XO, Noelle | A beauty and lifestyle blog

Friday, August 29, 2014

OCC Unknown Pleasures Cosmetic Colour Pencils for Fall/Winter 2014 - Swatches & Review

XO, Noelle Friday, August 29, 2014
Hi boobalahs! Yesterday, I brought you swatches and a review of the OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars for their Fall/Winter 2014 which are IN-SANE and make me wish that I could rock a dark metallic purple lip all day, errday. Today I'm bringing you swatches and a review of the two online-exclusive Cosmetic Color Pencil shades - Sebastian and Lydia! The name "Cosmetic Color Pencils "basically mean that they can be used for almost anywhere - lips, eyes, brows, etc.

"The 'Unknown Pleasures' collection captures seasonal trend as created by OCC on the runways of NYFW, with shades that made their original debut at the Fall/Winter 2014 Collections. 'Unknown Pleasures' offers a range of colors that promise to tease and tempt the senses with chic neutrals like 'Lament' and 'Covet', to ultra-modern vamp shades like the Matte and Metallic duo of deep purples 'Pagan' and 'Technopagan'. In addition to the six all-new Lip Tar Mattes and Metallics and coordinating Nail Lacquer shades, 'Unknown Pleasures' delivers online-exclusive offerings as well as two new Cosmetic Color Pencil shades!"

Sebastian is a plum-toned taupe.
Kylie Jenner lips, anyone? That's the first thing I thought of. I never in a million years thought I'd actually like this but I found myself totally wanting to rock this out. Definitely different and would look amazing with MAC Brave or something like that over it. I also think that this would be perfect for an eyebrow pencil. Smooth and opaque, for sure.

Lydia is a darkroom plum.
First off, let me note that there is a warning that Lydia is not meant to be used around the eye area. As cool as a plum eyeliner would've been, this is much better as a lip liner/shade anyway. It appears patchy in the picture but I promise you it filled in smoothly and opaquely. Definitely a fun, fall color!

OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars | Buy: OCC / Sephora - Price: $16 
// Available in Sephora stores and OCC flagship boutiques 9/19
* Press Sample

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars for Fall/Winter 2014 - Swatches & Review

XO, Noelle Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Guys, I'm freaking out over these new OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars Collection for Fall/Winter 2014! Talk about getting into the fall spirit, huh? The colors are so, so different than anything I'd ever think about buy (or rockin' outside my house) but - well, you'll just have to see how they look! Bet you'll be surprised!

Covet, Pagan, Manhunter, Technopagan, Lament and Vain

"The 'Unknown Pleasures' collection captures seasonal trend as created by OCC on the runways of NYFW, with shades that made their original debut at the Fall/Winter 2014 Collections. 'Unknown Pleasures' offers a range of colors that promise to tease and tempt the senses with chic neutrals like 'Lament' and 'Covet', to ultra-modern vamp shades like the Matte and Metallic duo of deep purples 'Pagan' and 'Technopagan'. In addition to the six all-new Lip Tar Mattes and Metallics and coordinating Nail Lacquer shades, 'Unknown Pleasures' delivers online-exclusive offerings as well as two new Cosmetic Color Pencil shades!"

Like all OCC Lip Tars, these babies come packed with organic hemp oil, vitamin E and peppermint oil for smooth, hydrated lips. A little goes along way which is definitely the MO with lip tars and are easily applied with a lip brush that always comes along with it.

Covet is a golden buff neutral.
The 90's are back for fall this year and this is perfect if you're looking to try that trend. I never in a million years thought I'd actually like a brown-toned lip but I'm surprised how much I fell in love with this. Consistency was nice and smooth and applied well. Wear time was about four hours.

Pagan is a blackened purple.
I'm just going to say it: I feel SO badass in this. It's so tough yet wearable (I swear!). I mean, sure, you probably can't rock this at an office job but anyone can rock this on a night out. Because it's so dark, it's a little unforgiving if you go out of the lines and guys, this baby stains so just take your time and if all else fails - concealer is your BFF for nice lines (hey, I tried!) Wear time is six hours +.

Manhunter is a red orange with gold shimmer.
Ay mami! If I had to pick the most "wearable" shade out of this collection, it would probably be this one but even this has a little somethin' extra to it. The gold shimmer is SO bold in person but unfortunately looks subtle in pictures. Consistency was fabulous and wear time was about four hours.

Technopagan is a blackened purple with blue pearl.
How ah-mazing is this color? It's so stunning. It's gorgeous but I never realized how uneven my lips were until I put this on. Overdrawn lips for the win! It's a little unforgiving because it's so dark but I suggest taking your time when "drawing" this on and DEFINITELY use the lip brush for this. Also, this baby STAINS. I mean, ST-AI-NS. I'm currently hours away from renewing my license photo and still have purple lips. Wear time is forever and a day and consistency was perfection.

Lament is a neutral rose beige.
With all these crazy colors, it's nice to have a little fresh neutral in the mix. Lament is described as a matte but I definitely never saw that. It stayed glossy almost the entire time I wore it. I also noticed the consistency of this was significantly looser than the others. Wear time was three hours.

Vain is a deep dark indigo.
Love this color but what a pain in the butt to capture on camera! It's definitely darker in person. Again, I'd never expect to love this as much as I do. I'm so tempted to just wear this out to get my license renewed. Consistency was great and smooth. Wear time was about four-five hours.

Overall: I would rock every single one of these. My faves are definitely Technopagan, Pagan and Covet! Which ones are your favorites?

OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars | Buy: OCC / Sephora - Price: $18 
// Available in Sephora stores and OCC flagship boutiques 9/19
* Press sample

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ipsy | August Glam Bag - Review

XO, Noelle Monday, August 25, 2014
1 Comment
Hello, my little stud muffins and cupcakes! After an amazing birthday weekend filled with lots of love from friends and family, it's nice to come back on Monday feeling refreshed (and filled up to the brim with cake - thanks guys! xx). Let's get this week started with my August Ipsy bag! 

This month's theme is: Beauty Schooled - Learn the rules, so that you can break them. This month, you'll discover that you'll never stop learning - especially, when it comes to the world of beauty. With everything from styling skills, application techniques, to channeling your inner confidence and uniqueness... With the help of ipsy and your August Glam Bag, you're about to get "schooled."

The Bag: Alright. Well, where do I start? It's incredibly cheap-y plastic-feeling. The shape's cute; I get it, it's supposed to be a pencil case. Although I think my pencils and pens would rip through this because it's so cheaply made on day one. Unfortunately, It's just tacky and is one bag I'll be throwing out.

Absolute You're The Balm in Grape
Who doesn't love lip balms? Me - when they have full pieces of glitter in them. At this point in the bag, I'm assuming this bag is for middle school girls because seriously? C'mon. 

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
Yessss! *hands up emoji* I was SO excited to see this in the bag after that lip balm. I'm a huge fan of face primers so it's always nice to try to a new one out. This primer has a nice velvet-y consistency and claims to minimize pores by diffusing lights, mattifies skin, absorbs oil and acts as a protective shield against pore-clogging makeup. I haven't used this that much but I'm pretty impressed so far! It keeps my makeup in place and keeps the shine down.

Lord & Berry Black Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil
-_- Seriously? I'm all for sample sizes but this is a nub, guys! The picture makes it look way bigger than it really is. Take your thumb in pointer, space them out about three inches and that's the size of this. Sigh. Anyway, the pencil itself is actually really nice. It's a brand I've never heard of but I'm happy I tried it out. It's super silky and pitch black. I noticed it didn't transfer on my eyelid nor smudge out by itself during the day.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush
I've heard amazing things about Coastal Scents blushes so I was thrilled to see this. Elegant is on the left and would be described as a baby pink with a whole lot of shimmer. Fresh is on the right and is described as a nice peach. I don't see myself wearing Elegant at all. It's WAY too shimmery for me but I would definitely rock Fresh.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That's me screaming!) YAY! SO excited to see this even if it is just a sample size because I was dying to try this out. It was sitting in my Sephora bag online for forever. I'm actually going to do a separate review on this mascara but so far, thumbs up!

Swatches: Lord & Berry Black Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil, Coastal Scents Forever Blush Elegant & Fresh

Overall: This bag was a weird mix of disappointment and excitement. The bag itself was a huge let down. I love collecting them to use them and this one will probably be thrown out. I really liked Fresh from the Coastal Scents Forever Blush sample, Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer and the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. I also liked the kohl eye pencil BUT hated the size. Like, talk about a tease. 

What did you get in your bag? What would you like to try from this one?

Not subscribed to Ipsy yet? What are you waiting for? For $10 a month, you'll get a bag filled with 4-5 deluxe-full sized beauty products at your door. Sign up here (referral link)!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NCLA Pink Flamingos - Review

XO, Noelle Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Anyone else feel like fall in kind of being forced on them? I mean, I love fall and I may be particularly excited for September this year but "damnnn, Gina". Mornings have been in the 50's and I even heard Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is coming back early (August 25 - mark your calendars!). I can't even lie. I'm pretty excited about that one. The #typicalwhitegirl in me is like, "YAAAAAAAAS! Now hold on and let me get my North Face and Uggs."

Anywho, just because fall is approaching (apparently, fast!) does not mean you have to cool it down and go all oxblood your nails just yet. These NCLA Pink Flamingo Nail Wraps are the perfect way to keep the summer going until the first leaf drops!

Pink Flamingos is a bright aqua background with hot pink flamingo print all over. The print is a quirky taste of a tropical getaway and I absolutely love it! The collection comes with 26 ultra-thin adhesives and a cute NCLA nail file. The wrap sizes range from wide to small so they fit just about any nail bed. Thumbs up from this chick!

How to apply NCLA nail wraps:

  • Start off with fresh, clean nails and than apply a coat of basecoat (I used NCLA Gloss It!) and let it dry.
  • Find the size that best fits your nail and peel from the sheet by the flap. 
  • Apply the most round part to your cuticle and stretch down until it fits perfectly. I know some are afraid to stretch it because they think it might break, but I promise you it won't. This is the most crucial part to get a nice, flat, flawless nail. 
  • Once you've fit it to your nail, firmly flatten it down starting from the cuticle and pressing your way down to the tip. 
  • Use the nail file in a downward motion to remove any excess wrap left over. Apply another coat of Gloss It! and you're all set! I really like using a coat for Gloss It! over it because it softens the nail wrap (as well as adds a shine to it) so you can go in one last time and press down anything you missed or smooth out any mistakes.
 (Confession: I have toddler hands.)

Tell me those hands don't look like they could belong to a five year old! Anyway, the wraps. What more can I say without looking like I'm obsessed? Because I'm not. I don't look at the website at least once a day, checking out the new designs like these new Semi Precious Metal ones or these End of Summer ones. Cough. No obsession here. It's hard not to be obsessed when something just works SO WELL. I've said it a few times but I absolutely love how easy they are to put on, how well they fit my tiny nail beds and I mean, c'mon, the designs are freakin' adorable. 

NCLA Pink Flamingos | Availability: Online Exclusive - Buy | Price: $16
* Press sample

Monday, August 18, 2014

Top Ten Dorm Must-Haves With Kleenex + Walmart

XO, Noelle Monday, August 18, 2014

Over the weekend, I went out shopping with my mom to Walmart for stuff for my hospital bag and noticed a whole bunch of "kids" (loosely 18-20 years old which is already numbero uno sign that I'm getting old when that age group are "kids" to me) running around picking out curtains, pillows and comforters. I mean, the home decor section was like, the it place. It was packed. Then I noticed the parents behind them asking if they thought they'd need more towels, "Is this comforter soft enough?", "I think you're going to need more storage." and finally put two and two together: They were getting ready for college! Duh, Noelle.

See, I never went to college but I'd be lying if I said I didn't envy the kids who got to go - just probably not for the reasons you would think. I was always jealous they got to decorate their own little living space and be "grown ups" before buying a house and getting older was even a plausible thought. I don't know how many times I'd visit friends in college and think how cute their mini fridge was or how cool it was that they used their closet for clothes and as a pantry. They were living the life! Then I found out they'd have to share their living space, the bathroom was public and that if I just waited a few (or ten) years, I could have my own space to own - and with bills, to boot! How lucky am I?

I decided to put together my own dorm room necessities (everything is from Walmart!)  if I ever got to have one and hopefully give my college-bound readers (go get 'em, tiger!) some ideas on how you can decorate your own dorm!

MainStays Non-Woven Bins | Buy - The organizer in me says you need these in your life whether you're going to college or not but these are absolutely perfect for a small dorm. Bins are the perfect hiding places to make it look like you don't have a lot of crap laying around when your parents come to visit. They'd look adorable in this ClosetMaid Cubical also at Walmart.

Kleenex Expressions Oval Facial Tissue Chevron Designs | In stores at Walmart - I feel like these are must-haves for forever. Not only are tissues awesome when you're sick but they also come in handy to remove makeup with, quick clean-ups when hand towels aren't around and cleaning your glasses! This adorable print is limited edition to run (don't walk!) to your nearest Walmart and snag a box (or three!).

Keurig Elite K40 Single Serve Coffeemaker Brewing System | Buy - For $100, you can't go wrong with this Keurig. Not only does it come in four different colors (I didn't know they made them in different colors!) but it'll definitely come in handy to have one on those long study nights.

Better Homes & Gardens Baroque Oval Wall Mirror | Buy - I actually own this and can say it's super light, ready to hang and totally adorable! It goes with any type of decor and comes in three other colors.

MainStays Chevron Decorative Pillow | Buy - Chevron is SO in right now. Super comfy, cute pattern - all you need for a night in at the dorm.

Teen Vogue 50x60 Faux Fur Throw | Buy - Sometimes there's just nothing better than a nice, warm throw blanket to remind you of mom's hugs!

7-Piece Back to College Room Decor Solution Set | Buy - This set comes with five different size picture frames, a dry-erase board and a clock! All frames also come with an easel so you have the choice to hang them or put them on a tabletop.

Sandisk CZ60 16GB Cruzer USB | Buy - I may not have gone to college but even I know these are amazing to have. Pictures, projects and more can be saved on one of these babies to free up room for movie downloads on your laptop ;)

Igloo Refrigerator | Buy - You can't forget a mini fridge! Comes in seven different colors and is perfect for keeping snacks and drinks nice and cold. Lock so you don't have to share with your roomie not included.

Round Paper Lantern | Buy - Okay. So maybe there's not a lot of use to come from a paper lantern but buy a few (or ten) and your room will definitely be the cutest around!

So what are your dorm must-haves!?
* This post is sponsored by Kleenex and Walmart but my opinions are always 100% all mine.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paints - Swatches & Review

XO, Noelle Thursday, August 14, 2014
Talk about hard to find! L.A. Girl is basically non-existent where I'm from so I took to Amazon.com to get my fix (and I snagged a set for my readers for an Instagram-only giveaway!). I had heard that they're comparable to the new Too Faced Melted Lipsticks (they're really not but I'll get into that later!) so naturally that peaked my interest as well.

L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paints are a sweet mix between a lipstick and lipgloss. I absolutely love these hybrids! It has the shine and consistency of a lipgloss but the color intensity of a lipstick. They also contain Vitamin E and peppermint oil (and smell like peppermint too!) to keep your lips nice and moisturized.

So are they Too Faced Melted Lipsticks dupes? Not really. For one, the L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paints have more of a shiny consistency (if that makes sense) while the Melted Lipsticks are a bit more creamy. Vampy Varnish compared the L.A. Girl Lip Paints to OCC Lip Tars and I totally agree. A little bit goes a long way with both and they have similar consistencies. I also recommend applying these with a lip brush, like the OCC Lip Tars.

(L-R: Blushing, Pin-Up, Babydoll, Coy, Bombshell & Hot Mess)

Blushing is purple-mauve. 
As you can see from the swatch to what it looks like on my lips, it's definitely lighter and pulls more pink on your lips. Application was easy-peasy and the color didn't slide around on my lips. Probably one of my top three faves from this collection! Wear time was 2-3 hours.

Pin-Up is a bright cherry red.
Talk about va-va-voom! A little goes such a long way with these lip paints. I did experience some movement on the lips (as you can see from the pic above) which looked a little patchy close-up. Honestly, in person you couldn't really tell. The other only (minor) issue with this was that it bled. Again, not super noticeable in person but in super hi-def photos, you can't hide a thing! ;) Wear time was a bit longer than Blushing coming in at about 3-4 hours.

Babydoll is a bubblegum pink.
And also makes my top three faves! Just another smooth, even applying lip paint. Loved the color and was surprised how flattering it was on my pale skin. Usually these cool-toned pinks kind of make me look corpse-y but I loved how this one looked. Wear time was 3 hours.

Coy is an in-yo-face-purple.
I'm still a little on the fence about Coy. It's a gorgeous almost fully opaque purple but what's a bummer is that it gets a little patchy and moves around with a minute of putting it on. I recommend the "blotting technique" to get this baby to stay a little longer. Apply once and then lightly blot with toilet paper and then apply again. 

Bombshell is a bright fuchsia. 
I call this "The Liquified MAC Candy Yum-Yum". It's just perfection in every way. Almost fully opaque in one swipe, long wear time (4-5 hours) and so flattering. 

Hot Mess is a tangerine.
A fun and totally wearable orange! I see this being flattering on any skin tone. This isn't really as opaque as the other colors but it does still apply nice and even. 

Overall: For $4 a pop, you can't go wrong with any of these! If you're looking for Too Faced Melted dupes, these aren't them but they are ah-mazing all on their own. My top three faves are Bombshell, Blushing and Babydoll. All have a pretty decent wear time ranging from 2-5 hours.

Which ones are your favorites?

L.A. Girl Lip PaintsBuy - Price: $3.99