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 Ipsy 2014

The last ipsy bag of 2014 is here! Sorry for the delay in the review. With the holidays and all, reviews have gotten backlogged. But I’m in the midst of catching up, so let’s get into it!

December Ipsy Bag

December Ipsy Bag

The bag is OK, but I like the little detachable ipsy heart zipper pull. What I’m really happy with is the card. I was getting sick of seeing the ipsy stylists on every card. Especially because ipsy’s cards never have any product information on them. I’d love to get a frame for this and hang this ipsy card on my wall since it’s an inspiring sentiment.

At first I wasn’t all that excited for this bag, but as I used the products I realized this is actually a really great bag from ipsy. Maybe one of the better bags I’ve had in months.

Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream (*full size* $20+)

Before I get into the description I have some explaining to do on why this is a full-sized product. 1) This product won’t officially be released on the Nourish Organic website until some time later this month 2) Because of this I’m not 100% sure what the price will be, but everything in their facial line is $20 or over, so that’s where I’m pulling price from. Hopefully I can edit this post when the official price is revealed. 3) This sample is the exact size as what a full size will be (.5 fl oz) but does not have the cooling applicator tip, so the value of this sample will be slightly less than whatever the regular product is priced at.

As for the eye cream itself, it’s a nice moisturizing treatment for under-eyes. As with most eye creams, a little bit goes a long way. This sample will last me a good long while. Nourish Organic products are all USDA organic certified and cruelty free too, which is always nice to see in a product. The primary ingredients listed on this sample are avocado oil, argan oil, and shea butter. My only issue with this product is that I smell like a salad after one use; it’s just that faint avocado smell.

Would I buy it? Probably not because of the smell. But if that doesn’t bother you, go for it! It’s a great little eye cream otherwise.

NYX Butter Lip Balm in the shade Marshmallow (*full size* $4)

Always a fan of NYX products. I have one of these already in the shade Parfait, so I was grateful not to get an accidental duplicate. I would say these balms are not quite as moisturizing as the Butter Lip Glosses, but they are fun little balms to carry around in your bag. I’m particularly fond of this Marshmallow shade because it does not have much color payoff. I know, that’s not a typical response, but this shade is great for applying before any lipstick to give your lips a bit of a hydration boost.

Would I buy it? Maybe. Since I now have two I can’t see myself running out anytime soon, but I might if I ever did hit pan.

Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust in shade Brightening Bare (*full size* $15.39)

If you click the link on ipsy’s website, which takes you to the Pixi site, the cost of this product is £10.00. Using a currency converter this product would retail for $15.39 in USD. I quite enjoy this loose pigment though. The shade–Brightening Bare–is a perfect base color for a simple eye look or adds a bit of pop if you wanted to dab it in the center of your lid. The applicator is a small pointed sponge tip, but a much better quality sponge tip than your typical drugstore applicators; this one is more dense which makes it easier to pack the color onto your lids. There is a risk of fallout while you’re applying the pigment but nothing that cannot be lightly swept away by a fan brush or a pinky finger.

Would I buy it? Yes. It’s a nice pigment that doesn’t make my lids look crepey. Calling that a win-win.

450° Blow Out Heat Defense Blow Dry Spray Mini by Sexy Hair (sample size $7.67)

Normally, I am not a fan of receiving hair spray of any kind in subscription boxes because I do next to nothing with my stick straight blonde hair. This heat defense spray gets a pass. I don’t blow dry my hair often but when I do, I worry about heat damage. So far I’ve only used this spray once: lightly spritzing it over my hair, brushing through, and then blowing my hair dry. I’ve found that my hair has a nice shine to it with this spray and, at least with that one use, I did not experience any damage to my hair. A full size Blow Out spray costs $18.95.

Would I buy it? Possibly. Like I said, I don’t use these sorts of products often. But so far I like the results.

Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara (sample size $8.30)

Every ipster got a deluxe sample of Tarte’s famed mascara this month, which is really the most exciting part of this bag! Over the holidays, I traveled with this mascara and really enjoyed the formula. I love a good sample size mascara since these are the kinds of products that always dry out before you can properly use them up. The Lights, Camera, Lashes formula gives me fuller, longer looking lashes that enhance my natural curl. I’d say it’s a happy medium between natural looking lashes and falsies. Very impressed with this mascara.

Would I buy it? Yes. The full size is $20, but I could see myself saving up for this. One of the best high-end mascaras I’ve ever tried.

All in all, this is one of the better ipsy bags I have had since starting in April. Ipsy costs $10 a month and the value for December’s glambag is roughly $55.36. I say roughly this time since I’m not 100% sure on the eye cream price and the price of the Pixi product could shift with currency values.

In any event, that is a great value for a $10 a month subscription service! Three full size beauty products and quality brands to boot! If you’d like to give ipsy a shot you can click my referral link here or go investigate my referral links page.

Thanks for popping in!

October Favorites

Ack! Sorry I’m so behind this month! The last few weeks have been a tad crazy (in the best way possible) but things have finally slowed down enough for me to do an October favorites post.

So without further delay, here are my favorites for the month of October!

Just a few of my favorite things.

Just a few of my favorite things.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer (full size $29.00)

I got this tiny tube in one of Smashbox’s try-it kits at some point within the last year. But for the last few months this under-eye primer has become a staple of my makeup routine. Not so much for the priming aspects, but for the hydration. Recently, the skin under my eyes has been more prone to drying out because of a clinical strength face wash I’ve been using, so this little primer keeps that very tender skin hydrated and smooth throughout the day. I don’t need much, which is why after months of daily use this thing still looks full.

Jet by Julep ($14.00/$11.20 as a Maven)

This is my favorite black nail polish. As a brand, Julep is a tad expensive but they’re also vegan-friendly and 5-free, which I find comforting. I’ve used this creamy black shade in several of my October manicures and it has made its way into being a staple of my collection. Jet is currently out of stock on the Julep website, but hopefully they’ll bring her back soon!

From left to right: Velvet, I Have a Headache, Sequin, and Black Honey

From left to right: Velvet, I Have a Headache, Sequin, and Black Honey

NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in Velvet ($4.49)

This milk-chocolate matte shade came in one of my ipsy bags and has been used almost daily since. I would say 90% of my eyeshadow looks have Velvet blended into the crease as either a transition shade or as the prominent color in the crease. The texture of this shadow is a little on the powdery side but it blends beautifully. I can’t seem to stop using this eyeshadow.

NYX Nude Matte Eyeshadow in I Have a Headache ($4.99)

I bought this shade last year because I thought the name was hilarious. It wasn’t until the last few months that I started using this shadow nearly everyday. For my skin tone, I Have a Headache is the perfect brow bone highlight. It’s a very subtle look, and that suits me just fine.

ColourPop Eye Shadow in Sequin ($5.00)

I adore each of my ColourPop shadows, but lately I’ve been drawn to the shiny copper color of Sequin. I think the metallic copper makes my blue eyes really stand out. And this shadow is so easy to swipe over the lids. I’ve used this and Velvet in the crease for a stunning eye look that takes less than five minutes. And for the price tag, this stuff can’t be beat.

Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($16.00)

When I saw how dark this lipstick appeared in the tube I was a little bit intimidated. But on the lips the color is so sheer that it only slightly darkens your natural lip tone for a flushed look. I think this lipstick would be flattering on a wide variety of skin tones, and the formula is rather moisturizing which should be a crowd pleaser. This has been my go-to lipstick to throw on before leaving the house. It doesn’t last all day but it fades nicely and gives a great natural look.

Just for fun, I decided to add my favorite movie and book from this month too.

Favorite Movie:

Gone Girl. I didn’t write a review on this one because I was gobsmacked by this film in the best possible way.

Favorite Book:

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. For my full review, check here.

That wraps up my favorites for the month of October!

Thanks for popping in!

September Ipsy Bag 2014

It’s ipsy time again! This month’s theme is Street Style in honor of the glamorous and edgy looks created by fashion week and ipsters everywhere.

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I like the square design and faux silver leather look with its little rivets. It’s a great piece for fall and winter. I could see myself using this as a clutch for an evening out. One of my favorite physical bags in several months.

Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush by Crown Brushes (full size $6.99)

Synthetic fibers, so yay for cruelty-free brushes! Double ended brushes have always mystified me a bit because of the difficulty in storage. This one is much the same. Soft bristles and blends well though.  30 % off any purchase of $25 or more with code CROWNIPSY30.

NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Velvet (full size $4.50)

One of my all time favorite drugstore brands. I will always be happy to see NYX in my ipsy bag. The warm brown shade I received is the ideal crease shade and blends beautifully. Perfect for fall and I think it brings out my blue eyes well too. The coupon for this one was for 30% off their waterproof shadow primer: FALLPROOF.

Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask from Briogeo (sample value $4.95)

I wasn’t very excited about this when I saw this in my bag, but the results have changed my mind. First of all, the smell is so light but creates a nice scent cloud. The top note is the sweet almond, which I love. But there’s also some great, nourishing ingredients in this mask like avocado, argon oil, aloe, and essential vitamins. Oh, and its cruelty and gluten-free.

It’s been three days since I last used this and my hair still feels soft and clean. A full size tub of this (5.25 oz) will set you back $26.00, but you don’t need much of it to get the full effects so it would be a good value. I’m considering purchasing but I also have a few other hair products that need to get used up first. So maybe in the future. Just a free shipping code with this one, I probably would have purchased if the code had been better.

Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct (full size $19.00)

I wanted to love this product. The name alone made me want to love this gloss. And I’d had luck with Cailyn lippies in past ipsy bags. But at best I find this lip gloss wearable. I won’t be reaching for it regularly. In the tube it looks like a pinky nude but on my lips it reads more like terra-cotta. I do like the applicator which is an oblong sponge instead of a traditional doe foot. This gloss has a very chemical smell to it which is off putting. And the wear-time is poor, maybe 40 minutes max. I’m not giving up on the brand but I’m disappointed with this Cailyn product.

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish in Red Red Wine (full size $9.00)

My favorite product this month. Holy cow! I put this on my nails a few days ago and can’t stop staring at them. There has been some chipping but I’m so in love with this color that I’m not even mad at needing to do touch ups. Gorgeous Merlot colored polish that was already quite glossy without a top-coat. I would love to check out more of the Pacifica polishes in the future. Really impressed. For 20% off of any Pacifica purchase use the code FallBeauty at checkout.

Even though I wasn’t happy with the Cailyn lip gloss, this ended up being one of my favorite ipsy bags in months. There were some quality products in here and four out of the five items were full-sized. This month’s $10 bag had a value of $44.44. Very nice!

Here’s my referral link if you’d like to try ipsy.

June Ipsy Bag 2014

Nothing quite brightens my day like seeing that pink bubblewrap envelope from ipsy. This month’s theme is Pretty in Paradise and is all about achieving that gorgeous summer look. I’ve been trying out these products for a few weeks, so here’s my verdict on June’s ipsy bag.

As most of you know, ipsy is a service that for $10 a month sends you 4-5 sample or full size beauty products. Ipsy also provides discounts from many of their monthly products, which is a heady drug for us beauty addicts. In the three months I’ve been an ipsy subscriber I have really enjoyed the service and trying new things. If you’re interested in joining up, use this link here to get started.

June Ipsy Bag

June Ipsy Bag

Every once in a while my inner label whore wants attention, and boy is she happy right now! This month’s ipsy bag was specially designed by Rebecca Minkoff to coordinate with her 2014 summer collection. I can’t afford anything else this woman creates but dang does it feel good to have this little makeup bag. And it’s really adorable. Not too thrilled by the zipper location though; it sometimes makes larger products awkward to fit into the bag. Ipsters also receive 20% off at rebeccaminkoff.com. Super win!

OleHenrikson Truth to Go Wipes ($9.00 for 10 cloth pack): These citrus scented cleansing wipes feel like a luxury item for a somewhat reasonable price. The texture is kind of thick and fluffy for a makeup remover wipe, so I want to call them a cloth. It may seem like a strange distinction but I think it’s one worth making here. With most makeup remover wipes I feel like it’s just step one and I still need to wash my face after. These OleHenrikson wipes/clothes  actually do the full job. I took them on a road trip recently as my only cleansing method, which could have been risky but paid off.  I wouldn’t recommend using only these clothes long term, but for a weekend away or a night where you just want to hit the hay these are perfect. I might repurchase these for travel, because of the ease and small package size, but I can’t really support this price for everyday use. If you’re an ipster you can get 20% off your order if you share your email address though so that might be worth it.

Jessie’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in black ($6.99):  I’ve never used a felt tip eyeliner before, so this was a lot of fun to try. This is the greatest wing-making tool I’ve ever used. The control with this product is amazing. The design of the tip kind of looks like a calligraphy pen, so you can create a super thin line or go thick. It glides on  and then dries quickly. It also lasts all day long and doesn’t even think about smudging. I have to use my strongest makeup remover to get this stuff off at night.  Some liquid eyeliners have a hint of a sheen or a wet look to them, but this Jessie’s Girl liner is a luscious matte. The price on this liner is also lovely. I will definitely be purchasing Jessie’s Girl Liquid Eyeliner again in the future. Ipsters also receive 20% off any purchase at the Jessie’s Girl site.

NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair ($5.00): I’m always excited to try a new NYX product! Like most brands there are some hit or miss items in their range, but the Butter Glosses are almost unanimously beloved. This is my first try with the Butter Glosses and I absolutely buy into the hype. The color I received, Eclair, is a light pink or barely nude. I feel a little bit like Bridgitte Bardot with the shade and high sheen. Overall the gloss is fantastic but doesn’t become sticky with wear. You do need to reapply every few hours–I wouldn’t call this formula longwearing–but your lips will feel plush and moisturized for hours after it wears off. That’s a fair trade to me. And the smell is delicious like vanilla sponge cake. For $5.00 this is worth every penny. I will be getting other shades of this in the near future. Ipsy subscribers will also receive  30% off on NYX stick blush.

Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Waves Beach Spray ($3.79 for travel size. $8.79 for full size): My hair is stick straight and notoriously refuses to hold a curl. So naturally I’ve always wanted glorious waves. I had high hopes for this product, mostly because the phrase “dream waves” are in the title. The bottle says to spray into hair either wet or dry, scrunch your hair for texture and volume, then let dry. Now true to form, my hair refuses to give into my desire to have mermaid locks. However, this ended up being a wonderful volumizer. So while I didn’t get beach waves from this product, I did get fullness and a bit of added body. Dry shampoos have never really worked for me because they tend to make my hair greasier, but this beach spray is a more effective solution for my hair’s needs.  I haven’t used this product often in the last few weeks but I will keep it around for when my hair is looking particularly flat. I would repurchase this product and if you’re an ipsy subscriber you can now get $1.00 off the full size at Walgreens.com

Lash Out Mascara by Be A Bombshell ($15): This is the most expensive product in my ipsy bag?? Kind of disappointing. I have some incredible mascaras from the drugstore that are less expensive and do a better job i.e. L’Oreal Miss Manga, Maybelline the Falsies, or even e.l.f. waterproof  and lengthening mascara. Even after three coats my lashes do not have much added length or volume. It’s a very dry formula, and so it is also prone to flaking. There are few products out there that I truly am disappointed with, but this Lash Out mascara is absolutely one of them. Ipsters can get 30% off purchase and a free Beach Please blush, which is a good deal if I weren’t so upset with this mascara.

Not so much with the killer deals this month, but that’s probably because of the designer makeup bag. Overall, I’d give this bag a 3 out of 5 bubbles (I’m trying this system out. Too corny?). My favorite of the bags so far was April. The value of June’s bag is $39.78, which is the least value I’ve received thus far. But it’s still a worthwhile value and a great service.

Ipsy link: http://www.ipsy.com/r/7zfy

April Beauty Favorites

April has flown by, which is a shame because it is such a lovely month. The weather is gorgeous: warm and breezy without being overpowering. In a way, that’s also my makeup philosophy for spring. I want my face to feel light, fresh, and colorful without being too loud. Here are my favorite beauty products that help me achieve that April freshness.

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1. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin : You know how luxurious and shiny your hair feels when you leave the salon? This product absolutely extends that feeling. After I shower, I pop my hair into a Turbie-Twist and go about my business for a bit. Then before I bed down for the night or leave the house for the day, I spray the Miracle Leave-In product lightly over my hair and brush it through. After three weeks of doing this, my hair is healthier, shiner, and softer. And it smells lovely. My boyfriend has even commented on how nice my hair smells. Can’t beat that. This little 4 oz. bottle can retail upwards from $18.99 depending on where you buy it, but I’d say this product is worth it.

2. Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara: According to its description, this mascara is infused with collagen. The goal there being fuller, plumper looking lashes. I’m not a scientist, but goal achieved. It’s also just fine for sensitive eyes. I use the color Black Smoke and love how full my lashes look. The volume is definitely there too. Maybe not the most natural look out there, but I favor this mascara for nights out. For $7.95, I’ll take it over false lashes every time.

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3. Clinique Quick Corrector in Light: THEY NO LONGER MAKE THIS PRODUCT. Talk about trauma. People are selling this for over $25.00 on eBay when it originally retailed for around $15. I have been hoarding this little tube in my drawer for a while now. And, yes, I know makeup can expire. But the Quick Corrector still gets the job done. I use it more now for highlighting than for straight concealing. The creamy consistency and full coverage are perfection. The light tone is also an ideal brightner. If anyone has found a dupe for this one, please let me know!

4.Wet N Wild Take on the Day Eye Shadow Primer: This little nugget is part of Fergie’s Center Stage collection and is titled For My Primas. I know there are some lovely eye primers from brands like Urban Decay (I have a sample pot next to my bathroom sink), but for those budget conscious beauties, this Wet N Wild primer is an ideal substitute. It has a light color that creates a lovely base for shimmer and matte shades alike. A tiny dot covers my lid and I don’t see creased color in the mirror hours later. It’s a must have for $4.99.

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5. Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink: I’ve already raved about this product in my ipsy bag review, but I have been using this lip balm several times a week since the bag arrived. The color is exactly the shade of pink that I love. It’s more of a lush peony shade than apple. The little lip brush adds a precision element to application and the matte formula also moisturizes your lips. Some mattes look cakey, but this one just settles on to look natural. Grab yours for $19.00 here.

6. NYX’s Eyebrow Push-Up Bra: Go ahead, take a second to giggle at the name. I certainly did when I saw it in stores last month. The brown half of the pencil is a universally flattering shade to fill in your brows, and the pink side highlights underneath your brow and inner eye corners. My Mom once told me that one day I would care about the illusion of fuller brows, and that day has come. This pencil is easy to use with instant results. It fills in my brows and looks utterly natural, and the highlighter portion gives the brows a natural lift. For $10.00, it’s a must for a fresh face.

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These are my ultimate faves for creating a fresh look this April, but they’re great products that will carry me through other seasons as well. Hope you enjoyed my April Beauty Favorites!