Monday, January 27, 2014

Maybelline - The Buffs Review

The Buffs
Color Sensational Lipsticks
Maybelline - The Buffs

What's not to love about a natural lip color?
It really makes no demands on you, it's wearable and classic.

Maybelline The Buffs is pure excitement and fun.

For less than $10 a lipstick: you can play with an endless variety of 'nude' lip shades.
Retails for $8.99.
However you can get it at Walgreens for $7.49 unless they're running a bogo half off or pay $5.49 at Target. 

When I initially went about getting these shades, I noticed everywhere that the two shades that were consistently sold out were #915 Blushing Beige and #920 Nude Lust. Why I don't know. Both are at the lighter end of the spectrum that Maybelline offers. People are going to gravitate to certain colors anyway. There were some that caught my eye immediately when I opened them and others that weren't necessarily my first choice. But I wear every shade imaginable and think I probably have every shade too (lol) so I can't allow any lipstick biases in my reviews. Or I'd miss out on a new shade that is great.

Maybelline rounded out this collection nicely with very light shades to very dark shades and a broad range in between. The finishes on the Color Sensational for the most part are creamy. They have good coverage and slip. They are all very wearable. However they don't wear super long.
These would have rocked even more if the finish were a matte a la M.A.C., imo.

I decided to work my way from darkest to lightest.
I prep my lips and block out underlying lip color to get the best representation of the lipstick color.
Underlying lip color always affects the way lipstick looks especially with pink and nude shades.

Please also note: that I am not posting any dupes to this collection. It is a very affordable collection. Obviously if you have similar shades, you may want to try a different lipstick from this collection to expand your lip palette.

Also I included a 'general guideline' as to which lipsticks work with complexion undertones for those who want a specific go-to-nude lippie and don't want to venture out of the 'safe zone'. 
Please do not let this deter you if you want to try a lipstick that doesn't fall in your range! 
I wear them all myself! 

Espresso Exposed - 955
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: All Skin Tones
Especially flattering for WOC.
This is a dark chocolate with red undertones. It is Maybelline's answer to the popular oxblood lips that dominated the Fall season. Such as M.A.C. Talk That Talk, Fixed on Drama, Media to name a few. As well as other drugstore brands such as Wet'nWild Cherry Bomb.
955 Espresso Exposed


Untainted Spice - 950
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: Olive, Medium and Darker Skin Tones; Especially Cool-Undertones
This is a medium-dark pinkish brown. It reminds me of one of M.A.C.'s lippies from the Middle Eastern collection…Double Shot? Not a lippie that I would gravitate to but I can rock it.
950 Untainted Spice


Stormy Sahara - 945
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: All Skin Tones; Especially Warm-Undertones
This is a medium peach nude. This is one of my favs! I didn't think I'd like it but I put it on and it was like yes! Perhaps it was the peachy tones that I liked. 
945 Stormy Sahara


Touchable Taupe - 940
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: Medium to Dark Skintones; Especially Cool Undertones
This is a medium taupe nude. Very reminiscent of the taupe nudes that have been popular of late. 
It reminds me of the trendy and popular M.A.C. lippies: Rihanna's Nude, Exclusive Event and similar shades. It has that grayish cast and is the darker of the two taupe nudes in this collection. Sin-A-Mon is the lighter taupe nude.
940 Touchable Taupe


Sin-A-Mon - 935
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: All Skintones; Especially Cool Undertones
This is a light taupe nude. Again reminds me of the taupe nudes I listed above. Also very much like a creamy version of NYX's Matte lipstick in Butter. 
935 Sin-A-Mon

Truffle Tease - 930
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: All Skintones; Especially Warm Undertones
This is a light peachy-caramel nude. This is similar to Stormy Sahara only a lighter version with a slight grey tinge. I almost categorized this as a light taupe but it's not.
930 Truffle Tease

Maple Kiss - 925
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: All Skintones; Especially Warm Undertones
This is a light-medium terra-cotta nude. After going thru the taupe nudes, we wind up here, the marker lippie before we enter into the lighter nude shades. This is different from the rest of the collection in that it is a much warmer color.
925 Maple Kiss

Nude Lust - 920
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: Light Skintones; Especially Warm Undertones
This is a light pinkish nude. Now my lips are starting to fade. I'm in the lightest range. Very subtle pink undertones. Only can tell by swatching on the hand when comparing to Blushing Beige. Looking at this one along with the Blushing Beige in the tube you can hardly tell the difference. However Blushing Beige has peach tones and is even lighter than this. What a difference working from the darkest to lightest!
920 Nude Lust

Blushing Beige - 915
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: Light Skintones; Especially Warm Undertones
This is a light peachy nude. Now I'm fading fast. I'll be slipping into pale nude oblivion here.
Nice lippie don't get me wrong. It definitely has pale peach tones.
915 Blushing Beige

Bare All - 910
Rating: 5/5
Suitable for: Light Skintones
This is a pale beige nude. This is a fun lippie. Quite possibly the base they use to mix all the other lipsticks I've just reviewed! Lol… And I mean fun in that most people would pass this up. However it doesn't have to be worn straight-up outta the tube unless you're going for a fashion style (mod). It can be used to lighten an existing shade or blended with any lipliner to create a new lip shade.
910 Bare All

This collection has definitely renewed my love of the 'nude' lippie.
With it's variety and affordability, it's drool-worthy collection.

What's your fav 'The Buffs' lippie?

Stay sweet lovelies!
~Duchess

DISCLAIMER: All products were purchased by the Duchess unless otherwise noted.
Please when sharing pics, link back to this blog. 



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Urban Decay Brow Box Review

UD Brow Box
I ran out of my brow wax in my Smashbox Brow Tech. 
I had a smaller one so I was looking to upgrade to a kit that had more wax. 
So far the Urban Decay Brow Box was a cute, portable kit with mini-tools and plenty of brow wax.
While I prefer using my regular-sized tools and tweezer, this is useful to have a compartment with mini's in case you don't have extra room to carry other stuff. 


I purchased the "Brown Sugar" kit. I use the darker color to outline my brows and fill them partly.
While I use the lighter brown to finish them and fade them at the front.
The wax is great as it seals in the hairs.

Brow wax and two-tone colors.
 The tools are tiny but cute. I prefer using my regular-sized tools but these are handy to have in the case.
Mini-tools in bottom compartment.

Do you have a fav brow kit?

Stay sweet lovelies!
~Duchess

DISCLAIMER: All products were purchased by the Duchess unless otherwise noted.
Please when sharing pics, link back to this blog. 



Crazy Rumors Review

I love lip balms.
I used to purchase a bunch of them online.
There was a really cool online store but I don't remember what it was called.
It was such a long time ago that I don't even think they are still in business.
Anyway, I set about finding lip balms as I needed to get gifts for my family.

I found CrazyRumors.com.


My Crazy Rumors Haul.

They are all natural, vegan lip balms and they come in a variety of flavors.
Since shipping was free for orders over $60, I got a bunch of boxes.
You can order lip balms individually or in boxes.
The boxes are great for gift giving.

I got:
PERK: coffee-flavored lip balms
A LA MODE: ice cream-flavored lip balms
SODA POP: soda flavored lip balms
BREW: tea flavored lip balms
FRESH SQEEZED: juice flavored balms

They have limited edition flavors, new flavors and other boxed sets.
I also got Pistachio (for myself) and they sent a freebie from their bubblegum collection: Berry Bubble.
The lip balms go on smoothly, have natural stevia so it's sweet but not overly 
plus shea butter to keep lips moisturized.
So far I can say that I love the variety, the flavors, the scents and can't wait to try more!
The lip balms were a hit with my family!

Yummy Crazy Rumors lip balms.

My fav: BREW - tea flavored lip balms!

What are your fav lip balms?
Tried Crazy Rumors?

Stay sweet lovelies!
~Duchess

DISCLAIMER: All products were purchased by the Duchess unless otherwise noted.
Please when sharing pics, link back to this blog. 




Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mac Magnetic Nudes Review

Morning Rose LE - Cremesheen
MORNING ROSE LIPS: a soft cool rose lippie in a cremesheen finish by Mac. (LE) 

Rating: 5/5

This is the standout in this collection for me. It's a lovely nuetral pink that has a light frost which makes my lips look magnetic! Lol...A nice switch-up after all these 'vampy' lippies. Wearable for anyone especially if you like neutral pink shades. And to quote myself from IG as I was sharing with a friend: "...after swatching and wearing a myriad of oxblood, vamp, purple, black, brown, RiRi lippies, grey, matte pink, matte red and oranges...a neutral pink is pretty unique to me! Lol! I try to be objective  in my reviews - this lippie stood out for me because of how it hugged my lips, lasted long despite being a cremesheen, my lips were soft and it wasn't frosty but the sheen makes lips appear fuller plus it's universally flattering for all and an everyday color when I don't want to scream at people with my outrageous lipstick colors. Similar to L'Oreal 411 La Laque which surprisingly was sold out everywhere! First color to go then the purply pink.

Close Contact and Sensual Sparks LE - Amplified
 CLOSE CONTACT and SENSUAL SPARKS LIPS: both Amplified lippies from Mac.

 Rating on both: 4/5

Pretty solid nude lippies. Close Contact is a creamy peach. Sensual Sparks is a dirty cool caramel. Personally I prefer the Close Contact as I like the 'peachy nude'. Sensual Sparks on my NC20 looks like a dirty nude. Probably gonna mix them together and make a new nude. I am nuded out though. These shades remind me of the ones I have from the Mac Nudes&Metallics release of last year! Lots of new nude shades released currently tho...! *Think Maybelline's The Buffs =Oversaturation in the makeup world imo...LOL may have to pull out a lippie from Punk Couture! Anyway these are solid nude shades although not hard to find similar nudes in the Mac perm line and anywhere else.


Carnal Instinct LE - Frost
 CARNAL INSTINCT LIPS: a deep brick red with gold pearl LE lippie in a frost finish by Mac.

Rating: 5/5 

I didn't think I was going to give a 5 but it's like putting chocolate on my lips. It goes on great. Looks lighter than Mac's Subverted LE which is really brown and a close dupe. The red becomes more apparent with a flash photo which I'll be posting soon. Right now this is pairing up nicely with my TooFaced Chocolate Bar and I'm not big on frosts but this one is good.


Carnal Instinct + Bare Necessity Lip Combo - taken with Flash

CARNAL INSTINCT + BARE NECESSITY DAZZLEGLASS LIPS: can you say va-va-voom? It's like I have expensive jewels on my lips! Carnal Instinct LE frost lippie topped with Bare Necessity Dazzleglass perm. Taken with flash so you see the red in the lippie and the gold flecks!

What are you favs from this collection?

Stay sweet lovelies!
~Duchess

DISCLAIMER: All products were purchased by the Duchess unless otherwise noted.
Please when sharing pics, link back to this blog. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

M.A.C. Punk Couture Collection Review



M.A.C. Punk Couture - released Dec 26, 2013

This is a fun, dark-themed collection. While some people may not be the 'dark lippie' type, there is so much you can do with these. I'll post lip looks that expand the use of these lip colors. All of the lipsticks in this collection were matte lipsticks. They applied without a hitch. 
For me, the standout lippie was Punk Couture. 

I liked the darker purple. Not as bright as Heroine but it reminded me of a matte version of a previously released LE lippie from M.A.C. Nudes and Metallics called Dominate (a frost). A really nice deep purple! I had no real issues putting it on. Most other purples I've tried tend to go on blotchy or streaky (I've noticed this about some purples perhaps the pigment doesn't adhere to the base) but this matte formula works. I lightly lined with M.A.C. Nightmoth

Instigator was so reminiscent of Smoked Purple (M.A.C.'s permanent pro lippie) and eeringly almost like Talk That Talk but more purple. Perhaps because I've been reviewing a lot of dark lipsticks! For a beauty blogger, when you've seen one, you've seen them all! Anyway, I thought this is what TTT should have applied like! It was a smoother application and not as absurdly dry as TTT was. I lightly lined with M.A.C. Nightmoth. Other close dupes to this are M.A.C. Cyber-satin perm and Lipscape's Jacobin' which I reviewed in a previous post.

Hautecore (pronounced 'oat-core') yes you got that right, was M.A.C.'s 1st matte black lippie 
pre-released on Black Friday. Not-so-matte to me and having black lippies already, not a standout 
(but good to have if you don't happen to have black). 
Check out my previous blog post for a full review on this lippie and alternate lip looks! 
If you did miss out, try WnW Pagan Angel for just $1.99 or Lime Crime's Styletto which has more of an opaque vinyl finish. I've been looking at Pretty Zombie Cosmetic's liquid lipstick Black Cat which by the swatches posted thus far appears to be a very good true matte black. I recently reviewed their Purple Poison liquid lipstick and was quite impressed.

Studded Kiss was more of a brick red in terms of color on my lips (I'm NC20) and not really a true oxblood color imo but it went on smoothly. It reminded me of LC's Glamour 101 which is a 
dark brownish red just not as opulent because of the matteness. 
It's also extremely close to M.A.C.'s Diva just a tad lighter.

Overall M.A.C.'s Punk Couture Collection was definitely more creative than the one M.A.C. released in the summer which featured two lippies: Cyber-satin and Dark Side-amplified (both perms). I didn't get anything else from the collection although the lip glasses looked very interesting and beautiful layered on top of the lippies. I won't be getting any though as I have way too many lip glasses that can pretty much create a similar effect. 

Hautecore - matte black LE
 Rating: 4/5

Punk Couture - deep blackened grape LE
  Rating: 5/5

Instigator - deep blackened plum LE
  Rating: 5/5

Studded Kiss - dark oxblood red LE
 Rating: 5/5

What did you get from the collection?

Stay sweet lovelies!
~Duchess

DISCLAIMER: All products were purchased by the Duchess unless otherwise noted.
Please when sharing pics, link back to this blog.