Urban Decay

Urban Decay Back Talk Palette – Forgive or Forget?

If you read my recent post on makeup brands everyone loves, but I don’t, I mentioned that Urban Decay was seriously slipping. A brand that I lived for and looked forward to all their releases, is now trying to compete with Colourpop’s weekly release schedule.

A good example of my theory is the Back Talk palette that came out this spring. The shades are completely up my alley with rich mauve and berry tones, which are actually quite perfect for fall. However, as much as I LOVE the colors, I hate how these shades perform, which is why it sat in my makeup cart collecting dust for about 4 months.

However, life is all about forgiving, so I decided to give this palette a second chance. We all tend to go into things with preconceived notions of how things will perform based on reviews we read or hear, so maybe now that the hype has died down, its time to come to my own final conclusion.

Yeah…no. Still not a fan.

The four cheek colors are BEAUTIFUL and actually perform great. Double Take is a creamy, soft pinky mauve that I would buy all on its own. Cheap Shot is a deep berry, really beautiful, I imagine, on darker skin tones. Low Key is a summery peach shade which I use as blush topper and Party Foul is a pink champagne highlighter that gives a lovely lit from within glow.

All the Cheek products are high quality. When you swatch them, they are creamy and smooth to the touch, which is the first thing you notice is missing with the eyeshadows.

The mattes are ok. BackTalk by far performs the best and has the most staying power. WTF completely faded away by the end of the day and 3 Sheets is so close to my skin tone, that I can’t tell what it did, but it’s a beautiful base on me.

The Mattes

The shimmers were the worst! Bare is similar to Party Foul in color, but no where near close in shine. Curve, Shade and 180 are more of a satin than shimmer and I’m not quite sure what is the best way to use them because I really want them to SHINE, but not even with setting spray.

The Shimmers

Attitude is by far the most shimmery of them all and the most pigmented. It’s a shimmery strawberry shade and lovely. You need to use a bit of setting spray to get it to its full potential, but even with that it fades pretty quickly.

Overall, the shadows are pretty disappointing, however, not as disappointing as the way this palette was structured. With this slim, removable mirror separating the cheek from the eyes, it’s the stupidest design. You can’t snap the palette shut without the magnetic mirror, but I always take out the mirror when using the palette because it so slim it’s useless to me, so on more than one occasion I lost track of the mirror under other stuff and couldn’t find it right away.

Double Take, Low Key and Party on the Cheeks. 3 Sheets, BackTalk, WTF and Bare on the eyes.

Urban Decay, let’s stick to a basic palette design. Honestly, I think most of us would appreciate it.

Back Talk was on sale in Sephora for $38 last time I checked, however, it’s so similar in tone to the Naked Cherry that maybe it’s worth investing in that for the eye shadows.

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

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Brands I Love, but Everyone Skips Over

I was going to say that everyone hates, but that wasn’t the vibe I was going for and I don’t think anyone, including myself, hates a brand, they just prefer others.

Does that make sense?

Anyways, these are just some brands that I feel don’t get enough love on social media, but I think are pretty darn good.

Almay

I know. I know. Almay is kind of the red headed step sister of the makeup world. Always shoved all the way in the back of the drugstore makeup aisle alongside Neutrogena. They never really get any attention. Well, they really weren’t doing anything to make themselves noticed until recently when it looks like they rebranded.

Personally, I love their Shadow Squads and their Butter-kiss Lippies are so creamy. I own 4 of them and literally one is in each one of my favorite purses because they are moisturizing with a dash of quick color.

Also, their makeup wipes are completely underrated. They take off EVERYTHING!!

Besame Cosmetics

One of two brands that I am affiliated with at this time. I LOVE everything about Besame, but I feel like they are a niche brand.

Generally, people who have some sort of affinity for retro looks and styles seem to really favor this brand, but I love them for their all out commitment to the production of replicas and also because their products are really good. In an era when brands are coming out left and right with new products, I appreciate that Besame takes it sweet time to perfect a products.

If you haven’t tried Besame yet, I recommend starting off with one of their lipsticks. I love 1941 Victory Red, but 1946 Velvet Red is pretty popular. The are long lasting and SUPER pigmented. The square shaped tip of the lipstick takes some getting used to, but I work around that.

BH Cosmetics

So I know that a lot of people say they love this brand, but I just don’t hear enough hype around it and I don’t know why. I love BH! I think they have an excellent combination of quality and price and, also, like Besame aren’t releasing stuff left and right, which makes me think they are being conscience of whats going into their makeup.

I see a lot of hype around their brushes and their Festival palette was a real hit this spring/summer, but I’m a fan of their baked shadows. I LOVE the Supernova palette and use it all the time. The colors are metallic, pigmented and last all day. Also, they are really easy to apply with your fingers, so no brush necessary, which is great for those days you are rushing out the door.

For the price, it’s a win!!

Antonym Cosmetics

Ok, I would consider Antonym a small indie brand, but they have a pretty loyal following and for good reason. They are AWESOME! Not only are they certified organic, but they are headquartered in my very own hometown of Miami (extra brownie points for that).

They are are on the pricy side, but well worth it. Their baked blush in Peach is my go to blush of all time. I may stray here and there and use another one every so often, but always go back to my Peach. If you are you looking for good quality basics, then check out Antonym. You won’t regret it.

Any brands you want to give a shout out to?

If so leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Nope

Makeup Brands Everyone Loves, But I Don’t

Ok, so take this post with a grain of salt because, as my friend, Karla, likes to say, “You do you, Boo!”.

Seriously, if you like any of the brands below, then more power to you. The world is a very diverse place and if 300 million people liked the same stuff, then it would be a pretty boring place to live.

With that being said, the brands below are just not my thing. I’m probably in the minority on all of them, but let me tell you why I just don’t gravitate towards them.

MAC

I have never been a MAC girl for various reasons. First off, I have yet to see a MAC salesperson who looks genuinely happy to see me there. Most of the time they looked overworked and annoyed. Also, I know that everyone raves about the lipsticks, but I always feel like they tug at my lips when I apply them, so I really don’t get the hype.

I also feel like I hear a lot of people talk about their tried and true MAC favorites, but I have not heard anyone RAVE about any new releases in a long time. MAC is just coasting these days.

Kylie Cosmetics

I’m going to keep this short. Why would I spend 3x the money on a palette or lip kit, when I can the get the same shit at Colourpop?

Sorry, Kylie. I think you are all hype.

Urban Decay

They release so damn much and it all looks the same. Seriously, everyone is going crazy about this Cherry Naked Palette, but it has the same tones as the Back Talk palette that came out in the spring. Which kind of sucked. I know because I own it and it’s a total let down.

Also, except for the Naked palettes, they always do the craziest packaging and I don’t like it. If I have to pull out the mirror or slide the palette out of some contraption, then I’m gone.

Tarte

Tarte has become the Claire’s of the makeup world with their cheesy packaging and non offensive color stories.

Seriously, every palette is neutral and they must have hired everyone Toys R Us let go when they closed down because everything is Princesses and Unicorns at their marketing department. They need to bring back the adults.

Anyone else agree? Disagree?

If so, let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Rocksbox

Rocksbox Reveal – Vol. 5

It’s Friday and Rocksbox Reveal Day!

It might as well be Christmas, folks. That’s how happy I am.

Out of all my subscriptions, I think I look forward to my Rocksbox the most. Why? Well it seems to trigger the most conversation.

You have no idea how many people stop and ask me where I get my pieces and when I tell them that it’s rented, they are like “What?”

And I’m all like ” Girl… renting is where it’s at!”

If you want to know more about how Rocksbox works, head on over to their site and see for yourself in their FAQ page. It’s super easy!

My current box was curated by none other than me. Yes, my stylist was able to get all three pieces from my wishlist and when I first checked out my preview (yes, I cheat), I was a little concerned.

Last month, my stylist was able to pull one wishlist item and the other two were her picks. Funny enough, I hated what I chose, but loved what she picked. So you could see why I was doubting my taste.

However, I’m totally giving myself pats on the back because I really like everything I picked.

Live, Love, Leo

I did this whole refresh of my Wish List a while back and added a few new pieces that popped up on their site like the Aster Stark “Strong” Pendant. My astrological sign is Leo, so it must have been around August that I added this to my list. It’s a very simple piece. Just a gold chain with an oval pendant showing a Lion on one side and when you flip it around, the word “Strong” is engraved on the back. I’m a firm believer that sometimes you need reminders in life and wearing one around your neck can work wonders on my you confidence.

It also goes with my usual jeans and cute V neck shirt look perfectly.

Don’t they remind you of cat paws?

The second piece I chose/received was the Ava Rose August Earrings. Ooh… these earrings give me feelings. They dangle and swing so sweetly, but are not noisy in any way and they have the nicest white stones studded along the bottom. I’ve worn these with my hair down and in a pony tail and I love them both ways. If I had one complaint is that they are a bit heavy.

The last piece are the Dusk Lyric Stacking Rings. They are sooo beautiful! Comprised of two thin gold bands with a row of druzy looking stones in green and pink, they are perfect companion to the Ava Rose earrings.

In fact, I’ve worn my entire set all at the same time. It’s that cohesive!!!

I should work for Rocksbox!!

I totally loved this months set and am not looking forward to sending anything back, so there is a possibility that some of these pieces might end up in my permanent collection.

If you would like to check out Rocksbox for yourself, feel free to use my referral code MARITZABFF39 and your first month is free. Full disclosure, I also get $25 for a future purchase, but I think we both win, right?

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

L'Oreal · Skincare

L’Oreal Pure Sugar Scrub – Review Time

You all want to know the secret to nice skin?

Exfoliate.

Honestly, whenever I look in the mirror and see dull looking skin, it doesn’t matter if I drank a gallon of water or slathered the most expensive moisturizer, nothing other than a nice scrub will give me the instant gratification that I need when I look in the mirror.

Personally, I exfoliate every other day. I don’t use particularly harsh scrubs so I think that with an every other day regimen that works well for me. Lately, I’ve been loving the L’Oréal Pure Sugar Scrub for smooth and glowy skin.

I believe the line comes with three other options, but at 41, it’s all about the J Lo skin because she has set the bar pretty high. Can you believe she is 49??

Anyways, I purchased my jar at Walmart and I believe I paid somewhere around $10 for it. I’ve had it for about 1.5 months and I still have about 1/4 left of product in my 1.7 oz jar. Not bad, in my opinion.

The main reason I like this scrub is because the sugar particles are fine enough to remove the dull skin without feeling like you face planted on concrete. I only have to use about a 1/2 teaspoon of product to work my entire face and neck as there is give to this scrub, probably do to the glycerin. This may not be possible if you decide to make you own scrub using brown sugar and olive oil, which I have done in the past.

Now the jar clearly says Pure Sugar in the front, but when looking at the ingredient list, there are a whole lot of other things listed there, including orange and yellow coloring, so I think it’s not exactly all real brown sugar in there.

It does smell nice and authentic though.

Looks like Self Tanner when you apply. Don’t be afraid it washes away!
This is my most favorite place to exfoliate because I tend to rub that area when writing

The instructions recommend that you apply this product into clean skin with dry fingers, but I do suggest maybe dampen your hands a bit, if you don’t like the scrub to be too harsh. I wouldn’t recommend doing this is the shower or with overly wet hands as too much moisture breaks down the “sugar” particles quickly and you won’t exfoliate anything.

Nice and pink skin!

It also says that you can use this as a lip scrub, but I would skip. It doesn’t taste good. I would recommend any of the Lush lip scrubs if you want to exfoliate your lips. They taste divine!!!

Anyone else try the other scrubs from this line? If so let me know which you suggest.

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

Foundation · Physicians Formula

Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation – Review Time

I’m pretty loyal to foundation. Once I find something I like, I tend to stick to it. However, after going through 3 or 4 bottles of Covergirl Healthy Vitalist formula, I got an itch to switch things up a bit.

During my blog hiatus I tried the Colourpop foundation and that was an epic fail. I should review it, but I disposed of that bottle after a few uses, so don’t think it would be fair to write a review from memory.

However, I did come across Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation while in Walmart one day and I remembered it got really good reviews back when it debuted in the beginning of the year. Yes, I know that I am late to the game, but I actually think my review might actually hold more merit considering that all the hype has died down and other beauty bloggers are reviewing #451 foundation that came out this year.

At least that’s what I am telling myself as I write this. 😉

First things first, I have to cover the packaging of this foundation. It is truly top notch. The bottle is glass and sleek and has a nice weight to it. My first impression is that this costs more than the $12 I paid just by the look and feel of it.

When you twist open the top, out pops a rather large doe foot applicator, similar to what you would find in a concealer. I know that some bloggers thought it was unhygienic to apply the product straight to your face from the tube using the applicator, but honestly, it doesn’t bother me.

I often use my fingers to smooth foundation over my face in a rush, so it would be hypocritical of me to check off points for that. Besides, I’ve been using the foundation for a month now and other than one zit along my jaw line which I attribute to my period, my face has been quite clear.

I have always struggled with color matching, but I picked a winner because LN3 matches my fair complexion perfectly. I am going to be honest and say that I really didn’t see a whole lot of color selection on the display case so that is quite disappointing because I really like this foundation.

It claims to have 20 SPF, which is awesome, and to be full coverage , but I would say it’s medium to full if you build it up. Its definitely not a matte foundation, so if that’s your thing, stay away as I would put this in the glowy category.

Which is fine by me because I HATE matte foundations. This foundation melded right into my skin and with one layer evened out my skin tone while still letting my freckles peek through. It doesn’t sink into any of my fine lines or pores, however, I do usually use a primer before applying.

Also, it’s holds pretty well throughout the day. I have an oily T-zone and although I do blot when necessary, it’s not an oil slick in any way. I would definitely suggest to set your face when using this foundation.

If I had one major complaint, it would be the scent. I have no idea why, but I pick up on a faint syrupy smell. I don’t know if I just got a weird bottle or what, but that throws me off a bit until I get used to the scent.

Anyone else feel like eating pancakes after using Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends.

Maritza

Besame Cosmetics

Besame Infinity Stones Rollerball Lip Gloss – Review Time

I don’t know if you all have picked up on my obsession with Marvel (ahem… Agent Carter, anyone?), but I tend to geek out over anything comic book related. Combine Marvel with makeup and it’s like the stars have aligned in the most magical way possible.

So when I saw that Besame had a discount code on their Infinity Stone Rollerball lip glosses, I was sold.

Truth be told, I don’t recall a whole lot of hype around them when they first came out and at first thought I can see why. They are super cool to look at, but they are all basically a colorless lip gloss. Spending $35 on something you can easily pick up at the drugstore for much less sounds a little more sane.

However, I don’t buy Besame makeup just because I need a new blush or lipstick , I buy it for the story and experience behind the products. So I really didn’t need much of a push to hit submit on my purchase.

The actual lip gloss itself is fine. As I mentioned, they are all clear and each one has a distinctive scent to it although very faint and nothing like the artificial fruit scents those roller balls I used to use in middle school had. You know what I’m talking about, right?

Also, the formula itself is lovely. It’s a thick oil base that nicely coats the lips. It does have a heaviness to it, but I don’t mind it. I also like that the roller ball doesn’t dump a whole lot of shine all at once, so you have the ability to go with a soft natural shine or full out gloss if you want with a few more layers. It’s not super long lasting, so you might want to throw it in your purse on your way out the door to reapply.

Which is fine, because much like all Besame products the packaging is where it’s at and you are going to want to show this one off. Housed in a clear, long glass tube with both Besame and Marvel logos on it, the design is supposed to resemble a lava lamp from the 70’s. If you tilt the tube from one end to the other, you actually do see a bubble slowly make its way up and down.

I could honestly see myself following that little bubble up and down during one of my endless conference calls at work.

There are six colors to choose from and I don’t need all 6 so I will definitely give some out to my girlfriends to enjoy.

This might even be a cute stocking stuffer for Christmas! Just break the set apart and you have 6 gifts!

UPDATE: Besame just released a code on the Infinity Stone Rollerballs!!! Use code Infinity9 at checkout and you can get the entire set for $9. That is a Steal!!!

I am affiliated with Besame Cosmetics, so if you want to purchase the Infinity Stones Rollerballs or any other products, feel free to use my link by clicking here. Keep in mind, I do make make a slight commission if you buy anything.

So who is your favorite Marvel character? I’m a total Cap Girl and it breaks my heart that Chris Evans will be stepping down from the role after the next Infinity War movie, but my love will go on.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Burt's Bees Beauty · Uncategorized

Beauty Steals and Deals – Burt’s Bees Beauty on Ibotta

So I am perusing the Ibotta app today to see if I can save some money on groceries, when I come across some rebates for Burt’s Bees Beauty.

Hello Savings!!

If you don’t know what Ibotta is, it’s a savings app that lets you select rebates at certain stores and all you have to do is scan your receipt when you finished shopping and, usually, a few hours later, the money you saved gets banked.

Once you have $20, you can request to have the funds transferred to your PayPal account. It’s really easy and since I started, I have saved $147 to date.

As I was saying, I was checking the rebates at Walmart and I come across some really nice money savers for Burt’s Bees Beauty products.

I am definitely going to check out some fall berry colored lipstick shades. I find that this formula is creamy, pigmented and really comfortable to wear. If you sometimes struggle with the drying effects of liquid lipsticks, this is a nice change.

Will also stock up on their Nourshing Mascara. I really liked this formula. It lifted and curled my lashes without any clumping. I will say the wand has rubber bristles, which can be a little pokey, so you have to be careful, however, seeing that you have to change up your mascara every few months, saving some cash helps.

I never tried their blush, but I remember Kathleen Lights raved about them for a while, so now might be a good time to see if they are any good.

Same goes for this Cheek and Lio stick, which I always going into with raised eyebrows, but I’m still intrigued. Might not be such a blow knowing that I didn’t pay full price.

If you want to check out Ibotta, feel free to use my referral code below when you signup.

Referral Code: kgkigxc

Anyone else have any other deals and steals to share? If so, leave them in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Colourpop · Uncategorized

Colourpop x Kathleen Lights The Zodiac Palette – Review Time

So yeah… it’s been 5 months!

Where have I been, you ask?

Basically, things got crazy at work and life got interrupted and I wasn’t able to post for about a month. Nothing dramatic, but for a while I was like, if I return will anyone even read my blog? And I kind of felt a little scared about that, but then I was like, “Maritza, you love this! Don’t give up! Even if the only one reading this is your mother.”

So I’m back.

See… nothing dramatic.

Anyways, I think that for my first post since my hiatus, I wanted to review something that I really LOVE. Yeah, this may be a little old news considering that these days new products are being rolled out by the hour. However, if you are like me, sometimes you sit on a purchase for a while because you either don’t have the money at the time or you are kind of waiting for the hype to die down to see if it’s something you really want because you are actually going to use it or something that you are buying just because it’s new and everyone and their mother is buying it.

Know what I mean?

The good news, I didn’t actually buy the Colourpop x Kathleen Lights Zodiac palette. It was birthday gift from my dear friend Janet, but I was planning to buy it once the hype died down.

Funny enough, one of the reasons I kind of hesitated initially was that I didn’t get the color story. I know that the color choices are driven by the zodiac, but for that reason I felt it was kind of all over the place. Also, it didn’t help that it follows the zodiac signs chronologically from left to right and sometimes the color lineup made it difficult for me to create a look.

I need a palette that almost lets me paint by numbers. Know what I mean?

However, when I put brush to hand, my eyes were immediately driven to the upper right quadrant. I love pinky, mauve tones and I knew that I could create a simple, yet smoky look, by using those four colors.

Sure enough, when I started breaking down the palette, I realized that this was easier than I thought. Maybe I’m getting better at this whole eyeshadow thing or maybe there is a weird connection between all the signs, but I suddenly started creating looks that work!

Not only was the right upper quadrant speaking to me, but I dove right in to the left upper quadrant and it’s fiery tones. Then I headed to the lower left quad and was like, “Yeah… date night!

I’m not really a fan of blue shadows overall so other than swatching them, I really haven’t played with them, but I imagine that you can create a nice, sexy look by using the last row.

For that matter, you can go left to right on any of the rows and achieve a beautiful look.

Seriously the possibilities are endless.

So color stories aside, do the shadows perform well? Yes, but not all are built the same.

The shimmers are all good and I generally don’t have any complaints, other than they can all benefit from some setting spray, which I do about 99% of the time with any shimmer.

The mattes can be hit or miss though and will require a little build up on some. The Libra and The Virgo performed beautifully. However, The Sagittarius and The Aquarius are a little patchy. Not too upset about the The Aquarius being that way, but as a purple lover, a little disappointed that The Sagittarius fell through in pigment. Don’t be deceived by the swatch above, it falls apart when you start blending.

Other than those performance issues, for $16, I feel like this is a great addition to any collection. The color selection can carry you from season to season quite nicely, which makes it a great investment.

So tell me… what’s your sign and did you like the palette?

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza

Boxycharm

May BoxyCharm Reveal – Boxy Bash

So, I am going to start off this post, by saying that this Boxycharm was not one of my favorites. I must admit that considering this box was commemorating their Birthday Month, I was kind of expecting a little more bells and whistles, however, it was not bad, just didn’t exactly live up to the hype.

Winners

Cover FX Blurring Primer. OMG, where has this been all my life? I tend to skip primer often. It’s just one extra step that I sometimes can’t seem to fit in my schedule. However, I would definitely make time for this one. When you squeeze the product out of the tube, it comes out like a whipped cream, which easily sinks in to your pores and fine lines and fills them in. I applied this under my makeup for a meeting and a few hours later, I went to the gym. After sweating it out on the elliptical, I went to towel off and took a look at my face in the fluorescent lights of the bathroom and was SO FREAKING IMPRESSED to NOT see my little 11 lines between by eyebrows. I love this stuff!

Somewhere in Between Winners and Meh!

Pretty Vulgar The Ink Gel Eyeliner. Technically, there is nothing wrong with the gel eyeliner. The packaging is to die for cute and the product itself is pigmented and long lasting from the swatch I had on my hand. However, I’m just not a gel eyeliner kind of girl. I’ve never been able to master the winged eyeliner look and I feel like when I do wear a wing, it looks weird on me. So I will be passing this one on to Sofia who uses it for cheer.

PUR Sculpter Highlight and Contour Palette. Another one that there is nothing wrong with the product itself, it’s just that I’m not much of a contour kind of girl and the two shades are just a bit to dark for me to use as bronzer. The highlighters are BEAUTIFUL though, but I have so many highlighters, that this one I will also be passing on to Sofia.

Meh!

Aesthetica Face and Pro Brush Series. The brushes are actually really soft, but that is where I think the problem lies the most, especially for the angled and liner brush. They are just a little too floppy too create a nice and neat line. I applied blush with the Face Brush and it worked well, but I had quite a bit of shedding, which kind of sucked. The best was the spoolie. It was sturdy, the handle was just the right size and you always need spoolies. I use them for eyebrows, to spray back those errant baby hairs around the forehead and temples and to separate clumpy eyelashes.

Beauty Creations Long Wear Matte Lip Gloss in Kiss Me. When I first read that this was a Matte Lip Gloss, I was like “Huh?”. That’s kind of a contradiction and didn’t make sense to me, which is why this product made the bottom of the list. The berry color is absolutely gorgeous and it kind of smells like a strawberry Laffy Taffy, however, I didn’t see anything glossy about this lipstick. In fact, it applied, looked and dried up like a typical matte and it made my lips look like they belonged on a 90 year old woman after a few hours wearing it. Yeah, No.

What did the rest of you BoxyCharmers think of this month’s box? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Till next time, my friends!

Maritza