Monday, June 24, 2013

Essie Neon 2013 Summer Saturday Disco Fever Swatch and Review

Hello Halloween! Oh wait, it's June?! This neon, traffic cone orange would be formerly relegated to only gracing my nails during my favorite fall holiday. This summer's neon trend, though, makes this color wearable all season long!

In the bottle this color looks like a bright orange-red. On the nail, though, this color loses any hints of red and just leaves you with bright, shiny, neon orange. At first I was completely put off; I was expecting red! Not being  one to waste a manicure, though, I stuck it out and have been sporting this color for about a week now. It took me a while, but now I'm totally into it. I'm even thinking of doing a two week repeat (wearing the same color twice is almost uneard of for me!).

The formula is streaky on the first coat but levels out by the second. I applied this over the white base polish, blanc, that Essie suggests for all the colors in their 2013 neon collection. The wear time is excellent, I only noticed slight wear on the tips of my nails by day 5.

I hope you enjoyed this review! Have you tried out any bright neon colors for your nails this summer? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow me on bloglovin!

xoxo - Katie
Friday, June 21, 2013

Inspired Fashion: The Amalfi Coast

Last year I was lucky enough to spend four months studying abroad in Italy. The entire country is filled with luxurious scenery, colors, smells and tastes; but nowhere is more breathtaking than the stunning vistas of the Amalfi Coast!

It's the first day of summer, and I'm dreaming of Amalfi. Sitting on the black sand beaches, wine cooler in hand, the hills of Positano rising behind me. Sigh. A girl can dream!

Unfortunately, jetting off the the Italian coastline is not on my horizon. So what's an Italian-at-heart to do? Put together an Amalfi inspired outfit of course!

Amalfi Coast Inspired Beach Look

 The retro beach vibe of this outfit was inspired by the feeling of timelessness you get on the coast. The natural beauty of the islands is largely untouched. The houses clinging to the cliff faces have been there for centuries. A great pair of cat eye sunnies and a retro-striped beach bag would fit perfectly into the scenery.

Of course, when making an Amalfi outfit, your can't leave out the blues. I'm loving patterned shorts this season, and this sea-foam green pair screams beach chic. The combination of blues and greens in the jewelry is gorgeous, and reflect the variety of stunning colors you find on the coast!

Thanks for reading! Are you dreaming of a seaside escape on this first day of Summer? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow Katie's Beautique on Bloglovin

xoxo - Katie
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge Lipcolor in Coral Swatches and Review

Believe it or not, I'm a low maintenance makeup kind of girl. I covet products that I can apply once a day, that still look as good at hour 12 as they did first thing in the morning. Consequently, I neglect my lip products more than any other product in my makeup arsenal.

That's not to say I don't appreciate me some gorgeous lip color, I just don't have the patience required to reapply every few hours or worry about smudging every time I take a sip of water or want to nibble on some food.

Enter Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge lipstick. This product grabbed my attention the second I heard it's marketing appeal as an ultra-pigmented, smudge proof lip color. I didn't hesitate to snatch one up to see if these claims really be true. Could I really have low maintenance, high voltage lip color? Amazingly, with this product, I can!

The color this lipstick provides is intense and vibrant. This coral color especially is not for the statement lip shy! What is really flooring about this product, though, is how it refuses to budge. Once it sets (which is very fast, you have to be pretty quick when applying to get even coverage!) I haven't found any food or drink that can get this product to smudge or fade. Amazing!

The product takes two steps to apply. On one end of the wand you'll find a doe foot applicator to apply the color. The other end contains a clear gloss designed to add shine and protect the color to help make it last. If you prefer a matte finish you can easily skip the gloss, but I have found it to be helpful when first applying to smooth and even out the color.

Top: MUFE Aqua Rouge Lipcolor in #18 Coral. Bottom: Clear gloss

Lips before application.

Lips after application.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge Lipcolor is $24 and can be found here at Sephora.

I hope you enjoyed this review! I'm so excited I've found this product! I can't wait to try out more colors. What's your favorite long wearing lip products? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to follow Katie's Beautique on bloglovin!

xoxo - Katie 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A New Way To Contour: L’oreal True Match Crayon Concealer

Ah, contouring. To me this is one of the most essential steps to make your makeup truly look its best, yet it’s one of the steps I most neglect.

Contouring is a trick makeup artists and celebrities use to emphasize their best features. It creates areas of shadow on the face which cause those areas to recede from the eye. This effect allows makeup artists to narrow noses and slenderize the face, chin, and neck. I, for one, certainly benefit from some facial slenderization!

Contouring is one makeup trick that really helps us look our best, so why do I skip it so often? I still haven’t found that perfect contour shade, that one that blends seamlessly with my skin while still creating a noticeable shadow. Not too brown, not too red, not too hard to blend in with my foundation, just right. I still haven’t found that shade, but I have found an exciting new product that comes pretty close.

The finished look! Haha just kidding ;) This picture was taken before blending.

L’oreal True Match Crayon Concealer is a concealer, but I’ve found that this makes a convenient and quick way to contour. What’s fun about this product is you draw with it directly onto the areas of your face where you want to create shadow. (Yes, you’ll look totally crazy for a few minutes, but it pays off!) Then you can smooth and blend the product out with your fingers or a sponge (I’ve been using the pointy end of my beauty blender for this job). It blends out very easily, and the color does a good job of creating a not too dramatic, natural contour.

Picture taken after blending (I went ahead and finished the rest of my makeup). Check out how natural it looks!

While this product still isn’t the holy grail contour I’ve been looking for, it’s a super fast, easy to work with, hard to mess up contour perfect for mornings when you don’t have a ton of time to put on your face.

L’oreal True Match Crayon Concealer is $7.99 and can be found at Target here. The color I use is Medium/Deep Neutral.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below what your favorite contour product is, I just might need to give it a try! Don't forget to follow me on bloglovin for me product reviews like this one!

xoxo - Katie
Friday, June 14, 2013

MAC All About Orange Royal Sunset Blush Review and Swatches

Royal Sunset is one of three blushes released with MAC's latest limited edition collection All About Orange. Described by MAC as a 'soft cool peach,' the color leaves a delightfully natural flush on the cheeks.

The pigmentation is great and can be layered for vibrancy or applied lightly for a soft, natural flush. I've been loving wearing a light sweep of this color, it's the perfect complement to bright, statement summer lips!

The formula isn't chalky and doesn't accentuate pores; the color looks natural no matter how heavy you choose to apply it.

I hope you enjoyed this review! Have you picked up any items from this collection? Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe to Katie's Beautique on bloglovin for more product reviews!

xoxo - Katie
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sale Alert! J Crew Clearance Haul

Ladies, I have a very important PSA for you all today; J Crew is having a massive sale with 30% off already reduced items! I stumbled into this today and picked up a few things at a great discount. (I picked up the woven blue bracelet above for $7, marked down from $25!)

The sale is available online, but the prices are reduced more dramatically in the stores. These earrings, for example, I found marked down to $25 (before the extra 30% discount) but they are only reduced to $45 online.

 My biggest steal of the day was this cardigan which I snagged for $12 (originally $72!). Isn't the anchor detailing on the buttons to die for! It's the little things that get me :)

I hope you enjoyed this mini-haul! Have you been shopping any of the summer sales that are on right now? Let me know in the comments, and don't forget to follow me on bloglovin!

xoxo - Katie
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MAC All About Orange Rainy Season Quad Review and Swatches

 Why, you might ask, of all products in a collection entitled All About Orange, did I decide to buy an eyeshadow quad composed entirely of greys? Two reasons. First, I’m an eyeshadow addict. Second, I love me a good smokey eye!

Sultry, smokey eyes are no longer relegated only to the colder months. Smokey eyes are a huge trend this summer and I, for one, am thrilled! Eyes are my favorite feature to accentuate, and nothing makes me feel sexier than a smokey eye!

When I first saw promo pics of MAC’s Rainy Season quad I was uninspired. It looked like someone took a picture of my last MAC eyeshadow purchase, Bare My Soul quad, and turned down the saturation. It’s not a quad that grabs you with it’s uniqueness or innovation, its practicality is really where it earns its keep. The four monochromatic, neutral colors in this quad are perfect to grab in the morning for a smokey eye that will go with everything. Bright cheeks, statement lips, your impeccably coordinated outfit; this quad is the perfect understated complement to anything.

The four shadows contained in this quad all have good color payoff and minimal fallout. The weakest of the shadows is arctic grey it’s a frosted lustre finish so like most MAC lustres you have to layer it on to achieve the color you see in the pan. After experimenting with this quad I’ve decided to relegate arctic grey to an inner corner highlight, a role it performs excellently. The quad is $40 and can be purchased here.

Swatches top to bottom and left to right: Rainy Season (light warm grey frost), Arctic Grey (frosted midtone grey), Courtly Grey (matte cool grey), and Typographic (matte asphalt black).

Bottom line: The colors in this quad work well to create a classic smokey eye and I enjoy the convenience of having all the colors for a complete, go-with-anything eye look together in one quad. I do recommend!

Thanks for reading! Are you into the smokey eye for summer trend? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to follow me on bloglovin!

xoxo - Katie
Monday, June 10, 2013

Benefit Skinny Jeans Review and Swatch

Cream eye products have never been my favorite. I've tried MAC paint pot after paint pot, always expecting to love them. I never do. Even over a primer they crease on me and cause my eyeshadow to migrate after a few hours, and my eyelids aren't even oily!

Somehow, though, Benefit's formulation fits me like my favorite pair of skinny jeans. The colors, the staying power, it just works!

This is my favorite color I've picked up from the Benefit cream shadow line so far. Benefit's description of this color being "pretty pewter" fits, but doesn't express the complexity of the shade. In different lights it can lean mossy green, silvery or coal colored. Gorgeous!!

This color is perfect spread over my lid as a base for a smokey eye, but I've also been loving using it as a gel eyeliner, it works for a gorgeous, softer version of the cat eye!

This color leans cool but would be flattering on all complexions. It costs $20 and can be found at Sephora here.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Leave me a comment letting me know if you use cream shadows? Do they work for you?

Don't forget to follow my blog for more product reviews like this one!

xoxo - Katie
Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Essentials: Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen Review

I’ve grown up in a time where there is plenty of awareness about the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of a good sunscreen. I have distinct memories, though, of reading articles in magazines and thinking, eh, I’m too young. I don’t have to worry about this for a few years. I’ll worry about it when I’m in my 20’s. Well, folks, my 20’s are here. And they’re already flying by. This week was my 22nd birthday. Wait, WHAT?!?! It’s officially happened. I’m a 20 something.

So, this summer I decided it was time to face the facts, I’m a real adult now and I can’t put off good anti-aging (not to mention skin saving) skincare behavior and longer. This summer I committed myself to applying sunscreen daily.

For me this is no small thing. I’ve had a long standing hate-hate relationship with sunscreen for years. To give you some perspective on how big of a deal daily sunscreen is for me I will enumerate my grievances with sunscreen and explain why I’ve put off wearing it regularly for so long:

1. It ruins a face full of makeup. Sunscreens always cause my makeup to slip and slide all over my face the second I walk away from the vanity. Don’t even get me started on how big of a disaster this is when I’m sweating (oh hey there raccoon eyes!).

2. It feels bad. Like, really bad. I’m picky about feeling clean and even the smallest dab of sunscreen makes we count the minutes until I can wash it off.

3. It breaks me out. This is really my biggest grievance of them all. It’s hard to see the big picture about the health and beauty benefits of sunscreen when at the end of the day you find big red blemishes staring you in the face.

Now, here’s the reason I can’t use these excuses to avoid wearing daily sunscreen anymore: Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen (SPF 50+).

In my 22 years of existence, no sunscreen has ever performed for me the way this one has. What makes this product so different?

First, this product is the thinnest sunscreen I’ve ever used. It comes out very thin, a bit thicker than milk but much thinner and runnier than a milkshake. While it’s white straight out of the bottle it turns translucent immediately when spread onto the face, absolutely no rubbing or wrestling with the product required. The days of white, streaky sun screened noses are behind us, ladies!

The best part about this product is it is so thin that it doesn’t leave any slipperiness or oiliness to disrupt my makeup. I apply this underneath my makeup primer (link to review of that product here) and it doesn’t effect the look or wear time of my makeup at all. A sunscreen that you can barely tell is there, my favorite kind!!

The icing on top of the cake for me with this product is I have not experienced any skin irritation or breakouts from this sunscreen. Not one!

Needless to say, I’m sold. This sunscreen is on the pricier side at $38 for 1.7 fl. oz. but it is on par with other high-end facial sunscreens. Kiehl’s Super Fluid protects against both UVA and UVB rays, is fragrance free and non-comedogenic. The biggest thing to remember when using this lotion is to SHAKE WELL before use. The active ingredients settle to the bottom of the container and need to be distributed every time you use it. You can purchase this sunscreen from the Kiehl’s website here.

I hope you enjoyed this review!! Do you wear sunscreen daily? Why/why not? What kind do you use? Let me know in the comments below and leave me a link to your blog so I can come check you out!!

Also, please subscribe to my blog! I’m a brand new blogger and am having a lot of fun growing this site, and I also want to expand my online network. You can follow be on bloglovin’ and I will be putting up links to rss feed and e-mail subscription soon!!

xoxo - Katie
Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Weekend In Pictures...Washington DC!

Whew it's been a busy few days, and so long since I've posted! Because this blog is brand new I've committed myself to staying regular with posts, but I haven't been able to in a few days. Instead, I've been trotting around Washington DC with my lovely boyfriend! We're planning on moving down here as soon as we find jobs, so exploring the city this weekend has been such a fun adventure. Here are a few pics of what I've been up to!

The National Mall! (Now if only there were a few more Sephoras around, I mean, it's called the national MALL right ;)

We found this adorable food truck, and since it was 95 degrees I couldn't help getting...

A coke float! My favorite!!

We visited a beautiful garden in Georgetown (we needed some culture after a long day of shopping :)

And I FINALLY made it to Serendipity to try the Frozen Hot Chocolate, and it actually is everything it's cracked up to be. MMMM!!

I hope you all had fun and fabulous weekends, too!!!
xoxo - Katie