Lancome Artliner in Noir Review + Swatches


Lancome promises that Artliner delivers “rich, deep, luminous color pigments (that) offer the most intense color,” which is true. The liquid eyeliner goes on as a shiny, opaque black. One of the first things I noticed and loved about Artliner was how pigmented it was. (5/5)

The wear was impeccable. It lasted a full 8 hours without any flaking or smudging. It looked perfect. (5/5)

The formula of this eyeliner is nice, very smooth and easy to apply. It gave me absolutely no issues. It also isn’t runny at all: once it’s on, it’ll stay in place as you need it to. (5/5)

The Artliner is packaging is nice, the kind of quality one expects from a high-end brand like Lancome. The packaging is plastic that feels sturdy. The cap clicks into place, which is a nice touch, since no one likes dried out liquid liner. It’s nice to have that extra security too, since it ensures that cap will stay in place during travel. The packaging is slim enough to store easily as well. (5/5) 


A full-size Artliner will set you back $30.50. This is undeniably steep, but it’s also comparatively priced to equally high-end luxury brands, such as Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Givenchy. Also, a large part of this category’s score is quality. Artliner is a fabulous product that’s easy to use, mega dark, and lasts forever. Liquid liner enthusiasts will love it, and it has a tip that will work well for beginners. Across the board, I believe it’s a worthwhile investment. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
Artliner hit a lot of marks for me. It’s greatly pigmented, long lasting, and easy to use with effortless luxury packaging. It’s not the most unique product, but it’s a classic done perfectly, so Artliner really can’t go wrong. (4.5/5)

Artliner is a fantastic liquid liner that works well for everyone on the liquid-liner-capability spectrum. It’s tip is thin and precise enough for both beginners who want to get close to the lashline, and more advanced users who want to get creative. It’s dark, dries down quickly, and lasts forever. Apart from the steep price tag, there isn’t much not to love. (4.9) A+


Would I Repurchase?

-Neiman Marcus
-Saks Fifth Avenue
-Bergdorf Goodman

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Artliner comes in 2 shades, Noir (black) and Brown.


Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara Review + Swatches

Picture 135

I’ve always been a fan of Lancome’s mascaras (Hypnose was one of the first mascaras I fell in love with). However, my wallet doesn’t love the price tag, so I don’t indulge in them as often as I’d like. So when I racked up enough points on my most recent Sephora haul to claim Definicils as a freebie, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

The product description on Sephora’s site says that Definicils gives “lavishly long, perfectly defined lashes” that are “the ultimate in shaping and separation” with “superb definition.” I have to say, every single one of these promises was true. It applied smooth and dark. It went on easily, made my lashes look so long, and gave them great definition–they were spaced out like false lashes. I was impressed from the first use! (5/5)

I’m pleased to say Definicils made it through the whole day (8 hours) looking perfect. The product looked fresh and my lashed were still long and nicely curled at the end of the day. (I curled them with a lash curler first.) (5/5)

This is a drier mascara that doesn’t clump and applies, and lasts, flawlessly. It doesn’t say anything about being waterproof, but after a bad day and some tears, I still had perfect lashes. The definition, length, and curl didn’t quit, and the product never made my lashes feel crunchy or heavy. I had no experience with it flaking, running, or smudging. (5/5)

Picture 177

The wand has evenly spaced bristles and it’s all one length, not tapered at the end. Still, the end is small enough to get into the inner corner easily. The wand wasn’t too large or thick, and worked well. The product is in a sleek black plastic tube with thin gold detailing and lettering on the cap. It looks chic and minimal, an approach many higher end brands have. (5/5)

I have a sample size of this that contains 0.07 oz of product. The full, 0.23 oz product  costs $27.50 USD. That’s $119.56 per ounce (so still pretty expensive). However, this category looks beyond the number at product worth, i.e, bang for your buck. Is it an expensive mascara? Yes. Is it the kind of quality that warrants an expensive price tag? Yes. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
Definicils is all about wow factor! Everything about this mascara is impressive, from the length to the definition to the staying power. It did exactly what it said it would, and I loved it. (5/5)

I love, love, love this mascara! Lancome always knocks it out of the park in the lash department, and Definicils wasn’t a let down. I would definitely purchase a full-size version of this product and I recommend it to every single woman out there who’s looking for flawless, dark, defined, dramatic lashes. Totally worth it. 5 (A+)

Picture 179


Useful Information:
-I received this product free with Sephora’s VIB points system.
-This mascara comes in four wearable shades.
-Lancome and it’s parent company, L’Oreal, both test on animals.

September ’14 Haul/First Impressions PART ONE: Sephora

*Forgive me for the webcam photos. I’m saving up for a DSLR, better pics to come!*

I was so, so excited to get these packages in the mail, because I had picked up some things that I had been wanting for a long time. I’ve ordered from Sephora’s site before, but have only previously shopped in-store at Bath and Body Works (and never purchased the kinds of items I did this time around). So, let’s start with Sephora!

The first thing I noticed is that this package was well-insulated, as usual. I appreciate Sephora taking care to make sure the items don’t arrived damaged. The first “products” I saw in the box were my bonus samples, plus an ad card for the store’s Beauty Studio Services.


The first sample was for Make Up For Ever’s new Artist Shadow. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but I was a bit surprised when I opened up the sample and saw what looked like press-on shadow stickers. However, when I pulled back the protective plastic, I was able to fully swatch the pigment, and was pleasantly surprised by the color payoff (although, I don’t expect less from MUFE). The color samples I received were a shimmery yellow white (I can see this being a beautiful highlight), a standard matte camel (this had the least payoff and is easiest to dupe), and a shimmery warm burgundy (pretty, pigmented, but done before). All three had a soft, smooth feel, and based off the swatch, I’ll definitely be trying these out (I actually almost purchased one in this haul, but decided against it).

The next sample is Philosophy Miracle Worker. This is an “anti-aging moisturizer and salicyclic acid acne treatment.” I’ve been dying to try Philosophy for a long time, but the sample given is very small, so I don’t know how well I’ll be able to get a feel for this product (and I hardly ever use these kinds of samples anyway, although that may change!).

The last sample is Benefit The Porefessional Agent Zero Shine. This is a “mattifying, pore-perfecting” powder. The sample even included a little brush, which was nice, although the full-size or one of your own brushes would probably get more use.

I also picked up Phyto Moisturizing Styling Cream with a promo code, but since I don’t style my hair often, I don’t know how much use this’ll get. It is a hearty sized sample, though, and in functional packaging.

Next are the actual items I bought. The first things I saw in the box were my items from Urban Decay’s Pulp Fiction Collection. I was so looking forward to these! The first thing I noticed was that the palette felt nice and heavy; given the cardboard packaging, I assumed it would feel cheaper. I like that it came encased in a cardboard package of it’s own, detailed with information about the palette and it’s on-screen inspiration. Ingredients and such information are included on the sides of this outer packaging. When I opened it up, the inside of the box was red! I thought that was a chic, nice detail. It also contains a tutorial card for Mia Wallace’s look.

 It opens/closes magnetically, which is secure yet easy to use. The mirror and little brush came sealed in plastic.Once you peel off that plastic, the mirror is surprisingly large and clear, making the compact pretty functional. The brushes are soft and have a metal handle, which is better than I expected, and the bristles are the right size for the pans, so I think they could work on the go, although most (myself included) will likely favor a full-size brush for application. I don’t like how the brand split Furious and Anger, since it’s less shadow and no barrier preventing powder kickup from mixing. All five shades felt soft and smooth, with excellent pigment, although it’s obvious that this is not the most unique palette under the sun. Having said that, I think it’ll appeal to collectors and makeup enthusiasts alike, because the homage to the film and quality are both there.

I had been eyeing the brand’s Revolution lipsticks since their launch, and was so happy when they released one with the PF collection. Upon opening the package, I was pleasantly surprised to see the same red interior, as well as Samuel L. Jackson’s famous quote printed inside. The tube is a sleek, shiny black that’s surprisingly resistant to fingerprints. This has stellar, phenomenal out-of-this-world pigment, the kind that really needs a lip brush to get precisely perfect. Its bold, rich and shiny. Love! It felt less creamy than I expected, but it’s by no means dry, and you really only need a little to get intense payoff.

The next item I grabbed was the BareMinerals Ready quad in The A-List. Immediately I was shocked by how small it was–websites always made it seem much larger! Like the UD palette, this came cased in cardboard, with the shade names and ingredients printed on the back, and also came with a little pamphlet suggesting a look. Thank god for the rubberized packaging on the palette proper–it was cased snugly in the cardboard exterior, and flew out of my hands onto the floor as I tried to get it out. Luckily, nothing broke. The mirror on this compact is also very large and great for functional use. I like that the shadows came with a little plastic protector; I always appreciate touches like that. This palette ranged in smoothness and finish, but all of them had great pigment, even the soft pink shades, which seemed like they could’ve been fussier.

Next, a trio of Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipsticks! I’ve been lusting after every single one since their debut (sadly, I couldn’t pick up Poe, a stunning navy blue). The packaging on these is total Kat Von D–it perfectly fits her image. These have a nice burgundy interior on the packaging. and the studded shape of the tube feels so badass. These come with a delectable vanilla scent (think MAC). The shades I picked up are Wolvesmouth (metallic berry), Wonderchilde (iridescent neon lilac), and Backstage Bambi (matte vivid hot pink). They all went on the lips easily, although some more than others.

Next, two products I’ve been wanting for as long as I’ve been into makeup: a NARS blush and eyeshadow duo. First, the blush. I decided on Angelika. This shade has silver glitter in it, but I was still a little surpised to see glitter sprinkled on the outside of the compact (wiped off easily though). Upon opening, I noticed the powder is pleasantly scented. This felt a bit drier to the touch than I expected, though I reckon that’s because of the glitter element (which many say gets lost when applied to the cheek anyway). The pigment was lovely and subtle. Can’t wait to wear this on the face!

Now for the duo. I picked up Kauai, which came out with their Spring collection. The pigment in these shades is rich and intense, and each felt so soft. Plus, the purple and gold together will look absolutely beautiful together on the eye. Another product I can’t wait to try out!

Moving on, OCC Lip Tars is a product I’ve tried before and loved, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another one. This time, it was the fantastically dark berry shade, Black Dahlia. I’ve never tried dark lipstick before and knew I had to start here. As usual, this one came with a handy brush and a very lovely mint scent. And the pigment, ease of use, and texture where all what I expected–that is, great.

Another brand I’ve loved before is Butter London. I’ve been on the hunt for a fab girly pink polish for a while now, and finally took the plunge with Teddy Girl. Because of work, I don’t get to wear polish as often as I used to, but I can’t wait to swipe this on this weekend. It’s too pretty to resist.

Make Up For Ever is a brand I’ve always loved from afar (having only tried one of their products, an Aqua Cream). As I mentioned, I considered trying one of their new shadows, but considering all the other shadows I bought, I decided against it. But as I was checking out, they suggested I pick up their mascara, Smoky Extravagant. After hearing Elle Fowler rave about the regular Smoky Lash, I knew I had to give it a try. Always fond of a new mascara, I can’t wait to put this baby to great use.

Obviously, I picked up a lot of products I’m eager to try out. But this payed off for me in a major way when I realized I had enough points to cash in for rewards with Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. I settled on three 100-point items.

First, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I’ve been wanting to try both an item from Smashbox and a foundation base, so I knew this was one thing I couldn’t pass up.

Next, Lancome Definicils Mascara. I already l-l-love Hypnose, and expect Definicils to be just as lovely.

And lastly, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium/Deep. Too Faced is another one of those brands I’ve heard loads about and have been fawning over, especially when it comes to this product. It has that great cocoa scent it’s famous for. At first, I thought Medium/Deep might be too dark for me, but upon actually seeing it, I’m not too worried.

I had a great time picking up these items and finally being able to explore new brands and products. Some of these have been on my wishlist for years, so I’m thrilled to finally be able to own them and continue writing reviews and my experiences with different items. See anything you like that I bought? Want to recommend me something? Let me know!

And stay tuned for part 2–Bath and Body Works! medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Model Monday: Coco Rocha

Image via

Coco Rocha is easily my favorite fashion model. She’s so beautiful, poses like a queen, and can sell any garment or product. But what I also love about Coco is her infectious spirit and hint of rebelliousness–she’s no stranger to a gorgeous purple lip or super winged out eyeliner. 
The Canadian beauty began her career in 2004. Since, she has appeared on the cover of Vogue, as well as five international editions, plus W, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She’s done ad campaigns for Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Lanvin, Longchamp, and Zac Posen, to name a few. She’s walked the runway for top designers, such as Jean Paul Gautier, Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen, Matthew Williamson, Carolina Herrera, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Chanel, and Versace.
She’s also crossed over a bit into TV, appearing on Project Runway modeling a contestant’s design as a challenge winning prize, assisting the models on America’s Next Top Model with a posing challenging, and mentoring a team of aspiring models alongside Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova on season 1 of The Face.
So naturally, someone with that much star power has landed a few beauty campaigns as well! Coco has done beauty modelling for luxury makeup line Yves Saint Laurent as well as budget friendly drugstore brand Rimmel.

Images via mimifroufrou and pier59

Coco has kept her laid back attitude despite massive fame, even doing her own makeup for several red carpet events. Being a model, she’s picked up tons of tricks from pro makeup artists like Pat McGrath and integrates them with her unique aesthetic. And to top it off, she has no problem sporting makeup from the drugstore. So what are some beauty products Coco loves? Here’s a few:

  • Smashbox Eyeshadow in Oyster
  • Maybelline Dream Mousse Foundation
  • L’Oreal Magic Smooth Souffle Foundation
  • Maybelline Great Lash Curved Brush Washable Mascara
  • MAC Technakohl Eyeliner
  • Lancome Effacil Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  • Lubriderm Daily Moisture Moisturizing Lotion
  • Dove White Beauty Bar Soap
You can score Smashbox, MAC, and Lancome from any department store, and every local drugstore can satisfy your Maybelline, L’Oreal, Lubriderm, and Dove needs.
Sadly, I couldn’t find out the exact brand or shade of fabulous purple lipstick Coco loves to sport. But if you want a similar look, MAC Heroine, or limited edition Lavender Whip should get the job done. For a cheaper option, many have raved about Cover Girl Divine.

What do you think of Coco’s fierce makeup looks? And is there another model you think I should cover next Monday? Let me know!

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Face of the Day 05

This is my own photo.

Perhaps this is a bit gauche, but when I’m unsure of what makeup to wear, I’ll take inspiration from my clothes. Since I had a sliver of green showing, I decide to play up that shade with my cosmetics. (This tactic gave me an excuse to wear my favorite eyeliner as well.) So here are the 11 products I wore today:
And here’s the finished product:
This is my own photo.

What makeup did you wear today?

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2014 Met Gala Roundup: Lupita Nyong’o Makeup + Fashion

Image via Glamour

Since breaking out on the scene this year, I’ve covered pretty much all of Lupita Nyong’o’s amazing red carpet looks. Her style is my favorite, so naturally, I was majorly excited to see what she would surprise us with at the Met Gala on May 5th. Always favoring the bold, Lupita’s look definitely left an impression! Her purple shadow complimented her green dress well, without competing with it. The creative look was customized for her by longtime makeup artist Nick Barose. Nick used almost exclusively Lancome products for the big night. Here’s exactly what they were (all prices are in USD):
  • Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate ($104, Sephora)
  • La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer ($42, Sephora)
  • Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation in 500 Suede ($45.50, Sephora)
  • Aquatique Waterproof EyeColour Base ($26, Macy’s)
  • Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow in Miss Sweetheart ($20, Nordstrom)
  • Hypnose Custom Volume Mascara in Black ($27.50, Sephora)
  • Le Crayon Poudre Brow Powder Pencil ($26, Nordstrom)
  • Armani Maestro Fusion Blush in 300 ($52, Nordstrom)
  • Armani Cheek Fabric Blush in 509 ($46, Nordstrom)
  • Le Lipstique LipColouring Stick With Brush in Sheer Chocolate ($25, Sephora)
  • L’Absolu Rouge in Bordeaux ($30, Sephora)
Total Face Cost: $444

Image via UsMagazine

As for her fashion, I’m disappointed to say this was Lupita’s first miss for me. I love a bold look, but I felt her brown and green Prada flapper dress looked like a fish net that got caught in the jungle. I was so sad; her dress was the worst of the night to me. There are positives to the dress, though. At least she went for it, versus the other stars who looked pretty but played it way too safe. I appreciate when celebs take a fashion risk, even if it doesn’t pay off. Lupita’s dress had lots of detail and great movement. The headpiece looked a little much with the already busy dress, but I loved the matching green shoes and bag. Lupita completed her look with Cartier jewelry. 
What do you think of Lupita’s bold Met Gala look? Let me know!

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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′;

2014 Academy Awards Roundup: Naomi Watts Makeup + Fashion

Image via Glamour

Seasoned actress Naomi Watts looked stunning and classically beautiful at the Academy Awards on March 2nd. Alongside Samuel L. Jackson, the actress presented awards for Best Costume Design (to Catherine Martin for the Great Gatsby) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (to Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews for Dallas Buyers Club).
Makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen used a mix of luxe products to create Naomi’s lovely evening look. Here’s what they are:

-Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Extrema Serum ($150 USD, Nordstrom)

-Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Cream Compact Foundation ($64 USD, Nordstrom)
-Lancome Le Correcteur Pro ($48.51 USD, Selfridges)
-Lancome Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette in Plum Splendor ($50 USD, Sephora)
-Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in Black Coffee ($26 USD, Sephora)
-Lancome Cils Booster XL ($24.50 USD, Sephora)
-Lancome Hypnose Mascara ($27.50 USD, Sephora)
-Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush in #10 ($44 USD, Nordstrom)
-Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Lip Pencil in #7 ($30 USD, Nordstrom)
-Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in Scarlatto ($34 USD, Nordstrom)
Total Face Cost: $498.51 USD.

To let her classic makeup take center stage, Naomi dressed in a chic white gown from Calvin Klein (her shoes were from the label as well). She accessorized with a bag and jewelry from Bulgari.

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Sweet Makeup for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day tends to bring several things to mind: flowers, sweets, and hearts. Whether you’re coupled up this holiday or celebrating your own fierceness, makeup brands have plenty of goodies to treat yourself to that match the romantic theme. To get you lovelies in the holiday spirit, I thought I’d share the sugariest, rosiest cosmetic delights to make your holiday a little sweeter. Consider it my gift to you, Valentines! xoxo


Image via Walgreens

1) Milani Illuminating Face Powder ($9.79 USD) 
These blushes/highlighters are embossed with a girly rose pattern, making the pan as pretty as the color on your cheeks. There’s also talk of Milani repromoting their limited-edition Coming Up Roses blushers, which feature one large rose print, versus the small several blooms seen in the Illuminating Face Powders.
Image via Beautylish

2) Flower Beauty
This line of cosmetics was founded by Drew Barrymore and is available exclusively at Wal-Mart. I love both Drew and cosmetics (obviously!) so I’m dying to try things from this line. The Kiss Stick High-Shine Lipstick (pictured above) range looks sleek for drugstore, and all the shades are named after flowers (the one shown is Morning Glory). The line is fully-developed, with products for face, eyes, lips, and nails. Let me know if you’ve tried anything from this range and what you thought of it!
Also check out: Benefit Dandelion ($28), Benefit Posietint ($30), Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Cool Lilac ($24), Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose ($42), Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Carnation/Rose, ($25 each), Clinique Cheek Pop ($21), Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush in Petal ($44), Dior Dior Addict Gloss in Bed of Roses ($29.50), Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Cherry Blossom ($36), Lancome Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Roses in Love ($28.50), L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinary Lip Color in Rose Melody ($9.99), MAC Eyeshadow in Beautiful Iris ($15), MAC Lipstick in Fleur D’Coral, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte in Rose Culte ($35)
Image via Fragrantica

1) Vera Wang Princess ($45-75 USD)
Who doesn’t want to smell delicious on date night? This fragrance is my favorite scent, very feminine and sweet, without being overpowering. The tasty notes in this scent make it perfect for a romantic occasion like V-Day. Ulta’s site claims the tasty top notes in this scent are water lily, lady apple, mandarin meringue, and golden apricot skin, followed by pink guava, Tahitian flower, wild tuberose, and dark chocolate, then finally pink frosting accord, precious amber, forbidden woods, royal musk captive, and chiffon vanilla. Say it with me: “Yum!” I’d still recommend this to those that don’t like food scents, as the floral in this notes water down any food flavors, so the fragrance smells quite balanced.
Image via Drugstore
2) Revlon Lip Butters ($7.49 USD each)
Like most beauty bloggers, I’ve sung the praises of these cute little lippies. And now I recommend them one more time. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to sport a girly lip color, and this line has you covered, no matter what your confident-lip-look is (for me, it’s pink, so I adore Cupcake, pictured above). Not only is every shade in the line named after a sweet dessert or fresh fruit, but the hydrating formula will keep your lips kissable ’til the end of the night.
Also check out: Benefit Lollitint ($30), Benefit Sugarbomb ($28), Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar ($42), Bobbie Brown Lip Color in Brownie/Blackberry ($25 each), Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($15), Cover Girl Eye Enhancers 4-Kit Shadows in Sugar Coated ($5.99), Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50), Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Champagne ($30), Lancome Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Pink Bonbon ($28.50) Lavanilla Fragrances ($19-58), Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in Espresso ($21), MAC Eyeshadow in Blackberry ($15), MAC Lipstick in Candy Yum Yum ($16), Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath ($17), Too Faced The Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette ($49), Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks ($22 each), Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Vanilla ($18), Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte in Peach Passion ($35) 
Image via Sephora

1) Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush ($30 USD)
These blushes have made a splash since they appeared in the beauty blogosphere. I haven’t had a chance to try them, but the tri-hued powders look large enough to use separately or swirled together. Either way, the powder looks adorable, not just for the candy colors, but in the sweet heart-shaped tin, too.
Image via Sephora

2) Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Throb ($17 USD)
For me, Illamasqua’s bread and butter product is their nail varnish line. Why not coat your nails in fierce, classic red this holiday? This lacquer line is on the pricey side, but this heart-hued red is the perfect accent to your romantic date look. 
Also check out: Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Sweetheart ($6.99), Cover Girl Eye Enhancers 4-Kit Shadows in Pure Romance ($5.99), Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Tender Love ($32), Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Lover ($26), Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Crush ($26), Kat Von D Everlasting Blush in Heartagram ($25), Kat Von D Shade Shifter Eyeshadow in Love Letter ($16), Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in L.U.V. ($19), Kat Von D Foiled Love Lipstick in Valentine ($19), Lancome Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Sequence of Love ($28.50), MAC Eyeshadow in Parfait Amour ($15), MAC Lipstick in Amorous ($16), NARS Blush in Amour ($30), Philosophy My Heart to Yours Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath ($17)

What are you planning to rock this Valentine’s Day? Let me know!

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Best of Beauty 2013

2013 was the genesis of Peak Volume, and so there were many products in need of review this year! I’m happy to report that through all the testing, there were some truly great products. So, here’s a list of the best products PV experienced this year (all of ’em earning a score of A- or higher):


This is my own photo.
*UD shadows not pictured, because they’re in a palette!*

Urban Decay Maui Wowie (A+)
Urban Decay Haight (A+)
MAC Humid (A)
Urban Decay Smog (A)
Urban Decay Rockstar (A)
MAC Steamy (A-)
Shiro Perfect World (A-)
Shiro Divine Justice (A-)
Urban Decay Last Call (A-)


This is my own photo

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Junkie (A+, Perfect Score)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Radium (A+, Perfect Score)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (A)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Woodstock (A)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (A)
Wet ‘n’ Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner in Black (A)


This is my own photo.

Benefit They’re Real! (A+)
Maybelline Colossal Volum’Express Mascara in Classic Black (A-)
Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Black (A-)


This is my own photo.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart (A-)
MAC Ruby Woo (A-)
MAC Girl About Town (A-)

Nail Polishes:

This is my own photo.

China Glaze Be Merry, Be Bright (A)
Essie Brazilliant (A)
China Glaze This Is Tree-Mendous (A-)

Of the 79 products reviewed this year, these 24 were the best! What do you think of the line-up? Have you tried any of these products?