Looking for a blog about makeup, skin care, fashion, reviews & random ramblings? Well my friend, you've come to the right place.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review of SauceBox Cosmetics

I finally got a chance to use all of the items from the fabulous Alla with SauceBox Cosmetics (link to the pictures and swatches can be found here) Yay! I must say that I am FLOORED by what great quality all of these products are.  I've always been a believer that you get what you pay for so I was a bit hesitant because of how affordable everything was...well, as you'll see in my review I was proved wrong! These products surpassed my expectations and the pricing was FAB!

I'm going to start out with the Bold Effect Shadows in Lagoon & Queen Bee.  I was worried that these would look really bright in the container but end up sheering out once swatched...boy was I wrong! These bad boys are PACKED with pigment and they are buttery smooth.  They remind me a lot of Urban Decay shadows but without all of UD's ridiculous fall-out.  I prepped my eyes with my Proof 10 primer (amazing product sent to me from my friend in South Korea...Annyong, Debbie!!) around 10am and when I went to take off my makeup around 11:30pm the colors were still just as vibrant.  They were very easy to apply and blended like a dream!  I didn't experience any creasing and the colors didn't become muddy once blended out.  Bold Effect Shadows are on sale right for $5.50 here 

Next up are the blushes.  Hyper is a gorgeous bright pink with tons of sparkle and Sea Shell is a champagne colored highlighter.  I really liked how smooth these went on and blended very easily. They are highly pigmented so I didn't have to "dig" my brush in the pan to get color, I barely tapped into the color and my brush was ready for action. I had a few bits of glitter fall-out from Hyper but it wasn't a big deal.  Sea Shell in the pan just looks like a normal champagne colored highlighter but it's buttery smoothness and gorgeous sheen really set it apart from other highlighters.  It's very subtle but it makes all the difference in the world.  It really brightened my whole face up, I also added it to the inner corners of my eyes as well as on my brow bone and it made my eyes pop! The colors lasted all day and didn't have much fading at all.  Blushes are on sale right now for $6.25 here

LumiShine Lip Glosses are next...I received 2 colors Whimsy & Lighten Up.  Whimsy is a deep pink with lots of gold flecks and Lighten Up is a very pale champagne color with gold flecks.  I am a huge fan of lip glosses that come with the brush applicators, I've never really liked the doe-foot style ones so I was delighted to see these are brushes.  I tried Whimsy and it's a wonderful color to just perk up your lips and give you a little shimmer and shine.  With both colors, they went on very smooth and weren't sticky at all but you can feel the little gold flecks in the gloss, it's nothing of a deal breaker but when you rub your lips together it feels a teeny tiny bit grainy. They both are pretty sheer and their longevity wasn't anything to write home about, like most glosses they don't last too long.  LumiShine Glosses are on sale right now for $5.35 here

The Oil-Free Pressed Powder is what drew me to wanting to purchase items from this company.  Every day after I finish my face makeup I always set with MAC's Blot Powder as well as use that to touch up during the day.  I love that product, don't get me wrong but if I could purchase a product that does the exact same thing from a smaller company for so much less I am going to!  Blot Powder retails for $23.00 so it is not cheap by any means and I go through it like mad.  SauceBox's Oil-Free Pressed powder did everything my MAC powder did.  I tried it out two different times, the first time over my bare skin (usually my MAC Blot Powder will mattify but it will also cause flakies) and it mattified beautifully without looking cakey.  The second time I tried it was over my foundation to set it and it was perfect, not too drying where I look flakey and cakey but it still kept my face from looking oily and greasy for quite a few hours.  I usually have to re-touch and blot about 3-4 hours after initial application and with the SauceBox Oil-Free Pressed powder I was able to go about 5 hours without blotting. P-E-R-F-E-C-T-O! The colors were a little difficult to pick since they all looked pale but I think with a blot powder you don't need to be spot on since it isn't creating any coverage. I ordered Matte Dream and I am usually NC15-20 in MAC Studio Fix for reference. Oil-Free Pressed Powder is on sale right now for $6.95 here

Last is the Mascara...OMG! This mascara is pretty stinkin' fabulous!  I've been a die hard Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash fan for as long as I can remember so usually no there mascaras can even stand close to it EXCEPT this one! This brush has the rubbery bristles instead of a fluffy brush (which I usually always go for the fluffy brushes) so my expectations weren't too high.  I use Latisse so my lashes are very long but aren't thick so usually the rubber bristled brushes just make my lashes look like little spider legs.  I honestly only needed one coat but I usually love to pack on coat after coat and this didn't clump, it just made the lashes darker and thicker with each coat.  I must add, if you live in a humid climate or have oily lids, this may not be for you...There is the teensiest bit of smudging but since I live in the desert it wasn't too bad, but I imagine in a different climate you may have a bit of smudging at the end of the day. I didn't experience and flaking and that's a big deal for me since I wear my glasses half of the time.  Mascara is on sale right now for $3.00 here

So all in all, I'm super duper impressed with this line.  I definitely plan on purchasing more mascara, blushes and colors of eye shadows as well as some of their Mineral Eye shadows & their Super Silky Shadows. I hope to try all of their items in the future!

Alla informed me that they will be re-packaging everything as well as coming out with pro palettes (YIPEEE!)

One thing that confused me a bit was that there aren't color descriptions on any items so it was a little bit harder choosing from the pictures they had on their website. The Cream Foundations all looked very pale so I'm not sure if they are all lighter shades or if their website coloring is off.

Check out their site at any of the above links or go to www.sauceboxcosmetics.com and see for yourself how great their products are.

Until next time,
Marina - mCubed Makeup

Monday, January 30, 2012

Swatches & pictures of SauceBox Cosmetics

So it was one crazy week/weekend and I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and catch my breath...whew!

I stumbled upon SauceBox about 2 weeks ago and LOVED their colors and a big plus was that their prices were very affordable.  I e-mailed Alla about ordering some items, I ordered the Bold Effect Eyeshadow in Lagoon, Blush in Hyper & Oil Free Pressed Powder in Dream.  Alla told me she would be more than happy to send a few extra items for me to review on my blog.  She was so helpful and super sweet...plus she was very prompt in responding.

I was so excited to find my box of goodies from SauceBox Cosmetics, I opened the box and squealed with joy when I saw the awesome packaging...seriously cool stuff! She also added a Bold Effect Eyeshadow in Queen Bee, Blush in Cocktail, mascara, LumiShine Lip Gloss in Lighten up & Whimsy. I seriously couldn't wait to open everything!  It had to sit a few days because of my busy schedule (boo!) but I finally got a chance to take some pictures and swatches!
All the items in their awesome packaging! It rocks!

All of the items out of their packaging

Bold Effect Shadow in Lagoon & Queen Bee (L-R)
Bold Effect Shadow swatch on dry skin (L-R) Lagoon & Queen Bee
Blush in (L-R) Sea Shell & Hyper
Blush in (L-R) Seashell & Hyper
LumiShine Lip Gloss in (L-R) Whimsy &  Lighten Up
LumiShine Lip Gloss in (L-R) Whimsy & Lighten Up

LumiShine Lip Gloss in (L-R) Whimsy & Lighten Up
Oil-Free Pressed Powder in Dream

I will be using all of the products and posting a review ASAP...but I can already tell I am now a SauceBox fan! 

Until next time,
Marina - mCubed Makeup

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Swatches & Review of Inaz Cosmetics

Morning world! Halfway through the week, although it does feel like a Monday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day so far.

A few weeks ago on Facebook I discovered a brand called Inaz Cosmetics.  I was reading all of this feedback on their Facebook wall and I knew I had to try them out.  Their ordering system is not like a traditional online store...with Inaz, you look through the Facebook albums and then e-mail your order.  It was pretty neat because it was a whole different kind of customer service, I was able to ask any questions I had!  Amber, one of the creators of Inaz Cosmetics was super sweet, prompt and very helpful.  I ordered 6 sample colors: Lila, Omena, Reptar, Silver Mist, Zen & Merlin.  When my order came I noticed there were 3 extra colors, Pixie Dust, Twilight & Chlora.  It definitely made my day! The best part of it was that I had been debating over Chlora and Reptar but this way I was able to try both!

As far as loose pigments go, I usually don't wear them everyday because when I do use them, I only use them wet and sometimes that just doesn't go with the look I want that day.  I use these more on my clients and the times on myself when I want that extra POP & SPARKLE!

These went on very smooth and blended super easy, when put on wet it is just insane how pigmented and gorgeous these are! These stayed on VERY well! The color is very intense! I used my MAC 239 to apply these.
Top to bottom: Silver Mist, Omena & Lila applied dry
Top to bottom: Silver Mist, Omena & Lila applied wet
So as you can see, they look so much more vibrant when applied wet.
Top to bottom: Pixie Dust, Chlora & Reptar applied dry
Top to bottom: Pixie Dust, Chlora & Reptar applied wet
I wasn't able to get Zen, Twilight & Merlin to swatch dry, they were just not having it! But you can see how fabulous they look wet.
Top to bottom: Merlin, Twilight & Zen applied wet
I use a mixing medium from The Body Needs which you can purchse here. You can use Visine or water, but I've just always used their mixing medium.  I have heard Visine works really well!

I really hope you try Inaz Cosmetics out, they have so many amazing colors to choose from and you won't be disappointed.

Until next time,
Marina - mCubedMakeup

Inaz Cosmetics - https://www.facebook.com/Inazcosmeticsfan
The Body Needs - http://www.thebodyneeds2.com/TheBodyNeeds_Mixing_Medium_p/tbn-mixing%20medium%2015.htm

Monday, January 23, 2012

Julep Maven, sign up for $.01!

I was browsing on Twitter and discovered a company called Julep Maven that is all about nail polish & nail care products.  I've always been an OPI & Zoya girl so I haven't really branched out and tried too many other nail care brands.  There was a posting I saw that you can sign up for the month for $.01...that's right, ONE PENNY!  Their monthly service is $19.99 so that's a huge savings.  I thought, "what the heck, for a penny, why not?!"  I took a style profile quiz and at the end was presented with 3 nail polishes and 1 top coat.  The colors looked awesome!  Lately I've been in a ballerina slipper pink or grey nail polish phase so it was awesome to be able to try some new fun colors for pretty much free.  Shipping was very fast and the customer service was great! The box was packaged SO cute and pretty! 
Seriously, how stinkin' cute is that?!
It came packaged with a postcard style letter that described what was included in my box.  There was also a letter from Jane Park, CEO & Founder of Julep Maven thanking me for signing up, it also said that they donate $1 from every nail color sold to organizations that support women through their Powered By Girlfriends Program. Very nice!  I love companies that give back.

So onto the gorgeous colors...

The first color is Megan which is a Mediterranean aquamarine shimmer, it's so gorgeous! It reminds me of glittery ocean water (if there was glitter in the ocean, haha) It went on really smooth and covered in one coat.
Second is Hayden, a bold and bright neon peach creme.  This color stood out immediately because this is the type of color I usually end up picking. I thought it would be more of a neutral...the name says "neon" doh! It's soo bright! It is very creamy and opaque.  My nail was covered in one coat and there weren't any streaky marks at all! This will be FAB in the summer to show off tanned toes!
Third is Leah a grass green with a hint of shimmer.  I love this color!  It is something very out-of-the-box for me, but absolutely stunning!  I love this for the holidays! It will be perfect for Christmastime :)
It also came with a Julep Fast Dry Topcoat which I really liked! It made my nails uber shiny and really did help speed up the drying time.  
Fast Dry Top Coat
Now, I loved the way these look on but I didn't take pictures with it on my nails, I don't want to scare everyone away from my blog!  My nails look hideous! Hopefully I can go get them fixed up soon.  I can say that the color on my nails is exactly what is in the bottle.  They aren't those colors that look like a certain shade and then end up being completely different once you put them on your nails.

When you sign up at Julep Maven you get plenty of awesome monthly perks (taken from welcome letter included in my box) 
  • Over $40 worth of products each month customized in a gift-able beauty editor Sneak Peek Box
  • Featuring new, never before released colors & treatments first to you, before anyone else
  • Also includes hits & cult favorites - the products we like to keep on top of editor's minds
  • Invitations to exclusive Julep Maven online events
  • Receive 20% off all Julep purchases (not valid on gift certificates or Maven subscriptions)
  • Free Shipping  
There you have it! My first Julep Maven box and a little bit of info about this neat company!  You can sign up for the monthly Maven Box here. I hope you try it out and like it as much as I do!  Be sure to come back and let me know which colors you tried.

******Use promo code: NEWYEAR2012 to sign up for just $.01 until Tuesday, January 24th******

Until next time,
Marina - mCubedMakeup

Adore Me

Photo courtesy of www.adoreme.com
About two weeks ago I entered a contest on Lauren Clark's blog and won!  She was giving away 1 free set of lingerie from Adore Me.  I headed over to Adore Me and was really impressed, the site is a lot like ShoeDazzle and those types of monthly subscriptions.  I favored this site a lot more because when you take a quiz at the beginning to pick your styles, I feel like this company ACTUALLY listened and chose some items based on my likes/dislikes. You sign up, take a quiz, pick your set that you like and check out! It's that simple.  Free shipping, free exchanges and every month there are new items in your showroom to choose from.  

This would be the first time I'd seen a monthly subscription for lingerie which I think is amazing and very innovative.  The customer service was outstanding!  Shipping was a little slow but the customer service and product definitely made up for it. The box in my mailbox was HUGE! I expected the lingerie to just be folded up and shipped off in a little padded envelope.  Here's a picture after I pulled it out of the bag, the box was a little dented and ripped from shipping but the presentation was still gorgeous! 
It included a sweet little note thanking me for my support and my purchase.    
The product itself was absolutely gorgeous! I feel as if the photo from the website didn't do it any justice.   For those of you who are familiar with lingerie pricing, you can understand what I'm saying when I say that $39.95 is a great deal for such a high quality product.  

I highly recommend this company!  Head over to Adore Me and sign up today...just in time for Valentine's Day :-)

Until next time,
Marina - mCubedMakeup 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday...we meet again.

Friday, the day that we wait for all week and is gone in the blink of an eye!  I look at Friday as my "go-all-out-with-the-uber-funky-makeup" day/night.  Since my husband works weird hours and I'm now finishing up my last semester in college, we usually don't get to do too much on the weekends.  Most Friday nights we will meet friends for drinks, have a date-night or rent some movies and order takeout.  No matter what we do, I always consider it my going out night.  There's nothing better than a nice dinner and a dirty martini or a fabulous glass of wine!  

So my fellow readers, how do YOU spend your Friday nights? 

Marina -mCubedMakeup

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome to the blogging world, mCubed Makeup! Let's talk about SKIN CARE!

For as long as I can remember I have been reading blogs, twitter updates, watching YouTube videos...it's about time I start my own!  

Trying new products is one of my passions in life!  It's like Christmas morning every time I open a new product to try out.  I love helping out others and giving them my personal opinions on products.   I get asked a lot about my skin care/makeup routine.  My skin care is something that became a problem for me about 4 years ago.  Growing up I was blessed with perfect skin, no pimples, no oily T-Zone, no dry patches, nada...just youthful glowing skin...up until 4 years ago. Enter *gasp* here___. *DUN DUN DUN* I started breaking out like there was no tomorrow and I was a greasy oil slick! From then on I've been on the search for the perfect skin care routine.  As of today (I say today because like I said before, I'm constantly on the search for that holy grail product) this is what my skin care routine looks like:

Merle Norman Clear Complexion Gel Cleanser
I wash my face every morning with Merle Norman's Clear Complexion Gel Cleanser.  This stuff is great! It doesn't over-dry but it doesn't leave me greasy feeling.
Merle Norman Luxiva AHA Toner for N/O Skin
I then use tone my face with Merle Norman's Luxiva AHA Toner for Normal/Oil Skin.  This helps relieve any tightness and just gives me a super fresh feeling.

NOW 100% Grapeseed Oil
I moisturize with a few tiny drops of NOW's Grapeseed Oil, it feels very greasy at first, but after a few minutes of letting it sit, it just disappears and leaves my face radiant! I was very hesitant about trying this product because I do have very oily skin, I did some research (thank you Makeup Alley!) and discovered that this is GREAT for oily skin. I purchased this at my local health food store for $9.99, I've been told that places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's & GNC carries this. It's HUGE and will probably last forever and ever. 
Biore UV Perfect Face Milk (white bottle)
After cleansing, toning, moisturizing...I use this Biore UV Perfect Face Milk (another amazing Makeup Alley find!) This does come from Japan, so I have to order it on eBay, it's about $16 with shipping.  This says it's a sunscreen but it's not like any sunscreen I've ever used before.  It's very liquid-y and runny, it instantly mattifies and leaves my face prepped for foundation. 


Olay 2-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths for Combination/Oily
I use these to take off my makeup.  It takes off even the most stubborn mascara and foundation! These are always going on sale for Buy One Get One 1/2 Off at Walgreens, they are $7.99 and the box has 33 sheets.

Merle Norman Clear Complexion Toner

I always use toner on my face after cleansing, this one has Salicylic Acid which is great for helping with any current or future breakouts.  
DDF Acne Control Treatment
I got this as a 100 point perk at Sephora and fell in love.  This says it's a treatment but I use it as a light nighttime moisturizer. It's great! I don't wake up with a greasy face either.  This can be purchased at Sephora $44 for 1.7 oz

So! There you have it...my very first blog post...and now you know about my skin care routine.  I will do a basic makeup routine soon! 

Until next time,
Marina - mCubed Makeup

NOTE- Merle Norman products can be purchased at the studio nearest you, they do not sell products online so therefore I can't recommend a link.  
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