My Lips Are Getting Schooled With Makeup Academy Cosmetics

MUA Lipstick

Being the product junkie that I am, I’m always on the lookout for the next best affordable thing. I say affordable because I’m always on a budget but that doesn’t mean I want to skimp on quality. Some drugstore level brands can be hit or miss. But when you find one that does work, you seriously stock up! That’s why drugstores like CVS can be a very dangerous (but very fun!) place.

So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review some of the products from the exclusive Makeup Academy Brand Shop at CVS. The UK based beauty brand is making its way stateside, with a $4 to $25 price range. They have everything from lip color to professional brushes,  in sleek and expensive looking packaging.

The Color Intense lipstick selection was the first thing that caught my eye, with a wide range of colors from the daytime neutral to the rich and bright.  I had a shade from each extreme and both performed really well. The colors were rich, the lipstick glided on smooth, and the staying power was decent (made it through a day of work!). It didn’t dry my lips out either, which is a major plus.

Makeup Academy Lipstick


Mulberry is a muted burgundy color that’s perfect for a daytime look. The barely there look is so on trend this Fall and this shade is just a kiss of color if the nude lip is not your thing.

Makeup Academy Lipstick


Coral on the other hand is like a bold dose of summer I don’t want to let go off. It’s just the right shade of orange, looking just as vibrant on my lips than it does in the tube.

To get the deets on their lip sugar scrub, check out this past Fierce newsletter. While you’re there, make sure you sign up! I have an exclusive review of their makeup brush coming up in a future issue.


FTC Disclosure: Products in this review were received as free samples for review. All opinions are my own.

Breathe Life Into Your Beauty Routine with Vincent Longo Cosmetics (Plus a Special Promo Code!)


I tell you, these summer days are going by way too fast (July is halfway over already! Craziness!) That means we have to make the most of it, even if it means getting some more summer beauty products into our lives.

I’ve had the awesome opportunity to test drive beauty products from Vincent Longo that are perfect for riding out these fleeting days of summer. From A-list stars to girls who love shopping on HSN, this cosmetics line has been a staple in the beauty world since 1995. They have everything a beauty junkie needs – cream concealers and water canvas foundations to gluten free lip and cheek stains – a refreshing alternative to the normal name brands we see in department stores.

Pretty Purple and a Kiss from Cupid

 Summer Makeup

Crème Gel Liner in Velvet Plum

I’ve been on a major gel liner kick lately¸ becoming one of my major summer staples. This Total Beauty 2014 Editor’s pick made me fall in love all over again, a whipped mousse of water-proof color that glides on real smooth. The color itself is soft but makes a statement, with a rich color that’s a beautiful compliment to your shadow. For extra beauty points, it can also double as an eye shadow, the formula easy to blend onto your lids.

Lip/Cheek Lip Stain in Cupid’s Breath

If you’re looking for just a kiss of color on your lips or cheeks, then this stain is the way to go. The gluten and paraben free formula delivers water-proof and kiss resistant color. It goes on wetter than a gloss but dries quickly, leaving behind a natural peachy color that’s works for any daytime event. As a cheek color it works even better (as you’ll see in the second look!). Because it’s so easy to go overboard with blush, the stain gives you more control over color.

Dew Drop Radiant Blush in Misty Blossom

Glowing skin is always a summer trend and the Dew Drop Radiant Blush gives you just that without the extra product. The demi-matte powder has little dew drops of color that release their tint and texture to provide the delicate touch of color you’re looking for. Misty Blossom is a sheer pretty pink, a little sweep on the cheeks all you need for radiant color.

Summer Rose

Summer Makeup

Silk Velour Lipstick in Danae

Formulating with skin conditioning ingredients like Vitamin A,C, and E this creamy lipstick is hydrating without sacrificing rich pigments.  One swipe is all you need and easy to blend out with a brush or your fingers. This particular shade gives me the lazy summer vibe I need right now, a sweet blend of brown an pink.

Are you ready to give Vincent Longo a go this summer? I’m hooking you up with a 15% off any purchase through Labor Day when you use Code: BSBTUCV at checkout. Then come on back and let me know what you bought!

FTC Disclosure: This post is part of the #VLbbloggerhaul sponsored by Beauty Stat (#bstat). Products were received as free samples for review. All opinions are my own.

Having Some Fun with New York Color Lip Color

Lip Color

During one of my many shopping visits at WalMart, I made a serious detour into the beauty aisle. My lipstick game has been off the ball lately, my color selection a bit on the safe (read: boring!) side as of late. After having fun with this pink shade a few weeks ago, I’m itching for more color. I needed more vibrant shades, colors that I haven’t rocked before. Maybe I’m having a mid-life beauty crisis. But whatever it was there was one thing I had to keep in mind:

This girl is on a budget.

I’m combing the aisles and I come across the New York Color section. I’m already a fan of their mascara so I check out their lipstick section. The first one to catch my eye was Blossom, a beautiful, bright and pink shade. I know, I already have pink lip color at home, but this one was brighter. I take a look at the price tag and I try not to do a product junkie dance – $0.99! I give my daughter another toy to play with and keep looking for more shades. I snatched up Coralista (because Coral is my favorite color) and finally settled on Mahogany because oddly enough, I didn’t have a simple yet rich brown lipstick at home. I take these babies home and have a little beauty blogger fun.

Pink Lipstick

The first one I took for a test drive was Blossom (cuz it’s pink!). Part of the Ultra Moist Lipwear collection, it promises to deliver an Upper East Side kinda vibe while moisturizing lips. It definitely delivered on the moisture part, the lipstick feeling like a creamy lip balm. The color itself has a sheer finish that I wasn’t expecting, going on a shade lighter than what the packaging suggested. It all worked out though, not too bright for my skintone and a lot of fun to wear. The biggest downside was the wear time – it was practically gone by my second drink but hey, what can you expect from a lipstick that costs less than a $1.

Orange Lipstick

If you want something that does last longer, then you need their NYC Expert Last Lipstick. For a dollar more you still get the moisturizing goodness of Ultra Moist collection while getting more wear out of your lip color. Coralista is part of this set, a bright summer color that gives you sheer touch of orange. This one was definitely out of the box for me but as long as I wasn’t heavy handed with it, I could totally rock it.

Brown Lipstick

Mahogany takes a big leap away from the bright and summer fun, with a dark brown shade that’s definitely Fall worthy. As a matter of fact, it’s the darkest shade in the Ultra Moist Collection and like Blossom, it makes my lips feel soft and crazy moisturized. I’m not going to lie, it took a bit of getting used to because I never go this dark but it’s growing on me for sure! Out of the three, this gave me the richest color.

I want to hear from you? Are you a fan of New York Color? What’s the craziest lip color you’ve worn?


FTC Disclosure: Products in this review were personally purchased. All opinions are my own.

It’s a Pink Party Up in Here with Mally Beauty’s Lip Magnifier

Pink Lipstick

I can’t exactly pinpoint when I fell in love with pink. Purple was always cool but if you asked me to wear anything pink a decade ago, I would give you a serious side eye. Maybe it’s this blog fault, getting me all into the bold and pink thing. Could be my daughter’s fault (those pink baby girl clothes will get you every time!). But for the past year or two now I’ve been jonesing for a pink lip color. Some colors I’ve tried in the past were just too powdery pink while others barely show up on my dark skin.

Your girl has hit the jack pot with this one!

Frisky Fuschia is 1 of 15 shades available in Mally Beauty’s Lip Magnifier. A lippie lovechild of lipstick and gloss, it delivers bold color while keeping lips smooth and moisturized.  The chunky pencil makes application really easy. A few swipes all you need to get great color that stays put.

For the best beauty look, use the EverColor Shaping Lip Liner to line your lips first for sharp lip color. If you still color a bit outside the lines, use it after to smooth it out. Available in the same shade, the tiny pencil is perfect for precise application and goes on just as smooth as the lip color.

And oh, have you checked out their eyeshadow sticks? They’re awesome, promise!

Are you rocking pink lipstick this summer? What’s your favorite shade?


FTC Disclosure: Products used in this review were received as free samples. All opinions are my own.

Faking a Stress-Free Life with Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer


Happy post Mother’s Day!

Hope you all had a great weekend because its Monday morning aka back to the grind. Even as a WAHM, the crazy week starts all over again. Leading such a hectic life can cause havoc on skin. Stress always shows its face right under my eyes, in the form of puffy, dark circles.

So not cute.

That’s why concealer is an absolute must for me. Who wants to go out looking just as frazzled as they feel? I need it to cover those dark circles and brighten up my eyes like I really got 8 hours of sleep. Oh, if it can get rid of puffy eyes too, then it gets extra brownie points from me!

That’s what Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer promises to do. It’s 3 in 1 formula aims to cover up dark circles, brighten eyes, and get rid of puffiness. It’s ingredients like honey, Vitamin E, and fruit acid smooth and nourish skin as well. It also comes in 12 highly pigmented shades.

I chose Shade #6, the second darkest shade, bright enough to do the job and compliment my skin. Having so many shades to choose from was a big plus for me because as a dark skinned girl all “deep” shades do not fit all. Some are too dark while most are still way too light. This shade was perfect!




Using my foundation brush, I applied a small amount of concealer and swept it under my eyes and across my lids and brow bone. It glides on very smooth and blends well. Be careful not too much or you’ll look all kinds of crazy!

I set it with my usual pressed powder and foundation and viola’! Fresh looking eyes like I sit on the couch and watch TV all day!

What about you? How do you refresh your face after a long week?


Photo courtesy of Laura Mercier

FTC Disclosure: Product was received as a free sample for review. All opinions are my own.