Colourpop Super Shock Cheek Blushes

I discovered Colourpop a few months ago while binge watching makeup tutorials on Youtube. A super affordable, young, unique brand that is also made in the U.S.? Yes, please! I was a little hesitant to buy these products because I like seeing products in person before purchasing them, but Colourpop only sells their products online. I bit the bullet and placed my order. I bought a couple of colors that were a bit out of my comfort zone and that I must admit have been untouched since the first time I swatched them. I did however fall in love with the formula and found a holy grail eyeshadow amongst the ones I bought. Unfortunately, I ended up being discouraged from buying more products when I placed my second order and purchased one of their lippie stix in a color that claimed to be the perfect nude when it actually ended up looking bright pink on my lips. When I found out that they were releasing blushes (or Super Shock Cheeks as they are called) a few weeks ago, I was curious to see how the eyeshadow formula would translate into blushes, so I decided to give Colourpop a third try. I finally received my order a couple of days ago and decided to review them for you (shipping took over two weeks! I do however understand that these blushes were in high demand, so no hard feelings Colourpop!). SupershockCheek

Review

  • I chose three of the blushes, each from a different color family and finish in order to test the formula.
  • Packaging:
    • The outer packaging is a cute yet simple little cardboard box with a round opening that displays the blush color.                            ColourpopPackage
  • The blushes have 0.15oz  of product and are housed in individual little white plastic pots. The instructions say that the jar should be tightly sealed in order to “keep the magic inside” (how clever!).                        ColourpopBlushContainer
  • Texture and scent:
    • Colourpop eyeshadows are known for their texture and their blushes have a similar formula. It is very difficult to describe, but I will do my best! The blushes have a cream powder formula that feels fluffy (almost spongey), soft, and leaves a bit of a wet feeling on the fingers when you touch it. Overall, these blushes can be considered a cream powder hybrid, resembling more of a powder on the cheeks.
    • They have a slight scent that reminds me a bit of erasers (I know that sounds weird), but it is a very slight scent that is only present when you smell the blush directly. There is no scent once you apply the blush.
  • Finish and color range:
    • There are two different types of finishes to choose from: satin and matte. I chose two matte blushes and a satin one.
      "Birthday Suit" (satin)

      “Birthday Suit” (satin)

      "Between the Sheets" (matte)

      “Between the Sheets” (matte)

      "Bonus" (matte)

      “Bonus” (matte)

  • The color range is phenomenal! There are 20 colors to choose from and at $8 a piece I will not feel too guilty once I accomplish my mission and end up owning all of them. The website divides the blushes by finish and by color family. I chose one from each color category: “Between the Sheets” a matte nude color, “Birthday Suit” which is a satin pink shade, and “Bonus” a matte peach blush.
Birthday Suit

“Birthday Suit”

Between the Sheets

“Between the Sheets”

Bonus

“Bonus”

  • Application and longevity:
    • These blushes apply beautifully, they go on smoothly and are very pigmented. You can apply them with your fingers or using a brush. I found that using stippling brushes works best for me. I use either the elf small stipple brush or the Makeup geek angled stippling brush (the latter works best for me).
      • I am someone who has either an overly heavy hand or too much of a light hand when it comes to applying blush, there’s no in between for me. I apply way too much and cannot seem to buff it out, or I apply so little that the blush is barely noticeable. What I love most about these blushes is that they are so user friendly that for once I was able to apply the right amount of blush! With the Makeup geek stippling brush I was able to pick up just the right amount of product, deposit it on the apples of my cheeks and beautifully blended it out. These blushes are very pigmented, but they blend out evenly.

        (Left) "Birthday Suit" (Center) "Between the Sheets" (Right) "Bonus"

        (L) “Birthday Suit” (M) “Between the Sheets” (R) “Bonus”

    • The blushes lasted for 10 hours or so without fading. I applied them in the morning before work and they looked the same by the time I washed my face at night. Needless to say, I was very impressed by the longevity of these products.
  • Comparison to Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush and Benefit’s “Majorette”:
    • Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush in “Rose Petal” is a light pink blush with a bit of sheen.
      • It is a bit more creamy-like and squishy than the Colourpop blushes, but overall they are both very similar in texture. In terms of pigmentation, the Maybelline blush is a lot more sheer and has more of a sheen to it. I do not have a color that is similar enough to the Dream Bouncy in, but I mostly wanted to compare the texture and color payoff.                       RosePetalVSBirthdaySuit
      • Colourpop Super Shock Cheek blushes are definitely a better investment in my opinion. Although both blushes are around the same price point and have similar amount of product (Colourpop costs $8.00 has 0.15 and Maybelline costs $7.49has 0.19oz). Colourpop blushes have a much larger range of colors, way better color payoff, and about three times the longevity of the dream bouncy blushes.

        (L) Maybelline "Rose Petal" (R)Colourpop "Birthday Suit"

        (L) Maybelline “Rose Petal” (R) Colourpop “Birthday Suit”

    • Benefit “Majorette” blush is one I acquired in December of 2014. I really love this blush because it gives a natural glow to the cheeks (no glitter, sparkle or sheen). The color is beautiful and the application of this blush is amazing.
      • I was happy to find that Colourpop’s “Bonus” is almost an exact color match as the “Majorette” blush (except for “Bonus” is a little more opaque and slightly brighter).

        (L) Colourpop "Bonus" (R) Benefit "Majorette"

        (L) Colourpop “Bonus” (R) Benefit “Majorette”

      • In terms of texture, “Bonus” is a little softer and more easy to apply, whereas “Majorette” has more of a dense cream consistency when picked up by a blush, but they both dry to a powder form. MajoretteVSBonus
      •  Benefit’s blush has cuter packaging with a mirror and everything, but in terms of quality for the price Colourpop is less than one third of the $28 price tag of the Benefit blush. Although “Majorette” has 0.24oz and “Bonus” has 0.15oz, the latter is still more cost efficient.                    BonusVSMajorettePackaging
  • Final Thoughts:
    • I think that these blushes are amazing! They are unique and definitely worth the price.
    • Learning how to apply them might take a little practice, but it is not too difficult.
    • Choosing colors can be a little overwhelming, but the website does a great job at dividing them by color families, finish and showing swatches on different skin tones.                                                                          

Have you tried the new Colourpop SuperShock Cheek blushes? Thank you very much for reading!

NARS “El Agua” Velvet Lip Liner

I was finally able to purchase the NARS Velvet Lip Liner in “El Agua.” How late am I? Well, this lip pencil launched as part of the NARS Fall 2014 collection. Given that most makeup companies are launching their Spring 2015 collections, I am over a season late!

  • Where to purchase:
    • Given that this particular lip liner is very popular, the NARS website indicates that this item is currently out of stock, but will be back sometime in the future. (Update: This item is now back in stock on the NARS website).
    • Sephora does not carry this particular color online nor in stores, therefore I had to search in department stores.
    • Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys do sell this liner, but they were also out of stock online and the stores I visited only had the tester.
    • Nordstrom has this item on backorder until March 21, 2015.
    • For those of you who, like me, cannot seem to give up on this product, the Neiman Marcus website currently sells the item online and they offer free shipping. I ordered mine through their website and chose 2-3 day in store pick up (because patience is not one of my virtues).

      I purchased "El Agua" from Neiman Marcus. They offer free shipping and 10% off when you sign up for their mailing list.

      I purchased “El Agua” from Neiman Marcus. They offer free shipping and 10% off when you sign up for their mailing list.

Now that the long intro is over and you know where to find this item you could stop reading here…. or continue to scroll for my take on this lip liner!

  • I must mention the fact that I bought this liner simply for its color, I did not base my purchase on the longevity or the easy application these liners claim to have. The color itself has a beautiful and unique dusty lilac rose tone. Lilac is my favorite color, therefore it only made sense to purchase this one over any of the other 12 that the line has to offer.

    NARS "El Agua" lip liner in natural lighting.

    NARS “El Agua” Velvet Lip Liner in natural lighting.

  •  Packaging:
    • The outer packaging is a sleek black box typical of NARS packaging.  Boxandliner
    • The actual liner is thin, black, and made out of a sturdy smooth plastic-like material. The part of the liner that twists up is the same color as the actual liner which helps when identifying what color you are picking up.You get 0.01oz of product for $24.                                                                                                           Boxzoom 
    • Compared to the NYX Retractable Lip Liner I own, the NARS liner is longer and it seems to be much sturdier (at least I hope so given that it is six times more expensive than the NYX pencils).                                            sizecomparison
  • Texture, application, and longevity:
    • It is creamy, smooth, and it glides on easily. I have dry lips and this liner goes on smoothly without tugging plus it does not accentuate any dry patches.
      NARS "El Agua" Velvet Lip Liner

      NARS “El Agua” Velvet Lip Liner

      • Although this liner does not dry out my lips, it does not necessarily moisturize them. I use it on top of my MAC lip primer (review to come) and I am able to wear the liner on its own without my lips feeling dry throughout the day.
      • This liner lasts on my lips, on its own, for about 4 hours before fading (mostly due to eating and drinking). I did not notice any feathering or bleeding. The swatches on my hand lasted much longer than on my lips. I noticed that the color stayed in place even after I washed my hands. 

HoldingLinerHeart

  • Comparison to other lip liners:
    • The closest lip liner that I own with a consistency similar to that of the NARS Velvet Lip liner is the NYX Retractable Lip Liner. I do have to say that the NARS liner glides on more easily and lasts longer than the NYX liner.
    • Color-wise, the Elf Matte Lip Color in “Tea  Rose” comes closest out of all the lip products I own (note: there is only a small similarity between the two). As you can see from the image below, “Tea Rose” is a bit lighter and “El Agua” has a little more of a purple hue to it.
(L) Elf Matte Lip Color in "Tea Rose" (R) NARS "El Agua"

(L) Elf Matte Lip Color in “Tea Rose” (R) NARS “El Agua”

  • Final thoughts
    • This liner is long lasting, smooth, and overall worth the investment.
    • The best feature of this product is the color. It is beautiful, unique and I find that it adds a soft hint of pinkish lilac when worn under nude lipsticks. On its own, the color is wearable and relatively neutral. I will try my best to find a color that comes closer to “El Agua,” so be on the lookout for that post!

Have you tried this liner, or any of the NARS velvet lip liners? Do you know of any lip product with a similar color to “El Agua”? Thank you for reading and please let me know your thoughts!

Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer Review

The Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer (wow what a long name!) launched at the drugstore as part of the Spring 2015 collection. There are five shades to choose from: 10 Fair, 20 Light, 30 Light/Medium, 40 Medium, and 50 Medium/Dark. I wanted to try this concealer since I first saw it at the drugstore and noticed that one of the shades closely resembled that of my beloved, yet expensive, NARS radiant creamy concealer in Custard (review to come). I suffer from permanent panda/raccoon eyes that are powered by both genetic and lifestyle factors therefore any new concealer that can camouflage my dark circles is worth trying, especially if it is affordable! The retail price varies depending on where you purchase it, but I bought mine from CVS for $9.49 (technically $4.99 because I used a coupon). Note: This review will only describe how well this concealer works on dark circles.

  • Packaging:
    • This concealer comes in a squeeze tube with a narrow opening. The product dispenses easily without leaking when the tube is squeezed. You get 0.4 oz/12mL of product which I think is a decent amount. I do have to say that the color of the concealer tube is reflective of the product inside and thus helps when choosing a shade. I think that having the packaging match the product inside as best as possible is a great feature, especially when packaging can be deceiving when it comes to choosing the right shade.

      Master Conceal 30 Light/Medium swatch (L) and tube (R) in natural lighting. As seen here, the tube color is pretty close to that of the concealer.

      Master Conceal 30 Light/Medium swatch and tube in natural lighting. As seen here, the tube color is pretty close to that of the concealer.

  • Color range:
    • The color range is limited with only five shades to choose from. I chose the shade 30 Light/Medium based on the color reflected on the packaging. Fair has more of a light pink (too pink for my undertones), Light has a bit more of salmon hue (a bit too light for me). Light/Medium seemed like it would match my skin color and yellow undertones the best.

      Master Conceal  in 30 Light/Medium (natural lighting). For reference,  I wear MAC concealers in  NW 20/25.

      Master Conceal in 30 Light/Medium (natural lighting). For reference, I wear MAC concealers in NW 20/25.

  • Consistency, application, and longevity
    • Creamy, relatively thick, and easily blended. I  have very dry under eyes and prefer more moisturizing concealers. Lately, my under eyes have been more moisturized and smooth thanks to a new eye cream I am testing out (review to come) so I can’t review this concealer from the standpoint of someone with extremely dry under eyes, but I still need a moisturizing concealer. This concealer did not tug on my under eye area when blended and it did not accentuate my fine lines.
    • Goes on smoothly and opaque. Like most concealers, it sheers a bit when blended, but not to the point where it stops being effective. I used about a pea-sized amount to cover both of my dark circles.I did notice that it brightened my dark circles and it was very comfortable to wear. It is thick enough to provide the right amount of coverage without being noticeable.
    • It lasted for about 5 hours without a setting powder. I tend to skip the setting powder when wearing most concealers because I feel like they accentuate my fine lines and dry out my skin (with the exception of my NARS creamy concealer). With setting powder it lasted about 7 hours. Thankfully it fades graciously and does not leave behind odd marks or patches.
  • Comparison to other concealers:
    (Left) Maybelline Fit Me 20 in 20 Sand (Center) Maybelline Master Conceal in 30 Light/Medium (Right) NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard

    (Left) Maybelline Fit Me 20 in 20 Sand
    (Center) Maybelline Master Conceal in 30 Light/Medium
    (Right) NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard

    • Maybelline Fit Me concealer in 20 Sand comes with 0.23 oz of product and it is more watery, a little more sheer, but a bit more easily blended than the Master Conceal. They both have a yellow undertone and match my skin color well, but Master Conceal has a hint of salmon to it that helps to neutralize the darkness under my eyes more effectively.
      • I believe that although these concealers are from the same company, each is a little better-suited to a particular skin type and coverage. I think that Fit me is suited for a wider range of skin types (relatively dry to oily skin) given that it is not super thick and it sets faster. The Fit me concealer is a little more yellow and I see myself using it more for highlighting whereas the Master Conceal has a bit of salmon color to it. Master Conceal is thicker and would work best for people with dryer skin. Overall, with the right tools, they can each be tailored to anyone who finds a matching shade and this says a lot about the versatility of both products.
    • NARS Radiant Creamy concealer
      • Honestly, I must admit that I am a little biased when I compare anything to the NARS concealer because it is my favorite concealer out of all the ones I have tried so far. I do however find that the Maybelline Master Conceal targets a similar problem to the NARS one. They are both pigmented, relatively thick, easily blended, work well without a setting powder, and they are well suited for dryer skin. The NARS concealer is a little thicker, slightly more yellow, and has a larger color range, but for less than 1/3 of the price, I am happy to say that I can at least give my NARS concealer a break every other day.
    • Final thoughts
      • I think that this concealer is definitely worth trying, especially if you can get a good deal on it. It camouflages dark circles, yet it is hydrating enough for those of us with drier skin.
      • The concealer does not set as fast as the Maybelline Fit me concealer, but I personally do not think that is a negative characteristic, but it may be a nuance for some.
      • Unfortunately, the color range is not wide enough for darker skin tones.

I hope you found this review helpful. Have you tried the new Maybelline Master Camouflaging Concealer? Let me know if you would like a review on the NARS radiant creamy concealer. Thank you for reading!

MAC Toledo Collection “Oxblood” lipstick

The Isabelle and Ruben Toledo is a MAC spring 2015 Collection which launched January 29 online and in stores February 5. This collection (as most MAC collections) includes 6 lipsticks with matching lipglasses (I can never get used to that word), 3 eyeshadow palettes, 3 Ombre blushes, 4 mascaras, 3 nail lacquers, a brush, and a makeup bag.

On to the point of this post…

The only item that truly caught my attention was the “Oxblood” lipstick. I must be honest and mention the fact that I bought this item out of fear…Yes, that is right…Fear of missing out on a Limited Edition nude. This past year I missed out on the nude lipstick “Enchanted One” that launched with the Alluring Aquatics collection. I almost gave in and was a bid away from paying over $30 for said lipstick, but I soon came to my senses and decided to keep tabs on any new Limited Edition MAC collection. Oxblood was sold out by the time I found out about the new collection (there went keeping tabs on MAC LE Collections), but since it launched in stores a few days ago I was able to buy it the day it hit stores.

Review:

  • First of all, Oxblood may seem like an ill-fitting name for this peachy brown nude matte lipstick, but since Isabelle and Ruben are artists perhaps the color has a creatively unexpected connection to its name.
  • Packaging:
    • The lipstick comes in a printed box inside a cardboard sleeve (already looks fancy from the moment you discover the double packaging).  The box sleeve (as I will refer to it) has the collections “logo” and name printed on all sides and an intricate pattern on the inside. The actual lipstick box is a plain white yet chic with the collection’s name written in red.

      Left: Packaging sleeve with the name of the collection and the sketch design.  Right: White lipstick box with the collection name

      Left: Packaging sleeve with the name of the collection and the sketch design.
      Right: White lipstick box with the collection name

    • The texture of the lipstick bullet is similar to the smooth rubber-like texture of NARS packaging. The design used is that of a sketch that Ruben made of Isabelle’s face (cute!). 

      MAC Toledo bullet

      MAC Toledo bullet

    • Overall, for $1.50 more than a regular MAC lipstick (“Oxblood” costs $17.5) I think you definitely get your money’s worth of packaging considering the attention to detail. The packaging is truly beautiful and luxurious.
  • Texture, scent and application:
    • Soft, creamy, smooth consistency identical to that of all MAC matte lipsticks.
    • Has a hint of vanilla scent typical of MAC lipsticks. I personally love the scent because it is not too strong or sweet.                     ToledoLipstick
    • Glides on smoothly, but can be a bit drying for those of us who lack naturally moist lips. I have a bit of texture on my lips and the lipstick only clung to the driest parts (typical of matte lipsticks). I added some lip balm and the problem was solved! It is not more or less drying than any MAC matte lipstick therefore a bit of Chapstick/lip balm beforehand solved the problem with dryness I experienced.
      MAC "Oxblood" with flash. For reference, my skin tone in MAC is NC25/30

      MAC “Oxblood” with flash. For reference, my skin tone in MAC is NC25/30

      "Oxblood" with no flash and natural lighting.

      “Oxblood” with no flash and natural lighting.

  • Comparison to MAC “Kinda Sexy”:
    • “Oxblood” is a tiny bit darker (maybe less than half a shade) and has a bit more coral/orange undertone to it. Honestly though, I can’t personally tell much of a difference between them when I apply them to my lips.
      l

      Left: “Oxblood” Right: Kinda Sexy

      ToledoKindaSwatchClauToledoKindaFlash

    • Picture on the left natural lighting: “Oxblood” (L) “Kinda Sexy” (R)
    • Picture on the right flash: “Oxblood” (L) “Kinda Sexy” (R)
  • Final verdict:
    • I love this lipstick! It is a brighter nude that will be perfect for spring time. For now, my “Velvet teddy” nude is a bit more on trend with the season. I do have to say though that if you do not get your hands on oxblood, “Kinda sexy” is in my opinion an exact dupe. Given that both lipsticks are from the same brand and have the same finish, they are practically interchangeable. I do love the packaging though so I probably would have skipped on buying “Kinda sexy” if I hadn’t already owned it by the time “Oxblood” came out.

I hope this review helped you decide whether “Oxblood” is worth buying. Let me know your thoughts on these lipsticks and on the new Toledo collection. Thank you for reading!