(Over)Hauling Becca: Luminous Skin Ultra Sheer Foundation.

 

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Maybe you’ve noticed (or maybe not cause you might be just like me, a hoarder), but I can get a little bit obsessive at times. From buying fifty foundations to find the perfect one, or just absolutely having to own every purple lipstick ever made, by anyone. Yeah, obsessive.

My Becca Obsession (yes, I am capitalising it) started simply enough with the Beach Tints, they were pretty dammit, and I decided that any brand that made such pretty things deserved a second look. And a third, and apparently a fourth and fifth.

I started off simply enough trying to find that great foundation, stumbled onto some cream blushes, saw a powder blush I had to have, and pretty soon (inside two weeks) I had an entire makeup drawer dedicated to Becca. Le Sigh.

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Why My Face Loves Valentia Even Glow Serum!


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I love serums!

I find that all the more funny because until probably two years ago, I thought they were the dumbest thing ever invented. I just never saw the point.

And then I was introduced to Lightsource from Stila and it was a wrap. I’ve been sampling serums ever since, unfortunately, most of the ones I’ve sampled have fallen into the category I’d assigned serums to, completely useless. But a few, like Stila’s and the two that I’d tried from Michael Todd True Organics, were really wonderful products.

I’d run out of my standbys, so I was searching for something new to try, I like to change my skincare routine periodically so my skin doesn’t get used to something. The only thing that never changes is my moisturiser, every time I’ve switched from the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve, my skin pays for it almost immediately.

Through Brand Backer, Valentia sent out a call for beauty bloggers to try their new serum. A serum that had been in production for over a year, and I was elated when they contacted me to say that they I’d been chosen for the campaign.

At first I was leery because, as a vitamin C serum, it was pretty much a guarantee that it would have loads of citrus, and while I love the scent of citrus, my skin in general, and my face in particular has an extreme sensitivity to citrus that causes me to break out into very, very bad cystic acne. Besides, which, in the the summer time my skin is volatile, ultra sensitive and unpredictable. Since I’d already been accepted into the campaign, I decided to go ahead with it.

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Sephora Beauty of Giving Back Face Palette. Picture Heavy Post.

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The Sephora Beauty of Giving Back Palette is a, eight shade cheek palette designed to celebrate cancer awareness.

Getting this palette was something of a whim, I’d gotten a late birthday present from a Co-worker of a Sephora gift card and I’d initially wanted to get Kat Von D’s Poe lipstick from the new Studded Kiss line, but the damn lipstick is like a unicorn. You think you see it, and then bam, when you turn around it’s bloody gone.

Anywhoo, I decided to browse Sephora.com to blow some loot, and wound up coming across this and another three shade blush palette that was half the price of this one which retails for $34.  Plus, the other one had a bronzer as one of the shades and I always feel as if I just wasted money when I get a bronzer in a cheek palette.

But good blush junkie that I am, I went ahead and got the this.

First of all, the packaging is just too festive, it’s even more vibrant and fun in person. It comes in a clear hard plastic case, that I managed to cut my finger on, and on the back of that plastic case, are the…numbers of the shades. Yeah, these don’t have names, just numbers. How very penal colony…

 

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Inside the package there are three cream blushes and five powder blushes. It’s made of sturdy cardboard with a hidden magnetic clasp and a ginormous mirror. And technically, there are four blushes, since one of them is more of a bronzer/highlighter deal.

 

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I’m almost convinced that the only reason I got this palette is because of the ombre blush and highlighter, I mean, it’s a thing of beauty. It was so pretty in fact that I almost didn’t want to touch it and mess up the pretty pattern. Buuut, touch it I did eventually, with fingers and all. Close-ups below with flash and without, as you can see it basically looks the same either way. To help with visualisation.

 

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From the left, top to bottom we have shades 1-3, which are all cream blushes. The middle ombre colours are 4 and 5, one of them being a gradient blush/bronzer combo. And top to bottom on the right side we have 6 to 8, of these three, 6 is a highlighting colour.

I have to say that I was really disappointed in this palette. When I was looking at it online, it doesn’t seem like it, but these colours run very cool, particularly the powder shades on the right, the cream blushes were not very pigmented at all either. When I first swatched 3 I was very excited because in the pan it looks like a mauvey rose with gold shimmer, but on application, it turned into a mid-toned cool pink and the gold shimmer was just kinda kaput. The only colour that I didn’t have any degree of difficulty wearing, were shades 5 and 7, which both turned out to be peachy shades, with five leaning more vibrant peach and 7 leaning more muted neutral peach. Swatches below.

 

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For shades 4 and 5, the colour at the top is the result of combining all the colours in the ombre to create one shade. I did like the resulting shades of the combinations of both, and found that they both can be used as highlighting colours. Shade 4 however is just a bronzer and highlighter in one.

 

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And finally shades 6 to 8.

 

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They were also really powdery, settled into pores and looked cakey on application. I’ve always said that I hate powder blushes that aren’t by Sleek, because more often than not, they’re not finely milled enough and you wind up with a cakey mess on your face. Another blogger that hates powder blushes as well, swears by Becca though, so I want to try those as well.

 

Final Thoughts.

 

For serious, I’m not even sure why I keep buying Sephora brand products, with the exception of the lipsticks, I almost always wind up returning them. Just this week alone, I’ve returned two items. They just don’t cut it for me, which really surprises me because usually I love their collabs. I was all over the TokiDoki collab a few years ago, my TokiDoki makeup bag is still the one I use every day. My HG fragrance (which is now discontinued) was Hello Kitty for Sephora. Maybe when they do collaborations the company that they work with provides everything but the space which is solely Sephora’s job, otherwise I just can’t fathom why their regular stuff is just so bad.

Whatever, in the end I wound up returning this palette, even though huge, pretty and only $34, not worth it when there are only two shades that I like or can even wear. I’d say save the money and get something, anything else.

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle

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I’ve been lemming these since I first saw them in Sephora something like two months ago. They reminded me a lot of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes only in a cream/gel formula. But since I had just gotten two Ambient lighting blushes, I decided to forgo these until the itch got too bad, particularly since the two colours that I wanted were pretty much the same colours that I’d gotten in the blushes.

After the disappointment that was the Ambient lighting blushes, I almost went back to Sephora and picked these up. I didn’t though and kinda pushed them to the back of my brain. Then Ulta sends me an email that they were launching Becca and a deal on them. I picked up two of these from Ulta, the two that I had originally tested in Sephora, Raspberry/Opal and Watermelon/Moonstone.

As usual, I’m in love with the minimalist packaging of Becca. Glass Jar and silver tops that take up most of the outer surface of the package.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get a brush inside these jars, unless it’s the tiniest of brushes like the ELF small stippling brush. So you will be using your fingers for application.

 

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Inside is the soufflé, and as you can see from the pictures it employs the same kind of marbling tech that Hourglass did for their blushes. While this technique is really pretty to look at, it makes products like this a bit of a hit or miss thing. You can wind up getting a whole lot of colour or almost none at all.

The consistency of these is a very cushiony, highly whipped gel-like product, if all those adjectives can even apply to the same item.

 

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I liked these soufflés initially because they eliminate the need for a separate highlighter since it’s basically built in with the sheer wash the coloured part of the soufflé imparts. All of the ones I’ve tried to date, also have a faintly fruity smell to them, which is most notable in the Raspberry/Opal.

The idea behind these was to blend Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors with the regular Beach Tints, which I suppose would save you on time and money.

 

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Papaya/Topaz is a bright orange laced with topaz, which is a shade that’s midway between bronze and gold. I think this shade will look good on almost anyone, but will be especially stunning on those with darker skin or warm undertones.

Raspberry/Opal is a deep berry shade laced with Opal, which is just a very muted, almost beige version of bronze. This shade, if well balanced like the sample of gotten from Sephora, will look good on any skin-tone or complexion, light or dark. If it’s not well balanced, you’ll get something like I did that’s only suitable for lighter skin-tones, or something that swings the opposite direction.

I had the same issue with these that I had with the Ambient Lighting Blush, unfortunately the colour that I was really after was the one that disappointed. Although Raspberry/Opal was the one that I’d fallen in love with that drove the mad need to own them all, this was the one, when I received it, that wound up not being a very good colour for me.

When I had gotten samples from Sephora to take home, the dark plummy shade of the Raspberry showed up very well against my skin tone, and the Opal provided a flattering bronzing to the overall effect. Unfortunately, here when the colours combined I was left with a sort of pale pinkish shade that doesn’t show up very well on me, so I wasn’t actually able to capture it with the camera.

I hadn’t planned to get the Papaya/Topaz because Watermelon/Moonstone was the one that I’d gotten from Sephora, but even though I liked it, I decided that I wanted a deeper orange colour to compliment my deeper summer skin tone. I’m really very happy that I did, because this colour is so gorgeous.

On me oranges look very natural and at times can be almost indistinguishable from my complexion. You know how older folks always say that a natural blush shade is any colour that your cheeks would turn if they’re pinched? Well, if you pinch my copious cheeks, they turn something of a red orange, weird, I know.

Anywhoo, pictures of me wearing Papaya/Topaz below with flash and without, the picture may look familiar since this was the same session in which I tested the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream.

 

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It does create a subtle flush to the skin and applies very lightly. I plan on going back for another one, unfortunately I’m not gonna be able to use the Raspberry/Opal unless I break it up and I really don’t want to. But I probably will.

I much rather these to the Ambient lighting blushes, probably more so because I prefer cream cheek products than any other concrete reason, but most likely because they’re much more pigmented than the blushes and I don’t have to work quite so hard to achieve colour. One good thing I found out was that using the Raspberry/Opal as a base gives the Mood Exposure Ambient lighting blush the colour and depth that it’s missing on its own.

 

Final Thoughts.

 

These are awesome, if you can only pick up one do it, it’s so worth it, I think these will translate very well to the colder months when your skin needs a little glow pick me up. And I forgot to mention, the wear time on these is pretty decent for cream/gel product, I got about five hours in the Georgia heat and humidity. The only thing that I’d advise, the same as I did with the Ambient Lighting Blushes, check them before you leave the store (buy in store if you can) to make sure that they have enough colour in them.

Now, go forth and shop!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

 

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Man, I hate living in the states, the UK and Europe get all the goodies dammit!

A few weeks ago, Beautylish sent an email asking if I wanted to test out the famous (or infamous depending on who you ask) Magic Cream by makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury. If you don’t know who Ms Tilbury is, chances are you’re not a part of the fashion world. She’s pretty much been a staple at fashion shows for over a decade and has worked with just about all the huge designers that you can think of.

Now, while I had previously heard of the Magic Cream and the rest of her line, I’d never  tried it. For one thing, neither Ms Tilbury’s site nor Selfridges (where she launched her line initially) will ship the items to the states. I think that it was something to do with the ingredients list, though I haven’t read anything on that list that screams toxic or bad, not even slightly. Also, at £70 ($117+/-) it’s prohibitively expensive for a cream, no matter how bloody magical it happens to be. Selfridges is not a High Street store.

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Becca Ultimate Coverage Foundation Creme

 

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You guys know I’ve been dipping my feet in the Becca waters slowly, and  this time I’ve decided to try out the new Ultimate Coverage Complexion Cream, based on a video I saw on YouTube that consisted of the most awesome transformation that I’ve ever seen. However, before I went out and spent $44 to own something forever, I decided to get a sample instead. I sometimes don’t return stuff simply because I can’t be bothered, so often times I just get samples from Sephora. I especially tend to do that with foundations because I have such a hard to match complexion.

I had to go to Sephora anyway to see if I could get a Fresh face wash so while I was there I got the sample.

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Wading Into The Becca Waters

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For a minute people have been telling me that I need to look at Becca foundations since I’m always trying to find my next great foundation experience. I went to Sephora when it first debuted, to try the colour matching IQ thingy. All the colours that I was matched to were so woefully inccorect as to be laughable. The BA though, was really surprised that of all the brands that the colour IQ spit out, Becca wasn’t one of them. I was pretty surprised as well because as far as I can tell, Becca is the only beauty brand not dedicated to women of colour that has so many shades for women of colour. When I say many, I don’t mean four (which is usually the max in most lines), across their different lines, Becca has at least ten shades for women of colour. That range from Bamboo to CaCao, with yellow, neutral and red undertones. So, yeah, I was pretty surprised. The BA gave me a couple samples to take home with me anyway, but when I tried them they looked horrible and so because these were the colours that looked closest to my skin tone, I figured Becca wasn’t for me.

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Beauty Army July 2014

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So no, I never said that I was done with sub services. Just Glossybox, for the moment.

I’ve had a Beauty Army account set up for over a year now, and just never bothered to go ahead and use it, mostly because it confused the heck outta me. I guess I’ve been more bored than usual lately, because one night I went ahead and just ordered a box.

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Lip Monthly July 2014

I give up. I’m seriously considering moving my blog back to Blogger because this is getting a little bit ridiculous. It’s taking me three times as long to write a post because I have to keep going over and over it to fix formatting errors and make sure that photos are sized correctly. The Beauty Army post took me four hours, no lie. A combination of WordPress and BlogDesk fail. Or maybe, ya know, windows live writer will magically starts working again the way it magically stopped. The pictures may be too large, I’m sorry about that, there’s very little graphic editing control in the app.

Enough ranting though, let’s talk about Lip Monthly.

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Sleek MakeUp Limited Edition Rio Rio Palette-Picture Heavy Post.

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I’m not sure if this palette was designed to coincide with the world cup being held in Brasil this year, but in any case it was just in time for world cup and it encompasses everything vibrant that people think when they think of Brasil.

I wasn’t actually planning on getting this palette because just looking at it on the Sleek site, the colours reminded me a lot of the Del Mar palette. But, Sleek had a 20% off sale and since I have zero self control and was already planning on picking up some other stuff, I went ahead and got this as well. I figured, if the colours were very similar, I could always not use it and use it as a giveaway item.

Sorry guys, I really like this palette.

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Revlon Colorburst Balm Lacquers

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Sorry for the hiatus ladies!

I’ve Just been having the worst month. First my ISP left me without internet for almost a week and a half. Then when I finally got my service back up and running, I wasn’t able to upload any of my pots cause WordPress  is pretty much the suck. So is Windows Live Writer for that matter. I’ve been unable to send any of my posts straight from windows live writer cause it won’t talk to WordPress, and when I tried to cut and paste them directly into the blog it just would not work and the alignment was just a nightmare. For short posts the Android app is ok, but for in-depth posting it doesn’t work all that great since I need a bigger screen to edit pictures and make sure that formatting is right. I’m testing out a few desktop editors at the moment, so if you see something wonky with the layout, pictures or what ever, please let me know.

Anywhoo, onto business. This is gonna be a pretty short post cause it’s ridiculously late and I’m sleeping with my eyes open, but…

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Quick Post. Sleek Makeup Sale!

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Just a quick heads up for anyone wanting to snatch up some Sleek items after all the blogging I’ve done on it this month. This weekend only they’re having a 30% off sale. If you stay under $50 before the discount, the shipping is less than $2.50. Or you can split the order and it’ll still be less than the flat $12.47 for anything over $50. The sale is on till Sunday at 11:59pm. Happy shopping!

Sleek Spring & Summer: Part Three; The Shadows.

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This portion of the review took longer than I anticipated for a few reasons. One, I was still on the fence about the Garden of Eden Palette, but I did go ahead and finally get it. Two, I couldn’t get any good shots, particularly of the Del Mar palette. Since it’s so vibrant, and I usually do my makeup before work and take the pictures then because I like using natural outdoor light as much as possible, it became almost impossible to find colours that would be acceptable to wear at work. Finally I just gave up and did the shots after work in my bathroom’s wonky lighting.

Let’s start off with;

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Japonesque Colour Radiance Primer

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My birthday was about a week ago, and I was elated to receive from my sister an Ulta gift card. Elated because during your birthday month, you get 2x the points. I also got from Ulta, a $10 off coupon to use on anything in the store (even prestige items!), and a CK One Colour Mascara (I’ve previously reviewed that mascara, it’s just meh). I also had a merchandise credit so I was stoked to get some new stuff. But have I mentioned that my Ulta is janky and always late? So they didn’t have the items that I went in for in stock as yet and you can’t use merchandise credits online so…

I was just browsing, I had already decided to get the new Benefit Push Up Liner (which is phenomenal by the way), and a couple of Butter London Lippys, when I happened to pass by the Japonesque section. I’d wanted to try the Liquid Light, so I tested them and settled on the one colour that I didn’t think I had in my arsenal as yet (because WOW!), and then I looked next to it and saw this absolutely beautiful shimmering liquid. I then noticed that it was a primer and almost walked away, because I don’t need another primer. But…but, because I’m a toddler and all you have to do is dangle something new and shiny in front of me, I decided to test it out. I was immediately sold. I put everything else back.

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