Revlon Lacquer Balms: Coy & Ingénue

As I said last post, I now have a large chunk of two Revlon lip collections: the Matte Balms and the Lacquer Balms, so I’m going to start giving you some reviews focused on those. Today we’re doing the two “nude” Lacquer Balms, Ingénue (a light caramel color) and Coy (a rosy-brown sort of thing).

Coy and Ingenue swatch
Revlon Lacquer Balms in Ingénue (l) and Coy (r)

On my lips,  Ingénue is pretty close to a true nude, while Coy is surprisingly non-nude looking (though maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me – after all, I’m ultra-pale and there’s very little chance a darker “nude” will look anything like “nude” on me).

Ingénue on my lips
Ingénue on my lips
Coy on my lips
Coy on my lips

Since even Coy is still more nude-toned than not, I decided to try my hand at a dramatic eye to go with these. I broke out an eyeliner I’ve been wanting to play with, Bare Minerals liner shadow in Yoga – it’s shimmery, deep purple-red from the limited edition and (sadly) no longer available “Degrees of Dazzling” kit – and did a clumsy smoky eye with my Urban Decay Anarchy Face Case (also limited edition and also no longer available). My upper lid has Yoga, applied wet. My lower lashline has a lighter smudge of Physicians Formula purple kohl liner.

Ingénue on my face
Ingénue on my face
Coy on my face
Coy on my face

I really like how this look pairs with Ingénue. Coy’s darker shade competes a bit too much with the dark eye look, I think.

The Lacquer balms, in contrast to the Matte Balms I’ve already reviewed here, aren’t opaque. They’re a bit sheer, though the effect is still more “lipstick” than “lipgloss” when you take a step back. These guys are also chock full of sparkle, though the amount of glitter varies from shade to shade. Beware wiping them off, because there will be actual chunks of glitter to deal with. You probably won’t have to wipe them off, though, because these don’t wear as well as the Matte Balms, either. The full effect of the Lacquer Balms will be on its way out within a few hours, if it even lasts that long. Here’s how Ingénue looked right after application, one more time:

Ingénue on my lips
Ingénue on my lips

And forty minutes after I applied it, after I ate lunch:

Er...where'd it go?
Er…where’d it go? (As usual, pardon the weird photo. I swear it did not go from daylight to night in those 40 minutes, so I don’t know why this came out so much darker)

Pretty much nothing left except around the edges. Even the glitter has mostly given up the ghost. So yeah, let’s just say these Lacquer Balms are not where you want to go when you want your lipstick to last. I quite like them as a easy-come-easy-go color option, but the short longevity is a problem for me considering the cost of these ($10.49 at my CVS). I’m not ready to write off the entire line yet, though, because a few days ago I tried Enticing, from this same line, and was pleasantly surprised by how its stain lasted for hours. I’ll be doing a post covering Enticing in a few days, and between that and reviewing the other colors I have from this line, hopefully a pattern will shake out as far as whether Ingénue is unusual in its longevity.


CVS stress haul

So like I said a few posts ago, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding this month. It was the first wedding I’d ever been in, other than my own, and the bride is a very organized Type-A person. I’m not so much with the Type-A, and I was so, so worried that I would do something wrong or get distracted about something and basically just ruin the wedding in her eyes. Everything came out just fine in the end, but there was about a week I was generally just worried, my bridesmaid dress barely zipped, my spring allergies had kicked in, and I was just way. too. stressed.

My husband and I have developed this weird coping mechanism where when I get stressed, we both start buying me makeup. Me, because it’s a security blanket and a distraction, and him, because he figures “Hey, maybe this will cheer her up!” As a result, I came home from wedding travels on Sunday with quite a stress haul that I figured I might as well share with you guys.

Don't be a bridesmaid. This will happen!
Don’t be a bridesmaid. This will happen!

There’s quite a bit of stuff here, but let’s see if I can list everything, in no particular order:

  • Let’s start at the bottom left, with Revlon Matte Balms (with the two I already own mixed into the pile): Sultry, Complex, Standout, Elusive, Audacious.
  • Maybelline Eye Studio duo in Bronze Blowout
  • Revlon Leather finish polish in Leather Skinnies
  • Revlon Parfumerie polishes in Orange Blossom, Apricot Nectar, and Spun Sugar
  • Revlon Pebble texture polish in Mayan Riviera
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Sandstorm
  • Sally Hansen Triple Shine in Water Melon, from the Palm Beach Jellies collection
  • Sally Hansen XTreme Wear polish in Breezy Blue
  • Essie Lux Effects polish in Sparkle on Top
  • Rimmel Scandal Eyes waterproof gel liner in Brown
  • At the back center, largely obscured by other stuff, is a Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Honey
  • And finally, at the back right, are Revlon Colorburst Laqueur Balms in Whimsical, Coy, Tease, and Enticing

Not pictured, because I forgot I bought them until I went through my makeup case while doing this post:

  • Rimmel Stay Matte primer
  • Revlon Laqueur Balm in Ingenue
  • Maybelline DreamLumi touch highlighting concealer
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser
  • Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation in Classic Ivory (which I picked up because Small Budget Beauty’s post on it intrigued me)

So yeah. Lots of stuff (largely bought with Extra Care bucks and X% off Coupons – thanks CVS!). Since I now have large chunks of both collections, I’m hoping to do comprehensive posts on the Matte Balms and Laquer Balms within the next week or two.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you guys with a face-of-the-day that I just quickly did using the Maybelline Dream Mousse, Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser, Maybelline Eye Studio duo, Rimmel Scandal Eyes gel liner, and Revlon Matte Balm in Audacious (and just a touch of MAC Dainty blush on my cheeks). Please ignore the patchiness around my mouth – it’s not the foundation, it’s that my skin is so dry there that it’s flaking, and it’s not helped by the fact that I lost my moisturizer somewhere among the many pieces of luggage I haven’t unpacked yet!

Simple face-of-the-haul
Simple face-of-the-haul

I’m not completely sold on whether Audacious flatters me or not – this is my first time trying orange lipstick. What do you guys think?

Review: ORLY Black Hole

Last week I was rocking one of ORLY’s FX glitters called “Black Hole”. It’s a sheer black creme polish with red circle glitter, silver hex glitter, and blue bar glitter. The whole effect is oddly 4th-of-July-ish, considering it’s sunk in black polish.

3 coats on middle finger; 4 coats elsewhere

Unfortunately, the formula and I didn’t get along all that well. For one thing, for all that it’s black, this stuff is sheer. See my middle finger up there? That’s three coats of the polish, and you can still see my nail through it. It’s tough to build this up to a solid finish. It’s definitely going to take you a whole lot of coats to make it look like the swatch of this color on ORLY’s website.

Here’s how it looked as a complete manicure, topped with Seche Vite. Not bad, honestly. It’s pretty cool! Pardon the awkward photo; I’m very much not a photographer and I’m still trying to figure out what angle and lighting works. Also the walls of the room I work in for makeup are…chartreuse. So.

4 coats of ORLY Black Hole
4 coats of ORLY Black Hole

Alas, it’s not going to stick around long-term once you have it on. Here’s how it looked on the morning of day 3:

Starting to chip
Starting to chip

Index and ring fingers starting to chip…and here’s my hand at the end of day 3:

Well. That escalated quickly.

Annnnd this is the point at which I declare a manicure a loss and start picking at it. By the time I went to bed on Day 3, I’d taken this polish off (with much effort. This is as painful to take off as any other hardcore glitter polish. Stock up on acetone!)

I would wear this polish again, but only for something where I specifically wanted either a black polish or a red-white-and-blue effect – its lack of longevity and the (typical for glitter) difficulty in taking it off made it not really all that fun to play with.

Non-makeup review: Starbucks Blonde Roast & Special K Coffee House Breakfast Shakes

The products in this review were received as review samples. All opinions in this post are my own.

A change of pace today, just in case you’re bored of makeup (yeah right!). BzzAgent recently sent me two products to try for free in exchange for my honest feedback about them, and if you guys have lifestyles anything like mine, they’re both pretty worth considering.

First up we have Special K Coffee House Breakfast Shakes. I was sent two full-sized bottles, one in Mocha and one in Vanilla Cappucino. According to my BzzAgent press kit, these shakes are “less than 200 calories, each serving includes 10g of protein and 5g of fiber. They also provide nearly 1/3rd of the daily value of key vitamins & minerals often lacking in women’s diets.” They also have 5g of fat per serving.

I was really excited to try these, because their cousins, Special K Breakfast Shakes in French Vanilla, are my go-to breakfast every morning.  I’m one of those people who aims to minimize the time between when I get up and when I’m at my desk in the office (the better to get home while it’s still light out!), and I never want to sit down to a knife-and-fork type breakfast. But if I don’t get some protein into me first thing, I’ll be starving within an hour. The shakes are perfect for me, because I just grab one out of the fridge and toss it into my car’s cupholder, then drink it during my morning commute. By the time I get to the office, I’m fueled up and good to go for a few hours.

The Coffee House shakes have the same benefits as my good old French Vanilla shakes, but with the added kick of coffee, both in flavor and in caffeine content. These guys will give you 65mg of caffeine per shake, which is about as much as a moderate cup of coffee. I can’t say I noticed any difference in my alertness level after drinking these, but hey, it can’t hurt! As far as flavors, well…I still prefer my French Vanilla. There’s something kind of muddy about the flavors in the Coffee House shakes. I suspect it has to do with the added caffeine; caffeine is bitter, which means when you add it to something, you need to adjust the other flavors in the thing to cover it up. I’m not sure Special K has that quite down yet. Nevertheless, these shakes did their job adequately and I’d buy them again if the store had run out of French Vanilla.

Next up, we have Starbucks Veranda Blend Blonde Roast. I got these in K-cup form to use in my Keurig brewer. Now, I’ll tell you right off that I’m one of those wussy coffee drinkers who prefers their coffee flavored and sugared into oblivion. So while a blonde roast definitely appealed to me, because the kind of dark roast Starbucks usually does is not my style, I still wasn’t too optimistic about it turning out to be a thing I love.

But much to my surprise, I’m a big fan of the new Veranda Blend Blonde Roast! It grew on me slowly as I worked my way through the box. My first cup had me thinking, “Hm, I guess this isn’t too bad, for plain coffee”, but by the time I got to the last K-cup, I was choosing Veranda Blend over my flavored coffee every day. With a liberal amount of sugar added (of course – you can lead me to coffee, but you can’t make me drink it without sugar!),  the Veranda Blend tastes…gentle. It almost tastes like the coffee flavor that you would get from coffee ice cream or coffee liqueur – not bitter, not kick-you-in-the-face, just a pleasant “hello, you are drinking coffee. Isn’t it nice?” taste.

The only problem I have with these Starbucks K-cups, in fact, is the price. Starbucks coffee always carries a premium compared to the cost of other coffees, and these cups are no different. So while I really like the taste, it’s a bit of a cringey moment for me in the store when I’m trying to decide between $10 for 10 Starbucks K-cups, or $10 for 12 or 15 of another brand’s cups. I haven’t made the leap to buying my own box of Veranda Blend yet, for this reason, but I suspect it will happen eventually – somehow, drinking the “regular” Veranda Blend made me feel more adult than drinking my usual “chocolate glazed donut”-flavored (yes, really) coffee.

A Sunday Mani

I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding few weeks from now, and my dress is navy blue. I’ve been obsessively swatching together bits of my nail polish collection for weeks to try to find a combination of colors that lets me do something interesting to match my dress, and I think I found the right pair today!

I’ve got smears of various blue polishes all over my hands right now, but I was so excited by how much I liked this mani that I took the picture to share anyway. Hopefully when I wear it for real at the wedding, it’ll be slightly neater…

bridesmaid mani

Base: Rimmel Salon Pro in “Barmy Blue”

Tips: Freehanded, messily, with Julie G Textured Nail Color in “Sleigh Ride”