Hello! Remember me? Long-lost wayfaring beauty lover? If you follow me on Twitter I posted a few updates over the last two months about what has been going on with me. I have gone through several personal changes, not the least of which is a job (though not career) change and relocating to the Chicago area. It’s been fun living in a bigger city but it’s been incredibly time-consuming during the adjustment. I’m happier than I can ever remember being and look forward to the other exciting things this new chapter of my life will bring. I thought it would be incredibly scary moving to a big city and away from my lifelong friends and family, and I was right. However, I have a great support system so it’s made it a lot easier for me. I also appreciate everyone who has emailed, tweeted and messaged me the past two months. I cannot tell you how much it brightened my day when I saw that. What also surprised me was the amount of visits my site still received even without any new posts. I owe a huge thank you to all of you for sticking this out with me!

Anyway, consider this my “welcome home” entry. I included few photos below to show some upcoming posts. I will be easing back into this so don’t expect daily posts, but I am shooting for 5-6 posts a month at this point, more if I can. I also just received my Chanel Notorious today- I haven’t photographed or swatched it yet but I’m super pumped to feature it once I do. You can also expect a few Dior eyeshadow palettes, some of the Sephora Cinderella collection and a few other bits and bobs including perfume (which I have really been getting into the last 2-3 months). I’m also planning a favorites post that includes what I have really been using during my move/transition (hint-some *awesome* staple products I have discovered).

Thanks again for sticking it out with me and being patient. I’m happy to be back in a sense and look forward to not only post/interacting again, but reading all of the blogs I have missed so much!

Danielle

My love for a particular brand–Sonia Kashuk, carried exclusively at Target–is well documented. A simple search of my blog will yield many results covering her products. On my frequent trips to the beauty aisles of Target (one might even say I haunt those walkways) I have ogled and subsequently purchased many an item. From brushes to blushes, Sonia Kashuk never fails to impress me.

Speaking of impressed, have you seen some of the fabulous new items out this spring?

Clockwise from left: Illuminating Bronzer, Eye Quad in Fair and Square, Satin Luxe Lip Color in Pink Punch

One thing that really gets me about Sonia Kashuk’s products is the packaging. It’s a drugstore brand presented like a department store one. The magnetic clasps thrill me to no end, and the sleek, clean lines of the packaging further excite me.

One of the stand-outs of her entire range are her eyeshadow quads (of which I have personally purchased seven). Fair and Square is no exception.

The mix of satin neutrals with high-powered shimmers makes the product undeniably versatile. Two of the shades are beyond creamy (the taupe brown and peachy/pink). The pink shade is drier and more powdery, and not my favorite texture of the group. The final shade is actually a cream–a full-on shimmer in the best possible way.

I find all the shades blend easily and work well together. The thing I love about the way Sonia Kashuk does shimmer shades is that they aren’t gritty like glitter, and they glide on smoothly. One thing to keep in mind when working with these types of shades is to apply your eye makeup first, so you can wipe away any possible fallout. The high-shimmer shadow gives you the freedom to apply a bit to your eyes to take your look from day to night without all the mess.

Need further proof? Take a peek at the looks I did with this palette (and the items featured above):

Day: Using the peach shade all over the lids, blended out with the pink and a tiny bit of the taupe in the outer corner, my eyes have definition and are office-appropriate. I also lightly dabbed on some Pink Punch Satin Luxe Lip Color and swept the Illuminating Bronzer across my cheekbones, then finished off with Sonia Kashuk’s blush in Sunset.

Night: To add some drama and flare, I dabbed on a bit more of the lipstick, deepened my eyelid crease with the taupe shade of shadow, put some more taupe near my lash lines, and finally dotted a small amount of the creamy/shimmer shade to the center of my lids.

It’s as simple as that! The ease of use, exceptional packaging and high-quality line-up will keep me coming back for more and more. Sonia Kashuk items can be purchased at Target stores or on the Target website here.

*I was sent these items by Target for review purposes.* However, to be fair, I had already purchased the Fair and Square quad myself last year. ;)

BlogHer is also sponsoring a great giveaway for my readers in the U.S. They are giving away a $100 Target GiftCard to one lucky person!

To be entered, tell me: How do you like to take your eye look from day to night?

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 6/4 to 6/30.
Be sure to visit the sponsor’s brand page on BlogHer.com, where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

PSA! Sonia Kashuk has released several new items in her spring collection and it’s hitting Target stores already. Another lovely blogger Alison (A Glimpse Into the Life of Alison M) has already raved about the new and totally gorgeous bronzer here. I am still totally crushing on the bronzer, but for the moment one thing caught my eye when I saw the collection in stores today…

It’s a perfectly unassuming bottle of mint nail polish…typically seen in every nail polish collection in spring so you may be asking, “what’s the big deal, Danielle?” Well first it’s called Fairy Princess. If that isn’t a good enough reason to buy something, then I ask that you focus your attention to the top corner of the bottle, see that flash? No? Try this one then…

Ah, much better. Do I need to say anything else or can I just end this post here? A gorgeous blue and sometimes purple shimmer has been added to this polish to make it totally unique. Way to go Ms. Kashuk (and team)!

I wouldn’t be any kind of respectable blogger if I didn’t show you some nail swatches so, enjoy! :)

(flash)

(setting sunlight)

(natural light)

The formula glides on nicely but my bottle seemed thicker than most Sonia Kashuk polishes are. It’s workable with relative ease, but I have come to expect a more buttery polish from her line. Also, you will need a top coat for shine as it dries semi-matte. It’s no bother for me because I use a top coat regardless of what kind of polish it is. In all of the pictures above I have no top coat on.

My suggestion? Head over to Target and grab this beauty up. When spring starts next week you will definitely want this on your nails. Whether you are more fairy, or more princess, this Fairy Princess polish is suitable for all. ;)

 

Hi ladies (and gents)! I hope you are all having a nice relaxing Sunday. I love Sundays this time of year, especially when the sun is out. It adds a nice warmth to the crisp, cool air. Plus, it’s football season here in the states which means tailgating and munching on snacks while watching back to back football games. I drift in and out of the room unless the Green Bay Packers are on. Even then, sometimes I cheat and multitask while watching the game, like blogging for instance ;)

I wanted to share with you some items I have picked up from the drugstore recently. Some stellar finds lately, I have to say!

New! From the Drugstore!

The first 2 items I got while stopping in to Walgreens to pick up Facets of Fuchsia for a friend, and of course obliged myself to look at all of the new displays. One of the items was Maybelline Eye Studio Gel liner in Forest. It’s not the first time I saw or heard about this. Jessica from Don’t Call Me Jessie actually tweeted and blogged about this shade previously and ever since then I have been intrigued. In a display near it were new Maybelline Colorsensational Lipsticks and the color Beige Bombshell looked like a great nude shade, so I picked that up too. I also think Walgreen’s was running a BOGO 50% off at the time so why buy one thing without adding the (usually unnecessary) second thing?!?! Sales!

In similar fashion I was at Walgreens again last week hunting down Loreal’s Owl’s Night nail polish for another friend, and Revlon was having a stellar sale. It was already $1 off the Revlon Colorstay line, but then they had BOGO 50% off AND $2 off each Revlon product coupon at the register! So I paid all of $8 for both the lipstick and the gloss when normally they are at least that much a piece! Steal!I picked up two nice berry colors, Bordeaux lipgloss and Raspberry lipstick.

L-R: Maybelline Forest, Maybelline Beige Bombshell, Revlon Bordeaux, Revlon Raspberry

I honestly haven’t been this thrilled with drugstore purchases in a long time. Nothing disappointed me. Although, the Maybelline lipstick *could* have longer staying power. Forest is gorgeous as a liner or as a base and stays put on me. For drugstore lip products, Revlon is really my favorite. Their Colorstay line is fabulous. The lipsticks and glosses are highly pigmented, don’t have a scent and feel so smooth upon application. If you haven’t tried the line out yet, wait for a sale and grab a few up.

And, it really helps me to see lip swatches of products so here you go:

Maybelline Colorsensational Beige Bombshell

It’s worth noting that no matter what I tried, the color looked washed out. It appears more Brown/Beige like the swatch on my arm in real life, though I guess it depends on your lip color really.

Revlon Colorburst Raspberry Lipstick

This color is amazing. Staying with me this fall for sure!

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Bordeaux

I was searching for a nice berry gloss and this is perfect! Another one that is sticking by my side this season.

New Nail Polish!

Ahh, and I can’t go without hauling new nail polish. Seriously. It’s a problem. On the same trip that I picked up the Maybelline items I also purchased Loreal’s new LE nail polish in Owl’s Night. I honestly hadn’t heard of the collection before going in to Walgreens but once I saw that color…it was just too unique not to grab it. I subsequently visited Target and found a new Sonia Kashuk color in Blank Slate (coming up more blue on camera than it is). And on my subsequent trip to Walgreens I found another Loreal LE polish I liked and that is called Raven’s Strength.

Loreal Raven's Strength

This one was the easiest to photograph of the three. It has a nice multi-dimensional and multi-colored shimmer to it. It has a nice, smooth formula.

Sonia Kashuk Blank Slate-Sunlight

 

Sonia Kashuk Blank Slate- Shade

I had to post two pictures of this because 1- it changes from lighter to darker when you are in the sunlight vs. in the shade and 2- because the sunlight seemed to bring out more of the blue tones in it on camera and it doesn’t appear that blue in real life. I would say the shade picture is closer to what it really looks like. As always, this polish was a breeze to apply and Sonia Kashuk’s formula is spot on.

And finally, several pictures of Owl’s Night because the shade is so complex and hard to capture…

Loreal Owl's Night- Direct Sunlight

 

Loreal Owl's Night- Shade

 

Loreal Owl's Night- Indoor Flash

 

Loreal Owl's Night Up Close

Owl’s Night is really a stunning shade, and surprising offering from the drugstore. I would expect a shade this complex to come from a higher end nail polish company. It has flecks of copper and dirty gold. It shines olive, bronze, brown and dirty gold depending on the angle and the light. Totally worth owning in my humble opinion!

Hi ladies! Today I had a case of the Mondays. Not that my day was bad (although working in finance on a day when the Dow drops 600 points isn’t the most fun) but what I mean is that I was (am) tirrrreeeedddd. Always a problem when I stay out or up late on weekends and sleep in and have to get back to my normal routine. I end up awake at midnight, trying desperately to fall asleep. The result? Getting about 5 hours of lackluster winks.

On days like today, concealer is the most useful tool. I have tried and tested several concealers in my day. After finding holy grail worthy products I have decided to dish what I love, dislike and am undecided on.

First Group of Contenders

Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller- Grade: B+

I actually *really* like this product. It feels cooling to my eyes in the morning. It’s easy to apply and it’s not thick so application takes just seconds. I prefer this on days when I am going pretty bare faced (hellloooo weekends) and in the summer it’s been nice too because I prefer something light weight. I don’t notice creasing with this product and I don’t set it with a powder.

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette- Grade: B-

This gets a B- grade because it’s only useful for me as a face concealer because under the eyes it’s a hot mess and doesn’t stay put. As a facial concealer alone, the grade would be B+/A- range. But I have to consider that most gals wouldn’t want to buy two concealers, especially when this one comes with three already. The powder included is very nice for setting. These blend well and hide spots nicely.

Mally Cancellation Conditioning Concealer* Medium- Grade: A-

Another product that I am really happy with. It blends nicely into my skin, fully covers dark circles and spots on the face. It doesn’t crease even if I don’t set it with powder (which I traditionally don’t like to do as powder ages skin and makes me look dried out). I would have given this an A grade if it weren’t for the price point/product amount. I would like to see a little more product for the money here.

Benefit Erase Paste Medium- Grade: C-

It’s the creasing on this product that lowers it’s grade significantly. It covers under eye circles like a dream and the salmon undertone to it really helps. However, this stuff is THICK. I used this in the winter last year. I must have liked it because I used an entire jar. This is my second one (mini version). I find this is WAY too thick to use on the face. It’s not a summer time concealer for me at all. Overall, if this didn’t crease so easily I would give it a much higher grade. AND if it was multipurpose.

Concealer Contenders, Round 2!

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Medium- Grade: A

This concealer is fantastic. It’s the perfect shade match for me too. It has a great consistency. It’s not watery, nor does it have molasses-like thickness. I like the wand applicator too. There is a reason why this is the concealer I choose to carry in my daily makeup bag. It lasts all day on me without creasing and works in equal measure under the eyes and on the face. Too bad we cannot get this easily in the U.S. thankfully I was able to con the lovely H of 25FLondon to send me one! ;)

TheBalm Time Balm Concealer Medium- Grade: B+

I do like this concealer. The only problem I have found with it so far is it’s just a tad too dark for my skintone. Can’t blame the concealer for that now can I? lol. This concealer is again thanks to the lovely H. I have heard so many raves about this product (my mom included) so it was nice to finally give it a go. I mix it a bit with another concealer you will see shortly and it creates a great shade for under the eyes and all around my face. It stays put on me with very minimal end of the day creasing.

Milani HD Advanced Concealer 02- Grade: B-

Firstly, I don’t necessarily have a fond-ness for click pens in general. I don’t like them frankly. That’s not why this product borders the B-/C+ range, though. It’s because it’s under eye concealing properties aren’t the best I have seen. It definitely brightens and lightens but it doesn’t completely cover. I do like it on the face, however, and under my eyes on days when I just want a little bit of brightness and not a heavy concealer. It’s also pricier than I would like to see for a drugstore product. Overall it’s one of those YSL touche eclat dupes that does what the YSL ones do, for a fraction of the price. If you have tried the YSL, you know they don’t do squat for concealing…they are really just brightening. This actually does give you some concealing, just not 100% coverage. I still enjoy having this around.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer NW20- Grade: A+

The.best.concealer.I.have.tried.period!!!!! It’s too light for me right now, and to be honest I think the lady at MAC got me way too light of a shade. I can’t use this on my face for that reason (would look leper-esque) but I was able to use it under my eyes up until the middle of June. Now it’s too light to even use there which is a bummer because I LOVE this stuff. My bottle is about 1/4 gone and I have had it since March. It NEVER creases on me, doesn’t need to be set with anything, blends well, covers everything and it isn’t unreasonably priced. This gets my highest recommendation. Only word of caution: the pump. Because this concealer is pigmented you only need a tiny amount so trust me when I say slowly compress the pump and get just a dab out. A whole pump wastes product. The pump is an after thought for me. I don’t care. A product this good could be sold in a ziplic bag and I would still buy it.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer Medium- Grade: B

I got this product in the Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous set on QVC. It will be released on it’s own in the near future. At any rate, it’s thick…soooo thick that you need to rub it on the back of your hand first (Thanks to Amy from The Beauty Call for the tip) to warm it up. First, normally that’s too much work for me. Second, it’s a waste of product because it rubbed into my fingers and into my hand. BUT when it goes on my skin it gives the loveliest finish under my eyes and it really does what it says it’s going to do: not crease! It is moisturizing which is great because everyone could use moisture in the eye area. I docked it a few points for not really being able to use it on my face. I don’t like thick concealers all over my skin….I feel like it would cause break outs.

Swatches L-R: Collection 2000, TheBalm, Milani, MAC, Tarte, Garnier, Sonia Kasuk (all blended), Mally, Benefit

OVERALL PICKS:

I hope this helps you ladies out there in search of a great concealer. The 4 above I wouldn’t want to go through life without!

Oh, and I had to include one dishonorable mention:

ELF Concealer & Highlighter Duo

ELF Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter- Grade: F

It does not conceal and it does not highlight. The consistency is very watery and thin. Totally not worth the money.