FotD:Job Interview Makeup

*Photos coming soon!*

Yesterday, I had a job interview at a majorly cool restaurant in my city. I love the young, cool energy of the place, so I wanted to look fresh and natural. I relied on a lot of my favorite products to help give me a professional look (and most of them are from the drugstore).
While I love makeup, hair is something I’m less apt at. Since I applied for a position in the kitchen, I decided to pull my hair back into a simple, sleek top knot. I’m so nervous and excited for this job, so putting in effort to my appearance gave me an extra boost of confidence and one less thing to worry about during the interview.
What are your favorite safe for work products?

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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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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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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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February 2014 Favorites

February, for me, was a continuation of love for some products I picked up over the holidays. I’ve given them enough time to test (clearly!) and can safely say I’ve fallen in love with them. These babies have gotten me through the month pretty consistently.

1) Maybelline Color Tattoo in Too Cool.

Image via Drugstore

I’ve tried one of these before, but Too Cool has become my favorite. I’ve been relying on this baby for the past few months as my shadow primer (I’ve even been preferring it to my UDPP). It’s a sheer, frosty white. The staying power on this formula can’t be beat, and my shadows have never creased with this underneath. Too Cool is sheer enough to be used as a cheek highlighter, too! I love me a multipurpose product.
2) Rimmel Glam’Eyes Eyeshadow Quad in Afternoon Tea.
Image via Drugstore

Typically, you couldn’t tear me away from my bold colors when it comes to shadows. But I stocked up on this affordable neutral quad, and oh my goodness has it come in handy! I’ve been wearing this quad to my monthly dinners with my boyfriend’s parents, and it always looks perfect for the daytime, no matter where we go. The bottom, matte flesh tone surprised me the most. I didn’t expect it to be such a great highlight! I thought it would look too dark against my fair skin, but it doesn’t. Instead, it blends right in and looks invisible in the best way possible. It enhances my eyes and brows without looking like there’s anything there.
3) Maybelline Volum’Express The Falsies Mascara.
Image via Allure

While I initially didn’t love this compared to Colossal, the Falsies has come to impress me. And as I praised it for in my review, it’s this formula’s penchant for separation that really won me over. While it’s not the most amazing in lengthening or volumizing, it’s the false-lash shape this mascara creates that really makes it unlike any other (and why I’ve been reaching for it so much).
4) NYX Round Case Lipstick in Narcissus.
Image via Ulta

I love, love, love pink lipstick (want proof?). So naturally, I couldn’t resist picking up the bright, warm pink Narcissus when trying NYX’s lipstick formula for the first time (because even if the formula was a miss, I knew I’d love the shade). What I like about this hue in particular is that it’s a bit more yellow-toned, but just as bright, as the other pinks I love. And fortunately, the formula didn’t disappoint, so I can see myself rocking this shade all through spring right into summer.
What were your favorite beauty products last month?

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A Beginner’s Guide to Eye Products

Following up with my Beginner’s Guide to Lip Products post, is a novice’s introduction to the basic products used on the eyes. This includes primer, shadow, liner, and mascara. Any combination of eye makeup can enhance the face and create an interesting look. That’s the beauty of (eye) makeup–it can range from stunning to simple to fierce to playful. Whatever mood you’re in or person you want to be, you can create and project that image through your cosmetics, and eye makeup has a lot to do with that.

1) Primer: Eye primer is one of those products those outside of the beauty habit don’t really know of, but it’s such an important, useful step. Any shadow can be enhanced with a primer, also called a base, under it. This works by making the shadows more vibrant, decreases problems like creasing and fallout, and helps them last longer. Some provide coverage on the eyelid, others are more invisible. Some are smooth, some are tackier (which helps keep powdery shadow and loose shadows in place).

Urban Decay Primer Potion is a staple in many beauty fans’ collections for it’s ease of use and effectiveness. Another popular choice is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. While the previous two come in tubes, MAC Paint Pots come in small jars and have more color options (both in skin-tone and colorful shades). ELF also makes an affordable drugstore primer.

Image via Beautylish

2) Eyeshadow: A common, popular product among beauty junkies and girls who prefer to stick to the basics alike is eyeshadow. Eyeshadow is a pigment that can subtly or dramatically enhance the eyes. There’s a lot of versatility in the way these products are used, as well as in the formula of the products themselves. There are single shadows, duos, quads, and palettes, as well as pressed, cream, loose, and pigment formulas.
Pressed eyeshadows are powders that are pressed into a pan, making them generally light and easy to travel with. They often can be used wet or dry, and get the best application when used with a brush. There’s a shadow in this form to meet everyone’s needs: matte/frost/shimmer/glitter/satin finishes, ranging from natural to smoky to colorful, sheer to pigment-packed, in every shade of the rainbow at every price point. Be on the lookout for fading, short wear time, or fallout with this formula, though. Wet ‘n’ Wild Trios are some of the best (and affordable) pressed shadows I’ve found at the drugstore, and MAC eyeshadows can’t be beat.
Image via Drugstore

Cream shadows come in an emollient, smooth formula that feels richer (and obviously less dry and more creamy) than powder shadows. There’s still loads of color options with this formula, as well as versatility. This formula can make a great base for sheer powder shadows, and works better than wet powder shadow as an impromptu eyeliner. These shadows are typically housed in glass jars and can be applied with your fingers or a brush. While I love this formula for it’s staying power, beware lesser quality formulas, which can crease or dry out quickly. Maybelline Color Tatoos come in a bold mix of shades, with some softer, skin tones added recently. These wear really well and are quite affordable. For high end shadows, I’m dying to try more of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Creams.

Image via Drugstore

Loose eyeshadows and pigments are fine powders that boast richer, more vibrant color payoff. They’re not pressed, so they can be more prone to fallout. When worn on the eye, these function much better wet (but a too-wet brush can cause streaky, patchy application!) This formula tends to really sing, with bold color payoff and rich texture. Because of the loose form, these can be reused for other things, such as becoming a lip product when mixed with clear gloss, or nail polish when mixed with clear varnish. This formula has a lot of versatility! I fell in love with indie brand Shiro’s loose shadows, and MAC makes to die for pigments. 
Image via Shiro

3) Eyeliner: Eyeliner is another useful tool in a makeup user’s arsenal. The swipe of liner across the lash line can enhance or alter the eye shape, add definition to the lashes, and add some personality to your look (depending on the color/finish you choose). A flesh tone or white liner on the water line (bottom inner rim of the eye) can make your eyes look bigger and the whites look brighter, helping you look more awake. There are three kinds of eyeliner: pencil, liquid, and gel/cream.
Pencil liner should be soft and creamy enough to draw the line on the delicate skin of the eye without skipping or tugging, but not so smooth that it smudges or has no staying power. Because pencil liners need to be sharpened, there can be some product waste, but this can be avoided by freezing the pencil first. Pencil liners are great for everyday use as they’re easy to use and don’t require any special tools. You can get close to the lash line or make a thicker line and do detailed work. I’ve tried Wet ‘n’ Wild’s liners, but so far, I find that Urban Decay’s range of pencils can’t be beat.
Image via Sephora

Liquid eyeliner is a thin formula that’s brushed on, and housed in a small bottle. This liner has a shiny, very classic look and is great for making a winged, cat-eye shape. However, this formula is also the easiest to mess up and requires patience and a steady hand to nail down. The fine point of a liquid liner’s applicator also make them great for playing with shapes and doing detailed work to your makeup. Because I’m quite bad with liquid liner, I’ve stuck to Wet ‘n’ Wild’s range, but haven’t been disappointed with it’s affordability, ease of use, and color options.
Image via Walgreens

Cream/gel eyeliners are smooth, rich, and my favorite to use. They’re not as convenient as a pencil, since they require a brush to apply, but they’re not nearly as tricky to make shapes with as a liquid. This formula mostly comes housed in jars with screw on lids. They’re creamy and go on like a dream, but can dry out quickly (put the lid back on while you’re applying your liner to prevent this). Ulta’s gel liners are surprisingly good, and I’m eager to try Bobbi Brown’s as well.
Image via Ulta

4) Mascara: Mascara is a special product, because it does different things depending on different women’s needs. That’s probably why it’s one of those well-loved items. Mascara comes in a tube and coats the lashes by applying product with the included wand. Depending on the formula, mascara can make your lashes look more voluminous or longer, as well as tinting and curling them. It’s important to know your bare lashes well, as what works for sparse lashes could cause thick natural lashes to clump, and so on. Whatever your needs, be careful of mascaras that clump, run, or dry out. I love Maybelline mascaras, and Benefit They’re Real! is also very good.
Image via makeup-wholesale

What are your favorite products to use on your eyes?

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How-to: Do a Full Face Without Brushes

You might be wondering, “why on Earth would anyone want to do their makeup without brushes?” While it’s true that quality cosmetics brushes are worthwhile investments, some people just don’t have the interest, time, or means to do so. Or maybe you’re travelling, and–worst-case scenario, you’re travel makeup bag gets lost and you need to restock on a few functional products.

There’s an upside to this unconventional cosmetic practice: creams can be multipurpose (just make sure your products are safe for use on the eyes, lips, and cheeks before trying–not all products can go everywhere). Using a few key products can lend to a full face (and without those brushes and powders, it can save a ton of space in your travel makeup bag, and wallet, too).

So, here’s PV’s guide to getting a full face, without a brush in sight (feel free to skip steps that don’t apply to/interest you as necessary).

1) Foundation.

Images via Drugstore and Sephora

Fortunately, foundation is one of those products that is often applied with the fingers already. Pump or dab a small amount onto the back of your hand, then use your fingers to apply to the face, starting with where you want the most coverage and blending outwards. I love L’Oreal Visible Lift Absolute Serum Foundation ($14.99 USD), but I’m dying to try Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation ($45 USD) as well.

2) Concealer.

Images via Beautylish and Sephora

Concealer is another one of those products that is commonly blended out with the fingers, and most come with built-in applicators. In fact, I’d say it’s more difficult to find one without an applicator! So with this step, apply concealer to any problem areas (acne, undereye circles, etc) as needed and dab with a finger to gently blend. I rely on my Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer, (about $6.94 USD) but Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclait ($41 USD) is a popular choice.
3) Eyeshadow.
Images via Drugstore and Nordstrom

Many people worry about applying cream shadow to their lids due to fear that it will crease. However, there are many cream shadows on the market that are tried and true. They wear so well, in fact, that many use specific brands’ cream shadows as a primer for their powders, they’re that resilient against creasing! I love Maybelline Color Tattoos ($6.99 USD), but MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots are an industry standard and fan favorite ($20 USD). Use your ring finger (or a cotton swab, if you’re concerned about contaiminating the pot) to grab product, then dab onto the center of the eyelid and blend outwards. 
(Psst, Maybelline’s Too Cool Color Tattoo is sheer enough to be lightly worn as a face/brow highlighter too!)
4) Blush.

Images via Maybelline and Sephora

Cream blushes add an especially lovely flush to the face because the warmth from your fingers melts the color a little bit, helping it flawlessly adhere to your skin. These products tend to run sheerer, too, so they translate to really lovely color on the face. Simply swirl your finger into the product, swirl onto the cheek, and blend outwards. I think Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush ($7.99 USD) isn’t bad, and Tarte Cheek Stain ($30 USD) looks great.
5) Then apply liner, mascara, and lipstick/gloss as usual!
Or, if you’re really strapped for time/cash/patience, use multipurpose products!
Images via Sephora

Cosmetics brands know they have consumers with busy lives who want no-fuss products that will still help create the looks they want. NARS The Multiple ($39 USD) is ideal for this kind of person. A cream to powder product that’s safe for use on the eyes, cheeks, and lips, the Multiple is multipurpose color packed in a functional stick that’s easy and convenient to travel with. The shade range is impressive, too, so one of these babies in a darker shade could function as your bronzer for extra sculpting. Benefit Benetit ($30 USD) is also up this alley, with a bottle of color with a brush-on applicator that enhances both cheeks and lips. 

What do you think? Would you ever forego your makeup brushes?

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Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Very Black Review

Image via Allure

I had heard lots about Maybelline The Falsies mascara, so when I finally got my hands on it for my birthday, I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. While it doesn’t live up to the “false lash” claim, I was surprised by what good things this mascara had to offer. 

The packaging touts the formula as being “very black.” It darkened up my naturally brown lashes and looked distinctly black, not sooty or grayish. It’s not a stark, matte black; it has a richer dimension. (5/5)


This mascara certainly passed this test! It lasted all day (8 hours) without clumping or drooping. The curl held the entire time, and the lashes remained fanned out and separated. It didn’t flake, run, or smudge, either. (5/5)


The Falsies is designed to be a volumizing mascara. While I did notice fatter, longer lashes, the results in both categories were slight (and not as dramatic as Colossal Lash). If you’re really after the look of false lashes in a tube, this product won’t deliver. However, what stood out to me in a very positive way was how separating this mascara is. Each lash looked neat, combed through, and defined, and remained that way throughout the wear time. It also holds a curl (from a lash curler) nicely. Unfortunately, this is the only mascara so far that has a scent that I don’t like. It has a bizarre bitter element to it that’s not pleasant, but also not strong or noticeable unless you deliberately sniff the tube. It feels like a drier mascara (think Cover Girl Lashblast), but layers like a very wet mascara (meaning, it clumps to high heaven–best to wear this one on it’s own). (3.5/5)


While the purple and blue color scheme is cute, I noticed that the tube feels lighter and cheaper than Colossal Lash does. The wand is flimsy and a bit large. But the spoon shape really hugs each of the lashes, coating them with an even layer of product, and separates them into a nice fanned out shape. It also reaches those tiny baby hairs in the inner corner somewhat easily. (4/5)


This mascara retails for $6.99 USD. This is equally priced to Maybelline’s other mascaras, and for drugstore, it’s a little on the less-expensive side (popular formulas Cover Girl Lashblast and L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes are both $8.99). So for what you get for the price (a nice, natural daytime mascara with excellent definition), I don’t think the Falsies is a bad investment. But if you’d like to notice a bit more of a difference in your lashes, I’d spend the $7 on a nice drugstore lippie instead and spend the few extra dollars and purchase a more “dramatic” mascara instead. (Often, Maybelline is buy one get one half off at Ulta, so if you’re on the fence with this product like I was, you can snag it at an even lower value). (3/5)

Wow Factor:

The real beauty of this mascara lies in it’s separating prowess, it’s curl definition, and staying power. However, (apart from the waterproof claim, which may have lended to the excellent wear), this product didn’t capitalize on those high points–it was marketed as being dramatically volumizing, giving the look of fake lashes, and it just doesn’t do that. In fact, it looks the opposite of false–it appears very natural and everyday, the kind of thing to rake on in a rush and rely on to look neat and presentable. Of course that’s not bad, it’s just not what the consumer would expect from looking at the product, which makes it a bit of a disappointment. (3/5)


I would recommend this mascara to someone looking for an easy, “good enough” mascara that they can use again and again. It wears phenomenally and lends superior separation to each lash. But it doesn’t layer well, so it’s just about impossible to get the dramatic effect of false lashes with this alone. It’s good to pick up on a half off sale but I don’t think I’d pay full price for it. Since it’s so difficult to layer with, and I prefer length to volume, I don’t believe I’ll be repurchasing once I use this up. If one was stuck between the two, I would easily recommend Colossal Lash over the Falsies, any day. (3.9) C+

Maybelline products are available at drugstores, and specialty stores like Ulta.

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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?