Influenster: Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid™ VoxBox #Review #VividMatte

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I have been a member of Influenster for several years and love the VoxBoxes they share. I was beginning to think I was stuck with Virtual Vox Boxes for life when my dashboard had 4 going and no real products. I then received that Influenster e-mail, which makes you smile. I was getting a Maybelline VoxBox featuring the Vivid Matte collection. Hooray! I have come back to the VoxBox arena.

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Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid has been spreading like wild fire and especially when some people shared it was a great copy cat to the Kylie Cosmetics’ line. Am I curious about the line? Yes. The price? No. Hey, I have other things I have my eye on and one thing I have plenty of is lip glosses, lip crayons, lip palettes, oh and the old fashion lip sticks (remember those 🙂 ). So, I keep buying because colors change, seasons change and it really is the one item that I don’t mind splurging a $10 here and there to see what the buzz is about. Copy cats can be colors and not always formulations and so far the two colors I received, #10 Nude Flush and #35 Rebel Red are vivid indeed. The collection features 10 colors in total and retails for $7.99 a piece. A pretty fair bargain!

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Verdict:

First, I was a bit puzzled by the formula. I blamed the plastic tube for the semi-gloss like finish the colors seemed to cast. I then open the first tube, the Rebel Red and the pigments are vibrant and just saturated with color, but not like any matte finish I have ever seen. I’m into paints from artistic to just plain old house paints and deciding on finishes is where I get stuck sometimes, because some rooms shed a different amount of light from our windows. The Vivid Matte collection would cancel all that, it would not matter what light or amount of it, from real to just coming from a bulb…..these beauties are not Matte. I don’t stop there because so what it’s not a real matte? I did feel they were still pretty. I open the tube and you do get a fragrance from the formula. It’s not faint and noticeable where the Nude hue is more like a sweet floral scent and the Red hue closer to a perfume/cosmetic scent. So far, okay. I apply the Rebel Red. Everything I have been rebelling against just went out the door. The consistency of the product is thick and opaque with a gloss finish. Not a translucent gloss by any stretch and a little goes a long way with at least this color. It’s a night color for me or at the very least a color I can mix with another if I feel daring in the AM hours. The product has a nice moist finish and not goopy like I was afraid it would feel like.

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Next, comes the Nude that has more of a purple note to it versus a pink or pale beige. There are no yellows or oranges in this nude color, it seriously owns purple! The less I apply, the more I feel it appears light enough to be called a nude like product but I mean this is me getting the wand out and using the tip to apply 2 dots at the top portion of my lip, and two on the bottom. There is no wand application going on here. Again, moist and the scent is more welcoming off this product than the former color. I prefer the Nude Flush over Rebel Red because maybe my full head on rebel days are over or I just need a slighter tan to not look so pale in this red. It’s starting to look more like Corvette Red on me. I do like the formulas though and found that application via a lip brush allows the product to flow better against the lip and you get an even finish. Again, these are opaque and not matte in finish, with the red having a more semi-gloss to it but the colors are vivid all the way!

Connect with Maybelline and view their Collections at:

 

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Influenster and Maybelline. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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BDB: The Billion Dollar Brow, Universal Brow Pencil is NOW Available at Kohl’s! #bdbrows #billiondollarbrows #BDBatKohls

 

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I have reviewed before for BDB, Billion Dollar Brows and can proudly share I still use their brow products on a daily basis. Having access to products is a must for me. Yes, I will hunt and order online products that are worthy of a shipping cost, but there is nothing like finding your favorite in store, so you can easily pick it up and go. Finally, the BDB product line has arrived at Kohl’s!

  • You can order on-line here
  • Or just visit your nearest store, which also offers “in-store” pick-ups if the items are not currently in-stock.  Just order on-line and wait for the e-mail when the item is ready for pick-up.
  • My previous reviews are here and here if you need to become familiar with the BDB line

 

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So, this is a win-win for us brow obsessing girls. I have not found a product yet that allows me to accentuate my brows by having them look tame and still natural. The brow obsession is a good thing because it’s amazing how much eyes can change by just making your brows pop BUT it can be taken too far. There is such a thing of too much of a good thing. Many products pile on the brow liner and/or powder. It’s like you can’t apply softly even if you wanted to and you end up with my Husband calls “scary brows”. With Billion Dollar Brows, I can’t error. That is a big thing when you are beginner to a pro applying make-up in a hurry because you hit the snooze button one time too many! I don’t want to work at making a product look right, it has to work from application and beyond. This means with BDB products you can easily blend, there is no fighting or having to worry about dark and thick strokes. The Universal Brow brow pencil allows you to apply in two ways. You can mimic hairs by following your own pattern to making your arch stand-out, by applying a line that then you can blend or leave as applied. This is where other products fall short. I have had eyebrow pencils play the “on or off” game, meaning it goes on and if I touch it, it just vanishes. There is no middle ground. I have had the “brow crumbles”, sort of like when bad mascara fails you, well eye brow products can do the same kind of shedding. With Billion Dollar Brows, I can get to the last part of the pencil and the product performs just as well as when I first popped it open. No drying out, no playing just nice when you have a fresh pencil, their products just do not fail and this why I use BDB products exclusively. I can’t say that about other brands! I change mascaras so often that I dread being asked what brand I use. It’s like asking me a trick question because I use one for length, one to build but that builds too heavy so I use another brand to separate and set. I also use one with a mini short brush for the end of my lashes that was really made for bottom lashed (told you not ask!).  No tricks with BDB and when I have 15 minutes to be out the door because I binged on NetFlix on Sunday night…..I need my brows to not show it 🙂

 

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Connect with BDB products at and don’t forget to order at Kohl’s:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BDB.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BDB: Billion Dollar Brows, Brows on Point Micro-Pencils in all 4 shades #Review #BillionDollarBrows #BDB

 

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Billion Dollar Brows has been a guest on this site before and even though it’s my go-to brow product, which I found to be already a huge hit (only brow product I use now), they found a new way to make it better. The original formula requires a brush application that only takes a minute to apply. For those days you want to skip the brush and get this…..have waterproof results, BDB came out with the Brows on Point Micropencils. You have 4 shades to choose from too:

Brows on Point Micropencils by BDB

  • Blonde
  • Light Brown
  • Taupe
  • Raven

 

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The Micrpencils by BDB feature a super fine point, so you can control application. You can apply the product by creating simple strokes and adding simulated hairs with just one easy swatch. The micropencil may be slim but not wimpy. No crumbling or breakage upon application, just smooth coverage that can be customized by using several of the colors BDB features. You can add highlights and get a more natural look that again I remind you, is Summer proof ready. You won’t lose your brows if you go swimming or in the sweltering heat.

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Retail Price Point: Each micropencil in any color, costs just $16 via the website.

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Verdict:
I love waterproof products but some come with more cons than pros. Many tend to dehydrate or stress the skin and especially if they are long wearing. I was a little concerned about the formulation and if I made an error upon applying. My worries really went away when the pencils arrived. I just did a swatch test (on my hand) to see how they worked and felt. Upon applying to the skin, I quickly noticed the formula is lightweight and does not feel waxy. You have a smooth feeling when the pencil meets your skin but remains hydrated and still full of color/tint. I just did not feel it when it was just applied to my hand! I then decided to just go for the brows, since I was already make-up free when the pencils arrived that evening. The last thing I wanted was losing hairs because the pencil is a little rough or just plain mean to my brows. These products are suppose to define and augment our brows, not stress them upon application and wear, to when it comes to removal. I did one brow in just under a minute being a new user of the product. I played and applied the color Raven towards the center of the arch, with Taupe and Light Brown through out both ends of the brow. Amazing! Just amazing how kind these new micropencils from BDB are. I did not lose any hairs, the formula is just smooth like a good eye liner would be and no pulling of the skin when applying. Smooth like butter and blend-able. I then thought if these pencils are so great on the brows, could they work as a eye liner that would be waterproof and smudge proof for the eye? I went for it! I applied the Light Brown to my eyes and then went to make dinner and enjoy the rest of the evening. Play time was over 😦 I wear the BDB for the rest of the night and even forget I had applied any. Yes, that is how natural and lightweight the BDB formulas feel! I go to wash my face in the shower with soap after being there about 15 minutes showering, and only then that I recall and see in my hands the product coming off. I then remembered I had been walking around with done-up brows and eyes. No residue or did I have to apply more face wash to remove the product. Your brows won’t budge and I will be using these pencils as eye liners too! Why not because they worked and I love products that can work as a double duty/multi-tasker. Thank you BDB for making another product that I love and will now be using these this Summer and not just on pool days, but when I just want gorgeous brows with zero worry about them smudging or melting!

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Connect with bdb and start 2016 with gorgeous brows at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BDB.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

bdb: Billion Dollar Brows Best Sellers Kit and 60 Seconds Beautiful Brows Kit #Review #bdbrows

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I give my brows attention when it comes to grooming and thankfully I never over groomed them, so my beauty routine was a little pencil here and there and some clear eyebrow gel to allow them to set neatly. With eyebrows being the “it thing” this year when it comes to magnifying how they look, well you know how people over plucked in the 90″s? Well, in 2015 some girls are guilty of over doing it when it comes to filling in and defining. Too much of a good thing…….well, it tends to ruin it. I have lately heard over and over from my Husband on what is up with the caterpillar eyebrow look and he is perplexed by what some people have done to their brows. When I was accepted to the bdb campaign, I admit I did not want to be one of those people that look like they have pets for brows.

I have always shunned anything that says 5 minute face-lift or 60 seconds to this and that. It always made me think of gimmicks and I’ll be honest that when the kit arrived, my first thought was a pencil is so much easier and faster. Then I tried the kits. See, now I insert footy in mouth for sharing my thoughts!

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60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit-
Let me remove foot, so I can continue to chat. I tried the kit right before showering at 1 AM in the morning. I figured I was showering and if this goes wrong, I have no appointment to get to or foundation to wash off. My face was bare. I grab the little pod and the color is close to the pencil I already use that is now the size of a nub, but it’s been loyal for 2 years now at doing it’s job. I grab the brush that resembles the brush I use to apply liner in wet/powder form, so I am relatively familiar with an angle ended one. The spoolie brush end, is nice and full, but the bristles are soft enough to separate but not scratchy against the skin. I’m thinking the dual ended brush I already love but let’s see how this pod thingy works. The eyebrow powder is almost velvet like when the brush hits the surface but not powdery that it ends up on you cheeks or falls off the brush. No need to wet the powder so I begin to swipe along the brows and I notice that the powder settles in delicately and sets to a very natural but fuller look. Like the powder imitates my own brow hairs sort of like a chameleon! Okay, it’s one in the morning and I am wondering if I am happy with the results or just wired from staying up, as I did one brow only and ask my Husband for the verdict. He first asks what I am looking at and then notices my one nicely done brow. He comments, “What did you do”, and followed by I like it. I ask him does it look like I have caterpillar brows that are ready to attack you? Nope, it looks nice and neat…..not crazy! Okay, it’s Hubby approved. I get into the shower and the bdb stuff washes off without any raccoon eyes residue leftover. I must also add that I watched zero of the videos on the site at this hour and that is how easy a successful application was.

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The next day, I give it a true try, like with make-up and all. I go out to the mall and I notice that the bdb cosmetics feel nice and light on my brows, plus it lasts looking as fresh as it did in the morning when I applied it. I’m talking about going into stores that have the heater blasting this Winter creating a suffocating environment while you, the customer, are trying to move around and shop while trying to not break a sweat. Maybe girl at the register is cold from just standing in one place but definitely are not!  Let us say my eyebrows looked awesome all day and the same can’t be said about my mascara! I ended up with mascara on my bottom lashes when I applied none in the first place. I may have shunned away from products with what I claimed had gimmicky names but when the product works and makes me divorce my 2-year nubby eyebrow pencil (and the brand-new I had in storage for when nubby was no more)……well, that is something. I threw out anything eyebrow related and now just have this bdb kit as my everyday go-to and I won’t apply anything else on my eyebrows!

 

Retail Price Point: $24.00 for the entire kit and I used so little to get a nice natural look and applied just a little more for a dramatic finish when we go out in the evening. This kit will last you!

 

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The Billion Dollar Brows Best Sellers Kit-

This kit resembles more my former beauty routine, and it comes with the following…….

  • Universal Brow Pencil: Formulated to work beautifully with most skin tones and hair colors, this eyebrow pencil goes on smooth and natural. Plus, the Universal Brow Pencil is automatic. The pencil never needs sharpening and it comes complete with a spoolie brush on the opposite end for effortless blending and a perfect finish.
  • Brow Duo Pencil: Highlights your brow bone to add gorgeous definition and warmth while providing instant visual “lift.” The highlighter works with every skin tone. Plus, for on-the-go touch-ups, they added a handy universal concealer on the opposite end of the pencil.
  • Brow Gel: The clear brow gel locks in your look, giving your eyebrows a long-lasting, radiant glow while keeping them perfectly in place all day.
  • Smudge Brush: This flat, synthetic brush is the ideal mate for applying creamy cosmetics like our Brow Duo Pencil.

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Verdict:
It’s like the uber treatment for eyebrows! I use a powder highlighter and at times have one that comes in “lipstick form”, but the bdb has a more appealing glow coming from the highlighter pencil. You get that glimmer but not glitter that I dislike from some of the highlighters out there. The Concealer, is not chalky and blended perfectly with my pale skin, and also lasted well through out the day. No flaking from wear and the best part, it covers my boo boos, like when I went hunting for an eyebrow hair with a tweezer and ended up bleeding but the short hair remains. Well, there is no evidence of that left when I can now just softly swipe the concealer end on those red marks that I later realize stand out more that the thin little hair that could only be seen an inch away from the mirror! The gel I love because it does not leave me crispy and crunchy hairs that make me look like a cat that got scared. The gel from bdb keeps the hairs in place but remain soft looking, so it’s a pleasant change. The smudge brush in this kit is flat and not angled, like the other kit because this one is used more for blending in the pencil and softening any edges you maybe swiped too heavy over. It’s the fixer and even though it is synthetic, it is one of the better ones of this class and washes/dries up nicely after use. I always wash my brushes after every use and it’s my way to keep bacteria off them and to guarantee a flawless application every time I go to apply my make-up.

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Retail Price Point: The four units above are just $42.00 for the kit and that is not counting dual ended ones that do more than just one job!

 

Final Verdict:
If there is a kit to buy like right now and not because it’s holiday time but because it changes your appearance and ease of application, it is the first kit. Think of it as the intro to the bdb family and it’s the one that bought me. I love the second kit but I realize many of us have bought stuff for the holidays and you may not want to spend more but if you can, get both! I do not usually drop my go-to products unless they get bumped off by a better replacement and I can say that bdb bumped everything I used on my eyebrows off and into the trash can. This is the way to go and the bdb company obviously knows brows and how to make them look spectacular!

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**Giveaway Alert**

You could also enter to win the kit above, the Best Sellers kit from bdb!  Just enter here and 3 winners will be chosen by bdb.

 

Connect with bdb and start 2016 with gorgeous brows at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BDB.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

New York Color’s (NYC): Smooth Skin Bronzer #Review #NycSmoothSkin

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Beauty does not always need to cost so much and New York Color is proof of that. You can pick-up a lip stick to a bronzing powder for a fair price that will still yield positive results, so in the act to save a buck……really just saves you a buck and you still look fabulous!

Retail Price Point- $2.99 for one compact and you find the product at mass retailers like Target and Walmart.

Ingredients (as listed on the website):

Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Kaolin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, [May Contain/Peut Contenir/+/: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)].

Verdict:
I don’t use blush often because it tends to make me look over colored due to my fair skin. I have tried all colors and ways of application but because I tend to sometimes get a flush over my face, what may have looked good 2 hours ago, looks kind of clownish later. I then found bronzers and at first I thought they were going to look as bad as a fake tan would but when you find one with the right highlights and tones, I found that I could get that tint of color that played nice with me no matter how pink or pale I get. My favorite one I was using before this one is by NYC and to give you an idea, the NYC performed better than a $40 one I had purchased and later returned. The colors just seem to play nicer with my skin’s tone and when it came to lasting, the formulas behaved identical and actually I give the NYC an edge because the highlights did not glitter-fy like the $40 formula. Hard to really argue when you see the results and walk out the door spending under $3!

Find affordable beauty products at NYC:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from NYC via Influenster. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Salon Supply Store: Flawless PINK Latex-Free Blender Gourd shaped Sponge #Review #BBloggers

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I was fortunate to be picked in testing out a blender, from the Salon Supply Store and then I got an e-mail, which stated I was upgraded to their newer gourd shaped one. Joy! I was so happy and after going through their inventory of products and supplies, I had to come back from my little day dreaming state. The Salon Supply Store carries everything you can think of and some items you did not know even existed (ahhh!). All beauty related and at economical prices. I can use that extra bedroom and save money just converting it into a salon but I don’t play well with scissors, so I stick to cosmetics and nails.

Cosmetic brushes is how I was first taught when it came to make-up application. My Mom gave me a set she did not desire and I played with them until I got the hang of what worked with what. Thankfully, each brush was labeled so I did not have to guess but I learned techniques and what powders worked with what brush, to what brushes performed best for wet applications. Fast forward to today and we have synthetic brushes to blended bristle ones that outperform some of the older versions I used back then. Sponges other than those wedges that you buy by the value pack, is all I knew in Junior High. I called them foundation foams and even though they were cheap, I always would use one until the tip would start to crumble before changing. How I did not get break-outs was a miracle. I then upgraded to a very expensive foundation brush that I treat super well and has lasted me years. So, going back to a sponge was sort of odd but familiar at the same.

I have used the Sephora tear-drop shaped one and liked it and disliked the price, so I was one and done. The Salon Supply Store seems to use a latex-free material that really feels just the same as the one I previously had purchased, but it’s just shaped different.

Retail Price Point: $4.35 for one unit via Amazon

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Application: I was unsure about application until I sort of just started playing with it. My motto is to just jump in and hope for the best when trying new items out. 75% of the time I come out on top and I did with the Salon Supply Store’s Gourd shaped applicator. The sponge is smooth and has a nice texture when applying foundation. I use a liquid foundation and found that tip on the sponge was heavenly for the side of my nose to even dabbing little problem areas (i.e. old blemishes) until they could not be seen. I used the blunt bottom for what I call a finishing powder and this was my first time ever using a sponge for powder. The translucent powder quickly adhered to the sponge’s surface and I could apply an even layer without issues and faster than with a brush. I will say the brush I felt gave a better finish than the sponge when it came to dry applications but for wet, this little pink gourd does a beautiful job!

 

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Cleaning: I never store brushes dirty and I wash them every time right after using. Just the idea of making a dirty brush touch a clean brush when stored, is not my kind of thing. I will wake-up 20 minutes early to make sure I have sufficient time to clean and store my brushes (plus make-up) as it should be because it’s not something I want to do when I get home after being out. The Salon Supply Store’s blender was easy to wash. I just used an antibacterial soap, the same I use for my brushes and washed it by hand. The foundation and powder came off quickly and it was left just like the day I received it. I left it on the counter to air dry on a clean soap dish. By the time I returned home, the blending sponge was dry and I just stored it away until next time.

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Verdict: I like the price and performance matters most to me. I don’t want to waste expensive product on a so-so applicator, so the blender has to work well. The Salon Supply Store’s Gourd Blender did and I was actually happy with how well it applied my foundation. I did not have to use more product and I got a nice flawless affect after I was finished applying my base. It cleans up well and doesn’t break the bank, so it’s definitely a product worth adding to the beauty chest, whether you are new to sponge blenders and/or an everyday user.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Salon Supply Store.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Chrislie Formulations: Luv2kiss™ Invisible Lip Liner #Review #Luv2Kiss

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Being a make-up junkie (yes, I finally admit it but I’m not seeking help 🙂 ) means that I will try mostly every product line out there to see what they have to offer. Brand names are just like with clothing, quality does not mean it will match the price tag! I have had $15 nail polish chip within 24 hours all because I looked at it funny, while the $0.99 drug store polish, puts up with me baking, gardening, and cleaning and just loses a little shine. I try to remain practical because I just don’t have the time or the energy to start faux sculpting my face with the contouring trend being so hot right now, even though all my friends say they have never gone “all the way” with it! The newest trends also never equate they will stay or even provide you with a positive change. Change is good and welcoming but I don’t want to confuse a new look from what looks best.  With that in mind, I am open to trying what a brand has to offer, as long as the ingredients are not overly harsh.

Chrislie Formulations is based in my state of California and they are about bringing the hottest trends and colors at an affordable price. They also have classical colors and cosmetics, so they really fit the bill for anyone while not emptying your wallet of them. Chrislie Formulations focuses on quality products that are easy to use and effective, just like the Invisible Lip Liner they sent from their “Luv2Kiss” line.

I have oodles of liners and lip glosses but like in the kitchen, I keep using the same pot on most days! I would love to tell you I change it around but some liners I own I love the color but dislike how they apply, so I keep them for “just in case” purposes while using the same pinkish-peach color that wears well with the nude tones I use in both lipsticks and glosses. If I want a more intense look, I just add more liner and this may be because my lips is the last thing I address and that means at this point I am close to needing to head out the door soon. I need my last step regarding my lips to work and not be problematic like the lashes on my left-eye because they never play as nice as the lashes on my right eye.

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The Luv2Kiss liner I was already curious by what it calls itself, an Invisible liner. I wasn’t sure if it meant clear, close to one’s skin tone, or it just absorbed whatever color was going to be added. I had questions! I thankfully do not have lip lines/wrinkles where I have problems with bleeding but I am very picky when I use a red or darker color. I don’t even want the slightest smudge because on my fair skin, it will show up quickly and I don’t want to look in a mirror 2 hours later to find out I have been walking around looking sloppy!

Luv2Kiss also describes the Invisible liner as a primer pencil, which will keep the color isolated (in place) with no feathering or bleeding, plus will not accent any unwanted fine lines. Keeps your lipstick just like you left it and if I use an eye-shadow primer, why not add a lip one to my routine. I have to line anyways! The description of the product goes further into detail where your lip product will not budge past the liner even if you drink, eat or like the name says….kiss. Me likey!

Directions of Application: Just line the outside of your lips and the long-lasting, plus water-proof formula takes care of the rest. If you want to extend the wear of any lip product, you can apply a thin layer (using small strokes) to the entire lip area for effective staying power.

Ingredients (as listed on the website):
Cera Alba, Candelilla Cera, Ceresine, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, CI 77891.  Free of mineral oil, paraffin, preservatives, and animal-derived ingredients.

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Verdict:
I approach any product claims with common reasoning. I don’t expect to eat a juicy burger and still have lip stick on and not just that, I tend to remove any lip product before eating to avoid……..well, eating my lip product! Lipstick no matter the price tag is not something I think should be ingested more than we already do from wear. I have lip skin that tends to lean more towards the dry side and I know that can also alter how long any lip product remains vibrant, because my lips are just sucking the heck out them! With that logic in mind, I proceeded to first apply the product by lining the outside of my lips and I then applied on the lips themselves but only to places that have more contact (i.e. where color wears off quicker) like the outside edges and where my lips come in contact more. I give the lip liner a 5 out 5 for ease of application and more importantly, how beautifully the liner glided and applied to my lips.  I exfoliated my lips prior but had 2 spots that were not as smooth as the rest but no problem. The Luv2Kiss liner sort of worked like a concealer for lips and masked any imperfections by smoothing them out. That part I did not expect! Next, came the nude lipstick and this is a drug-store brand to see how well the product wears. I usually get 3 hours before needing a touch-up or just plain re-application prior to using the Luv2Kiss liner. This invisible liner left my lips looking the same as they did 15 minutes from when I did my lips. Not only did I get 3 hours but I could still go on without doing zilch! My lips also felt moist and the liner did not over dry the edges of my lips or the delicate skin that was just exfoliated. I fear waterproof products because mascaras of this kind dehydrate my lashes but this liner did not have the same reaction on my lips. I love that! The liner worked as a barrier and extender in my book, plus that means I only need ONE liner to do the job of all others, and it will always match and play nice with any color of lip stain, lipstick, balm, lip gloss, or whatever I decide to wear that day. I can also play and create lip colors (enhancers) like before by using a little shimmer from my eye-shadows and still get a good amount of wear. Sort of makes investing time on how my lips look so worth it!

Retail Price Point: An affordable $9.99 via Chrislie Formulations website for a pencil with a Net Weight of 0.32 oz (0.9 g); Item No. 2011

Connect with Chrislie Formulations and all their Beauty product lines at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Chrislie Formulations/Luv2kiss™.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Xtava: The Essential Brushes Kit; Make-up/Cosmetic Brushes 7 piece set with carrying case #Review #Xtava

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I have a large assortment of cosmetic brushes and price point does not guarantee a brush will perform well or even last with proper care. I have had free ones sent by cosmetic companies, brushes I bought a la carte, to full sets I purchased at Costco and let us not forget the make-up counter at department stores. This taught me a lot about how a brush is made matters and where a synthetic one is needed for such application and where a “real hair” one will only do. Some companies blend some of the tips to give you the best of both worlds (i.e. synthetic with real), so I am not closed minded to those either. My motto is to always have two of each style I can count on and if one does not work, it gets used in an art project or if it has no hope (drops every bristle ever put on it’s pretty little head), it gets sent into the trash can. The last thing I want is looking like a cat lady with bristles all over me when I don’t even own a cat!

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Xtava is a company I have reviewed for in the past, so when they offered their make-up brushes for review, this was a new territory for me. I have reviewed hair tools but not cosmetic ones and you bet I was eager to see what they were all about!

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When the box arrived from Xtava, I loved the carrying case because each brush has a home. I have 3 carrying cases and learned this is the best way to keep the bristles from getting damaged or picking up anything that may be looming in your cosmetic bag, train case or even drawer. It also ends the hunting game in finding the one you need, like that eye-liner (slanted one) that likes to hide because sticks on brushes look all alike when you woke up late in the morning to get ready.

Xtava supplied me with seven gorgeous brushes:

  1. Large Powder Brush- for foundation powders to setting/finishing powders
  2. Medium Foundation Brush- that I use for my wet foundation and to blend out any concealer I went to heavy on
  3. Contour Brush- that can be used as a blush one too and/or with bronzers and luminizers
  4. Eye-shadow Brush- which is the perfect width to apply shadows, both wet and dry
  5. Blending Brush- that I use to define the arch above my eye to blending out creases and let us not forget the perfect smokey eye look
  6. Angle Brush- that saves me money and creates a better look when you use your eye-shadow to create your own eyeliner and/or can be used to set powder/wax on your eyebrows
  7. Lip Brush- which collapses so if need be and is perfect in size to carry in your purse

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When the brushes arrived, I quickly washed them and set them out to air dry. The following day, I began playing and applying a variety of versions of the same cosmetics I have. I used baked eye-shadows, loose powder to the type you just dab and don’t blend. The eye-shadow brush did well with all, as did the blending one. The blending one was also good at applying concealer and highlighter to the upper arch area of my eye. Both brushes I washed in between uses and after use, and I only saw one shed one bristle onto a towel when I dried it. The tips of the brushes always went back to their original shape each time after use and wash.

When it came to the foundation brush, I tend to blend best with my fingers but always touch up under my eyes with a foundation brush. The Xtava one performed just as well as my $50 one from Prescriptives. I could not tell the difference between the side I used one or the other.

The large powder brush dropped a few bristles (3 whole and one sectioned) but I attribute it to being new. I do not use face powder with tint, but more of a finishing and setting powder that goes over my foundation and only in my T-zone areas. I was happy with the application but this was the only brush out of the entire set that I was luke-warm about. I did not dislike it or love it, but it gets kept just in case my favorite one fails me one day.

The contour brush, I used to apply bronzer to my cheeks and a little on my nose, chin and forehead. I just like to slightly warm up my face but never to achieve any fake-o tan look. The brush picked up each time the proper amount of powder and distributed it evenly.

The angle brush, I used to apply a wet baked shadow to create both a “cat’s eye” and to apply half way to the bottom lashes using dry eye-shadow. The brush did what I told it to do and that is a plus in my book. I know I can always correct using q-tips but I aim when doing my own line, to never need it. I slightly arched the ends and the liner applied beautifully on top. When it came to my bottom lashes, I used a shimmery shadow and opted to not wet the product, again the brush blotted nicely to where I wanted the shadow with zero flecks jumping onto my cheeks. This is my favorite and will be replacing a frayed one of the same kind that needs to go to brush heaven!

Last but not least, the lip brush. I use lipsticks, tints and glosses and sometimes even powder to create the look I want. Half the time I only know I start with a lip balm first to hydrate my lips while I do my make-up and then I throw everything (blotting in between a few times) until I create the look I want. I used the brush and I’m sure with all the above products but I got so much into my make-up, that all I know is I washed it when I finished and then realized, “oh, I was using the new brush”. That is a good thing because it means it did not disrupt “the process” and did what I wanted it to, when I need it to.

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Verdict:
For $20 the only other set that surprised me and I still have brushes from years later, is a set I purchased at Costco that was being cleared out by a major brand. It’s one of those things I had to grab then because that chance and price point would never come to fruition ever again. It’s nice to know that Xtava does not believe in bleeding the pocket book like so many other companies do. It’s economical and 4 of the brushes performed as well as my expensive branded ones and even my favorite ones. There was no difference other than the price point and I only mind that when it’s a lot and thankfully with Xtava, it’s not. 🙂

Connect with Xtava and all their products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Xtava.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Paula Dorf New York: Perfect Color collection, Ecstasy color #Review #PaulaDorf

 

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Paula Dorf is a cosmetic company that carries lines from lip products, make-up brushes, eye-shadows, and even nails……you name it and Paula Dorf carries it, along with products that are of their own creation. This is where the Perfect Color collection lands because one tube of color is perfect for eyes, lips, and cheeks. Pretty simple and for me it’s a take on the mascara + lipstick and go= for those days I want to blame my alarm did not go off but in reality I’m moving at a snail’s pace.

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I have tried like products in the past from Nars and other companies so the concept is not new to me. I saw the tag at the bottom, which features the name of the color and due to the intensity of the color, I assumed it was a basic pink tag and not representing the color inside. Oh, so I wish I was wrong and the tag was even down played! I then think maybe the pigment looks intense but once I swipe, the color will apply and come off smoother and just be more likable. Um, I tried my lips and the product reminded me of make-up I wore in Junior High. You know when fluorescent pinks and hues were the “it” colors, I admit I wore some of them and I would have waited in line at Wet Seal and Contempo to score this back then BUT even then I cared about how a product felt and applied. I assume again maybe I need to exfoliate my lips and let’s blame the way the color floats and feels smothering and dry, on my own lips. I continue onward and realize my Husband is in the kitchen finishing up dinner while I’m doing this. I apply on my cheeks and even just dabbing lightly onto my finger’s tip and patting on softly, to then blending in……I don’t even look like I’m stuck blushing or had a bad sun burn, I look sort of clown-ish and I actually laugh at my own reflection. Being always positive, I still go forward because the package says eyes, lips, and cheeks and my eyes are just left to attack. I blame the box at this point and I use the left-over product from my cheek onto my eyes and I finally realize that I’m looking younger but not in a good way. I’m no longer in Junior High but now I’ve entered Elementary and when my parents bought me “Barbie” make-up and they were shocked that it was real make-up (after they saw my creation the next morning).

The box states, “light and creamy in flattering shades”. The product was:

  • Almost too powdery and felt like talc, sort of like corn starch feels in between your fingers. This makes blending a bear and also results in making your pores look larger than they are. So if you want to play opposites and show off all your pores can be, this is the stick for you.

 

  • Creamy it is not and because of that talc feeling I mentioned, it feels tacky and little sticky. Then when it sets, it dries on and is hard to take off. It also feels heavy on the skin and almost smothering. So, you show off your pores and then punish them by not letting them get any air!

 

  • Flattering shades…..this I can’t comment for the entire collection in this line because the website did not show this product and/or any of it’s kind. This shade goes beyond flattering or going with any skin tone. Think about that statement chair that people buy for a room that has no rules but is that wow piece…..this is this item but the statement piece is what drowned everything else out and when you think of that room, you can only picture that chair! I can’t even call it a color you can wear at night because sooner or later you will walk under a light and please forgive anyone that asks you if you are okay, you will look sickly pink if you really blended or bug bitten if you did light pats when applying.

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Back to my Husband making dinner and his reaction to the child that found a marker……..the man said, “what the …. “and even tried helping me. Maybe you put too much on and tried saving the one eye I made up by removing the pink off with a tissue. Pinky is winning. It won’t come off. It loves me. I tried oil and found that the color can be blended better with 1 drop of oil but then I was slicky pink. After washing my face, my wonderful Husband asks me to please not put that on and what the heck was it. I explain to him and all he hears is it’s and all-in-one product and he reminds me to repeat what we say about all-in-one products in this house, “they are not even good at doing one thing”. I thank Captain Obvious even though he did try to rescue me and even after dinner said there was nothing flattering or pretty about that stuff. I again promise to play “no touchies” with it.

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This was a difficult review to write. I looked at Paula Dorf’s site and spent a good 30 minutes getting lost and seeing so many pretty and interesting products. It was hard to believe this item came from the same company I was seeing on the screen. It did not match the style, quality or image the company has. It’s a goof and it has to be. It did not help not finding the product on the website until I clicked all products and saw that it was retailing for $32 and now for $16. Maybe this is an oops stick I got because the paragraph on the site talks about shimmering accents and this has none. I can say that the pigments are ultra powerful and come with Hulk strength that I wish my eye-shadows held!

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  • Promotions:

With each blog readers purchase, they will receive the gift of Paula Dorf’s mini No Color Glimmer, a gorgeously soft, lightweight powder to complete your look! The perfect accent to Ecstasy.
USE CODE: ECSTASY

Paula Dorf is giving away a makeup kit full of some of their favorite products! You can enter for a chance to win this Paula Dorf makeup kit ($125 value) here:https://promosimple.com/ps/66b5

 

Connect with Paula Dorf Cosmetics at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Paula Dorf.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Influenster: Products that go beyond the Winter Season #Influenster #FrostyVoxBox

 

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I was very excited again to get a VoxBox from Influenster. There is never a box that does not contain a new item to new brands I have never tried. This box was a beauty and food themed box, which really sums up the holiday season. The Frosty Vox Box really brought a little bit of everything from several very know brands:

 

  • Rimmel London

Was very generous and gave us two products to try out that go hand-in-hand, the Gentle Eye Make-up Remover and the ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal eyeliner.  Both products are reasonably priced and that is welcomed after the holiday splurges.  What I like about the line is that their beauty items always exceed expectations and they allow me to keep up with whatever new fashion trend and/or look is in, but still be able to keep the lights on!

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  • NYC New York Cosmetics

Even with the nude colors being in, we still need lipstick and sometimes things get too pale or plain.  NYC fixes that by adding a touch of color with their Expert Last Lip line in Sugar Plum. The Sugar Plum color is rosy but also sheer, with a hint of shine but thankfully not super glossy.  The last thing you want to do is look back at every picture you took in Winter and your lips are blinding everyone.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, this color again fits perfectly with the season……so not just a one holiday and done product.

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  • EcoTools Hair Brush

This is my first time using this line and I was happy that the brush kept my locks nice and smooth, did not create static and was gentle enough to not break or stress my hair.  The brush has a nice handle for easy hold and also is nicely balanced, which is appreciated when I do a ponytail look.  What I like is how easy it is to clean because even though I use a low amount of leave-in products, the oils I do use can cause our hair tools to create build-up.  Dirty bristles is not an issue with this brush!

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  • No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Sachet 

I was so happy when I saw this brand included and before the box arrived.  My happiness sort of faded when I noticed this was not even a deluxe sample, but more of a packet with maybe 2 uses if I am lucky.  Two uses does not mean I can be fair or even really know about performance.  I may be able to share my opinion about the texture, and this product does have a light feel and quickly absorbs.  Unfortunately, that is all I can share because results take work and time, plus I’m always willing to give it to a beauty product but that also means I need a little more than 2 applications. 🙂

 

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  • Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea

Just when I thought I was peppermint and pumpkin out with the holidays, this shows me that a tea can make the difference.  This tastes like true peppermint with it’s subtle and refreshing notes, that not only soothe but also calm me perfectly before bedtime.  Being decaffeinated allows me to enjoy this selection of herbal tea anytime I want and still get a good snooze in.

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  • McCormick Gourmet Thyme

I grow our own thyme but sometimes the cold snap we get decides I did not need that plant, so I always have thyme in dry form.  I also like to add dry ingredients with fresh ones because the flavor profile does change and even sometimes is preferred over the fresh (i.e. oregano) kind.  This jar arrived and I was happy to have more thyme and then looked at my thyme and even though it was not an aged bottle, my thyme was lacking that nice color, aroma and started to feel ashamed about how pretty the McCormick Gourmet one looked so I set it free and left this new bottle in it’s stead.

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  • Fruit Vines Bites

Not all can be winners and this was one again taught me all because it says cherry, it does not mean even 1% of a real cherry is in it.  Not the juice, I would have even been happy with cherry skin at this point but these vines are fruit lacking and sugar is all they bring.  I even chuckled when it came to vitamins and everything was 0%.  I know it’s candy and even for some a snack, but let me sin with something at least partially real.  I think the cherry needs an asterisk or maybe it should be called wanna-be cherry or sugar vines.  It has no preservatives but then again there is nothing real to preserve!

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Final Verdict-

Influenster always delivers an array of products that make me re-look at what I buy, own or even want.  I brought economical beauty brands back into the mix and just like my clothes, my fashion looks now are like my beauty products……in all price ranges!  I’m happier this way and that is really what matters.  These Vox Boxes are always a hit even when I get some so-so products because trying is really the only way to know and share with others!  Thank you again Influenster for another Vox Box experience!

 

  • #FrostyVoxBox
  • #GetAdvanced
  • #Rimmel
  • #SugarPlum
  • #CelestialTea
  • #LoveMyECOhairbrush
  • #McCormickGourmet
  • #SweetSide

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Influenster. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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