Tag: Stila

Review: The Balm How ‘Bout Them Apples Palette

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The Balm How 'Bout Them Apples Palette Birchbox’s program for bloggers, Birchbloggers (however did they come up with that name?! ūüėČ ), continues to impress me more than my monthly boxes did. I was lucky enough to win my third item for review, one that looked cute and adorable and I just wanted to have it, The Balm’s How ‘Bout Them Apples palette for cheeks and lips.

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Best Red Lipsticks for Valentine’s Day (and Every Day)

I’m not sure if you know this, but I’m a little bit of a red lipstick aficionado. So with the day of hearts and flowers and red lips (gag gag gag, sorry) upcoming, I thought I would share my top red lipstick picks at every budget level (and in every formula)!

Best Red Lipsticks for Valentine's Day Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Haul: Topshop The Damned Collection from Cult Beauty

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Topshop The Damned Collection from Cult Beauty

I was so super excited when Cult Beauty had the Topshop The Damned Collection¬†in its winter sale. I’d been dying to get my hand on Velvet Lips in Velveteen Ribbon ever since I saw it on I Covet Thee, but I had no money to buy it at the time, and then it sold out in the US. I literally bought the collection set for just the lipstick, but it was worth it, because it’s a complete face in a bag!

Topshop The Damned Collection

Funny story: Apparently nail polish is now considered a hazardous material, and so you can no longer ship it from the UK. In fact, because of this, it wasn’t letting me make my purchase. The amazing people at Cult Beauty responded to me right away and explained the situation, and said that they would remove the nail polish from the kit and send the rest to me. Awesome.

On to the look!

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Review: Surratt Autographique Liner

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Confession time. On one of my visits to Barneys New York, I caved and finally purchased something I’d been wanting for a while. Not the $75-dollar lipstick. This one was more affordable.

I’ve been lusting after celebrity makeup artist¬†Troy Surratt‚Äės new makeup line,¬†Surratt, since what seems like forever (but is actually just mid-October). In particular, even more than the ¬†Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring, which is supposed to be a look-good-on-everyone red,¬†I wanted to try the¬†Autographique Liner.

I was fascinated by the description of how it was inspired by¬†calligraphy pens and contains a similar capillary system. An important point to me was the point, which is fine and made of nylon, not felt. I really do love the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, but the felt tip does tend to lose its sharp tip and get fuzzy, which causes the straight line you’re trying to draw to have a ragged top edge.

Also, the¬†Autographique Liner¬†is refillable. So your initial purchase may be $42, which is a little high, but when you use it up, you’re only buying an $18-dollar refill.

It's a thing of beauty, really
Sorry, I know the aperture got fuzzy on the tip, but you can still see how sharp it is.

I have a sort-of dysfunction when doing a cat eye/flick because of my downward-turning eyes (the same reason I am loving my new eyelash curler). I have followed all the tutorials for how to know when and where to do the flick, and every time, my liner comes out differently. I just can’t judge the same.

So having my eyeliner tip get fuzzy and ruin my line adds an extra challenge that I don’t need. I was hoping the Autographique Liner would solve at least that problem, and boy has it.

I took another photo of the tip so that you could get some sense of how fine-tipped it is. The nylon tip is not a single piece, the way the felt-tip pens are, but instead made up of individual nylon fibers that thin out. But they also hold their shape, so the tip of the pen is never going to go wonky on you.

A thing of beauty
A thing of beauty

The first stroke of the liner isn’t thick and dark, so you do have to go over it again, but my god is it thin. Paper thin. It really allows for more precision when lining. I still have trouble because of my eye shape, but I’m also able to work in much smaller increments, more precisely, so my flicks still wind up nice and sharp and thin. (Even if they never look the same from day to day.)

I took some comparison photos for you to see the lines that each make with 1, 2, and 3 strokes.

P1000088-2

P1000090-2

As you can see, the Surratt liner wins by far in the first stroke. It’s amazing how thin a line you can draw.

The Autoraphique Liner is a touch more matte than the Stila, which is strangely reflective, though not shiny or shimmery. It just stays looking a little wet. The ink in the Surratt liner also stays more contained where you put it, and doesn’t bleed out as much when first applied, as you can see below.

P1000093-2

The only thing about the Surratt liner that I think can be improved is that it does tend to migrate down/bleed over the day. I have to do periodic checks and wipe off black that has accumulated underneath the flick. The Stila liner stays where you put it a lot better.

Still, for the luxury of being able to work so precisely with my liner, with a tip that is so beautiful it almost makes you cry (seriously, the nylon tip WILL NEVER GET FUZZY AND ALWAYS STAYS IN A SHARP POINT), I have reached for this liner over the Stila liner every day since I’ve had it. And that’s saying a LOT.

Have you tried either of these? What’s your go-to liner? Do you have any suggestions for me for how to line my eyes like a normal person (with eyes that turn down at the ends)?

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December 2013 Birchbox Unboxing

(In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own¬†here.)

I followed last month’s lead and again avoided all spoilers so that I would not be envious or upset about what I did or did not get. It’s been only mildly successful, because, while I now no longer am upset that I didn’t get something specific, I’ve been underwhelmed by what I did get. (And I had a slight spoiler by texting with Rose who let slip the nature of one of her items, and I wound up figuring it out. And being sad I didn’t get it.)

So, on to this month. I feel like I am nearing 2 decisions:

1. Cancel my Birchbox See, I LOVE getting a little box of goodies in the mail every month, but I’ve really been underwhelmed the past few months. Since I resubscribed back in July in order to get the Davines shampoo and conditioner samples, I’ve really only been thrilled about 3 products: Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray, the Tocca hand cream, and the Stila Stay All Day in Beso. That’s 3 things in 6 months, and one of them came in a replacement box. It may just not be worth it anymore, or maybe I should try a different service.

2. Quit making videos
I know, I know, learning curve. But this is my 4th video and I’ve done yet another thing wrong. (I forgot that you can’t see what’s in my hands and I didn’t hold everything up for the camera.) I mean, at this point, I may have learned to a. shoot it with my point-and-shoot so that it focuses in on close-ups, b. how to add music, and c. how to add an intro, but my video skills are still severely lacking, it may just look worse for me to keep making them than it would for me to stop them. I mean, come on, admit it‚ÄĒyou watch other unboxing videos and they’re way better.

Anyway, the review!

As always,¬†If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. If you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

What did you get in your box? Have you tried any other services? (Beauty Bar? Glossybox?) Do you recommend them?

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