I’ve heard a lot about E.L.F. over the years but surprisingly didn’t purchase anything from the brand until recently. I always knew they were a “budget buy,” but I didn’t realize how cheap they were until I looked. These matte lip colors ring in at just $1.49 a pop, a quarter of the price of its drugstore competitors like Maybelline and L’Oreal. The shade range and matte finish drew my attention and I picked up 4 from Ulta.com. Check out my full E.L.F. matte lip color review below!

E.L.F. Matte Lip Colors

Shades from left to right: Wine, Mulberry Maven, Cranberry, Rich Red

 

E.L.F. Matte Lip Color - Sharpener

Handy pop-out sharpener on the end!

Formula:

I have to admit, this formula doesn’t compare to more expensive brands. I don’t hate it – I just don’t love it. It’s super waxy and feels a little too thick and occlusive on the lips for my liking (and I wear standard drugstore matte lipsticks all the time, so I’m no stranger to the matte lip feel).

That being said, the waxy formula means it’s not as drying as other matte lipsticks on the market. Of course, the flip-side of that is that it’s not as pigmented either. That may not be a bad thing, depending on your tastes.

I’ve mentioned this before – but there seems to be a trend, or rather, a misconception in the beauty world right now that high pigment = high quality. This isn’t always the case and for everyday use, I tend to prefer sheer finishes in a lot of my cosmetics because they’re easier to build up and I’m less likely to make a mistake.

But I digress – I like my lipsticks fully loaded, pigment-rich, and matte as hell. Yes, they’re trickier to apply, but it’s the one makeup item that I like to go all-out with (hence the name of this blog). These E.L.F. matte lip colors are not as pigment-rich as I’d like them to be, but they are matte and I enjoy the shades that I tried.

Speaking of the shades…

E.L.F. Matte Lip Color Swatches

Swatches from top to bottom: Wine, Mulberry Maven, Cranberry, Rich Red

Wine

A deep red/mauve hybrid true to its name.

E.L.F. Wine

Mulberry Maven

A cool-toned plum, a softer alternative to the vampy lip.

E.L.F. Mulberry Maven

Cranberry

The least pigmented of the bunch – swatches like a dark red but applies like a sheer pink.

E.L.F. Cranberry

Rich Red

Not exactly “rich” but definitely red – pulls slightly pink on me as most cool-toned reds do.

E.L.F. Rich Red

In terms of wear, these lipsticks don’t last any longer than your typical bullet lipstick nor any less. I’m not too bothered by it as I’m used to reapplying lip products after lunch anyway. On the plus side, I’ve noticed that these E.L.F. matte lip colors fade evenly without patchiness or dryness. I suppose that could also probably be attributed to its waxy formula.

The Gist

Overall, I’d recommend these lippies to anyone on a budget who wants to try a matte lip. They won’t be ones I reach for every day, but I have found myself getting a fair amount of use out of them this past holiday season.

I personally prefer the Maybelline Matte Lipsticks or the L’Oreal Colour Riche Matte Lipsticks for their formulas. They’re a bit more drying on the lips but pack way more pigment. If you have a few extra bucks and are a die-hard matte lipstick girl like me, maybe try those instead.

Hope this was helpful! If anyone has tried E.L.F. and has any recommendations from the brand, comment below. I’m a newb so I’m eager to try the best the brand has to offer.

 

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Guys, this post is a long time coming. The Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro was on my wishlist for ages before I finally bought it. When I saw they released some new shades, I knew the time had come. Check out my Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow review below!

Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow

A little background…

Liquid and cream eyeshadows tend to be hit or miss for me. I have oily eyelids and usually need primer and several layers of powder shadow if I expect my eye look to last more than 5 hours.

However, I’d had luck with the Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Chrome which is basically a drugstore dupe for the pricier Stila liquid eyeshadow. I had my eye on the Stila one for awhile but bought the Maybelline one to see if it was the kind of thing I’d like. I actually wound up liking the Maybelline one so much, that I sort of forgot about these Stila eyeshadows until they released some exciting new shades and were featured by the front door at my local Ulta.

Speaking of price…

The Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows ring in at $24.00, more than I’d typically spend on a single shadow. Especially considering the Maybelline one is only $10 and I was perfectly happy with it.

But the little spending demons on my shoulder (I have demons on both shoulders, the angel quit years ago) won me over. New Year’s Eve was days away when I first purchased these, so I justified them as necessary for my glittery NYE look.

Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow

Formula

These eyeshadows come in two formulas – a glittery, show-stopping sparkle and a more metallic, satin cream. I’m pretty sure Stila didn’t market these as everyday shadows but for $24 a pop, you better bet I’m going to get my money’s worth. The metallic cream formula works much better for this purpose and I’ve already worn the famous shade “Kitten” to pieces.

The glittery shades are a little tougher to pull off in the daytime without looking “extra” but of course, you do you.

I find the finish to be truly unique. I thought I was happy with the Maybelline one – and sure, if you want to try something like this out without biting the $24 bullet, I’d totally recommend it. But these Stila shadows take the shimmer to a whole. nother. level.

The best part for me is that they last all day and all night. It feels super wet when you first apply it and stays moveable just long enough to blend it out. Then it dries down to a smudge-proof finish that feels like any normal shadow.

I’ve tried them alone, underneath and over powder eyeshadows and it doesn’t make a difference. They apply beautifully no matter what. Although, keep in mind that a few of the metallic shades are pretty pigmented and will likely cover up whatever eyeshadow you have on underneath.

I should also mention that I have pretty sensitive eyes and haven’t had any issues with glitter fallout or getting pieces stuck in my contacts – which has definitely happened with the glitter shadows of yesteryear.

To be fair, I haven’t noticed that the Stila shadows last any longer than the Maybelline ones so it could just be that the industry, in general, has discovered some amazing long wear liquid shadow formula.

It’s also worth noting that I haven’t noticed a difference in longevity between the two formulas – both the glitter and metallic shades last forever.

Shades

Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow

Shades from top to bottom:

Smoky Storm (Glitter)
Rose Quartz (Glitter)
Kitten (Metallic)
Grace (Metallic)
Jezebel (Metallic)

The Gist

Yes, these beauties are expensive. But if you want to add a little something extra special to your makeup collection, I can’t recommend these enough. They’ve already made it to my 2017 favorites.

Like I said, I think the cream shades are more wearable and therefore probably more worth the coin. Given that they’re liquid, I’m curious to see how long they last or if they dry up. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated.

Do you guys wear glitter on your lids? Let me know your favorite products in the comments below. I feel like I’m exploring a whole new world of eye makeup looks here!

Glow on, peeps. <3

Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow in Jezebel

Wearing Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow in Jezebel

 

Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro

Full look wearing Stila Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro

Valentine’s Day may be a controversial holiday for some, but I’ve always loved it. Regardless of whether you’re having a night out with the girls, date night with your boo, or just staying in watching movies – here are three Valentine’s Day makeup looks inspired by flowers, chocolate, and diamonds to help you get into the spirit.

What’s your Valentine’s Day Style?

Fresh Faced with Flowers

Valentine's Day Flowers Makeup

Tartelette In Bloom Eyeshadow Palette
Milani Rose Blush
NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminator in Snow Rose
Revlon HD Matte Lip Color in Kisses

Valentine's Day Makeup Look

Cozy & Cuddly with Chocolate

Valentine's Day Chocolate Makeup

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Bourbon
Anastasia Sugar Glow Kit (used “Marshmallow”)
MAC Blush in Mocha
MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl
Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude Lipstick in Raw Chocolate or Toasted Truffle
NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu or Red Velvet

Valentine's Day Makeup Look

A bolder lip with Maybelline Lipstick in Toasted Truffle

 

Valentine's Day Makeup Look

A glossier lip with Maybelline Lipstick in Raw Chocolate and NYX Butter Gloss in TIramisu

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Valentine's Day Diamond Makeup

Kylie Cosmetics Bronze Palette
Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Smoky Storm
Becca Highlighter in Opal or Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Gold
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Seduce
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red or Maybelline Lipstick in Dynamite Red
Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer in Classic

Valentine's Day Makeup Look

 

Other Makeup Worn:
Maybelline Dream BB Cream

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light
L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Black
Anastasia Dipbrow in Chocolate
Anastasia Clear Brow Gel

Personally, my boo and I are going out for a nice dinner this Wednesday night. Given it’s an evening date, I’ll probably go with some sort of combination of the Chocolate and Diamond look. I love any excuse to wear a red lip! As much as I love flowers, I think the first look is ideal for a day date or a more natural gal.

Are you into Valentine’s Day? Comment below with your plans for the 14th. If you rock your own interpretation of one of these Valentine’s Day Makeup looks, let me know!
Lots of love, peeps… <3

If you’re into makeup at all, you’ve probably heard of Pixiwoo. Or at least, you’ve heard of the modestly priced brushes from Real Techniques. I watch Sam and Nic Chapman (famous Pixiwoo sisters) religiously on YouTube and use their brushes almost exclusively. When I saw their latest limited edition collection on Instagram, shining in all its unicorn glory, I knew I must make it mine. The Real Techniques Brush Crush Collection includes brushes for foundation, powder, highlighter, contour, shadow, and blush. Check out my full review below!

Real Techniques Brush Crush Collection

Can we take a moment to just appreciate how beautiful these brushes are? I mean, I’m not the kind of makeup junkie who gets that excited over brushes, so this might be a first for me. But these are just beautiful and look lovely on my vanity.

In terms of quality, I’ve found the brushes to be similar to the “bold metals” collection that Real Techniques released last year – slightly softer and more luxurious than their standard brushes. I’ve used these almost every day for a week and haven’t experienced any significant shedding from any of them. So far, so good.

301 Foundation

Is it just me or is this brush huge for a foundation brush? I definitely would prefer if the brush was a little smaller but I used this to apply my standard Bobbi Brown Skin liquid foundation, L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation, and Maybelline BB Cream. I found that it applied all three, quickly and easily without visible brush strokes. That being said, I wear so many tinted moisturizers and sheer foundations that I’m probably still more likely to use my fingers to apply than any foundation brush.

300 Powder

I mean, let’s be real for a second. It’s not hard to get a powder brush right. Unless it sheds like crazy or doesn’t pick up product – I don’t think I’ve ever really had issues with powder brushes. That being said, this one certainly fits the bill and is without a doubt the prettiest powder brush I’ve ever owned!

302 Blush

I have this same brush from the Bold Metals collection that Real Techniques did last year. I was actually surprised to realize that they called it a “blush brush” as I usually use it for highlighter.

I find it way too dense to apply blush with. It could just be my skin tone and preferences but I like the sheer application of the standard Real Techniques blush brush a little better. I used the pointed tip of this brush to apply a bold highlight and it works wonderfully for that purpose.

303 Contour

So I’m fairly new to the contour world and it’s not something I do all the time with my makeup but O.M.G. I LOVE this brush! This is probably my favorite of the collection. I find it works better than my SHOCKINGLY expensively $55 Nars Ita Brush.

305 Shadow

Not much to say on this one – it works just as well as the other Real Techniques shadow brushes. It doesn’t shed at all and is actually all I need to create and blend a basic 2 or 3-shade look.

304 Fan

Surprisingly, I don’t own any fan brushes. After experimenting with this baby for a few days, I find it really useful for applying some of my more pigmented highlighters (ahem, Becca Opal, ahem) lightly. If you prefer a subtle glow, this is a great highlighter brush. It won’t deposit much pigment but basically kisses your cheekbones with just enough. It also works well for bridge of the nose, above the brow, and cupid’s bow.

Real Techniques Brush Crush Collection

Overall, none of the brushes in this collection are real must-haves. But if you’re in need of a new contour brush or shadow brush (I have to wash my shadow brushes every 2 weeks), I definitely recommend going for these over other pricier brushes. I prefer them to the standard Real Techniques brush collection, mostly for their packaging but also for their softer feel.

I’m curious because I don’t experiment with brushes too often – what are your favorite makeup brushes? Comment below with your recommendations.

Until next time – stay gorgeous, my little unicorns.

 

As January draws to a close, and the long cold month of February stretches out before me, I long for the hibernation station of my couch and blankets. Unfortunately, most days I have to throw on some version of real clothing and venture out into the grey haze that is Winter. It’s bleak, but winter dressing doesn’t have to be a drag.

Here are my 12 tips and must-haves to survive the coldest months of the year in style and warmth.

12 Tips for Winter Dressing

1. Longline Wool Coats in Neutral Shades

Longline Camel Coat
Photo Credit: Death By Elocution

You need at least one of these. Obviously, it’s winter – you know you need a coat. And although parkas and leather jackets have their place, I find that nothing beats a long, thick, wool coat in a neutral shade. Its length keeps your lower body warm and the quality fabric and clean lines will add polish to your scruffiest winter outfits.

Yes, I’ve thrown a longline wool coat over leggings and a sweatshirt to the grocery store – and ya know what? It effing works. Color-wise, I recommend black as a staple and medium-camel brown as a lighter option. Camel coats are having a moment right now but have actually been in style for ages. It’s a classic shade and cut that will last you for years.

2. Black Ankle Boots with a Block Heel
Topshop May Boots

Topshop May Boots On Sale $90

Some girls rock sneakers or slip-ons all season long – with their skinny ankles and long legs (ahem, Kendall Jenner). For my own, more average body type, I’ve found that I get the most wear out of a pair of simple, black ankle boots with a small 2-inch block heel. The heel is just tall enough to be flattering but low enough to be comfortable. The black color makes it versatile and easy to throw on with any outfit.

I purchased the Topshop May Sock Boots in the fall of last year and have already gotten my money’s worth. I wear them almost every day and will probably continue to do so through the rainy month of April.

Sock boots are super on-trend right now, but if that’s not your deal, you can also check out a chunkier twist on the combat boot like these babies from Zara. These are a great option if you’re dealing with icy sidewalks and slippery surfaces.

3. Black High-Waisted Skinny Jeans
Topshop Jamie Jeans

Topshop Jamie Jeans $70

I mean, these are a staple year-round but especially during Winter when most skirts and dresses are just out of the question. The high waist and dark color is flattering on all body types and serves as a great starting point for any outfit.

Dress them up for a night out or dress them down for your errand-running needs. I even wear these to work since my office is pretty casual. Regardless, if you don’t own a pair of high-waisted black skinny jeans, this purchase might just change your fashion game.

4. Oversized Sweaters
Gigi Hadid Oversized Sweater

Gigi Hadid rocking an oversized sweater

Tis the season for layering! Stock up on snuggly, soft sweaters in versatile shades like grey, black, and cream. The neutral color palette ensures you’ll be able to pile them on top of any other outfit you own without worrying too much about matching.

Watch out for anything too itchy and buy them in a larger size so you can layer them on top of flannels and t-shirts. I like to buy these sweaters in one of two extremes – either long enough to partially cover my bum or short and cropped to pair with high-waisted styles.

5. At least 1 flannel shirt

Flannel Shirt Outfit

For more casual days, you can’t go wrong with a lumberjack-inspired, plaid, flannel shirt. These have been in for years and probably won’t be going out of style anytime soon. I like them in either a dark green and navy plaid or a bolder red/plum plaid.

I like styling them with a topknot or beanie, leggings, thick socks and chunky boots. They also go great with oversized sweaters or tied around the waist 90s grunge-style.

6. Beanies
Zara Cat Beanie

Meow?

Nothing worse than cold, red ears when you’re waiting for the bus or metro. Protect your head from the cold with a snuggly, knit beanie that covers your ears. I love the ones I’ve been seeing in stores lately with pom poms or kitty ears. Regardless of what your style is, these hats are a must-have for my winter wardrobe. My mom says that if your head is warm, then the rest of you will be warm too. Wise words, mom. Wise words.

7. Large scarves in neutral shades
Oversized Winter Scarf

Photo Credit: Lou What Wear

Are you sick of the phrase “neutral shades” yet? Be patient, Paduan. Oversized, chunky scarves are a staple of Scandinavian dressing for good reason. They’ll protect you from the blistering wind and add a level of panache to an otherwise basic winter outfit.

Although you can certainly get these in some cool colors or patterns, starting your collection with a solid grey or camel color will ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

8. Black leggings
Asos Leather Look Leggings

Asos Leather Look Leggings $35

As if I even needed to list this one…most of you probably already have a pair of black leggings in your wardrobe. These are my go-to for snow days at home, or if I have to run out real quick to replenish my Ben & Jerry’s supply.

I’d also recommend experimenting with different textures like faux leather or crushed velvet. I’ve had this leather pair from Asos for a couple years now and have gotten so much wear out of them. They’re great for going out to dinner when you know you’re going to eat more than your high-waisted black skinny jeans will allow.

9. Snow Boots

If you live in an area with lots of snowy weather, then the sleek black sock boots above probably won’t cut it. I’m leaving this one pretty vague since it depends on your style and what kind of whether you’re dealing with but here are some great options:

Combat Boots (my favorite)

Steve Madden Combat Boots

Steve Madden  $79.95

L.L. Bean Boots (a classic)

LL Bean Boots

LL Bean $129, Photo Credit Kelly In The City

Hunter Rain Boots (great for rainier climates)

Hunter Rain Boots

Hunter Rain Boots $109.99

10. A-Line Skirts or Dresses with Tights

Winter Skirt Outfit

This isn’t exactly the season for skirts or dresses but when the occasion calls for it, or when you get sick of your skinny jeans, these styles can be worn with some thick black tights. I like black circle skirts or suede A-line skirts with tights and ankle boots.

Dresses can be a little trickier but a slim-fitting pencil dress can easily be paired with black tights and closed-toe pumps for fancier occasions.

11. Black leather jacket
Zara Faux Leather Jacket

Zara Faux Leather Jacket $69.90

If the deep freeze breaks and the temperature reaches above the freezing mark – I like to reach for my Zara leather jacket. I’ve had this one for a few years and have gotten so much wear out of it. It’s a staple for in-between season dressing, as well as for warmer winter days. I bought mine in a small but would advise anyone else to size up so you can wear it over your chunky sweaters and oversized flannels.

12. Statement Pieces
Statement Winter Dressing

Photo Credit: Claudia via Lookbook.nu

Knits in bold colors, a leopard print coat, a bright lipstick, or fun tassel earrings will go a long way to brighten a cold, grey day.

Okay, now that I’ve said “neutral shades” 3 times… I’m gonna tell you to embrace color. It’s important to invest in your foundation pieces as neutral building blocks to your wardrobe. But once you’ve got that down, it’s great to play with color – especially as a contrast to the grey, wintery backdrop.

I love to wear a cherry red lipstick (obvs), fun tassel earrings, or a bold blue sweater to brighten up my otherwise neutral outfit.

And there we have it! 12 tips and must-haves to make winter dressing easy. What are your most-worn items this season? Did I miss any? Comment below with your favorite, cozy winter wears!