Valentine’s Day Tutorial!


So happy with how this came out! For this look I used mostly MAC products, and I filmed it as a talk-through, so it is a bit long, but I was able to explain a lot more about the techniques I use.


Primer: MAC Paint Pot “Painterly”
Shadow: MAC Malt, Brown Down, Soft Brown, Showstopper, Orb, Phloof!
Lids: MAC Pigment “Tan”
Liner: Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner “Black”, NARS Eyeliner Stylo “Carpates”
Lashes: L’Oreal Volumnious Carbon Black Mascara, Ardell 124
Contour: Anastasia Light Contour Palette “Java” and “Fawn”
Blush: MAC Melba
Highlight: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder 01-Highlight
Lips: Revlon Lip Butter “Red Velvet”, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick “Eccentric”, Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick “Touch of Spice”, MAC Lipstick “Myth”

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January 2015 Beauty Faves!

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My favorite beauty products of 2014!

Better late than never, right?

Check out my post where I put sweatproof makeup to the test!

How does that Laura Mercier Highlighter compare to its drugstore dupe? Find out! 

Watch my Colourpop tutorial!

Aaaaaand the 2014 favorites are:

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask
Biosilk Silk Therapy
Got2b Encore Fresh Dry Shampoo

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Toner
Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial
Crabtree and Evelyn Hand Therapy

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation
Givenchy Eclat Matissime Fluid Foundation
Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation
Milani Multitasker Face Powder
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer
MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter

Tyra Sculpt in a Stick
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Powder in “Fawn”
NYX Powder Blush in “Taupe”
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in “Highlight”
Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Sunbaked Mineral Bronzing Powder in “Pure Shimmer”
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette
NARS “Laced with Edge” Powder Blush in “Almeria”
Coastal Scents Forever Blush
Makeup Geek Blush
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows

Colourpop Supershock Eyeshadows
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette and Naked 2 Basics Palette
theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain
L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick
Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick
Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lipgloss

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My MAC Wishlist


I have a confession to make. One which is shocking, disturbing, almost unheard of in the beauty community.

I only own 4 MAC eyeshadows.


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My New Year’s Resolutions

Resolution #1: Write more blog posts :)

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Quick Look | Sleek “Oh So Special” i-Divine Palette

IMG_2889Sleek Makeup can be a pain to get hold of in the US. Well, ok, not a pain, really; you can just go to their website and order it. But then you have to pay international shipping, so it takes what is supposed to be a very affordable brand up to a higher price point (and add to that the fact that you can’t look at the product ahead of time to see if it really looks like something you want). But every so often, if you keep an eye out, Sleek will do a free shipping promo, or a discount that will equalize the shipping costs. And when they do, the brand is well worth checking out.

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NOTD x 3 | ELF, Essie, Julep

I have been very, very lazy about posting photos of my manicures. I always take photos. But then I forget to post them. Let’s do something about that.

ELF Lilac (sun)

ELF Lilac (sun)

To remedy my laziness, I offer you three nail swatches on this auspicious day. First up is ELF “Lilac.”

ELF Lilac (shade)

ELF Lilac (shade)

“Lilac” is included in the ELF Essential 3-piece Nail Polish Set called “Vacation Trio.” These $3 trios of mini nail polishes are, I think, an awesome deal. The formula on this polish was a little streaky (and I probably could have used a third coat), but the color is lovely, and the formula is certainly workable.

Essie Boxer Shorts + Hard Candy Black Tie Optional

Essie Boxer Shorts + Hard Candy Black Tie Optional

One of my favorite manicures EVAH is Essie’s “Boxer Shorts,” a lovely periwinkle cream, with a topper of Hard Candy’s “Black Tie Optional,” a fabulous blend of circular, hexagonal, and bar glitter in matte black and white, which dupes a number of much more expensive topcoats.

Julep Clara

Julep Clara

And if anyone was still in doubt of my obsession with pastel creams, here’s Julep’s “Clara” a peach cream with excellent opacity that is one of my favorite neutral manis of all time.

Hmmm, maybe I should have saved these pics for summer — they seem like very summer appropriate shades to me. But I’m the type who will wear any old shade any old time — I guess I’m just a badass lawbreaker like that.

But next time I’ll try to round up some “holiday-appropriate” nail shades for you all!

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Sweatproof Makeup? We’ll see about that!



I’m starting one of my New Year’s resolutions a little early, making a commitment to work out more frequently and just generally propelling myself towards Type 2 Diabetes. I had the opportunity to do a two-week trial at a new gym that just opened up in my neighborhood, and I was getting ready to go to my first class when I thought

Wait a minute.

I’ve invested a fair amount of cash in products that make a lot of claims about longevity, purporting to be waterproof or sweat-resistant. Most prominently, the Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation that I just shelled out $60 for makes some pretty strong claims about it’s ability to control oil and sweat.

Why not take this opportunity to put some of these items to the test?

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Quick Look: MAC Red Red Red Collection



MAC Red Red Red lipglasses (top) and lipsticks (bottom)

Took my lunchbreak to stop into the MAC store and have a little playtime with the MAC Red Red Red collection. I was interested in the new beauty powder, but it turned out to be really sheer and didn’t show up on my skin at all. So I immediately turned my attention to the lippies. Ah, the lippies…


I was pleased to see that MAC is offering a number of different takes on red, from a more classic shade, to a coral or pink leaning option. Frankly, this is an awesome collection for anyone who’s scared of red. MAC’s Lady Bug, for instance, is a slightly more toned down, muted version of a classic red.

IMG_4385MAC’s See Sheer is a perfect shade for people like me who don’t normally wear red. It’s sheer but pigmented, and leans slightly pink. A very non-threatening take on a red lip.

IMG_4386The Casual Colour in Out for Fun is a gorgeous bright coral red. It looks pretty on the lips, but I thought it looked even better as a cheek colour, and it blended out nicely when applied with a brush.



My favorite would have to be the Cremesheen Glass in Meteoric, which a reddened coral pink with lovely pigmentation. I may be picking this one up for myself.

What do you think? Anything there to tempt you?

PS: If you like seeing swatch photos, follow me on Instagram – @gottahaveshades. I can’t walk past a makeup counter without covering my body with warpaint, and I usually like to share the love in photos.




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Quick Look | What’s New at the Drugstore

IMG_4043Holiday season is kicking into full gear. I did an INSANE amount of Black Friday shopping. Seriously, I think I blew my shopping budget for about the next 6 months. So you can bet I’ll have a tone of new stuff to review for you soon, but for the moment I have nothing–misanthrope that I am, I cowered in terror at the thought of venturing out into the Black Friday hordes, and in fact did all of my splurging in the comfortable isolation of the inter webs. So I can’t share any of my Black Friday haul as yet, but I thought I’d feed your shopping fever with an alternate offering. Last week, I was running some errands, and came across a ton of new and nearly-new stuff at the drugstore, like these holiday gift sets from Flower Beauty at Walmart.

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