Maybelline Spring 2017 Master Strobing Liquid

maybelline master strobing liquid swatches

Two of the three new Maybelline Master Strobing Liquids in Light/Iridescent and Deep/Gold

Maybelline’s new $10 liquid highlighter is some seriously hardcore disco frost! — and it isn’t for the faint of heart. No, these big bits of glitter are probably better suited for a crew heading to da club than a gang going to a playgroup.

I’d belong to the latter group, although if somebody started bumping Murder She Wrote at the playground — not gonna lie — I’d bust out the Butterfly, no shame (but I’d have to stretch first!). 🙂

Throwback to my clubbing days

I’m going to leave this product to the ladies who don’t have to deal with pores/fine lines/being over 40. If you’re interested, they’re $9.99 each and available in three super shimmery shades.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. How’s it going tonight? I’m over here trying to find something to watch on TV… Got any recs? 🙂

The post, “Maybelline Spring 2017 Master Strobing Liquid,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Just in Time for the Spring Festival, It’s the MAC Chinese New Year Collection

MAC Chinese New Year Collection

Happy Spring Festival with the MAC Chinese New Year collection!

Here’s something I learned today: Chinese New Year doesn’t fall on the same date every year. It varies! — because it’s tied to the lunar calendar…but it does always fall between January 21st and February 20th. (I think.)

Interesting, isn’t it? This year’s date is January 28th.

So happy early Gung Hei Fat Choy! 🙂

Here’s something else you may find interesting: the MAC Chinese New Year collection arrives today, and the packaging is gorgeous! (The boxes also feel velvety). Minor quibble, but I wish that MAC had done something with the design on the product themselves.

mac chinese new year collection

Eight of 10 MAC Chinese New Year products

Ooh! It’s the Year of the Rooster. Maybe they could have coupled it with that.

Remember Year of the Snake?? They did those incredible pans with the snake design?

mac chinese new year eye palette

Eye Shadow X 9 / Year of the Rooster swatches from top to bottom: Print, Copperplate, Idol Eyes, Shale, Girlie, Honey Lust, Mulch, Wedge and Sweet Lust

Lots of old faves here

Most of the items in the 10-piece collection are re-promotes, like Russian Red Lipstick ($17, a MAC classic!), Fleur Power Blush ($23 and SO PIGMENTED), Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner ($21, and not my fave; the tip feels too stiff).

The Eye Shadow Palette X 9/Year of the Rooster ($32) has some of my all-time favorites, including Wedge, Honey Lust, Shale and Mulch.

It doesn’t take anything away from how good they are, but if you’re a MAC die-hard fan, there’s a good chance you’ve seen these colors before. You may even have them in your collection already.

mac chinese new year blush

MAC Chinese New Year blushes: Fleur Power (top) and Dame (bottom)

mac chinese new year lipsticks

MAC Chinese New Year Lipsticks from the top: Peach Blossom, Dangerous and Russian Red

Peach Blossom Lipstick is bloomin’ brilliant!

My favorite piece in the release is the $17 Peach Blossom Cremesheen. I don’t know if it’s L.E. or permanent, but it’s dang cool… Actually, cool-toned. It’s a moisturizing, medium coverage, super silky, cool-toned peachy nude in MAC’s shiny, slippery Cremesheen formula, and — hallelujah! — the peach color is dark enough to see on my lips. If most nude lip colors wash you out, or you just feel like they look weird on your lips, give this one a try.

mac peach blossom

Wearing the MAC Chinese New Year collection on my eyes (Year of the Rooster Eye Shadow X 9), cheeks (Fleur Power Blush) and lips (Peach Blossom Lipstick)

The Year of the Rooster palette?

Eh, I wish everything here was exciting me as much as the boxes. There are some great colors here and old standby pieces that I really like, but most of them already live in the permanent line.

Also…yup, the palette shadows don’t appear to perform as well as MAC’s regular individual singles. At least I don’t think so. I’m wearing the New Year Wedge, Shale and Mulch in these pics, and I’ve worn those bad boys MANY times over the years, but I really had to pack these on. I even had to wet my brush to ramp up the intensity, which I don’t ever feel like I have to do when I use the regular full-size versions.

mac dangerous

MAC Dangerous Lipstick

mac russian red

MAC Russian Red Lipstick,; Fleur Powder Blush; and Wedge, Shale and Honeylust Eye Shadows

The final verdict

I love the idea of a Chinese New Year collection, and I think the boxes are beautiful, but with the exception of Peach Blossom Lipstick (which I LOVE), this release is a bit underwhelming for me. You can grab most of these pieces in the permanent line anyway.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Just in Time for the Spring Festival, It’s the MAC Chinese New Year Collection,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Follow Me (and My Dark Circles) As I Review the Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen #sponsored

nuvesse masks

I’m halfway through the one-month regimen right now

As a participant in the Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles One-Month Regimen Test, I received product samples and compensation for my time and effort. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are always my own. #sponsored

My parents have a picture of me from my college graduation day in their living room, and in that picture I look completely refreshed and awake.

And I don’t even know how! — because I’m not wearing any concealer in that picture, and my friend Eleanor and I were out all night long at a party the night before.

I think I got a total of 90 minutes of sleep before I had to get up, take a shower, get to the stadium and take pictures before the ceremony.

Ah, those were the days…

It’s not like that anymore, of course. Now, if I get anything less than 10 hours of sleep a night and don’t drink gallons of water throughout the day interspersed with green juices, fiber-full salads and lots of yoga, I have dark circles.

So it’s basically a 24/7 kind of thing.

In an effort to quell/stanch/erase/improve my dark circle sitch, I started a one-month dark circles regimen from a skin care company called Nuvesse. Right now I’m halfway through the one-month regimen, which involves applying a weekly mask and using a daily serum roller.

Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen

The $95 one-month regimen kit comes with four weekly masks and a twice-daily serum roller

What is Nuvesse?

“Nuvesse Skin Therapies, Inc. was founded in 2004 and developed a propriety wound-healing technology, HealSmart Personalized Woundcare System (HealSmart™). The company realized that the application of its newest active delivery technology, Cellulation™ Technology, to skin care had the potential to yield superior benefits and reach and launched its first skin therapy portfolio of products in mid-2014 into the aesthetic medical channel. After further refinement the company just launched its new consumer brand, Nuvesse.”

— Nuvesse

Video Review

Nuvesse has products for consumers for deep hydrating and brightening, eye-firming, anti-aging, eye puffiness and dark circles. They’re all available in serum-infused bio-cellulose masks and serum rollers, which you can use separately or together as part of a regimen, which is what I’m doing right now with the one-month Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen Kit.

The one-month Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen Kit comes with four weekly masks for $95 and this serum roller

nuvesse box back

Mask directions…

The one-month dark circles regimen is for reducing dark circles (obvs), puffiness and fine lines in the under-eye area, all of which are things I really want to happen (!). It comes with four weekly serum-infused masks and a twice-daily serum roller with Nuvesse Celluation™ Technology, which has been proven to deliver the ingredients deep into the skin to make the serums more effective.

Water, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Hesperidin, Retinyl Palmitate, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Caffeine, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Kjellmaniella Crassifolia Extract, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hydrolyzed Sesame Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia

nuvesse serum box

The twice-daily serum roller

nuvesse serum box

nuvesse serum box

Serum roller ingredients

How to Use the Masks

I know you’ve probably used a mask before, but there are instructions on the back of the box. I will say that it might help to watch a video first, because I couldn’t figure out which side to put under my eyes and how to angle them (even though the trays are marked “left” and “right”). It’s a little confusing.

I figured out that the wider side goes under your eye so that it covers as much of your dark circles as possible, and the narrower end with the tab (which looks like you’re supposed to pull on it) alongside your temple.

Also, remember to peel off the blue liners (on both sides).

I used the first mask set on the first day and the second mask set one week later, so I have two mask sets left in my one-month regimen.

The patented power of Cellulation Technology

“Each of our unique skin therapy serums uses patented Cellulation™ Technology which is clinically proven to deliver up to 26 times more vital ingredients deeper into the skin.

Nuvesse serums first act by super-hydrating the skin. This gently creates openings and pathways down through the skin to the deeper basal layers where issues begin and are most effectively treated.

At the same time, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin A and other beneficial ingredients are wrapped in a protective micelle structure that is positively charged. The natural structure of the basal layer has an opposing charge. These differing charges are actively drawn to each other–like a pair of magnets–bringing the beneficial nutrients much deeper into the epidermis than a more passive skin product might.

Having protected the ingredients through the top layers of the epidermis, the micelle structure breaks down and the ingredients are able to do their work. The effect is that the active ingredients are able to act at virtually the same concentration in the basal layer as when the serum was first applied.

By getting more of these key ingredients, deeper into the skin, your skin’s supportive structures–like collagen and elastin–are nourished and sustained for long-term improvement, where it matters most. After just one use, your skin will look and feel more nourished, will be visibly brighter, hydrated and appear more youthful.”

— Nuvesse

nuvesse mask in tray

The masks are marked “left” and “right”

nuvesse peeling mask from tray

Removing one of the eye masks from the tray

nuvesse peeling off blue layer

Don’t forget to peel off the blue liner

nuvesse masks

Adjusting the masks (you leave the outer blue liners in place for a few minutes to let the masks “set”)

Since I’m halfway through the regimen, I’ve used two of the four mask sets so far. I followed the directions and left them on for 20 minutes to let the serum do its thing, although you could leave it on for longer than that. I’ve heard that some people leave them on overnight.

The first thing I noticed about the first mask set was how good it felt — like a super thin, soft fabric soaked with serum — and it felt cooling, but not tingling or stinging or freezing cold like some masks. It’s like putting a cool, damp washcloth or slightly chilled cucumber slices on your eyes, but way less awkward and clunky.

They feel fantastic and make me want to put my feet up and take a cat nap, buuut I usually just check Instagram and catch up on whatever Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian fiasco is happening on that particular day instead. Of course, you can also do other things while you let the masks work, like, I dunno…take a leisurely walk around your neighborhood while waving and yelling “Hi!!!” Or, you could bake a loaf of zucchini chocolate-chip bread, because in either scenario, there’s no danger of the mask falling off, let me tell you that. They grab onto your skin and don’t let go, so don’t worry about them falling into your bread batter (side note: how gross would that be?).

  • Power-packed peptides together with Vitamin B3 help to strengthen skin
  • Caffeine and hesperidin visibly diminish the look of fine lines and puffiness
  • Hyaluronic acid significantly increases hydration, softening the look of crepey skin
  • Camellia seed oil brightens the look of dark circles for a more revitalized, youthful look
  • For optimal, long-term results, continued use of both serum-infused masks and serum rollers is recommended to give your skin the boost it needs to look rejuvenated and healthier.
nuvesse masks

After the first few minutes, during which time the masks are setting, you’re supposed to remove the top blue liner

nuvesse masks on

Patting the masks down

How to Use the Serum Roller

I use it in the morning and at night, right after I wash and dry my face, and I leave it on my face (so I don’t wash it off). It only takes a few seconds, and the serum feels very similar to the masks — cool and refreshing like tabby kisses or those cold cucumber slices.

The serum is clear, absorbs quickly and, after I pat it in, the skin under and around my eyes looks dewy and borderline shiny.

nuvesse rollerball

Applying the serum roller

Both the masks and serum, by the way, have the same scent, which is vaguely lemony… I can really only smell it if I take a super deep yoga breath (and I have a basset hound’s sense of smell).

Results & Conclusion: The Halfway Point

Honestly, I didn’t expect this kit to turn back time, so I wasn’t expecting to look like I did when I was 19 and could stay up all night long and still look refreshed the next day, but I do see an improvement after two weeks, particularly in terms of dark circle color.

nuvesse before first mask

The before shot!

My dark circles are usually a lovely shade of purplish blue, but now they’re a tad lighter, less blue and more of a lighter violet.

Nuvesse before and after 14 days

Before starting the regimen on the left, and after 14 days on the right

They’re not as dark and intense as usual. It’s not an incredibly dramatic difference, but I can see a change, which is very promising after two weeks, especially two weeks that included the holidays and all of the junk food I was eating.

nuvesse after first mask

Day 1, after the first mask set

nuvesse after 1st check in

Day 3, after using the serum roller a couple times

nuvesse after 2nd check in

Day 7, after the second mask set

I definitely see a slight difference in puffiness right after I use one of the mask sets or the serum roller, but my eyes aren’t super puffy to begin with unless I’ve been crying, which happens sometimes. I get emo once in a while! But after a normal night when I get an average amount of sleep, I’ll have a little bit of puffiness under my eyes the next morning, and the serum roller deflates the puffiness.

Skin Texture
In terms of my fine lines, I don’t really see big changes there. I still have them, which is no big surprise. My skin does feel softer, though, when I touch it, and when I look in my scary magnifying mirror (I have a love/hate relationship with mine), I think my skin looks a little smoother, even up close.


Day 14, after using the first two mask sets and the serum roller on the days in between

Other Nuvesse Products I’d Like to Try

Nuvesse also has some other products and less expensive $18 one-week trial kits. I want to try their Firming & Anti-Aging Regimen Kit, which has full-face masks, and I’m also curious about the Hydrating and Brightening one because I have dry skin and some age spots, which you can really see in the closeups in the video…which, by the way, was quite terrifying for me to do because the only creatures who ever get that close to my face are my kid, my cat and my husband.

Oh, and me when I’m looking into my frightening magnifying mirror… Again with the scary mirror!

Anywho, so far, so good. I still have two weeks and two mask sets to go. I hope my dark circles are utterly terrified! I’ll keep posting check-ins along the way.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Follow Me (and My Dark Circles) As I Review the Nuvesse Tired Eyes, Puffiness & Dark Circles Regimen #sponsored,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Maybelline Spring 2017: Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer

maybelline brightening creamy concealer swatches

From Fair to Deep, the new $7.99 Maybelline Dream Brightening Creamy Concealers

[whisper] I’ll admit it, when it comes to drugstore concealers, I’ve always been kind of a snob.[/whisper]

I blame it on my teenage years… I started out wearing mostly drugstore products (back in the ’90s), and I had SUCH a hard time finding face products, like foundations and concealers, that matched my skin tone.

It was a ROUGH time for tan girls back then, lemme tell you! Thank goodness we didn’t have selfies and Instagram back in the day, because I already have way too many Polaroid pictures of myself from that era with my face and under-eye area a completely different color than my neck.

Oh, and the drugstore formulas didn’t work as well as the stuff I’d find at the mall, so I’d be wearing concealer for like two seconds before it disappeared.

When it comes to drugstore face makeup, those were not the good ol’ days…

Fast forward to today, and Maybelline’s new $7.99 Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer, which coms in six shades designed for the under-eye area.

Compared to big department store brands like NARS, six shades doesn’t set the world on fire, but $7.99 is a steal. And six shades is more than the usual drugstore range of Light, Medium and Deep/Dark!

All of them have a slight opalescence and pink, peach or orange undertones to cancel out those dark circles. The shade I wear is 05 Medium/Deep, and it deftly deals with whatever purple situation I’ve got going on. It doesn’t look heavy or obvious, either. It instantly brightens and refreshes my under-eye area.

It does settle a bit in my fine lines, and I do have to touch up after about four hours, so it isn’t perfect…but it’s downright amazing for $7.99.

The NARS Soft Matte and Sephora Bright Future Gel Concealers are my Mr. Reliable’s right now. They cover EVERYTHING, last all day long and look completely natural, but if I mistakenly left my makeup bag at home and needed an emergency concealer, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up Maybelline Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer at the nearest drugstore or Ulta.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Maybelline Spring 2017: Dream Illuminating Brightening Creamy Concealer,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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January #mbbinstachallenge Look 1 (Week of Jan. 9-15): Minimalist Skin and Bright Pink Lips

mac candy yum yum


Happy hump day! OK, here’s my second look for week #1 of the #mbbinstachallenge using the same idea of a bold, colorful element on super clean skin. Lots of you are participating, and I love what you’re coming up with!

In the look I did on Monday, it felt super weird to see myself in bright eye makeup with absolutely no color on my cheeks, but it feels TEN TIMES weirder to wear bright lips today without color anywhere else on my face.

Maybe that’s because when I normally do wear a bold lip, I’m usually also glammed up?

I dunno…

But I do know that when I look at these pics, the lips REALLY STAND OUT. All I see are lips, lips, lips! 💋💋💋

instagram challenge pink lips original inspo

The pic I used for inspiration…

The model in the pic above looks like she’s wearing a bright pink lipstick outlined with a slightly darker liner. I wanted a similar vibe, so I went with MAC Candy Yum Yum and NARS Costa Smeralda Velvet Lip Liner, and I kept the liner purposefully un-blended to help it show up brighter in pics.

instagram challenge mac candy yum yum

MAC Candy Yum Yum Lipstick outlined with NARS Costa Smeralda Velvet Lip Liner

Also, it looks like this model isn’t wearing any foundation or concealer or mascara, or really anything at all, but your girl doesn’t roll like that, LOL! Oh, hell no. I had to put on a little something, so I used Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer, and then a little bit of Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum before setting everything with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.

I’m getting so many ideas from your looks so far!

I love how precise @jewelia13’s bright lip are


And the glossy finish on this purple eye by @cosmetopiadigest is GORGEOUS.


This hot pink hotness by @niteowlchef makes me smile. 🙂 (Seriously, I have got to wear hot pink shadow more often.)

And Efrain’s double-stacked liner here is making me long for summer parties!!!

Estoy haciendo el desafío de Karen de Makeup and Beauty Blog, esta semana se trataba de hacer un look con un elemento vibrante y la piel natural / I’m doing @karenmbb #mbbinstachallenge this week was a bold element on clean skin. I used for skin @lorealmakeup Pro matte foundation in 107 as spot concealer, for my under eye I mixed it with @maccosmetics Lustre drops in Sun rush, my foundation was @natura.mexico tinted moisturizer and my powder was @citycolorcosmetics HD powder. For eyes I started with a nude pencil from Oriflame and use a green eyeshadow as first liner and @sleekmakeup Lantern blush from the Pumpkin trio as second liner; for brows I used L’Oréal Brow artist in Medium dark. Last for lips I used Sierra bees Lip shimmer in Pink. It takes a village to look this natural #nofilter #guyswithmakeup #cateye #brightcolors #makeup #slay #guymakeup

A photo posted by Efraín Gómez (@efradiario) on Jan 10, 2017 at 5:29pm PST


I’m feeling inspired!

#mbbinstachallenge Week 1 One bold color. Digging out this #sugarpill yellow eyeshadow after a while. @karenmbb

A photo posted by Chris Daniela Thomas Díaz (@chrisdaniela) on Jan 10, 2017 at 6:56am PST






Keep those pictures coming! — and please use hashtag #mbbinstachallenge and tag @karenmbb so I can find and follow you. 🙂

Savory oatmeal — it’s a thing

After I made it and posted this video on Instagram last weekend, I was really surprised that more people hadn’t tried it before. It’s great pre-workout food because it has complex carbs and protein.

You just take regular oatmeal, but instead of adding sweet things to it, like honey, fruit, milk and sugar, you add savory things to it, like veggies, cheddar cheese, eggs and spices.

Please tell me you’ve had savory oatmeal before! It’s the best, especially when you don’t want toast or something frozen.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “January #mbbinstachallenge Look 1 (Week of Jan. 9-15): Minimalist Skin and Bright Pink Lips,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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The Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks for a Comfy, Pretty Pout

clinique crayloa chubby stick

Two of eight new Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks, $17 each and available now

What are the odds of Connor Claire getting into mommy’s makeup someday and thinking that these Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks are, in fact, drawing implements like actual crayons?

I place the odds at about 96.543%, give or take, LOL! Mark my words, I’ll be Instagramming some crazy-@ss wall art.

Seriously, though, how cute are these? They’re basically your standard-issue Clinique Chubby Sticks for Lips — same mega moisturizing, non-sticky formula and sheer color — but in super special Crayola clothing.

basically a lip balm that’s great for minimal makeup situations like working out),

clinique crayloa chubby stick swatches

Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks in Pink Sherbert (top) and Mango Tango (bottom)

The eight unflavored, unscented shades are $17 each (like the regular Clinique Chubby Sticks), which is, yeah, on the expensive side for a sheer balm, but I really like them. I can throw one on before going to HIIT class and not have to fret about color migrating beyond my lip lines when I rub my lips together, reducing the likelihood of me looking like a crazy person.

And I’ll take all the help I can get under that horrible overhead florescent gym lighting… I swear, if someone made a gym with really great lighting where you could look in the mirrors and not look like a serial killer, I would sign up for a lifetime membership.

Anywho…if you aren’t digging the whole Crayola packaging and just want a really good, inexpensive sheer balm, Neutrogena makes a great one for less than $10.

If, however, you DO love Crayola crayons as much as I do, the Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks are available now for a limited time.

Teach me your calming ways, oh wise one…

On the cover of the February issue of Real Simple: “A guide to creating a calm, organized, and happier life.”

Yes, please! Sign me up. 🙂

I haven’t read the article yet, but I’m gonna read it tonight before bed.

I mean, I’m pretty happy most of the time, but I could use a TON OF HELP in the calming and organizing departments.

If your life is currently calm and organized, please teach me your ways! I’m still doing lots of reminders on my phone (“Siri, remind me to take my vitamins every day at 7:30.” “Siri, remind me to reschedule jury duty tomorrow morning.”), and they help, but I need more!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “The Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks for a Comfy, Pretty Pout,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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This Simple Makeup Swap Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger

Let’s talk about liner today…

Let me start this by saying that I love black eyeliner.

I love 💖 it. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, buuut as I get older, I feel like when I wear a deep, dark, righteously rich black liner, it can make me look older.

It depends, though, on how much and where I apply it. Like, I do feel that black liner is ideal for certain types of makeup looks (like smoky rock-and-roll eyes), but it can look too harsh and stark for my liking in everyday natural looks.

That’s why I’ve been swapping out the black liner for something off-black or brown these days, like with a charcoal shade, a grayish black, a brownish black or something similar. You can get almost the exact same effect, whether you’re tightlining or emphasizing your lash lines or elongating your top lash line with liner to make your eyes look longer, but the overall effect is softer, subtler and more forgiving.

I kinda stumbled on this one day by accident. I ran out of my usual steez, Chanel 88 Noir Intense, so I grabbed a dark charcoal gray shade instead, Chanel 914 Feuilles (a Stylo Yeux Waterproof Liner), which has a little bit of shimmer.

When I saw myself wearing it in pics, I loved it! I think it looks softer isn’t aging.

Of course, in makeup land, there are no hard and fast rules. I still use black liner sometimes, like in smoky looks, or just when I’m feeling rock ‘n’ roll, but I’ve been using an off-black liner more and more often.

Give it a try one of these days if you feel so inclined. 🙂

Oh, and here are a couple of wonderful brown liners that also work well for this: MAC Teddy and MAC Costa Riche.

A workout texting buddy

So, it’s a new year, and I wanna get in shape, yadda yadda yadda. I’m trying very hard to stay with — what I’m not calling resolutions! I’m calling them my short-term health and fitness goals. 🙂 And I’m trying to stick with them through at least March 1.

One thing that really helps is having a workout buddy, even if that workout buddy is someone who doesn’t work out with you…like if they’re just someone you text.

My friend Naaman and I both want to get in shape, so after we work out, or if we have plans to work out, we text each other quick encouraging notes. Like, today I texted him a picture I took at the gym, and he told me that he was going to do 50 push-ups.

It’s fun and also makes me feel more accountable to tell someone that I’m supposed to do those sit-ups or track my food or whatever. I don’t know why, but it weirdly increases the chances of me actually doing it.

Accountability through the power of texts. Go figure.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “This Simple Makeup Swap Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Maybelline Spring 2017 Baby Lips Color Balm Crayons

Baby lips, as in the lips of wee babes, are FASCINATING. They’re so smooth and perfectly pigmented, and completely lacking vertical lip lines. I can’t believe that I had baby lips once upon a time…

Well, other than these new ones from Maybelline. 🙂 They’re called the Baby Lips Color Balm Crayons, and they’re $6.99 each and new for spring in eight shades.


Octyldodecanol, Diisostearyl Malate, Petrolatum, Polybutene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polyethylene, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Alumina, Silica Silylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Aroma/Flavor, Limonene and Silica

Are they moisturizing?

These are fairly moisturizing oil-based balms, but I wouldn’t whip one out if my lips were severely chapped. They would get the job done most of the time, but I don’t think they’re as hydrating as hardcore balms like Hourglass Lip Oil or Nuxe Reve de Miel.

maybelline baby lips color balm crayon swatches

Five of the eight shades Maybelline Color Balm Crayons, from the top: 05 Toasted Taupe, 10 Blush Burst, 20 Creamy Coral, 25 Refreshing Red and 40 Playful Purple

How ’bout pigment?

That said, they are packed with pigment! It’s what really sets them apart. Unlike lip balms that you need to swipe back and forth, back and forth, over and over again to build up the color, these are single swipers, man. That’s all it takes for complete coverage, but the thing is…the consistency of the coverage varies among the colors.

Lip lines, yo

The red and purple shades? OMG, they’re super smooth, creamy and they don’t settle into my lip lines. They remind me of sheer lipsticks from Dior or YSL.

But some of the other shades, like the coral (which is the exact shade of Connor’s lips!), the light nude and the medium pink? Nuh-uh. No. They seek out my vertical lip lines, and it looks extra creepy when I smile, because then you can really see the color caked up in the lines.

For times when I’m rocking a b*tchy resting face, they look OK…but I gotta smile, yo! I gotta emote! 🙂

maybelline baby lips refreshing red

Maybelline Color Balm Crayon in 25 Refreshing Red

A hard-to-describe flavor and scent

It’s kinda funky…like someone dumped a bunch of buttercream icing into a bowl of fruit punch. IT’S SO SWEET! Sometimes I don’t mind it, but sometimes I do. Just depends on the day.

As for wear time, I do have to reapply them throughout the day, and they don’t last through a meal.

The verdict?

With these, it ultimately depends on the color, because the coverage really varies. Personally, I think the purple and red shades are outstanding and well worth your time.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “Maybelline Spring 2017 Baby Lips Color Balm Crayons,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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MAC Lip Scrubtious Sugar-Based Exfoliator

mac lip scrubtious top

The new MAC Lip Scrubtious lip exfoliators, which are $16 each and available meow in five flavors

I’ve eaten — yes, eaten — way too much of these bad-@ss buffing sugar-based MAC Lip Scrubtious lip exfoliators over the past few days because…dang, they taste so good!

The first one I tasted/used was Fruits of Passion (great name, yah?). I rubbed it against my lips and thought, “Great, my flakes are being de-flaked.” Then, I got a good taste of it and completely forgot that my lips felt super soft and moisturized. I end up eating most of what I put on my lips. Luckily, I think that’s OK for them and by design.

Hint of tint

Because these are sugar-based, you do end up eating some of the sugar (in my case, most of the sugar), but some of it does dissolve. Or, you can rinse it off with water or remove it with a tissue.

Personally, I suggest using a tissue if you want to see a hint of a tint with the brighter ones.

mac lip scrubtious

Clockwise from the lower left, that’s MAC Sweet Vanilla, Candied Nectar, Summer Berry, Fruit of Passion and Sweet Brown Sugar

After you scrub and exfoliate with them, they leave behind an essence of oil for moisture and the faintest hint of a tint that looks like you’re wearing a bit of lip balm, and they feel nice and comfy. They aren’t sticky, and they’re just about as thick as a MAC Cremesheen.


Sucrose, petrolatum, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, butrospermum parkii (shea) butter, water/aqua/eau, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, adansonia digitata (baobab) seed oil, oryza stava (rice) bran extract, romarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, healanthus annuus (sunflower) extract, tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate, ethylene/propylene/styrene copolymer, butylene/ethylene/styrene copolymer, flavor (aroma), phenoxyethanol, caramel, red 33 (CI 17200), yellow 6 (CI 15985)

Five flavors

These are in the MAC permanent line now for $16, and they come in five different scents and flavors.

One of the things for me with lip products, and especially lip scrubs, is that I have to like the way they taste and smell; otherwise, it doesn’t matter how good they look. I’m not even going to bother. These have a very light scent that won’t assault you from a mile away, and I think they taste great. They get the sweet balance just right, so none of that artificially nasty-sweet nonsense.

mac lip scrubtious summer berry

Yum, yum! MAC Lip Scrubtious in Summer Berry

My favorite one is Sweet Brown Sugar because it tastes like dulce de leche, but I also like the fruitier ones like Candied Nectar and Fruits of Passion, both of which taste like Life Savers to me. Summery Berry tastes like mixed berry Jello, and Sweet Vanilla, which is my least favorite one (although I think it still tastes pretty good), tastes like sugar cookies.

Do you really need a tasty lip scrub?

You could make a lip scrub at home using olive oil, granulated sugar and something else for flavor, but these are also slightly pigmented, and they’re MAC. They’re probably ideally for the MAC girl or guy who has everything but still wants more, kind of like having a car with a butt warmer in the seat.

Like, technically…you don’t need one, but man, they’re nice to have. 🙂

Oh! — the jars also qualify for Back to MAC, so when you finish a jar, and I can easily see myself gnoshing through a jar in two months, you can save and redeem them for a free lipstick.

Salon Sunday

I got my bangs trimmed and my hair colored at the salon yesterday, which was wonderful because it gave me an excuse to sit in a chair for a couple hours, read trashy magazines and talk to my friend Alis.

I didn’t do anything crazy…just the standard-issue dark chocolatey brown I’ve been rocking for the past year.

Although, if I had an unlimited hair budget and all the time in the world to devote to hair upkeep, I would totally do an ombre hair look where the roots are super dark, and the mid-shaft and ends go into a light, pale cotton candy pink.

That idea has been moving me for months, but I don’t have the guts to really go there. I mean, there’d be high maintenance, and it’s so damaging to bleach dark hair, and then dye it pink. I’m not ready for that kind of commitment now, ya know? It would be pretty drastic.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “MAC Lip Scrubtious Sugar-Based Exfoliator,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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January #mbbinstachallenge Look 1 (Week of Jan. 9-15): My Take on Matte Bright Blue Liner With Super Clean Skin and Nude, Glossy Lips

mac blue peep fluidline

The first look is something with a bold, colorful element on super clean skin #mbbinstachallenge

Kinda springy, yeah?

Here was my original inspiration for this week’s #mbbinstachallenge look, and you don’t have to copy this. You can do anything you want based on the idea of a bold, colorful element on super clean skin.

instagram challenge blue liner original inspiration

Matte bright blue

I used an old MAC fave called Blue Peep Fluidline for the eye makeup (it’s perm!), but I did a slightly more exaggerated blue wing.

In the inspiration pic I used, it looks like the artist concentrated mascara in the middle of the models’ upper lash lines, so I added a couple extra coats in that area on my lashes, too.

The models look like they’re wearing a bronzed nude-ish pink gloss, so I grabbed another old-school MAC fave of mine, Viva Glam V Lipglass.

mac blue peep fluidline

The eye makeup is MAC Fluidline in Blue Peep and the lips are MAC Viva Glam V Lipglass

It feels a little weird to wear absolutely no color on my cheeks, since I’m always wearing a little something, like at least a touch of blush, highlighter or bronzer, but I definitely like how the absence of color everywhere else on my face makes the eye makeup pop.

Someone on Instagram asked if they could just post an eye shot or a lip shot for the challenge, and yes, of course! — that’s totally fine! You can do as few or as many looks as you want, but please don’t forget to use #mbbinstachallenge and tag me on Instagram @karenmbb so I can find you and see your looks.

Ooh! Here’s the gorgeous look Jaclyn @strongfemininity did…

Repost of @strongfemininity’s #mbbinstachallenge pic. OK, now I need to try purple brows! 💜 ・・・ 🚨Warning: makeup talk. 😆 I’m doing the #mbbinstachallenge with Karen from the Makeup and Beauty blog!!! This week the challenge is to do a makeup look with 1 bright color element + clean skin (I guess that means no blush?). I cheated and did 2 colors because otherwise I think neutral lips look really weird on me. 😁 This challenge was the perfect excuse to try colorful eyebrows. I used a dark purple eyeshadow powder from #Maybelline then topped it with some purple #Avon lipstick I have. Then, since I can’t let a good thing go, I used the purple lipstick as eyeliner for a long wing. I also have hot pink Avon lip stain on my lips because I’m the boss of me. Foundation is #Fitme by Mabelline and #neutrogena mineral powder. Filter is #clarendon. 😉 Then I posed in my curtains because that’s not weird, you’re weird. The end. Back to our normally scheduled lifting program. 👋

A photo posted by Karen | Makeup and Beauty Blog (@karenmbb) on Jan 9, 2017 at 1:43pm PST


And Lily @itsmrsspurgeon looks amazing with her makeup and hair!


To participate

  1. Any day during each week, do your own interpreation of that week’s look, and take a picture of it with your phone or other camera.
  2. Post the pic on Instagram! — and be sure to include #mbbinstamakeupchallenge, and you can also tag me at @karenmbb. That way we can search and find each other!
  3. And if you aren’t on Instagram, leave a comment on this post and a link to your makeup picture.

DISCLAIMER: this is not a judgy, serious, instense or stressful competition. This is strictly for fun and to get out of our makeup comfort zones a little, which is why I threw a couple of wackier looks into the mix. For me, it’s easy to always fall back on the same looks ALL THE TIME, so this is just an excuse to have fun and try new things.

Don’t be afraid to completely fail. No matter what (seriously), at least you’ll be able to say that you did something different and expressed yourself creatively. No big deal. Plus, it’s just makeup. It’s not a permanent commitment or anything. 🙂

Reeeeeeeeally excited about roasted vegetables

In other news, guess who’s on a roasted vegetables kick.

Everything tastes better when you roast it, man! Some veggies, like carrots and cauliflower, get sweeter, and you get that nice burnt crunch at the edges… YUM! I’d much rather spend time preparing vegetables and roasting them instead of steaming them, which is so BLUH and boring to me. For some reason, steamed vegetables depress me…

I prepped a bunch of roasted vegetables last weekend to eat throughout the week — green beans, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips — and I CAN’T WAIT TO EAT THEM ALL!

I’m really looking forward to it.

Do you have any good veggie recipes (roasted or otherwise)? Inquiring minds want to know.

OK, I can’t be the only person who gets this excited about roasting vegetables… 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The post, “January #mbbinstachallenge Look 1 (Week of Jan. 9-15): My Take on Matte Bright Blue Liner With Super Clean Skin and Nude, Glossy Lips,” first appeared on Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup.

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Alt Source: Startifacts Nose Hair Trimmer

from Startifacts Your Personal Grooming