January 26, 2016

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipstick & Lipliner in Ex-Girlfriend

Hello, Beautiful!

When Urban Decay first announced they were collaborating with Gwen Stefani, the 12 year old in me exploded with joy. I used to idolize her; I wanted to be her! Of course I ordered the eyeshadow palette as soon as it came out. Then I saw the Ex-Girlfriend lipstick that was coming soon (we received samples with the palette) and I knew I had to have it. As soon as it launched, I bought the Ex-Girlfriend lipstick and the Ex-Girlfriend lip liner.

I had seen swatches upon swatches from famous Instagramers who already received press samples of all the shades, and Ex-Girlfriend looked like the PERFECT pinky nude combo. I ripped open my Sephora package as soon as it arrived and couldn't wait to get these on my lips.... and thats when my balloon popped and all my excitement escaped and I felt deflated. I'll explain why throughout this post....

First, I ordered mine from Sephora - but you can get it at Urban Decay's website and I'm sure eventually it will be at Nordstrom, Ulta, Macy's, etc.

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani 
Lipstick and Lip Liner
Shade: Ex-Girlfriend

Here is what the packaging looks like; the same pretty packaging from the shadow palette. I absolutely LOVE the white and gold (that's a theme at my desk at work).

Let's start with the Ex-Girlfriend Lipstick....

It looks beautiful in the package and the lipstick tube itself is pretty.

I kind of wish the lipstick tube was also white and gold instead of black and gold, but I like it all the same. One thing I will say is it feels cheap; very lightweight and inexpensive feeling. I was expecting more, especially with how sturdy and well put together the Gwen Stefani shadow palette is.

Even the shade name sticker on the bottom is very plain and just seems like it was rushed or very little thought went into the process.

But I can look past any packaging flaws if the product itself is beautiful, and just look at this lipstick.... it certainly is a beauty!

It looks like a perfect everyday pinky nude shade; exactly what I was hoping for!

There is some slight shimmer in the lipstick but I don't really see it translate to the lips other than shine; I don't see or feel any shimmer on the lips.

This shade is a sheer shade - which I don't totally hate, because it's buildable - but at the same time, I think this shade fully opaque would be near perfection! I'm not sure which lipstick formula from Urban Decay this is... I'm assuming their Sheer Revolution Lipsticks, but I can't be certain because it's not mentioned on the box like the Lip Liner is mentioned as the 24/7 Glide-On Lip Liner.

As you can see in the swatch pic, it is very glossy and you can see it looks patchy due to being sheer and going over it with a few passes.

On the lips, it's very sheer and can be built up just slightly more than what you see below. Keep in mind these lip swatch pics are some of my worst - not just the fact my lips are super dry (from being sick), but also the light and angles and my foundation was a wreck all around my lips. But you'll still get the shade idea....

I guess if you look really, really, really close you might see a hint of shimmer but it is faint.

Now let's move onto the lip liner....

This is one of Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils, which I do like those formulas so I was really excited about this lip pencil; I could see myself pairing it with a number of lipsticks I already own.


As you can see, it looks like a gorgeous pinky nude shade....

And then I swatched it... and it turned more brown.... an almost orange undertone pink brown... certainly not what I expected.

Again, I apologize for the EXTREMELY bad lip swatch and my horribly dry lips, but I wanted to show you what the lip liner looked like on its own.....

The swatch actually looks a bit lighter than in person.

Here are what the lip liner and lipstick look like swatched next to each other.... you can see the lipstick has a much more pink tone than the lip liner. They certainly do compliment one another though, and don't get me wrong, they're pretty.... but you'll see what I mean....

Here is what the lipstick looks like over top the liner. I have to say, again, it looks darker in person than in this pic. In person my lips definitely take on a brown hue. In the lip swatch pic below, I can see more pink tones but not in person. The studio lights are doing this duo some favors.

So to re-cap:


Even though the lip liner made everything darker than expected, I don't regret the purchase and can still use these. I love the lipstick on its own and over other liners I own. I sort of like the combo above, but I'm not a fan of brown lips so if any lip color even goes slightly brown on me I'm instantly not a fan. I think I have to warm up to it.

As for staying power, the lip liner is a long wear product - the lipstick is not. But together I get decent wear - depending on how much I'm drinking/eating.

I know this shade was sold out at Sephora, and it makes sense since the other 3 shades are bold/vivid shades - leaving this to be the only nude/everyday shade option - which I think a lot of people would prefer.

Let me know if you picked up either of these products and in what shade!

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this product? Have you tried this, or would you consider adding this to your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below!

xoxo with love & beauty,
Crystal Valentine

January 24, 2016

PUR Cosmetics - 9 new brushes! Review, pics, and some brush comparisons!

Hello, Beautiful!

PUR Cosmetics (formerly called PUR Minerals) sent me 9 of their new brushes, along with a PUR Pro Tools 5-piece collection (which will be in a separate blog post). After using all 9 brushes, I wanted to show them in one blog post and let you know my thoughts.

Just a general, applies to all: these are all soft and silky feeling!

PUR Cosmetics Brushes Info & Review
Cost: $16 to $32 per brush, depending on brush
Availability: Available on the PUR Cosmetics website.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Kisses

PUR Makeup Brushes

PUR Perfecting Body Brush
Extra-large body brush for foundation, bronzer or highlighter.

Unlike a regular face brush, this over-sized body brush has flexible fibers that allow for speedy buildable application for specialized definition all over.

I thought this brush would be similar to my Becca The One brush, and while the shape and size is similar, I find they act a bit different.

With this brush, I like it most for blending out bronzer and contour - especially along my jaw line and hair line. I don't wear makeup on my body - with the exception of once in a blue moon I'll throw on some shimmer for a special event - but when I do, this would be a great brush to apply my Gleam by Melanie Mills liquid radiance highlighters. 

PUR Powder Foundation Brush
Short, dense and super soft brush for powder foundations.

Designed to pick up and evenly distribute powder foundation for best coverage.

This brush is a great brush for exactly as it says; powder foundation. I have used it with loose and pressed powders, and it works perfectly. Nice and soft too!

PUR Contour Blending Brush
Flat-top brush with dense fibers to apply powder, cream and liquid complexion products. 

The synthetic bristles work perfectly with a variety of foundation formulas while the specially designed shape hugs the natural curves of the face for a high-definition finish.

I used this brush to apply my cream and powder contour and it worked great!

PUR Contour Foundation Brush
Artistically-designed, tapered brush to provide definition into the natural contours of the face.

The uniquely dense brush will apply contour into the natural contours of the face without lifting or smudging foundation.

I normally really enjoy these shaped brushes for applying contour or highlight, but I wasn't the biggest fan of this brush. I found myself reaching for another brush to get the job done. This is the only brush out of all 9 that I really didn't reach for and don't think is necessary.

PUR Blurring Powder Brush
Smartly tapered brush ideal for dusting on blush, bronzer and highlighting powders. 

Controlled delivery of product allows for buildable coverage avoiding the over-saturation of color.

Now this brush I really liked! I used it for applying powder highlight and it works beautifully. Just the right size too! Can also use to be more precise with powder foundation or powder concealer application.

PUR Blurring Concealer Brush
Soft, domed brush to use with concealer or correcting creams.

Expertly designed to deliver concentrated coverage to conceal blemishes and imperfections without smudging or displacing foundation.

Although this brush is called "blurring concealer", I found myself using it for my eye shadow as a large fluffy crease brush - perfect for blending out edges and applying base shades. You can also use this one for highlight application.

For concealer use, it works, but I just prefer how fast and easy it is to use a Beauty Blender.

PUR Blending Crease Brush
Slim eyeshadow brush for eye creases.

The short yet soft bristles of this brush picks up the perfect amount of shadow and applies it expertly to the crease of the lid to add depth and dimension without the harsh lines.

This brush works beyond just the crease. You can use it for a lighter wash of color on the lid, and it does blend out shadows nicely in the crease!

PUR Precision Crease Brush
Tapered, precision brush to expertly apply shadows in eye crease.

The brush is designed to deposit eye shadow where you want and avoid where you don't without pulling or dragging. It can also be used to apply concealer. 

This brush is great if you want to do a cut crease look, or make a more defined outer-v shape. Also great to use on the lower lash line to smoke out shadow/liner. I also found a great use for this for applying highlighter to the inner corner and brow bone!

PUR Sculpt & Groom Brush
2-in-1 Brush that artfully sketches, fills and sets brows.

Double sided brush makes grooming brows more efficient for both a natural or defined look. The dense angled brush fills in and contours brows while the wand combs and shapes even the most unruly brows. 

While I really enjoyed all these brushes, this brush may be my favorite of the bunch. I know that sounds weird - but I really LOVE this brush for my brows! Specifically, for applying my Anastasia DipBrow Pomade.... it's thin but dense, yet flexible.... it's just perfect for applying a cream product to brows. You can also use it as an angled liner brush too. The spooley comes in handy, as I can't do my brows without one!


These new brushes from PUR are nice! Soft and silky to the touch, and blend beautifully. I also like their white and silver sleek look, and how they're labeled as to what you are to use them for -- making it a no-brainer for those that are a bit challenged when it comes to using makeup brushes.

Of course you can use each brush for other uses -- making brushes are your tools and you can use them as you see fit!

If you don't know which brushes to pick up, consider your brush needs and what you already have in your brush collection. I have a very large brush collection (even after my purge), and I do have dupes for almost all these brushes - but I prefer some of these over the ones I have in my collection already.

My favorite brush, as mentioned above, is the Brow Sculpt & Groom. If you use Anstasia Dipbrow Pomade, then you'll LOVE this brush. It's thin enough to do you brows with a natural look, dense enough and flexible enough at the same time to easily glide and make hair-like brush strokes. The spooley is a must-have when doing brows, so that is a plus!

My next favorite brush is the Blurring Powder Brush - which I used mainly for applying my powder highlight. It worked perfectly for that. I also don't have another brush quite that shape and size in my collection, so it was an asset for me.

My third favorite is the Powder Foundation Brush - it's large, soft and dense; perfect for powder application! I have applied loose powder and pressed powder with it, and had great full coverage results. I tried it with my liquid foundation but I prefer to use it with powders instead.

Overall, a nice collection of brushes to take your makeup game to the next level!

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of these brushes? Which brushes stand out the most to you? Have you tried them or would you consider adding them to your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below!

xoxo with love & beauty,
Crystal Valentine

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. However, these products were sent to me for consideration. I am not being paid to make this post, nor has the company influenced me in any way. I have made this post because I wanted to, not because I had to. These are my honest opinions, thoughts and experiences.