Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver's Seat – Swatches, Review, Photos & Video

fullsizerenderSmashbox Cosmetics Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver's Seat - It's described as a warm pink (kind of coral on me). Smashbox describes this as an eight-hour wear, liquid-matte lipstick with a featherweight, comfortable formula that stays put and keeps color looking as fresh and flawless as the first swipe. First thing first, the applicator for these liquid lipstick are by far the best on the market. The pointed tip is almost fool proof with how easy it makes it to get precise application. As for the formula - it is amazingly comfortable on the lips - like one of those creamy mattes that don't dry out your lips. It dries quickly and didn't transfer during my kiss test. I did have to build up the color as it applied a bit uneven upon the first swipe.


Have you tried the formula yet? What colors do you want me to swatch next?

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OPV Lashes Liquid Lipsticks in Shine, Sun Burst, Rum Shake and F.A.M.E – Swatches, Review, & Photos


OPV Lashes Liquid Lipsticks ($9.87 US)

Shine Sun Burst Rum Shake F.A.M.E 

I applied these with one to two coats to build the color for the photos. I definitely recommend exfoliating your lips before wearing these - especially if you're wearing it for an extended period of time.

-PR Sample-


Anastasia Beverly Hills Black Cherry Lip Gloss – Swatches, Photos, Video & Review

Anastasia Beverly Hills Black Cherry Lip Gloss is a creamy deep plum gloss that is designed to give your lips an intense pout. For $16, you get 4.5 grams of product which is almost 16oz. It's a very creamy formula that doesn't apply tacky or sticky but still leaves your lips with a super shine - a glass like finish. ou can wear it alone or pair it with a lipstick for an extra pop.

Here is a live look at me applying it.


Cupid's bow highlight - OPV Highlighter in Glam-O-Rous $27.00


Versace Eros Pour Femme, Verssace Pour Homme & Michael Kors Glam Jasmine Fragrance Prize Pack (Twitter) Giveaway

Surprise! I told my twitter fam yesterday so they were already prepared for this! I have one full set fragrance set for one of you! The set includes:

Versace Eros Pour Femme

Versace Pour Homme

Michael Kors Glam Jasmine 

To enter, all you need to do is follow me on Twitter, RT my pinned tweet and you’re entered to win! Make sure you tag your friends so they can enter too. 18+ or older to participate. Open internationally.

See you there and remember – we have tons of giveaways across all of the social media platforms so check around!


Kami Cosmetics Liquid Matte Smooch Swatches & Photos - Wanted & Blue

If you remember - or if you're a new reader here Kami Cosmetics is a luxury beauty brand that has been designed for the sophisticated and chic woman in every skin tone. The best thing about this brand is it is owned by woman of color with the kindest heart. You can find out more about the brand in my first review here. I was recently sent some more of their products to test out and I couldn't be happier to share some photos of the liquid matte smooch line.

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This liquid lipstick formula is one of the best that I have tried. It's very pigmented for how light-weight it is on the lips. You really only need one swatch to get a true color payoff (see below) but if you want to apply two coats to build it up, touch up wear after a long day or even do an ombre lip then these are the liquid lipsticks you want to try.

Here, I wanted you guys to see what Wanted and Blue looked like on my lips. Let me know which other colors you want lip swatches of.


Available: Online at Kami Cosmetics for $18 each.


-Press Sample-

MAC Cosmetics Taraji P. Henson Collaboration


The collection includes:

  • LIPSTICK Strip Me Down deep tone beige (matte) SRP: $17.00 US/$21.00 CAD
  • MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL Taraji Glow reddish brown SRP: $33.00 US/$38.00 CAD
  • MINERALIZE SKINFINISH Highlight The Truth soft bronze coral with golden shimmer SRP: $33.00 US/$38.00 CAD
  • HAUTE & NAUGHTY TOO BLACK LASH black SRP: $23.00 US/$28.00 CAD
  • PENULTIMATE EYE LINER Rapidblack true black SRP: $21.00 US/$24.00 CAD
  • BRUSH 187 Duo Fibre Face SRP: $42.00 US/$51.00 CAD


Swatches from top to bottom: Strip Me Down lipstick (matte), Taraji Glow mineralized skinfinish natural, Highlight The Truth mineralized skinfinish. Photo by victoriouslogan. xoxo1

-Press Release-

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation - Review and Swatches of 13 out of 20 Shades

MAKE UP FOR EVER has released their new Water Blend Foundation - a new and reformulated version of their popular Face & Body Foundation. DSC00023 ccc

MUFE reformulated the foundation to "combine the comfort of a sheer foundation with the performance that pro makeup artists demand in the new Water Blend Foundation. The buildable, lightweight formula delivers a flawless and dewy finish with a beautiful, even complexion. Available in 20 shades, Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is the reformulation of pro makeup artist’s favorite Face & Body Foundation, delivering the same results with an upgraded formula." The new results include:

  • Hydrating: 80% of the formula is purified water infused with vitamin B5 to provide hydration and improve skin elasticity.
  • Waterproof & Transfer-proof: Coated micro-fine pigments improve payoff and skin affinity with guaranteed waterproof and transfer-proof coverage.
  • Easy to apply: The unique, water-gel texture feels smooth and light, even when it dries to a resistant finish for flawless, all-day wear.

I first got to check these out early in April during the Makeup Show New York. As an ambassador to the show, I was able to get the sneak peek and behind the scenes on the foundation from the MUFE team and lead artist Nicholas Lujan. You can watch his mini demonstration and see live swatches of the shades here (I highly recommend watching this completely through as Nicholas gives some amazing talk through on the new foundation and some makeup artistry tips).


Nicholas says you can use Water Blend as a primer but also as foundation on your face and body. It's a light, transparent, buildable coverage that leaves the skin looking like skin. You can apply it with your fingers, a brush, a sponge or with an airbrush tool and you can manipulate the coverage depending on the tool that you use. Personally, I prefer to apply mines with my fingers. Just make sure that you let it fully dry before you add on additional layers.

Here are swatches of the 13 shades that I was able to get my hands on at the show. In the name - the Y stands for yellow undertones and the R stands for red undertones.

From left to right: R370, Y445, Y505, R520, R540DSC00025 ccc DSC00028 swatched cccDSC00029 swatched ccc

From left to right: R210, R240, Y325, R300, Y245DSC00030 cccDSC00031 ccc swatchedDSC00032 ccc swatched

From left to right: R250, Y305, Y405DSC00033 ccc DSC00036 swatched ccc DSC00037 swatched ccc

Overall thoughts: For reference, I wear shade Y455 (a more blended out swatch is posted below) and I absolutely love this foundation. Like I said, it is 80% water based so it gives me a very light weight coverage with a very natural looking look and dewy finish. I've been wearing this all throughout the summer for events and bbq's that require me to look a little bit more done up but without putting makeup on.

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If you have severe hyperpigmentation, acne scars or serious break outs, this may not be the best foundation for you to use right now because the coverage just isn't there for that (or to be applied over layers of color correctors and concealers). As mentioned earlier, it has a gel like formula so you want to try using a denser brush or your fingers - try to stay away from using a beauty blender because I found it to just absorb the foundation on me (beauty blenders suck up water and this is 80% water).IMG_2026 cccComparison: Yes, for the same price, you can get the Ultra HD foundation which provides fuller coverage, however, I do recommend having a bottle of this in your shade for those extremely hot days when nobody has time for a melting face. This also make a great transitioning foundation for a younger teenager who is just starting out with makeup.

Purchase: The MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Foundation retails for $43 is already available on and in Sephora stores.


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Thank you to The Makeup Show, the Make Up For Ever Team and Nicholas Lujan for allowing me to film his segment.


Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Trio For $24 ($72 Value)

Yes, you read the title correctly. Last week, Bite Beauty offered an insane deal on their Luminous Crème Lipsticks on a trio set in Nude and Bold that offers a three of their bestselling cream lipsticks for the price of one. Normally, one full sized lipstick from this line would cost $24 but Bite was liquidating their remaining Luminous Cremes (which have been discontinued) and each full sized trio set came out to the price of one lipstick.  IMG_1880 ccc

The sets were available in two color families:

  • Nude - Musk, Retsina, Fig
  • Bold - Zivoli, Tannin, Mulberry

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IMG_1900 cccBite Beauty Luminous Creme Trio in Retsina, Fig and Musk

IMG_1914 cccBite Beauty Luminous Creme Trio in Zivoli, Tannin and Mulberry  

These lipsticks are incredibly soft and creamy. Here are swatches of each set taken in my studio (LED daylights).

IMG_1925 cccBite Beauty Luminous Creme Trio in Retsina, Fig and Musk

IMG_1944 cccBite Beauty Luminous Creme Trio in Zivoli, Tannin and Mulberry

 And because you know I'm a sucker for a deep red, I had to try out Tannin. It is such a soft lipstick that lasts about 3-5 hours on the lips (depending on what you eat/drink).

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What do you think? Were you able to snag any of these trio sets?


AJ Crimson Beauty Review: Creme Foundation in 4/6.5 + 4.5/7, Nude Lipsticks and Loose Finishing Powder Review and Swatches

AJ Crimson has created an amazing line of foundations for colors of all skin tones. When we visited his last event - Beyond Beauty, Building Your Beauty Business – a Multicultural Beauty Event - AJ spoke about the creation of his beauty brand and how it was borne out of necessity. "I felt like there was an absolute need to bring product to women that actually worked and didn't oxide or change. I wanted to create a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities, a product all women could find ownership in and believe in. So often, makeup has been designed with a one size fits all mentality, and with black women and women of color, my cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background and skin tone." - AJ Crimson There really isn't much more that I can say that AJ didn't so let's dive into some swatches and review shall we?IMG_1211 ccc

I ordered two of dual skin creme foundations in the warm 4/6.5 compact and the deep 4.5/7 compact along with 3 nude lipsticks and a loose finishing powder.IMG_1229 ccc

First, let's look at the dual skin creme foundation compacts. Here is the warm 4/6.5 compact. 4 & 6.5 ccc                                                                    Photo taken with LED lights and flash

IMG_1388 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash)

IMG_1391 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and no flash)

IMG_1397 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

Here is the deep 4.5/7 compact.

4.5 & 7 ccc (Photo taken with LED lights and flash)

IMG_1408 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash)

IMG_1401 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and no flash)

IMG_1414 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

Here are all 4 shades swatched next to one another for a better comparison. This gives you a better idea of which ones have more of a yellow, golden or red undertone.

IMG_1422 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash) IMG_1434 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

And as usual, here is a live video of the foundations in different lighting (inside and natural sunlight to help you).


Next, is the loose finishing powder in neutral matte. You can use this to set your foundation and absorb shine.IMG_1243 ccc IMG_1443 ccc IMG_1448 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash. I blended it out as we move further right in the photo so you can see how it it applies once you pick it up and how it blends out.)

And now for the unfiltered test (oh the things I do for you guys). Here is a super upclose (unfiltered and unedited) photo of me testing out the warm 4/6.5 compact and loose finishing powder. I only set my underneath my eyes with the neutral loose finishing powder and didn't set my face because I wanted to see how the creme foundation performed on its own. I love the full coverage that you get with this foundation and contour shade, especially because I didn't put on any concealer and I have extremely dark circles that were covered with just the "4" foundation shade. The only thing that I would change in the future is to make sure to use a mattifying primer and mattifying setting spray because I felt "too shiny" in this photo - however, it was very hot the night I reviewed this foundation and my studio lights are insanely hot - so I am going to test it out and post a few updates once I do that.


Lastly, I picked out 3 lipsticks that were designed to be the perfect matte (creamy) nude for any skin tone. From left to right, we have #Nude, #PerfectSelfie and #NoFilter. IMG_1230 ccc                                                          (Photo taken with LED lights and flash)

IMG_1241 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and no flash)

IMG_1350 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash)

IMG_1361 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and no flash)

IMG_1373 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

I must is refreshing to wear some creamy matte lipsticks that aren't liquid lipstick! My favorite of the three nude shades is definitely #NoFilter.

Whew! This post was definitely photo heavy but I really wanted to feature these foundation shades to help some of you that are having a hard time finding the right match for your skin tone and undertone. If you are or looking to try something new in your routine, definitely head to AJ Crimson Beauty.

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Juvia’s Place The Nubian 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

I've recently become obsessed with Juvia’s Place, an independent black owned cosmetics brand, that won me over with their Egyptian themed eyeshadow palettes. For as long as I can remember, I've always been enchanted with the rich culture and history of Ancient Egypt. So it was a no-brainer that I had to try this eyeshadow palette that was designed with the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in mind. IMG_0898 copy copyThe Nubian 2 palette ($35) is cruelty free and consists of 12 versatile eyeshadows - 8 metallic shades and 4 matte shades. Each pan has a net weight of 3.5 g / 0.12 oz. IMG_0347 cccThe palette is made in the People's Republic of China - don't let that deter you from checking out this palette because it is one of the best palettes in my collection. The ingredients include: Talc, Mineral Oil, Magnesium Stearate, Iron Oxides, Mica, Kaolin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Chromium Oxide Greens, Titanium Dioxide, Manganese Violet, FD & C Yellow 5 Al Lake, FD&C Blue 1 Al Lake, Ferric Ferrocyanide, FD&C Red Al Lake. I swatched each shade with two coats to show the true colors with no primer. Each of the photos below were taken with my DSLR camera (no flash) and LED lights. IMG_0393 copy cccIMG_0844 ccc IMG_0874 ccc IMG_0876 ccc

And no review would be complete without a live look at the shadows.



On my lids, I used Madagascar and Kenya as transition colors and in my crease. I added a bit of Leyla mixed with a hint of Jezebel on my lid. On my lips, I am wearing a liquid lipstick called Silencer from OPV Lashes.

Here is the breakdown of the rest of the products used:

Eyelashes: Unforgettable by Esquido Lashes Brows: Colourpop Cosmetics Bangin’ Brunette Pencil ($5) Lips: OPV Liquid lipstick in Silencer Eye Pencil: Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner in Aqua XL D-12 – diamond black ($21) Eyeshadow Primer: Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eye Shadow Primer Potion ($24) Liquid liner: Inglot black gel eyeliner in 77 Foundation: Tom Ford traceless perfecting foundation in Sienna Concealer: IT COSMETICS Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer in deep ($24) Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara ($23) Sigma Brushes: E25 – Blending BrushE55 – Eye Shading BrushE35 – Tapered Blending BrushE30 – Pencil BrushE45 – Small Tapered Blending BrushE57 – Firm Shader BrushE15 – Flat Definer Brush

You can order the Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palette here.


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Marvel Announces A New Iron Man and She's Full of #BlackGirlMagic

Marvel has announced that there is a new Iron Man and she's full of #BlackGirlMagic. Riri Williams, the 15-year-old MIT genius, will assume Tony Stark’s throne as Iron Man at the end of the Civil War II comic series. iron-man-riri_o9wcod

That’s right - a 15 year old, Black girl is the new Iron Man and I am all here for this! The news couldn't have dropped at a better time - we are 3 months away from New York Comic Con 2016 - so I'm already prepping my list of what we need to cover while we're there. Until then, Creator and Iron Man Marvel writer, Brian Michael Bendis, explained the change in Iron Man and Riri’s impact on the Invincible Iron Man series with

TIME: How did you come up with the character of Riri Williams?

Bendis: One of the things that stuck with me when I was working in Chicago a couple of years ago on a TV show that didn’t end up airing was the amount of chaos and violence. And this story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me. I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.

As we’ve been slowly and hopefully very organically adding all these new characters to the Marvel Universe, it just seemed that sort of violence inspiring a young hero to rise up and act, and using her science acumen, her natural born abilities that are still raw but so ahead of where even Tony Stark was at that age, was very exciting to me.

What have we seen of her so far in the Iron Man comics?

In the latest issue of Iron Man, Tony is in a lab talking to himself, and he’s already aware that there’s some student at M.I.T. that’s reverse-engineered one of his old armors all by herself in her dorm room. He’s aware of her immediately.

What’s been the reception of the character so far (before this announcement)?

Thankfully because of my involvement in the creation of Miles Morales and Jessica Jones and some other characters, it’s getting the benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans. There are fans who say, “Show us the new stuff,” and then there are fans who say, “Don’t do anything different from when I was a kid.” So when you’re introducing new characters, you’re always going to have people getting paranoid about us ruining their childhood.

I’ve been down this road with Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill. I knew I was in good hands with Mike Deodato and other artists who are helping visualize Riri.

Marvel Comics’ diverse new cast has stirred some controversy among a subset of fans.

Some of the comments online, I don’t think people even realize how racist they sound. I’m not saying if you criticize you’re a racist, but if someone writes, “Why do we need Riri Williams we already have Miles?” that’s a weird thing to say. They’re individuals just like Captain America and Cyclops are individuals. All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they’ll realize over time that that’s not the most progressive thinking.

But increasingly we see less and less of that. Once Miles hit, and Kamala Khan hit and female Thor hit—there was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation, and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love.

I think what’s most important is that the character is created in an organic setting. We never had a meeting saying, “we need to create this character.” It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture.

Why did it take so long to turn the Avengers from a team of mostly white dudes into a more diverse array of characters?

Talking to any of the older creators, it’s the thing they said they wish they’d done more of—reflecting the world around them. It just wasn’t where the world was at at that time. Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you’re moving in the right direction.

I don’t want to spoil anything for fans—

More people are going to be upset that they think they know the ending toCivil War II now than anything we just talked about. But I can tell you just because we’re hearing what we’re saying doesn’t know you mean how Civil War II ends. We’re not telling you the end, at all.

What led Tony Stark to a place where he’s stepping out of the suit?

We’re in the middle of a very big Tony Stark storyline—actually three storylines converging. His best friend died, his company is collapsing and he’s finding out who his biological parents were all at the same time. That’s stressful for a character who is wired the way Tony is wired and has dependency issues the way Tony does.

Tony is also a master at not paying attention to the thing that’s most important and distracting himself with Avengers stuff. How that all shakes out such that Tony is no longer in the armor? You’ll have to wait to find out for the end of Civil War II. But it does create a path or Riri Williams, who Tony will know and will be interacting with very shortly in the comics.

How do they meet?

One of the things Tony does to distract himself from all the things going on in his life is he goes to find this young woman who is flying around the middle of America in an armor that’s not completely made to try to find out what her deal is.


Tarte Cosmetics x Makeup Shayla Contour Palette Review & Swatches


Tarte Cosmetics recently teamed up with beauty vlogger Makeup Shayla for a collaboration that caters to women of color. And for the love of melanin, I must say - yesssssssssssss! It's about time that multi-billion dollar companies started listening to women of color and giving us products that cater to our skin tones . IMG_9738 ccc

The Tarteist contour palette ($45) was designed specifically for contouring, sculpting and highlighting darker skin tones. It is cruelty free, made in the USA and comes in purple and gold packaging. Once you remove it from the outer packaging, you will have a gold circular palette that is about the size of your hand. It features six circular pans - five of which have a net weight of 4.5 g / 0.16 Oz. x5 and one smaller glow pan which has a net weight of 1.90 g / 0.067 Oz. The 6 contouring shades includes:

  1. Highlight (champagne shimmer highlighter)
  2. Correct (matte yellow correcting powder)
  3. Soft contour (tan to deep skin tones)
  4. Deep contour (deep to rich skin tones)
  5. Accentuate (peachy blush)
  6. Glow (shimmer bronzer but I use as another highlighter)

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The shades are incredibly soft and buttery. I used this palette four times (so far at the time of publishing) so I can tell you that you're going to have a little bit of product fall out when you pick up a lot of a color onto your brush because they are so soft. Here are different types of swatches:

IMG_9819 ccc flash IMG_9834 ccc no flash IMG_9850 swatches natural light

Swatch pictures aren't enough for you? Ok, well here is a live swatch video of it in natural day light.


When using this palette, I used the lighter contour shade to contour my nose and it gave it a very nice, natural contour. I used the darker contour shade to add dimension to my cheekbones and rounded chubby face. My favorite part about this palette is the highlighters. Linda listen...

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I know you weren't expecting that type of a picture but I had to show you the highlight bling while I was testing it out (and practicing filming hair tutorials for YouTube). :-D I also have the blush and both contours on in this shot.

Sorry for the sucky last still shot. My Sony ended up overheating and I had to run out to do errands so my hair is all in my face buuut can you see that highlight peeking through?! On my lips I am wearing Kami Cosmetics Rich Girl.

In addition to a contour palette, you can also use it as an eyeshadow palette to create a natural glam look. Overall, I am happy that I purchased this, since I can use it for multiple reasons and use it to set my cream contours. If I had to give it a rating, I'd give it an 8 out of 10 - for my skin tone (for reference I am MAC NC50). The only reason that I am knocking off 2 stars is because I don't feel like all of the colors are deep enough for darker women (maybe around NW43's - 50's) so I would recommend going into Sephora or Ulta to test this baby out to see if it's a must have for you. However, the collector and woc supporter in me still wants to say no, buy it online immediately before it sells out lol.

[Edited for an update] It is available on now.


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Too Faced Cosmetics Cocoa Contour Palette - Review & Swatches On A Woman of Color


Lift cheekbones, look instantly slimmer, or sculpt like a celebrity with Too Faced's Cocoa Contour Palette ($40).

This is the original set that first launched in 2014 and it includes the two essential sculpting shades, a matte highlighter and a luminous pop of light for a contoured look that never looks flat. The powders are infused with the antioxidant-rich Exclusive Cocoa Complex that blend together seamlessly and indulge you with a decadent chocolate scent. It also features a Contour Buki Brush for the most professional sculpting effect.

I'll be honest, I wasn't a big fan of this palette because it is way too light for my skin tone (see the pics below). However, Too Faced has recently released a darker version of this palette - one that is more designed with deeper complexions  in mind (I will post a separate review on that).

Left to right: Light Cocoa, Medium Cocoa, Dark Cocoa and Pop of Light. 

Overall, if this palette matches your skin tone, it is a good one to use to start learning how to contour and to use for light definition in the summer heat.


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