Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Nail Polish Picks

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Hello, beauties! A great way to freshen up any look for a new season is by switching up the hues on our tips and toes. With summer set to begin on June 21st, now is the perfect time to look toward those coming hot weather trends. Here are four nail polishes that will be sure to add an extra spark to the long summer days.

If you're whiling away your days dreaming of sun and sand, then Essie's Turquoise and Caicos is right up your street. A mid-tone turquoise, this polish will have you yearning for dips in the ocean and sunning on tropical shores. A firm favorite of mine for several years, it's not summer yet until I wear that first round of Turquoise and Caicos!

If the salt life isn't your thing, then perhaps electric neons are more your speed. Butter London has two polishes that will really light things up! Silly Billy, a bright tangerine, and Jaded Jack, a neon kiwi green, give that perfect touch of funky that will pair fantastically with all your festival looks. From Lollapalooza to Glastonbury and everything in between, these hues will definitely have you throwing your hands in the air!

For those women who like to keep their polish choices classic, there is nothing better than a beloved red varnish to adorn your fingers and toes. Put away are the deep berry reds of fall and winter. Out come the bright reds, sizzling to match the heat. One such timeless red is OPI's Big Apple Red. It is one I reach for year after year without fail, and can be worn no matter what your age.

Summer is all about injecting a bit of color into your routine, and changing up your polish is a great way to get in the vacation mood. Today's four polishes are only the start of what you can create, so let out your imagination and get to experimenting to find your signature summer shade!

What are your favorite summer polishes?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Monday, June 16, 2014

CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara - Review

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CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara, $8.99
Hello, beauties! If you've been following my blog for awhile, you'll know I'm on the prowl for my Holy Grail drugstore mascara. I am the owner of the most pitiful, short, baby lashes known to man, so I dream of finding a mega black mascara that gives me the volume and fluttery length I crave. Over the past few months I've been testing all sorts of mascaras hoping to find that hidden gem. Today, we'll take a look at one of the mascaras I've been giving a hopeful go.

The CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion mascara is a multi-function product that claims to make lashes "bigger, fuller, longer-looking, and more dramatic". The fiberstretch formula is supposed to lengthen, while the large tapered brush is meant to reach every last lash. In my personal experience, I wish the mascara overexaggerated my lashes as much as it hyped up the claims. Honestly, I just didn't see it.

Because my lashes are so short, I take the claims of lengthening like I would a scout's honor. Seriously. After multiple coats, I saw no significant addition to lash length. Strike one! It did add a touch of volume, but not enough to be considered "dramatic". Strike two! I also purchased this mascara in Very Black, and it was far more subdued than very anything. Strike three! Off to the bin you go!

The real standout for this mascara is the bright, sleek packaging and the lovely brush. As a short lashed lass, I much prefer brushes that aren't super full and bristly, as it tends to get the product all over my lids. This brush has rubber bristles that get smaller towards the tip, really allowing the product to coat all the lashes without give me panda eyes. That's one thing I think CoverGirl got right.

If you already have longer lashes, then this could make for an alright natural looking, every day mascara. If you're like me with lashes that need a lot of oomph, this is not the droid mascara you're looking for. Alas, the search continues!

Have you tried the CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion mascara? What's been your most disappointing mascara purchase?


Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Urban Decay Electric Palette - Review

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Urban Decay Electric Palette, $49.00
Hello, beauties! Urban Decay is notorious for their eyeshadow palettes. For years, everyone has been swooning over their nude and neutral Naked palettes (and Naked foundations, Naked lipsticks, Naked...just how naked can a face get, y'all?). I tend to lean towards brighter hues, so when Urban Decay announced the Electric palette full of life, color, and neon goodness, I immediately set the release date on my calendar and began dreaming of all the "electric" looks I'd get to create. Today we'll be taking a look at this gorgeous palette that had me believing that you really can have love at first sight with your beauty products!

Urban Decay's Electric palette, despite belief, is actually pressed pigments instead of your typical eyeshadows. Shades like these can be hard to get right with the usual eyeshadow formula, so to really amp the colors up, Urban Decay chose to go the route of pressed pigments. While this means the hues are vibrant as all get out, it also means that some of them can stain or irritate the eye area (namely Slowburn, Savage, Jilted, and Urban), so you've got to use your own judgment before applying them all willy-nilly like!

There are ten shades, two being re-promotes (Chaos and Revolt), and a double sided brush which is decent, but can be removed to throw in an eyeliner instead. Each of the pigments are velvety smooth and blend like a dream, with Revolt being the only one that is a little harder to work with. The sheer amount of looks you can create with these hues is limited only to your imagination. Plus, the red, pink, and purple shades can pull double duty as blushes making this palette excellent for travel. And because those colors stain, you'll want to make sure you are primed to the nines to limit color transfer. Don't worry, it isn't permanent. Don't let this scare you off from all the pretty!

All in all, I love this palette! The colors challenge me and expand my application techniques. The pigments are solid, bright choices that are perfect for more experimental makeup fanatics. If you need a palette that will liven up your makeup collection, this is a great choice. And since it's from Urban Decay, you know it'll be one bad mother trucker!

Have you bought the Urban Decay Electric palette? How do you like to wear bright shades?

Want an Urban Decay Electric palette all your own? Then be sure to enter my blog's first birthday giveaway for your chance to win an Urban Decay Electric palette and YSL lipstick of choice!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder - Review

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Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder, $5.49
Hello, beauties! With summer well and truly at our doorstep, dewy faced looks will become an integral part of our beauty repertoires. However, if you're the owner of oily skin, or are like me and have to contend with random slick spots, a bit of extra sheen is the last thing we need alongside the massive summer heat and humidity. And since the melting makeup look has yet to find its place in our ever growing beauty trends, that's where today's product comes in handy!

The Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder is a straight forward product meant to set your makeup, control oil, and deliver a flawless matte finish to the skin. The powder is soft and finely milled, and a few generous swirls are all you need for that perfectly matte look. Much like Rimmel's foundations, the powder has a slightly perfumed scent, but it's quite subdued and shouldn't be an issue for fragrance averse shoppers. I should also mention that even though I purchased the shade 001 Transparent, the powder pulled a bit yellow on the skin, so this is something to keep in mind for fairer, cool-toned ladies.

When it comes to application, a little trial and error will be needed to discover the amount that works best for your particular skin type. For me, I found that if I don't apply enough, my makeup will look patchy, and my skin takes on a dull, almost sickly quality, so don't be afraid to really dip your brush into it! The powder seems to work much better buffed on liberally with a dense, fluffy brush, paying special attention to oilier areas. This leaves me with a matte finish that doesn't feel caked on or heavy. It lasts around six hours before needing a touch up, but wears evenly otherwise.

For a drugstore find, I'm fairly surprised at the quality of this pressed powder beauty. It doesn't quite meet my standards for being considered HG, but it will definitely do until that product crosses my path. Anything that helps to negate the nasty southern humidity and keeps me from having melty swamp face is a-ok in my book!

Have you tried the Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder? How do you control oil during the humid summer months?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Monday, June 2, 2014

First Blog Birthday and Giveaway! (CLOSED)

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Hello, beauties! A year ago this week, I embarked on what has become one of the most amazing and rewarding journeys I have ever known. Started as a distraction from severe anxiety and depression, this blog has become such a huge, important part of my life. Combining my passions for writing, beauty, fashion, and daily life, Southern Charmed has enabled me to grow my writing skills, meet new people I now consider dear friends, interact with beloved brands, and explore the world around me in a way I could have only dreamed about.

My year writing Southern Charmed has given me purpose, opened doors to my dreams, and set me on a life course that has me more excited for the future than I've ever been. It's been a lifeline, a teacher, a creative outlet, and an absolute dream come true, and for that I will forever be grateful.

However, none of this could have happened without the love and immense support from each and every one of you, my amazing readers! When I started this blog, I couldn't imagine one person reading it, let alone hundreds from all around the world. Each and every one of you is so dear to me. Your comments, tweets, and emails mean more to me than you will ever know, and never fail to brighten my day.

So to thank you for being the fabulous readers that you are, I'm holding a GIVEAWAY! Two of my fave purchases of the last couple of months has been the Urban Decay Electric palette and a YSL lippie. What better way to show my love than to share a couple of my new favorite things! If you're interested in winning these fab items, read the following rules and then enter with the Rafflecopter widget below!

RULES:
• This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!
• There will be ONE winner!
• The winner can choose a YSL Lipstick from the Rouge Pur Couture, Rouge Volupte, Rouge Volupte Shine, and Volupte Sheer Candy lines.
• You must be at least 16 to enter! If under 18, please have your parents permission!
• The giveaway will run from Monday, June 2nd through Monday, June 30th.
• The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and announced on Tuesday, July 1st.
• The winner will have two days to respond with their shipping address. If they do not respond in the allotted time, a new winner will be chosen.
• There will be mandatory entries. Entries will be monitored, and any participant who doesn't complete the mandatory entries will have their entries nullified.
• This giveaway is to thank my readers. Professional compers will be disqualified.
• There will be optional entries you can complete daily for more entries! Make sure to stop back in to this post each day for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Again, thank you all so much for being the best readers ever (and you totally are, real talk)! I wouldn't be here without you and could never thank you enough. Y'all are the bees knees, and I love y'all from the very bottom of my heart!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!
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