My Favorites from MAC’s New Matte Lipsticks

Back in June, MAC released 22 shades of their mate lipsticks. Matte lips are incredibly popular right now, and MAC is always on trend, so it was the perfect opportunity for the cosmetic company to introduce some long awaited shades as well as some new amazing colors. The formula for MAC’s matte lipsticks is very moisturizing. The finish is matte, the moisture level is moderate once the  product completely dries, and they are not transfer resistant. Below is a list of the 10 latest shades, and their color descriptions.

  1. Royal (Deep Blue)
  2. Antique Velvet (Intense Brown)
  3. Stone (Muted Grayish Taupe Brown)
  4. Persistence (Peachy Cinnamon)
  5. Whirl (Dirty Rose)
  6. Naturally Transformed (Muted Golden Beige)
  7. Tropic Tonic (Full Power Coral)
  8. Men Love Mystery (Lavender Violet)
  9. D for Danger (Brick Red)
  10. Instigator (Deep Blackened Plum)

You can click here for the full range of colors available for purchase online. I purchased two that I couldn’t wait to have, but I intend to get a few more. For now, check out my latest MAC mini haul video below to see swatches of my two faves from the new releases.

Love It or Leave It: ColourPop Ultra Matte Lippies

ColourPop is a LLC owned and operated by a small team in Los Angeles, CA. The cruelty-free cosmetic brand has skyrocketed into the popular beauty realm through social media, and praise from popular YouTubers like Jaclyn Hill, Destiny Godley, and MannyMUA. At the beginning of the month, ColourPop debuted their contribution to the liquid lipstick trend with their Ultra Matte collection. The 25 colors, ranging from neutrals, pinks, reds, and purples, sold out within the first few hours of availability. I was lucky enough to get six of them (Trap, Donut, Bumble, Oiji, Pacific, and Lychee) and I made a swatch video, which you can view at the end of the blog.

So far, my faves are Trap, a pastel nude, and Lychee, a vibrant rich fuscia purple. 018c606dd772d67530e795acaf122a1e7d51386409I also really enjoy Bumble, a rich and deep mauve-pink. These have a great formula, go one smooth and blendable, and very comfortable to wear. The other three colors, Donut, Oiji, and Pacific, were patchy, difficult to blend, and crumbly when dried. Now, I understand that this company is still in its infancy, so absolutely no shade to them at all, but I need to make people aware of the inconsistency in the formula so that they can make an informed decision in their purchase when ColourPop restocks this product. I love all of the colors I received, and have even been able to make the more difficult colors work, but it’s also important to know the pros and cons of beauty products, especially those you can only purchase online. The price point ($6 each) makes these lippies very accessible, and worth the price, even if they don’t all work the same way.

01849baffc39a30ff2558de6dc9e31a379381be650My final thoughts on the ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lip is to Love It with caution. Watch as many videos, and read as many reviews, as you can before you make your purchase. Also, be sure to follow ColourPop on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and join their mailing list so that you don’t miss the next restock. Create your account in advance, because their site is young and their server crashes a lot when their products debut. I do plan to review more of their products, because their eyeshadows and blushes have been raved about. They’ve recently introduced some highlighters, just in time for that summer glow. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to know of my latest beauty uploads. Love y’all for reading, and watching. Ciao for now!

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook – xoxo

All Lacquered Up! How to Spot the Best Nail Polishes

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Image source: http://www.glamour.com

I’m such a major fanatic for all things nail. I love the versatility of doing your own nails and collecting polishes. I enjoy brands from the luxury end of the spectrum all the way down to 99 cent bins at the local beauty supply store. As long as it’s unique, well formulated, and lasts at least a week, I’m down for it. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what makes one polish different from another, or how to prepare for at home manicures and pedicures, I have a few tips, lists, and recommendations to share with you.

1. What Makes One Polish Better Than the Next?

Short answer? The formula. Depending on the brand and ingredients, polish consistency, coverage per coat, chip resistance, and the all important finish. Often times, the brand will have many of these finishes mentioned on the bottle (example: matte, satin, high shine, hologram, magnetic, etc). Some brands also feature specialized technology, such as oxygen infused or gel polish which doesn’t require a UV or LED lamp. There’s a polish to suit any and all of your needs.

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Image source: http://www.fashionrefractor.com

2. Value and Quality

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Image source: us.christianlouboutin.com

The price of your polish and the quality of ingredients go hand in hand. This is not to say that there aren’t inexpensive brands that produce a great product, but you get a bit more advanced technology the more you’re willing to pay. For example, O.P.I is a majorly popular polish brand. It’s used in nail salons all over the country, and their colors/finishes are unique boasting collections by celebrities, limited edition series, and some of the most unique and fun names on the market. But O.P.I is a standard level of quality with an equally standard price tag. The formula is thicker than an Essie polish, yet still requires two coats for an even finish with no streaks. Julep is a brand that is more specialized and sold primarily on the brand’s website and at Sephora.com, as well as ground locations. Their product cost $14, more of the mid range to high price, yet it’s a one coat formula with no hazardous chemicals and a fast drying time. Some of their formulas are even infused with oxygen technology which allows nail beds to breathe even while painted. Then you have the luxury brands such as Chanel, Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, and Marc Jacobs, which all range between $18 up to $50. These polishes are similar in quality to the mid range brands, but have unique packaging, colors, phenomenal formulas, and of course, the name. These are a “treat yourself” kind of product, hence why they’re considered luxury.

3. Tools of the Trade

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Image source: http://www.reactual.com

The list of nail care basics is pretty simple. You do not need to invest a ton of money into it. $50 is enough to get your essentials as well as a great starter set of colors. Below is a list I compiled of great products you can find at your local drug store (CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid) or super store (Walmart or Target).

  • Nail Clippers (one for your fingers and another for your toes)
  • At least two emery boards
  • A four sided nail buffer (find one that is numbered for ease of use)
  • Nail polish remover (salon grade dissolves gel and glitter polish easier)
  • A cuticle pusher
  • Cuticle softener
  • A nail cleaner (it’s a tool for cleaning the dirt under your nails)
  • Cotton pads or balls
  • Toe separators
  • Quick dry spray (optional)

Note: You can find nail care kits with most of these items already in them.

4. My Top 5 Polish Brands

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Image source: http://www.thefrisky.com

These are the brands I swear by in order of most used/loved

  1. Julep
  2. Nails Inc.
  3. Formula X
  4. Butter London
  5. Marc Jacobs

Note: You can find all of these brands at Sephora.com or your local ground location.

5. The Extras

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Image source: http://www.fashion.telegraph.co.uk

There are a few extras that make nail application, and overall nail care, more worth while. Here are the top five items you need to increase the longevity of your mani or pedi as well as a few treatments to keep your nails strong.

  1. Base Coat (goes on before your nail color)
  2. Top Coat (goes on after your nail color)
  3. Nail Hardener*
  4. Nail treatment*
  5. Cuticle oil (used before or after polish removal)*

Note: * means optional or based on your nail needs.

I hope your found this information helpful. Please leave comments below letting us know of your favorite polish brands, nail treatments, and tools of choice. We’d love to hear about your mani/pedi secrets.

*Feature Image Source: http://www.diy.1woodworks.com/

High/Low Concealer for WOC

For women of color (WOC), it is not often easy to find great concealers for highlighting that aren’t too light. The shade ranges are limited, and not just in the drug stores. For very dark complexions, the choices are usually MAC, Lancome, CoverGirl Queen, or Iman, but I have a few more brands to share with you that I believe carry a great range for deeper skin tones. Below are my top three, high and low, brands that carry a wide range of concealers for WOC.

High End

Black Up – Currently only available online, and in select Sephora stores, Black Up is a French brand which caters to black women. Because of their specialization on women of color, their range of shades, and undertones, is unmatched! You can send for samples of their entire range of foundations and concealers before purchasing their products.

NARS – One of the leading high end cosmetic brands, NARS carries a fantastic range of skin tones in both foundation, and concealer. Their latest concealer, Creamy Radiance, is one of the top sellers. The coverage is full, consistency is substantial (not overly thick), and the wear is impeccable. The range for the concealers goes to cafe, which is a great highlight shade for Lupitaesque complexions. For deeper skin tone spot correction, try their original concealer, which has one shade darker, cacao.

Dolce & Gabana – While many luxury brands tend to have a limited range of darker skin tones, D&G has a wonderful selection that has lovely undertones (not to red or yellow). The deepest tone I have seen was a match for highlighting. There’s matte, and luminous concealer options to fit your skin type or desired finish. I’d highly recommend going to your local Sax, Nordstrom, or Sephora to get a sample and test it for yourself.

Drug Store

Black Opal – Specializing in black women’s skin tones, this company has highlighting and blemish covering concealers. The highlight ranges to mahogany, while the spot concealer goes deeper to carob. So even some of the deeper complexions can find a suitable concealer with this brand.

LA Girl – Famed for their concealers, LA Girl Pro is leading the way in both color correction and spot treating concealers. This brand has a color range that rivals Black Up in deep skin tone compatibility. Their concealers are crease resistant, full coverage, and customizable. And the soft brush tip makes application a breeze.

Jordana – This small company’s concealer stick tone range is small but compatible with medium to deep brown skin. Provided that your undertones are warm, I would recommend this concealer to those of you looking to spot treat, or highlight. The stick comes in a lipstick tube, so application is simple and precise. The coverage is buildable so it’s great for ance scars and slight discoloration.

I hope you found this list helpful and appropriate for every price point. While it is difficult for us to find what we’re looking for at times, the internet is our friend! Hit up these sites directly, rather than looking for them in stores. It’s a great way to get what you want without wasting time or gas. Return policies are great for each of these brands, so swatch to your heart’s content. Regardless of your budget, or skin tone, you can find great quality cosmetics that will flatter you and last all day. For more makeup tips hauls, tutorials, and more, check me out on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe! See you see, beauties. xoxo

The Best Liquid Lipstick For That Perfect Pout

The new matte liquid lipstick trend seems to be here to stay, at least for the next few seasons. Many of the beauty world’s top brands are bringing us a beautiful array of colors to adorn our lips will. While many are transfer resistant, there are a few that are moisturizing formulas with a matte finish. Both are fantastic and great for both day and night. The following are my top ten faves for all budgets.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick ($20) – Leading the pack with color payoff and staying power, KVD’s liquid lippes are coveted by makeup lovers everywhere. With wildly creative names, and daring colors, these transfer resistant matte finish lippes are absolutely amazing. She recently released 16 new shades, making the current total 28. There’s most certainly a color for everyone.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain ($14) – The always underrated brand within one of the biggest makeup havens around. Sephora Collection makes amazing cosmetics at a more affordable price point than the brands represented within its walls. Their lip stains are no exception. 15 colors with rich, deep, color pay off, great wear, and a matte finish. It’s also nourishing, with avocado oil, so the wear is not drying.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($24) – This liquid lipstick is highly-pigmented, weightless on the lips, and delivers long-lasting coverage. There are both matte and shimmer shades, all of which are enriched with vitamin E and avocado oil. This lippie hydrates, softens, and delivers amazing color to your lips. Definitely worth the buy.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks ($20) – With 20 colors to choose from, a transfer resistant staying power, and high voltage color pay off in one stroke. ABH’s liquid lippes are rivalling KVD for the best liquid lipstick on the market. Some of the colors, mainly the pastels and neons, require double layers, the richer colors are perfect. Pure Hollywood and American Doll are cult faves as well as Potion and Heathers.

Coloured Raine Matte Lip Paint ($16.50) – This small company has a reputation for cruelty free, long lasting colors, and amazing formulas when it comes to your lip needs. The liquid lip paints are super matte and completely transfer resistant and comes in 17 bold colors. This company has been gaining popularity, thanks in part to YouTube beauty bloggers.

ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lip ($6) – Currently one of the most popular liquid lippies out, these ultra matte, affordable lipsticks sold out in a matter of hours upon their debut. Recently, restocked, and 8 new colors added, these lippies are hit and miss in terms of formula. The pastels and neons are patchy, but the deeper hues are perfection! For a more affordable alternative to the ABH lippies, these are a great option.

Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme ($9) – These 8 highly saturated colors, contain a liquid-to-matte formula and dry to a soft, velvety finish for fuller-looking lips. This limited edition lippie gives opaque color in one stroke with a non-sticky feel for perfect pillowy soft lips.

DOSE of Colors Matte Lipstick ($18) – With a rich, high pigment formula, beautiful packaging, and ease of application, DOSE of Colors has become one of the leading independent cosmetic companies on a mission to give our lips color shock! These matte lipsticks are available in 6 colors and also come as a value pack. Check back often, as these lippies are selling out fast!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream ($6) – NYX is a leader in affordable cosmetics with great quality. Their latest release of 22 matte lip creams is no exception. These soft, velvety lipsticks have a high color pay off, are very moisturizing , and give  long wear. They are not transfer resistant, so be careful with those kisses. Some of the more difficult colors to get your hands on are Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Transylvania.

SheaMoisture Lip Stain ($11) – Sold exclusively at Target, this cosmetic line is geared toward WOC and contains amazing colors to complement brown skin. Formerly a hair and body company, SheaMoisture has ventured into cosmetics, and so far it’s a hit! Currently, their lip stains come in 5 colors and is a conditioning, vitamin enriched formula that stays on for hours, and gives lips a healthy, smooth feel. A perfect everyday lippie.

So there you have it! A list of great liquid lipsticks in all price ranges. Depending on your desired finish, and staying power, you will find great value in all of these. Don’t forget to test as many colors as you can before deciding. The options can be overwhelming. Check out YouTube for swatch videos and reviews. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up with my latest video uploads! Until next time, ladies. Ciao! xoxo

 

High End Foundation for Brown Beauties

As a makeup lover, and a bit of a boujie beauty guru, I don’t care for drug store foundations. Primarily because I cannot try before I buy, the undertones are usually too extreme, and I often need at least two colors to get a perfect match. Why spend $20 on foundations that are just OK, when I can get all that I want, with the staying power to outlast a monsoon, for $40 or a bit more? I don’t mind investing in quality. I’ve found that my product lasts longer, because I only need a few drops for great coverage. I’m a medium dark complected WOC, with oily skin, hyperpigmentation, acne scars,  and an active lifestyle. I need for my makeup to outlast me! So I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect foundation, and along the way, I’ve come across some amazing ones I’d like to share with you. The following are my top 10 high end foundations for women of color.

Lancome Miracle Cushion ($46.50) – The Korean beauty trend has hit American soil and Lancome is leading the pack with this super lightweight, sheer to full coverage foundation. When I tell you it feels like you’re wearing nothing….listen…I was sold off of my first demo. The cushion comes with its own face pad, which works amazingly well. You can also apply it with a beauty blender for a similar effect. It is suggested that you pat this foundation into your skin, rather than buffing it in with a brush. The finish is satin and long wearing. The formula is oil free and is comparable to a BB or CC cream with a buildable coverage. You can customize the coverage to your needs by tapping the cushion gently or with a bit more pressure. The compact is portable as well for easy touch ups throughout the day. I am 450 in the Fall/Winter and 500 in the Spring/Summer. There is one shade deeper than my darkest shade.

Smashbox Studio Skin ($42) – This 15 hour hydrating foundation dries to a matte finish and lasts all day! You can get through the longest of work days and still look flawless. The formula is oil free, so no worries about clogging your pores or causing breakouts. The formula is thick and dries quickly, so you must work fast or spray your brush/beauty blender with MAC Fix+ for maximum blendability. I’m number 4.1 Deep Brown in this foundation, which is the second to darkest shade.

Kat Von D Lock It ($35) – Very affordable on the high end foundation price spectrum. Kat Von D’s Lock It series is all about staying power. And the range is great, with cool and warm tones in all shades. Just to give you an idea, I’m 3rd from the darkest shade available (Deep 71). These foundations are highly pigmented, which means full coverage, and have a 24 hour transfer resistant wear. Perfect for the woman who beats the sunrise and outlasts the moon with her daily activities. This makeup will even work through sweating it out at the gym!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD ($43) – MUFE has long been a great brand for WOC. They were the first brand I used when I started wearing makeup, and even back then I was nowhere near the darkest shade. I love how their range has grown, especially for their HD line. The previous formula was not up to standard, and the range was unimpressive. Today is a new day and the Ultra HD Invisible Cover is LIFE in a bottle. I’m shade Praline Y455, which is a whopping 7th from the darkest shade! We’re talking warm and cool tones, with exact undertone matches. I am tempted to buy this foundation for both Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer, as my skin tone changes based on my sun exposure. The skin like, satin finish is perfect for every skin type. The formula is highly pigmented and buildable from medium to full coverage. I’m recommending this for my 90% cacao girls especially, as this shade range is phenomenal!

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion ($64) – One of the most skin like finishes that blurs imperfections, covers every flaw, dries to a matte finish, and outlasts  Euro style double cheek kisses! I cannot say enough wonderful things about this foundation. For those of you who are dry, a moisturizer before application, or a hydrating primer, will make this work for you. You can also try the Luminous version, if you have normal to dry skin. This is your “no makeup” look foundation that nourishes and protects your skin (SPF15) while leaving it looking flawless. I’m number 10 in this foundation, which is 3rd from the darkest shade.

Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able ($55) – This full coverage, highly pigmented, foundation only requires 2-3 drops in order to complete your face! The range is fantastic, much improved over the previous release. My skin match is 82 Coco Light, which is third from the darkest shade available. The formula is oily skin type friendly as well. The finish is luminous, but not overly dewy. For the best results, use with a mattifying primer, if you’re oily.

NARS All Day Luminous ($48) – One of the most varied skin tone ranges on the market, NARS is giving the ultimate in radiance and coverage. It takes about 3-4 drops to give me full coverage, but someone with less problem skin would be able to use 1-2 drops. This foundation goes a very long way because it is highly pigmented. It can withstand humidity and last up to 16 hours! This foundation also helps to improve the look of skin after 4 weeks, which means you’ll need less product over time. My shade is New Guinea, the 5th to darkest shade. Pair it with the Creamy Radiance Concealers for a beautiful healthy glow.

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte ($65) – Available in both liquid and powder form, this foundation is designed to self correct imperfections, while providing a soft matte finish. The shade range goes pretty deep, but not as deep as MUFE for example. I am the second to darkest shade, 170 Golden Honey, as my undertones are warm. The finish is matte, but there is a luminous version, for those with dry or combination skin. Also there’s a powder compact for touch ups on the go. The coverage is buildable and feels light weight on the skin. It boasts 12 hour wear and SPF20. It’s also fragrance free, for those with sensitive skin.

Dior Nude Air Serum ($53) – This serum based foundation is a unique formula which gives your skin the appearance of flawless perfection. It’s as if you have nothing on. As you apply it, you see all of your discoloration, redness, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation disappear. It doesn’t leave a cakey feeling, because of the formula, and it wears beautifully all day. The finish is radiant/luminous, so for my oily girls, a setting powder is recommended. This foundation works best on dry – normal skin types, but combination to oily women can wear it in cooler weather with a mattifying primer. The skin match was perfection for me. I’m Dark Beige, which is the second to darkest shade.

Tom Ford Traceless ($80) – Now look, I know, WTF is with this price? Hear me out though. For the woman who loves to not only splurge on great quality, but look as if she woke up like this, Tom Ford. That is all. The traceless line comes with three different levels of coverage, sheer, medium, and full. You can find several tones great for WOC. I am Warm Chestnut in the full coverage stick version, which is the second to darkest shade. In the sheer and medium coverage version, my tone is called Warm Almond. Depending on the coverage you need, this foundation will deliver. The finish is satin/skin like, and contains SPF15.

If you’re going to invest in any part of your makeup, my highest recommendation is primer and foundation. Everything else can be a financial compromise. If you do find something that works for you, that is affordable, awesome! But if you wish to splurge, I recommend the top ten I listed above. They are exceptional foundations, and I have tried all of them! You can visit your local Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Sephora to sample these foundations  before committing to them. For the Lancome Miracle Cushion, it is not possible to get a sample, because of the way the product is packaged. Sephora does, however, have a generous return policy. Many of these brands have a great range of skin tones, some more than others, but I do hope that you will feel inspired to try them out for yourself and see which works best for you. Happy shopping, beauties. xoxo

To get more makup tips, reviews, and tutorials, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Ciao ❤

Prime Time: The Best Primers for Oily Skin

Besides foundation, primer is something that I simply cannot do without. It’s the foundation, before your foundation. There’s a primer for every skin concern, from texture, to blemishes, large pores, and all skin types. Having the right primer, or a combination of two or more, can make all of the difference when your look is complete. It helps your makeup last longer, appear airbrushed, aids in hiding your imperfection, and can even help sweat proof your makeup! The following are my favorite primers of all time, for all types of facial concerns.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($52) – This is my holy grail of primers! Not only does it smooth out texture, minimize the look of pores, and mattify the face, it’s also sweat proof! I’ve put it to the test on several occasions, and my makeup hasn’t budged, even when I pat my face down. I’m obsessed and will spend any amount of money for this primer. There’s a larger version for $72 and I’m seriously considering it so that I never run out. It’s also vegan friendly! Like, how much better could this stuff be? I guess if it were made of angel tears it would be truly perfect.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector ($36) – And oily girl’s dream come true. This primer gets the job done. Focus it on your oily areas only, so as not to dry out your face, if you have combination skin. This primer goes on deceptively smooth and is best applied by patting rather than smoothing onto your face. Pat it into your pores and the center of your forehead for all day shine control. A little goes a ling way, so this will last you a long while.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer ($36) – With ten new options, for all skin concerns, this new primer line from MUFE has something for everyone. The mattifier rivals that of Becca, the neutralizers color correct every skin tone, the smoothing primers make your pores disappear, and the radiance primers give you that JLo glow. There are three travel size versions (matte, smoothing, and hydrating) at the affordable price of $16. You can get as many samples as you like to decide which one(s) is/are right for you.

Marc Jacobs Perfecting Coconut Primer ($44) – Enriched with five different types of coconut extracts, this primer smooths and nourishes at the same time. the coconut works to provide a breathable barrier to help create more youthful skin while extending the wear of your makeup. A perfect combination of health and beauty.

YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer ($52) – This primer blurs imperfections while creating radiance from within. Just like the Touche Eclat brightening pen, this primer contains gold light reflecting particles that will help your skin appear radiant underneath any foundation. The primer is universal, but does contain lightweight oils, so oily girls be cautious with this primer. Be sure to use a matte finish foundation and an oil free setting spray.

Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer ($39) – This primer is smoothing and reduces the appearance of pores. Not only that, it is also humidity and sweat resistant! The oil free formula also helps to control shine. This is one of the best solutions for oily skin and large pores out there. The original Photo Finish Primer is great for all skin types, but this one is ideal for oily or combination skin. The formula helps hold your makeup in place for up to 8 hours. Combined with a long wearing foundation, you will barely need to touch up throughout the day.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer ($29) – This primer is specifically designed for delicate under eye skin. It’s a super hydrating formula that diminishes the looks of fine lines and helps concealer to stay in place all day. And since a little goes a very long way, you will have this primer forever!

Benefit POREfessional Face Primer ($31) – This balm consistency face primer fills in your pores and fine lines for an airbrushed finish. The oil free formula contains vitamin E, which helps your skin regenerate and fight free radicals. This primer is great for those with slight oil issues or combination skin. It’s very light and translucent. Those who use it, swear by it. I use the License to Blot Stick to mark my T zone on occasion, and it does a great job of keeping me matte throughout the day.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20) – The original eyeshadow primer from UD is a cult favorite. This primer is lightweight, crease resistant, and makes your eyeshadow pop for an impressive 24 hours! The new packaging includes a doe foot applicator for an easy swipe onto the eye. Use on it’s own, or with a base, for shockingly vibrant eye looks.

BONUS!

Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer ($20) – All skin types can use this one. For those of you with dark lips, or if you simply want your lip color to pop, try a lip primer. This one from Too Faced goes on like a lip gloss, then dries matte. It fills in the cracks and crevices, allowing for a more flawless finish to your liquid lipsticks or highly pigmented glosses.

How Sephora Broke My Heart

Last week, my mother and spent our Sunday morning at Sephora for a VIB Rouge private event to kick off Beauty Insider Appreciation Week. Sephora offered multiple points as a way for Beauty Insiders to stack their points for limited edition Epic Rewards at the end of the week. Well, my mother and I racked up at least 2000 points each, and many other Beauty Insiders saved their points throughout the year for this annual opportunity. The rewards were indeed epic, with trips to Paris to visit the Lancome HQ, Marc Jacobs and Bvlgari bags, Autographed books from NARS himself, Givenchy lipstick collection, and more from the brands we know and love. VIB Rouge members were to benefit from some of the best of these rewards exclusively, which excited me because I thought it meant I’d have a better chance of securing one of the rewards.

Well, Monday, August 10th came, and I was ready. Since Sephora mentioned that the gifts would be made available come regular business hours, I set my clock, and parked myself in front of my laptop prepared to refresh the rewards page until I could get in. Since I had some beauty blogging to do, I used the site as a reference for links while I waited. As I refreshed my screen around 11am central, there was still a “Coming Soon” sign over the Epic Rewards. So I gave it a bit more time. I refreshed again around 11:30am. Same. Ok fine, I’ll give it until noon, I thought. Still nothing. Now, clearly, they must be going by Pacific time, so why hadn’t the rewards opened up yet? I gave it another 20 minutes and as I refreshed the screen, there it was. The Epic Rewards were here! I clicked the link to redeem, only to be brought back to the same page. This must be a mistake. I clicked the link again. Same. Was I doing something wrong?

I thought perhaps there was a glitch in my browser, so I refreshed, checked my Gmail for the VIB Rouge link, only to be brought to the same rewards page with the link for Epic Rewards. It wasn’t until I called the VIB Rouge Concierge line that I got the terrible news. Apparently the rewards sold out in just minutes. I’m talking blink and you’ll miss it! I felt this overwhelming sense of betrayal. I was so hurt, angry, and full of anxiety, and I wasn’t the only one. Floods of angry tweets hit Sephora’s mentions about how they had seriously dropped the ball when anticipating the quantity of rewards for their shoppers.

Now I understand what limited quantity means, but how limited are we talking here? Was there only a hand full of each prize? 10 per category? How is that possible when Sephora is one of the biggest cosmetic retailers around? And the timing of the rewards alert was quite disorganized. It didn’t account for time zones at all! Something needs to be done to repair the rift between Sephora and its customers. Nothing we purchase there is cheap. Our money was spent with the promise of at least a fair chance at that which we covet, and Sephora did not deliver. I truly hope that they will do right by us in the near future. If not, I can always shop Ulta, Nordstrom, Sax, and the good ole internet for my beauty needs.

Update: Sephora reached out to their Beauty Insiders, in an effort to make up for the Epic Rewards fiasco. I have a video, below, explaining it all.

The Best Nude Lipsticks for WOC

For brown beauties, the  search for nude lipstick is a bit tricky. It’s about more than just a barely there flush of color. It’s about creating a cohesive and harmonious look that is natural and flattering. Many nude colors can leave us looking ashy or post mortem. Whether it’s a combination of liner and lipstick, lipstick and gloss, liner and gloss, or the use of one product, your perfect nude is based on your skin tone as opposed to the default term “nude”. It’s personal to your skin tone, undertones, and comfort level. Nudes can range from actual skin tone, to pink and brown undertones in both warm and cool hues. Here are the top 5s of lipstick brands, for that beautiful nude that’s perfect for you.

1. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipsticks ($21)

Chula, Cathedral, Lolita, Lovecraft, La Femme

2. Too Faced La Creme ($22)

Nude Beach, Naughty Nude, Spice Spice Baby, Sweet Maple, Pink Chocolate

3. Milani Color Stay Moisture Matte Lipstick ($6)

Naked, Darling, Beauty, Blissful, Innocent

4. NARS Audacious Lipsticks ($32)

Jane, Vanessa, Catherine, Barbara, Anita

5. MAC Matte Lipsticks ($17)

Persistence, Taupe, Velvet Teddy, Whirl

BONUS! Liners

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Ozone ($20)

MAC Lip Pencil ($16.50)

Cork, Hover, Chestnut, Currant, Mahogany