Urban Decay NAKED Palette

I finally got a NAKED palette! This Urban Decay Palette has been really difficult to get a hold of – they have been sold out since the summer. I purchased mine on the Urban Decay website, at http://www.urbandecay.com/index.cfm. I checked back almost daily to see if it had been restocked and one day it had been! I was so excited that I immediately purchased it. The palettes sold out again but I am sure they will be restocked soon.

So this is what the palette looks like: It contains 12 eyeshadows, a mini original primer potion, and a double sided eyeliner. At $48, it is a GREAT deal! The eyeshadows are highly pigmented and long-lasting. This neutral palette is great for creating a smokey eye, a natural eye or experimenting with single shades. The shadows range from matte to shimmer and the versatility is a very nice feature of this product.

I adore Urban Decay & this palette! If you are interested in reading more about what I think of Urban Decay products, click here: http://organicmakeupgirl.com/review-urban-decay-stardust-eyeshadow/

xx,

Katie :]

LUSH

LUSH products are fabulous!  In this LUSH haul I am going to describe some of the products that  have been recently purchased. Some of the products are repurchases and others are new to me.  If you want to check out a previous Lush haul of mine, click here: http://organicmakeupgirl.com/lush-haul/.

So this time I purchased 3 Winter Bath Bombs, 3 Stepping Stone Foot Scrubs, 1 Ultrabland Cleanser Cream and 1 You’ve Been Mangoed Bath Melt. The total cost of the purchase was approximately $40.

Bath Bombs are awesome for creating a scented bath. I usually use 1 bath bomb per every 1-2 baths. Bath bombs are luxurious! If you are new to LUSH I think that bath bombs are a great place to start. I recommend trying Butterball.

The Stepping Stone foot scrub is a repurchase for me. I am not a huge fan of pampering my feet – I leave that to the lovely ladies at my nail salon but I make an exception for this product. The food scrub feels incredibly good while you are using it and leaves your skin smooth and scented.  It is a great time to get into this product because we are on the brink of flipflop season! Also, this foot scrub feels amazing post-workout!

The last two products – the Ultrabland Cleanser and You’ve Been Mangoed Bath Melt were initially sent to me as samples with a previous purchase. I loved both of these products so much that I absolutely had to get the full size! (Another awesome fact about LUSH: They send you two free samples with every purchase!) The You’ve Been Mangoed Bath Melt smells summery and leaves the skin moisturized (I only use a little piece in the tub because I try to make it last!). The Ultra Bland Cleanser is the best eye makeup remover I have ever found.

The two samples I received with this order: Banana Moon Soap and Queen of Hearts Soap. I have not used either of these yet but I am excited to! I am usually not a fan of banana scented products but so far both of these soaps seem pretty impressive.

My LUSH tips for you:

  • If you are going to purchase a massage bar or solid shampoo bar, definitely invest in a tin (they are inexpensive and reusable)
  • Use the samples that you get as hand soap by the sink
  • Display your LUSH products in your bedroom or bathroom, not only do they smell lovely but they also look pretty (I use a bowl but I like the idea of using a cupcake tree to display them)

I love LUSH! My next order has already been placed!  :) Check out http://www.lushusa.com/shop/ and place your own order. Let me know what you think!

xx,

Katie

Zoya Nail Polish Haul

Some new Zoya nail polishes arrived today! I am so excited.

The colors are (from left to right): Sabrina, Ali, and Audrina. They were $7 a piece plus shipping & handling.

I am wearing (3 coats of) Sabrina on my nails right now – it is a gorgeous neutral pink. It is great for work because it looks professional but it is also pretty for anytime.

Zoya Ali is a matte neon pink. A shiny topcoat is a must for this polish if you are not into mattes!

Zoya Audrina is reminiscent of Essie Big Spender for me. I love it and this will be my staple spring color.

Check out my previous Zoya nail polish post at http://organicmakeupgirl.com/zoya-nail-polish/. Purchase Zoya nail polish online at http://zoya.com/.

xoxo Katie

Philosophy Makeup Optional

I have decided to start 2011 off with a new skincare routine/regimen. This was a pretty big decision for me! I am trying to finish up all the products I currently own in the next 2.5 weeks. It will feel good to start fresh & I would encourage others to try my strategy out too if it sounds like something you might be interested in.

As a side note, I just wanted to say that I have been most faithful to Burt’s Bees and Neutrogena over the years but have tried so many (including: Cetaphil, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Clearasil, Noxzema, Biore, Korres, Murad, Kiss My Face, Burt’s,  Alba, The Body Shop, Etc.) The brand that I am turning to for my 2011 skincare is Philosophy. There is so much buzz about this brand — I want to experience what it is all about! Oprah named Hope in a Jar one of her 25 favorite things of 2010. I purchased the kit pictured below at Sephora, it is called the Philosophy Makeup Optional Skin kit.

My expectations for the products within are really high! The kit comes with Purity face cleanser, Hope in a Jar moisturizer, 3 face peels, a serum and a cream for the eyes/lips. I am so excited to try out these products! The skin regimen will commence with the new year & I will review the products shortly thereafter.

My hopes for the new skincare regimen: less breakouts, diminish acne scars, some overall firming, and pretty skin that is makeup optional. I will let you know how it goes – join me if you like! :)

x0 Katie

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol.III NYC Palette

Everything about this palette makes me happy. The packaging aesthetically pleasing and functional, the products within are awesome, and it is portable. Urban Decay palette are fabulous! I received this as a gift and loved it!  [Rating: 4.5/5]

The NYC theme of the package is trendy, bright & cute. It also feels like it is made well so it should hold up for a long time.

The top opens up to display a pop-up NYC scene, with the Brooklyn Bridge, a yellow taxi, the Empire State Building, etc. In the back of the scene is a great mirror. Lights are scattered about to display the awesome image.

Inside the palette, there are 16 Urban Decay eyeshadows. As you know from a previous post (http://organicmakeupgirl.com/review-urban-decay-stardust-eyeshadow/) I love Urban Decay eye products. This palette contains Perversion, Uzi, Loaded, Kush, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Last Call, Rockstar, Money, Haight, Maui Wowie (personal favorite), Smog, Bordello, Radium, Snatch, Suspect, and Psychedelic Sister. In addition, there are two 24/7 Glide On eye pencils and one mini primer tube of Primer Potion (*This is the one downside – I wish it had a full-size tube of primer potion because there is definitely not enough of it in a mini tube for this palette!).

I LOVE this palette! It is limited edition and at $54.00 a great buy! You definitely get what you pay for: great colors, awesome quality makeup & cute packaging.

x0 Katie

Stila Custom Color Blush

Stila Custom Color Blush

(1.5/5)

As soon as I saw this Stila blush I needed it. A blush that suits every skintone? Impossible!!! At $20.00 I thought it was pricey but decided it was worth it. And now I will warn you: do not make the same mistake I did! Save your $20.00!

This blush is disappointing and unflattering. I have used it on several different skintones and types of skin to see if my expectations held true and they did. I do not find the product to be universally flattering. The color does not seem to be custom! In fact, even when I apply the blush alone there is little variance in the pink hue.

The product creates a bright pink, matte finish. It is possible to blend out the color but it still seems very vibrant and flat. It is quite expensive for the amount of product you actually get. I have no received any compliments on it and subsequently, try to avoid using it. Lastly, in my opinion this blush does not look natural which makes it easy to pass up when I have the option of using other blush products!

Skip Stila Custom Color Blush – I regret buying it! http://www.stilacosmetics.com/product_detail.asp?pmid=786

x0 Katie

Cosmetic Consumers: Read Me

Have you ever thought about how makeup might affect your overall health? Well, lucky for you I have. :) And although I am not a physician, this is a subject which I have spent hours researching, reading about, and educating others on. I am excited to share what I know with you and I promise to keep it snappy!

The chemicals in cosmetic products have the potential to lead to serious health risks and concerns, like cancer, reproductive problems, respiratory issues, and many, many more. So you might think you are exempt because you use really expensive products or you have been using the same products for years and never had a problem but you are not. Sadly, although it seems unbelievable that no one is watching out for your safety when it comes to cosmetics, it is the truth.

Makeup, perfumes, and beauty products are manufactured and made available to consumers. At this time there is no governing entity dedicated to ensuring that all products sold are safe to use, apply, dab, pat, lather, spritz, rub, spray or smother onto your body. This is scary because women + men alike might use multiple products a day — think shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, powder, deodorant, hand cream, toner, hairspray, hair gel, makeup primers, foundation, powder, blush, concealer, eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss, lipstick, etc. You are encountering chemicals on a daily basis. And so is your family, and your friends…

(Hopefully) I have scared you. But there is hope, which comes in the form of a website which rates products on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most toxic) and breaks down the potential “side effects” of use. You can search (by brand, type, category) for products and determine the overall safety of them here. For example, if you wear Britney Spears Curious perfume and wondering how safe the product actually is, you might be surprised to find on the website that it is incredibly harmful to your health. This particular perfume happens to get a 10, which means that it is has the potential to be very, very harmful and could lead to a wealth of diseases and health problems.

This fabulous website is: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ and I challenge you to research at least two or three products that you use (to start). Let me know what you research! Leave a comment, send me an email or a tweet. I have a feeling that you might be curious about other products you use too and make great use of this awesome tool. It is comforting to know that there is a community of people concerned about this issue too! Cosmetic safety is not something to be taken lightly.

However, learning about the risks of using conventional cosmetics can be daunting and disheartening. I often feel a tremendous sense of guilt when I purchase a product that I know is harmful to my health! But having knowledge about the topic enables me to make better decisions when I have the ability and inclination to. For example, if I have the option of organic or conventional toothpaste, I will opt for organic (same with soap, deodorant, etc.). Little changes can make a big difference. Some things I have found and done:

*use organic soap, my favorites: Dr.Bronner’s, LUSH

*use organic deodorant: LUSH (powder), Tom’s

*organic toothpaste

*organic conditioner (co-wash!!!)

Make sure you are not using “natural” products and thinking you are safe (think Burt’s Bees). Although these products are often a better option, they are not truly organic. Look for the USDA organic label!

Choose organic when you can and as often as you can. Use less products. Make a conscious effort to be safe with your cosmetics. Spread the word. Check the cosmetic database. Read about the issue. Donate to the Cosmetic Database, if you can (and to the Heifer Foundation while your at it because they are awesome, too). Sign petitions to get more legislation passed that requires manufacturers to create safe products! Look at the ingredients before you buy something. Make better choices. Little changes & substitutions make a difference. Relax, be informed but happy & enjoy your products because ultimately it is all about how you feel anyways.

x0 Katie

Review: BareMinerals Original SPF Foundation

(1/5)

BareMinerals Original SPF Foundation was a huge disappointment! With BareMinerals counters and stores popping up all over, I decided to give the product a trial run. I purchased the starter kit at Sephora and was less than impressed with half of the products within it. As I mentioned in a previous post on primers, I was most dissatisfied with Bare Minerals Prime Time – http://organicmakeupgirl.com/review-smashbox-photo-finish-face-primer-vs-bare-minerals-prime-time/. However, the BareMinerals original foundations (within the starter kit were similarly disappointing.

After using the BareMinerals products on my skin – Prime Time, Foundation, Warmth All Over Face Color and the Mineral Veil – I noticed that my chin was beginning to turn red and breakout. And I am going to be honest, it was not just a little blemish that I could overlook — it was a horrifying breakout that made me not want to leave the house. It was also quite painful! I attempted to conceal the blemishes with the BareMinerals Foundation and the BareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush and it hurt!

Since I wanted a true sense of the BareMinerals products I continued to use them while omitting one product at a time. I noticed that my complexion improved significantly when I stopped using Prime Time. (I discarded it!) However, my skin was still not looking great with the foundation, warmth and mineral veil. After doing some research on the BareMinerals website, I decided to purchase one more face product before giving up on the brand. I opted to try another foundation. Thankfully, the BareMinerals Matte SPF Foundation was awesome. I realized that the original foundation was also a culprit in the (temporary) destruction of my complexion!

The two main problems I experienced with the BareMinerals Original SPF Foundation: it  made my typically labeled “normal” skin very oily; it led to breakouts on my chin and some blemishes on my forehead. For these reasons, I would not recommend this product to anyone. However, I would definitely advise opting for the Matte version of their foundation if you are thinking of trying it. Just a heads up, the Matte Foundation is slightly more expensive than the original version (+$3.00 USD). Both are quite pricey though!

My advice: avoid BareMinerals Original SPF Foundation! If you MUST try BareMinerals, go with the matte version. If you decide to skip BareMinerals altogether I think Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Powder Foundation is a fabulous (+ much more affordable) alternative!

x0 Katie

Review: Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow

(4.5/5)

I LOVE this eyeshadow! At $20.00 a piece it seems expensive but it is so incredibly worth it!

Initially, I encountered the Stardust eyeshadow when I received a sample with a Sephora.com purchase. I really liked the way it looked alone on my eyelid. The sample included two colors – Retrograde and Space Cowboy. Although I liked both of the eyeshadows, I selected Retrograde to purchase because it is a gorgeous shade of purple with an intense iridescent sparkle.

There are so many great features about this product:

  • Super sparkly! Your glitterly lids will not go unnoticed!
  • Very little fallout -the sparkle adheres effectively to the eyelid which is such a great aspect of the eyeshadow
  • Nicely packaged! It is classy, edgy and fun to pop open.
  • The color lasts without creasing – to keep it on extra long apply Urban Decay Primer Potion prior to your application of the eyeshadow (Urban Decay Primer Potion is a cult classic + favorite, and yet another fabulous eye product from Urban Decay!)
  • It is moderately accessible – Sephora, Urbandecay.com, Ulta, etc.
  • The Eyeshadow comes in a nice range of colors – all contain iridescent sparkle
  • It is wearable! Perfect for nighttime, the weekend but can also be worn for work
  • A little bit of eyeshadow provides a lot of color & sparkle so it is definitely worth investing in! :)

I have been enjoying applying Stardust Eyeshadow in Retrograde on top of my Maybelline Eye Studio Color Gleam Cream Eyeshadow in Pedal to the Metal (the silver metallic color works best).  Here are some ideas for wearing Retrograde Stardust Eyeshadow:

  • Apply it alone on the eyelids for a subtle wash of color and a great glittery effect
  • Apply it on top of Primer Potion or cream eyeshadow – this will help to make the color pop & make your eyeshadow last longer
  • Use it to create a purple smokey eye
  • Do a neutral look on the lid and use Retrograde to line your eyes
  • Wet your brush before you apply it all over your lids to create a sexy sense of drama (*personal favorite*)

I adored the Retrograde Stardust Eyeshadow so much that I had to purchase another color – I bought Diamond Dog last week. So far, I am loving that as well! I would definitely give the other shades a try as well!

x0 Katie

Review: Philosophy Under the Mistletoe Lip Shine Set

Philosophy Under the Mistletoe Lip Shine Set

(3.5/5)

This set is a pretty great deal in terms of price, 4 lip glosses for $20. At $5/lip gloss, the  price is comparable to Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush lip glosses. If you purchased a single Philosophy lip gloss it would cost $10 so you are pretty much paying half price! Okay, enough about the cost!

I think the packaging is adorable & perfect for Christmas! I love the red sparkle, gold ribbon, and the theme of kissing!

This would make a great gift because of the varied shades of gloss. Each shade would look great on any skin color. These can also be mixed together to create a unique color or you can layer them on top of lipstick or lipliner. The lip glosses each have a fabulous holiday themed name: Peppermint Bark, Candy Cane, Pink Frosted Cookie and Have a Cherry Christmas.

Each gloss has a flavor that perfectly suits its name! :) My favorite is Candy Cane – it is minty and perfect for winter!

Peppermint Bark and Have a Cherry Christmas have a red tint and shimmer, Candy Cane is a classic clear gloss and Pink Frosted Cookie is a gorgeous light pink with an awesome shimmer.

[From left to right: Peppermint Bark, Candy Cane, Pink Frosted Cookie, Have a Cherry Christmas]

I am already enjoying this set! It is a good pick for Christmas & the holiday season, very festive, functional & fun!

x0 Katie