Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Pallette Review & Swatches



Smashbox describes this eye shadow palette as: "A set of universally awesome neutrals" both effortless and essential.

Mixed reviews are common when a popular makeup brand comes out with an expensive eye shadow palette. This one had me all confused with all credible sources saying these shadows were either incredible or absolutely terrible. The concerns were mainly surrounding wear time and color payoff but using a primer and a few simple application tips, I found many redeeming qualities, myself! Neutral eye shadow palettes have become quite the trend, so what superfluous characteristics set this one apart from the others?

Here's what I think of it:


Color Variety: This palette comes complete with 14 shades, 7 of which are matte and 7 with a shimmery finish. This to me is what makes it so unique to others which only offer the matte shades or just the shimmery ones. I personally wish they were named with actual names instead of numbers and that at least those shades were written underneath each shade because that would just make my life as a blogger/youtuber easier. My favorites of the bunch are the purple shimmer in the top row all the way to the left, the navy shimmer in the top row all the way to the right, the gold shimmer third from the left in the top row is also gorgeous. Of the mattes, I really like the cool browns and that black! If you like a smokey eye, your set and if your more keen on the neutrals you'll love these shades too. There's a perfect inner corner highlight color and one to double as an eyeliner so really it has almost everything! 


Pigmentation: The color payoff on those matte shades is actually pretty incredible, the shimmery shades on the other hand come up a little short. I have figured out how to work with them and get the most out of each shade though. Using a synthetic flat shader brush with some Mac Fix+ I pack the color on over an eyelid primer of course and then I go back into the product with my finger and that builds up the color intensity beautifully. (I will certainly demonstrate this in a makeup tutorial in the near future)


Consistency: The matte shades are buttery and smooth but the shimmers are a little harder to work with on blending and some have quite a bit of fall down which can be messy. 

Packaging: I like the holographic lettering and black background. The palette itself is quite heavy and large so it wouldn't be my first choice for traveling with but it does have so many eye shadows to choose from in terms of creating different looks. The lid flips open to reveal a huge mirror which is very convenient and clicks into place with no faults so that makes it quite sturdy. As with all of Smashbox palettes there is a place for a brush too and that's definitely a plus. 


Top Row- Shimmery Shades


Bottom Row- Matte Shades

Price: $49.00 is alot to pay for eye shadows. At the same time, the Urban Decay Naked palettes go for $54.00 a piece and come with 2 shadows less then this does, so value for money is certainly good here.

Lasting Power: Some eye shadows stay on the eyes well even without laying down a primer first. These are not them. Without an eye shadow base, these will begin to crease within the first couple of hours and then will slowly wear off. I have gotten a full 8 hours plus when I pair these with my Mac paint pot or any other primer and that is pretty fantastic. 

Extras: Along with this palette you get a fabulous double sided brush. I did not think I'd like it at all but surprised myself and use it all the time. The flat shader side is nice for laying down color and the other side is a large blending brush that gets those looks looking just perfect. Also, a mini size full exposure mascara is thrown in there. I think it's decent but it isn't the best mascara I've ever owned. I do use it for an every day look. If you thought that was it, it isn't. You will get your moneys worth with this one, because a eye shape chart is included explaining all the different ways to apply these colors to suit your specific eyes. 

Overall: I love that this palette comes with matte shades and shimmery ones as well. I think some shades could have been better in pigmentation but using an eyelid primer and your fingers to apply is certainly a quick fix. The colors themselves are pretty great to apply with the mattes doing better in that aspect then the shimmers. Although it comes at a steep price, the colors as well as all of the extras thrown in make it all worth it. You've got everything you need- shadows, a brush and a mini mascara as well as a very handy eye chart. 
Is there a neutral palette in your collection? If not, do you plan on purchasing this one?

Leave me a comment in the form below this post, I love hearing from you! 

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Gigi.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Greek Salad Recipe


I spend way too much time here talking about the weather. I go on and on about how I love the rays of sun peeking through my kitchen window and how little I appreciate a heavy downpour of snow. Friends have so much more to talk about then that boring stuff..am I right? So I will skip that for today and just say this: the last thing any of us want to be doing right now is standing over a hot stove, stirring food simmering in a pot. In an effort to stay cool we have just a few options at meal time: a) Find a male family member and tell them how great they are at grilling. ;) lucky for me, my husband just so happens to be insanely talented at the grill b) Buy a pie of pizza and call it a night. c) Throw together a filling salad. This one is perfection. It may take an exorbitant amount of slicing to get it done but no sweating in the sweltering heat will need to be endured. It's really good for you and the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store. Plus I made a video demonstrating how I personally prepare this salad and it went up as my weekly Youtube installment this week. Go and watch it here if you'd like, or read till the end of the post where I will insert as usual.


There are so many variation options as well. If you have an extra 10 minutes, breaded eggplant strips would be an excellent addition. Minus the feta cheese of course (for kashrut reasons) grilled chicken strips are just the thing. Brined olives or kalamata olives are usually ideal with greek salads, I personally prefer black olives though. Whatever you do, have fun with it and make it your own. 

Greek Salad:

Ingredients:

2 Large Cucumbers, Sliced into thin rounds
1 Medium Yellow Pepper
1/2 of a Medium Red Onion, Cut into Slivers
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, Sliced in half
1/2 Cup Black Olives, sliced in half
1/2  Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese (1 Container Haolam already crumbled)

Dressing:

1/2 Fresh Lemon, Juiced or 1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Fresh Chopped Garlic
1 Tsp. Fresh Chopped Cilantro
1 Tsp. Mint Spice

Method:

Toss the chopped veggies with the dressing ingredients and serve. 

  
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Cooking: My Top 10 Recipes (2014)

Is it mid July already? I am amazed by the ability summer has to literally swoop right past me while winter seems to just last forever. I'm loving every minute though, what about you guys?

A very important part of the whole summer experience is certainly food. Every year I compile a list of my favorite recipes for the season. This one is no exception. I had so many to choose from but I have narrowed it down to 10. These are all must trys, so start pinning, tweeting and obviously shopping. Your family and guest will love these. Wether you are entertaining or enjoying a romantic night in, I have got you covered!  

These are all my personal recipes that I have shared in the past. For more amazing summer recipes, go check out my pinterest food board where I consistently pin dishes that will have your stomach grumbling and your mouth watering in minutes! 




Cool off with these Watermelon Smoothies with a flavorful kick of pineapple! 





Sophisticated and bold in flavor, this dish is both impressive and palette pleasing! 


Bored of those typical burgers with ketchup, onions and pickles? This is an awesome way to change it up. 



Because what says campfire and summer family getaways better then s'mores! 



Stay hydrated with these super refreshing fruity spritzers. They are the perfect addition to a backyard picnik or bbq for sure!




A very filling appetizer choice for all your summer soi-ree's. 



Popsicles are just the thing in the hot weather. It will please the kids and adults alike! 



Get creative with your grilling this season. This flavor packed white fish will fall apart in your mouth.



Sweet Mangos give this salad great dimension. If you like guacamole and chips, you will love this one!



Grill the pieces of chicken instead of frying them and create a healthier warm weather meal which will have the whole family asking for seconds!

I hope you will try some of these fabulous recipes this summer! Do you have a recipe you'd call a summer must have? Leave it in the comments form along with any other opinions you may have, I would love to hear from you! 

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Gigi.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mac Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose Review



Mac describes this pen style highlighter as efficient in bringing a small wash of color to the skin and adding radiance in all the right places. 

When I walked into Mac looking for a concealer this is not the one I had in mind. I had actually been in search for the Pro Longwear version which I'd previously owned and I can say is award deserving for one of the best concealers of all time. To my dismay I'm not the only one who had that product in mind because on two consecutive trips, they were out of the shades I required. And that's how I happened across this one and decided it would be worthy of a try. I really do like it a lot but I will admit that it comes nowhere near to the pro longwear version in performance for me. 

Here are some more details:


Coverage: Light. As it's meant to be used as a highlighting product focusing on the under eye area especially, it doesn't have high coverage. It certainly doesn't have great spot coverage but it does eliminate some redness. Because I don't have severe under eye bags or discoloration it has an easy job. I do have one of these in my makeup artists kit as well and it has been extremely successful at concealing and counteracting discoloration and harsh under eye bags on many of my clients. 

Formulation: Pretty lightweight and slightly creamy but not thick at all. It blends easily and sets up well even without a layer of powder over top. 

Photographs Well? I would say so. I haven't noticed any crazy flashback on it. 



Skin Types it would suit: I think this would work well for almost anyone, although Mac face products do have a tendency to irritate sensitive skins. I'd recommend trying it for a day and seeing how it interacts with your skin type specifically. 

Color Variations: There are 4 different shades to choose from and they are light boost, bright forecast, peach lustre and this one is radiant rose. I haven't tried any of the other shades yet so I can't speak for them but it is nice that there is a decent selection to choose from. 

Lasting Power: 4-5 hours at max on my combination skin. The wear isn't fantastic in comparison to my favorite Maybelline Fit me Concealer and of course the Pro longwear one, but it's not terrible either for what it is. 


Packaging: I like the black encasing with white letters on all prep and prime products. The only problem is that this material seems to attract quite a mess and gets quite smudgy with product while sitting in my makeup bag. The actual applicator is not ideal sanitation wise, but I tend to dot it onto a q-tip or clean brush instead of going in with it straight onto the skin. The cover comes off easily to reveal the applicator but sits on tightly enough that the lid doesn't fall off or get lost in my makeup bag. The product itself clicks up into that little wand by turning the little knob at the other end. I've also noticed that it weighs nothing and you know how much I like a travel friendly product!

Price: $25.00 is quite a bit for a concealer pen. With my makeup artists discount I was able to bring that down a bit so it was entirely worth it. The product has lasted me nicely so far but that will probably be the standing point in that regard. 


Overall: I think this product is very nice with it's ultra highlighting properties. It brightens my under eye area and makes me look wide awake while also concealing any discoloration or unsightly bags. I also really enjoy the feel of it on my skin as it's not heavy and doesn't crease up at all. The lasting power is my only gripe as I hate having to touch up my makeup throughout the day. So all in all, not the best concealer I've ever owned but not the worst either. It falls right in the middle there. 


Is this concealer a part of your makeup collection?  What do you think of it if  it is. If not, do you plan on purchasing it?

This concealer is available on Mac's website in Mac stores and also on Nordstroms site. 

Leave me a comment in the form below this post, I love hearing from you! 

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Gigi.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nail of The Day: Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish Pretty in Peach


Fun nail polish designs overflow my feed lately! I think I have a creative streak but I was never that artistic. I've seen the american flags for independence day, faux leather looking nails and rhinestones gallore. I rarely do nail art myself though. Instead, I go for bright fun colors like this one. In fact you may remember me discussing a very similar shade from covergirl just last year. I have myself convinced that that one is much more coral and pink and this more on the peach/orange side. What do you think? Regardless, this is one of my new favorite nail polishes this summer. 


As it turns out, the formulation and brush vary amongst this range. I adored the brush on the shade "Green with Envy" but this one seems a bit thicker and harder to work with. It takes 2-3 coats to build this shade up too, so if you have time and patience which most people don't have when it comes to nails, then it'll be fine I guess. It also isn't super fast drying, most likely because of all those coats needed. The lasting power is pretty great though. I got about 4-5 days wear with this one and that makes it all worth it. 


How cute is the name "Pretty in Peach"? I think fun names are great when it comes to beauty products. These go for anywhere between $2-$3 online and at the local drugstore but they do come in smaller packaging then others. I do like that they are mini because it means I'll probably use it up before it goes bad. I rarely finish any nail polishes and then they end up sitting around while I move onto the next best thing. My favorite details about this polish would be: The price, the size, the actual shade and the lasting power 


Have you tried these Maybelline Color Show Nail polishes? If you have which is your favorite shade? If not would you like to?

Leave me a comment in the form below this post, I love hearing from you! 

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Gigi.
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