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.


Friday, April 15, 2016

tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation in Light Neutral | Review & Swatches

Happy Friday, baby cakes! I am back again with - gasp! - a foundation?! It's somewhat rare for a foundation to be reviewed on the blog because A.) I do a lot of research on foundations so when I do buy one, it's kind of a forever-to-the-last-drop type of situation. B.) I don't wear foundation so often that I would be reviewing a foundation every month and said foundation lasts for a long time. That being said, if there is a foundation that sounds amazing, I usually bend and buy it before the last foundation is used up (sorry CoverFX Custom Drops!).

Which brings me to the tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation! Um, hello gorgeous packaging, am I right? In fact, the packaging has sucked me in to the point where I have the rest of the Rainforest of the Sea collection sitting in my Sephora bag waiting to be checked out. It's that cute!

The tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation is described as "a lightweight, full-coverage hydrating foundation infused with tarte's Rainforest of the Sea complex and non-chemical SPF 15 sunscreen."

So, I'm the dummy that couldn't for the life of me figure out how to open this. Was it a pump? Do I just dump it on the back of my hand? I will save you the trouble of wracking your brain and let you know that it's actually a dropper applicator that you pump the top of the cap to suck up the product, open and then pump again to dispense the product out. tarte says to apply onto your foundation brush different, but I like to dispense onto the back of my hand, dot onto my face and then blend using my BeautyBlender.

The consistency is very lightweight; kind of like a foundation water (if that makes sense) that blends like a dream. Two drops gives me a light, natural coverage. Three and a half give me a more full coverage look. I also didn't notice any oxidation which #colormeshocked nor any flashback even though this does have sunscreen in it. What I absolutely loved about this was that I wore this all day into the night and my face didn't budge. Guys, it was amazing! I wasn't oily, nor dry or cracking anywhere. In fact, I kind of forgot I even had makeup on. Double thumbs up!

Swatches of Light Neutral

Overall: I think this might be my new summer fave! It's super lightweight and doesn't even feel like it's on. It's smooth to apply and lasts all day and night. 

tarte | Buy ($39)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette | Swatches + Review

Hey guys! Oh man. Last Tuesday was SUCH a great mail day! On top of receiving the Violet Voss Heavy Metals Palette (review coming soon!), the highly coveted MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette arrived as well. I pre-ordered both of these quite a few weeks ago but at the same time, they arrived way earlier than I thought they would. Woop woop! Let's start with a review on the MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette!

Upon opening my package, the shade 'Aphrodite' in the palette arrived broken and crumbled - aw, poo! I ended up shooting an e-mail with pictures of the damaged goods over to MUG's customer service and by the end of the day, they had a new 'Aphrodite' being shipped my way. If that isn't baller customer service, I don't know what is! Also, if you're like me and don't notice that the broken pieces are in the box and fall into your carpet and get smudged around under your son's toys, Garnier Micellar Water is AMAZING for getting it out. Y'know. If that ever happens to you.

So let's talk packaging: The front of the box is emblazoned with Manny's signature moon logo. I think I noticed the same logo on his OFRA collab lipsticks as well. The back of the box is an absolutely gorgeous picture of Manny with his thoughts on the palette: 
"This palette can be worn by anyone and everyone regardless of age or race - I wanted to make sure of that! I worked so hard on this palette and couldn't be happier with the results!" - MannyMUA

Once you pop open the box, the front of the palette is super stunning with a funky Gatsby type of design on it but there's actually no real indication it's Manny's until you look on the back! The back has the eyeshadow names - THANK THE LAWD! - as well as "Manny MUA" on the bottom.

The limited edition palette contains nine shade chosen by Manny - three that are his favorites from MUG and six brand-new, exclusive shades. This palette has a little somethin' somethin' for everyone ranging from mattes to shimmers and foils: 

  • Artemis - (shimmer) a muted champagne yellow. Let me just preface these reviews by saving that this is actually my first time EVER using Makeup Geek products. My first swatch of Luna legit had my jaw dropping. I didn't know what to expect at all and was incredibly surprised. Luna is soft, silky and like butter to work with.
  • Beaches & Cream - (matte) a soft peachy beige. Hint hint: This shade may or may not be my chosen shadow for the loop giveaway going on on Instagram right meow! ;) I think the swatch below shows it being patchy but I can assure it it's the lighting because it's actually a super smooth matte to work with. I've found myself reaching for this as a perfect transition color in the crease.
  • Luna - (foiled) a medium rose gold. I'm so in love with this shade. Luna is actually a mix of Makeup Geek's "In The Spotlight" and "Grandstand" and it's absolutely gorgeous! The pigmentation is insane and just so, so buttery soft to work with. I've honestly never worked with an eyeshadow so amazing before. I'm going to need more foils in my life.
  • Cosmopolitan - (shimmer) a gold-flecked medium rose. Another shade that I can't say enough good things about. Are all Makeup Geek eyeshadows this amazing? Again, super smooth, pigmented, easy to blend and just amazing, in general.
  • Sora - (matte) a medium earthy terracotta. Again, the swatches below show this being patchy but I think it was just the weird lighting because it was very smooth to work with. Very pigmented and easy to blend. *Only shade that contains Talc.
  • Frappe - (matte) a medium maple brown. One of my top three favorites from this palette! I'm sounding like a broken record now but again, pigmented, easy to blend and work with and long lasting.
  • Insomnia - (foiled) a warm red brown with blue reflects. Meet my favorite shadow from the palette and I mean, how could it NOT be? The easiest way to describe the way this applied was like freakin' liquid. I can't even get over how smooth and pigmented this baby was. I am SO in love and would say to buy this palette for this shade alone! :)
  • Mars - (matte) a deep cherry red. So Mars was probably the "worst" shadow out of this palette and I say that lightly because it wasn't even really that horrible. The consistency was slightly gritty in the pan but once applied it didn't feel that way and was very pigmented and easy to work with. It was drier to work with than the others.  
  • Aphrodite - (matte) a deep plum brown. Lastly, Aphrodite was slightly dry to swatch but once it applied it was actually easy to work with. Very pigmented and easy to blend. I love using this in the outer v to darken up the look a little and add dimension to my eye.
(L - R: Artemis, Beaches & Cream, Luna, Cosmopolitan, Sora, Frappe, Insomnia, Mars and Aphrodite)

Details: Beaches & Cream in the crease, Aphrodite on the inner and outer lid and Luna in the middle. Artemis in the inner corner and Aphrodite on the lower lid.

Where to buy | Shop / Pre-order ($45)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top 10 Under $10 | Beauty Products

Hey guys! Oh gosh. I'm so stoked for this post! It's my top ten favorite beauty products under $10 - an amazing collab with other nine gorgeous ladies on YouTube from IpsyOS! Make sure to check them out at the bottom of this post and show them some love! Edit: As soon as all the videos go live, I will link them directly down below!

So I tried to mix the best of all worlds with products from the drugstore, Sephora and Ulta as well as products you can only find online. So let's get started!

Top 10 Under $10 | Beauty Products

  • Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-In-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser ($8.99) - Hands down, the best makeup remover I've ever used! It uses special "micellar technology" to lift away dirt and oil, remove makeup (even if it's waterproof!) without having to rub hard. I like to take a cotton pad, soak it with this remover and cleanser and gently wipe away my makeup. It has cut my makeup removing time in half (if not more!) and leaves my skin feeling so smooth.
  • Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($7.29) - Looking for a gorgeous "glow within" type of blush that works for all skintones? Look no more! Luminoso gives this super stunning flushed look that is so natural and gives just the right amount of pink to your cheeks. I love it!
  • Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara ($2.99) - I still can't believe it's only $3 because this mascara rivals even the best high end mascaras. What I love the most about this one in particular is that it has a somewhat drier consistency that lengthens and volumizes without flaking or giving the "racoon eye" after a long day.
  • Rite Aid Revival Fit It Up Makeup Corrector Pen - I can't find this on the site to give you the exact price but I know that it's under $5! This pen is great when you're winging and get a little enthusiastic and need to clean up a little (literally me every time I wing my liner). This pen contains makeup remover with a soft, precise brush that can gently erase any mess ups - whether it's your liner or a smudged lipstick!
  • ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Nillionaire ($5) - Of course this list wouldn't be complete without a little ColourPop! It was hard to narrow it done but if I had to choose my absolute favorite shadow from them it would be this little pot of sparkle! Nillionaire is a warm bronze with a load of gold and multi-colored glitter. It's so, so stunning! 
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry ($7.99) - I swear, ever since I became a mom, this has been my best friend for those days I can't take a shower. Which, let's be real, happens more then we'd like to admit. I personally love the one made for brunettes. The spray itself is dark so it doesn't leave that white cast that some dry shampoos can leave behind if you get a little cray with it. This one is "cherry" and it's my second favorite! It smells amazing and just gives my hair the little lift it needs. It soaks up all the grease in my day three hair without drying out my scalp. Can't live without this!
  • Real Techniques Blush Brush ($8.99) - Who knew one of my favorite brushes could be found in a drugstore!? The Real Techniques Blush Brush is dense, yet soft and holds just the right amount of product. I also use this as a bronzer brush!
  • nugg Hydrating Face Mask ($3.29) - How cute is this little guy? I love the nugg face masks! They hold just enough product for one face mask in a cute, small package. This one in particular is the hydrating mask that leaves my skin so soft and moisturized after I've had it on. I apply this to a clean, dry face, let sit for about seven minutes, wash off and wa-la! Soft, hydrated skin! 
  • ColourPop Liquid Lipstick in Lumiere 2 ($6) - Back at it again with another ColourPop goodie! This one is my favorite liquid lipstick from their line right now. It's the product of a KathleenLights x ColourPop collab. Lumiere 2 is a dusty, dark purple-y mauve that is so flattering! Lumiere 2 dries matte, doesn't crumble or crack and wears all day.
  • Julie G. Nail Color in Cabana Boy ($3.99) - Lastly, we have Julie G. Nail Color which you can only find online or in Rite Aid stores but I can promise you, it's worth the search! I find Julie G. to be comparable to OPI as far as opacity and longevity. Cabana Boy is a gorgeous muted blue that is so stunning for spring/summer!

Make sure to check out the others!


Friday, April 8, 2016

Press Release | NARS Summer 2016 Color Collection Under Cover

For Summer 2016, NARS makes a getaway with this limited edition collection - high fashion moments steeped in exclusivity and ease. New, rich Lip Covers saturate lips with coastal coverage while Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows transform sheer tones and glistening shades for eyes. Dual-Intensity Blush completes the look with a touch from the sun - an insatiable rush of blush.

Francois Nars' love of the lens meets the glamorous glare of the French Riviera. Inspired by the sensational whirl of an editorial shoot, each lush vignette captures the wit and wonder of his behind-the-scenes world. Original illustrations by contemporary artist Konstantin Kakanias bring each moment to life on covetable, limited edition packaging. A total departure in every aperture. 

Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows ($29)
  • Deep End - a shimmering teal/green
  • Pool Shark - iridescent periwinkle

  • Tan Lines - a rich hazelnut
  • Topless - a seashell pink
Dual-Intensity Blushes ($45)
  • Liberation - a shimmering light pink/caramel rose
  • Sexual Content - a sandy peach/soft raspberry
Lip Covers ($28)
  • Do Not Disturb - a vivid orange-red
  • Get Dirty - a desert rose
  • Members Only - a crimson (a NARS boutique/ exclusive)
  • Overheated - a deep dusty rose
Available 4/15 at NARS Boutiques and
Available 5/1 at Sephora, department and specialty stores


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#FOTD | Spring Fever

I originally had this big intro about how this was inspired by the warm weather of spring - until Mother Nature totally April Fool'd Connecticut and covered everything with ice. Seriously. So J/K on that, y'all. Anyway, I recently went on a mini shopping spree and have been test driving a few new products. I can't wait to share my thoughts with you (especially about this foundation!) but until then - I give you this look!

  • FACE: Smashbox Primer Oil + tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation in Light Neutral + Smashbox MasterClass 3 Palette bronzer and contour + theBalm blush in Frat Boy.
  • EYES: Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette + Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
  • LIPS: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovesick


Friday, April 1, 2016

Play! by Sephora | March 2016: The Perfection Collection

Hey guys! Today I have the oh-so coveted Play! by Sephora box for March. This is Sephora's take on a monthly subscription box - except this one has an insane waitlist to even get one. I think I signed up quite a few months ago to wait on the list and then, just recently, randomly received an invite from someone to bump up and start getting the boxes.

Anywho, this month's theme is: The Perfection Collection / Blur the lines and clear the canvas: this month we're helping you master the art of the perfect complexion. Uncover the primer that takes your skin from prepped to pristine, the tools for finishing touches, and all of the other steps to take for putting your best face forward.

What's in the box?
  • Sephora Collection The Perfectionist: Airbrush Sponge ($12) - Sephora's own take on the infamous BeautyBlender. One side is for precise concealing, blending in hard-to-reach areas, removing makeup mistakes and getting into small corners while the other larger side is for smoothing foundation over the larger portions of your face. I have yet to try this to compare to my beloved BeautyBlender but I'm pretty interested in finding out!
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper ($19) - "This waterproof brush-tip liquid liner glides on to reveal precise, bold strokes of highly pigmented color." This is my go-to liquid liner, especially for creating the tail end of a cat eye. It's so precise and dries very easily!
  • Maison Martin Margiela "REPLICA" Fragrance in Beachwalk ($125 for 3.4 oz) - "Beachwalk combines fresh and radiant notes of bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper and musk to evoke a familiar by forgotten memory - a walk along the sandy beach." With all of those different notes, I was expecting a different scent. While it's nice, it just straight up reminds me of sunscreen. Whomp, whomp.
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38) - "Instantly whisks away everyday impurities and makeup without stripping the skin of its essential oils." This cleanser is rich in amino acids, soy proteins (they support moisture retention giving the skin a nice firm look), rosewater to balance and tone the skin, cucumber extract and nourishing borage seed oil to enrich the formula. This cleanser is fab for all skin types and is fragrance and soap-free.
  • MURAD Invisiblur Perfecting Shield ($65) - One of my absolute favorite primer, corrective treatment and moisturizer all-in-one! It contains mushroom peptides to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles while blurring imperfections. My foundation never budges when this is underneath and my skin always feels soft at the end of the day; never dried out.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil ($42) - I was so excited to see a sample of this in the box! This primer oil is infused with 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils to moisturize the face, leaving a dewy finish. I'm always a little weary to put any type of oil on my face for fear it'll break out but I've only heard good things with this so I can't wait to try it out!
  • * Empty Jar - Apparently, there was an empty sample jar in this month's box to bring into your local Sephora to have them match you to a foundation using the Color IQ service and then you could bring home the foundation sample. Unfortunately, my box didn't contain this but that's okay because I'm sure they do that there anyway. For those who don't know what the Color IQ service is, it's the first and only beauty service that scans the service of your skin and assigns it a Color IQ number that matches you to precise lip, foundation and concealer matches. This sounds amazing!
What do you think of this month's box? Pretty interesting, right?

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