Thursday, September 28, 2017

CPNA Beauty: Ardell Beauty Pro Eyeshadow Palette and Two Lipsticks

Greetings, dear readers! It has been an intense week of solo parenting my little men, and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I'm managing to get this post up! I'm running on fumes at the moment while I went for the caffeine to kick in and I have to jump start my day. I'm going to keep the chit chat short and just jump in so I can hopefully get this blog post finished and up before the kids are up for the day. Ready? Let's do this!

I was already very well acquainted with Ardell Lashes prior to attending Cosmoprof North America this summer, but what I did not know until the show was that the line was rapidly expanding into Ardell Beauty and would include makeup items as well! My closest and most convenient Sally's rarely is stocked with the items I want, so I had not visited to see the new line going up. I got to see many of the new and upcoming items being offered by the brand while at the show; needless to say, my interest was piqued! Sally's Beauty currently has a buy 2 get 1 free promotion of Ardell Beauty products through the month, and I naturally had to buy a few items to try out and review for my blog. Today's blog post features the Pro Eyeshadow Matte Palette, a Matte Whipped liquid lipstick, and a Hydra Lipstick. Let's check them out!

Pro Eyeshadow Palette

The Pro Eyeshadow Palette consists of 15 eyeshadows with a matte finish. The final weight of the product is 0.53oz. You definitely get a good amount of product for only $14.99 at full price before adding any discounts! The eyeshadow pans are contained within a satin black finish cardboard-type package with magnetic closure. This palette does not include a mirror, and "So Mattely in love with you! XOXO Ardell" is embossed in red on the inside cover opposite the eyeshadows.

Before I get to the swatches, there is a key feature, or lack thereof, to note. On the Pro Eyeshadow Palette outer sleeve packaging and the on the palette itself, there are absolutely no names of the colours. However, if you visit the product link on the Ardell Beauty website, there is a list of potential names. These "names" are also single-word descriptors of colours as well, so while they not be the actual names of the shades, I'm going to include them in this post so you know what colours I have used. I have also defiled written on my palette the shade "names" with a metallic sharpie because that's just how I roll.

For all these swatches, I have added an asterisk above each shade as some of the colours really blend in with my skin tone.

Ivory - Smoke - Golden - Blush - Spice

Ivy - Taupe - Nude - Hazelnut - Cream

Rose - Beige - Fawn - Pearl - Latte

As a whole, I really liked the feel of these eyeshadows. In the pans, they felt very soft and buttery to the touch, and they swatched pretty nicely on my arm using my fingertip. That being said, the colour payout was much more limited when I used an eye brush, and I found myself having to go back into the pans numerous times to pick up more eyeshadow to build up colour. Even then, the fallout was pretty minimal and the colours blended easily enough on my eyes. I'll have a few of my looks using these eyeshadows up after a brief intro to the lipsticks next.

I wanted to try out more than one formula of the Ardell Beauty lipsticks, so I opted to pick up a Hydra bullet-type lipstick and a Matte Whipped liquid lipstick.

Matte Whipped Lipstick (Nude Photo)
Hydra Lipstick (New Positions)

Both these lipsticks were nicely pigmented, and I really enjoyed them immediately. The Matte Whipped lipstick dried quickly to a beautiful matte finish. It had good overall lasting power on my lips and after numerous trials, needed to be touched up about every five to six hours. While matte lipsticks are notorious for being drying, and I did notice this with this lipstick, I actually found Nude Photo to be very comfortable on my lips in general! The colour coverage was nice and even although, in true matte lipstick fashion, it did emphasize the lines in my lips.

The Matte Whipped lipsticks retail for $9.99 each before any addition discounts, and I definitely have my eye on a few other shades!

The Hydra lipstick, on the other hand, is your traditional bullet-type lipstick that needs to be applied much more often. This is far from a deal-breaker for me as I LOVED the ultra-soft application on my lips. New Positions is also a stunning soft red shade, not to mention a fun name *wink wink*. I adore this colour and plan to pick up other shades in the Hydra lipstick line in the future.

The Hydra lipsticks retail for $9.99 each as well.

Now let's get into a few of the looks I created using these products!

Pro Eyeshadow shades used:


I also paired these shadows with Ardell Lashes in my beloved Demi Wispies Black.

I used Matte Whipped Lipstick in Nude Photo for the look.

Pro Eyeshadow shades used:


I paired this more natural eye look with Ardell Lashes in another favorite style, Cluster Wispies 600

For this face of the day, I really wanted my lips to stand out! I used the gorgeous Hydra Lipstick in New Positions here.

Pro Eyeshadow shades used:


Even though I kept my other eye looks strictly matte, I could help but add a little highlighter (non-Ardell Beauty brands) on my browbone and inner corners of my eye. I also paired the eyeshadows with Ardell Lashes in 105 Black

While these are admittedly not my favorite matte eyeshadows I have used, I do like having a selection of matte eyeshadows contained in a single palette and at a great price point. Some of the shades required more building up than I would have preferred, but it is far easier to add up colour than have to deal with too much colour on my eye brushes. I will definitely continue to use this palette and consider it to be a fair palette for the price. Even though I shared a few matte-only eye looks on this post, I tend to like my matte looks with a hint of shimmer and will have to check out the Pro Eyeshadow Palette in the shimmer option at some point as well!

Both the Hydra and Matte Whipped lipsticks were nice, and they each have their own setbacks and redeeming qualities. I particular enjoy the formula of the Hydra lipsticks, but I know not everyone wants to have to touch up their lipstick every hour or two. The Matte Whipped liquid lipstick was only the slightest bit drying and felt very comfortable on my lips, but then you have the very obvious lip lines. I can't really say that one is better than the other as it really comes down to person preference as to what you like in a lipstick. I enjoyed both the shades I tested and hope to pick up more colours in the future.

If you are interested in these or other Ardell Beauty products, be sure to take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 deal from Sally Beauty Supply already underway! The promo ends at your local store's closing and online at 11:59pm EST on Saturday, September 30th. If you want to try these out, you'll have to jump on it before it is too late!

Have you tried any products from Ardell Beauty? If so, what were your favorites? Is there anything in particular you want to try? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I, A.M....Custom Color Cosmetics: Halloween 2017 Polish

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! I am so excited to be sharing the first Halloween polish this season on my blog today! Last year, I, A.M....Custom Color Cosmetics (IAMCCC) released "This is Halloween" as their Halloween shade; it was inspired by none other than The Nightmare Before Christmas. This movie is a particular favorite of the brand creator, Ashlie, and as a fan myself, I can always get behind a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed polish! Rather than creating a 2.0 version of the original polish, Ashlie decided instead to continue on with the lyrics of the song with a new shade. Today's blog post features Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, a glorious polish topper. Let's check it out!

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Over Kokie Cosmetics Under the Sea

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween is packed with holo glitters in silver and gold, bats, triangles, stars, large dots, neon green bats, iridescent glitters and matte black glitters in varying sizes and skulls in a shifting green to purple shimmery base. There is definitely a lot going on with this topper, and you never really know what interesting glitter shapes might come out as you are painting you nails! I used a single coat as a topper for these photos, and I did not have to dig for the couple bats that are on my nails.

Over Kokie Cosmetics Indulge

I naturally had to play with this polish over other base shades! While I still used one coat for the topper here, I did use a thicker coat, hence the more dense appearance on my ring finger in particular. If you wanted to, you could choose to wear this on its own without a base colour and reach opacity in two thicker or three thinner coats.

Over Sinful Colors Olympia

 While I did end up with one of the neon green bats in my first set of photos, the colour is really popping against the light green!

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween is such a fun glitter that is perfect to add some sparkle to your Halloween nail looks! I am happy to report that I did not have to dig for the glitters that are on my nails for these photos. While I would definitely see some larger holographic dots and triangles in the bottle, I did not have any on my brush. I couldn't see any of the skulls even when swirling around the brush in my bottles, and bats are the predominant unusual glitter shape. This was by no means a deal breaker for me, but if you want a lot of skulls in your polish, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween may not be the best choice for you.

As far as application, this polish applied easily using my usual dab and swish method that I prefer for glitter toppers. This method helps to break up and spread glitters evenly. While I did not find the polish to be too thick, it does become harder to work with as it dries if you play with it too long for application. If your goal is very precise placement of glitters, at least of the bats or other unusual shapes, you are probably better off removing the shape from the brush and using a nail tool or a toothpick for placement on the nails. The final finish is textured due to all the glitters so you will want to use a coat or two of top coat to smooth out your nails. I also would plan to use the foil method when it comes to removal to make it go faster for you. Even though they don't seem as popular as they once were, I still have a special love of glitter polishes and am happy to have this one in my collection!

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween will be launching on the I, A.M...Custom Color Cosmetics website this Friday, September 29th. It will be available in 0.35oz square bottles, and each bottle will retail for $6. It is being launched in limited quantities, so if you want to add this dazzling shade to your collection, you will want to pick up yours before it sells out!

Are you excited about Halloween, Halloween, Halloween? Would you were it as a glitter topper like I have, or would you choose to layer it on its own to opacity? What colour base do you prefer it over? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Lyn B Designs: October Polish of the Month and Throwback Shade

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed a fun filled weekend and your week is starting off on a positive note! As for me, it was a weekend of random errands as this is another week of solo parenting while my husband is out of town for a conference. I'm hoping that is won't affect my blogging too much, but if it seems quiet on this end, that is why! Now let's jump in on today's post!

I always look forward to the start of a new month and the newest offerings from Lyn B Designs! Jenna, the creative mastermind behind the brand, has a new shade to decorate your digits as well as the return of a favorite oldie for the month of October. Let's check them out!

Deep teal holo with shimmer that shifts from pink to blue to purple.

Whelmed is a new offering by Lyn B Designs, and this blackened teal with shimmer is perfect for autumn as the days get cooler and shorter. The formula is fantastic as well. I used two coats plus top coat for these photos. The colour is a little on the sheer side so you may need to use a third layer if you paint with very thin coats.

Retail: $10

Fire Swamp
Shimmery golden bronze base with orange, red, black and gold glitters.

If you're relatively new to the indie polish world, you may not be familiar with this month's throwback shade, Fire Swamp. It was originally released as part of the Princess Bride-inspired collection, the Dweam Wiffim A Dweam Collection, back in 2013. The polish screams fall, so I am delighted to see its return this month! The formula was easy to work with overall, although the first coat was a little uneven and patchy. The second and third coats evened my nails out nicely. I then added top coat for these photos. If you would prefer to use fewer coats, you can easily layer this over a similar base shade.

Retail: $10

Both the Polish of the Month, Whelmed, and throwback shade, Fire Swamp, will be available for purchase from the Lyn B Design website located here starting September 30th.

Do you look forward to seeing the newest shades being launched by Lyn B Designs each month? Do you have a favorite shade between these two? Is there another older Lyn B Designs polish you hope to see make a return as a throwback shade? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

CPNA Beauty: Kokie Cosmetics Fall Polish Picks

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Friday and first day of Fall! In a previous post, I shared Kokie Cosmetics, a brand that I was introduced to while attending Cosmoprof North America in July. In my first post, I had shared my top nail polish picks from Kokie for the summer, and as promised, I am now back to share my Fall picks! Below are the shades that really caught my attention while at the show, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Let's check them out!

Cosmic Dust
Two coats plus top coat

Out of all the shades from this post, Cosmic Dust is probably my favorite! The dark charcoal base is loaded up with green shimmers that are much more obvious than my camera would capture. As the days get shorter, I particularly love wearing dark hues on my nails; this one certainly hits the spot nicely! The formula of Cosmic Dust is a little thicker than the rest of the polishes in this post, and thicker than a lot of mainstream polishes in general for that matter, and I LOVE it!

Under the Sea
Two coats

Hello, gorgeous! I've been finding myself particularly drawn to creme finishes recently, and Under the Sea is a fantastic choice for the fall! Rather than being a true blue, it has a hint of teal with a kiss of dustiness that I simply adore. The formula is also fantastically smooth so it was easy to fall in love with this beauty!

Three coats plus top coat

I went back and forth on my decision to include Euphoria in this post, but in the end, it is far too pretty to leave out. In the bottle, Euphoria looks like a gorgeous multichrome-like polish that shits from a darkened gold to green to indigo, and if this is what attracts you to this particular polish, I'm afraid you will likely end up disappointed. While there is the obvious shifting as you rotate your bottle in your hands, you likely won't see these transitions on your nails. This type of colour shifting seems to require extreme angles to be seen, and finger nails just aren't curved that much. Changing the light source and angles of my hands from my eyes didn't change things. So why am I still including it? If you can get past the disappointment of colour shifts, Euphoria is an exquisite golden bronze hue that screams HELLO AUTUMN! The formula is also super smooth and easy to apply with a minimal streaky finish.

Three coats plus top coat

Indulge is a magnificent plummy shade although it has photographed a little more on the red side for me than it should have. It certainly is a very red leaning purple shade, but it is a little more purple than these photos will lead you to believe. Rich and creamy, it is another fantastic addition to your fall polish lineup!

Café Ole
Two coats plus top coat

If you aren't quite ready to make the leap from summery brights to fall vampy hues, Café Ole is the perfect solution! This neutral hue will keep you looking professional if you can't wear those darker shades at work, and even if you can wear whatever colours you want, it serves as a refreshing palette cleanser before you jump into your next shade. The formula is a little on the thinner side although it is still easy to work with. I ended up only using two coats for opacity for these photos, but you may find you need a third coat if you tend to paint with thinner coats.

There you have it, dear readers, my top five polish picks for the Fall from Kokie Cosmetics! I selected these particular polishes because not only are the colours on point for autumn, the formulas are really nice to work with and I love the assorted finishes. Now if only I can narrow this list down to what I should put on my toes this weekend.....

What do you think about my polish selections from Kokie Cosmetics for this autumn? Is there one in particular that is grabbing your attention? What types of colours and finishes do you like the wear during the fall? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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