Thursday, April 17, 2014

Portland Black Lipstick Co : Lipstick Sample Swatches and Review

Hey there kiddos!
You guys know how I love lipstick, right? I discover a new pretty color, or a new brand that has lots of rave reviews, and I start plotting on how to get them and try them out. Well I found out about Portland Black Lipstick Company a while back while on the search for a pretty lavender colored lipstick. They not only have one, but several other really unique shades. And obviously, a black one. The nice thing about PBLC is that they have a sample section so that you can get hooked try the colors before you buy a full sized tube. I purchased seven samples to try and show you. I didn't get black though. Next time?

The colors are definitely packed with pigment, which makes them nice and opaque. They applied creamy and smooth when I swatched them on my hand. I used a lip brush to apply, any other method of getting it out of the bags nicely would have failed miserably. Check out my swatches, and I will tell you the good and the bad of this review.

Swatched on the hand.
Indigo Bridge, Bad Penny, Undead Red, Chaiborg

Lux et Voluptas, Pewter Cauldren, The Purple Cloud

And now on the lips!
Swatched with no liners underneath, just the lipstick :)

Lux et Voluptas
Lux et Voluptas : a two-toned lipstick. It has a top layer of metallic gold backed by a charming carmine-based pink. It is a sheer lipstick that works off your own lip pigmentation. Easily the least intimidating lip shade that PBLC offers besides clear. Also, it's just pretty!

The Purple Cloud
 The Purple Cloud :  this color is perfect for the end of the world and other special occasions . This is a light lavender and very opaque.

Pewter Cauldron
 Pewter Cauldron : The color of Duct-tape, with bluish undertones. Spot on! And shimmery like Duct-tape too :)

Bad Penny
 Bad Penny : Strong copper color that combines metallic shine with good coverage. I loved the shade, and the foiled look it gave my lips.

Indigo Bridge
 Indigo Bridge : A dark, metallic blue that verges on black. Yup.

 Chaiborg : This futuristic lipstick is a cross between the metallic silver gray of industrial robotics and the warm light brown of milk tea. Neither too warm nor too cold. This is quirky and oddly flattering!

Undead Red
Undead Red : A dark, dark red that wants to be called ‘plum’ or something. This one started off this lovely red, but then changed within an hour to a deep plum. Odd. I wish it had stayed this color, because it is gorgeous!

The great stuff.
All of the lipsticks have a fantastic texture, creamy and smooth.  They are lightly moisturizing and very comfortable to wear. I loved the shade range, and definitely found some that I love in what I picked.  Chaiborg and The Purple Cloud are some of the prettiest shades I have tried on. The wear time was average for such a creamy lipstick, I found myself retouching every 2-3 hours to refresh the color.

Now the not so great stuff.

I found that my Purple Clouds and Pewter Cauldron had unblended pigments in them. Here are my shots of them.
The Purple Cloud sample in the bag. See the white chunks??? 
I smooshed (a technical term) the product around to make sure of what I was seeing, and you can see how the white started to 'streak' as it was mushed.

Pewter Cauldron sample bag. Lots of little while pigment bits in there.
The pigment's were a lot more obvious when I swatched them on my lips, it gave me some streaks and I had to blend them together. But this bothered me a lot. One, because the full sized products are on the pricey end of the spectrum, and two, it's unprofessional for a business how has been around for a while to not have some sort of quality control. I mean, lipstick is in the name of the company! I had no encounters with this issue with the other lipsticks, just the creamy ones. The metallic finishes all seem to be fine.

Now the part about the shipping.
I placed my order with PBLC on March 21st for my handful of samples. I waited 3 weeks with no communication from them, no shipping notice, no tracking. Now the stated TAT at the time was 3-5 business days. I waited (im)patiently on my end for several weeks, and on April 8th I hopped on to the PBLC Facebook page to see if maybe I caught them in a sale onslaught, or if something had been going on lately, but saw nothing. So I posted to the page politely asking them what the TAT was, and within hours I had an email in my inbox about my order. In the email, Kim stated that my order should have shipped within the TAT, but that a holiday rush had them behind? Hmm. What holiday? LOL! Like I said, I checked the Facebook page and front page of the website several times over looking for notice of slow TAT, or recent sales, but I saw nothing like that.I honestly think that my order just got forgotten about, and that if I had not said anything I would not have gotten my order. But that's just my opinion. Kim did offer to upgrade my order's shipping to Priority if I needed it sooner, but I didn't ask for that since it was just for review purposes.  I was also not informed of it's being shipped, I had to read the label when it arrived. My order was shipped on April 10th and showed up April 12th.

If you take a peek at comments on the page, there seems to be a lot of loose ends with the company itself, between orders taking a bit longer, or items not being listed on the site. I think that it could use some tightening up, maybe keeping customers informed on TAT changes if there are some, quality control over finished products, and emailing customers the tracking when packages ship. If these things were in place, this company would be solid!
I liked a great deal of what I saw in the products though, I just had a fair share of downs rather than ups.  They are $12 for .15oz in a round lip balm-style container. If things improve, I might go back for a few, but for the time being this whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Here are the links to check out for Portland Black Lipstick Co.
The Facebook page Etsy  or Website

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

All items purchased by me, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MAC By Request : Pink Poodle Lipstick Swatches, Review, and Dupe

Hello everyone! Has there ever been a lipstick that you used to love and adore that went away and you wanted it back? Or maybe someone helped you discover a past beauty that you will never be able to get your paws on? Well, MAC did a poll with some of the past beauties of the 90's, and one that I was interested in made it's way to the top, which was Pink Poodle! I really, really wanted Tomango lipstick... but alas, no such luck. That's okay, we have some gorgeous reds this year coming our way, and I -will- be getting those!

This is the Pink Poodle Lipstick, which is a hot, hot pink with a shifty violet duochrome, giving it a fushia tone. It is a glaze finish, so it is sheer and lets some of your natural lip color peek through. Since it is a sheer lipstick, it is less fussy and can give a high end and artfully undone look - which paired with a messy hair and a simple cat eye.... hello sexy. I'm not for layering a glaze finish over lip liners, because I'm lazy and they look awesome as is. It wore for an average of 4-5 hours without needing a refresh.

The closest lipstick in my collection that shared similar qualities to Pink Poodle is NYX's Chloe. Chloe is a full coverage lipstick, with almost the same color scheme. Chloe may be a smidge more pink, but the only real differences here will be in finish and opacity. Chloe is described as a long lasting velvet texture with high shine.  If you sheered out Chloe or wore it layered over a balm lightly, you would have Pink Poodle.              

What do you think? I'm pretty glad that I didn't get more than one of Pink Poodle, much as I like it!

Pink Poodle is limited edition and can be found at MAC counter/stores and website for $16.00. Chloe is a permanent lipstick and can be found at Ulta stores and website.

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

Item purchased by me, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wet n Wild : The Naked Truth Palette

This is a new palette to the permanent line, featuring 5 neutral shades of brown. They are buttery and smooth, except for the browbone shade. That light one has some glittery grit to it, but it doesn't really bother me too much.

Swatches are on bare skin. I like to test my products out this way, because it gives a neutral ground for judgement to me. They do perform better over primer, but for without it they do damn good!

Browbone : Very light, sheer, and mostly just left some sparkles on my skin. Lease favorite.
Base : A creamy ivory shade, leaning yellow. Smooth to apply, almost my skin tone. Great for blending harsh lines out. Matte.
Eyelid: My favorite of the bunch, a cool toned taupe that is buttery and smooth. Satin finish.
Crease: A very warm brown, has some tiny glitter in it.
Define : A warm chocolate brown, also smooth in texture. Satin finish.

Overall, the shades rock my socks. It may seem boring but I will be able to use 4 out of 5 of these a ton. And for such silky smooth eye shadows, you need to check these out.  If you are a fan of neutrals in general, or even if you want this for just the one shade, it is totally worth it. They make great transition colors, blending colors, and also are awesome as stand alone colors for a quick look. I would have liked a different color to have glitter in it rather than Crease ( because glitter in the crease isn't my thing. Eyelid, hell yes ) but I won't nit pick too much. I want to get the purple and grey tones next, hopefully I can score them with those $1 off coupons on them. Someone stole the one stuck to this palette :(

I purchased mine at Walgreens for under $3 bucks.

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

Item purchased by me, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

butter LONDON : Keen ( and dots for good measure)

Press Sample

Hello everyone! This is just a real quick post of me popping in so I can prove I am alive still. This is obviously polka dots, which I absolutely am addicted to. When in doubt, I go right to my dotting tools and slap some dots over a nail color that needs a little oomph.

This is butter LONDON's Keen with white dots over it, I used Sinful Color's Snow Me White. Keen is a slightly dusty pale peach shade. I found Keen to apply beautifully, smooth and opaque, and just plain pretty. Peach puts me in a mindset of 50's housewives for some reason, but whatever the case, it's gorgeous and I am feeling it.

I love me some dots. They are classy and fun :)

(And I just noticed that apparently I thought the bottle of polish needed dots too, haha! Dots everywhere!)

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

Product was sent for review, all opinions are my own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wet n Wild : MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Nudist Colony & A Stiff Pink

Hello everyone! This last month or so, Wet n Wild has had a rather big release of newer products, both limited edition and permanent. And I went on a mad dash about town to several different Wags and CVS stores trying to get my paws on most of what I wanted. Some of the items had bonus coupons attached to them, like my balm stains, and they were located on displays that had a 2 for $4 sign on them... so when I got these stains, I got them for a dollar apiece after coupon! 

That was, of course, after I had to argue with the cashier about the display... he didn't believe me, told me I was more or less lying,  and I had to show a manager the actual display that had the printed price on it. Not fun. The cashier was down right rude, and since I work in the retail industry, I know first hand how you should treat the customer in these situations, and I did not get treated right. But I kept my cool, thanked him and the manager with a big smile, and went on my way. Who knows, maybe something I didn't know about had him in a bad mood, and I just happened to catch some of it my way.

The product itself is very soft, has a thin balmy texture, and is extremely comfortable to wear.They stay glossy and smooth on the lips for a hour or two max, as long as you don't eat, drink, or touch your lips. They aren't made to withstand abuse, really. The neutral did not really do much in the staining department, not that I expected it to though for such a light shade. The pink did leave a light pinkness behind though, nothing crazy but it was there.

The packaging is nice enough. It is a plastic tube that you can twist the product up and down as needed, with a crummy cap on the end that doesn't always want to stay on it. Both of mine had the lids come off while in my bag, and I ended up with smushed up lip products. Now that I effectively removed a big chunk of product from the end though, I can crank it back down into the tube safely. Make sure you click those caps into place people!

Nudist Colony
Nudist Colony is a peachy beige balm, has a buildable color pay off, but no staining power what so ever. It is a really nice nude shade that I can grab and wear with any smoky look, and I know it will look good.

A Stiff Pink
A Stiff Pink is a bubblegum pink shade with a touch of blueness, great color pay off, and leaves a pink blush behind when removed. Can we talk about the name though? I really, really do not like it. I get what they were trying to do ( A stiff drink, har har) but me living with my mind in the gutter, I thought of something else, and now cannot un-think it.

I think these are nice, and a great deal for the price point! I might pick up a few more of the lighter shades, they are just a tad too mobile for me to be comfortable picking up anything dark. I found several of these at my local Walgreens for $2.99 a piece, and I bet we see them at the other stores fairly quickly.

Have you tried these yet? Did you find them comparable to any of your favorite products? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

Items purchased by me, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Get to Know Me: The Beauty Blogger Tag!

Hey everyone!

So today I have had the itch to do something other than reviews, since that is mainly what I do on my blog. I love doing them, but I wanted to do something more... me. Or rather, about me. I plan on doing a couple of these and them linking them all together, mainly because when I asked around, I saw that there were several really fun looking ones out there... and it wouldn't be fair to choose just one, right? So for your reading pleasure, more about myself! Well, beauty wise anyways :D

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
My hair is naturally wavy and thick, so if I sleep with it wet or let it air dry, I get lots of body and volume. And it makes some haircuts look just awful. But I like when it acts right!

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I dye it myself! I am cheap when it comes to lots of things, and hair color is one of them. I know, I know, hair color probably shouldn't be something I cheap out on... but I think I have had lots of success with this color I have now (Paint The Town by Herbal Essence) and my process didn't seem much different from when I see when I go with my friends to the stylists.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
I'm extremely low maintenance, so loose waves, pony tails, braids, or up-dos with a big clip are my thang. I use detanglers or oil sprays for controlling frizz, but heat tools? Nah.

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I've never had my nails done at a salon, mostly because it feels like a waste of money. Especially now since I have -SO- many colors to choose from at home, and my skills have gotten better (at least I think so!) Though I am sure the pampering part of it is totally worth it!

5. How often do you change your nail polish?
As soon as it starts chipping, I am ready for a change. Sometimes the color will start to bore me and I take it off, so within a week usually.

6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
I usually have them polished year round. I will change the colors more often in the warmer months, and be lazy during the colder ones.

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
10-30 minutes depending on the look. To me, putting on makeup is a relaxing ritual and I like to make sure I am happy with it before I call it done. More colors, I take longer perfecting it.

8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
Eyes, I always have! Except moisturizer, I do that very first, but then go right into eye primer and shadows.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I collect! I love to collect new things, but I also try to be *slightly* realistic and only buy what I know I will use. Sure, it is tempting to have blue or yellow lipstick... but I wouldn't use it enough to have it.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Not often enough (as in never) , I need to get in some practice!

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?
Pretty much, I will wear a lighter foundation and eye look for "work days" and then make it more vampy for my fun days.

12. Do you wear makeup when you're home alone or with family?
Sometimes, but I try to give my skin a break and use skin loving stuff on no makeup days.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
Yes, but if I know I will be out long I will make sure I am somewhat pulled together looking with my brows and foundation done.

14. How many high-end products do you have?
I like to splurge if I know I will use it a lot, such as MAC studio finish, or my much loved Hourglass Dim Infusion blush. I also buy High End palettes often, so I have quite a few of those. And lipsticks. I can't help it!

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you're getting dressed?
I decide as I am getting ready, I live dangerously.

16. How often do you change your handbag?
Not often, I will love a bag to death. Literally! I won't change them out until it is breaking or torn... I'm pretty tough on bags.

17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
I wake up between 9 and 10 normally, and I stay up until 1-3am. Now, weekends I have to be up earlier because my days are jam packed with things to do, but normal days? Pretty late.

18. How often or when do you workout?
I've been trying for M-Th mornings, but the last two weeks have been awful.

19. Left handed or right handed?

20. How tall are you?

21. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I did take 4 years of French in High School, but it would be incredibly rusty if I tried now.

22. How many pets do you have?
Two dogs and my ferret! I have my German Shorthair Pointer (Sookie) German Shepherd Dog Mix (Samus) and Popcorn the bitey ferret. Though, ferret and bitey do go hand in hand. Samus is my demo dog that goes to work with me sometimes, to show off a bit.

23. How often are you on Blogger?
I want to try for 2-3 days a week posting, but I check in daily!

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
Sometimes I scan them if I have a question, just to see if it has been answered already. I always read  comments on my blog

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
I usually get obsessed with certain objects, and then I can't stop until I obtain it. Or I will go to a site, like Sephora, and pop it into my basket so I don't forget.

26. How did you come up with your blog name?
It took me a while, and I truly identify myself as a blonde. Even if my hair doesn't match, I still have my blonde moments.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
Canon Rebel T3

28. How often do you clean your house?
Once a week I will attack it, but I try to keep laundry and trash going daily/every other day.

29. What's your favorite color?

30. Do you swear?
Oh yeah, but not as much as my husband.

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
Oh who knows. I already gave one dog a bath since she decided to take a dip in the lake, washed laundry, and picked up a bit. I think I will do a little research for my training classes, take a shower, facebook, and go to bed.

I hope you found some of these questions entertaining and informative. I think these are a lot of fun and help you get to know the person (me!) behind them a little bit better. I tag Ellie of Personellietea, Kendra of Shards of Illusion, and Stephanie of BeautyInfinitum  - And anyone else who would love to do this tag! Please leave a reply with the link to yours so I can read it, I love these things :)

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

Black Violet : Body Butter in Sugar Clouds

Ultra rich body butter with shea and cocoa butter. A bit of decadence goes a long way! - Black Violet Website

My latest order from Black Violet was a few weeks ago when the Valentines fragrances came out, and I saw so many fans raving about the Sugar Clouds fragrance... so of course I had to investigate. The notes of Sugar Clouds are sugar crystals, candy floss, vanilla and musk. Yum, right? Yes! So I picked up a body butter in the scent, because I have needed a new body butter for myself, and this scent was calling my name.
It has a very softened fruity smell, not overbearing, and very pleasing all around. I instantly had feelings of nostalgia when I sniffed it, and for weeks I could not place where I had smelled something similar once before... and today it hit me! It smells very much like the fruity jet puff marshmallows that my parents used to purchase when I was younger! You know, the really pretty rainbow ones that you had to beg for instead of normal white ones? Those! Which, honestly it should not have taken me this long to figure out based on the scent description, but it was elusive!

The body butter is thick and creamy, which is what I like in a body butter lotion. So many different companies have butters that just aren't thick and "butter" like in consistency, so I like it when I find one that is really luxurious and thick. I use it when I step out of the shower, and it absorbs so quickly! Pretty much two minutes and it was absorbed. My skin feels moisturized and not greasy, which is always a bonus. And soft hands, which is the main part! You will be left if very soft and happy skin. This is a body butter that has hit the nail on the head, and got it just right. I highly recommend it!

I am so very happy that the owner heard the cries of the public, and decided to keep Sugar Clouds on the permanent scent list! This means I will be able to restock whenever I have the need, and can pick up more and more things in a scent I know I love! Such as detangler, shower gel, and more body butter. Plus the husband is a big fan of the scent, so I know this is a keeper.

You can purchase your own body butter in Sugar Clouds from Black Violet's Website for just $8 for a large 4oz jar.  You could choose another scent if you like, but this one is just yummy.

What are your favorite products from Black Violet?

Thanks for reading!
Xo's -Sharon

This product was purchased by me, all opinions are my own.


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