5 Tries: NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder Foundation

It’s been a while since I’ve done a 5 Tries post, so let me reintroduce the concept. I take an underutilized product from my makeup collection and use it for five days and if possible in five different ways. These posts allow me to use a bit of product up as well as review something that I haven’t touched on recently.

Today’s post is about NYX’s Stay Matte Not Flat Powder Foundation.

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Please excuse the mess on the packaging; the powder tends to get all over the outer rim but the product itself isn’t messy or hard to apply.

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This also comes with a circular makeup sponge, which I like for application but you can also use a brush or beauty blender if that’s your preference.

I’m in the shade 04 Creamy Natural. According to the description Creamy Natural is a shade for porcelain skin with peachy undertones. Personally, I think that’s a great description for my skin tone. The Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation comes in twenty different shades, so the variety with this line is a definite plus.

Here are five different photos of me using the NYX powder foundation.

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As you can see from my five tries, this foundation is well and truly matte. Any shine you see I put there with highlighter. It’s a medium coverage, well milled powder that doesn’t linger in my smile lines.

I think Creamy Natural is a good shade for my skin, particularly in the cooler months. I don’t tan much, but in the realm of foundations a little bit of sun goes a long way.

I don’t find this powder to be cakey if used on your full face, unless you have acne prone skin. This product does not irritate my skin, but if I already have a few blemishes, the powder clings in a way that draws attention instead of masking the problem areas.

This would be a great compact to keep in your purse (preferably in a makeup bag since the compact is a bit messy) for touch-ups since it takes all the shine and oil out of your skin. I primarily use it as a base and enjoy a fair amount of wear time with this powder.

Price wise, this powder foundation retails for $9.50 on NYX’s website, which for a decent powder foundation is not bad at all.

Pros:

True matte powder–staying powder is decent (5-6 hours)

Can use as a base or as a touch-ups

Soft texture

Under $10

Variety of colors to suit array of skin tones

Cons:

Messy compact

Not great for blemishes–can cake up over blemishes

Personally, I do not own many powder foundations but I have found myself reaching for the Stay Matte Not Flat powder more often after this five tries post. This is a great drugstore powder foundation and I reach for it over my high-end powder from Clinique.

I give the NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder Foundation 3 Beauty Bubbles: Suitably Poppable.

Thanks for popping in!

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December Birchbox 2014

This will be my third Birchbox,  and I’m quite pleased with this subscription box so far. Considering that Birchbox is a $10 a month subscription box, I think there is always an interesting variety of items available to subscribers.

December Birchbox 2014

December Birchbox 2014

However, this is a much smaller sample range than in month’s past, which is somewhat disappointing. Some of these products are so small that I cannot honestly tell whether or not they would be an effective addition to my regular products, and that’s a problem. The whole point of subscription boxes is to try new things and see if they work for you. If you only get one or two uses out of a serum or oil then it’s hard to say if buying these expensive full size products are worthwhile. So that’s my rant about sample sizes, but you didn’t come here for that. On to the products!

Rusk Texture Dry Finishing Spray (sample size $3.38)

For a hairspray, this is actually a perfect travel size and is the only product I don’t have a problem with size-wise. Which is truly unfortunate because I don’t typically use hairsprays or texture sprays in my daily routine. My hair is naturally very straight, so I don’t do a lot to it. I will say that the spray on this product is even and smells amazing without being overpowering. A full size can of this spray costs $18, which isn’t terrible for a nice hair spray

Would I buy? No. It smells wonderful but that isn’t enough for me to purchase a product that isn’t important in my life. But if you’re a hairspray kind of person, then I would recommend giving this Rusk texture spray a shot.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil Moisture Therapy (sample size $4.00)

Now for the sample value on this product I’m estimating since I cannot for the life of me find my sample vial, but the full size product is $35 for 45 ml, which makes for a rather pricey sample vial. If I can find the darn thing, I’ll edit the post accordingly.

This is one of the products that frustrated me in terms of size. The sample is very small and though you don’t need much of this oil to rub it over the ends of your hair, the size is still problematic if you have anything other that short hair. Even within such a small vial, the product is beautiful: the pale yellow oil layered over a clear and then turquoise oil. You shake the vial before applying a small bit with your hands to your ends. The blend of Ojon (apparently an oil from the Ojon tree in the rainforest), coconut, aloe vera, and Tahitian monoi oils are supposed to soften and protect your hair. It’s hard to say if it works long-term, but I thought after one use the oil was lightweight and gave my hair a nice shine without looking greasy.

Would I buy? Again, no, but only because it’s not a product I would use regularly, not because it isn’t a good product.

SeaRX Anti-Wrinkle Facial Lift Treatment Serum (sample size $4.00)

The skin care samples are always the hardest to judge in terms of effectiveness. For any skin care product to take full effect you need to be using it regularly for at least four weeks, and sample sizes rarely facilitate long-term use. What I can tell you about this product it that it has a light, fresh, floral smell and goes on clear. The serum soaks into the skin quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft to the touch and refreshed. Personally, I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles but preventative use is always welcome! A full size bottle of this serum would cost you $34, so keep that in mind.

Would I buy? Maybe. Definitely not right now when my need for this kind of product is minimal. But perhaps in a few years I would be willing to invest in a serum I enjoyed.

Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil in Sparkle Black ($4.50)

This is the tiniest sample of eye-liner I have ever received. So that in and of itself is kind of disappointing. Generally, I adore Lord & Berry cosmetics: they’re a high-end brand but they put out solid quality products in some stunning classic shades. But for me this eye pencil was an absolute bust. The glitter in this eyeliner made application rough and unpleasant as it scratched or tugged at my lids. A full size of this pencil would cost $18, but if you’re in the market for a sparkly black liner might I suggest Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in sparkling black, which should retail for $4.50 at drugstores.

Would I buy? No. Itchy eyelids are not cool.

Manna Kadar LipLocked Priming Gloss Stain in Lucky (sample size $2.88)

Part of me loves this cute itsy-bitsy sample and part of me wishes there was more of it! I love the color–Lucky–a soft mid toned pink that looks very natural on my lips. I’m not sure that the priming and staining claims are 100% true, since I felt the color was mostly gone after a few hours. But the gloss itself feels so smooth and soft on the lips. The formula is packed with Vitamins A and E as well as some natural berry extracts. This is also a paraben-free and cruelty-free product, which I’m always excited to see. My lips feel great after using this product even if it doesn’t stick around for as long as I had hoped.

Would I buy? Maybe. A full-sized lip gloss is $24, so this is one I could see myself getting by using my Birchbox points but not necessarily purchasing with my own money.

That’s it for my December Birchbox! Overall I definitely think I got $10 worth of products but I am not overly thrilled with the size and/or some of the products themselves. The value of this month’s Birchbox is roughly $18.75.

While this isn’t my favorite Birchbox, I have been enjoying this subscription service a lot. If you’d like to give Birchbox a shot, you can use my referral link here or check out my referral links page.

Thanks for popping in!

ColourPop Cream Eyeshadows

Let me introduce you to my latest obsession, ColourPop Shadows.

Even my coffee table likes these shadows.

From Top Clockwise: Sequin, So Quiche, Hammered, BAE, Get Lucky, and Liberty

ColourPop exploded onto the makeup scene within the past month with YouTubers like Kathleen Lights raving about the amazing shadow pigmentation and shine of these metallic cream shadows. The best part? They’re $5.00. And the brand has promised to always price their items at $5.00 because they believe beauty should be fun and affordable. Bless them.

And for those of you who are rocking cruelty-free only cosmetics (woot), ColourPop does not test on animals. They’re also extremely forthright in listing all their ingredients for every shadow, so you know exactly what is going into each product.

Thus far I have six shades: Get Lucky, Liberty, Sequin, So Quiche, Hammered, and BAE.

Swatches

Swatches

These cream shadows are silky to the touch and are best applied with your fingers. A little bit goes a long way for all-day sheen and wear. I also don’t experience creasing with any of these shadows.

ColourPop specializes in metallics and sparkle, with no mattes yet added to their collection. But my-oh-my are their metallics good.

Get Lucky and Liberty are part of the ultra-metallic line and have a liquid-like sheen that lasts all day. Both of these shades are so pigmented that swatch just as strongly the second time around.

Sequin is a nice coppery shade that has great shine. So Quiche is a golden brown with subtle flecks of purple.

Hammered is an olive-green with dark gold glitter. And BAE is a deep purple with blue glitter that has a near duo-chrome shine as this shade changes dramatically in the light.

My favorite way to wear these are to pat them all over my lid with a warm brown in the crease. Simple, quick but bold eye look!

Make sure you seal these up tight when you’re done so they don’t dry out!

I have had to stop myself from buying too many colors. I will definitely purchase more shades in the future. ColourPop also has a line of lippie stix and lip pencils. I haven’t tried any of them as yet, but these lip products are also $5.00 each.

Because it’s still a small company, there are still some personal touches that cemented my budding brand loyalty. Each of my purchases came with a handwritten note thanking me for my business with tongue in cheek wit. I kept each note because it put a huge smile on my face.

I give ColourPop Cream Shadows 5 Beauty Bubbles! If they ever start making matte shadows then I’m in real trouble.

Thanks for popping in!

5 Tries: Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby

After playing with my Ariel Beauty Book from e.l.f., I got it into my head that I wanted to do a regular feature where once or twice a month I take a product from my collection that is being underutilized and try to wear it for five days in five different ways. This system will 1) force me to get more creative with my makeup 2) allow me to use up or at least dent some neglected beauty products and 3) give me a solid reason to write more product reviews.

So for my inaugural 5 Tries post, I selected the Flower Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby in Teal We Meet Again. I had not used this product since purchasing it months ago so this is the perfect example of what I’m going for with these posts. I was attracted to the teal color in the store but sitting next to be other shadow sticks in my drawer, the bright blue looked intimidating.

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Flower is a cruelty free beauty brand created by Drew Barrymore. Their mission is to provide high-end quality products at drugstore cost. If you’ve never heard of Flower Beauty before that is because they don’t purchase advertisements in order to keep their costs down for consumers. Case in point, Flower is only sold at Walmart. You can’t even buy anything from the Flower website. The Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby has five colors total and retails for $7.98

These eyeshadow chubbies are a cream stick formula, which are really trendy right now. One of the chief claims of the line is that these shadows are very buildable. As you can see by the swatch below, that’s fairly accurate.

From left to right: 3 layers, two layers, 1 layer.

From left to right: 3 layers, two layers, 1 layer.

The packaging led me to believe that this teal shade would lean more blue, but on my hand and lid it shows up more green. I thought that was kind of disappointing because I love a good true teal.

On to the looks I created!

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Day 1: I lightly spread Teal We Meet Again in my crease. This was the first day so my first impulse was to spread the shadow with the stick itself. MISTAKE. Lightly tap this product where you want it to go and then spread with your finger. This product will blend best with your fingers. Later in the day, I noticed some fading as well.

Day 2: I put Stila’s Kitten as a base and then a wash of Teal We Meet Again over the whole lid. Meh. Not my favorite look, but easy.

Day 3: For this look, I created a nude lid and used Teal We Meet Again as a thick liner. I layered the color on for a darker shade as well. Loved the look of this when I first applied and in the picture, but this shadow is a creeper! The color didn’t want to stay put and creeped up my lid  within twenty minutes. And when I went to take my makeup off at night the color stained my lid. At this point I was frustrated with this shadow. I really thought I wouldn’t make it five days and contemplated tossing this shadow.

Day 4: On day 4 I finally figured out how this shadow works best: as a base, with another color layered over it. After the staining scare, I lightly patted this shade over my whole lid and then blended out the color with my finger. Then I used an e.l.f. shadow quad in Nouveau Neutrals to cover Teal We Meet Again. I put the olive-y green over the lid then took the warm tan shade (sorry the individual shades don’t have names) and blended it into my crease. A touch of ice blue in my inner corner completes this look. The colors appeared more intense in real life than in the picture but it was strangely compelling. I felt like I had put “Captain Planet” on my eyelids and was loving it. Great for a night out.

Day 5: I was so excited to be done with this product. But learning my lesson from day 4 I used Teal We Meet Again as a base but used a lighter hand. Then I packed a nude shade over the whole lid to further dull the intensity of this green. To finish the lid off I dusted a gold shade into the crease.

What I learned about Flower’s Teal We Meet Again Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby

  • It needs primer underneath and a powder shadow over top to stay put.
  • It does build up nicely, but it will stain your lids in the process.
  • Works best as a base.
  • Use your fingers to blend. Brushes won’t save you.

Honestly, day 4 saved this product from the trash can. I won’t reach for Teal We Meet Again often, but it is good as a base for a vibrant smokey eye.

I’d give this product 2 beauty bubbles.

Unfortunately, my first 5 Tries post was a bit of a negative review but I have some Flower eye shadows with different formulas that are lovely. So don’t let this post deter you from Flower as a brand. Just maybe steer clear of the Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubbies.

What did you guys think of the 5 Tries post? Should I do more of these?

 

e.l.f. Treasure Within Beauty Book

Haven’t you always wanted to be a princess? Be it warrior or fairy or dare I say mermaid? Ladies, e.l.f. has you covered. Fresh off their success with their villain line last fall, e.l.f. has begun creating Disney sanctioned Beauty Books a.k.a. palettes for some of Disney’s princesses.

The first in what I presume will be a series is the Ariel Treasure Within Beauty Book. The Beauty Book comes with nine eye shadows, two bronzers, a lip gloss, and two brushes. All for the wallet friendly price of $10.

My nails conveniently coordinated with the mermaid theme.

My nails conveniently coordinated with the mermaid theme.

I am obsessed with the artwork for this Beauty Book. The black and white sketch is so dreamy and a bit more sensual. All of the e.l.f. Ariel products have similar artwork and it’s very enticing. The collection also has lip gloss, blush and eye shadow, and brush kits that are priced $10 and under. I stopped myself at the Beauty Book because that way I can sample a bit of everything and not get spastic.

The brushes included in the Beauty Book are OK. The eye shadow brush is more versatile but not as good as the e.l.f. studio line of shadow brushes. The little brush for the bronzers is just not the right size or shape for application but other than that it’s an alright brush.

Inside the Beauty Book is a small mirror and a few total look suggestions. I really enjoyed these additions though the looks are a bit extreme for me personally. And the mirror isn’t the best quality but it’s great to have that in the palette for travel purposes. There is also a piece of plastic covering the makeup so if anything breaks or falls out it slightly contains the mess.

Little details like this make the Beauty Books special.

Little details like this make the Beauty Books special.

Nice to have a visual with the instructions.

Nice to have a visual with the instructions.

The shadows themselves feels soft to the touch and all but the purple shade (Seashell) have some level of shimmer to it. I do find it a bit strange that out of nine shades only one is a true matte. They all blend easily, which is a good thing because some of these shades are rather bold. But there are also some nice neutrals in there to balance a look out.

In terms of pigmentation, the best shades are the three in the middle–a shimmery pewter (North Star, a shimmery brown (For Shore), and a slightly shimmery copper (Siren Song). Oddly enough these are the three shades that do not get used in the suggested looks you can see above. The other shades have decent color payoff but you have to build them up or pack them on to get results. The palest shade of the bunch (Sand Dollar) barely shows up, so I’d say use it for a browbone highlight or a base shade to neutralize your lid. You absolutely need primer with these shades, not so much for staying power but more for the color enhancing properties a good primer gives.

The eye shadow brush is now living in my brush jar but here is the rest of the Beauty Book.

The eye shadow brush is now living in my brush jar but here is the rest of the Beauty Book.

And here are some swatches for the eye shadow shades and bronzers. I apologize for the semi-blurry photos! But hopefully you can get a better sense of what these products look like outside of the pan.

From Right to Left We Have: Brilliant Sea, Seashell, Seaweed, Siren Song, For Shore, North Star, Tropical Wave, Coral Reef, and Sand Dollar.

From Right to Left We Have: Brilliant Sea, Seashell, Seaweed, Siren Song, For Shore, North Star, Tropical Wave, Coral Reef, and Sand Dollar.

You can barely see Sand Dollar because it is as pale as I am, but I promise it’s there. Most of these shadow swatches had to have two layers for them to show up well, except for the three in the middle that are the warm neutrals. North Star, For Shore, and Siren Song are my favorite shades in Ariel’s Beauty Book. Together they create a really stunning metallic smoky eye.

I will never in my life be this tan. Ever.

I will never in my life be this tan. Ever.

The top shade of the bronzers is Tan Lines and the middle swatch is Conch Shell. These were one swipe swatches. These bronzers are nicely pigmented and actually blend out beautifully. Perfect for a faux beach glow. I was really scared on Conch Shell but it’s not as intimidating if you buff the color out a bit. Then the lip gloss swatch is true to color and it’s called Go On And Kiss the Girl. How perfect is that product name? Wear-wise it goes on fine but feels a bit sticky and doesn’t last overly long. It’s a nice bubblegum pink but I don’t find the gloss itself to be a major staple in my collection.

Below are my versions of the two suggested looks. I tried to blend out some of the shades more because if you pack these colors on I don’t see these looks as overly wearable.

First is the “Sunset Cruise” look, which is on the right side of the diagram. The green shade, Seaweed, should be dusted onto your brow bone and inner corner. Then blend Seashell, the vibrant purple, into your crease. Apply Brilliant Sea, the bright blue, into the outer 1/3 of your eye.

First off, no. These shades together are a bit much for me because they need to be built up or else they get murky. And once they’re built up they are bright. I’d love e.l.f. to explain to me how Seaweed is a “light eye shadow color” fit for highlighting. But I digress. I blended Seaweed into the crease instead of as a brow bone color. Brilliant Sea went on to my outer 1/3 and then got winged out a bit for flair. And I packed Seashell onto the center of my lid.

You can also see the shade Tan Lines on my cheeks.

You can also see the shade Tan Lines on my cheeks.

Eye close up!

Eye close up!

Clearly I blended the living daylights out of everything because the colors were a bit too club-kid for every day.

Then the second look is called “On the Beach”. You take Sand Dollar, the pale off-white, and apply it to your brow bone and inner corner. The light yellow shade, Coral Reef, goes all over the lid. And then the blue green shade Tropical Wave goes on the outer 1/3 of your eye.  I stayed fairly close to the directions for this one but was disappointed by the poor color payoff on the first two shades.

Well I wouldn't wear this to the beach, but maybe that's just me.

Well I wouldn’t wear this to the beach, but maybe that’s just me.

Overall, I think this is a decent palette/ Beauty Book. The most impressive shades are the center trio, but you can get some lovely looks by playing around with different color combinations. This would make a fun gift for someone who is a Disney fan; I certainly felt pretty cool playing with my princess palette. I’d give Ariel’s Beauty Book 3.5 beauty bubbles. Not bad but not mind-blowing either.

As I mentioned earlier, this Beauty Book and other Ariel themed e.l.f. items can be found at Walgreens or drugstore.com. They’ve already released a Snow White range, which also includes a Beauty Book, so I’m going to wait for my next drugstore.com offer before I purchase. These are limited edition and for their price are worth exploring. I’m a happy Disney dame at the moment and can’t wait to see which princess they pick next.