Top 5 Favorite New Products | A Cruelty-Free Beauty Blog Collaboration

Today’s post is another special Collaboration with two other lovely cruelty-free beauty bloggers: Catherinefrom Buying Cruelty Free and Liza from Makeup Matters by LNC. About a month ago, we all posted about our favorite brushes. This time, we are each sharing our five favorite newly discovered products with you! The products need not be newly released, just items that we have recently tried and fallen in love with. I can’t wait to see what Liza and Catherine have chosen! Definitely check out their posts because I’m sure their picks will be amazing! 

Catherine’s post

Liza’s post

So, without further ado, let’s get on to the goodies!!! J

My first new favorite is not a new product, but I had never tried it! It is actually a bit of a cult classic – Stila’s Convertible Color! There are a few reasons I had never tried this genius little miracle before – I am somewhat scared by blush, and I am downright phobic when it comes to cream blush! Sephora was offering a sample size of the shade “Peony” through their VIB points program and, since I’d been hearing about this little beauty for years, I decided to cash in some points. I am so glad that I did because it is really wonderful and not at all frightening! It blends beautifully, it’s nice and creamy without being sticky, it doesn’t look streaky or patchy, it creates a healthy glow without being too shiny, and it doesn’t accentuate my pores!!! It is also super easy to apply with just my finger tips, and I am completely in love with it! I should add that this is also safe to be used as a lip color, but I have only tried it as a blush. I adore 2-in-1 products though, so that’s another definite perk!

“Peony” on cheeks

My next product is also not a new item, but another that I had not yet tried. I picked up a Slim Gel Lipstick in #57 from Inglot at IMATS and it’s absolutely wonderful! It’s nice and pigmented, very comfortable to wear, has great wearing/staining power and the color is really pretty too! I get compliments every time I wear it, which neverhappens! It’s not at all drying and has a slight staining quality that’s not too powerful – two things I rarely find in one product. I definitely want to pick up more of these – and at $12 each, they are quite affordable by today’s standards! J

I ordered an Endless Silky Eye Pen from Pixi Beauty quite some time ago through HauteLook, but it wasn’t until this past month that I actually tried it out! It’s in the shade “True Teal,” and it is incredible! It is the silkiest, creamiest eye pencil I have ever used AND it doesn’t budge! It is incredibly pigmented, doesn’t skip or tug and I’m completely in love with it! I really need to go pick up some every day shades because, though the teal is a beautiful shade that’s great for a pop of color, it isn’t always the most practical of liners…but it’s sopretty!!! JI’m not sure how I have lived so long without trying this pencil!
Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pen in “True Teal” on waterline
My next item is another product I have had for quite some time. My mom gave me a mascara sampler set from QVC for Christmas, and I recently pulled out the wonderful IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara. I’m a bit of a mascara junkie and, though I haven’t decided if it is my favorite mascara of all time, it’s definitely my favorite of the moment! It does an excellent job of lengthening, separating AND volumizing! It is a deep, rich black and doesn’t clump. The spiky rubber brush is much different than I would usually go for, but it makes it easy to grab every little lash. It has a 360° rounded tip which really does help find every last lash. This mascara really amps up my lashes without making them dry, brittle or flaky. Wonderful stuff and I am addicted! J
Left: No Mascara; Right: IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes Mascara
(2 Coats) on Top Lashes Only

Finally, I have a product that actually is a new release! J It is the limited edition Aqualillies for Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette. I really love this palette! For starters, the packaging is adorable and, though it’s a large compact, it’s quite easy to hold in your hand while using it. Inside there is a huge mirror, a “Provocateur Shimmering Powder” highlighter in “Champagne,” their well-loved “Park Ave Princess” bronzer, a beautiful pinky-coral blush in “Captivating” (all 3 are actually a touch larger than the individually packaged products!!!) and 6 eye shadows! I use the highlighter and bronzer as eye shadows as well and, if so inclined, you could use the blush on the eyes too. The eye shadow shades do not seem too varied, but they are different and work well for a variety of neutral looks. Plus, “Poolside” can add a nice pop of pool blue to any look. Still, this isn’t the greatest palette if you’re looking for a variety of colorful eye shadows.  It is possible to vary the looks you create and I personally love the colors included in the palette! In addition, the shadows have a beautiful texture – very silky and buttery…and they don’t crease at all on my lids! J The shade that really sold me on the palette is called “Bikini” and it’s a wonderfully surprising duochrome that flashes pink, peach and gold. It’s a stunning color! Nothing in the palette is glittery or over-the-top. All the powders are beautiful and very wearable, whether for every day or for a night out. Absolutely adore this palette…especially for the summer!!! J

Shadows used on eyes: “Champagne” highlighter on brow bone,
“Bikini” on lids, “Park Ave Princess” bronzer in crease,
“Hammock” in outer corner, & “Parasol” near inner corner

So there you have my 5 Favorite New Products! Though most are not actually new releases, I have just discovered them and they have all been stand-outs among the mountain of products I have tried. There are so many wonderful items I could have included, but these are my latest and greatest addictions. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have found a few items to add to your own wishlists! Please don’t forget to check out Liza’s and Catherine’s posts as well, as they have also shared their new favorite cruelty-free products! I can’t wait to see their picks!!! J

Catherine from Buying Cruelty Free

Liza from Makeup Matters by LNC

If you are interested in purchasing any of these products, they can be found on the following websites:

Stila is available from Sephora, Ulta and on
Inglot is available through in the US, or check for International information
Pixi Beauty products can be found at Target and on
IT Cosmetics can be purchased through
Tarte products can be found at Ulta, Sephora and on

Tarte Shadows as mentioned above,
Pixi Eye Liner in “True Teal,” IT Cosmetics
Hello Lashes Mascara, Stila Convertible
Color in “Peony” & Inglot Slim Gel
Lipstick #57

Disclaimer: All items mentioned in this post have been purchased by me, or were gifts purchased by others. 

Best of 2012 – Favorites for Eyes, Lips and Brows

Today we have the most exciting part of makeup – the colorful stuff! In case you missed my favorites for creating a perfect canvas, you can find them here. My favorite skincare of 2012 can be found here, and my favorite body & hair care products are here. Now onto the fun!

            My all time favorite eye shadows have always been from Urban Decay. Now that they have reformulated them, they are even better! Highly pigmented, wonderful texture and so many wearable – and not so wearable – shades! I also love that you can now customize your own Urban Decay palettes as well.

            However, I think I may have a new favorite in Inglot’s eye shadows! Inglot’s formulas are amazing and they have a huge selection of shades. As if that were not enough, they are pretty affordable as well! The only drawback is that there are very few places in the US where you can actually see the products in person.

            For eyeliners, again my favorites of 2012 have been from Urban Decay. The 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils come in a vivid assortment of colors and glide on so beautifully, yet last forever! These liners do not budge after about a minute. They are really wonderful, high quality eye liners. My go-to shades are “Demolition”, a deep matte brown, “Rockstar”, a slightly shimmery deep eggplant, “Zero”, basic black, and last but not least, “Perversion”, the blackest of blacks.

Demolition, Rockstar, Zero & Perversion
I guess I should have sharpened them!

            A really nice, affordable alternative to the Urban Decay 24/7 liners – they’re pretty much a dupe for them – are the NYX Slide-On Eye Pencils. They are really beautiful liners that are also available in a wide range of colors. I only have one at the moment in “Tropical Green”, a beautiful emerald green color. The NYX Slide-On Pencils are definitely my favorite new find in the eye liner department!

            Back to higher end pencils, the Stila Smudge Sticks are also one of my favorites. They glide on beautifully, can be smudged easily for a minute or two, then they stay all day. The shade selection is not too impressive, but the colors that are available are wonderful basics. “Moray”, a khaki green with a hint of shimmer is one of my favorite shades, and not a color you see too frequently.

            The mascara I kept going back to in 2012 was the Smart Amazonian Clay Mascara from Tarte. It seems to be pretty good at all things, while not being damaging to the lashes. I will say that I am still searching for the perfect mascara, but I imagine this will be a lifelong quest! J

            For my eyebrows, which need a fair amount of help, I discovered the Brow Wiz pencil from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I really like this pencil because it comes in a wide range of shades, including one light enough for my over processed hair, “Ash Blonde.” Best of all, it looks really natural and wears quite well. I like the ease and portability of a brow pencil too, so I consider this just about perfect for my brows! J
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Ash Blonde”

Lip products have been a bit tough this year because my favorites were almost all from Revlon. Since Revlon now sells in the Chinese market where animal testing may occur, I am doing my best to avoid companies that are now available in China. So, what remains in my arsenal of favorites for lips?

            Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm has been a life saver! It is inexpensive and available almost everywhere. It has a slightly medicinal scent, but it works wonders. This balm keeps my lips soft, smooth and prevents chapping. I can’t ask for much more than that!

            Despite having a good lip balm, exfoliating my lips is still necessary to avoid occasional flaking dry bits. Yum! My hands down favorite is the Maracuja Lip Exfoliant from Tarte. It is gentle without being completely ineffective. The maracuja oil keeps the sugar from being too harsh, but it is not so moisturizing that the sugar just slides off. Tarte has found the perfect balance between scrubbing and moisturizing. I suppose this is a bit of a luxury product in that you can make your own similar lip scrub, but it is very difficult to make one that works as well as Tarte’s, so it’s a luxury I will continue using!

            The lip color I have probably used the most in 2012 is likely a tie between Bite Beauty’s Lush Lip Tint and Tarte’s LipSurgence pencils. Both are kind of a balm-tint hybrid that lasts without drying out lips. My favorite shade of the Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint would have to be “Orchard”, which looks like a nice natural pink flush. My favorite Tarte LipSurgence is “Amused” which is a bright fuchsia that is still subtle enough that it doesn’t scream “look at my lips!” Both are very comfortable to wear and last a good length of time.

Bite Lush Lip Tint in “Orchard”

Tarte LipSurgence in “Amused”

Flower Beauty Cosmetics Haul & Initial Impressions

I think I am overly excited about the new Flower Beauty Cosmetics line from Drew Barrymore. I can’t stop looking at the products online and am anxiously anticipating seeing the full collection in stores, instead of just the limited selection from the end caps. Needless to say, I have purchased a bunch of items already – both online and in-store. I may have gone just a wee bit crazy! Since I have been testing some of the products already, I thought I would share some of my goodies and my initial thoughts on them. I have already reviewed the Easy on the Eyes Long Wear Eyeliner in Navy, which you can read about here. As for some of the other products, well, keep reading!

Some of the lip products from Flower Beauty

Shine On Lip Gloss – Pretty-in-Petunia & Hibis-Kiss

  • Doe foot applicator that makes for quick and easy application
  • Goes on nicely and is well pigmented
  • Feels comfortable on lips and remains comfortable as long as it’s on
  • Nice shine – not too overly glossy or frosty
  • Smells like flowers and it tastes a bit like flowers too – that’s my only complaint about this gloss, but I can live with the taste. It does wear off after a while and it’s not unpleasant, just unusual



Beauty Balm BB Cream

  • It is not a creamy formula that glides on easily, but it does blend nicely
  • The coverage is surprisingly good. Comparable to other Asian BB creams I’ve tried and may be even better at evening out the skin!
  • It is not at all greasy which is great for oilier skins, but probably not so good for drier skins
  • Actually seems to help control oil!
  • It is very comfortable – feels like nothing at all. 
  • It wears well and lasts all day. 
  • Looks natural; it doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup
  • It does not settle into pores or accent imperfections
  • It does not seem to have any real benefits for skin which really makes it a lightweight foundation, not a BB cream. I do not believe there is even a sunscreen included. If you’re not looking for the skincare elements of a BB cream, this is amazing!
Shade 1
Lip Service Lip Butter – Princess & the Peony, Wispy Wisteria & Cherry Chiffon
  • The darker shades are very pigmented; the lighter shades give more of a sheer tint of color
  • Very “buttery” – they glide on like a dream and almost melt into lips
  • Soooo comfortable, and remain so until they’re gone. 
  • Stays on pretty well, especially for a balm-like product
  • Smells like flowers, but it doesn’t seem to linger once it’s applied
  • I think these are even better than the Revlon Lip Butters!!!
Princess & the Peony

Wispy Wisteria

Cherry Chiffon
Color Play Creme Eye Shadow – Awesome Blossom, Flirty Floret & Mum’s the Word
  •  Very creamy and well pigmented; a little dab goes a long way!
  • Glides nicely over lids and bends easily
  • Nice, natural sheen without being too frosty or metallic
  • Feels very comfortable on lids – you don’t really feel it at all
  • Stays put and lasts almost all day with little to no creasing.
  • My only complaint is that it comes with a stopper shoved into the creme that seems to have no purpose and sticks to the shadow. The patterns in the shadows shown in the photos below are simply from removing this stopper (the last one really stuck). Again, it’s a minor complaint.
Awesome Blossom
Flirty Floret
Mum’s the Word
Lash Knockout Volumizing Mascara
  • Good size bristle brush – not plastic – that is not so big that it is difficult to apply
  • Not too dry or too wet and can easily add coats without much dry time
  • Doesn’t clump or weigh down lashes, nor do lashes feel crunchy or brittle
  • Does not smudge. It seems to be water resistant, but it still removes easily with makeup remover
  • Good for a natural look, but it’s not going to create incredible volume. It does make lashes thicker and a bit longer, just not dramatically so. It’s a good mascara, but not a great mascara.
Kiss Stick Velvet Lip Color – So Gladiola & Flamingo Flower
  • It skips and drags when you apply it
  • Shows any dryness or flakiness on lips and settles into lines
  • Though it is full-coverage, it can look patchy on the lips
  • It has great staying power and feels velvety – it doesn’t feel dry
  • Not quite a full matte finish. I’d call it a low-satin finish
  • Smells like flowers in the tube, but it is not noticeable on the lips
  • Wearing a little lip balm underneath the lipstick helps with all of these issues, but it’s still not the greatest lipstick. I don’t usually go for matte lip colors, but I feel like this is probably similar to most matte formulas. Also, “Flamingo Flower” is not as dry as “So Gladiola”, which makes these issues not as prominent with “Flamingo Flower”
So Gladiola
Flamingo Flower
On Your Mark Liquid Eye Liner
  • Nice thin, precise felt-tip applicator
  • I am terrible with this style liquid liner, but I found this one easy to use and could easily make thin or thicker lines
  • Gives a nice, deeply pigmented color – not at all streaky or patchy
  • Unfortunately, it comes off immediately with even the smallest drop of water and it will run down your face!

Nail’d It Nail Lacquer
  •   Amazing!!! Incredibly chip-resistant! Look for a full review shortly. You can read the review here.
Eye of the Tiger Lily, I Lavendare You!, Fanatical Botanical

I haven’t had a chance to try everything here as well as I’d like to before reviewing it, so these are all simply my first impressions. I can say with relative certainty that I love the Lip Butters and the Nail Lacquers. I’m pretty sure I really like the BB Cream as well, and I suspect the Creme Eye Shadows and the Lip Glosses will also quickly make my favorites list. I really like the Creme Eye Shadow in “Mum’s the Word” with the “Navy” pencil eye liner. I have more things to try as well so I’ll be busy for a while! Like I said, I’m overly excited about this line! 🙂

I hope this helps a bit if you’re planning to pick up some things from this new line! I’m going to try to post more detailed reviews of some products after I have a chance to really test them out. If there’s something not in this post that you’re curious about, please ask because I very well may have it too! Let me know what items you’re most interest in because I’d love to know!!! 

Flower Beauty Cosmetics – Found It! Spotted at Walmart!

I managed to find a Flower Beauty display not too far from me. They had nail polishes, four types of lip products, two types of mascara, and liquid eye liners in Black and Brown. All of it is currently displayed on an end cap, so if you check out your local Walmart, here’s what to look for!

For a more detailed look, here ya go! (Sorry for the slight blur, but there’s only so much I could do with the lovely lighting of Walmart!)

Lip Service Lip Butters in Tempting Tulip, Rose-y Future, Princess & the Peony, Haute Honeysuckle, Sheer Snapdragon, Cherry Chiffon and Wispy Wisteria.

 Shine On Lip Glosses in What a Dai-sy!, Baby’s Breath, Lovely Lotus, Iris I Could Fly, Hibis-Kiss, Pretty-In-Petunia and My Little Buttercup.

 Velvet Lip Colors in Petal Kiss (x2), Chocolate Lily (x2), So Gladiola (x2) and Get to the Poinsettia.

Velvet Lip Colors in Get to the Poinsettia and Flamingo Flower and High-Shine Lip Colors in Sweet Peony and Rose Bud (x3).

Lash Knockout Volumizing Mascara

Extreme Measures Lengthening Mascara & On Your Mark Liquid Eye Liners in Black & Brown

Nail’d It Nail Lacquers in Go With the Flow-er (x3), That’s Just Dan-De-Lion and Fanatical Botanical.

Gorgeous Gerbera (x2), May Flowers and I Lavendare You (x2).

Thistle Or That?, Good Bud-dy, Eye of the Tiger Lily, What’s the Daffodilly-O? and Cosmos-Politan.

Cosmos-Politan, Precious Poppy, First Bloom (x2) and Budding Romance.

 Venus Fly Trap (x2), April Showers (x3 – misplaced colors in the slots).

There is more currently available online as well, but this seems to be what stores are stocking to start.
Are you excited by this collection? I certainly am and had trouble deciding what to pick up first! Let me know in the comments what you’re most interested in picking up yourself!!!

Photoready 3D Volume Mascara from Revlon – Should you try it?

*****Revlon now sells products in the Chinese market where products may be tested on animals and it cannot be certain that any products sold in China have not been tested on animals*****

In the past I have not been a huge fan of Revlon mascaras, though I cannot say I have tried a ton since I have pretty much hated the ones I have tried. I decided to give another one a shot recently – the Photoready 3D Volume Mascara in 002, Black. Since my main interest in mascaras is a thickening formula, this seemed worth trying.

According to Revlon, the Photoready 3D Mascara is meant to magnify, multiply and amplify lashes 100% with 2 coats. It is available in 3 shades: Blackest Black, Black and Blackened Brown as well as a Waterproof version. The company also states, “The exclusive reflective formula magnifies and multiplies the look of your lashes, easily creating the appearance of bigger, bolder volume.” Sounds perfect for me, but does it really do what it says?

The shape of the wand is a bit like Benefit’s “They’re Real” wand. With the main portion being kind of a standard shape, medium size brush with a extra bristles near the edge of the tip to help get every last lash. I like this kind of brush because I find it quite easy to use and the extra bristles really do help get the lashes in the outer corners. The brush is plastic which I almost always dislike because it seems like they often distribute too much product making for heavy, wet lashes. Not so with this mascara! The brush picks up just enough mascara to coat lashes without weighing them down.

My lashes do not feel heavy and do not look like they have been drenched in a sea of black goo. I can apply a second coat relatively soon after the first, though I do not find the extra coat necessary for daily use. The formula does not seem to clump and actually does seem to help separate and define lashes a bit. Though the formula is not the absolute best at creating volume, lashes DO look thicker. Again, not the best lengthening formula, but it DOES lengthen quite nicely. It seems that the wand helps to curl lashes a tiny bit, though probably not as well as most strictly curling formulas (which never seem to do much to me in the first place). It does not flake and is relatively water resistant. Lashes do not feel crunchy or stiff after applying the Photoready 3D Volume, though it is not the softest formula either. All in all, the Revlon Photoready 3D Volume Mascara is a really good all-around mascara.

I kind of like the packaging. It is a slightly rounded rectangular tube and feels a bit thicker than other mascara tubes. I kind of like the chunkier width of this mascara because it feels more substantial in one’s hand and is very easy to hold…not that I typically struggle to keep mascara in my hand. In one sense it looks like kind of cheapish plastic, but in an expensive way, if that makes any sense. I really do not care about the look of my mascara tube since it is rare that I do not use it away from home. Well, I am not really a stickler for expensive packaging that does not affect the inside contents anyway unless it has some sort of interesting gimmick. We are all a sucker for gimmicky packaging once in a while, right?

If you are looking for a good all-around mascara that will do a little bit of everything, but not create AMAZING results in any one area, I would definitely suggest this mascara. And if you want some added volume or length, why not try a coat of the 3D Volume followed by a coat of your favorite volumizing or thickening mascara? I have not done this, but I think it could create beautiful results.

Revlon’s Photoready 3D Volume Mascara is available at drug stores and discount stores and has a suggested retail price that I believe is around $8.00.

For more information about Revlon and their animal-testing policies, check out my post here.

Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me, for me. I am not affiliated with Revlon in any way, nor have I been compensated for this review.

Review: Lash Boosting Mascara by Physicians Fromula

I’ve never tried a Physicians Formula Mascara before, but the new Organic Wear Lash Boosting Mascara in Black Organics may make me a convert! According to the packaging, this formula creates length, thickness and volume. I would have to agree that does all three wonderfully! My lashes look longer and thicker, while still appearing nicely defined. The Lash Boosting Mascara is perfect for a dramatic look without appearing fake. For more details about this new mascara, keep reading!

This is another one of those jumping-on-the-bandwagon mascaras that is supposed to help lashes naturally grow thicker and longer. I’m not sure I believe any companies that claim this, but with the Physicians Formula Lash Boosting Mascara, I feel like I’m putting something on my lashes that is not going to harm them. According to the packaging, the formulation contains minerals to strengthen and nourish hair, while eliminating harsh solvents that can cause lashes to become brittle and prone to breakage. It also contains organic orange water for hydrating moisture, as well as aloe and cucumber extracts for soothing moisture.
To create volume naturally, Physicians Formula chose to use tapioca starch, while organic beeswax allows for a buildable look. The mascara is formulated with natural color pigments and natural preservatives. Natural biopolymers help prevents clumps. This formula is free of petroleum by-products, parabens, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and a number of common synthetic ingredients that include fragrances, solvents, polymers, fibers, preservatives and color pigments. Given all this, Physicians Formula’s Lash Boosting Mascara is a product I feel good about having on my lashes.

No Mascara
No Mascara
One big failing of the Lash Boosting Mascara is that it is really susceptible to running. The slightest watering of your eyes and it smudges a bit. I’m not sure what it does in the rain yet, but I’m not sure I want to find out. Fortunately my eyes are usually on the dry side (actually it’s unfortunate, but it works in terms of this mascara) so it’s not much of an issue for me, but it is something to keep in mind if you have watery eyes or are in a situation where you may be sweating a lot. I just saw PixiWoo on YouTube mention a new Anastasia product that claims to make any mascara waterproof, though I do not see it available at Sephora yet. If it works, that might be a solution. Just beware that this is not a great product if it will be exposed to much moisture.
1 Coat Lash Boosting Mascara
1 Coat Lash Boosting Mascara
My only other problem with this mascara, and it’s kind of a love/hate problem, is the packaging. I actually love the look of the leaf-shaped tube, but it’s not the easiest thing to hold. The brush is recyclable which I suppose it great, but how many people recycle mascara wands? I’m really nit-picking here, if you can’t tell. For about $10.00 retail, this mascara is certainly worth a try! (Look for the “Try Me Free!” Mail-In Rebate sticker on select tubes, and you can try it for free!)
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Physicians Formula in any way and have not been compensated for this post.

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