Monday, February 25, 2013

How To: Depotting MAC Eyeshadows

It took me forever to finally decide that life would still go on if I depotted my precious MAC shadows and put them into one palette. And then, it took me forever to decide what palette they needed to go into. Super important decisions - I'm sure you agree.

Anyway, I watched, what felt like, a million videos on YouTube and read tons of different blogs on this topic. I think I found the easiest, and quickest, way to depot my MAC eye shadows. 

What you'll need:

Towel, Flat Iron, Wax Paper, Something to pop the shadow out, Rubbing Alcohol, cotton balls/pads, magnets, an empty palette.

Pop out the pan of eye shadow from the outer plastic casing. Hang onto this both for the Back to MAC, and so you can remove the label and put it on the back of the eyeshadow pan.

Place your shadow on top of a piece of wax paper sitting on the plate of a hot flat iron.
After about 30 seconds to a minute, remove the shadow and carefully slide a thin tool on the side to pop the pan of shadow out of the inner plastic casing. Careful - the metal pan will be HOT! I usually pop it out onto a towel. If the pan does not budge, place it back on the flat iron. Trying to remove the pan before the glue has softened may result in a cracked shadow. The time will vary, depending on how hot your flat iron gets.

While the metal pan is cooling a little, place the outer casing on the wax paper for about 20-30 seconds. Use the same thin tool to lift the sticker off the back of the casing and place it on the non-adhesive side of your magnet.

Now that the metal pan has cooled enough to handle, use a paper towel, cotton pad or ball soaked in alcohol to rub any adhesive left on the back off. I found this to be the most annoying part of the whole process, but it made for a clean and smooth surface to apply the magnet (that already has the label with the shadow name and finish on it).

Put it into a palette of your choosing :)

Samoa Silk, Soft Brown, Texture, Amber Lights, Swiss Chocolate, Antiqued, Saddle, Rule, Red Brick, Brown Script
MAC shadows L-R, Row 1: Samoa Silk, Soft Brown, Texture, Row 2: Amber Lights, Swiss Chocolate, Antiqued, Saddle, Row 3: Rule, Red Brick, Brown Script.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to know if you have found an even simpler way to do this. I must also add - since I have depotted my shadows, they have received much more use.

Disclaimer: If you decide to depot your shadows, you do it at your own risk. Please use caution - I will not be responsible for any ruined product or physical injury you may sustain.

Now, get to work!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

bareMinerals: My Latest Obsession

Please tell me you've tried the READY line of bareMinerals? Ok, so I haven't tried the foundation, blush or bronzer from the line...yet. I'm still obsessing over their eyeshadows. So many pretty colors!

Now, to be fair, I was a fan of the original formulation of bareMinerals. I love so many of the shades. But I haven't used them in a while because, like many others will tell you, the loose pigments can be such a mess and take longer to apply. 

Shades in pot clockwise: Bare Skin, Black Ruby and Desire. Shown on hand L-R: Desire, Bare Skin and Black Ruby.
I highly recommend picking up a duo...or quad....or palette...or some of each. This formula is so buttery smooth and pigmented, and they blend beautifully. I honestly love all of the shadows I own from this line. As far as application, I think it's important to mention--you do not need to sweep your brush around in the shadows. You only need to tap into the color, and then pat or lightly sweep the shadow onto your lid, depending on what look you're going for. If you want a wash of color, use a fluffier brush. For more color payoff, use a stiffer, more dense brush.

Some shades are more sheer, but can be built up to the vibrancy you see in the pan. This is something I appreciate about this brand - scary shades become wearable for us "shy-of-bold-color" folk, but will equally satisfy those of us who crave "look-at-me" lids.

When I put my finger in the pan to swatch, it almost tricks my mind. They feel so creamy to the touch, but they are definitely a powder. As I mentioned above, you don't need to swirl the brush around in the pan - if you do, you will absolutley see product being dislodged. This is not to say that the formula is powdery or has fall out, it just speaks to how finely milled and pigmented it is.

I will admit, the first duo I purchased (The Epiphany), I sometimes struggled with a little bit of skipping with the darker, matte shade. I have since remedied any issue I had (my primer was a little too tacky and was grabbing the shadow). Now, I like to apply a transition color first, whether another bM shade or not, when I'm using the darker shade to blend into the crease. Problem solved, and since it's a step I already do anyway, I don't mind doing it first, and now actually prefer doing my makeup that way.

So here it is...a peek at my bareMinerals READY eyeshadow collection.

Listed from L-R, T-B: The Finer Things 8.0, Shine On Palette, The Star Treatment 8.0, The Cliff Hanger 2.0, The Scenic Route 2.0, The Escape 2.0, The Happy Place 4.0, The Possibilities 4.0, The Enlightenment 2.0, The Epiphany 2.0, The Horizon Line (liner shadow), The Nick of Time 2.0, The Showstopper 2.0, The Vision 2.0, The 15 Minutes 2.0, The Promise 2.0, The Truth 4.0 and The Rare Find 4.0.

If you're interested in a particular duo or quad, let me know in the comment section below. I'm starting a new "How I Wear" series for this blog where I will be featuring a different product for each post, along with swatches and photos showing the product in action.

I realize my blog is not seen by many, but I figure I might as well help out anyone who happens to stumble upon one of my posts. If you're reading this, thanks so much for stopping by!

Resolving to put more into my blog in 2013,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January Empties

Here are a few empties from January, along with some thoughts about each product. Yes, I'm a little late, but since I'm the one in charge, I forgive myself. If you have any recommendations or have tried any of these products, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Wen, John Frieda, Bath and Body Works, tarte, Organix, Makeup Forever
January Empties!

tarte maracuja C-brighter eye treatment
I received this as a bonus with the tarte TSV from July on QVC (what has your makeup done for you lately?). I was just about out of the eye cream I had been using, so I thought I'd give it a try. Honestly, I'm not sure I really saw any difference. I think it applied well, and I'd say my eye area felt moisturized, but I don't think I'd fork over the money to purchase this. Have you tried it?

Organix Renewing Moroccan argan oil shampoo and conditioner
I've watched a few different videos on youtube where these were mentioned and decided to try it out. This may work for some of you, but I didn't really like it. But, true to form, instead of throwing it out, I had to finish it up. My hair has changed a lot (like A LOT) since having kids. It's just not as nice as it used to be. I need more moisture, but not so much that my scalp gets oily. Whatever, the hunt continues.

Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara

This came in a little set from an order I made with Sephora - I think it was a 500-point perk. I didn't think I was going to love it, but I did. That being said, I won't be purchasing this for full price. There are too many other mascaras I have that I love that are less expensive. This mascara gave volume and was super black. I really loved it the more I used it. You know how mascaras dry up a bit and it just gets better? I feel like this was one of those. I had to be careful when adding additional coats though - if I waited too long, it seemed to clump up.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-in Conditioning Spray

I've already mentioned that my hair has changed, and I needed something to spray in my hair after washing to help me comb through the tangles. I liked this well enough, and I suppose I would consider purchasing again, but I think I'll try something else first. I thought it had a nice scent.

Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream in Pink Chiffon

I've really been enjoying this body cream lately. I wouldn't say it's the best body cream I've ever used, but it definitely does its job. Plus, I find that this scent (along with Carried Away) offers a nice layering piece with my current favorite fragrance (Philosophy Love Sweet Love). It's a lovely thick cream that applies nicely and sinks in fast enough, but still leaves your skin feeling moisturized. Bath & Body Works just had their semi-annual sale and I picked up 3 more (Carried Away, Pink Chiffon and Vanilla Bean Noel)!

tarte gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara

Um...I love this. I want to buy it. But I just can't let myself spend that much on mascara. So, I will continue to purchase kits that include this amazing mascara. I loved lights, camera, lashes and I loved this more. I didn't think that could be possible! It has a drier formula that I find to be easier to use for my lashes. The brush is nice and stiff, helping to separate my lashes and evenly coat them, while providing some serious volume. Beautiful. Seriously. Try it.

Close up of wand
If I had to describe the wand, I'd say it felt like boar bristles. I have no idea if that's true!

wen cleansing conditioner in sweet almond mint
I want to love this. I keep trying to love this. I think I'm getting better at applying it but I still find that other shampoos and conditioners can give me a similar result. If you haven't used it before, you're probably thinking I'm lame and wondering why I have to practice application of a product to cleanse my hair. I know, I wonder that too. I received this in a 6 piece set of small 6 oz size bottles. I think I got 1 1/2 uses out of each bottle, and I have about 1/4 left in 2 bottles. I also read that the more you use, the better it works. I just can't justify that financially. Even if I only cleanse my hair every other day, it's too much. Maybe if I cut my hair? I have to say, once I started doing the cleanse process twice (using half the pumps the first time, and the other half the second time), I did have better results. I suppose if I used this for a longer period of time, I would love it.

Rave: the product is super creamy and thick, and it feels wonderful in the hair, and when rinsing it out. You're supposed to rub your scalp for 1-2 minutes, comb through your hair, and then leave on for 5-10 minutes. (Don't quote me on that, this is from memory). I think the product must have menthol in it, when you rinse with cool water, it definitely produces a cold feeling that lasts.

Rant: let me further explain...depending on the size of the bottle you have, the number of recommended pumps will change. For the small 6 oz size and the length of my hair, it was recommended to use 48 pumps. The bottle holds 60 pumps. Here's a little math for you....a 32 oz bottle on QVC sells for $49.50, not including tax or shipping costs, and holds 192 pumps. For this size bottle and my long, thick hair, I would need 16-24 pumps (I'm thinking 24). That would give me 8-12 uses per bottle. If I cleanse my hair every other day, that would be less than a one month supply. I can't do it. I can't spend that much. Can you? If you have been using this product, I'd love to hear your results.

And now, mom duty calls. Have a great day!