Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Matte Lipsticks - $20 and Under

We've all seen how matte liquid lipsticks have literally taken over the market. Everyone and their grandmur is coming/has come out with one; even Revlon - who first brought theirs to market 15 years ago - has jumped in and released new shades. But as you can see from my comparison posts, they're not for everyone. What's worse, you can spend a pretty penny before you really find the formula you like the most.

The marketing tactics would have us believe that liquid lipsticks are the only way to achieve those long lasting, low maintenance results we want. Is that really the case? What about regular matte bullet lipsticks? In this series we're going to go through a few options that won't break the bank.

Jordana Matte Lipsticks

I saw these in #1 Beauty Supply in September last year and was very surprised at the price: $5. Low and behold a trip to iMart shortly thereafter revealed an even sweeter one: $4.25! For that kindda money I wasn't expecting much but I decided to give them a shot. As I mentioned in this post, I don't like their plastic-ish scent at all but the look and feel of the product was impressive.

'Terra Cotta' 
currently available in The Marketplace

e.l.f Matte Lip Color

These are available in iMart stores for $11.95. I've also seen them in Get Set and Rachel's Health and Beauty. While I love the packaging concept - retractable lip crayon with a pointed tip - there seems to be some flaw in this design. Sometimes the entire product can fly straight out of the tube upon opening :( The same thing happened to Tati and she also wasn't a fan of the formula

'Coral' + M.A.C Lip Liner 'Chestnut'
'Tea Rose'

 e.l.f Matte Lip Color: 'Coral' (left) and 'Tea Rose' (right)

Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Mattes

Easily the most pigmented of the lot and the most 'costly'. These can be found in iMart, Collins, Be Cool and Paradise Beauty Supply for between $15.50 and $22 (only Paradise Beauty Supply has them for this price). YouTube beauty vloggers that I watch regularly love these; Tarababyz has even said they are comparable to the Tom Ford matte lipsticks! I fully intended to try another formula after these but 'Divine Wine' stained my lips so much in such a short time that I had to shut shop for the day.

Touch of Spice'
'Divine Wine'

Look out for part two in this series.

Have you tried any of these formulas? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

It's A Dupe!

This one is exciting for me.

The first time I saw the NYX Wonder pencil I passed them up. I had heard beauty vloggers say they used them as brighteners on the lower water line. I use the Rimmel ScandalEyes for that so I was like mehh... then one day in #1 Beauty Supply I actually read the packaging: "concealer, eye brightener, reverse lip liner in one". Only three shades are available: 'Light', 'Medium' and 'Dark'. The concealer bit intrigued me; how would this work to clean up eyebrows? I let plenty of time pass between waxes so this sorrta thing is right up my alley. The best part, these cost $8.

A few months later the M.A.C Studio Chromagraphic Pencil reached local counters. I didn't know this at the time but only three shades are available: 'NC15/NW20', 'NW25/NC30' and 'NC42/NW35'. Coincidence? The latter was recommended to me. M.A.C defines it as: "a creamy, soft-point pencil ideal for use as a liner, or to outline and define designs".

 M.A.C Studio Chromagraphic Pencil 'NC42/NW35' (left) NYX Wonder Pencil 'Dark' (right)

From the photo above you can see that the shades are different; but blended out on the face it's barely noticeable.

M.A.C Studio Chromagraphic Pencil 'NC42/NW35' (left) NYX Wonder Pencil 'Dark' (right) - unblended 
M.A.C Studio Chromagraphic Pencil 'NC42/NW35' (left) NYX Wonder Pencil 'Dark' (right) - unblended
M.A.C Studio Chromagraphic Pencil 'NC42/NW35' (left) NYX Wonder Pencil 'Dark' (right) - blended
M.A.C Studio Chromagraphic Pencil 'NC42/NW35' (left) NYX Wonder Pencil 'Dark' (right) - blended

Both products blend easily without totally disappearing. Both products contain 0.04 oz (well they have different grams listed but it seemingly converts to the same thing in ounces). The M.A.C one is $36 whereas the Wonder Pencil costs $8.

Chromagraphic Pencil ingredients: Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Triethylhexanoin, Beeswax\Cera Alba\Cire D'abeille, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax / Copernicia Cerifera Cera / Cire de Carnauba, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ozokerite, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Tin Oxide, Citric Acid [ +/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Bronze Powder (CI 77400), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI77288), Copper Powder (CI 77400), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 21 Lake (CI 45380), Red 22 Lake (CI 45380), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985)] 

Wonder Pencil ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax / Euphorbia Cerifera Cera / Cire de Candelilla, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Microcrystalline Wax / Cera Microcristallina / Cire Microcristalline, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Beeswax / Cera Alba / Cire d’abeille, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax / Copernicia Cerifera Cera / Cire de Carnauba, Paraffin, Hydroxylated Lanolin, Octyldodecanol, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate. MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499).

NYX put a few more lubricants in their product but they look pretty similar right? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Brand Awareness: Tarte Cosmetics

Maureen Kelly, CEO and Founder of Tarte says she started the Company in 1999 out of her one bedroom apartment. "Today tarte is a leader in healthy, eco-chic beauty, offering cruelty-free cosmetics infused with skinvigorating™ ingredients like superfruit and plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, essential oils and other naturally-derived ingredients. But it’s not just about what’s in our powerful formulas; it’s what’s not in them that really sets us apart! All of our products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten, just to name a few. Ingredients are absolutely important to me, but so are formulas that perform. We call it tarte 12-hour power™, but you’ll just notice it lasts. Not to mention that we’ve got budgeproof, waterproof, sweatproof, SPF and formulas with truly compelling consumer panel claims". The Company remained independent until 2014 when it was acquired by the Japanese KOSÉ Corporation. You can read more about that here. At that time, Maureen issued a statement saying that Tarte would remain a cruelty-free company. Let's hope that's true. ***for an updated view on Tarte's "green beauty" status read this***

Best sellers

According to Notable Biographies, Tarte's - the team of Maureen and MUA Troy Surratt - first product was "a gel called Cheek Stain". If you check the site's Bestsellers page that product is still prominently featured along with quite a few others. When I first heard about the brand all the popular YouTube beauty vloggers were raving about their 12 hour Amazonian Clay blushes. I had to try them. Another widely raved about line is their Clean Slate primers. And I absolutely have to mention the infamous Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara.

My recommendations

The blushes hands down. 'Tipsy' is one of my all time favourites. I really like the blush palettes and sets that Tarte releases for the Holidays.

Tarte Cosmetics Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette Holiday 2014

I'm also a huge fan of the Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush. Their Skinny SmoulderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof liners are also a hit with beauty vloggers.

Watch Kristin Gehm's video here

Tarte products can be purchased online at,, and etc. as well as in Sephora and Ulta stores. A few Tarte items are currently in stock in The Marketplace.

Have you tried anything from Tarte Cosmetics? Let us know in the comments.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Neglected Favourites

Y'all know I have no problem allowing products to find new homes; so when I have things in my collection that I don't show love to for a while I feel really bad :(

These are few favourite colour face products that I "rediscovered" in my stash recently.

CoverGirl Queen Natural Hue Bronzer 'Ebony Bronze'

A classic case of 'YouTube made me do it' but one purchase I do not regret. When I found this in Jamaica I was overjoyed. I have a pretty angular face as is so I don't see the need for much contouring but when I do this baby is the inexpensive option.

the Balm 'Cabana Boy' Shadow/Blush

"So many men, so little time..."

the Balm's packaging is the best! This blush is incredible: the texture is finely milled, easily blendable, pigmented and has a glorious sheen. What a shame that I've barely used this since I hauled it.

Nars Cheek Palette 'Foreplay'

M.A.C Studio Careblend Pressed 'Dark Deep'

I hear very few people talking about this. I was surprised to see that it's still available on the M.A.C website. Their description: "An extremely soft, cream-like powder that glides onto skin and provides a smooth, fresh-looking natural-matte finish. Enriched with ingredients to help skin feel conditioned and comfortable". I believe it was MakeupbyTiffanyD that I first heard speak about this and I was intrigued enough to get it after attending a 'M.A.C In Mode' workshop way back when. After Logan recently destroyed my Blot Powder and half my MSF Natural I decided to bring this back out.

Sleek blush by 3 'Sugar'

I love mixing blushes so blush palettes are always a hit with me. As much as I also loved 'Flame' from this line I parted with it and kept this one. That middle shade 'Muscovado' is gorgeous! No wonder this was in my Top Ten 2013 blush picks.

What amazing products in your stash have you been neglecting recently? Do you have any of the items I mentioned? Let me know what you think of them in the comments.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Stash Status: Maybelline Master Hi-Light by FaceStudio Hi-Lighting Blush

How cool does 'Stash Status' sound? I didn't make that up. 'Stash Status' is a series that Kristin Gehm has on her YouTube channel. I love watching Kristin's videos; she is a beauty blogger that appreciates quality, ease of use and doesn't hop on the fads. She's totally relatable and seems to always be thinking up creative content to share with her viewers. You can watch her 'Stash Status' playlist here.

I contacted Kristin and asked if she would mind me borrowing her title. She thankfully agreed. I wanted to share with you the products that I have a few of. Kindda like the products I would have featured in the Four or More tag - which coincidentally was started by another YouTuber that both Kristin and I love.

On with the story...

I had seen so many beauty bloggers rave about these Hi-Lighting blushes but I resisted picking any up for a very long time. I mean, I don't need any more blush right? Right. Buttttt these have the added umph! of having shimmer and satin parts in one product. So eventually my curiosity got the better of me.

Maybelline says: "Light-boosting blushes and bronzers. Because those in the know don’t overglow.

Why You'll Love It

Each light-boosting blush and bronzer palette has an expert balance of 4 shades + shimmer for a natural glow.
Skin goes soft-lit with zero glitz.
4 Blush Combinations for natural-looking color and illumination.
2 Bronzer Combinations for a balanced bronze glow.
Fragrance Free. Non-comedogenic. Suitable for all skin types.

For Best Results

Brush over all shades in the palette and gently sweep over cheekbones, brow bones, and temples, or anywhere light naturally touches the face.

Expert Tip: Blend all 4 shades together or use each one individually. Use shimmer shades for an increased highlighting effect under brow bones and darker shades below cheekbones for additional contouring and definition

These are available in six shades: '10 Nude', '20 Pink Rose', 30 Coral', '40 Mauve', '50 Light Bronze' and '60 Deep Bronze'. Each compact contains nine grams of product. I have 'Nude', 'Coral' and 'Mauve'.

T - B: 'Mauve', 'Coral' and 'Nude'

L - R: 'Nude', 'Coral' and 'Mauve' 

I hope the swatches adequately show the amazing sheen the products give without looking glittery. I used 'Coral' last night and it gave my cheeks an amazing glow when all the colours were swirled together. It is possible to go in with a smaller brush and just concentrate on the satin more pigmented parts...if you have time for that sortta thing. A lot of product did 'kick up' when I used it with a brush but I find that happens with most easily blendable products. I think these would be great as blush toppers for us black women and also great eyeshadows. In the compact there's also a nice mirror and flimsy little brush. The brush actually works for highlighters though so don't throw it away.

I've seen these in various stores across the island from iMart, The Walk ($24.95) to Beauty Exchange ($15).

Thanks again to Kristin for her prompt favourable response.

Have you tried any of these blushes? Let me know in the comments.

Flashback Friday - Most Used M.A.C Products (Revisit)

Every once in a while I take a look at old blog posts. Most of the time they're links to amend and pictures to reinsert 'cause for some reason Facebook image links don't live like people do... Anyho, I stumbled upon this post and decided it would be nice to update it. My makeup collection still consists of a lot of M.A.C items despite my increasing number of Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Nordstrom and natural beauty hauls.

So how much has that top ten list changed? Let's see...

Prep + Prime Highlighter 'Peach Lustre'

This can be used over foundation as a highlighter but I mostly use it under foundation to colour correct areas of hyperpigmentation. This tube isn't even done yet and I already bought a back up.

Conceal and Correct Duo 'Pure Orange/Ochre'

Another product I use to cover hyperpigmentation. I mostly use the 'Pure Orange' side; once Heidi used this on me and she mixed both shades to correct the dark circles under my eyes. 

L - R: 'Peach Lustre', 'Pure Orange' and 'Ochre'

Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set 'Quiet Brunette'

A lazy woman's resource for decent looking brows. When I have a fresh wax this is all I need.

'Refined Golden'

My quest to pan this has me trying it in all types of ways. It's marketed as a Bronzing Powder but I really am enjoying using it as an all over the lid or transition eyeshadow. 

Satin Finish Blushes

In the original post I mentioned 'Coppertone' which has a matte finish. Since then I've come to realise that I really like M.A.C's Satin blushes. The two pictured here are limited edition but the shades are similar to ones in the permanent range.

'Bad Girl Gone Good' LE and 'Ripe For Love' LE

Studio Fix Powder 'NC50'

I just can't get away from it man.

Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner 'Designer Purple'

Manager at the Broad Street branch, Vandana, recommended that I try this at the last M.A.C Technique Workshop and I absolutely love it. The Pearlglides contain shimmer so they're not recommended for use on the waterline. Vandana does this neat thing where she actually puts 'Designer' Purple in her crease and just blends it out. The outcome is stunning!

Pro Longwear Eye Liner 'Powerline'

If you're looking for something that can be used in the waterline look to the Pro Longwear range. I have small eyes so I rarely wear black there since it just makes them appear even smaller. This gold shade brightens and complements my brown eyes. I also have a deep blue shade called 'Mountain Air' that I use frequently.

'Nightmoth' Lip Pencil

I absolutely can not believe that M.A.C discontinued this shade. It makes NO SENSE!

Fluidline Eye Pencil 'Black Brilliance'

A limited edition item (sorry!) that I hope M.A.C re releases. This is the retractable pencil version to their infamous fluidlines. The small tip allows for precise application to my upper lash line and once it sets it much so that some makeup wipes won't take it off.

What M.A.C items have you been loving the most recently? Anything I should pick up? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Support Local

I like brand name things as much as the next gal. We have been programmed to think that those big label name products automatically are made better with better ingredients/materials. Well, time and knowledge - everything is on the interwebs - has revealed this to be false more often than not. A lot of these labels maintain their astronomical profit margins buy using cheap ingredients, even cheaper labour and then pricing the items with ridiculous markups.  

But this post is not an economics lesson. I'm here to give you my personal experience. You would have seen me speak very highly of a few local body care producers on this medium. Namely: Ibis Bath and Body, Tsalach Natural Products and Eden's Choice Naturals. The market isn't limited to these companies by any means as was reinforced when I visited Bliss Experience in Quayside earlier this year; The Wild Bohemian and Ginger Lily Soaps products were proudly on display.

And they're more.

I does tell myself the same way I could throw money behind dese already rich people that cares nuffin bout me I could, at the very least, give my countrymen a try. I'm not on a soapbox telling you to support mediocrity by any means; just saying don't write locally made things off without even trying them.

My very personal example: it was last year I believe that I decided to stop purchasing body lotions. That was my nod to being more #greenbeauty conscious...or was it that I was really impressed with the many was my homie RoShane uses coconut oil? Yuh know, the skin is the largest organ and we shouldn't put anything on it that we can't ingest and all that. I was on a mission to use up my back log of Bath and Body Works and Avon creams and hopefully move to using coconut oil exclusively. Well I haven't bought any big ones but...

... a YouTube rave brand and a new Bath and Body Works scent caught me. What can I say? I find minis the perfect size for my handbag. Funny enough I reach for lotion mostly right before bed but I digress...

Imagine my surprise when our friend that works at Collins, Sophia, said she had some stuff for Heidi and I to try that her daughter made. I was very intrigued from the time she mentioned it because I love to support young people who are talented with their hands; I just admire people who make things! If you checked out Moden's Instagram lately you would have seen this post about Krysiee's Essentials (432-0004):

Krysiee makes candles, bath salts and body butters. I decided to give the Shea Butter Body Butter a try, just on a whim.

I'm not familiar with this type of thing so the whipped texture completely took me by surprise. But...but then how it melted and spread and made my skin glisten. OMG. Why am I buying massed produced tings for $15+ when this right here is only $10?! Then as if the universe were reinforcing a point, Gerri gave me one of her 'One Love' lotions as a gift with purchase when I bought a batch - yes a whole batch - of her 'Peppermint' soap. But Gerri, how one ting could smell so good?!

The Lotions are $12 for a 4 oz. and $20 for 8 oz. 

4 oz. bottles on the display table at #CurlsNiteOut 

Ok, ok I am listening.

Don't think I'm advocating not supporting the stores owned by Caucasian and Middle Eastern people on the island. At the end of the day, they employ many of us and those dollars are the same ones that send our children to school and feed our families. 
Now the economics lesson - Any economist worth his salt would tell you that in a recession the last thing the markets need is citizens not spending any money. What we do need to do is keep that money circulating with our local ecosystem...aka live a little so everybody can eat.

Moral of the story: check out what local entrepreneurs are making first then make your purchases to suit.