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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Review: BA STAR Natural Shadow Palette + 50% OFF for you!!

Hi lovelies!

So, I’m back today with a review of the BA STAR Natural Shadow Palette. I received this lovely little palette courtesy of BA STAR and Brand Backer.

ArtsyArchitette BA STAR Natural Shadow Palette Review

BA STAR is a new brand to me personally, though I had heard of them before, but they do have a good reputation among the performer crowd, like cheerleaders, dancers, and other competitors.

Considering their main audience, I expected the shadows to be well-pigmented and long-lasting, and I was not disappointed!

They offer four shadow palettes, Natural, Smoky, Pretty N Pink and True Blue. Each palette has 3 mineral eye shadows and 2 gel glitters, along with an dual-ended applicator.

The eye shadows are creamy, smooth and quite pigmented with great staying power on their own. I didn’t even use a primer with them, though I can imagine that with the addition of a little lid primer you would be good to go all day and night with these.

The shadows do have some minor fallout, but nothing a little good tapping of the brush can’t help. The shadow colors (bronze, cocoa, and nude) are very similar in color and feel to those in the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.

ArtsyArchitette BA STAR Natural Shadow Palette Review2

The gel glitters, gold and crystal, are true to their name, they are pure rich glitters that stick well to your skin. So if you’re looking for shimmer, these are not where I would turn, but if you are looking for something to make a bit of statement then check these out.

ArtsyArchitette BA STAR Natural Shadow Palette Review3

There are two minor downfalls I see to this palette:

The gel does not quite set (dry), though it also doesn’t budge where you put it unless some sort of friction is used.

The second would be the generic, cheap applicator that comes with the palette. This isn’t surprising, as most palettes comes with these, but I find them useless and will always choose to use my other brushes.

The price point for this palette is definitely worth mentioning. At $8.75 it is great steal!

So if this has piqued your interest, or your in need quality performance make-up, definitely give BA STAR a try.

And finally, I have something from me and BA STAR to you:

Get 50% OFF at checkout. Enter code BBSMOKY at BASTAR.com

This post is Powered by BrandBacker. All opinions and remarks included in this post on product(s) mentioned are 100% truthful. 
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Champagne, Macarons and a Jo Malone Haul

Hey gorgeous!

Okay, so I was so wrapped up eating my macarons and sipping my champagne at Saks that I failed to snap some photos of the Jo Malone event they held recently. Complete with free samples, tasty snacks and booze, there was also a Jo Malone representative there explaining the newest collection, Sugar & Spice, along with all that JM offers, and the best blending combinations to pair the new fragrances with.

It was so much fun just indulging at bit with other JM lovers, and of course, splurging a little on a few new fragrances for Spring and Summer.

So, I thought I’d share my haul of JM goodies…

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul5

JM Haul + Free Bag with Saks Beauty Samples + Free JM goodies

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Blue Agava & Cacao, Nectarine Blossom & Honey 

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Redcurrant & Cream, Lemon Tart

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Free JM goodies that came with my JM Haul

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul

Samples of every JM fragrance Saks offers

Oh and if you haven’t discovered Jo Malone yet, I’d definitely stop into the closest store/counter and give the brand a try. JM fragrances are unique and made to be layered, so you can really make the brand your own.

x Sam


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Overdue Review – Ipsy: December 2012

Hi loves!

So, I had been wavering on whether or not to post these latest two monthly subscription reviews, considering they are about a month and a half later than I would have normally posted them (sorry!) due to my whole January/February semi-hiatus state, but I said what the hell, product reviews are product reviews and they might still help someone out.

December: Overall B-.

Loved the little grey bag from December, definitely one of my faves.

ArtsyArchitette Ipsy MyGlam December 2012

THE GOODS

Mirabella Prime for Face and Eyes – Full Size

This primer was okay. It is a silicone based primer and oil-free, though it feels extremely slick on my normal skin type. I do use silicone primers, two excellent ones, but this one definitely did not feel or perform the same.

I could possibly see it being helpful for those with dry to normal skin types and aging skin, for foundation and face products. Though most dry skin make-up wearers that I know tend not to use primers as they usually can go without them, and it did not make my make-up last any longer than make-up worn alone.

It also says for use on eyes, though personally I wouldn’t be comfortable regularly using a silicone primer for eye make-up, and in fact, it does include a warning to avoid the lash line – points for the warning; but if you’re going to make a dual purpose primer for face and eyes, it should be safe for optical use, lash line included. Considering products, especially those around the eyes, migrate over your skin, sometimes up to an inch, this product is one I cannot stand behind.

Plus, as I mentioned, for an oil-free primer it feel quite slick and did not help with staying power of eye shadow. I obviously couldn’t test it for help with eye liner, though I would imagine it wouldn’t have helped anyway.

From the feel and performance on my normal skin, and my past experience with oily skin, I would say that those with oily skin should definitely pass on this product.

It does include Vitamin E, for antioxidant and moisturizing purposes.

Full Size Value: $29.00 (.45 oz)

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in “Zero” – Travel Size Pencil

These pencils practically have a cult following and am someone who owns a couple, I can say they are great liners for those who want something no-fuss with good performance.

As the name says, they glide onto your skin with no dragging or pulling. They are long-wearing, but not stubbornly so and do come off when you need to remove it.

“Zero” is a great go to black pencil, though it is not an extremely saturated black pencil. In fact, it is the least saturated black pencil now in my liner collection, though you can build up the color easily with multiple passes of the pencil.

Full Size Value: $19.00

Be a… Bombshell “Hot Mess” Lip Gloss – Full Size

A very good lip gloss. It feels quite moisturizing, applies fairly non-stick and is long-wearing, so great for long evenings or treat it like a stain for an easier day time look.

“Hot Mess” is a blue-based pink red and is a quite vibrant color, especially when layered.

Sheer is not a word I would or could use for this shade, but that’s okay. It is a very flattering color when applied lightly and blended into the lips like a rich pink-red stain, or applied normally, which does have a thick feel to it, to get a vibrant glossy look.

Full Size Value: $14.00

Mai Couture “St. Barts” Highlighter Papier – 25 Sheet Booklet

These could be a brilliant or a ridiculous product based on your lifestyle needs. Personally, I’m in between because while I can definitely see them benefiting my life, I just don’t have such a big need for them right now.

They leave a gorgeous shimmering glow wherever you use them. I find that I prefer to fold them to for easier maneuvering on different areas of my face or decolletage , but then I also end up with highlighting shimmer all over my fingers.

Extremely handy to have if you are going on a quick trip, as in clothes and make-up in a purse or carry-on quick; or if you find yourself having to go from work to date-night/evening out quite frequently. Also, very hygienic as they are one time use papers and no need for brush cleaner.

It really is glowing goddess in a booklet, but I personally wouldn’t choose to use these on any normal day when I have a brush and my make-up collection handy.

Full Size Value: $28.00 (50 Sheets)

NYX Loose Pearl “Charocal” Eye Shadow – Full Size

Good product, great price, but horrible packaging! I have actually de-potted this into a small open mouth container I had.

It is an ultra smooth and highly pigmented shadow, but it is a shame that they put it in small container with an even smaller opening. Despite all the products I use and tried, I still made a mess trying to get this product out.

As with many loose shadows, I would definitely recommend using a base or eye primer with this product.

Full Size Value: $3.00

ArtsyArchitette Ipsy MyGlam December 20122

I’ll be writing my January and February subscription reviews this month too, along with some more fun things I have to share.


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Overdue Review – BIRCHBOX: December 2012

Hi loves!

So, I had been wavering on whether or not to post these latest two monthly subscription reviews, considering they are about a month and a half later than I would have normally posted them (sorry!) due to my whole January/February semi-hiatus state, but I said what the hell, product reviews are product reviews and they might still help someone out.

December: Overall B-.

ArtsyArchitette Birchbox December 2012

THE GOODS

Rent the Runway Discount Card – $50

One of the bonus items in the December box, which I had no use for. Sure it was worth $50, but if I remember correctly – as I have apparently lost the card someone in my bedroom – it was $50 off of $125 or $175 purchase. I don’t have that kind of money to spend on, admittedly gorgeous, clothing and accessories that I don’t even get to keep.

I can see this site being handy for special occasions, occasions worth the money to look like you just walked off the red carpet, but otherwise its just not practical for someone on my budget to rent.

Fresh Citron de Vigne Eau de Parfum – 7.5 ml Sample Vile

Fresh is definitely the word with this fragrance. It is lovely and fairly light, perfect for Spring in my mind.

Being inspired by France’s Champagne region, it has top notes of: Neroli, Bitter Orange, and Pink Grapefruit, with heart notes of: Jasmine, Pinot Noir, and Lemongrass, and base notes of: Cedarwood, White Sandalwood, and Birch Tree Leaves.

I would say the notes that hit me the most are the Pinot Noir and Lemongrass, followed by the woods.

Full Size Value: $80.00 (100 ml), $38.00 (30 ml)

Sampar Ultra Hydrating Fluid – 15 ml Sample

This is a beautiful moisturizer! Sampar, a Parisian brand – and the French are known for their skin care, is a new one to me, but I was seriously happy getting this sample.

It actually feels like a moisturizer-serum hybrid on your skin and it performs well under make-up. It sinks into your skin beautifully, leaving it gorgeous and plumped up with moisture, and not greasy whatsoever. It smells like floral water.

The only downfalls I could see are that it does not contain an SPF and the high price tag. Considering it is a moisturizer, and I usually apply two layers – once, let it sink in well, then apply a second layer and let that sink in (then possibly followed by make-up), and based on the sample size I received, I would probably guess I would go through the $71 full size in about a month to a month and a half. That’s a lot of money on moisturizer!

I’m a little bummed that I fell in love with this pricey product.

Full Size Value: $71.00 (50 ml/ 1.7 fl oz)

12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment – 45 ml Sample

Okay, I need to be completely fair to this sample. I did try it, and still have some left, but honestly didn’t notice much of a difference, but maybe I wasn’t the best person to judge.

I don’t use heat on my hair 98% of the year, don’t color my hair, don’t do any other chemical treatments, and haven’t exposed my hair to chlorine in many many months.

What I can say is that my hair is very long, curly, and because of those two things and everyday exposure it does have some natural occurring damage and some frizziness. The 12 Benefits treatment felt like a liquid leave-in conditioner type product and does smell quite nice.

Here is what they say it helps with:  Seal hair color + Smooth frizz + Repair damage + Prevent split ends + Moisturize dry hair + Strengthen fragile hair + Prevent flat iron damage + Prevent chlorine, wind & sun damage + Add shine, softness and a silky finish + Protect hair from blow-drying + Improve detangling & manageability + Keep hair youthful 

Full Size Value: $19.00 (6 oz)

theBalm cosmetics Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One– 1 g Sample Tin

I am definitely becoming a fan of theBalm powder products and this one doesn’t disappoint.

I would describe it as a multidimensional blush, with three color layers, a golden highlighter layer, a pink layer, and a peach layer, and when they combine on your skin it creates a flattering flush of color.

Full Size Value: $20.00 (7 g)

Emily’s Chocolates Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookie – Single 

It was chocolate! It was a peppermint dark chocolate covered fortune cookie, complete with Santa fortune inside.

Full Size Value: $5.99 (6 pack)

ArtsyArchitette Birchbox December 20122