Month: October 2013

The Best Makeup for Halloween!

Happy Halloween ladies and gents! This is special time of the year, because it really allows people to be creative with the way they look, whether they want to enhance their natural beauty for a girly, ethereal look, or go for something spooky, dark, or creepy. Halloween gives you a chance to play with special effects, or go for full-on glamour that ordinarily, one may be too shy to try. So to help you beauties put together a fantastic face to go along with your extraordinary costumes, here’s PV’s picks for the best Halloween makeup.

1) Ben Nye

Ben Nye’s line of makeup was founded by a well-respected Hollywood makeup artist, who’s work was often used on camera. This means that the brand’s products are perfect for long wear, and dramatic, larger-than-life looks that work for a holiday like this. The brand’s Special FX Color Wheels, shown above, are all created with a spooky purpose: to give the illusion of being bruised, cut, or burned. They’re the perfect choice for the girl who likes to get into the darker side of Halloween! And the professional quality makeup is considerably affordable, too. Online, these only sell for $11 USD.
2) Kryolan

Image via Kryolan

Kryolan is another amazing brand for creating out-of-this-world effects. While it is another brand created with professional (movie/theatre) intent, they are the only brand I know of that makes a wide variety of products one wouldn’t necessarily think to manufacture. A lot of their special effects products are perfect for this time of year, as well. Take, for example, the Crusty Blood shown above. It’s a latex-based product that dries down to create the illusion of scabbed blood, and comes in 2 shades! This product can easily be pulled off of the skin, but be careful-it’s nearly impossible to get off the clothes.
3) Mehron

Image via Mehron

Another brand that delivers in the special effects department is Mehron. Their products are inexpensive (the Extra Flesh shown above is only $6.95 USD), and easy to use. What’s unique about Mehron is that they have a section on their site dedicated wholly to Halloween makeup! They provide example costumes and list the products used to create the look, followed by detailed instructions.
4) Make Up For Ever

Image via Sephora

And finally, I’d like to recommend Make Up For Ever. While typically considered more of a “beauty brand”-you won’t find many of the special effects products here-the 12 Flash Color Case is perfect for this time of year. This versatile palette can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips, and has a mixture of pigmented shades one typically wouldn’t wear in a daytime beauty look-ideal for the occasion! It’s expensive-$99 USD-but I’ve heard nothing but raves about the quality. MUFE is also an excellent brand to look to for creating more girly, enchanting costumes: they’ve got you covered with an excellent array of quality, pigmented, and uniquely-hued shadows, lipsticks, and glitters.
What are you being for Halloween? What products are you using to help create your perfect look?
Ben Nye products can be purchased at
Contact Kryolan to see if there is a distrubuter in your area.
Mehron products are available at their website,
Make Up For Ever products are available at cosmetic stores, like Sephora.

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Missing Out: Benefit Hoola

Image via Beautylish

Having a limited budget can really cause a beauty junkie some pain, especially when there are so many fantastic products to lust over on the market! Adding salt to the wound is that, sometimes, a product is so raved about, you end up feeling like you’re the only one on Earth that hasn’t experienced it’s magnificence-and that you’re really Missing Out. 

One such product is the often praised Benefit Hoola bronzer. Hoola’s not like most of the other bronzers on the market-this one is matte. The sparkle-and-shimmer free formula catches my eye, because my aim with bronzer is to sculpt the face. A subtle pop of color would create a more natural looking shadow beneath the cheekbones and around the jawline and temples, in my opinion. 
Another great thing about Hoola is that it’s light. This again screams “natural” to me. I’m extremely fair-skinned, and I fear a bronzer making me look orange or ruddy. But Hoola gives the impression of leaning more biege-y skin toned, rather than orange, or too dark for me to pull off. User reviews online have said that Hoola has worked for a spectrum of complexions, too-this isn’t one just for the light ladies. 
And ok, I admit that I’ve been seduced by Benefit’s Box o’ Powders since discovering the brand years ago. Sadly, I’ve never gotten my hands on one. But I love the way the packaging looks (it was mindful of the brand to also include a mirror and brush with the product). Hoola contains 0.28 oz of product, which is on par with other brands, but costs $28 USD. That’s by no means cheap, but it’s less expensive than another popular brand’s matte bronzer. With how well it seems to get the job done, and how cute it’ll look in my collection, I definitely cannot wait to get a hold of this baby!
Have you tried Hoola? Do you love it? Let me know!
Benefit products are sold at cosmetic shops, like Ulta and Sephora.

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Civilization: Arabia

Next in my Civiliaztion V series is Arabia! The Arabian Peninsula is a diverse land, with a special blend of old and new. Many of the cities and countries in the Peninsula have varied cuisine, geography, and culture.

 Islam is a common religion throughout the land, especially in the holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. Polish brand Inglot made a big splash in this community, by creating a breathable nail polish. Inglot’s O2M Nail Enamel allows water and air to pass through the polish into the nail-this is important to those who practice Islam, as it is required to wash the arms and hands (including the nails) before praying. This halal formula comes in 70 colors.

Image via Inglot Cosmetics

Much of the climate in Arabia is dry and hot, with little rainfall. There is also expansive desert terrain. There are a few cosmetics who’s names are in the same vein. For example, there’s Cover Girl’s natural, nude shadow, the Eye Enhancers 3-Kit Shadow in Shimmering Sands, as well as Beyonce’s Heat to get the temperature rising.
Images via Target and Fragrantica.

The petroleum (oil) trade is a very large part of the Arabian economy. The sooty liquid has been an inspiration for use on the eyes for years. Take, for example, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Oil Slick, a black pencil with silver glitter and it’s matching Eyeshadow (also named Oil Slick, a matte black base with silver micro-glitter). 
Images via Sephora

Inglot polishes are available online at
Cover Girl products are sold at drugstores, and mass-retailers like Ulta.
Beyonce’s Heat is available at drugstores, such as Walgreen’s.
Urban Decay products can be bought at specialty stores, like Sephora.

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Who I’ve Been Watching: Allthatglitters21

Image via

**I’m in no way affiliated with the Youtubers that I’ll be posting on. I’m not sponsoring them, etc. This series is purely from a fan perspective, honestly depicting who I’ve been watching at what I enjoy about her/him.

It’s safe to say that nearly everyone watches Youtube nowadays. A very fun part of being a makeup lover on the internet is that you get to share that interest with others who have it as well. Beauty Gurus on Youtube have combined both the entertainment site and their cosmetic interests into something that both the guru and the subscriber can enjoy.
One of the most popular gurus is without a doubt, Elle Fowler, who produces content under the username Allthatglitters21. The U.S. native began making videos while in college in 2008, and at present, has over 1.1 million subscribers. Elle’s videos are girly and feminine, often filmed in a cutely styled bedroom with a candle burning or her cat playing in the background. However, she doesn’t limit herself to just tutorials. She uses her editing skills to create very nice quality fashion and organization videos, as well as hauls, collections (perfume, jewelry, etc), and house tours. She showcases cosmetics and clothing from a variety of price points, so budget-wise, there’s something for everyone who wants to try something she recommends. Much more often than not, Elle is speaking in her videos. She has a nice, friendly voice, yet those who prefer silence/soft music playing with the tutorial instructions on-screen may want to look elsewhere.
Who might like her: Girly girls, students, those interested in interior design/fashion.
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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Second Kira Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Continuing on with my review of The Notebook Collection by Shiro is the beautiful “charcoal with bright golden sparkles,” Second Kira. It’s a dark, cool grey with a greenish tinge and highly reflective gold sparkles. Without primer, it’s a bit more soft (although by no means sheer-it’s perfectly opaque)-a bit more daytime. Over primer, it looks sootier, and with the glitter, it would look great as a part of a glam smoky eye. 
As always, I foil these loose shadows. Both with and without primer, Second Kira goes on opaque, and blends like a dream. I did have some fallout, less with primer. The glitter is more reflective when used with a base, as it sticks to the eye better. 
After 6 hours, it looked a bit faded around the edges when a primer was not used. Otherwise, the shadow still looked amazing after a full 8 hours of wear. With primer, it was still sooty and glittery. In both instances (with and without a base), there was no extra fallout, and no fading or creasing. 
Shiro is an indie brand, so a little bit of leeway is expected with their packaging. The “medium” sized jars I purchased are small, circular, and clear, with a sifter included, and the color name and ingredients list stamped on the bottom. These can be tricky to store because if they get tumbled around (say, in a drawer), the product will sift out (no big deal if the lid is tight, but it can get the lid messy). Unfortunately, the lids on these shadows is weird-they need to be pressed firmly onto the shadow, and then screwed down, or else the lid can not close evenly (and can fall off).
But each shade comes in three sizes, $1 USD sample baggies, $3.50 USD “medium” 1g jars, and full size, $5 USD 2g jars. Since these shadows are made with pure ingredients, are cruelty free and vegan, handmade, long-wearing, and creaseless, I have to say the quality can’t be beat for the price. The only disadvantage is that these are only available online, via the brand’s website. However, shipping is quick (less than two weeks) and customer service is astoundingly great. Also, many of the collection’s shadows (including Second Kira) are also safe for use on the mouth. It’s also worth mentioning that the brand has a permanent 10% discount if you purchase this whole collection at once, no matter what size you’re buying (and the discount applies to many of the brand’s other collections as well!).
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4.75/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.4 (B+)
Recommend: Absolutely! Second Kira may have been the darkhorse of this collection. You may not expect much based off how it looks on the site or in the jar, but once it’s on, the base color and glitter is really distinct and very beautiful. It’s great quality, affordable, and something I couldn’t dupe. The shady packaging is the only thing bringing this score down.

Shiro products are available for purchase at

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Exciting News!

So, clearly, the pics I’ve been using here on PV have been sourced from elsewhere on the internet. This has gotten the job done, but it’s limited me as a beauty blogger. I’ve been wanting to post swatches and my own makeup, but I’ve been unable. That is, until now. I’ve gotten my hands on an ok (not amazing HD quality, but better than nothing) camera! I greatly look forward to posting some images of my own, and I hope the images are able to add some depth and interest to the blog. I hope you’ll join me in this happy moment 🙂 medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Tip of the Day 04

Getting your hair trimmed regularly will help it grow by keeping it healthy and preventing split ends. Split ends crack the hair shaft from the tip, all the way up until the strand snaps off at the root. This can make your hair not look it’s best and disguises any growth. Get a trim every three months, if possible, to keep your hair in tip-top shape. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Perfect World Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Next up in Shiro’s The Notebook Collection series, is the “pure, soft, slightly metallic gold,” Perfect World. This shade is absolutely beautiful. As always, I applied this loose shadow foiled, and it went on as a gorgeous, soft yellow gold with a slightly metallic frost (both with and without a primer-a base didn’t make a difference in pigmentation). This color looks common, but it actually became one of my favorite in the collection, because it’s so pretty. Think Belle’s ball gown in Beauty and the Beast.

I was sure Perfect World was a dupe for Urban Decay Maui Wowie, but they are different enough. Maui Wowie is much, much cooler, softer, less yellow, less bright, and has silver glitter. In fact, the base color of that shade almost looks khaki in comparison. Perfect World has no glitter, but a very nice sheen, and is much more of a true gold.

This shadow applied easily: it went on opaque without a hitch and blended without a problem. I had no issues with fallout, either, both during application and after 8 hours of wear. This shade is nice and versatile: it’s opaque but neutral enough to be used as an all over wash, but it also looks stunning as an inner-corner highlight. In fact, this formula is another knockout from Shiro. After all-day wear, Perfect World didn’t budge. It showed no signs of letting up in the 8-hour testing period: no creasing or fading (maybe a hair of fading around the edges when used without a primer, if you’re being nitpicky). 
I’ve mentioned my dislike for the packaging of Shiro’s eyeshadows before. They’re small, circular, lightweight plastic with clear lids and a sifter included. The shade name and ingredients list is stamped on the bottom, which is a nice inclusion. But there’s a few issues. First, there’s some discrepencies between each individual sifter-some pop off easily, some are impossible to get off. Also, while the lids can screw on tightly, they’re a bit tricky to evenly seal. Also, they’re so small they’re a bit odd to store. One would need a lot of flat space to rest these on. In a drawer, they can tumble around, which can cause some product to sift out (not out of the jar, but out of the sifter, so when you open up the jar, there may be a ton of product already waiting for use on top of the sifter. With this, and depending on how you apply them, this obviously makes the lids quite dirty). 
Shiro’s shadows come in three sizes, $1 USD sample baggies, $3.50 USD 1g jars, and $5 USD 2g jars. I don’t know what the packaging is like with the full size, but hopefully there is some improvement. Otherwise, I definitely think the quality can’t be beat for the exceptionally affordable price. Also, Shiro has a permanent offer to receive 10% off if you buy the whole collection at once (and this is true for most of the collections, not just The Notebook). Shipping was not expensive (in the US), and it was quick: my order was in my mailbox within 2 weeks of purchasing.
Since Shiro is an indie brand, they have extremely limited availability. Their products can only be bought online at their website. However, all their products are handmade, cruelty-free, and vegan. Also, the customer service I’ve experienced with this brand is incredible. Included in my order were two free randomized samples, as well as some candy treats and a handwritten note thanking me for my order. I was truly impressed with the gratitude Shiro founder Caitlin Johnstone expressed-I’ll definitely be a repeat customer! As with many of the collection’s shadows, Perfect World is also safe for use on the lips.
Color: 4.75/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)
Recommend: Absolutely. Perfect World is a gorgeous, true gold that may be harder to find at this price point. The cost can’t be beat given the excellent quality, and Perfect World is a versatile shade: It’ll look great on different parts of the eye and across a multitude of skin tones. The ingredients are gentle and cruelty-free. What’s not to love?

Shiro products are available for purchase at

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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in More Sugar Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Continuing on with Shiro’s The Notebook Collection, the next shade I have up for review is More Sugar. The brand describes it as “creamy shimmer in a rich coffee base.” Sadly, this description is way off. There’s nothing creamy or coffee about this shade. It goes on the lid (foiled) as a shimmery steely, stormcloud grey. It looks more steely over bare lids, and more stormcloud over primer (I used Urban Decay Primer Potion). 
Shiro Heaven Nor Hell is frostier, and bluer. Side by side, More Sugar looks like a neutral grey purple, as well as more shimery and softer than Heaven Nor Hell. Yet on the lid, they’re not remarkably, exceptionally different. Heaven Nor Hell looks bluish on the lid, but More Sugar just looks grey with a very, very slight purple tinge. Both shadows are great, but they’re similar enough to where I’d say you don’t need both. 
 As I’ve mentioned before, I always foil my loose shadows. With More Sugar, the pigment was rich and opaque in one go. It was easy to apply, showed up great, and gave me no application issues: no fallout, no difficulty blending, etc. After eight hours, I was impressed with this shade. Without primer, this wore nonstop looking metallic, and with a base underneath, it went the whole eight hours with that great, velvety texture it took on. Either way, it didn’t budge, fallout, crease, fade, nothing. It wore perfectly. 
Since Shiro is an indie brand, there can be some discrepancies with the packaging. I purchased this collection in the “medium”, 1g size. The shadows come in small, circular clear plastic containers. There is an ingredients list and shade name on a sticker stamped on the bottom of each jar. Also, each container comes with a sifter, but I noticed the sifters can be finicky. Some are easy to pop off, others absolutely refuse to budge. Some sift the perfect amount easily, some sift too much, some don’t sift enough, etc. Also, these are a bit of a pain to store, because they’re so small. These need to be set flat, so maybe dedicate a sizeable amount of drawer space to keeping these tidy. Otherwise, if you try to toss ’em in with your other products, they could tumble around and those damn sifters can let out too much product (disclaimer, the lids are super-tight, so you generally don’t have to fear them spilling. But when you open the jar up to use it, you may find a ton of product already sitting on top of the sifter waiting to be used. Because of this, and depending on how you apply it, the lids of these can get quite dirty). However, the lids don’t screw on the way, say, a water bottle cap does. You don’t just start at the top and screw all the way down. With Shiro, you have to sort of clamp the lid halfway down, then screw it the rest of the way down. Doing it the “wrong” way could make them seal unevenly (one of my jars screwed shut this way actually had the lid pop off, and my favorite shade got all over! Learn from my mistake!)
The price of these shadows can’t be beat, especially given the great quality. You can purchase sample baggies for $1 USD each, the “medium” 1g jars for $3.50 USD each, or the full size (2g) for $5 USD each. Like most of the shades in this collection, More Sugar is safe for use on the lips. All of the shadows are hand-made, cruelty-free, and vegan. But because Shiro is an indie brand, the tradeoff is that these have limited availability-Shiro is only available online on their site. However, shipping is inexpensive and quick (I got my order in the mailbox within 2 weeks of placing it), and the customer service is amazing-Shiro founder Caitlin Johnstone sent me 2 free sample baggies, some candy, and a handwritten note with my purchase-a Shiro order is bound to make you smile! Also, I purchased the entire Notebook collection at once, which gave me a 10% discount. This discount is permanent, and available for nearly all the different collections the brand has. 
Color: 3.5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 3.5/5
Overall: 4.2 (B)
Recommend: More Sugar is a pretty, versatile shade. The neutral undertone makes it workable on warmer skin, and the texture changes based on whether or not a base is used. But since most beauty junkies use a base, I don’t think the velvety texture yet common, more dupable color it becomes is really worth it. Also, it’s comparable to Heaven Nor Hell, and if someone could only purchase one of the two, I wouldn’t recommend this one.

Shiro products are available online at

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