Hey there!

Hey friend! I'm Noelle, your virtual beauty-lovin' bestie, here to share makeup tutorials, product reviews, motherhood stories and everything in between! XO, Noelle is all about being the best version of yourself - inside and out.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#BBCChallenge | Halloween - Who's Your Mummy?

Every year, I secretly countdown the months until it's finally pumpkin spice latte season, ahem, I mean fall. I don't know if it's the leaves changing, the sugar highs from candy or the Halloween specials that run on TV but I get so, so excited for October. I can't wait to show y'all the looks I have planned. Hopefully, from gore to pretty, there'll be a little something for everyone. 

With that, we are starting of the Halloween season right with challenge numbero dos of the BBChallenge! Woohoo! For those who don't know what the challenge is about or what it even is. The ladies of The Beauty Blog Coalition and myself get together at the end of every month and challenge ourselves to create something fun (whether it's with our makeup, nails or hair - whatever!) inspired by whatever the topic of the challenge is. (Have an idea for a challenge? Leave a comment below!)

This month's challenge is: Halloween!
I decided to be a mummy for a few reasons: 1.) I'm a mommy (mummy), get it? 2.) This is a total easy, last-minute look. Heck, you don't even have to do the other one and can leave it at one showing and one covered like below. 

I clearly need to work on a new background.

The details:
  • Eyes - MAC Painterly Pot as the base. Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Gold all over the lid. Urban Decay Half Baked over the Gold to set it. Too Faced David & Marg on the lower lid. UNT Eye Define Liquid Liner for the exaggerated cat eye (which I absolutely love!). Ardell Demi Wispies for lashes.
  • Face - It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination Foundation in Light. Smashbox Bronzer and Contour used as well as Pebble in the contour to add a little depth and grey-ness to it. 
  • Lips - I just used a concealer to white out my lips and then Smashbox Blackout in the middle of the lips with Gold on top.
  • Bandages are from the dollar store. One box of bandages covered my head. One for my arm. Basically, one box for each limb will do. What I love is that you can snag and pull at them to make them look distressed and old. I didn't but you can also add bronzer onto them or a brown shadow to age them.
Make sure to check out my other blogger babes and their fun Halloween looks:

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Empties | With Paula's Choice Skincare

Happy fall, ya'll (I've been dying to say that)! You may remember back in April, I was given to opportunity to try Paula's Choice skincare for a month or so. After a phone call with one of their (absolutely sweet!) skin consultants, they recommended me the Skin Recovery line for my super-dry skin.

Some may wonder, "So what happened after that month? Did you continue using those products?" You bet your sweet tuckus I did. The Skin Recovery line really helped with my skin, especially with the seasonal change. Does anyone else's skin do that? Sense a new season coming on and just completely freak out? Paula's Choice products really helped ease into the new season with subtle to no skin dilemmas.

While almost all the products have been used up, I decided to share with you my three favorites:

Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner (Buy) - Toners haven't always been a part of my skincare routine but this one made me a believer. The milky consistency feels really nice on my face after I wash it and also removes any extra dirt or makeup I maybe have missed. The fact that it also prevents anti-aging is a mega plus!

Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 (Buy) - I will definitely be repurchasing. I've found that it's hard to find a simple, light day moisturizer with sunscreen that I like. It's super lightweight with no fragrance and prevents visible signs of aging.

Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (Buy) - Sometimes the product in the smallest packaging delivers the biggest punch. I absolutely ADORE this serum. The teeniest bit goes a long way. Sometimes I'll mix this in with my moisturizer (day or night) and sometimes I'll just use this on it's own before moisturizing. The serum contains a plethora of oils (Soybean, Grapeseed, Primrose, Cranberry - just to name a few) to ensure maximum moisturizing.

Psst.  As a Power Primper , I am offering 20% off + free shipping with promo code: PRIMPFALL20 to my readers! Expires: December 31st, midnight EST, One-time use only; cannot be combined with other offers or applied to previous purchase.

Looking to download PRIMP? Download here!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

#UNTBeautyTalk | Aqua Déluge Intensive: Extreme Moisture Firming Serum

* This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/UNT.

Hey babes! Last week, I introduced to you UNTa new beauty and skincare brand coming to the US all the way from Taiwan that believes beauty cannot be represented by one verbal expression alone. UNT also feels that they cannot relate to just one form of beauty. Last week, I reviewed some products from their beauty line (here) and this week I'm reviewing a little somethin' somethin' from their skincare line. Let's check it out!

This serum promises soft, supple skin from a unique blend of "Ultra Filling Spheres" - a new technology that blends Hyaluronic Acid and Konjac Root Extract to achieve a superior water-retention capacity and delivers intense moisture to the skin.  It also includes SYN®-HYCAN to boost the Hyaluronic Acid to increase the skin's self hydration. Lastly, Marula Oil and Royal Jelly are added into the serum to enhance skin regeneration and collagen synthesis for firmness.

Phew - talk about a mouthful! While I can't pinpoint exactly what it is from that laundry list of oils in the serum that makes this stuff awesome, I can tell you that they all work together perfectly!

The serum itself is not thick at all. It almost has a "moisturizing water" feel once it's rubbed in, if that makes sense. It's very light and leaves absolutely no greasy residue behind. I also want to point out that while I don't classify my skin as sensitive, sometimes my chin will freak out if I use a serum that's too thick/oily. I'm happy to report this serum didn't! Woohoo! Usually, with most serums, you apply them before your moisturizer or even mix them together but I've actually been using this serum by itself and have been impressed with the results: no break outs and nice, soft skin that doesn't feel greasy. This has become a new favorite of mine!

Do you use a serum? Have you tried products from overseas? Which ones are your favorites?

Use the code: UNT10OFF for 10% off the entire site!

Make sure to check out UNT's FaceBook page to receive info on upcoming giveaways and sampling programs!

Friday, September 18, 2015

#StyleHunters4Ulta | Three Products That'll Cut Your AM Beauty Routine In Half

* Sponsored by Ulta Beauty/People StyleWatch
|| #StyleHunters4Ulta #UltaTrendAlert

Whether you're starting school or just heading out to another day at work, sometimes a few more minutes to sleep in before heading off to wherever you're going can make all the difference. I've got you covered with three of my favorite products that cut your morning getting-ready routine in half.

On top of saving you some minutes with your pillow, this post doubles as saving you some moola as well because all the products used are part of Ulta Beauty's 21 Days of Beauty Sale (woohoo!). The sale started 9/6 and goes on until the end of the month! Check these babies out in action below and make sure to write down the date they go on sale. You won't want to miss them!

  • Stila Convertible Color in Peony (available 9/24) - You need this in your life! The Stila Convertible Color doubles as a cream blush AND lipstick. MIND. BLOWN! Lightly tapping the product as a blush on your cheeks creates a gorgeous flush look while you can apply it to your lips either with your finger or with a lip brush for a natural, your-lips-but-better shade. Total time-saver!
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm (available 9/18) - With three different types of BB creams to choose from in this sale - medium, illuminating and and bronzing - this is a total steal at 50% off (on sale $17/originally $34)! Using this in place of a full-coverage foundation, cuts down on time because I can apply this quickly and, dare I say, haphazardly (using my fingers or a brush) for a nice, glowy sheer-coverage look. This also includes a SPF20 so I know I'm protecting my skin while looking fab at the same time! 
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara (available 9/13)  - Holy grail mascara right here! First off, the packaging is amaze, am I right? What I like to do with a mascara when I'm running late is apply to the top lashes like normal but apply a little more product to the outermost lashes (the ones closest to your temples) to make your eyes appear slightly larger and more open. Hopefully that makes a little sense but I swear it works! I also love the formula on this mascara. It's slightly drier than most mascaras out there right now which allows for a nice coating on the lashes without worrying about clumping.
Basically, these three products are my go-to look right now because, honestly, when am I not in a rush or running on little time with a toddler? The UD Naked Skin Beauty Balm keeps my skin nice and glowy with sheer coverage and protection with SPF20. The Stila Convertible Color is a total time-saver with the product doubling as a blush AND lipstick! Lastly, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara helps my lashes looking nice and fluttery and with my little trick, makes my eyes pop and girl, do I need it with the amount of sleep I've been getting lately (teething toddler!).

Which deals are you going for? 

* Sponsored by Ulta Beauty/People StyleWatch
|| #StyleHunters4Ulta #UltaTrendAlert
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sh-mokey Eye with a Pop of Color

Before I even get into this look, how do you spell "smokey"? Do you spell it "smokey" or "smoky"? I just sat here for a few minutes like, "Wait. Is it with an 'e'?" Also doesn't help that I say, "shhhh-mokey" like Jim Carrey from The Mask (edit: I just watched the scene and it's "sssss-mokin'" not "shhhh-mokin'") My entire life has been a lie.

Ahem. Onto the look. I don't know if it's because I've been seeing sneak peeks of the second one everywhere for the holidays, but lately I've been obsessed with LORAC Mega Pro Palette. Have you guys seen swatches of the second one yet? They are totally drool-worthy! The first palette has so many amazing, buttery shades. You better believe I'll have the second one up for you guys once it drops! :)

For this look, I used:
  • LORAC Mega Pro Palette
  • L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara
  • L'Oreal Infalliable Makeup Extender Setting Spray
  • Mica Beauty Black Gel Eyeliner Pot
  • MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
  • Sigma Beauty Dual-Ended Eyeliner in Earth Goddess/Daydream

  • 1. Start with a clean base color closest to your real skin type. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly is my fave for mine. Next, you want to set that (especially if you're using a cream base). I used Fawn and took that all over the lid to eyebrow. What this does is creates a nice base for any other shadows that you put on top of it to help blend them easier.
  • 2. Then I took Brown into my crease with a Sigma Beauty crease brush and applied it in a soft, windshield-wiper movement.
  • 3. Then I took Indigo and packed it all over my lid. I highly recommend patting this onto the lid instead of sweeping it on. Indigo has all these gorgeous turquoise and pinky-purple glitters in it and patting it on helps keep them in place. Taking the L'Oreal Infallible Setting Spray, I sprayed the brush I was using for Indigo and went back in with it. I found using a setting spray (some like to MAC Fix+) really keeps the glitter in place and makes it pop since you're applying it wet.
  • 4. I went back in with Brown in the crease to smoke out and blend out Indigo. Take your time with this and keep blending.
  • 5. Wing it! I used the Mica Beauty Gel Eyeliner Pot in Black and created an "open-ended" cat eye. Apply your normal cat eye but when you're coming back from creating the wing, bring in up, slightly, into the crease of your eye. I hope that makes sense!
  • 6. We're almost done! For the pop of color, I used Sigma Beauty's Dual Eyeliner in Daydream and applied that to my lower waterline. Any color would do and adds such a fun twist to a look.
  • 7. Apply your lashes or oomph your own up! I used the L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara which is a two-part mascara. First, you apply the white primer and then the black mascara over it to get long, wispy lashes!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

#UntBeautyTalk | BB Creams, CC Creams and more - oh my!

* This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/UNT.

One of my favorite things to do as a beauty blogger (but honestly don't get to do enough of!) is to try out products from different countries. It's so cool to see what's hot and trendy somewhere else. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, sometimes they're a little hard to get which is why I'm so excited to introduce UNT

UNT is a skincare and cosmetics brand from Taiwan that believes everyone deserves healthy and comfortable skin - at an affordable price (here, here!) and they're on their way to the US! Fun tidbit: UNT is short for "Untitled" because they believe beauty cannot be represented by one verbal expression alone. UNT also feels that they cannot relate to just one form of beauty. Sounds like a brand I could get behind!

(Pinky: Sun Envy Gel Effect | Ring: Nail Lacquer | Middle: Gel Effect | Pointer: Nail Lacquer | Thumb: Gel Effect)

Up first, we have UNT's Nail Lacquer in Smitten (a bright pink), Sun Envy: Top Coat and Sun Envy: Gel Effect Lacquer in Party Animal (a pale, neon coral). There are over 200 different shades in the nail lacquer collection. The Sun Envy Gel Effect and Top Coat work together to get a nice, long-lasting color and a gel effect without a lamp. Start by applying two-three coats of the Gel Effect Polish and then top with the Top Coat. The top coat will cure from the sunlight to a shiny, hard, dent-proof mani.

Next up we have the Mineraluxe BB Cream, Naked Truth CC Cream, Eye Define Liquid Eyeliner and the Brow Master Dual-Ended Brow Pencil (all seen in the look above).
  • Mineraluxe BB Cream SPF30 (in Natural - Buy) - This BB cream is a lightweight, mineral-based cream suitable for all skin types including acne-prone skin. According to the site, there's a super-fine clay mineral called Illite that bridges over the pores to create a thin veil instead of filling them in like other BB creams. Unfortunately, the shade was a little too dark for me from the start and then oxidized and got even darker so I wasn't able to really wear it-wear it but besides the shade difference, I really liked it. It was very creamy and light on my skin. My skin actually felt softer while it was on and after which was a nice change. I'd definitely try this again in my shade.
  • Naked Truth CC Cream (in Fair - Buy) - Now this, this is my jam! Ultra-sheer with just the right amount of coverage to camo over redness but still let your natural skin breathe. I just dot this all over my face and then buff it in with a foundation buffer for a nice, light, flawless finish.
  • Eye Define Liquid Eyeliner (Buy) - The swatches below don't begin to even show how black this is. I would say this is very comparable to Kat Von D's Tattoo Eyeliner. Unfortunately, this doesn't dry matte and stays a little satin-y but man, oh man, the staying power on this baby is crazy. It has a nice flexible fiber tip that allows you to get the fleekiest flick for your cat eyes but with a little pressure can create a nice, bold line. Overall, I'm very impressed with this!
  • Brow Master Dual-Ended Brow Pencil (Buy) - I thought every brow pencil was created (somewhat) equal until I popped this open. One end is your typical spoolie brush to brush and blend out your pencil but the other end is a triangle-shaped pencil that helps you create a realistic hair stroke, add volume and dimension to your brows. I have no clue what's in this but it. did. not. budge. once I had it on. 

Swatches - Eye Define Eyeliner | Brow Master Dual-Ended Brow Pencil | Naked Truth CC Cream | Mineraluxe BB Cream

What are your favorite products from different countries? Would you try UNT?

USE CODE:UNT10OFF for 10% off your ENTIRE order (valid: 97/-10/31)

Check out UNT on Facebook to get updates on giveaways and sample programs!

Now's your chance to try UNT out because...IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!
18 or older. US residents only, please!

* This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/UNT.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top 15 | Favorite Dark Lipsticks for Fall

Let me just preface this by saying I do not believe dark lips are for fall/winter only. In fact, I think I rock dark lips more often than any other color, any season. Dark lips are sexy and mysterious (is that a dark red shade or the blood of thy enemies - who knows!?) , flattering for all skin types and match my soul. I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

From left to right:
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Limbo
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in LAX
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Tulle
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Avenue
  • Smashbox "Be Legendary" Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Bordeaux
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania
  • L'Oreal Plum Adagio
  • Kat Von D Bachelorette
  • Eddie Funkhouser Rumor
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Lady
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Cheers
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Tutu
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Tiger
  • MAC Diva
  • Bite Beauty in Elderberry
  • Bite Beauty in Black Cherry
What are your favorite vampy lipsticks? Do you wear certain shades for different seasons or do you rock them all year long?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Irresistible Me Hair Extensions (Medium Brown) 200G - Review

Let's talk about extensions, shall we?

The amazing people over at Irresistible Me Hair Extensions were amazing enough to contact me and let me try out their gorgeous Silky Touch 100% Remy Hair Extensions recently and I couldn't wait to share with you guys my thoughts.

Irresistible Me offers two different types of clip-in hair extensions:
  • Silky Touch - Made with 100% Remy Hair. These extensions are a little more price and user-friendly. These are perfect for those that are just starting out with clip-ins. The hair is easy to style, cut, color and use with heat. The thickness of the hair decreases slightly towards the end for a more realistic look. 
  • Royal Remy - Made with 100& Remy Hair. These extensions are more luxe and are their premium clip-ins. These are silkier, softer and will ultimately last longer than the Silky Touch extensions. These are also easier to blend, cut, color and style.

I chose to go full-on mermaid and went with the 24" 200g extensions but Irresistible Me offers so many different custom options with lengths and weights that you're almost guaranteed to find something that fits what you're looking for. My 24" 200g extensions came with:
  • 1 four-clip extension (7.5" width) - This is perfect for adding length and volume to the back. I apply this "middle ear height" in the back (does that make sense?).
  • 2 three-clip extensions (6") - I overlap these in the back "above my ear height" so they're right above the four-clip extension.
  • 5 two-clip extensions (4") - I lift my hair and apply one of these on each side of my head at temple height. The rest I use wherever I think there needs to be more volume.
  • 2 one-clip extensions (1.2") - I have yet to use these but I can imagine they'd be used to add more volume on the sides.

Confession time: These are my first go with clip-ins and I have to honestly say that they were SO easy to use. Since I haven't used clip-ins before I don't have much to compare to but have to admit that these were incredibly lightweight. I forgot I had them in a few times. I do recommend that if you have short hair like me, you might have a better time blending these with your hair if you cut some layers into them. That being said, as you can see below, they still look great even if you don't. I also got a chance to curl them and loved the outcome! They held the curls so, so well. 

Can I also just add how much easier and better looking my braids and messy buns look with extensions? It just adds so much more oomph into them and makes them look WAY better than without. Maybe it's because I have thin hair without them but it's a huge difference with and without. 

Before / After

Overall: I think I've found my holy grail hair extensions. Clipping them in is SO easy (even with thin hair) and never pulls on my hair while they're in. They're extremely realistic and soft. They're super manageable and easy to style and maintain as well. 

FYI: If you don't know what color you should get, they have an awesome video that can help you decide. I love how they move the hair in the video (below) so you can really see the color. My shade (medium brown) matches perfectly with my hair! Also, when you receive the hair, it comes in a little bag. There's a separate part of the bag that includes two wefts of hair to test so you can actually see if it matches before you open the other side. If they don't match (just don't open the bigger side of the bag!), you can send them back, no problem.

Irresistible MeShop
* Press sample
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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Two Ways to Instantly Thicken Your Hair | Toppik Hair Building Fibers + Colored Hair Thickener - Reviews

"Hi. My name is Noelle and I have thin hair." "Hi Noelle!" I know you've guys have heard this before but as we all know, I have thin hair. I know you guys have seen me try out various shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments before but most of those have results that aren't necessarily fast or instant - and who doesn't like instant results, am I right?

Lately, I've been trying out the Toppik Hair Building Fibers as well as the Toppik Colored Hair Thickener. They both achieve somewhat of the same results but in different ways. Let's get to it!

So first, we have the Toppik Hair Building Fibers (in dark brown). Remember, you should always match the fiber shade to your root color because that's where you'll be putting the product. The building fibers themselves are made of all-natural, keratin protein that blend into your hair to give it the look of full, thick, natural hair.

To apply, start off with completely dry hair. You can either sprinkle the fibers straight from the container to the thinning areas but it can get a little messy. I like to use the Toppik Spray Applicator for a more precise application instead.

To use the Spray Applicator (which took about a half an hour to figure because I refused to look at the directions), simply unscrew the cap and then pull of the sifter. Legit, I was convinced it would not come off but it eventually did! Then screw on the applicator and you're good to go! Spray away, babe!

(I can assure you it's not normally this awkward-looking. Unless you, too, take pictures of you using it.)

I feel like this is optional, but you can also insert the teeth from the Toppik Hairline Optimizer into the hairline for a more realistic look. It's basically a hair stencil but works well if you have thin hair near your forehead.

After you've applied the fibers, gently pat your hair to disperse the fibers and then finish with the Toppik FiberHold Spray. This spray basically keeps it put (even in rain, wind and sweat!) and strengthens the bond between your hair and the fibers. Think of it as a special hairspray for the fibers.

Before / After (but before patting to disperse the fibers)

If you don't want to use fibers, you can also use the Toppik Colored Hair Thickener. This spray a dry, colored powder into your hair to fill in any thin areas - kind of like a colored dry shampoo! 

Start with completely dry hair. Because my hair is more thin on the sides, I like to lift my hair right above my ears and spray there about 4-6" away from my head. After it's applied, you can style your hair or reapply for more volume. 

Overall: If you're looking for thick hair - fast - I highly recommend this! Keep in mind that this does not permanently change or put any help towards long-term results with thick hair. That being said, I'm okay with that. I personally like both options when it comes to choosing to use the spray or fibers. The spray, to me, is just like a colored dry shampoo which I'm used to. The fibers are a little bit more realistic if you have a lot of thinning. Both wash out in the shower. Which would you use?

Toppik | Shop
* Press Sample
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JORD Sully Red Sandalwood & Maple Watch | Review

I love watches! I'm not a huge jewelry person and do find myself wearing the same pieces every day but there's just something about wearing a watch that makes me feel a little more put together. Welcome to the family, JORD Sully Redwood & Maple Watch, I think you're here to stay.

The Sully Red Sandalwood and Maple Watch comes with a bubbled bezel, fun, larger numbers and a wide, chunky band that has been pretreated with tung oil. The mix of a darker wood with a lighter wood makes it so fun and casual. The wood gives the watch such a rich, luxe feeling. I absolutely love it. 

Also, this watch can hang, y'all! It's splash-proof (although they don't recommend getting it soaked) because y'know, sometimes it happens. Whether you're caught in the rain or your son spills his drink, it's nice to know it won't get ruined. The glass is a mineral scratch-resistant glass which is also very nice because I'm rough with my hands. I'm constantly cleaning, picking a child up, doing errands and hey, my jewelry goes through that with me.

The Sully watch comes in four different colors to chose from (the dark sandalwood + maple is GORGEOUS!) and - get this! - JORD will size the watch for you before it's even shipped out to you! 

Are you a watch kind of person? Would you rock a wood watch?

JORD Wooden Watches
JORD | Sully ($139)
* Press sample

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ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks | Buds, Highball, Sundae, Mars & Drive-In - Swatches + Review

Hi love muffins! I'm back again with the fifth and last review of the ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks - phew! If you missed them, make sure to check out the lightsthe nudesthe purples and the brights! Alrighty. Onto the bright, bright pinks! 
(Sorry for the darker lip swatch pictures!)
  • Buds - a shocking neon pink. Holy neon, y'all! Buds is more true to color in the arm swatch picture in the bottom right corner. It's a total neon Barbie pink with a blue undertone. So pretty!
  • Highball - a hot-red pink. Highball reminds me of a liquid version of MAC Candy Yum Yum, am I right? But way more pigmented and longer lasting.
  • Sundae - a vibrant pink magenta with subtle blue violet undertone. Sundae is so unique to me. Not only is it a fun shade but then there's a super subtle blue shimmer undertone that isn't quite shimmer-y at the same time. It's really weird to describe. It adds such a nice dimension to the shade.
  • Mars - a red fuchsia. Have you guys ever seen a picture of the planet Mars? It's mostly yellow, orange and black but it does have some red in it that totally matches this lipstick. I feel like this is more of a fuchsia-red emphasis on the red. The fuchsia is more of an undertone.
  • Drive-In - a mid-tone bright magenta. I wish the pictures could show how flattering this is! It's almost a berry-magenta and is so pretty in real life. This is also the only purple from this collection that didn't give me any streaky issues.
ColourPop | Shop ($6)
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