Friday, October 25, 2013

Bobbi Brown Beauty Event: Makeup Lesson, One Brand Face of the Day, and Review

Hey y'all!

The Experience... 
(Please feel free to skip ahead to take a look at the products used and my review of these products.) 

Over a week ago, I attended an event organized by Bobbi Brown. The event took place at the Bobbi Brown counter in a Belk store. Bobbi Brown's national makeup artist was the guest of honor. I was really excited to meet the national makeup artist. A team of Bobbi Brown makeup artists were present at this event as well, assisting the national makeup artist. I was asked to refrain from sharing the names of the national makeup artist. I guess if anyone cares to know the name, just Google it. 

First, I was asked to complete a form, providing some personal information and reasons for my attendance of the event. Next, I was assigned to a makeup artist. She applied base makeup on me - BB cream and brightening concealer for the under-eye area. Finally, the man, whose name shall not be taken here, made suggestions of colored products suitable for my skin tone.

Before I begin to share my experience in more detail, I would like to say that whatever I mention hereafter is my personal opinion, which I am entitled to freely express here on my personal blog. My intention is not to offend any person or entity. In order to maintain a high standard of integrity for my blog, I favor honesty over diplomacy in my posts, especially my product review posts. 

Now, let me begin. Initially, I was reluctant to attend the event because the ladies who typically work at this particular Bobbi Brown counter do not seem enthusiastic at all when asked about the products. While I appreciate that these ladies, unlike some others in retail, do not overwhelm or literally force you to buy something, I would like them to act somewhat interested or involved with their client/customer. Nevertheless, while making a purchase, I signed up for the event and decided to attend. 

Moving forward to the day of the event, I was assigned to a makeup artist as I already mentioned above. We shook hands and introduced ourselves. Before we began, she told me that I was absolutely gorgeous and she was going to have fun putting makeup on me. Okay, so we were off to a smooth start. She inquired about my skin-type. I told her combination. I also mentioned to her that I do not like wearing base / face makeup. She opted to apply a BB cream instead on a foundation. Next, she told me that although I do not have dark circles, many Indian women have that issue, so she wanted to apply a brightening concealer under my eyes. After she had prepared the canvas, the national makeup artist came about and introduced himself. He asked me a few questions as well. I told him I am a fan of lip and cheek colors, but like to limit eye makeup to simply winged liner. He recommended Bobbi Brown Blush in Flame, Creamy Matte Lip Color in Razzberry, Smokey Eye Mascara, Smokey Eye Kajal Liner, and Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick. 

Read below my review of the products that were used on me. I have also uploaded two pictures that I took on my phone after leaving the counter. I forgot to take my camera along, but these images are decent quality. I could have taken pictures once I reached home, but I shed a few tears on my way home. Why? I attended the event because I was eager to talk about my "beauty blog" with a Bobbi Brown makeup artist. I was hoping to receive advice, feedback, or at least a little bit of interest. Perhaps learn something about makeup to share with my readers. However, I was asked about the number of followers I have and then told that not everyone can be Pixiwoo on Youtube. I acknowledge that I do not have a lot of followers, but perhaps it is because I don't have the outspoken politician's skill to "campaign" for my blog, meaning I don't just follow people only for a follow-back or leave comments asking people to follow me. I follow those beauty bloggers, whose writing I find informative, entertaining, and geared to my personal taste in beauty and fashion. Of course, I gladly support those beauty bloggers who support me. 

I do not blog for the sake of numbers. I blog to inform people. I am a part of the beauty blogging community to create friendships with individuals who love beauty and fashion "stuff" as much as me. I agree that there are a lot of popular blogs out there, but I take pride in the amount of effort, time, and money I invest in my posts. I take time to write extensive reviews and take several picture to capture the essence of the products reviewed. I believe my product reviews and swatches may be especially helpful to certain individuals who share my skin-tone, skin-type, and likings. For example, when I look for swatches, I try to search for a blogger who shares some characteristics with me. I appreciate each and every reader who supports my blog. I look forward to comments and feedback. It means the world to me when I save someone from purchasing something that may not work for them or encourage someone who has never felt comfortable to wear nail polish to learn about nail polish brands and find the ideal color that she may feel comfortable wearing. It keeps me going when my friends, sending me pictures via text messaging of their manicure of the day. I definitely do my research as well. I take time to read about new/upcoming releases and visit stores on release dates to get my hands on the goods to review on my blog. Sometimes I know or post about these hot goodies before any of the popular blogger, those with a million followers, find out about these amazing products. Sadly, it is easier to notice something missing than to see the good. 

The Products Used and My Reviews... 

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 ($44)
I have never felt comfortable wearing face/base makeup. I cannot seem to get rid of the feeling that something foreign is on my face. Unlike products I like to wear, such as lip or cheek color, I can actually feel like something is on my face. My skin-type is normal and sensitive. Sometimes my t-zone can become unusually dry or, the other extreme, slightly oily. Foundation, tinted moisturizers, and BB creams also make my face appear sort of plump, which obviously no one wants. 

Out of all of the BB creams I have experimented with, such as Dior, Clinique, Smashbox, Tarte, and Cargo, Bobbi Brown's BB cream is the only one I have liked. Although not generally a fan of base makeup, I would invest in this BB cream to wear on special occasions. If anyone resides near a Sephora, I would suggest asking for a sample container of a few brands of BB creams. The samples I got from a Sephora MUA lasted me more almost an entire month. I was able to test out several brands before making a final purchase. 

This BB cream was released in Asia and other parts of the world before coming to the U.S. market. I am not sure how accurate my inference is, but perhaps this BB cream might be more comparable to the authentic BB creams of Asian origin. I have heard a lot about Asian BB creams. I have never tried an Asian BB cream myself. I have acquired my knowledge of Asian BB creams from other beauty bloggers. Asian BB creams are said to be more like foundations than a tinted moisturizers, providing full coverage. Asian BB creams have a significant level of broad spectrum sun protection along with other skin care properties. In a nutshell, the Bobbi Brown BB creams feels on my face as other beauty bloggers describe the feel of Asian BB creams. 

 I once got my color match done at MAC and I'm "NC 35" for you all who find a MAC reference helpful. I was color matched with the Medium to Dark Bobbi Brown BB cream, so I am not really sure what someone darker than me can use. 

Overall, this BB creams applies more like a foundation than a tinted moisturizer because of the medium to full coverage it provides. Furthermore, this BB cream does not feel as heavy as some of the other BB creams I have tried. This BB cream contains SPF. It photographs well. Lastly, it does not make my face feel greasy or appear oily. 

Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener ($30)

Concealers are not my cut of tea. My knowledge of concealers is limited. While this product did brighten my under eye area, I think the effect was an illusion and superficial. I don't think I have dark circles. I have a little bit of puffiness under my eyes due to long nights of studying or laying awake thinking about studying. This concealer had shimmer in it. It seemed like a highlighter to me, which is another makeup product I don't know much about. This product exaggerated the texture of my skin under my eyes. It made the area appear dry and prominent. I felt like it looked really artificial and unnatural.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Flame
Flame is a beautiful light reddish orange shade. Bobbi Brown blush collection offers a wide variety of beautiful colors suited for a range of skin-tones. I recently purchased a different shade and am in love with the color. I will be posting a review and swatches soon. However, I think that the pigmentation and staying power of these blushes is workable/decent, but not great or reflective of the price point.

Creamy Matte Lip Color in Razzberry (pictured below - Plum Crush) ($25)
I cannot wear "matte" lipsticks. My naturally "puckered" lips - my subtle way of saying lip-lines - are not meant to rock a matte or retro matte lip. So, Bobbi Brown, amongst other brands, created the "creamy-matte" formula for gals like me. I must say I love the formula because it is not overly emollient, thick, and slippery like creme lipsticks, but it also does not suck up the moisture and exaggerate my lip lines like a true matte lipstick. I did not like the Razzberry shade on me, which the national makeup artist recommended for me. I requested the makeup artist to apply Plum Crush instead.  Plum Crush is on my wish-list. I will definitely purchase it. However, I'm resisting the urge to purchase any more lipsticks for now. I would definitely recommend giving this creamy-matte collection a try.

Smokey Eye Mascara ($28)
I did not like this mascara. It was too wet and creamy. It smudged easily and clumped my lashes. It was unmanageable to remove in my opinion. I had raccoon eyes after wiping it off with eye-makeup remover wipes. I had to wash my eye area with some rigor to get rid of its residue.

Smokey Eye Kajal Liner ($24)
I am not a fan of pencil or liquid liners. My holy grail eye liner is MAC's gel liner. This kajal liner looked and felt creamy, but did not apply smoothly. It also smudged easily. I would not recommend this for someone who has oily lids or hooded lids or does not like a smudged look or wants a clean and manageable look. This product did not stay put for me. It transfers easily onto other areas of the eyelid.

Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick (shade - unknown) ($28)
The national makeup artist told me that he would recommend this for an effortless and neutral look. This shadow stick is supposed to take away your need for a base or primer or brushes. Apparently, you may use the shadow stick itself as a base. The shadow stick colors available are beautiful. I would want every one of them. Unfortunately, I did not like the quality of the product. It applied patchy and creased on me within minutes of the application. Take a close look at the picture below where I have lowered my gaze and note the creasing. I would not recommend this for people with combination or oily lids. I would also not recommend this as a base or primer. I am not sure how this would look on someone with dry lids. It does apply patchy on my normal lids. I would suggest applying a primer to hold this shadow stick in place. 

The Final Look... 

Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Essie Nail Polish Sand Tropez (Neutral Manicure for Fall / Autumn)

Hey y'all. 

I love saying y'all. When I first began blogging, my greeting was a very formal and mundane hello everyone/everybody and welcome with an exclamation mark or few.  Since then I have thought deeply about a creative and personalized greeting for my blog, but have had no luck coming up with something catchy and unique. For now I'm just happy pretending to be a Southern Belle, saying hey y'all. This phrase is something I liked and picked up even before moving down South. Although I would not label myself to be a conformist, I enjoy the sense of pride and exclusivity one feels as part of identifying ones self with a group, entity, culture, tradition, or cause. Ever since I moved down South, I have fallen in love with the romantic atmosphere and "Southern" sense of unity and culture - mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, gumbo, salted peanuts, iced tea, sun dresses, and did I mention, the accent. I am an Indian American with a "Southern" accent! I have been told that I sound a bit like an annoying version of Reba. And did I mention yet my obsession with the show Nashville?

Perhaps you can tell by my off tangent introduction, expressing my love for the South, that it is such an internal struggle for me to write my posts. On one hand I want to write in a conversational, informal, creative, mainstream manner, but on the other hand my experience is writing science literature reviews and legal memorandums and appellate briefs forces me to write somewhat too formally on here. I believe no beauty enthusiast wants to read a blog post that is organized in a rigid format. Hypothesis, experimental data, and conclusion of this product, anyone? Or the issue with this brand is "x", while the rule is the beauty jurisdiction is "abc", the brand claims "123", however, the people allege "blah blah blah", and the beauty guru judge concludes "bam". I think only law students or those familiar with legal education will find the previous statement sort of humorous. 

Anyways, enough of my jibber jabber. Let us move on to a beauty neutral shade, which I would like to share with you today and recommend for this Fall/Autumn. You all may have already heard of Essie's Sand Tropez. This is a very popular shade. I was a little late to join this party, so I thought to share the news with those of you who have not joined in yet. 

In the bottle, Sand Tropez reminds me of vanilla almond milk. If you have not already eaten this concoction, please try honey nut cheerios with vanilla almond milk. Yummers for your tummers!!! I was worried that Sand Tropez would look too bland or muddy against my olive-beige skin tone. However, I don't think it makes my hands look dull. On my nails, I would describe Sand Tropez as a mid-tone sandy beige with light brownish gray undertones. I get a little too elaborate with words while trying to explain the shade, so I always include a lot of pictures for a proper visual demonstration. Fortunately, my camera captures the true to what it looks like in person. 

Let me hear an alleluia for finding a no-fuss, non-streaky, non-patchy, non-goopy creme formula in a neutral or nude shade!!! The first coat might appear streaky if you have ridges on your fingernails. Some people tends to have more ridges than others. I don't have prominent ridges, so for me the initial coat of this color is not streaky. However, the initial coat of this nail polish applies a little patchy on my nails, but only on certain ones. It looks fully opaque and evens out by the second coat as you can see in the pictures below. Overall, I really like the formula of this Essie creme polish. 

Someone once told that Essie's Sand Tropez stayed on her nails, chip-free, for two weeks. I did not wear this shade for two weeks, but for the four or five days I worn it, I did not observe any chipping. My nails grow very fast, so apart from the appearance of the manicure changing due to nail growth, this polish seems to have good wear-time. 

Essie nail polishes cost $8, but keep an eye out for a coupon or BOGO sale. Today, I found select Essie polishes for $3.99 at TJMAXX. I did not take a close look at the particular shades available because I am currently "fasting" from buying nail polishes. I started my no-buy at the beginning of August and am still going strong. 

Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Essie Nail Polish Lady Like (Neutral Manicure for Fall / Autumn)

Hey y'all. 

I have the most gorgeous, delicate, and subdued nail color to share with y'all today. Essie's Lady Like is a must have nail color for any lady. I think the name is very appropriate for this soft, light beige-taupe with pink undertones. In the bottle, this polish looks like it has a semi-frosty (not frost, not creme) finish because it has a reddish-silvery-purple sheen. However, on the nails it applies as "glossy" creme polish and the "colorful" sheen is not very prominent. 

The formula of this police is very versatile. One coat of this polish provides a purple tint to your nails, which looks very natural and reminds me of the color of my nails when I am feeling very cold. This polish appears opaque within two coats. The application is effortless; one coat or two coats, whatever look your heart desires, non-streaky, and non-patchy. 

This polish may not look that interesting or unique, but I disagree. Unlike some other taupes that can look very stark or dull, especially on medium to darker skin tones, this shade is quite the contrary because it is lighter and glossier on the scale of taupe shades. 

Essie polishes are $8 here in the U.S. If you live in the U.S., Rite Aid, Target, and ULTA sometimes have $2 off Essie polishes. Also, ULTA has "BOGO" sales on its OPI, China Glaze, and Essie around Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

Y'all must get this shade if y'all are looking for a neutral shade for Fall/Autumn. Essie's Ladylike is simple, yet clean and classy. It is youthful, shiny, and light enough for young ladies, while being simple, sophisticated, and elegant enough for mature ladies. 

Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick #75 "Forbidden Kiss"

If Snow White owned a lipstick, it would probably be Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick called Forbidden Kiss. This lipstick could not have had a more appropriate name. I definitely feel like I am Snow White with this lipstick on. The boldness and depth of the red lips brightens up my face. Who knows... maybe my Prince Charming himself chose this color out for me...

As Snow White was roaming through the "Cosmetic Company Outlet" Forest, she came across this shiny golden and red object. Out of curiosity, she opened it and smelled the rosy fragrance of the product. She decided to color her lips with this rouge colored stick and there and then Snow White discovered her statement lip. If only she knew then that generations of girly girls would venture on this same quest to find their perfect red statement lip and a Prince Charming too... of course!

I purchased this lipstick at the Cosmetic Company Outlet for about $18. An EL lipstick typically costs about $25. CCO's carry ESTEE LAUDER Company products, which includes MAC, BOBBI BROWN, and CLINIQUE products. The reason for the discounted price is because the Cosmetic Company Outlet mainly sells discontinued or limited edition or seasonal beauty products, but sometimes you do find permanent products. For instance, I have seen MAC lip conditioners and MAC black track fluid line gel liners sold at CCOs as well. Now, I am not sure whether Forbidden Kiss was a limited edition shade because I did not see it listed on the EL website. However, I did see a new product that may be similar - New Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick called Forbidden Apple. I would still ask an MUA at your local EL counter before giving up hope in case you do not have an outlet near you or the CCO near you does not carry this shade.

This lipstick is meant to have a lasting creme finish and it surely lives up to that promise. It glides on smoothly and stays in place. Of course reds do tend to smear, so be careful, but I never use a lip liner and I definitely felt like I had control when I was applying this one.

It lasts for a good portion of my day and fades into a stain after I have had a meal. I am not a fan of long wearing or stain sort of lipsticks, so the lasting power is not a major factor for me. I definitely would not like an $18 lipstick to wear off within half an hour and need constant reapplication, but this is definitely not like one of those cheap formulation lipsticks. This lasts a few hours, long enough for my day or night outing, and that suffices me. 

I have included four images so you all can have an idea of the color and its variations with in different lighting. I am not sure whether this has any prominent undertones. In my opinion, it is a pure red, but it is dark and bold, much deeper than a tomato or fire-engine or cherry-berry red, but not a vampy oxblood shade.  I cannot detect hints of plum, brown, magenta, purple, or burgundy. To state more succinctly, it is a maroon, but not a wine-burgandy shade. I think these images will give you a better concept of the color than my extensive, yet somewhat confusing description. 

This lipsticks looks, feels, and wears like a luxury lip product. Like I already mentioned it has a strong rosy scent, which I love, but some of you may not if you are sensitive to scents. The texture is so smooth and creamy, but the application is not messy. The color is a gorgeous dark red. It brightens your complexion and whitens your teeth. Overall, an "A+" lipstick and a must have for any red lip lover. 

Bisou bisou (kiss kiss) as a friend from France used to say... 

Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Essie Nail Polish Under Where (Resort 2013 Collection) (Review / Swatches)

Hey y'all. Beauty to us beauty enthusiasts means a lot more than just an irrational passion for makeup, shopping, and playing dress up. Not only do we believe in natural beauty and accentuating that natural beauty, but also our inner beauty, sense of femininity, identity, and health. A women's beauty includes the effects of life upon her body, i.e., motherhood, and it is all tied together - body, mind, and soul. 

Today, I have a pinky lavender manicure to share in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. I posted a dusty pinky mauve manicure last week, Sephora by OPI Casting Call, so hope y'all will take a look at that post as well. However, this post is not just about wearing a shade of pink in honor of these women, but it is a way of showing support, creating a sense of unity, and spreading awareness. Make sure to take action - make a donation, give a hug, stay-strong for the one affected in your life, or take care of your own health and not take the present for granted. 

Essie's Under Where was released as part of the Resort Collection, which included the popular Sunday Funday. Not to worry folks, I have observed that polishes from this collection are still available in some stores and of course online. Essie's Under Where is another one of those Essie polishes with a no-fuss formula. I have used two coats in the pictures below along with my holy grail top coat, which is Essie's Good to Go. Essie polishes are reputed for an extremely broad color range; its small, cute, non-bulky bottles; and lastly, longevity. By the time I am on my fourth or fifth day, which is typical when I like to remove my polish, I only have minimal chipping on my index finger. 

So, what makes this shade unique? Essie's Under Where is a less pink, warmer version of OPI's Lucky Lucky Lavender (OLLL). For me it was a great alternative to OLLL. I did not fair well with the OLLL's formula, nor was I fond of its cotton candy / bubble gum pink appearance on my skin tone. If you are my skin tone, Essie's Under Where is the perfect, warm-toned, pinky lavender.  It makes your hands look "warm" rather than "gray", which tends to happen to darker skin tones wearing cool toned shades. The warmth in this shade makes this wearable whether it be Spring or Fall (Autumn). 

Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fashion Look Book # 1: What's trending in my closet? (#OOTDs)

What are my current favorite trends? See below! How to style, mix 'n' match? Where to buy? See below! 

My favorite fashion items are definitely slouchy printed super soft sweaters, sheer loosely fit button down blouses, dark washed skinny jeans, military light-weight jackets, gold accessories, and nude and/or cognac handbags and footwear. Lately, some of my favorite fashion colors are cobalt blue, mint, military green, black 'n' white, orange-red, and fuchsia. 

Check out Express for their new selection of solid as well as printed sheer button-down blouses and soft and cozy printed sweaters. Francesca's and Target have an amazing selection of jewelry as I have displayed in my jewelry and accessories haul(s) before. Francesca's has a boutique style fashion collection at affordable prices. I don't need jewel-mint, stella 'n' dot, j.crew, or any other online subscriptions. I can see and select items in person. The quality is nowhere near the cheap quality of Forever 21 accessories.

Although I don't wear dresses too often, I always find affordable and beautiful dresses at Belk, suitable for both cooler and warmer weather. The Celebrity Jeans brand, available at Dillard's and select Macy's and Belk, is an affordable brand for quality jeans. This brand offers a broad selection of colors and the material of the jeans is tremendously comfortable, flexible, and feels gentle on your legs. 

Leopard Print, Skinny Jeans, and Cross-body Handbag? 

Diamond-cut Earrings (Target), Leopard Sweater (Express), Michael Kors Handbag (Belk), Nude Flats (Dillard's), Gold Chunky Chain Link Bracelet (TJ MAXX), Black Camisole (Express) 

Chevron and Red-Orange, Nude Handbag and Flats? 

Navy-Orange, Chevron-print Dress (Belk), Orange Earrings (Target), Coach Handbag (Dillard's), Nude Flats (Dillard's), Juicy Couture Gold Chain Link Charm Bracelet (Juicy Couture Outlet) 

Hearts, Leopard, Long Comfy Big Print Sweaters, Black Jeggings, Cobalt Blue? 

Floral Jumper (Target), Heart Sweater (Target), Gray Leopard Sequins Sweater (Express), Duo-metal Tribal Design Cobalt Blue Dress (Macy's), Gold Mint Bracelet (Francesca's), Pink-Blue Earrings (Francesca's), Black High-Waste Jeggings (Express) 

Floral and Cognac Platform Wedge Sandals? 

Floral Dress (Belk), Wedge-sandals (ALDO), Floral Jumper (Target), Jewelry (Francesca's) ... and one of my best friends... miss you! 

Mint and Cognac Platform Wedge Pumps?

Mint Dress (Selah Collections), Mint Wedge-sandals (Belk), Mint Earrings (Dillard's), Brown Platform Wedge Pumps (DSW) 

Tribal Minis, Duo-Metal, Cinched Waistline?

Colorful Tribal Stretch-band Mini Skirt (Dillard's), Yellow Sheer Button-down Blouse (Dillard's), Flat Brown Gladiator Sandals (ALDO), Yellow Crystal Earrings (Francesca's), Brown Wedge-sandals (ALDO), Duo-metal Tribal Design Black Dress (Macy's), Michael Kors Handbag (TJ MAXX), Gold Hoops (Kohl's)

Leopard Sheer Blouses, Turquoise, Gold, Coral, Nude Pumps, Skinny Jeans? Oxblood Lips? 

Leopard Shirt (Kohl's), Blue Jeans by Celebrity Jeans (Dillard's), Nude Pumps (DSW), Michael Kors Handbag (TJ MAXX), Gold Chunky Chain Link Bracelet (TJ MAXX), Turquoise-Coral Earrings and Necklace (Hand Picked) 

Cobalt Blue and Pistachio Green?

Green-Blue Dress (Belk), Earrings (Francesca's), White Gladiator Flat Sandals (ALDO), Mint Gold Chain Link Bracelet (Light Years) 

Black 'n' White and Nude Wedges?

Black Jeans by Celebrity Jeans (Dillard's), Coach Handbag (Dillard's), Wedge-sandals (ALDO), Palm-tree Shirt (American Eagle), Statement Jewelry (TJ MAXX) 

Military and Mint?

Cat-winged Sunglasses (Kohl's), Mint Pants by Celebrity Jeans (Dillard's), Mint Earrings (Bass, Co.), Michael Kors Handbag (TJ MAXX), Palm-tree Shirt (American Eagle), Army Green Jacket (Selah's), Brown Platform Wedge Pumps (DSW) 

What are your favorite trends? Comment below! 
I rarely post about fashion look-books or outfit(s) of the day(s). Please let me know if you like them, find them helpful, and would like to see more. 

Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sephora by OPI Nail Polish Casting Call: Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Fall/Autumn 2013)

Hey y'all! 

Looking for a dusty pink-mauve nail color? I would like to recommend a beautiful and an affordable option for y'all today - Sephora by OPI's Casting Call

On sale, woohoo!!! Since the middle of Summer, Sephora has marked down its Sephora by OPI nail colors by 50%. If you buy one nail polish, it will cost $4.50 (originally $9). Also, if you buy three, you can save about 50 cents per nail polish, and purchase three for $12. I picked up quite a few colors, but I made the mistake of buying them on separate days, mainly because the shades I liked were at two different Sephora stores, so I wanted to point out to you all that you can save a little bit by getting a few together. 

A warm 'n' cozy color!!! Personally, I don't associate pink with Fall/Autumn. I don't even associate it with Summer. I like to implement pink in my wardrobe during the Spring because I associate pink with the fresh bloom of blossoms, tulips, and colorful gardens in the Spring. However, there are many muted creamy pink nail colors with brown, taupe, or mauve undertones that are perfect for time of the year, when you just want to feel warm and cozy. What do I really like about Casting Call that makes it very unique from other muted creamy pinks might you ask? I like that although it is a deep and dusty shade, it is not dull or muddy. You know those colors that add a gray stark cast to your hands? Or those colors you see and think, oh this looks too "mature"? Well, this shade is quite the contrary. The pink is very prominent, especially in light. Rosy, taupe, or purplish mauves are popular shades for the Fall/Autumn, so why not try a dusty pink-mauve?

Easy peasy application, yes!!! I used two coats in the pictures below. Some of you may only need one coat. This is a fully opaque, creamy, non-streaky nail color. Sadly, I cannot say this for some of the other colors by this brand, such as, surprisingly, the popular Metro Chic

Help a Cause!!! Narrow minded of me, perhaps, but I also associate pink with being a young girl - innocent, playful, delicate, sensitive, light-hearted. Pink reminds me of little newborn baby girls in frills and bows with pinched pink cheeks. Pink reminds me of Disney Princesses. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In honor of this month, businesses, charities, and non-profit organizations as well as individuals organize fundraisers and bring about awareness to the public. When I began blogging, one of my goals was and still is to help raise awareness for charitable causes through my blog. I hope to accomplish that one day in the future. For now, I wanted to post up a "pink" themed manicure ideal for this season as well as in honor of all of the special women across the world. 

Please feel free to share your "pink" manicure post by leaving a link to it in the comments below. 


Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bold 'n' Deep Lip Color Favorites for Fall / Autumn 2013 (Part I): RIMMEL, REVLON, NARS, SHISEIDO, YSL, CHANEL, TOO FACED, BUTTER LONDON, H&M

Hello, my lovely beauty enthusiasts and those who have been misguided by your search engine while looking up a recipe for chocolate covered strawberries. If you are reading this post right now, then you are either interested in discovering a few deep, warm, or bold lip colors for this Fall (Autumn) season or wondering how in the world can someone have such a passion (cough, cough, obsession?) with lipsticks. 

Those of you, who are very familiar with my blog, know that I love lip colors more than any other beauty product out there. The innocent, yet greedy, genuine, yet flighty, childlike, yet bordering addictive behavior, love of mine of lipsticks. So, I thought it would be a good idea to go through my stash and select colors I would like to recommend for this Fall (Autumn) season. 

Below you will find a selection of drug-store, mid-range to high-end lipsticks in shades of red, plum, burgundy, and wine. This post will be the first part of a two or three part series. So, those of you who do not feel comfortable wearing bold and vampy lip colors, worry not because I have some deep mauve, rosy, warm, neutral, chocolate shades coming your way in upcoming posts. Also, I have selected lip colors of different formulas, so whether you are looking for a matte, lacquer, creme, or sheer finish, there is one of each kind displayed in this post. 

Bottom to Top: Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Nocturne, NARS Matte Terre De Feu, Chanel Rouge Allure La Sensuelle, Rimmel London Kate Moss Matte 107, H&M Wild Thing, Chanel Rouge Coco Ballet Russe, Revlon Super Lustrous Shine Plum Velour, Butter London LIPPY Tinted Lip Balm Black Cherry Rouge Pur FARD A LEVRES, Too Faced Divine Wine. 

Left to Right (L-R): Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Nocturne, NARS Matte Terre De Feu, Chanel Rouge Allure La Sensuelle, Rimmel London Kate Moss Matte 107, H&M Wild Thing, Chanel Rouge Coco Ballet Russe, Revlon Super Lustrous Shine Plum Velour, Butter London LIPPY Tinted Lip Balm Black Cherry, Rouge Pur FARD A LEVRES, Too Faced Divine Wine. 

(no flash) 

(w/ flash) 

L-R: Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Nocturne, NARS Matte Terre De Feu, Chanel Rouge Allure La Sensuelle, Rimmel London Kate Moss Matte 107

L-R: H&M Wild Thing, Chanel Rouge Coco Ballet Russe, Revlon Super Lustrous Shine Plum Velour

L-R: Butter London LIPPY Tinted Lip Balm Black Cherry, Rouge Pur FARD A LEVRES, Too Faced Divine Wine

NARS Terre De Feu is a matte dark wine, blackened red. I really like this shade because you wear it bold as it is is or you can tone down the color by using a balm underneath or blending it using your fingers. Yes, this is a bold lip, but I still would not label it as a vampy shade. I would feel comfortable wearing this during the day. This shade does not have yellow, orange, or brown undertones, which is why I like it and find it compliments my olive-yellow-beige skin tone. This lip color is definitely long-lasting, meaning you will get longer wear time than the typical three to four hours. Although a matte, this lipstick is not drying for my normal to minimally dry lips. I recently purchase this shade. If I had done a separate post on this one, I would like to point out the small rounded bullet, which made application of this color feasible. Dark reds or reds in general are difficult to apply with precision and many like to wear a liner for this reason, but I don't like wearing lip liner, so I appreciate bullets that are easy to maneuver. Price $26. 

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet #40 La Sensuelle is a matte raspberry red with blue undertones. Again, even though this is a matte lipstick, the formula is as emollient as a that of a creme. This lipstick is not as long lasting as NARS Terre De Feu. This lipstick will fade once you eat or drink, otherwise it will last about four hours on average. This is another shade you can wear bold as is or tone it down with a lip balm underneath as I have done in the picture below. Price $34. 

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Nocturne is a warm, deep, cranberry red. I was not comfortable with this color at first, but I have grown to like it a lot. I love Shiseido Lacquer Rouge lip colors for their formula. I feel that  no matter how much I rave about the formula, my words cannot justify its excellence. See a thorough review of this lip product here. The words I used to describe this liquid lipstick in my review include phenomenal, optimal, and commendable. For someone who does not like the heavy, sticky, tightening texture of long-wear liquid stain, lipsticks or glosses, I was quite impressed by the lightweight comfortable texture of the Shiseido Lacquer Rouge lip colors. Price $25. 

H&M Wild Thing is a creamy satin, dark, vampy, eggplant-burgundy shade. This lipstick is a much cheaper alternative to the next lipstick shown below. The formula is surprisingly comfortable and non-drying. Honestly, I was hesitant to buy this at first, but I am so glad I gave it a try. H&M is an apparel and accessories store, not at all an exclusive or known cosmetic brand. The packaging is cheap. I never give a second look to makeup by apparel brands, such as Forever 21, NYC, Express, or Charlotte Russe because they give off a strong cheap quality, toxic-chemical vibe to me. However, I do not regret H&M Wild Thing. It does not have a noticeable plastic scent that you find in lower-end cosmetics. Although such dark shades are hard to apply, H&M Wild Thing applies uniformly. This lip shade fades, over three to four hours or after eating, into a sheer berry tint. You can also sheer it out with a lip balm underneath. Price $5.99. 

Chanel Rouge Coco Ballet Russe is a creamy eggplant, plum-red-brown shade. This shade has stronger brown undertones than H&M Wild Thing. The two are very similar in that both remind of an eggplant or dark plummy-red wine. I like to wear Chanel Ballet Russe sheered out because wearing it as it is, full-intensity, it can look a little too dark, dated, mature for my age and liking. Chanel lipsticks have a classic rose scent, which I love. It makes me feel so luxurious. The lipstick glides on so smoothly, like the smooth, sound-less ride of a luxury car. I like to describe Chanel as the mercedes of lipsticks, while Tom Ford is more like porsche. The wear-time is typical three to four hours for me, nothing extraordinary. Price $ 34. 

Revlon Super Lustrous Shine Plum Velour is a light grape red with prominent fuchsia pink undertones. Although I am not very impressed by the formula of these Shine lipsticks, I really like the two shades I kept of the four I tried. In fact, I have grown very fond of this shade as Fall/Autumn rolls in. I think this shade looks flattering on me and typically shades in this red-fuschia-berry family do not suit my skin tone. So, if your skin tone is similar to mine, but Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Crush doesn't suit you, this might. Read my complete review of the Shine lipsticks here. Price $4.99. 

YSL Rouge Pur Fard A Levres is a creamy maroon shade, which is a blend of red and brown. This shade is very similar to Too Faced Divine Wine below, except that this one has a coppery undertone and an opaque creme formula. I purchased this shade at a duty free store in an airport. This color is truly reflective of the warm, cozy, earthy, coppery tones of Fall/Autumn. The wear-time is typical three to four hours, nothing extraordinary, despite the hefty price point. However, the formula is very smooth like a lip balm. This shade fades into a clean apple red tint, so reapplication is easy. Price $30. 

Too Faced La Creme Divine Wine is a blackened maroon (mix of red and brown). This lipstick is sheer and glossy, but nicely pigmented so you can build up the intensity. This would be an affordable alternative to YSL Fard A Levres. Due to the shiny and emollient formula, this lipstick does not last as long as the average three to four hours, but its staying power is definitely not as fickle as that of YSL Volupte Shine lipsticks. Price $21. 

Butter London Lippy Tinted Balm Black Cherry is blackened grape-plum-red. I really like this shade. The formula is decent, less balmy, more like a traditional sheer semi-creme lipstick. I don't wear this product for hydration or moisturizing purposes. It doesn't suck the moisture from your lips as some lipsticks, even non-matte ones, can do, but it also is not very emollient as its name implies. This fades into a gorgeous "just-bitten" plump-looking stain on the lips. I like to wear it blended out by my finger because I like the simple doll-like stained look. See my complete review of this lip product here. Price $19. 

Rimmel London Kate Moss Matte #107 is a popular shade. You might already own it. It is a dupe for Chanel Rouge Coco #21 Rivoli. Although a matte lipstick, #107 is not at all drying. I would describe it as a semi-matte or matte-creme. Furthermore, it applies with ease, not patchy as some other dark/red matte lipsticks. I am not quite sure about the staying-power of this lipstick. I feel like all lipsticks mentioned in this post last for about three to four hours on my lips with the exception of a few. Price $5.99.

 I own very few lipsticks, such as NARS Terre De Feu, which last more than the "usual" (three to four hours). I don't really keep track though because all of my lipsticks transfer, not outside of lip lines, but onto stuff - food, rim of water bottle, tea cup, coffee mug, my hand, etc. Also, my days are very rush-rush, so I also don't take the opportunity to reapply my lip color as my day goes on. I may reapply a lip balm if my lips look parched. Sadly, even though my lipsticks can last three to four hours, my morning coffee takes its toll on the lip color I have on and so the "usual" never really happens. 

Well, hope you enjoyed these part 1, stay tuned for more lip color selections for this Fall/Autumn season. 
Please support StrawberryHeartsChocolateDarts @

Your friendly comments and feedback are much appreciated.