Month: April 2014

Beauty Royale: MAC Viva Glam Gaga VS Revlon Cupcake

As consumers, we’re always comparing products: quality vs. quantity, high-end vs. drugstore, warm vs. cool, MAC vs. other brands, etc. This is where public opinion like beauty blogs really come in handy: you can see comparisons of products you’re interested in without the financial and time investments. And it’s also fun for the blogger–making life easier and helpful for your readers.

Hence, PV brings you the Beauty Royale, a category dedicated to weighing products. While dupes are obvious to include in these kinds of posts, there’s also those curious comparisons included here, those more vague “how does X measure up to Y?” kind of comparisons. If it assess two items (and likely comes to a winner at the end), it qualifies under Beauty Royale.

The first round is a pretty straightforward battle between lippies: Is Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butter in Cupcake a dupe for MAC’s Viva Glam Gaga lipstick? Let’s take a look!

MAC Viva Glam Gaga:

As you can see from the pic above, this lippie is well loved and well used on my part. It’s a cool-toned baby pink with a creamy finish (I believe it’s in MAC’s creamsheen formula). This lipstick is no longer available, but was $14.50 when I bought it. It has a bit of an application issue (bunches up a little but looks fine from a normal distance). This is vanilla scented.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Cupcake:
Since I believe Cupcake and VGG are so close, I tend to use this pretty often (especially on those days when I want the VGG look without dipping into my tube!) Cupcake is also a cool toned baby pink, though it looks a bit more shimmery in the tube. Lip Butters are easily available at any corner drugstore for about $7.49 each. This feels really creamy on but also has the similar issue of bunching up during application.
One layer of MAC VGG & Revlon Cupcake. VGG appears darker and a solid cream finish, whereas Cupcake seems lighter, cooler, and shimmery. However, the differences are only really noticeable in the swatches; they look much more alike on the mouth.
Cupcake on the top lip, Viva Glam Gaga on the bottom lip.
How do they compare?
-The (on the lips) color, pigmentation, and application is equal.
Cupcake wore longer.
Both lipsticks feel creamy going on, and have a glossy sheen. 
-VGG faded better (evenly).
-Neither of these were drying (and felt equally moisturizing).
VGG has better (sturdier, chicer) packaging.

Cupcake is cheaper (and still available for purchase).
VGG scored higher when reviewed.
VGG has a lovely vanilla scent.

And the winner is…

Viva Glam Gaga!
Although the two products strike even in most fields (and I still totally recommend Cupcake to those looking for a color like this), the original can’t be beat. I’m partial to VGG because it caused my love for lip colors like this, and I feel like the product feels more expensive on the lips. 
Although Cupcake didn’t come out on top, I’m still very glad I have a great dupe for the sad day when my tube of VGG runs out 😦 

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Face of the Day 04

This is my own photo.

After trying out Shiro Cosmetics Loose Eyeshadow in Detective over my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Too Cool in my last FotD, I was inspired to use them more often. Sure wetting loose shadow adds a step, but I think the results are worth it because many loose eyeshadows, like the ones Shiro puts out, are very unique. I wrote in my review of Divine Justice that the brown/orange tones don’t melt like a duochrome, and instead sit on top of each other as if you layered two. It really is a neat effect!
Anyway, here are the products used (and a photo of the end result):
This is my own photo.

(Sorry for those wispy hairs!) What makeup did you wear today?

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Missing Out: Too Faced Shadow Collection Palettes

Image via Sephora

Missing Out posts are some of the most painful articles for me to write, because it takes the product lust up to eleven. What I’m eyeing today are Too Faced’s adorable shadow Shadow Collection Palettes. There are five of these particular types of palettes–the ones with the cardboard packaging, and 9 pans of shadow, with three big pans and six smaller ones. (The one shown above is their Natural Eye Neutral Eyeshadow Collection. The other four are Boudoir Eyes, Matte Eyes, Natural At Night, and Smokey Eyes.)

These were probably the first products of Too Faced that I’d heard of, and it’s easy to see why they’re popular. It doesn’t look like they skimp on product, the shades mix well together, and the small, sturdy packaging makes them easy to travel with. The shade names tend to be a bit racy and the packaging is always cutely designed–I love when a brand pays attention to details like that.

As with all products that I’m missing out on, I haven’t tried these, but at $36 a pop, I’d hope that the shadows feel soft, blend well, and last long. (While the price tag may not be easy for everyone to swallow, $36 is admittedly on the cheaper end of the palette spectrum.) I like that the palettes (save the matte) include a variety of finishes, allowing for versatility and creativity.

 If I have to pick just one to begin with, I think I’d grab the Matte collection, as I’m most drawn to the colors there. But mattes have a reputation for being difficult, and I wouldn’t want to write off all of them in case the few in the palette aren’t great, so my next choice would be Boudoir Eyes. What do you think beauties? Have you tried any of Too Faced’s shadow collections? Tell me your opinions below, or tweet me! medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

A Grown-Up Easter Basket–Lush Easter 2014 Collection

Image via  BeautyPopStop

Easter is right around the corner (it’s this Sunday!), and what better way to celebrate than with the basket of goodies Lush has concocted for the season. Naturally, the collection is limited edition, but has been available for purchase since March. Get your hands on it soon if it looks good to you! (I adore this collection, but sadly won’t be able to get my hands on it 😦 )
Lets take a look at the goodies!
Image via Lush

Carrot Top Reusable Bubble Bar:
The first item in the collection the site lists is one of their famous bubble bars! Bubble bars are designed to do just that–toss the bar in your tub for a scented mess of bubbles! I’ve never tried any Lush products, but these are at the top of my list to try, because they sound so fun and soothing. But many have protested that since the bubble bars are one-time use, they’re not very economical. Lush listened, and created this reusable bar for Easter! They suggest swishing it in the tub (holding it by the carrot top) until you have your desired amount of bubbles, then setting the bar on a paper towel/washcloth to dry before storing. You’re bound to get more mileage this way, making the $7.95 price tag a bit easier. This bar is scented like lemon and buchu, although many say the citrus fragrance is dominant.
Image via Lush

Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb:
Another product Lush is famous for is their bath bombs. These also scent your bath, but do other fun things like change the water color, add bubbles, and have ingredients mixed in that are designed to float in and decorate your bathwater. Pretty multipurpose! For Easter this year, they came up with two Easter Egg shaped bombs, one pink, and one yellow, that can actually be cracked open and contain a special surprise inside (another bath bomb shaped like a chick or a bunny), making for three baths. Both eggs have the same ylang ylang, grapefruit, and vanilla scent. These bath bombs are $12.95 a piece.
Image via Lush

Carrot Soap:

While this carrot soap is loaded with carrot oil for “nourishing” and “conditioning” the skin, according to Lush, it boasts an “energizing, tropical” scent, featuring Sicilian lemon and buchu oils.Fun fact: the white streak is supposed to be a leaping bunny as well. Cute! While Lush’s site says this is new and part of the Easter promotion, it doesn’t look like it’s limited edition, so no need to rush to get this one (although correct me if I’m wrong!) This soap is $6.95.

Image via Lush

Fluffy Egg:
Eggception isn’t the only egg shaped bath bomb getting special attention with this Easter promotion! Fan favorite Fluffy Egg apparently gets a repromote every year, and is scented with their popular Snow Fairy fragrance (vanilla cotton candy). Each egg is $5.95.
Image via Lush


Another bubble bar for the Easter season. Like all BB’s, this one changes your bathwater (obviously, Brightside makes the water orange). Like other products in the Easter line, this has a citrus scent, featuring Sicilian mandarin, tangerine, and bergamot oils. This sounds particularly lovely to me, as I’m very fond of the scent of bergamot. I envy anyone who picked this up! The bar is $10.95.

Image via Lush

Golden Egg:
A special invention on Lush’s part, the Golden Egg is a bath bomb/bath melt in one. The golden outside coating is the bath melt part, with the bath bomb in the center. This is scented like their Honey I Washed the Kids soap (a honey fragrance) and moisturizes with cocoa butter and olive oil. This new product is $8.95.
Image via Lush

Bunch of Carrots:

Not unlike it’s Carrot Top cousin, the Bunch of Carrots creates lots of bubbles and can be reused. They suggest running it under the tap instead of swishing it in the water, though. The Bunch of Carrots also has a slightly different scent (lemon and bergamot, another delicious sounding combo). I think this product is a great value, since you get three carrots, each that can be reused several times. The whole bunch is $12.95.

I eagerly await the day I try Lush products for the first time, and looking at this fab collection is only increasing the feeling. Did you try any of the Easter collection (or any Lush products for that matter)? How did it work for you? Will you be snagging any of these babies before they’re gone? Let me know!

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2014 MTV Movie Awards Roundup: Bella Thorne Makeup + Fashion

Image via Hawtcelebs

Bella Thorne looked fresh-faced and ready for Spring at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday. Her makeup artist, Tonya Brewer, used affordable cosmetic brand Neutrogena to achieve this clean, simple look. Here are the exact products (in USD):
  • SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup ($13.99, Ulta)
  • Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector SPF 25 ($12.99, Ulta)
  • Shine Control Powder ($12.99, Ulta)
  • Crease Proof Eyeshadow in Lasting Taupe ($8.99, Ulta)
  • Healthy Lengths Mascara ($8.99, Ulta)
  • Healthy Skins Blends Sheer Highlighting Blush in Pure ($12.99, CVS)
  • Moisture Smooth Color Stick in Warm Caramel ($8.99, Ulta)
Total Face Cost: $79.93

I love that this look is pretty, affordable and accessible. Those going to prom this month might want to consider snagging this look for their big night! Bella continued her pretty, springtime look with a lovely blue Versace dress. She let the pastel garment take center stage with simple Jimmy Choo heels and a bag, as well as rings from EF Collection and Graziela Gems. The rest of her jewelry is by Anita Ko.

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2014 MTV Movie Awards Roundup: Lupita Nyong’o Makeup + Fashion

Image via Us Magazine

Yesterday was the MTV Movie Awards, which means another exciting Roundup of celebrity makeup and fashion. To kick things off, I’ll start with one of my favorite red carpet beauties, Lupita Nyong’o, who was nominated for Best Female Performance. As usual, she rocked an awesome bold look, but this time, it was on her gorgeous gown. So she let her makeup look (comparatively) subtle. Here’s the exact Lancome products her makeup artist, Nick Barose, used (in USD):
  • Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation ($45.50, Sephora)
  • Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer ($30.50, Sephora)
  • Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup ($38.50, Sephora)
  • Star Bronzer Natural Glow Long Lasting Bronzing Powder ($35, Sephora)
  • Blush Subtil Delicate Oil-Free Powder Blush in Shimmer Tamarind ($30, Nordstrom)
  • Color Design Infinite in Unlimited Silver ($25, Sephora)
  • Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadow in All That Glitters ($20, Nordstrom)
  • Artliner 24H Bold Color Precision Eyeliner in Black Diamond ($30.50, Macy’s)
  • Hypnose Custom Volume Mascara in Deep Black ($27.50, Sephora)
  • Le Lipstique LipColoring Stick with Brush in Sheer Chocolate ($25, Nordstrom)
  • L’Absolu Rouge in Saffron Silk ($30, Nordstrom)
Total Face Cost: $337.50

I thought Lupita’s gorgeous dress was really the star of her look. It was bold and poppy, and reminded me of bright art. It was designed by Chanel, as was her bag. She completed her look with Casadei heels and Vita Fede accessories. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Face of the Day 03

This is my own photo.

One of the things I love about makeup is the ability to play. You can reuse several products to achieve different results, or combine an eyeliner with a different shadow color, or pair a new gloss over a long loved lipstick an achieve a wholly new effect. Today, I use some of my tried and true favorites paired with new loves and achieved a look that I ended up really liking.
This is my own photo.

Here are the products I used an the order I used them:

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Too Cool all over the lid.
-Shiro Cosmetics Loose Eyeshadow in Detective all over the lid.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Junkie on the lower lashline/waterline.
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara on top lashes only.
ELF Blush in Pink Passion on the apples and blended towards the temples.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake
-Avon Brow Pencil

I don’t usually rock liner on my lower lashline, but since the shadow has a strong glittery effect, I didn’t want the color to compete with it. So I tried it down below and loved the results! I mentioned in my review that Detective dries sheerer than it applies, and once I got Too Cool I knew instantly I’d love the way the two would look together. The results are as lovely as I expected! Here’s a pic to show you how it really glitters (sorry for the fallout!)
This is my own photo.

Isn’t it lovely? What makeup did you rock today?

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NYX Round Case Lipstick in Narcissus Review + Swatches

This is my own photo

I’ve heard a lot about NYX over the years. This isn’t my first experience with them (an eyeshadow was… and I shudder to think about it!) But this is my first try with their lipsticks. Since I know I love bright pinks, I figured the bold shade Narcissus would be a good place to start with the brand’s popular round case lipsticks.

It’s common knowledge that I love pink lipsticks, so I figured I’d probably have a dupe for this in my stash already. But I was pleasantly surprised by Narcissus’ uniqueness! It was warmer and brighter than all the others I have. Narcissus is a cool blue pink with a sheen, but it’s warmer than the other blue pinks in my collection. This actually reminded me of a lipstick version of China Glaze’s Flip Flop Fantasy polish, except FFF is matte and errs more coral, whereas Narcissus is distinctly pink. The brand describes it as “clean blue-toned pink cream” (4/5)


For a product that went on so smooth and slippery, I wasn’t expecting the great wear I got. There was some initial fading after the first hour or so, but after that, it stayed consistent for a solid 5 hours. (4.5/5)

This is my own photo.


This lipstick goes on nice and smooth,  and although it’s not the wettest I’ve ever felt, there is some slip. The application reminded me a lot of Revlon’s Lip Butters-it looks fine from a normal viewing distance, but up close, you can really see how the lipstick clings to every line in the lip. Not cute! However, I found that the formula was very comfortable to wear. It didn’t heal dry lips, but it didn’t make them any worse for wear after a full day. This is definitely one of the more comfortable lip formulas I’ve tried. (4.5/5)


Round Case Lipsticks come in circular, shiny black plastic tubes with product name on top of the cap and a color swatch on the bottom (making it easier to find the shade you’re looking for once the product is in your storage). It doesn’t feel cheap (but doesn’t feel more expensive than it is, either). I think NYX’s packaging is cuter than what you normally get at the drugstore. (5/5)


This lippie cost me only $3.99 USD for 0.14 oz of product. This is a great deal, not only because of the bargain price tag, but because you actually get more than the average lipstick (a MAC lippie for example is only 0.1 oz). So this makes NYX lipsticks cheaper than most both at face value and by the ounce. (5/5)

This is my own photo.

Wow Factor:

I was impressed this lippie managed to be different than the others I own (but I don’t think it’s so unique it’s impossible to dupe). The wear was stellar for such a creamy formula (even though it wore off a bit initially). It was also exceptionally comfortable to wear and felt more moisturizing than other brands, all of which left a favorable impression on me. (4/5)

Useful Information:

-NYX is 100% cruelty free (no selling in China).
-Most NYX products are vegan but some do contain animal derivatives.
-This lipstick has a very strong floral scent that’s a bit unpleasant. It’s not offensive, and it doesn’t last, but it’s there and noticeable while applying.
-This product was purchased by me.

-NYX products are available at specialty shops, like Target and Ulta.

This is a very nice lipstick! It feels great on and lasts. I think it’ll look best on the lighter, cooler end of the skin tone spectrum. I like that it’s affordable and bright without being neon. I’d recommend it! 4.5 (A-)

This is my own photo.

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Top 5 Beauty Boxes I’m Dying to Try

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know how much I love beauty box subscription services. Whenever I see someone link an unboxing post, I can’t help myself–I click it! I have my eye on several that I’d like to eventually try, so I decided to share them with you. Let me know in the comments (or send me a tweet!) if you’ve tried any and what your thoughts on them are. And don’t be shy about sending me links to your beauty box unboxing/comparison posts or videos, either!

Image via Ipsy

1) Ipsy
Ipsy was started by Michelle Phan and formerly went by the name of MyGlam. Each month they mail you a “glam bag” full of products (obviously!), but what I like about this service is that from what I’ve seen, the bag is always super cute. Plus, the bags are functional-they can be reused as travel makeup bags, clutches, etc. An Ipsy subscription is $10 a month.

Image via Birchbox

2) Birchbox
Birchbox is a beauty and lifestyle box (its not unheard of for members to receive a piece if chocolate in their box!). What’s unique about them is they have a points system, where you can gain points and then purchase items on their shop with said points. They also have a Birchbox Man box for the gentlemen in your life. A Birchbox subscription is $10 a month.
Image via beautybookers

3) Glossybox
Glossybox is a bit more of a “luxury” subscription box. Whether the products are better than it’s lesser priced competitors I can’t say (I haven’t tried any boxes!) but I do love the super femme, girly pink packaging. It definitely looks expensive! Glossybox, I believe, is based in the UK (I believe) although they do ship to the US. A monthly Glossybox subscription is a bit more expensive, at $21 a month.
Image via mcmom-ents

4) Beauty Box 5
BB5 is another one of those boxes that get me with their gorgeous, sleek, Tiffany box blue packaging. For some reason, this box strikes me as one that is consistently well put together and well received. This one errs more strictly in the “beauty” category, giving out much more makeup and nail products with no lifestyle items (I believe). It’s much more streamlined it seems, so would make a good choice for those who are looking to get exclusively beauty products from their services. BB5 is also reasonably priced at $12 a month.
Image via BeautyArmy

5) Beauty Army
One of the things that sets Beauty Army apart is that all of it’s boxes are customizable, so you know what you’re getting each month, and that you’ll probably like it. Even if it doesn’t work for you, it’ll at least contain something you want to try. Like other boxes, they also feature a mix of niche, affordable, and high-end options in their boxes. A Beauty Army subscription is $12 a month.
So what do you think of beauty subscription boxes? Have you tried any of these, or any others that I’ve left out? Did they work for you, or did you cancel your subscription? Tried any other themed boxes (like lifestyle or food ones)? Let me know!

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