elf blush palette

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Meet my newest love and obsession - the elf blush palette.  It is one of the newer releases from elf, comes in 2 shades (I picked up light) and is an easy $6!  I completely missed all they hype about this palette on the web and Instagram but as soon as I saw it in person at Target I knew I had to have it.

It comes with 4 blushes, a matte light pink, a matte pink that is slightly more brick red, a matte orange-y brown and very glittery rose shade.  Each blush pops out of the palette and while it's not magnetic you could easily put a sticky magnet on there and put it in a zpalette for convenience.  The blushes are exactly the same size as the square NYX blushes but the texture and pigmentation are very different.  

For me, most NYX blushes require a very slight dab into the product and they acheive HUGE color payoff.  I really like this for most of them but sometimes I find I can really overdo it and have a hard time blending out.  The elf blushes in this palette give the perfect amount of pigmentation, enough that one swipe will give you a sheer flush but can also easily be built up, you can see this from the swatches above which are just one swipe with a finger.

Overall, I am so happy to have this in my collection and it's now not only my go-to on the daily but also is so easy for travelling.  If you are first starting a makeup stash or a hoarder (like me!) this is one to pick up - it's only $6!

Sephora 10 Hour Wear Foundation | Review

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sister Duet is back and we got a facelift!  After trolling her site for months and gobbling up all the amazing advice she has I finally broke down and got a beautiful template from Dana at the Wonder Forest.   The blog is definitely still a huge work in progress as I tweak things here and there but hopefully it will mean more consistent blog posts!

Anyway, getting into the reason you are - a review on the Sephora 10 Hour Wear Perfection Foundation.  On a recent trip to Sephora I was crazily swatching everything in the YSL aisle when Vanessa came running up and smeared some of this foundation on my skin.  We were both blown away by the amazing color match because as someone that is pale but without super pink undertones  it is hard for me to find something so close.  We both walked back over to the Sephora display where I confirmed this was my best color and I was then off to the register.

At only $20 for almost a full ounce this foundation is halfway between drugstore and high-end but is worth every penny!  It comes in a whopping 22 shades so there is definitely one for everyone.  To say I am obsessed is an understatement, this foundation is very close to reaching holy grail status.  It has the most interesting cushion-y texture and can easily be built up for medium coverage (one pump) or full coverage (two pumps).  I find the easiest way to apply is with the Real Techniques sponge or a beauty blender as this creates an absolutely flawless, dewy finish.  Personally, I like to top up with a little bit of powder to mattify slightly and find that with that and a setting spray it definitely lasts the full 10 hours.  Definitely a keeper!

Thank you for tuning back in and for sticking around through our absence!  Be sure to check out our Instagram (@sisterduet) where we are posting daily as part of the #lipstickleague.

The Perfect Pink Lipstick Quest!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The quest is on! I am on the hunt for the perfect pink lipstick. Live I've said before, I love planning my outfits and makeup looks for upcoming events and my wedding is no different. I have always pictured myself wearing Viva Glam VI lipglass by MAC for my wedding ceremony, ever since I got my first tube when it launched as part of Fergie's collection back in 2009. Anyway, back to the point of this post, I'm on a quest for the perfect pink lipstick to wear for my wedding reception. It needs to be long lasting and hold up through eating, drinking, dancing, picture-taking and all other wedding related activities! And, most importantly, it needs to be bright and sassy, like me.

To begin the search, I shopped my own lipstick collection and will be putting each of these to the test over the next couple of months. From left to right we have: 

1. MAC Impassioned
2. Maybelline Mesmerizing Magenta
3. Maybelline Fuschia Flash
4. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Addis Ababa
5. Covergirl Bombshell
6. NYX Butter Lipstick in Razzle
7. Maybelline Faint For Fuschia
8. Bare Minerals Never Say Never
9. Smashbox Electric Pink
10. Covergirl Spellbound
11. Urban Decay Anarchy

I am open to any suggestions; high end, drugstore, help me find a lipstick! I am planning to add MAC Candy Yum Yum to the list and have been ogling over swatches of Utopia by Lime Crime, I am also very intrigued by Jeffree Star's collection of Velour Liquid Lipsticks- the shade Prom Night speaks to me. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, on Instagram or tweet me! I'm excited to share my quest and results with you!

What I'm Loving | Kate Somerville Part 2

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Night Routine:

After removing my makeup, I cleanse my face with the Detox cleanser. I love this for removing every last trace of makeup and dirt from the day. It has a nice fragrance, smells almost clinical so it makes you feel like it's really working!

I put a light layer of the HydraKate Line Release in the areas I need it most; around my eyes, mouth and especially my lips. This is such a light serum that absorbs quickly into the skin. I absolutely love wearing bright and bold lipsticks and I am scared to one day get fine lines all around my mouth and the lipstick starts bleeding and feathering like a hot mess. Anyway, I've been using this for about 3 months before packing moisturizer around my mouth and I can really tell a difference!

About three nights a week, I use the RetAsphere Retinol Night Cream. I mostly use this on my forehead and that little spot between your eyes that wrinkles up when you furrow your brow. This stuff has really helped smooth out the wrinkles I started getting. LOVE this. You can use it nightly as long as your skin isn't sensitive to retinol and you don't feel any tingling/ burning or see redness. Those things don't mean you shouldn't use it, just that you shouldn't use it daily. My skin is not sensitive to it at all and I could use it every night but I alternate between this and the next product.

I have dry/ combination skin so I like a nice, rich moisturizer every other day or so to really pump moisture back into my skin. The Goat Milk Cream does just that. Nights I don't use the RetAsphere, I slather on the Goat Milk Cream. It has a mild scent but no fragrance, just smells like cream if that makes sense. This stuff is a lifesaver for dry winter skin.

Once a week or so, I use the ExfoliKate. This is a heavy duty exfoliating treatment so it's a little too much for my sensitive skin to use more often than once a week, but my skin looks and feels so amazing afterward. The product itself is thick and green, it looks a little bit like a clay mask but has a nice fine gritty exfoliant. I also LOVE the way this smells, it's a little bit of a light licorice scent and so fresh and clean. I put about a dime sized amount on my fingertips and gently massage my wet face for about 30 seconds, then I let it sit on my face for about two minutes. While it sits on your skin, it has a nice minty tingly feeling. Then, just rinse your face clean and be amazed at how soft, smooth and refreshed your skin looks!

 The package gives a great description of the product so I'll just insert that here:
-Fruit enzymes help to clarify and renew skin
-Helps to fade discoloration
-Polishes skin, revealing a smooth, glowing complexion

It totally does all those things. The package also says that it's the next best thing to getting an actual facial from Kate Somerville herself. I haven't had a facial from Kate Somerville but I can tell you that this stuff rocks.
I was using the one for sensitive skin but it was sold out when I went to repurchase recently so I got the one for All Skin Types. I prefer the sensitive skin version but this one isn't too harsh for my skin.

The EradiKate is my holy grail blemish treatment. This is one of those sulfur spot treatments where you dip a q-tip down to the bottom of the bottle, through the liquid, and get some of the pink sulfur on the q-tip. I just dot this on any existing blemishes or any I feel may be making an appearance soon. I've found for existing blemishes, it clears them up completely in 2-3 days and if you catch a future blemish early enough, it never makes an appearance. Absolutely love this.

Any Kate Somerville products you've been sing and loving that I should incorporate into my routine?

What I'm Loving | Kate Somerville Part 1

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm getting married in about six months and have amped up my skincare routine to really pamper my skin in the upcoming months. There will be lots of photos on the big day so I want to make sure my skin is in tip top shape! I have been almost exclusively using Kate Somerville products and every time I add another product to my routine, I fall more in love. One thing I really love about Kate Somerville is the wide range of products and price points, it's accessible and affordable for anyone to get amazing skincare and really love your skin!

I use the Gently Daily Wash every morning to clean away any products and dirt from the night before. I use just about a dime sized amount with a little water, it turns from a gel cleanser to a rich, creamy wash and is not the least bit drying.

Before moisturizing, I use the CytoCell P299 Serum. It is an oil free, anti-wrinkle serum; perfect for daytime under moisturizer and makeup AND it fights wrinkles!

For moisturizer, I've been using the Nourish Daily Moisturizer. It is nice and light; I prefer a light moisturizer for the daytime under makeup. Also, this moisturizer smells amazing! It is so fresh, like a spa!

I also use the Age Arrest eye cream during the day. It is a very dense moisturizer but not too heavy to wear under makeup. Have you ever used a really heavy or greasy eye cream under makeup and you end up looking like a raccoon? This is the opposite of that! Totally rich and moisturizing but helps makeup and concealer from creasing. No fragrance, just smells fresh and clean.

Stay tuned for Part 2 with all my nighttime routine products...

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy | NOTD

Friday, October 17, 2014

The calendar indicates Fall but the weather forecast says otherwise. It's mid-October but still in the low 90's so it's making it a little tough to get into the Fall spirit!

This polish color is the perfect transition from summer to fall. The color is called Hold 'Em and is so gorgeous. It's the perfect medium purple with just enough taupe making it perfect for fall. Also, the formula of these polishes is amazing! So incredibly pigmented and almost opaque in one coat. You could probably get away with one medium coat but I prefer two very thin coats, helps longevity. It seems like so many polish lines are coming out with a collection of gel-like polishes that don't require a UV or LED lamp to cure. I have been a huge fan of the Red Carpet Manicure LED for a few years and I wouldn't say this polish gives you quite the same longevity, but is definitely a good alternative.

 The brush reminds me of the Sally Hansen Complete Manicure brush; long and wide with a rounded edge. I love this type of brush to get a nice even manicure near the cuticle. 

I used the Gel Envy top coat and I have just been LOVING it! I've been using it for a couple months with other polishes and have been really impressed. It is nice and shiny and I really think it helps extend my manicure to around 5-7 days. 

Vineyard Peach Shower Gel | Holy Grail

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

 The Vineyard Peach Shower Gel smells so good, like ridiculously, deliciously, amazingly good.  Probably the best shower gel scent I have ever smelled.  I discovered it one day when I was browsing The Body Shop website during one of their 40% off sales (note: they have one on now!) and knew I had to have it.  I am not normally so impulsive, especially not with scents, but I was not disappointed.

I'm not a huge shower gel fan normally, I just use it because I have to but after getting this product I look forward to using it everyday.  I almost want to get dirty so I have an excuse to shower and use this shower gel.  I just want to be super creepy and stand around in my shower all day and smell it.  Vineyard Peach is now by holy grail shower gel, I just never want to stop using it!

If you like the smell of peach rings you should try out this shower gel as that is exactly what it smells like.  Heck, if you like fruity smells at all you should pick it up as it's only $4.80 for the giant 250ml when on sale!

Just to be cheeky here is my peach-ring-shower gel, I just love it!
I just placed an order to get more from this range (I can't be stopped!) so I will report in if they smell just as good.

If you want to hear me blab some more about this and some of my other recent favorites, check out our April Faves video!