Wet n Wild Color Icon Single Brulee

Wet n Wild Brulee with text2 Wet n Wild Color Icon Single Brulee

As I’m writing this, Wet n Wild Color Icon Single in Brulee has an average rating of4.6 on MakeupAlley (with 279 reviews!) Actually, if you search for all eyeshadows with 100+ reviews, this comes up on the first page. So I’m not alone when I say Ilove this shadow. CONTINUE READING…

Cruelty-Free Shampoo: Nature’s Gate and Kirk’s Natural

Cruelty Free Shampoo Cruelty Free Shampoo: Natures Gate and Kirks Natural

When it comes to shampoo, I’m not too picky. I just want it to clean my hair without totally stripping it of moisture. And, of course, I don’t want animals harmed in its production. Two products that fit (well, actually – exceed) the bill are Nature’s Gate Biotin Shampoo and Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Shampoo.


HG Status: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15

LM Mineral Powder 2 HG Status: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15


Update 5/7/13: Laura Mercier is no longer cruelty-free.

Laura Mercier states they are cruelty-free and I have no information to indicate otherwise. Gingerrama has a great post showing Laura Mercier’s responses to animal testing inquiries (she calls their reply “exemplary” and I have to agree!) However, they are currently not on PETA or the Leaping Bunny’s lists, so I don’t have confirmation of their animal testing stance from an independent party. I will update if/when I learn any additional information. Laura Mercier is manufactured by a Stafford, TX-based company called Gurwitch Products.

I’m really excited to write this post, because Laura Mercier is one of my favorite brands, and Laura Mercier Mineral Powder is one of my all-time favorite products. This powder has been a staple in my makeup routine since I first tried it, about two years ago. I’ve gone through probably 3 or 4 of these by now… it’s such a versatile, multi-use product. I’ve used is as a powder, as a foundation, cheek highlight, eyeshadow, under eye brightener, and concealer.

OK, back to the review… I have three shades of this powder which I tend to mix: Real Sand, Natural Beige, and Rich Vanilla. CONTINUE READING…

Beauty on a Budget: NYX Dupe for MAC Melon Pigment

I’ve heard many raves about NYX pigments. I don’t know what their official name is – they’re called Loose Pearl Eye Shadow on NYX’s site, but I’ve also seen them listed as Powder Pigments and the packaging says Ultra Pearl Mania. Regardless, they’re essentially pigments, and have been called dupes for MAC’s. So I decided to see if I could mix up a dupe for MAC Melon.

I used NYX Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Pearl Eyeshadows in Nude, Mink, and Oro. Here they are swatched individually with MAC Melon.

Nyx Ultra Pearl Mania Mac Melon Swatches Beauty on a Budget: NYX Dupe for MAC Melon Pigment

L-R: NYX Nude, NYX Oro, Mac Melon, NYX Mink


Inglot Freedom System Palettes + Swatches

Palettes Full Inglot Freedom System Palettes + Swatches

Swatches and close-up photos of my Inglot Freedom System Palettes

Palette 1

Inglot Palette Full 1.3 Inglot Freedom System Palettes + Swatches

Inglot Palette 1 Eyeshadow Swatches Inglot Freedom System Palettes + Swatches

L-R: 107R, 101R, Matte 337, Matte 328, Matte 318


Inglot Freedom System Square & Rainbow Eyeshadows

Amazing Makeup That’s Still Cruelty-Free: Inglot Eyeshadow


These are my two Inglot Freedom System palettes. I’ll have a review and swatches up soon. Update: My review, swatches, and more photos are now posted.

Inglot Freedom Palette 5 Pan Neutrals 4 1024x668 Inglot Freedom System Square & Rainbow Eyeshadows

L-R: 107R, Matte 337, Matte 328, 101R, Matte 318


Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow Shimmer 1024x668 Inglot Freedom System Square & Rainbow Eyeshadows

L-R: D.S. 436, Pearl 407, Matte 330, 106R


Palmer’s Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Hair Milk

Palmers Hair Milks 1024x663 Palmer’s Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Hair Milk


I have long wavy hair. As most of us with curly or wavy hair can attest… dryness is the enemy. When curls and waves get dry, they usually also get frizzy. I personally like my hair to have texture and body – I prefer to work with its natural texture rather than against it. What I look for in hair products is mostly conditioning – something that can provide moisture and definition, without weighing my hair down or making it feel crunchy or “product-y.”


Olive oil and coconut oil are both amazing for hair, especially coconut oil. I use it as a deep conditioning treatment every week or so. I’m also a big fan of Palmer’s products and have used them as long as I can remember. So, while I was a little confused by the name (“hair milk”…?), I was interested to try these out.


The best way I can describe these is like a leave-in conditioner, but more hydrating. They’re not thick like hair masques – the consistency is actually relatively thin and lightweight. Yet they give your hair SO much moisture. If my hair looks dry or frizzy, I take the tiniest bit of this (think pea-sized amount) and run it through the ends and last few inches of my hair. This stuff really does tame frizz and leaves my hair feeling super soft, not greasy.


In terms of differences between the formulas, here are the ingredients lists for comparison:


Olive Oil Formula

Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Cetearamidopropyldimonium Chloride, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (Olive), Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Extract, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopheryl Acetate, Keratin Amino Acids, Sodium Chloride, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropyl Butylcarbamate, Yellow 5 (CI19140), Red 4 (CI14700), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090) (CI142090)


Coconut Oil Formula

Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Cetearamidopropyldimonium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hair Keratin Amino Acids, Keratin Amino Acids, Sodium Chloride, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate


So, as you can see, the oils are the 7th or 8th ingredients on the lists (meaning the formula contains less of them). The #2 ingredient in both formulas is shea butter, so I think that’s probably the products’ main conditioning source. Not a bad thing, as shea butter is extremely moisturizing, but it is surprising given how the products are marketed.


Overall, the two formulas are very similar. One difference I did notice is that the Olive Oil formula contains fragrance and colorants, which I don’t see in the Coconut Oil formula. I’m guessing the fragrance is because Olive Oil doesn’t really have a scent, while coconut oil does – which is what the Coconut Oil formula smells like. The Olive Oil formula is a light green color (because, you know, olive oil is green?) while the Coconut Oil is just white – so that would explain the colorants.


I love the smell of coconut oil, so I definitely prefer that scent. I’m not sure how to describe the Olive Oil formula’s scent, maybe slightly like baby powder? Regardless, it isn’t bad and I don’t mind it. I don’t really notice a difference aside from scent and color, they seem to perform the same. Between the two, I’d definitely go for the Coconut Oil formula, because I like the smell and that it’s colorant-free. Plus, because coconut oil penetrates into the hair cuticle and cortex, its arguably the best oil for hair.


Have you ever tried a “hair milk”? Any other favorite conditioning products?

NARS Neutrals – Duo Eyeshadows in Madrague and Portobello

Nars Duo Comparison 1024x546 NARS Neutrals – Duo Eyeshadows in Madrague and Portobello

L-R: Madrague, Portobello

I haven’t seen much online about NARS Duo Eyeshadows in Portobello and Madrague, which is surprising because they’re great basics. NARS describes Portobello as portobello matte ecru and soft matte mushroom and Madrague as matte caramel and matte cream.


While the lighter shades of the duos appear very similar in photos, in Portobello it’s definitely a deeper, yellower brown-tan-beige. In Madrague, it’s more an ivory-beige, along the lines of Mac Brule or Wet n Wild Brule – although not as light or pigmented. The darker shade in Madrague is more of a typical warm mid-tone brown. In Portobello, the darker shade is cooler and leans more towards a grey-tone. It can read almost taupe-y, but still has warmth.


Photos & Swatches:

[Read more...]

Inglot Azure Collection Nail Enamel 983

Another Inglot Nail Enamel! This one is from the Azure Collection, which features 11 nail enamels. Looking at the nail enamels in numerical order, they progress from grey to green to blue. Each polish has tones from the color before it and after it. The finish is very glossy – you can definitely see the difference compared to the matte collection polishes. Like the matte collection, the formula is non-streaky and applies smoothly.

983: dark teal-green with grey undertones


Inglot 983 1 390x500 Inglot Azure Collection Nail Enamel 983


Inglot 983 Green Background 390x5001 Inglot Azure Collection Nail Enamel 983


New Inglot 983 Inglot Azure Collection Nail Enamel 983


I saw on the Inglot USA site they’ve just released a new collection (it doesn’t have any other name listed) that looks really interesting. It’s five metallic shades – two silver tones, two gold tones, and one copper rose gold tone. Of course, it’s hard to tell from the site exactly what the colors look like, so I’ll have to wait to see real swatches.

Have you tried any Inglot Nail Enamels? What do you think of their Azure and “new” collections?

Colgate and Animal Testing


Colgate Toothpaste wwarby Colgate and Animal Testing


A few months ago, I noticed a new category on PETA’s Cruelty-Free Search feature: “Companies Working for Regulatory Change.”  Hmm… what exactly does that mean?

According to PETA:

[box]“Working for Regulatory Change” is used to recognize companies that test on animals only when required by law, that are completely transparent with PETA about which animal tests they conduct and why, and that are actively working to promote development and validation of non-animal methods.[/box]


PETA currently has only one company on this “working for regulatory change” list: Colgate-Palmolive Co.


Colgate and the many Colgate-owned brands make tons of common household products, but of course what first comes into my mind is toothpaste. Cruelty-free toothpaste can be one of the harder products to find – I know I haven’t tried one I really like yet. Before I switched to cruelty-free products, I mostly used Colgate. While I don’t mind spending extra effort to make sure I get cruelty-free toothpaste, I think it’s one of those products that’s such a necessity, affordability and ease of access are extra important. The average customer may choose a cruelty-free toothpaste if it’s sold in their local grocery or drugstore. But I’m not sure how many people would  order online or make an extra trip for a specific brand of toothpaste.


Does this categorization affect whether you’ll buy from Colgate? On one hand, part of me feels like– if they’re still testing on animals, I don’t want to buy their products, end of story.  On the other hand, I want to support the changes they’re making, which will end up saving lives and reducing suffering. It’s a tough call and there’s not a black-and-white answer. I think personally, Colgate may be an option for me in the future, if/when they become cruelty-free. It does make me more willing to support them once they completely stop animal testing.


As always, these sorts of decisions are definitely something everyone has to come to an opinion on for themselves. I’m interested to hear others’ take on this. How do you feel about the Colgate situation?  Are you ready to support them?



Update: For more information on what “Working for Regulatory Change” means, you can check out PETA’s original blog post about it.

For specifics on Colgate’s animal and non-animal research (e.g., in what instances they test on animals) and their work for and use of alternative methods, check out Colgate-Palmolive Product Safety Research Policy.

Photo by William Warby