Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sephora Eyeliner Kit

Hey everyone!  Today I will be reviewing the Sephora "Draw the Line" eyeliner sampler kit that just came out as a part of their holiday gift sets collection.

The kit comes with 6 different eyeliners, 3 of which are pencil and the other 3 are liquid.  It is a great way to test out different eyeliners and see which one works best for you!  This would also make an amazing gift, without breaking the bank.  It retails for $30.00, but says it has a $79.00 value!

I actually ordered this BEFORE my em michelle phan eyeliner came (and thus before my love for it started), but nonetheless, this Sephora kit is a good value and definitely review worthy.

First isn't the packaging great?!  It comes with a pretty pink cutout laid over a beautiful rose gold box.  The box houses an Eyeko skinny liquid liner, a Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes waterproof eyeliner pencil, a Sephora Brand long lasting 12 hour wear liquid eyeliner, a Stila Smudge Stick waterproof pencil eyeliner, a Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner, and an Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On double ended pencil eyeliner.

For only $30.00, you are getting six of Sephora's top selling eyeliners!  You can give the gift as is, or you could even break up the eyeliners and use them as stocking stuffers!

I swatched all of the liners so you can see them in comparison to one another.

  • The Sephora brand liquid liner was disappointing.  As you can see below, it looks washed out and almost watery.  It was far from being a deep black liner.  It also had huge chunks of glitter in it- just overall not for me and I would not purchase this liner.  
  • The Eyeko liner swatched beautifully and had great pigmentation.  The black was very black, as well as super shiny!  
  • The Stila Liquid Liner was very pigmented, but looks more brown than black.  The applicator is great though, allowing you to create thick or thin lines.
  • The Stila Pencil Liner was very black, smooth, and had a thin tip applicator.
  • The Urban Decay Liner came was dual ended, with one side having a black liner and the other side having a brown liner.  Both liners have a chubbier tip, making it harder to apply a precise line, in my opinion.  I prefer thinner tipped liners.
  • The Make Up For Ever Liner applied very smoothly, but the color was off to me.  It was a weird mix of brown and grey, and I wish it was more black.  I would have loved a super black liner because the formula seems awesome.  
Overall, for the price, it definitely is worth the buy because some of these eyeliners by themselves can be close to $30.00 each!

I rubbed my arm to see how well the liners wore.  As you can see, the Sephora liner and the brown Urban Decay liner are pretty much gone, while most of the others stayed strong.

I hope you guys found this review helpful!

And as always, thanks for reading!


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Monday, November 25, 2013

EM Cosmetics Review

Hey everyone!  If you follow me on instagram (@lindsandbells) than you may already know I received some "Em by Michelle Phan" products that I ordered in the mail and thought I would review them!  This brand has been getting a lot of buzz in the online beauty community because it was created by one of the biggest online beauty gurus herself, Michelle Phan!  With a complete collection ranging from eyeshadows to cc cream, the brand is hitting the beauty world by storm, and even just opened up its first storefront in New York!

What I ordered:
1. Chiaroscuro contour and highlighting stick in the color "light"
2. The great cover up in the color "fair warm"
3. Waterline intense color eyeliner in the color "black night"
4. Waterline intense color eyeliner in the color "in the nude"


The "Chiaroscuro" contour stick makes contouring something anyone can master!  With an easy applicator, you simply swipe where you need the product and blend with your fingers.  The formula is super creamy and applies easily and beautifully to the skin.  This is great to use on your nose, cheek bones or jawline!  Plus, it also comes with a highlighter, which you can use on top of your cheek bones, cupids bow, brow bone, or even as eyeshadow!  Overall, it is a great multi-use product to have in your makeup bag...and who doesn't like products that you can use in more than one way?!  $25.00

I used "the great cover up" concealer this morning and liked it...I didn't love it but I did not hate it either.  It did its job at providing extra coverage, but it is very thick and has a matte finish.  I prefer concealers that have a more glowy finish, like my NARS radiance concealer.  I mostly use concealers for my eye area to brighten it up,  but this particular product was a bit too heavy for me.  However, with that being said, if you have specific skin concerns (acne, rosacea, etc) or heavy darkness around the eye area and need lots of coverage, you may want to consider trying this.  $19.00

The black waterliner is THE BEST EYELINER I HAVE EVER USED.  It is so creamy and goes on amazingly well.  I lined my tight line, (the area below your upper lashes) which can be a tricky place to line, and the black liner literally just glided right over it.  No pulling or tugging!  You also have about 10-15 seconds to work with the liner before it sets.  It is also important to note that Michelle Phan wanted to create a liner that was meant for damp surfaces, because our lash lines are not dry surfaces!  These pencils STAY on, and will not budge even if you tear up, go swimming, etc.  I will continue to buy this black eyeliner for as long as they make it!

The nude eye pencil was also great, and I used it to line my lower lash line to make my eyes look bigger.  Like the black pencil, it goes on very smooth.  If you are going to buy anything from Michelle's line, I would recommend trying the eyeliners, I do not think you will be disappointed!  $20.00 each

Have any of you tried the Em by Michelle Phan products?  Which are your favorite?!  If you are interested in ordering, or want to learn more about the line, click here!

Thanks for reading!


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: WEN Cleansing Conditioner

Hello Everyone!  I was going to post another makeup tutorial today, but I am still feeling under the weather (and in my pajamas, watching a Christmas movie marathon) so instead I am doing a review on the WEN Cleansing Conditioner.  I have heard of this particular brand forever, and as an avid QVC watcher (yes, I know, and I'm not ashamed), I always see Chaz Dean, the creator of Wen, talking about how magical his product is.  His models have the absolute best looking hair I have ever seen, and he always promises that if we order his cleansing conditioner, we too could have fabulous hair.

So I watched, and I watched, and I watched some more.   I thought to myself, there is no way a cleansing conditioner will work for my hair.  I have very very fine thin hair, and thought that using a "cleansing conditioner" would make me extremely greasy!  How could it not only clean my hair, but make it look bouncy and full too?

I couldn't take it anymore, I wanted beautiful hair like those models, so when I saw it at Nordstrom Rack, I took it as a sign.  I bought one bottle of the Lavender scented conditioner and honestly expected I would be returning it.

The next morning I was actually excited to take a shower!  I hopped in and followed the instructions exactly as described on the bottle, and you guys, my hair was actually clean, like really and truly clean!  It was also shiny, and sleek, and I had hardly any frizz!  Over the three weeks that I have been using this product, my color has not faded at all and my hair looks overall healthier.

So why isn't everybody running out and using this stuff?  Well theres a catch...I have to use 16 pumps, yes SIXTEEN pumps, every time I wash my hair in order to experience great hair.  On the back of the bottle, it says for medium length hair to use between 10-20 pumps, and preferably in two cleasings.  So normally I do 8 pumps, lather, and rinse.  Then do another 8 pumps, lather and rinse.  If you try and skimp and do less pumps, which I tried, your hair will not be as clean and you won't see the same results.  If you have thicker hair than me, which I imagine everyone reading this does, you will have to use even more pumps to cleanse your hair, so one bottle can go pretty fast.

If you really break it down, it can be a pretty pricey product to use.  One 16 oz bottle costs $32.00 (I paid $24.00 at Nordstrom Rack, but it didn't come with a pump, so I had to buy one separately).

So how long does one bottle last you ask?  Well I bought this 3 weeks ago and am a little over half way through the bottle.  I haven't used any other shampoos or conditioners besides this one and wash my hair approximately every other day.  If I had to guess, this bottle will last me 6 weeks and spending $32.00 every 6 weeks for your cleansing conditioner can definitely add up.

My final thought on this product is that yes, it really does work!  For all hair types too!  But, it can be an expensive habit to maintain.  Will I repurchase it?  Yes.  I also want to try out some of his other products as well, like the masks and sprays!  If you are interested in learning more about WEN, you can click here.

Thanks for reading!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Kate Somerville Class!

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, I know I did!  On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a skincare class with my sister taught by the skincare expert herself, Kate Somerville.  I was barely able to sleep Friday night I was so excited to meet her.  As a complete skincare junkie, I am totally obsessed with the Kate Somerville line and in fact, it was the first skin care line I ever used (and still use).  It honestly was such an amazing day, and such a great opportunity.  Truly a Kate Somerville girl for life!
Kate Somerville, my sister Lauren, and me

The "classroom" was set up beautifully, and had a similar vibe to Kate's actual clinic in West Hollywood.  The walls were draped in pretty cream fabric and big round tables were set up, packed with every product from her line for us to play with (we were also given light snacks and drinks)!  With no more than 25 people in attendance, it really felt like a one on one chat with Kate.  She talked to us for a little over an hour, telling us why she developed certain products and how she created them and even how she herself uses them!  It was pretty incredible!
The room setup, photo courtesy of Nordstrom

During and after Kates' class, we were welcome to ask questions, and let me tell you, asking Kate Somerville herself which products you should be using was pretty amazing!  She really gave personalized answers and shared some of her inside tips and tricks!  I took detailed notes throughout and thought I would share them with you all!

Kate talked about 4 main things we should all be incorporating into our skin care routines:

  1. Exfoliate- exfoliating is so important, especially in the winter time.  When the weather starts to get colder, we are more prone to dry skin and we need to slough it all off!  Her personal exfoliator from her line, Exfolikate, is definitely not only a fan favorite, but a favorite of mine as well.  Kate recommends exfoliating 2-3 times a week to maintain a healthy glow.
  2. Retinol- Kate talked about how important using Retinol is, especially for women over 30.  Retinol helps the overall health of the skin, and can have many benefits, such as wrinkle reduction and improving skin elasticity, pore size, and discoloration.  She recently launched her own retinol product, called "Retasphere."  This is a groundbreaking product because it delivers the retinol to the skin in a very unique way.  The retinol is packed in a lipid and is delivered to your skin in a time released manner, making it gentle on the skin, unlike some other retinols that can leave you dry and flaky.  Kate recommends using Retasphere 2-3 times a week as your nighttime moisturizer.
  3. Hydration- Hydration is very important and keeps our skin looking young and fresh!  To keep the skin hydrated, Kate recommends using serums, oils, or her coveted "dermal quench" at-home treatment.  This product infuses the skin with wrinkle-relaxing PFC-Oxygen carriers, hyaluronic acid, and botanical extracts, which give the skin an immediate lift and glow.  This at-home treatment closely mimics the pricey celebrity favorite Dermal Quench Oxygen Treatment at her clinic (which is AMAZING).
  4. Moisturize- a moisturizer is a must in any skin care regimen.  It locks in your serums & oils, as well as keeps your skin from getting too dry.  Your moisturizer should depend on your skin type- if you are oily, try Kate's Oil Free Moisturizer, or if you are dry, try her Nourish Moisturizer.  If you are concerned about wrinkle prevention, go for her Age Arrest Moisturizer, and if you have lots of redness in the skin, opt for her Deep Tissue Repair Moisturizer.  Personally, I love her Oil Free Moisturizer, her Age Arrest Moisturizer, and for days when my skin is especially red and dry, her Deep Tissue Repair.  
Kate's products can be pretty pricey, but when asked if we were only going to invest in one of her products, what should it be, Kate quickly replied "Age Arrest Moisturizer."  It is what Kate herself uses, and is overall a fantastic product.  I personally use it morning and night and it keeps my skin hydrated, glowing, and overall happy.  It also prevents against wrinkles, which is always a factor when I am investing in skincare.  Since I am 23, I currently do not have wrinkles I am trying to treat, but still look for skincare that will prevent or delay the wrinkles from settling into my skin.  This is my new favorite moisturizer, and I repurchased a second jar at her class.

Kate also talked about her clinic-to-go pads, which are great to use in the winter because they provide extra exfoliation for dry skin.  Each pad is a professional strength treatment peel- and when you use them consistently, you will see a reduction in pores, fine lines, hyper-pigmentation, acne scarring and dullness.  The pads promote cell turnover, and give you the most brilliant glowing skin!  A box of these pads comes with 16, and Kate recommends using two a week for 4 weeks straight.  I picked up a box of these at her class, and will do a review after 4 weeks!

A product that received a lot of attention was Kate's newest product, Dilo Oil.  While some people were wary of putting oil directly onto their skin, Kate assured us that this was for all skin types.  She first discovered this product while she was on the island of Fiji.  She noticed how all of the local women had such great skin, with no brown spots or wrinkles, which was odd considering they spent a lot of time outdoors at the beach, exposing their skin to harsh elements.  A little while later, still on the same trip, Kate was getting a facial at a Fiji resort and noticed her esthetician was putting this wonderful smelling oil on her face.  Kate immediately asked what it was, and the esthetician explained to her that it was Dilo oil, and all the locals used it not only as their moisturizer, but also as their sunscreen!  It was their secret to maintaining such great skin!  Kate took this information back to her chemist here in LA and got to work- and a little while later, Kate Somerville Dilo Oil was born!

To use this oil, you can do one of three things: Apply it before your moisturizer, apply it mixed in with your moisturizer, or even apply it AFTER your moisturizer for an added glow and sun protection.  While this product cannot be marketed as a sunscreen because of certain regulations, Kate said it does act as a sunscreen!   It also helps immensely with brown spots, which are a big concern for a lot of women.

Towards the end of the talk, Kate hinted at the fact that she will be expanding her makeup line very soon!  She recently came out with her CC cream (which I love by the way) to test the waters and see how people reacted to it.  However, her biggest goal with her makeup is that she wants it to be good for the skin.  She does not want to create makeup for the sake of adding more products to her line.  She genuinely wants each and every product to help the skin and be good for the skin.  For instance, her CC cream not only contains SPF 50, but also has brightening agents such as Arbutin, Licorice Extract, and Natural Amino Acids, which act to improve and even out skin tone.  It also contains moisturizing sodium hyaluronate which minimizes water loss, helping to keep skin looking plump and dewy.  As you can see, her "makeup" isn't just makeup.  Its more like skincare disguised as makeup!

When Kate discovers a new product, she doesn't simply make it, package it, and sell it.  Rather she makes it, than re-makes it, than tests it out on herself as well as her entire team at her clinic.  If she needs to tweak it, she does.  If she needs to start all over, she will.  Only after both her and her team try it and love it, she will begin using it on her personal clients.  If it is a hit at her clinic with her clients, she will start the process of selling it in big name stores, like Nordstrom, Neimans, etc.  She really puts her all into every product, ensuring it will actually do what it says it will!

Kate also mentioned a new product that should be coming out shortly!  A Quench hydrating mist!  If you aren't familiar with Kate's line, her Quench line is great for keeping the skin extremely hydrated.  I use both the Quench serum and face mask and cannot wait for the mist!  This seems like it would be great to spray on throughout the day to keep your makeup looking fresh and keep your skin hydrated!

Of course I couldn't leave the class without picking up some products!  I picked up her oil free moisturizer and Age Arrest moisturizer (both of which I was re-purchasing), as well as her clinic-to-go pads and the Dilo oil.  I have not tried either of these products, so I will post reviews as soon as I try them out!

We were also given a goody bag as we left, which had travel sizes of her Exfolikate and Deep Tissue Moisturizer!  I absolutely love both of these products and was so excited to receive them!  Won't they be perfect for traveling?!

I compared the travel size to my own full size bottle so you can see the difference in size! 

If you are interested in any of the above products, you can find them all here.  Similarly, if you are interested in booking an appointment at Kate's Clinic, you can do so by clicking here.  If you have not been to her clinic, and are in the Los Angeles area, go and treat yourself.  I am telling you, you will not regret it.  It is the most gorgeous and peaceful place to have a facial.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this helpful, and maybe even learned a new tip or trick!


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Friday, November 15, 2013

Review on Bioderma!

Hey Everyone!  Happy Friday!  Today I wanted to do a review on a product that has gotten a lot of buzz in the beauty community.  I am talking about Bioderma!  Have you guys heard of it?!  It is marketed as a cleansing water but it can be used in many different ways.

Here are the ways I use Bioderma:
1. As a makeup remover for face and eyes.  I apply some to a cotton pad and it melts off my waterproof eye makeup, no pulling or tugging needed.  You can also put some on a cotton pad and take off your face makeup very easily.  Lately in the morning, if I am in a hurry or feel that my skin doesn't need my whole regular cleansing routine, I will swipe some Bioderma over my face and continue on with my serums and moisturizers.
2. As a toner.  I apply some to a cotton pad and use it as a toner, after I have washed my face at night, to ensure that all traces of makeup are removed!
3. You can also put this in a spray bottle and use it as a setting spray, or as a refresher throughout the day!  Basically, this product works however you want to use it!

This product can be hard to find, and you might have to order it online from Amazon.  I was lucky enough to discover that my local Asian beauty supply store carries it (and when I saw it I literally did a happy dance, and they thought I was crazy) but its okay, because my skincare collection wanted, no demanded, Bioderma!  And I am so happy to say that it has lived up to its reputation.

If you live near the Los Angeles area, The Beauty Diary in Arcadia, CA carries it, as well as a whole slew of hard to find beauty products, such as Eve Lom at 10% off!  (Dancing on the tables happy dance!!)

Have any of you tried Bioderma?!  Is there another way to use it that I am missing??  Let me know in the comments below!


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

November Glam Bag Makeup Tutorial

Hey everyone!  Yesterday I received my November Glam Bag in the mail and thought I would create a look using some of the products I received!  If you haven't heard of Glam Bag, click here to read my post on it from last month, where I go over all the details!  But basically, it is a beauty box subscription service and for only $10.00 a month, you receive a makeup bag full of sample and full size products!

I have to say, this month was EXCELLENT.  I thought the product selection was great, and the fact that we were also given a full size Em by Michelle Phan product to try made me so happy!  (We also received a 30% off coupon code for Em by Michelle Phan products, so of course I picked up a few of her fan favorites- expect a review to come soon!!)

 In this months bag, I received a Bombshell lip crayon in the color "shameless," a Pixi bronzer in the color "subtly suntouched," a Nailtini polish in the color "caviar cocktail," an Em by Michelle Phan lipstick in the color "cupcake pink," a Starlooks eye pencil in the color "amethyst," and a sample of HSI Professionals argan oil hair treatment.  Below, I have swatched the lipsticks and eye pencil if you are interested in purchasing them!

For this tutorial, I will be using the Starlooks eye pencil and the em lipstick to create a perfect makeup look for day or night!  To begin, start by priming your eyes with an eyeshadow primer.  This will ensure your eyeshadows do not budge throughout the day and also keep them crease-free.  Because we will be using a creamy eye pencil, we will need a good base for the pencil to adhere to, making eye primer extra important for this look.  I am using Urban Decays Shadow Potion, and it works great!  If you are interested in it, you can check it out here.

 Next, take the Starlooks eye pencil and apply it all over your lid. This eye pencil was super creamy ( I was surprised!), so it was very easy to apply it directly onto the lid.  Blend out the color with your finger or a blending brush to make sure there are no sharp edges.

To set the cream pencil, I applied a MAC pressed pigment in the color "black grape" to the lid, as well as swept some across my lower lash line.  I concentrated the pigment on the outer corners of my eyes, to create a gradual smokey eye.  

Pressed Pigments are my absolute favorite- they are so easy to use, you can apply them with your fingers, they come in tons of great colors, and they aren't as messy as loose pigments!  Have I sold you on them yet!?  

 Next, line your upper and lower lash line in a black liner of your choice, and apply a few coats of mascara to your upper and lower lashes.  I also took some white eyeliner and applied it along the inner half of my lower lash line.  By doing this, it opens up the eye and makes it look larger!  You can also use a nude liner for a similar effect.

 Now, since my lashes are pretty much non-existent, I am going to apply some falsies!  My favorites are the demi lashes by Ardell!  If you are just starting out with false eyelashes, or have never used them before, I recommend trying demi lashes.  Since they only go on the outer half of your lash line, they are easier to blend into your natural lash line.  Our natural lashes tend to get thinner and shorter toward our inner eye, so sometimes it can be hard to blend in false lashes that go all the way across.

After I applied the falsies, I added some white eyeshadow to the inner corners of my eyes.  This brightens up your eyes, as well as making them look larger!  

Lastly, for lips I applied Em by Michelle Phans sheer lipstick in "cupcake pink" and topped it off with some pink lipgloss by MAC!  

 I really hope you guys enjoyed this makeup look!  It was pretty easy to do, and I think it would be perfect for holiday parties!

Thanks for reading!


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