came home with me!

Do you have any favorite MAC (or non-MAC) blushes that you find look great with every makeup look?  I've become this huge blush-girl all of a sudden, so please,  hit me with your best shot!

MAC Mocha blush $21

The Star Spangled Manicure

Thursday, July 4, 2013

As a beauty-obsessed individual, I was racking my brain for about a week trying to figure out how best to commemorate America's birthday this year using makeup.  After tossing out the idea of navy eyeliner, facial glitter and cheek stickers, I settled on my nails.  I mean, if there's one place on your body where it's socially acceptable to go a bit nuts with the colors, it's the nail beds.  So I stopped off at Walgreens on the way home from work, picked up a fresh bottle of red (Essie's Hip-anema, a gooorgeous orange-red recommended by the lovely Jessica), and set to work.

I went through several test phases trying to get the stripes just right.  I applied the white "stars" with the end of a toothpick over the perfectly blue "French Kiss" by Pure Ice (it doesn't have the best staying power, but it was the best fit out of all of my blues), so I figured the toothpick method would work for drawing stripes.  Nope.  Not one bit.  I also quickly discovered that I don't have the hands for free-form nail art either, so in the end I grabbed some Scotch tape and conducted an awfully strange operation that actually sort of worked.  I first painted my nails fully white with Sally Hansen's X-treme nail color in "White On", but what I should have done next was let them dry a bit longer.  It still worked out fine, but because I went on to cover the bottoms and tips of my nails with scotch tape (and then covered the middle of each nail with a thin strip of tape that I'd cut with a pair of scissors), if I had waited longer the whole manicure might've looked neater.  I then slapped some of the beautiful "Hip-anema" over the entire nail, and let it dry.  After about five minutes, I removed all of the tape very carefully to pretty nice results for a first(ish) try.  Throw a top coat over, and you're done!  (I realize I'm about a day late and a dollar short for this year, but then that's me).

If you live in America, how will you be celebrating our nation's birthday today?  Have you done any special makeup for the occasion?

Let's Stay Together

Monday, July 1, 2013

As many of you already know, Google Reader goes kaput as of tomorrow, so here's a quick PSA.  If you'd like to keep informed and up to date with my blog, please make sure that you're following me on at least one of the platforms below so that you never miss a post!

Bloglovin' is the best and easiest way to stay connected.  If you haven't heard of it already, Bloglovin' is the simplest way to follow all of the blogs you read in one place.  It's sort of like the Facebook newsfeed for bloggers, if you will.  I love that you don't have to hop all over the internet to read your daily blogs, as they are all conveniently readable on a single platform.  You can also sign up for daily emails from them so that you always know when I've posted.

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I never fail to tweet about my newest blog post or youtube video.  It's also the easiest way to get in contact with me quickly!  I'm not great at the random tweeting just yet, but once I catch up with the 21st century and actually get myself a smart phone, I'm sure that will change ;)

You can follow me on Facebook for instant updates on new blog posts (and periodic pictures of food from time to time).

I have also just rebooted my Youtube channel, and am planning to post videos about once a week.  Topics will include beauty ramblings, beauty favorites, and plenty of hauls, to name just a few ;)

So let's take the jump together.  Hope to see you all on the other side!

P.S. My Lucy likes to pose for the camera, so I figured I'd introduce her to the blog (she's a bit of a special-head, gotta love her).

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