Radiant Orchid: Paint Yourself Purple with Pantone's Color of the Year
Radiant Orchid: Paint Yourself Purple with Pantone’s Color of the Year by bloominbeauty featuring a benefit blush

Count me totally stoked at the announcement of 2014’s color of the year: Radiant Orchid. I have been obsessing over lavender-hued lips and cheeks since earlier this summer and perhaps it’s no coincidence knowing that this was the planned upcoming color.

Above I’ve selected various shades of appropriately orchid proportion. I’ve just ordered Benefit’s latest lip and cheek tint, Lollitint and I’m very excited to give that a whirl. I picked up the Buxom lip cream in Lavender Cosmo earlier this year and I’ve loved it. I also bought the Bite lip pencil in Violet and it’s so super saturated- it’s amazing. I picked up Hervana in store this past weekend thinking that it was about time that I got around to trying it and I’m hoping it’s going to pair well with Lollitint.

Laura Mercier has a beautiful caviar stick in Orchid that is still on my wishlist. Too Faced is coming out with new shades of a favorite lipstick of mine (La Creme) called Lollipop and it looks promising. I just swatched Givenchy It-Girl Purple blush in Sephora this weekend and it took everything in me not to grab it that very second. I imagine this will be mine in the near future.

For nails Zoya Charisma and Essie Play Date stood out as gentle, creamy ways to wear the trend if you aren’t into the bolder lipstick or blush variety.

What do you say? Is Radiant Orchid up your alley or all wrong for your coloring? I personally like it better than Emerald and Tangerine Tango from the past two years. I think it’s just girly and fun and oh so sweet.

Hi ladies! I thought before I debut my super nail polish swatch-a-thon post that I would do a little write up of some products I have tried and just didn’t like or they just didn’t work for me. Most of these products have been endlessly hyped up on blogs and YT everywhere, which is what led me to them in first place.  Please PLEASE understand that the items that made my list didn’t work *for me*, which is not to say that they are necessarily not able to work for others.  Keep in mind that we all have different skin tones and types and that our tastes may be completely different.

Alrighty, then, with that out of the way, I present the products I regret buying, or that were  “not worth the hype” for me.

  1. Benefit Sugarbomb “blush”

Benefit Sugarbomb- Image from Sephora.com

I bought this in April sometime after seeing video after video of how this was someone’s “go to” blush and was their all time favorite and so on and so forth. I just don’t get it. My skintone doesn’t seem too far from those making that claim so why it *barely* showed up on my cheeks, I won’t know. There was absolutely, positively nothing special about this blush for me. So uneventful in fact that I didn’t even manage to take a photo of it and swatches before I took it back to Sephora. I have $3 blushes from ELF that are better than this. I honestly and seriously cannot see how someone of my skintone could ever wear this as a blush. Someone with VERY fair skin could probably do it, and well perhaps. I wouldn’t be so hard on this blush if it weren’t for 2 things: the hype and the price. I would be ok paying may $5-$10 for this blush. But certainly not $28, which is more than MAC, NARS, Tarte, or Sonia Kashuk which make far superior blushes to this one.

Alternative: Benefit Bella Bamba which is my favorite Benefit blush.You can see my review here.

2.  Dior Amber Diamond

Dior Amber Diamond

Ok, I get it. It’s Dior, it’s pretty, it’s soft, the packaging is cute. But this did not give me that “natural” glow that so many people have talked about this giving. It gave me a more subdued  frosty shimmer. It certainly wasn’t ugly on my cheeks, but it wasn’t any better or any different than my Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips, which are around $9 compared to Dior’s $44 price tag. In my opinion, this is worth no more than $15-$20 at best, and the rest is paying for the Dior name. Maybe it’s because I had heard so much about it that when I eventually tried it my expectations were so high that it could never possibly live up to it. Kind of like when I finally watched the movie ‘The Ring’ years ago. Climatic build, huge let down. Whatever the reason, I tried it for two weeks and returned it to Sephora. I am not opposed to some day trying out a different shade if they ever choose to make more. But $44 is an awful lot to spend on a highlighter, so when I do drop that cash it needs to be *Ah-mazing* and this just fell very flat for me.

Alternative: Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Rose Gold which is by far the best highlighter I own, period, end of report. It gives me the natural glow I want, with the cream formula I love. Or, if you are looking for a powder, try the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips–they make several shades and they are a bargain at $9.

3.  MAC Feline Kohl Liner

I had heard that this the THE black eyeliner to have. It was the blackest, and therefore the best. Not true, ladies. I don’t normally have issues with liner staying put for me. I use an eye primer and have several liners that don’t budge all day. I am not kidding you when I say that MAC Feline smudges on me EVERY single time I wear it. I end up looking  like a hot mess in short order with this liner. I don’t know what it is about it that either doesn’t last or doesn’t agree with my skin, but it is quite possibly the worst eyeliner it was ever my misfortune to purchase. Unfortunately I still own it because I didn’t realize how bad it was until several weeks into owning it. Trust me when I say you don’t need to hunt this one down. There are so many others out there that work so much better!

Alternative: Urban Decay 24-7 liner in Perversion is just as black and stays put on me on all day. For a gel liner, try MAC Blacktrack fluidline, which does last on me or Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner which is lovely as well.

4. EOS lip balm spheres

EOS Lip Balm Spheres

At first when I saw these cute little “dumplings” I was oh so excited to try them out. I mean, really, I love the presentation. But unfortunately for me, this were all show, and no substance. They really don’t do anything for moisturizing my lips at all. The red one actually made my lips for more dry than they did prior to using it. I don’t think I will ever purchase another because these two were just so uneventful. Unless they change the formula, these are complete duds.

Alternative: My favorite lip balm/chapstick is my Blistex Medicated lip balm. It soothes, protects, and moisturizes. It’s definitely not as cute as the EOS, but it performs like a star.

5 & 6.  Benefit Benetint and Posietint/ Tarte Cheek Stains

Benetint and Posietint

I am sorry, but these were  just plain bad for me. The Tarte Cheek Stains are equally bad on me. I don’t have them pictured here, but I have quite a few minis that have come in sets and the only one I like is ‘Eco Cheek’.  The Benefit ones have a horrendous taste which immediately rule them out for use on the lips. On the cheeks they don’t blend well and they dry so super fast. The Tarte stains are so sheer that you have to keep swiping and swiping for color. They are sticky and greasy as well. They slip and slide on my skin and never quite feel like they have ‘set’. I actually had to dig through my drawers to find them because they are buried in the abyss–which says something about a product for me when it’s at the bottom and the back of the drawer, ya feel me?

Alternative: I actually enjoy the Stila Crush lip and cheek stains immensely and own a couple of them. I can do a review if you are interested. Not budget friendly, but I enjoy the Beaute Flouron stain as well. The Body Shop made cheek and lip stains last year and I picked up an orange-y one. I am not sure whether they still make that shade or the line at all, but it is very nice.

7. Guerlain Meteorites

Guerlain Meteroites in Beige Chic

Ahh, one of the single most disappointing products ever. When I just entered “make up addict land”  MakeupAlley was the place I found first, because mostly I was looking for plain vanilla swatches. This product was one I saw frequently on there. Girls who had all the shades, loved them etc. So when Sephora (2 years ago?) had a set for sale that included this baby, I snatched it up, full throttle. Actually, this has a bit on sentimental value because I bought it in Vegas 🙂  at the Sephora just outside the Venetian. But upon trying it I could not see what so many others see in this product. The price is outrageously expensive, and again I think this is more “paying for the name” than anything else. I think the price is around $56 for a full size. Are you kidding me? Plus, I really *really* don’t like the smell of them. I would never buy another of these.

Alternative: Physicians Formula Happy Booster Translucent powder gives me the glow I thought I would get with Guerlain. Plus, the smell is 100x better. Better still is the fact that it costs around $11.  🙂

8. Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer

Rimmel Fix & Perfect

I don’t know that this can fall into the category of  “Hype” or not, because I don’t know that I have really heard a lot about it. What I can tell you is that this is a truly awful product (my experience) and I would never recommend this to anyone, especially oily/combination skin ladies. It did nothing in the way of smoothing or making my face feel more ready for foundation in the way of other primers, like my beloved Guerlain (review here). It made my face feel worse and like I had this heavy layer of moisturizer that was quite greasy. It was cheap and performed poorly. I really ought to just throw it away. I just have a problem wasting it. Do you ladies get this way too even if you absolutely hate something? Blech.

Alternative: Certainly loads more expensive, but I love my Guerlain primer. For a more budget friendly option, try Laura Geller Spackle ( I really enjoy this) or Smashbox Photo Finish primers.

9. MAC Nail Polishes

MAC Polishes Mean & Green, Bad Fairy

I can’t say whether it’s MAC’s formula or whether it’s me but these are probably the worst polishes for wear time ever. They chip so easily! It doesn’t matter what kind of top coat or base coat I try, they never last. When OPI, China Glaze and Essie are half the price and last 3 times or 4 times as long there really is no comparison. This is one MAC product I have zero interest in. The colors are gorgeous, but I expect (who knew) to be able to at least get through one day without any wear ‘n’ tear on my nails. Never happens when I wear MAC polishes, which is why I haven’t touched them at all in 2011. <—-not kidding 🙁

Well, I suppose I will end with that. Mostly, I have had fairly good if not great experiences with makeup and beauty products. The occasional fail does not stop my quest or my love for trying new things! I think it’s important to remember that beauty is subjective and ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. How about you, what products have you tried that didn’t meet your expectations?

‘Sup lovelies? Today I bring you the best value I have gotten in a LONG time. I had been spying this set for an equally LONG time before finally getting my hands on it. It’s the Benefit Femme Metale Set of three mini eyeliners and 3 full size creaseless cream shadows. Sephora.com sold out of it (it’s gone!) as it was a LE Holiday set. It went on sale for $28 and everyone snatched it up. My local Sephora was sold out of it as well when I went just before New Year’s Eve. But, as fate would have it, I stopped in that same Sephora store last weekend and they had ONE on the shelf. The last and loneliest one, and I swiped it so fast…man. I was so happy to have my hands on it! Check it out!

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows, Clockwise from Top: Platinum, Plum-ing for Gold, Taupe-Aztic

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows T-B: Plum-ing for Gold, Taupe-Aztic, Platinum

Benefit Liners L-R: Gem-N-Eye, Blinged, Steel Her Date

Benefit Liners T-B: Steel Her Date, Gem-N-Eye, Blinged

I am a HUGE creaseless cream shadow fan. They really have a great long-lasting formula and these colors are beautiful and classy, not over done at all. The liners are smooth and long lasting and Steel Her Date is my fav new liner! Umm, hell-o gorgeous!

This set was/is a fantastic deal if you can still find it at a local Sephora. I am really glad I was able to find because I truly enjoy all of the colors in this set. The best part is the price…I think it was originally $38, but knocked down to $28 was a super steal for three creaseless creams when they normally retail for $19 a piece! The the three liners are a total bonus on top! What a knockout metal set, totally rock worthy!

Some days are easy makeup days for me. A one shadow eye look, no fancy blending required. On those days in particular, a great cream shadow is my fav way to go. Cue Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows. They glide on like a dream and stay put all day for me. I own three shades so far, but I plan to own many more of them in future! Take a look!

L-R: Tattletale, Skinny Jeans, RSVP

Just look at how gorgeous these shades are! Tattletale is a white gold, Skinny Jeans is hard to describe, but to me it’s a gunmetal taupe (read Pewter) with flecks of shimmer. It is a really unique and beautiful shade. And lastly, RSVP which is a peachy nude shimmer. These shades work great alone, or when used as a base. You don’t need to be heavy handed with these as they are quite pigmented. If you use too much, you run the risk of creasing from product overload. They retail for $19 each and can be found at Sephora.com and other retailers. For good measure, here is what the packaging looks like:

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow Pot

The packaging is darling, and you get quite a bit of product. Over the past year I have been continually impressed with Benefit’s products. I would have to say they really carry some of my most prized items in my makeup collection. What do you think about the Creaseless Cream Shadows? Wouldn’t Skinny Jeans look great as a base for a smokey eye?

This will not be the first time you hear me declare my love for Benefit’s boxed powders, or Benefit in general for that matter. Behold! The new Bella Bamba 3D powder for Spring. She retails for $28 from Sephora.com or Benefitcosmetics.com. As already discussed by several other reviewers, the packaging has changed. I prefer the old removable top box because the lid on mine doesn’t stay open all the way when I am using it. The brush has improved and is actually usable.

Benefit Bella Bamba Boxed Powder

I did some comparison swatches so you could see what Bella Bamba looked like next to other products you may already own:

Benefit Boxed Powders L-R: Dallas, Georgia, Bella Bamba, Coralista

MAC Stereo Rose (L) vs. Benefit Bella Bamba (R)

Bella Bamba is a bright watermelon pink with golden shimmer laced throughout. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s buildable coverage so you can apply with a light or heavy hand depending on what look you are going for. Just a touch woke up my cheeks today! Love this!

What say you about the new box design? Interested in picking up Bella Bamba?