Sunday, February 12, 2012

Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette & Almay Primer Review.

Hey Guys, As I'm sure all of you know there has been a lot of talk lately about the Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette. This palette contains 56 photo op eye shadows, 4 brow powders & 1 brow wax, 8 cream eyeliners, 2 blushes, 3 highlights and, 4 lip glosses. 

This palette measures Open 16-1/2" x 8-1/4" x 3/8";  Closed 5-1/8" x 8-1/4" x 1".. I know for some that probably doesn't matter but I travel quite a bit so for me the smaller the better!! 

I think Smashbox did a really good job with this palette its very sleek and pretty, It's a bright red glossy package with white stitching.  When the palette is closed its about the size of a clutch. 

When you open up the palette there are plastic sheets laying over the products with the name of each shadow, blush, liner etc.. The Photo Op Mega Palette includes all of the Photo Op Eye Shadow Trios as well as multiple shades from the Smokebox and Softbox Eye Shadow Palettes.  

All the Shadows in the palette have been reformulated from the original photo op formula. I personally thought that the original shadows were fantastic and I didn't really think that they could get any better but they DID!! This are so of the most pigmented and buttery shadows that I have ever used. There is little to no fall out no matter what type of applicator you use, I have used a brush & sponge tip. The shadows blend almost effortlessly and you can create any and every look with this palette.  Now on to the cream eyeliners I have always been the type of  person that could never find a cream liner that I loved! I have had several that I like but never loved a cream liner, and about a year or so ago a friend gave me a Smashbox liner palette and I totally fell in love with it. So to have these liners in this palette was just a plus for me, they have all your basic colors and every color you could need to coordinate an eye look with this palette. At first I was a little afraid that the liners would dry out almost immediately but I have had this palette for almost 3 months and they haven't dried out. I guess there is still potential for them to dry out so we will see and I will make sure to update you periodically and let you know if anything changes! You also get the brow powders and a brow wax which I wont go into a lot of detail about because they are just an average set of brow products in my opinion., but you do get blonde, taupe, auburn, and brunette. :)

You also get two blushes in this palette, one is a peachy apricot shade with a little shimmer and the second is a bright pink also slightly shimmery. I really like the apricot shade, the pink is a little too bright for my light skin tone but still wearable if you use a "light hand." If you don't like shimmery blushes then these may not be your favorite blushes but don't let that keep you from buying the palette because the eye shadows in this palette alone are worth it!! You also get three highlight shades in a peach, pink and, taupe which I think are beautiful and should work for all skin tones! All three are slightly shimmery but not glittery. 



The four lip gloss are great too, I really like smashbox glosses but I normally top them over a lipstick because they are sheer color. Now the first two lip colors in the palette "buff" and "bitten" are very colorful. You get a shimmery neutral, a mauve rose, an orange red and a deep berry color. Basically a color for every look you would want to create with out having to carry a palette plus 4 lipsticks/glosses. 


All in all I love this palette and I think that it is totally worth the price! Most of the Shadows come in a smashbox trio and if you were to purchase each one of those trios it would cost somewhere around $448. So umm yea its a GREAT deal if you ask me! 

I also wanted to do a quick review on the new Almay Smart Shade Perfect & Correct primer. 
This primer has a green and purple helix type swirl, It claims to instantly smooth and color correct skin tone.  The lavender is supposed to even out and brighten skin and the green is supposed to reduce redness. It looks really awesome in the bottle. I have been using this primer for a few days now and it doesn't take a lot to cover your face, its a very lite thin primer and it does an ok job on my skin. It doesn't keep me as matte as other primers but I like wearing it under a light coverage foundation or a tinted moisturizer. I'm not sure that it really reduces redness like it says but it does do a great job evening out the texture and brightening my skin. The only downfall I have come across is the smell, it has a FUNKY fragrance. I have also heard others say they thought it smelt funny too so I guess that just the smell. I cant smell it on my face but I can smell it on my hands when I'm applying it.  So basically I put it on and then wash my hands and after that its fine and doesn't bother me. Its not my favorite and I'm still on the fence on whether I will repurchase because I really like what it does for my skin but its not great for keeping me matte. I'm going to keep using it and do a full review in about a week. 

 Before                                                                                                             After

Thanks for reading!! Please sub if you havent already!! 

xo-Amber :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hey guys!! Just like many of you I'm always on the hunt for that perfect mascara, I have pretty long lashes but they aren't very thick. In the past few years mascara has become some what of an obsession for me.  I have to give a little shout out to MsKimiKiwi because I have recently found her YouTube channel and blog. One of Kim's first videos was a haul in which she talk about how mascara is somewhat of an obsession so I'm glad I'm not alone!! HA HA! :)

The mascaras I'm going to review today are all mascaras I have picked up in the last few months! They aren't all new mascaras some have been a around for a while, most of them are ones that I love but there is one I HATE! So here it goes!!

The first one is the Almay Get up and grow mascara. This is one I picked up after Emilynoel83 raved out it on her YouTube channel, and let me tell you it deserves every rave review it get in my opinion. I have it in the color blackest black. I love the brush its kinda tapered in the center and it more of the traditional mascara brush which I wasn't sure I was going to like because I tend to like the rubber brushes. Its not a super wet formula, but its not dry either I haven't had it too long so it may dry out a little more. It give me a lot of length and really separates my lashes it doesn't clump or flake. I wore this for about 14 hours the other day and it didn't flake at all and my lashes didn't loose their curl. A lot of mascaras that I wear for long periods of time don't help my lashes keep the curl so my lashes end up sticking straight out and looking kinda stupid, but this kept the curl for 14 HOURS!! So needless to say I love this mascara and will defiantly be repurchasing. If you haven't picked this up yet give it a try I don't think you will be disappointed!

 Almay Get up & Grow  $7 (Walmart)

Second is the Smashbox Hyperlast mascara, OMG this has become one of my all time favorite mascaras. I don't hear many of the YouTube gurus that I watch talk about Smashbox mascaras, maybe they don't like them or have just never tried them not sure. Hyperlash is a pretty wet formula so if you aren't a fan of wet mascaras then this is probably not for you, but I personally don't mind a wet formula as long as it give me good results!! This mascara has a rubber comb like brush and its kind of unique because the end has some really small bristles for those hard to reach inside lashes, a long almost wide tooth comb like bristles on one side and a regular rubber brush like bristles on the other side. I think this is a really neat brush to have because it kind of like having all different brushes in one mascara. I get really great long almost thick lashes with his mascara which is normally hard for me find in a mascara, it wears well all day normally 8 to 12 hours for me. So if you like a wet formula that will give you separation thickness and length you'll love this mascara!!

 Smashbox Hyperlash $21 (Ulta)

Ok, I have one more Smashbox mascara. Its the Smashbox Full Exposure, This is a pretty traditional mascara with a traditional brush but, it will give you the prettiest lashes its a dry formula, wears a long time. keeps your lashes curled and, it wont flake. I use this a lot when I want really long natural looking lashes. Its not a fancy mascara but its one of the better mascaras I've come across!

 Smashbox Full Expose $19 (Ulta)

This next one is a mascara that i bought hoping I was going to love it but I don't, it's The L'oreal Voluminous Million lashes, I picked this one up in waterproof because they didn't have the regular. This mascara is super wet formula. The brush is ok is just a normal rubber brush but because the formula is so wet that when you pull the brush out of the tube there is so much product on the brush that i have to use a paper towel to help clean off the brush before I can apply it which waste so much product. I tried sticking the brush back into the tube to clean it off but that didn't help it just added more product to the brush. So overall I wouldn't recommend this mascara and I wont be repurchasing!

 L'oreal Voluminous Million lashes $7 (Walmart)

Last but not least is The L'Oreal Telescopic explosion, It's the mascara with the little sphere brush its really a kind of cool concept. Its a dry formula which give me ok length but it doesn't really separate or add volume. I really like this on my bottom lashes though it is easy to apply and looks really good. Overall Its a good mascara but nothing spectacular. I'm not sure I would repurchase this only because I do have mascaras with super tiny brushes that i like to use on my lower lashes! This maybe great for someone with tiny lashes that just want a little extra length.

 L'oreal Telescopic explosion $9 (Walmart)

Ok, guys sorry this was such a long post but I feel like a lot of people are out searching for the perfect mascara, and if I can share my thought and reviews and help someone choose a new mascara that they love or keep someone from wasting money on a totally awful mascara then it was worth it!!!!  Let me know if you have tried any of these mascaras and what your opinions are with them or let me know if there is a mascara you think I should try.

Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My favorite hair products!!

Hey guys, So I recently got a new hair cut and rediscovered some of my favorite hair products! I have extremely thick, frizzy, curly hair, I don't have super tight curls so I call them "medium curls" not tight curls but more than waves. I love the way my hair looks once its been flat ironed but its takes me forever so most of the time I wear my hair curly just because its easy and it take me about 10 minutes, but for those few weeks after I get a new hair cut I love to straighten my hair. For many years I could never find anything that would help me keep my hair straight and frizzless for more than a few hours after I used my flat iron, but about a year ago I discovered some products that help me keep the straight hair I love until my next shampoo.   :) 

Normally I use a shampoo and conditioner for curly hair (Bed Head Hi-Def Curls) but when I plan to flat iron my hair I use a heat defender shampoo and conditioner because I tend to have bad split ends. My favorite is the Dove Damage Therapy Defense (Walmart $7 for both). Once I get out of the Shower and towel dry my hair I use the Tresemme smooth no frizz spray (Walmart $4). I then like to use a wide tooth comb just to work the product through my hair, then I just use a blow dryer to blow my hair dry. If you have hair like mine or hair with a lot of body or volume already I do not recommend flipping your head over when your blow drying your hair, but if you have hair you wish to add volume too flipping you head can be a great thing to help add extra body!! 

Once my hair is completely dry I like to use an all over heat protector spray, I love the Suave Professionals Heat Protection Spray (Walmart $4) after I spray that in I brush through my hair and pull my hair up into sections. It helps to section off my hair because its so thick and it just helps me get my hair as straight as possible.

Finally when I have finished flat ironing my hair I use my FAVORITE hair product I own! Its the Straight Sexy Hair smooth and seal spray! (Ulta $20) This will keep my hair straight and frizz free until my next shampoo! 

Straight Sexy HairSmooth & Seal™ is a light, aerated anti-frizz spray which helps lock out moisture, keeping straight hair smooth and shiny. Leaves hair smoother, shinier and more manageable.

Suave Heat Protector Spray: Salon proven to protect against heat damage as well as REDKEN® Hot Sets™ 22 This heat protection spray contains a thermal defense serum to help defend your hair against heat damage from blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons.

 Tresemme smooth no frizz spray: A lightweight, non-greasy spray serum designed for all hair types. Reduces and prevents frizz. Adds gloss shine and finish. 

 I honestly cant rave about these products enough, before I found these products I was just convinced that I couldn't have straight hair for more than a few hours. I'm so glad I found them and I hope you will give them a try if you have the same problems with your hair.  

Thanks for reading!! :)