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Review | The Face Shop Lovely Me:Ex You & Face Blusher in 02 Gold Glow
Hi everyone! So before we get into the review I just wanted to let you know that I forgot my nice camera at my boyfriend’s place* so the pictures in this review were taken with my camera phone. They aren’t the best quality but we’ll make do. :D[[MORE]]
Anyway, I’ve found my new HG highlighter! I’m a highlighting junkie, so lemme tell you what makes this product so fantastic. I’ve been on the hunt for a new highlighter after my Mary Loumanizer highlighting powder from theBalm kicked the bucket (i.e. shattered into little bitty pieces). After using up all the crumbly bits, I wasn’t sure if I was willing to invest in another $24 highlighter.
 
The Face Shop’s Lovely ME:EX You & Face Blusher is definitely a worthy contender. For around $7-8 bucks online you get 4g of buttery smooth powder packed in a transparent plastic container. This product is so travel friendly it’s ridiculous. I make frequent trips between California and Nevada so popping this in my travel makeup bag last minute is no issue. The packaging is so sturdy that I don’t have to worry about it opening up in my luggage. It may be a little too sturdy because it’s a bit difficult to open at times. :P
 
On to the swatches!





I feel like this is the kind of product that looks best in person. The glow is subtle (even in real life) so it doesn’t translate well in photos.
 
What I love most about this highlighter is the golden undertone. Highlighters with pinky undertones look garish against my NC30-35 skintone (think Benefit’s High Beam). If you’re looking for a highlighting powder, definitely consider The Face Shop’s Lovely ME:EX You & Face Blusher in Gold Glow!
 
 
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* I was in California this weekend for Anime California! It was great seeing old con friends and meeting new ones. Chelsee is in the process of moving to Boston for grad school so we couldn’t meet up. :( Chelsee I miss you~ hope you had a good flight~
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | The Face Shop Lovely Me:Ex You & Face Blusher in 02 Gold Glow

Hi everyone! So before we get into the review I just wanted to let you know that I forgot my nice camera at my boyfriend’s place* so the pictures in this review were taken with my camera phone. They aren’t the best quality but we’ll make do. :D

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Review | NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera

Hi everyone! Today I want to share my thoughts on one of the new lipsticks from the NARS Audacious line. The shade I have is “Vera” which is NOT one of the retailer exclusive shades so you should be able to find it anywhere NARS is sold. And for all you Vegas locals, I was able to buy mine at the NARS store in The Forum Shops for $32.[[MORE]]
Vera is described as a “bright raspberry” and on my lips it’s exactly that. It has warm undertones so I don’t think it clashes with my NC30-35 skin at all. I find the application to be smooth but I definitely would apply a lip balm beforehand, especially since my lips are on the dry side. 
 

The staying power of this lipstick is pretty impressive. I can get a solid 5 to 6 hours of wear if I’m out and about. Even after eating, this shade leaves a nice tint behind. 
 
I found the packaging to be odd and annoying at first. Instead of a snap closure, it’s magnetic! That was definitely a surprise. My initial worry was if something were to knock the cap the wrong way, the lid would fly off and leave my poor lipstick open to the elements. And although the metal exterior is really sleek looking, my grubby little fingers left fingerprints all over the place. After awhile I just got over it. :P Now I think the magnetic closure is kind of fun to play with. Also it hasn’t opened up in my purse yet, so let’s hope it stays that way.
 
Here’s me wearing Vera on my lips! My false lashes are the Salon Perfect Perfectly Glamorous Demi Wispies.
As much as I love this color I don’t think I can bring myself to spend $32 on another one if it runs out. There doesn’t seem to be much product in the tube from what I can see. So in conclusion, if you’re a NARS lipstick fan like I am, definitely check out the Audacious line. But if you don’t have $32 to drop,  I’m sure there are plenty of dupes out there.

Have you tried any from the new line yet?


Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera

Hi everyone! Today I want to share my thoughts on one of the new lipsticks from the NARS Audacious line. The shade I have is “Vera” which is NOT one of the retailer exclusive shades so you should be able to find it anywhere NARS is sold. And for all you Vegas locals, I was able to buy mine at the NARS store in The Forum Shops for $32.

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Skin Care | New Additions
Skin care junkie #2 here with just a few new bits that I’ve added my ever-growing collection. I’ve decided to up my game a bit with a few higher-end products that are mere enhancements of things I’ve already tried and loved.
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It’s Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector (Yellow), $15.25- Alina recommended this particular serum to me after confiding in her that I was determined to find an affordable serum that wasn’t too hydrating for my combination-oily skin.Claims: “Brightening serum containing vitamin C and green tea components suppresses the formation of freckles that can make skin look dull and dark, and tightens pores to leave skin fair and luminous”.Since moving to Boston, I’ve put my skin through absolute torture due to stress, humidity, and taking the subway everyday (dirt, grime, and smog galore). This 30mlglass bottle from Image Beauty leaves my skin perfectly hydrated (but not oily), bright, and super soft when I wake up in the morning. I’m definitely going to try more products from this line!Origins Clear Improvement Mask, $25.00- My blackheads have been particularly pesky this summer, so I opted for a high-end version of my beloved Queen Helen Mint Julep Masque in hopes that the price tag might make a difference. While I do love both, I find that this mask is just as effective without being as drying. I leave this on until I the mud has dried, and rinse off with warm water. The end result leaves my skin feeling completely clear and balanced.Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB™, $32.00- While I have no complaints about Simple’s Light Protecting Moisturizer with SPF 15, I though upping the SPF level would treat my skin better in the long-run, especially for days when I’m out in the sun all day (so, never). Finding an SPF of 47 at such a low price was incredible, but what was even more amazing was the lightweight texture of the formula! It feels as thin in consistency as a ‘light moisturizer’ (those designed for oilier skin types), yet feels super smooth once blended into the skin. You can’t go wrong with a natural line of skin care!Those are just a few of the latest additions to my skin care stockpile collection. What have you treated yourself to lately? Let us know!
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Skin Care | New Additions
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Skin care junkie #2 here with just a few new bits that I’ve added my ever-growing collection. I’ve decided to up my game a bit with a few higher-end products that are mere enhancements of things I’ve already tried and loved.

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Review | Geo Tri Color Brown Circle Lenses

Hi everyone! Alina here with my first circle lens review! These are the Geo Tri Color Brown circle lenses from PinkyParadise. I’ve actually had these guys for at least a few months but I didn’t think to review them until now. :P
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Here are the stats for my particular set of lenses:Brand: GEODiameter: 14.0mm/14.2mmBase Curve: 8.6mmPrescription: -3.50 for both eyes

I really like these lenses. These are the only ones that I feel like are natural enough to wear in real life. :P Most of my circle lenses are for cosplay purposes only. I find that these ones are pretty comfortable to wear when I’m out and about, even in this dry Vegas heat. I’d say they wear for about 4-6 hours until I feel the need to apply eyedrops. The color is really vivid against my super dark brown irises. My only concern is that my base curve according to my regular contact prescription is 8.7mm while these ones are 8.6mm. I try to only wear these lenses on special occasions for that reason alone. 

I prefer my lenses to NOT be enlarging, which is why I like these ones so much. I also like how they don’t have a black ring around them. I feel like the color fades into my eyes a bit more naturally without it. I would totally repurchase these again once they expire as most circle lenses have a shelf life of about one year.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any circle lens recommendations?


Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | Geo Tri Color Brown Circle Lenses

Hi everyone! Alina here with my first circle lens review! These are the Geo Tri Color Brown circle lenses from PinkyParadise. I’ve actually had these guys for at least a few months but I didn’t think to review them until now. :P

Read More

Review | Skinfood Rose Essence Soft Cream Blusher #6

Hi everyone! I have a backlog of products to review so I’ve been doing my best to churn out as many reviews as possible. Here’s another Korean beauty product by SKINFOOD called the Rose Essence Soft Cream Blusher. I got this in #6* and so far I’m enjoying it!

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Review | The Face Shop Face It Moisture Pore Balm

i everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite primer type products right now. I purchased this in another huge Korean beauty haul and I’m really excited to talk about it.

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Asian Beauty Haul | Featuring Peripera and Tony Moly Products
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been going crazy over Korean and Japanese beauty products, and the photo above is just part of my stash thus far. 

I did some major damage at an Asian beauty store when I was visiting my boyfriend in California this past week. Image in Monterey Park has a HUGE selection despite the limited shop space and I was able to find a ton of skincare products I didn’t expect to see. Here’s what I got:
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Peripera Peri’s Tint Water in #1 Cherry Juice and #2 Pink Juice ($10 each)

The packaging is what drew me to these at first. For all you 2NE1 fans out there, you’ll recognize the cute art by Mari Kim. These tints remind me of the Benefit Benetints but instead of that nail polish-like brush the Peripera tints come with a doe foot applicator. 




Peripera Peri’s Tint Jelly in #06 Sky Stick ($7 I think)

This is my favorite out of the entire haul. IT LOOKS BLUE RIGHT?? But thanks to some sort of Korean witchcraft this stuff is a beautiful shade of raspberry on my lips. It’s super moisturizing and after a few hours it leaves a nice stain behind. There is a scent to this lippie, but I freaking love it so much and sometimes I find myself swiping it on my lips just to catch a whiff.




Tony Moly Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick ($12, but I just saw this at Urban Outfitters for $10!)

Look at this cute little thing omggg howww whyyyyyyy HE’S SO CUTE. Just like the name suggests, this eye stick is really cooling on my undereye area and I usually apply some of this before I put on my eye cream. It doesn’t really give me as much moisture as I would like, but the cooling feeling is suuuch a relief (especially in this Vegas heat) that I plan on keeping this guy.
 
Whew, ok. So I bought a TON of sheet masks and much much more so instead of cramming all that in here I plan on making separate posts for my favorites later on. Stay tuned!
 
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Do you have any Asian beauty recommendations? I’ve wanted to try out mascaras but I have no clue where to start. 
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Asian Beauty Haul | Featuring Peripera and Tony Moly Products

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been going crazy over Korean and Japanese beauty products, and the photo above is just part of my stash thus far. 


I did some major damage at an Asian beauty store when I was visiting my boyfriend in California this past week. Image in Monterey Park has a HUGE selection despite the limited shop space and I was able to find a ton of skincare products I didn’t expect to see. Here’s what I got:

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Mini Haul! | Benefit Benebalm and Lollitint Review
Goodness, long time no post! Even though it’s summer time I’ve still been pretty busy with grad school, but now that I’m back in Vegas* and (somewhat) settled in again, let’s get on with the review!

There are four new Benefit tinted lip balms ($18 each) in Benefit’s line corresponding with the lip and cheek stains of the same colors. I have the shade BeneBalm which is the sister to the Benefit BeneTint stain.
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I like how hydrating these balms are. The application is smooth and leaves a nice little shine on the lips. I also like the rose scent (the exact same as the BeneTint) but I can see how some may not like the strong floral smell right under their noses. To be honest, these aren’t that revolutionary. I think they give the same amount of hydration and tint as your average tinted lip balm. And for $18, I probably won’t repurchase once I’ve finished up this tube. 

I usually use this on its own or layered over the BeneTint stain. BeneTint is a bit drying on me, so the balm brings back the lost moisture without changing the smell or color of the stain. 

Next up! 

When LolliTint first came out, I didn’t really take notice of it. I’m not sure why, I think I just didn’t feel like spending money on it at the time. I think I was also worried that the orchid color wouldn’t really suit my skintone. But a few days ago I had a customer come in and ask to try LolliTint on her lips. I realized then how much of a fool I was for not playing around with the color sooner! It looked sooo good on her fair skin and I was surprised to see that it looked pretty nice on me as well. Even with a deeper tan**, I feel like LolliTint really compliments my face.

Some swatches on my hand!


LolliTint is a bit creamier than BeneTint but still applies smoothly to the lips or cheeks. As you can see from the swatch, once dry it leaves a nice orchid stain on my deeper complexion. Those more lavender streaks in the middle part of the swatch was where I let it goop up so it hadn’t had much time to dry before I took the picture. I use LolliTint on both my lips and cheeks, but I think I prefer it on my lips a bit more because the color looks more natural on me.

What do you all think? Have you tried any of these products before?

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*I was in the Alaskan Arctic from about May to late June working on another archaeological site. It was seriously cold, but now that I’m back in 100 degree weather again I really miss it up there. :(
 
**Whenever I’m in the field, I always return with a serious tan. Right now I’m about a NC42, which is the tannest I’ve been in awhile. 
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Mini Haul! | Benefit Benebalm and Lollitint Review

Goodness, long time no post! Even though it’s summer time I’ve still been pretty busy with grad school, but now that I’m back in Vegas* and (somewhat) settled in again, let’s get on with the review!
There are four new Benefit tinted lip balms ($18 each) in Benefit’s line corresponding with the lip and cheek stains of the same colors. I have the shade BeneBalm which is the sister to the Benefit BeneTint stain.

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Skin Care | Emergency!

It’s not everyday that your skin decides to take a turn for the worse; but when it does, it always seems to be right before a big day! If you have a special occasion coming up or just need to get clear skin ASAP, this is my routine that never fails to clear my skin in less than a week.[[MORE]]
Flashback to the week before Wondercon, a comic convention in California that I had been looking forward to for quite some time. My skin decided to break out especially terribly due to ‘that time of the month’, just a few days before the convention. Knowing that HD cameras would pick up every blemish, I gathered some of my most intensive acne-fighting products and put them to good use.

I recommend using these products in combination only when your skin is especially blemished, and not for daily use. These are quite intense, and may tire your skin out if used more than one week at a time. Like most products, test these out on a small patch of inconspicuous skin (I usually pick my neck) and see how you react. There are tons of alternatives for acne solutions, it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you!
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash, $12.00The Body Shop’s Tea Tree range is fantastic for clearing your skin in a jiffy. The facial wash doesn’t dry my combination-oily skin out, doesn’t leave my skin red from being over-worked, and clears my breakouts quite quickly. You’re left feeling refreshed and squeaky clean!Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, $3.99If you have extremely dry skin, please be wary of this product. After cleansing, it’s important to treat under the skin first, so clearing up any pore-clogging dirt particles is essential. I love applying this mask only to see the oil literally being lifted and showing up as dark spots over your green face (gross).Tea Tree Oil, $10.29Any brand of tea tree oil will do, but I love this product because it’s so gentle, yet effective. Using a cotton swab, I pat over any blemishes that don’t have a white head. It cleanses the spot and immediate area, leaving my blemishes significantly smaller come morning.Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $17.00The final touch- a heavy-duty spot treatment guaranteed to eliminate white heads the next day. The solution separates, and can be shaken or used still by dipping a cotton swab in and applying over extra troublesome blemishes. The lotion essentially dries the skin around the spot, and gets rid of as much oil as it can, so it’s crucial to moisturize properly afterwards, and to use only as needed. If you were to try just one product from this post, it’d definitely be this one!Best of luck on your skin care endeavors, and don’t be afraid to try new products! What are some of your go-to products for quick blemish fixes?Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Skin Care | Emergency!

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It’s not everyday that your skin decides to take a turn for the worse; but when it does, it always seems to be right before a big day! If you have a special occasion coming up or just need to get clear skin ASAP, this is my routine that never fails to clear my skin in less than a week.

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Haul | Sephora Birthday Goodies
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With Sephora’s recent VIB sale and my April birthday, I figured it was time to treat myself and try a slew of high-end makeup and skin care products. These were all highly recommended and had been on my wish-list for quite some time, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been very happy with every product I purchased!

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Review | Bésame Cosmetics Cake Mascara in ‘Black’

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Hello friends! Alina here, long time no post! Today I’m talking about something very pertinent to my interest in vintage makeup products. 

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Beauty | Current Favorites
With my first installment of a monthly beauty/lifestyle favorites post, I thought it’d be a nice idea to include a few items that I plan on using more often with the upcoming spring weather. What’s most exciting is that most of these products are relatively new and quite affordable.[[MORE]]
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation ‘130 True Ivory’, $4.49
When my local Walgreens had a 50% off sale on Rimmel London cosmetics, I figured it would be a great time to try some products recommended by a few youtube beauty bloggers (*ahem* Tanya Burr). I’m pleased to report that this lightweight foundation has yet to upset my skin, has a nice light-medium coverage, and has the added bonus of SPF 15.

(Malin + Goetz) Mojito Lip Balm, $12.00
Spending an entire day outdoors recently left my lips quite dehydrated (something that rarely happens). I opted for this particular lip balm after receiving it in an ipsy bag a few months ago and having been so happy with the results! This gel applies clear from the squeeze tube, sinks right into the lips, and leaves almost no residue after a few minutes. If you have dry lips and don’t want a greasy treatment, give this sensitive skin—approved brand a try.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer Treatment ‘Light’ $8.99
Lacking sleep? Full-on zombie mode? School stress? This product right here is your new holy grail undereye concealer. The unique sponge-tip applicator applies the perfect amount of product in one quick sweep and can be blended out to reveal a bright, wide-awake look. I’ve been reaching for this daily and have yet to be disappointed.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ‘Black’, $20.00Sometimes the splurge ad hype are worth it. This cult beauty favorite has truly impressed me with its incredible pigmentation and staying power. My favorite part about this liner is the application- I can literally lay the felt tip flat along my lid to create a smooth, thin line quite quickly.Add in a quick flick near the outer corner and you’re done!Revlon Highlighting Palette ‘Rose Glow’, $9.59Mimicking the style and purpose of the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks, Revlon has released a new line of highlighters at a much more affordable price. I find this particular shade to be pigmented enough to be used as a brightening cheek blush, and even eliminates the need for an additional highlighter. My chubby cheeks have never been happier.Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder ‘Translucent Light’, $9.99Could my beloved Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder be replaced? Possibly! Since Sonia Kashuk is currently redesigned much of their packaging, I picked this up on clearance at Target for a little under $3.00 (what a steal!). I’ve noticed that while this powder applies a minimal amount of coverage, my face has been oil-free for much longer when compared to my previous Stay Matte Powder. In all, great bargain, great product, would definitely repurchase.Not Your Mother’s Plump for Joy Thickening Hair Lifter, $5.99This may quite possibly be one of my all-time favorite hair products (not that I have many). A hybrid between a gel and cream texture, this thickening spray is the ultimate pick-me-up for any hair day. If I use this on freshly washed hair, I notice that the amount of body added to my now shoulder-length hair is incredible and lightweight. With second day hair, my ends look clean, shiny, and very voluminous. I just spray 2-3 pumps into my hand, rub, scrunch from ends to roots, and bam! Instant volume.I hope you all liked my first run at a monthly favorites post; let us know what products you’ve been loving!
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Beauty | Current Favorites

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With my first installment of a monthly beauty/lifestyle favorites post, I thought it’d be a nice idea to include a few items that I plan on using more often with the upcoming spring weather. What’s most exciting is that most of these products are relatively new and quite affordable.

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Review | Maybelline Limited Edition Baby Lips Pink’ed Collection

Left to Right: Blush Burst, Mad for Magenta, Pop of Pink, & Rose Rush

image Cute packaging, bright colors, and affordable prices- what more could I ask for? I spotted the new five-piece collection at my local Walgreens and fell in love instantly. With the exception of the absent ‘Very Berry’ shade, I picked up as many of these uber-moisturizing, pink-toned lip balms as I could.

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Review | LUSH 9 to 4 Cleansing Lotion

image Hello friends, Alina here! Lush is a rare indulgence for me as the only Lush store in my area is a bit out of the way. However, when I do go, I do a loooot of damage.

For those of you new to Lush cosmetics, they’re a cruelty-free and vegan friendly brand that promotes natural handmade products. All of the Lush stores that I’ve been to smell fantastic as well. :P

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Lip Service | BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks

 Hello friends! Alina here with the first installment of Lip Service, a series of posts concerning some of my favorite go to lip products. 
BITE Beauty is a Sephora and (sometimes) QVC exclusive brand that has some AMAZING lipcolors in their arsenal. Not only do they have a broad color range but the texture of these lip products is unbelievable. I have dry lips so the creaminess of BITE lipcolors has even out-hydrated some of my MAC Amplified Creme and Lustre finish lipsticks. Perhaps even more impressive is the pigmentation. The versatility of these shades allows you to start off with a hint of color using a light touch or a full on application directly from the tube.
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First up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :PFirst up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :P

In terms of packaging, I’ve expressed my opinion on rubberized cases before. Although it looks and feels nice, fingerprints and dirt transfers easily and for someone like me who is a huge packaging weirdo, keeping them clean is a hassle. I do like how each lipstick is imprinted with the BITE logo on it. Even a chunk of the ‘B’ is chomped off which I think is a very cute detail.

First up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :P

“Shiraz” is a beautiful dusty plum shade perfect for day or night time looks. I also pair this with “Sin.” 

Here’s a swatch on my arm!



(L) Shiraz (R) Pepper

The BITE Beauty line has a great selection of other neutral shades and even some fantastic vibrants that I haven’t included in this post. If you’re into pigmented lipsticks that offer a lot of moisture, give these a shot!

Have you tried any other BITE lipsticks? Give me some suggestions! :D

Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Lip Service | BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks

image Hello friends! Alina here with the first installment of Lip Service, a series of posts concerning some of my favorite go to lip products. 



BITE Beauty is a Sephora and (sometimes) QVC exclusive brand that has some AMAZING lipcolors in their arsenal. Not only do they have a broad color range but the texture of these lip products is unbelievable. I have dry lips so the creaminess of BITE lipcolors has even out-hydrated some of my MAC Amplified Creme and Lustre finish lipsticks. Perhaps even more impressive is the pigmentation. The versatility of these shades allows you to start off with a hint of color using a light touch or a full on application directly from the tube.

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