Splurge vs. Save: NARS Orgasm Blush vs ELF Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

I know there are some out there that are so over the whole NARS Orgasm trend, however, I am not one of them! As a fair skinned woman (and sometimes girl), I seriously can’t get enough of that perfect pinky gold. It is just a wonderfully flattering shade on me, it is my go-to blush.

Cut to ELF, my new discovery, and their Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder with a similar shade to Orgasm as well as a great bronzer too practically identical to the NARS Orgasm/Laguna duo. Is it exactly the same? No. BUT, it is pretty close. The ELF blush is not as pigmented as the NARS color, but by using just a little bit more of a heavy hand when applying and building the color, you can get an almost identical look to the NARS product. The bronzer, a semi-shimmery very wearable shade is good for contouring since it is not too shimmery but, I usually prefer a totally matte bronzer for contouring. It is similar to NARS Laguna, but a bit darker. I have read that this is too “powdery” of a blush, but I always tap the brush in and do not swipe across, and I have had no problems at all with it.

For me, this is one of those steal deals, like, can it really only cost 3 bucks? Totally worth it in my opinion, also, the bronzer in here makes a great natural eyeshadow contour for your crease as well. I found my Duo at Target, which usually sells select ELF products, as well as Kmart, if there is one of those still open around you. The full product line is also available online.

Have any of you beauty mavens out there used this? What are your thoughts on it? The ELF line?

Ten or Less: Rimmel Moisture Renew SPF 15 Lip Gloss

I have a lip gloss problem. The problem? I can never have enough! Just ask my purse, filled with about 12 different types of the same shade of gloss!

I recently saw this Rimmel Moisture Renew Lip Gloss and was drawn to it for the SPF 15 + vitamins in it, who can’t use more SPF and vitamins to boot? This gloss is not at all sticky, which I enjoy, but that also means it is not long wearing, requiring frequent re-application. I am finding it is best suited to summer, pool, hiking, day drinking, etc. I think this gloss is a fun option and a great way to a little something to your look, by the pool, on the golf course, whatever your sun-drenched poison may be. My lips tend to get wind/sunburned and this is a great way to protect them with a little sheer color.

The only con I have for this gloss, and it is a big one, it tastes and smells like sunscreen. It does not keep me from using it, but it is a little unpleasant. That might be a deal breaker for some of you out there, but I can deal with it for the protection, price and shine.

Have any of you out there tried it? What are your verdicts on this gloss?

Hard Candy Welcome Matte Mattifying Transluscent Powder

In my quest to mattify in this dry, Arizona heat, I have recently discovered Hard Candy Welcome Matte, a great mattifying powder. I love the fun and inventive packaging and find that it is a great value to boot. It is getting warmer here already and with the shine taking up some T-zone real estate; I was looking for a lightweight, mattifying powder that I can carry around and stop my mid-day shine.

Welcome Matte is the answer to my greasy prayers! It does a great job of mattifying with a small amount of product, so it does not feel like you are loading up on the powder or ending up all cakey and um, powdery.  I used it this morning after applying my foundation, and after it had been on for about 8 hours, I touched it up to take me through the rest of my day.

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Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Hello fellow product girls!  My name is Jennette and I am a self confessed beauty junkie, loving all products, high and low end.  This is my first post on Product Girl and I am so excited to be joining the team!

I am always on a quest for a manicure that helps me not to pick at my nails. I always hesitated in the past to paint my nails due to my nail biting and polish picking problem. For me, Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips are a welcome and pick-free change of pace. The effect is similar to the Shellac and gel manicures everyone is getting these days (while wearing these I had someone ask if that is what was on my nails!), but for a fraction of the time and price. These little babies are $8.50 at my local drugstore and come in a vast variety of shades and patterns. In the package you get 16 polish strips, mini nail file(great for the purse) and mini orange stick along with the instructions.

It takes a little longer to apply than the standard nail polish, I have seen reviews saying it can take up to 1 1/2 hrs to do it! Yipes! I think, on average it takes me about 20-30 minutes, start to finish. You don’t need a top or base coat and the look lasts about 7 days. The packaging states up to 10 days, but I am very hard on a manicure and have found 7 is about my limit. The instructions included are very thorough and walk you through application and removal step by step. Basically, you clean your nails with polish remover, and take the back and front covering off the strip, apply it to one side of your nail, smoothing as you go and holding it to the nail for a few seconds, stretching a LITTLE to get a perfect fit. You can use the orange stick to even it out and work out any bubbles. The nail file can be used on any overhang to clean up the end.

I have found that if my hands and the environment are very cold, these do not adhere as well and can take a long time.  Just make sure your hands are not freezing cold when you apply these strips. I can cut the strips in half and get 2 full manis out if it, if you are a short nail girl, give that a try to get the most bang for your buck.

All in all, I like these for special occasions and every once in a while for a fun and lasting weekday look. It does take some practice and patience to apply them, but they offer some really great patterns and finishes, and no chipping! Much cheaper than a gel mani and easier to do at home! Go forth and conquer the nail strips, it’s like crafting for your nails!