Friday, September 27, 2013

Sleek Blush by 3 and Face Form reviews and swatches

I recently received an order of Sleek products, and I posted about the Au Naturel eyeshadow palette earlier this week (read that post here). I also got two cheek palettes, Blush by 3 and Face Form.

I got the Face Form palette in Light, which includes a contour powder, highlighter, and their blush in Rose Gold (Medium and Dark have shimmery bronzers instead of the blush). I love that this compact contains all the cheek products you need, which makes it so great for travel. Everything is very pigmented, and the highlighter is not too shimmery (in person, it comes off more golden than it appears in the swatch).

After I bought the palette, I did more research and found out that Rose Gold is supposed to be a dupe for NARS Orgasm (pink-peach with golden shimmer), which I do not like at all (read about it here). However, Sleek's cheek products are much softer than NARS products, so you don't need to scrub down into the pan to pick up product. The shimmer in Rose Gold is also much more finely milled and easier to blend--it doesn't stick and bunch up on oily patches--so I really like it.

Left to right: Crochet, Guipure, Chantilly

I got the Blush by 3 palette in Lace, which has the colors Crochet, Guipure, and Chantilly. In general, Sleek tends to have very trendy/modern-looking blush colors, but they're all very wearable (Crochet appears to be a bright orange in the pan, but it's peach on the face). I really can't tell a difference between Guipure and Rose Gold from the Face Form palette, but I really don't mind that I have duplicates because they're so beautiful. I love that these blushes wear a really long time and are very blendable.

I really love these Sleek cheek products! They do a great job with the pigmentation and texture, and the colors are so wearable. These palettes were definitely worth the money for me. I think it's important to note that the images on Sleek's website are not the most accurate (Blush by 3 in Lace's picture looks much paler and softer than it actually is), so Google swatches and pictures before you order!

For more Sleek products, check out my review on the Au Naturel eyeshadow palette here and at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sleek Au Naturel eyeshadow palette review and swatches

I've heard so many good things about the Sleek makeup line, which is based in the UK. I placed an order for an eyeshadow palette and cheek products, so those are the products I'll be posting about this week.

I got the I-Divine palette in Au Naturel, which is their neutral palette. The packaging is so hard to open--it's a nail-breaking, manicure-ruining compact. But it is very sturdy and compact, and it has a huge mirror, which makes it travel really well.

Top row: Nougat, Nubuck, Cappuccino, Honeycomb, Toast, Taupe
Bottom row: Conker, Moss, Bark, Mineral Earth, Regal, Noir

I've heard a lot of great things about Sleek eyeshadows, but judging from this palette, their light matte eyeshadows are pretty weak. Nubuck, Cappuccino, Honeycomb, and Toast have very, very poor pigmentation. I'm not even sure how many layers you would need to build up the color, but the only way I could see someone using them is applying it with a fluffy brush to blend out other eyeshadow colors--they have very poor color payoff on their own. The dark matte colors are so much better, but they can feel a bit chalky. The shimmery eyeshadows, on the other hand, are very pigmented and easy to blend; however, there are cheaper eyeshadows from American drugstores that are even better. The shipping is definitely not cheap (about $13 flat rate), so really think about whether it's worth it for you!

I promise, all the swatches are there!

It seems like you can't get a wide variety of looks with this palette, since you only have one "usable" light color, and the dark colors are various cool tones. I don't mind having an eye palette in which all the colors are one tone, but I feel like using this one palette by itself can become very monotonous, just because you have so few options.

Overall, I really didn't like this palette at all; even though has some nice colors, almost half the palette was pretty awful, and the compact is so hard to open that it has really slowed me down when I get ready in the morning. If you are interested in Sleek eyeshadows, go for a palette with mostly darker shimmer/metallic colors (the Storm palette is supposed to be great); if you already have a holy grail neutral palette, this isn't a must-have palette.

Come back on Friday for a review on their cheek products, and check out more Sleek products at

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Next week: Sleek Week!

Next week I will be reviewing various products from the UK brand Sleek! Come back on Monday for an eyeshadow palette and Friday for cheek products :)

To see more of Sleek's products, check out

Monday, September 16, 2013

Emergency bag essentials!

When we're outside, we're always missing that one thing we need immediately. Here are some things that will prepare you for anything:

Oil blotting sheets

We all get a little greasy sometimes... blotting the oil off is easier and more natural-looking than applying powder. If you don't have blotting sheets on hand, use a brown napkin or paper towel, or a toilet seat cover.

Cuticle clippers

When I have a hangnail or a dry cuticle that sticks out, I literally can't think about anything until it's gone. You can also use it to cut broken nails and tags that you forgot to cut off your new clothes.

Hand cream

I hate when my hands feel tight and dry after washing my hands. You can also use this on dry spots, like elbows.
Try: L'Occitane hand cream

Hand sanitizer

Before you eat, after you eat, on the subway... have you watched Contagion?
Try: Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer

Eye depuffing stick

If your concealer is looking a little dry, apply a little of this with your finger to refresh it. You can also use it as brow gel if your eyebrows are looking bushy.

Lip balm in a twist up tube

Please, not in a pot! I always hear people complaining about how they're sick again, and then they proceed to dip their dirty fingers into a jar of lip balm and apply it to their mouth. Do they not see it? Save your jarred lip products at home. Or, if you don't wash your hands, don't use them at all.
Try: Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm


I get extremely uncomfortable, disgruntled, and unfunctional when my eyes are dry.
Try: Visine Tears


To blow your nose, wipe off Visine on your cheeks, or just in case there's no toilet paper.

A natural/nude lipstick

99% of the times that I wear red or fuchsia lipstick, within two hours of leaving the house I will realize it looks awful. Always keep a fail-proof lip color in your purse!
Try: Almay Liquid Lip Balm in Nudetrients



They're very important. Have one even when you don't think you need it, please.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Worth the Hype?: NARS Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer

There are a lot of well-loved products in the beauty community, and there must be a reason why they have been selling very well for so long, so I'm going to see if they're really worth the hype.

I picked up the NARS blush and bronzer duo in Orgasm/Laguna ($41), which are two classic products of the line. The Orgasm blush is a pink-peach with golden shimmer, which is supposed to be flattering on everyone, and Laguna appears to be a dark bronzer.

Left: NARS blush in Orgasm
Right: NARS bronzer in Laguna

When you swatch the products, Orgasm is pretty intensely shimmery. On the cheeks, the pink-peach pigment blends very easily, but the golden shimmer is incredibly hard to blend (especially over oily spots) and tends to stay in patches, which is so unflattering and unnatural. Laguna, on the other hand, looks nothing like the color in the pan--it's actually a really light, shimmery golden bronzer. And because it's so light and shimmery, it can't be used for contouring on medium/dark girls, so it can only really be used all over your face for a slightly more tan look. But if you try to build it up, the shimmer builds up more quickly than the pigment, and you end up looking really greasy.

Left: NARS Orgasm blush
Right: Wet n Wild blush in Pearlescent Pink

NARS Orgasm blush is hailed as a universally flattering color, but if you Google "NARS Orgasm dupes," you'll find that there are a ton of cheaper options out there--all color cosmetics are going to have low-cost dupes, because the high-end cosmetic companies don't own the pigments. My big issue with this product is that it's so shimmery! The color is absolutely gorgeous, but the golden shimmer just looks too frosty on the skin. If you have this problem too, I recommend Wet n Wild's blush in Pearlescent Pink; it's the same pink-peach color, but much less golden and sparkly.

Worth the Hype?: NO
This blush/bronzer duo is decent quality, but the shimmer in them can be difficult to blend. Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer used to be pretty unique colors and textures, but as the quality and variety of lower-cost products improve, these are pretty outdated products (for a more flattering satin-finish bronzer, try NYX's Mosaic blush in Cafe). If you're interested in these colors, just Google their dupes; you can buy a bunch of them for the cost of this palette.

Monday, September 9, 2013

August disappointments :(

I've tried a lot of products in August, and a lot of them were duds :( I don't have most of these products anymore, so I don't have swatches, but hopefully I can explain myself well enough that you'll know if they can work for you.

Too Faced Natural Face palette

Image courtesy of Too Faced

This is supposed to be an "all in one" face palette, and it's really handy in that it eliminates the need for a lot of compacts when you're traveling. I love the color of the cream blush, but the powder blush is so intensely shimmery. Although the concealer is a good match for my skin (I'm an NC30) it's very poor coverage on dark circles and redness, so I've felt the need to bring in a separate concealer. I haven't used a lot of the bronzer or brightener, but because of the way it's supposed to be used, even if only a couple of elements aren't good, this isn't really a worthwhile product for me.

Sephora Lasting and Perfecting Corrector

Sephora concealer (left) vs. Benefit Erase Paste (right)

I'm a little confused by this product. It's a double-ended concealer, with one for undereyes and one for spots. I think the undereye side is supposed to be worn alone and counteract dark circles, but it's not good enough coverage to be worn alone. And if it's meant to be layered under another concealer (it has a slight peachy tone) it's not peachy/salmony enough to fully correct undereye darkness. It's also extremely dry under the eyes. The other end is meant to cover spots, but it can't cling to greasy pimples--it slides right off, so it doesn't work.

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish

I talked about this product in my review of a bunch of high end lip products (read it here). Even though it's really nice and shiny, and they have pretty colors, it becomes so tacky, and it's so intensely minty for such a long time that it makes my lips uncomfortably numb.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder

Image courtesy of Neutrogena

This powder feels so dry and chalky! I'm not sure who this would be good for; if you have dry or combination skin, it really clings to dry patches and looks really powdery. But if you have oily skin, this isn't mattifying, unless you really pack in on with a sponge or puff--in which case the appearance of powder would be really obvious. Maybe this would be good for someone who has normal skin and just needs a powder to set their makeup--but there are other cheaper products that can do the same thing for you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

August favorites!

Here are some products that I've been loving this past month!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana

Even though this product is called a bronzer, it's definitely a highlighting color. It's so soft and subtle and not glittery at all--it's a satin finish, so you can use it quite liberally and build it up without having shimmer pile on your face.

Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Pressed Powder


This is a really nice, smooth powder that doesn't leave a dry/powdery look. It's not a very matte when you apply it with a brush, but it does have decent coverage.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer

This is a lot better coverage than most tinted moisturizers--I can build this up to be a medium coverage--and gives my skin a really smooth, velvety look.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink

I really love Wet n Wild blushes! They're so rich, blendable, and pigmented--and super cheap ($2.99). I really like this color in particular; it looks so fresh and pretty and isn't overly shimmery.

Urban Decay Naked Basics palette

I'm a little late on the Naked palette bandwagon, but as I've tried them, I've become very attached to all of them! Urban Decay eyeshadows are all really great quality--really pigmented and rich--so what I look for is whether a palette works well on its own, without having to bring in other products. The Naked Basics palette is now my go-to for an everyday, natural look--I use Naked 2 all over the lid, Faint on the outer corner, and Venus on the inner corner. It's also really small and light with a big mirror, so it's great for travel!

Come back on Monday for my August disappointments! This is awful... I actually have a lot more to say about products that I don't like...

Monday, September 2, 2013

This month in makeup

I'll be posting about these products in September, so come back for reviews!