Nude Lips

My obsession for mascaras is rivaled only by my love for nude lip color. It can be hard to find the right shade for a sexy nude pout. I love a nude lip, and I am always looking for a new nude lipstick or gloss. I have compiled a list of my favorite nudes, for every budget and skin tone:
Some of my favorite lip colors are:
  • NYC Long-Wearing Lip Color #480--long wear, brown-nude. Good for med to dark skin. $5
  • MAC Faerie Glen--neutral nude with a natural finish. Great for fair to med skin. One of my favorite nude lipsticks, ever! A nude lip HG for me. $15
  • NARS Cruising--sheer light nude pink. Beautiful on fair skin. $24
  • Essence Lipstick--creamy, pale mauve-pink. Good for light skin tones. $2.50
  • L'oreal Endless Lipcolour in In The Buff--matte finish, neutral nude. Fair skin tones. $8
  • Armani Shine Lipstick #50---sheer, high shine light pink. Good for most skin tones. $27
  • L'oreal Infallible in Linda's Beige--LOVE this long wear beige-pink lip color. It goes on very sheer, gives my "no color" lips the perfect amount of color. So pretty for med skin. $11
  • Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Tiger Lilly--super sheer and shiny peachy-nude. Very moisturizing, great for all skin. Perfect if you love a natural look. $5
  • NARS Velvet Lip Pencil in Hopi--high shine, glossy sheer peach. Good on all skin tones. $24
  • MAC Viva Glam V (not pictured, I lost my tube)--gorgeous neutral pink on every single skin tone. This color looks fabulous on everyone! $14.50
Lipstick swatches L to R: NYC #480, MAC Faerie Glen, NARS Cruising, Essence Creamy Nude, L'oreal In The Buff, Armani #50, L'oreal Linda's Beige, Burt's Bees Tiger Lily, NARS Hopi.
Below are some of my favorite nude lip glosses:

  • LipFusion Gloss in Clear--lightens any color it is layered over. Great if you have lips that are pretty pigmented. $38
  • Essence XXXL Nudes Gloss in Pure Beauty--smells like buttercream, light cream color. Also very good for very pigmented lips, or to lighten any color its layered over. $2
  • Essence XXXL Nudes Gloss in Toffee Forever--This is my new HG of nude glosses!!! Who knew $2 could be so fantastic! This lipcolor is similar to the new MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2, except it looks soooo much better. Its way more wearable, 1/7th of the cost, and smells like hot cocoa! It looks brown in the photo, but its actually light sandy nude. I can't rave enough about it. Run, don't walk to your nearest Ulta, and pick up a tube (or 10). Its only $2, but worth much more! (BTW-if you get allure magazine, they have a $3.50 off $10 purchase ULTA coupon)
  • LipFusion Gloss in Bare--nice peachy-pink with delicate shimmer. Good for med-dark skin. $38
  • Essence XXXL Nudes Gloss in Nude Kiss--light natural pink, light buttercream scent. Beautiful gloss, very similar in color and finish to MAC Viva Glam V Gloss, but less sticky. I am so impressed with the Essence glosses, such great quality, but so affordable :)
  • YSL Gloss Volupte #5--sheer, shiny nude gloss in a beautiful gold lipstick applicator. Smells like mango, great for a "no make-up" look. I keep one in my gym bag. $30
Gloss swatches L to R: LipFusion Clear, Essence Pure Beauty, Essence Toffee Forever, LipFusion Bare, Essence Nude Kiss, YSL #5.

I also want to mention that the best nude lip liner that I have ever found is MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture, it goes well with all of the above lipsticks and glosses. It is my HG. ($13) For a close second, I recommend Sephora Nano Lip Liner in 02 Cute Caramel, a bit more brown based, but also good. ($5)

All of the above products were purchased by me.


Physicians Formula Happy Booster Bronzer and Blush

I was asked to review a few "drugstore" brand items. Always happy for a reason to buy makeup, I picked up a few of the new things by Physicians Formula that I've been seeing in several magazines. I'm not sure about the "Mood Boosting" ingredients of the Physicians Formula bronzer and blush, but just looking at the cute little compacts made me happy :)

The Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Powder in Light Bronzer is a beautiful light golden brown. It has a luminescent finish-similar to MAC Mineralize Skinfinish. Very pretty! I really liked this one!
Swatches for comparison:

L to R: Benefit Hula, PF Happy Glow Light Bronze, PF Cashmere Wear Bronze, BE A Little Sun, BE Faux Tan, Giorgio Armani Sheer Bronzer

The Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush in Natural. This blush was actually quite a surprise. Same luminous finish, as the bronzer, very nice color. It actually gave both Laura and I, a very nice flushed look. I am usually not a fan of pink blushes on my skin, but this one looked so natural once it is on the face.

Swatches for comparison:

L to R: Benefit Dallas, PF Happy Booster Blush in Natural, Benefit Bella Bamba

Overall, we both highly recommend the Happy Booster Light Bronzer and Blush in Natural. These looked good on both of our skin tones, and are very similar to more expensive products, for a fraction of the cost. These items range from $10-$13 (I found a drugstore with BOGO, so the cost of each was appx. $8). I did use my own blush brush for application, as the ones in the compact are too small to be any use. The only drawback is that the compact is cheaply made, causing the clasp to fall out easily, and you have to "pop" it back in.

Has anyone else tried these yet? Any thoughts?


Our search for the mascara HG

So, I will start by confessing that I am a make-up addict. My most recent quest (obsession) was to find the HG (holy grail) of mascaras, and I convinced Laura to join in the process. Over the past 6 months, we have tried almost every mascara on the market (and that's not an exaggeration). Laura has already posted one of our faves--Lancome Hypnose Drama. I just wanted to give you a list of all the ones we've tested, and a few comments about them.
    • YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils in Noir Radical--this is one of my HG's. It gives me long, thick, dark, fanned out lashes. I also have it in the purple color. I just wish it was water-resistant, and cheaper :)
    • Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying. Ok, mousse-like texture. Natural look. Comes off easly.
    • Estee Lauder TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara--noisy, but gives OK definition.
    • Chanel Intimitable Intense Mascara--wanted so much to love this one, due to all the hype. Didn't do much for my lashes. Pretty lashes, needed several coats. Came off way too easily.
    • Dior Diorshow--used to be one of my faves. This one gives you very full, dark lashes. But dosen't lenghten.
    • Dior Diorshow Blackout--also used to be a fave. This mascara will give you full, glossy black lashes. If your lashes are already long--go for it!!
    • Dior Diorshow Extase--the brush is very unique, but it takes a lot of effort to achieve results similar to that of Diorshow.
    • Dior Diorshow 360--waaay too expensive at $36. Won't catch all lashes. Just not worth the $$$
    • Fresh Supernova and Firebird--so these are meant to be used together, and they do provide decent results. Somewhat longer and thicker, without many of clumps.
    • Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara--volume, nothing else.
    • MUFE Smoky Lash--I thought this one had potential. It did grab every lash, but I still had to layer another mascara over it to achieve desired results. Hard to get off at night.
    • Clinique High Impact--this one is ok, not good, not bad.
    • FairyDrops Scandal Queen Mascara--beautiful natural volumized lashes. Not dark.
    • Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes--Love the crazy looking brush, just takes a lot of work. It does give good separation.
    • Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara--similar to DiorShow. This one looks amazing on Laura, does nothing for me :(
    • Armani Eyes to Kill Excess--not impressed.
    • Bobbi Brown Party Mascara--very buildable, took several coats, and lashes were defined, but not very dark.
    • Lancome Hypnose Drama--HG. We loved this one, it gave great definition, volume, and length! Lashes were dark and dramatic. Easy to remove. LOVE (for now anyways!)
    • Stilla Major Major Lash--nothing "major" to say about it.
    • Smashbox Bionic Mascara--not impressed, didn't do much
    • Smashbox Lash DNA--ok.
    • MAC Haute and Naughty Lash--one brush, just changes the amount of mascara on it. Nothing noteworthy.
    • MAC False Lashes--got so excited reading about this on MAC's website, but alas, it was only OK.
    • Sephora Atomic Lash--didn't like at all. I must also include a disclaimer that this style of brush does absolutely nothing for my lashes. If this brush works for you, please give us feedback.
    • Rimmel Lash Accelerator--this works OK as a base coat, under another mascara. This is the only Rimmel mascara I like.
    • Rimmel Day 2 Night--this was horrible! Super clumpy, pulled out many of my lashes (and I need every last one)! Brush is a dupe of MAC Haute and Naughty, but done worse.
    • L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black--one of the best drugstore mascaras out there!! This is one of Laura's HG's. It makes her lashes look amazing (and makes me jealous). Nice dark black color, great volume, great length, good definition. This one works very well for me too, just not one of my HG's.
    • L'oreal Voluminous Million Lashes--defines and lengthens, decent mascara.
    • L'oreal Double Extend Lash Boosting--let me start by telling you that I don't even use the mascara on this, I buy it for the primer. Use the white side (step 1), as a primer under any mascara, and it gives amazing results. This is my go to lash primer!!! It works as well as, or better than all the expensive ones, for a fraction of the cost. My recommendation is to save your $ for the expensive mascara, and use this bargain primer. It's a steal!
    • L'Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator--the topcoat is so pretty, but unfortunately it dosen't show up at all over the mascara. Topcoat brush is a dupe of Phenomen'Eyes.
    • L'Oreal Telescopic Explosion--dupe of Phenomen'Eyes, but with not much effect at all.
    • Maybelline Volume Express Falsies in Black Drama--very, very black. Thick formula, clumps easily, so have a lash separator handy. Does give long, dark lashes. **The waterproof formula is nearly impossible to remove**
    • Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length--gives longer lashes, no extra volume.
    • Maybelline Colossal--clumpy, irritated my eyes. Didn't like at all.

Overall, we recommend Lancome Hypnose Drama ($25), YSL Faux Cils ($30), Armani Eyes to Kill (black) ($30), L'oreal Voluminous ($7) , L'oreal Double Extend (white side) as a primer ($10).

*Each of the mascaras we tried were either bought by us, or it was a sample included with other make-up purchase*


Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara Review

Natasha has had this mascara for some time now, but has never tried it until recently.  Today, we both tried Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara in Excessive Black.  The mascara retails for $25 dollars.  

Claims to create full volume lashes in one stroke.  Also says it is good for reaching the tiniest lashes in the corner.  The formula is a new triple coating system with Pro-Vitamin B5 that allows for big lashes that won't flake or crumble.

(sampled sized)

Has a unique 'S' curved brush to help grab the small lashes from all angles. 

Natasha with two coats
Laura with two coats

Overall, we both really liked this mascara.  It curled and fanned out both of our lashes without any clumping at all.  It both thickened and lengthened our lashes.  The formula is very build-able and could have added another coat without any clumps.  It also worked very well on the bottom lashes.  After wearing at work all day, neither of us had any flakes or smudges.  We are so glad we decided to finally try this, we both recommend!

Natasha received this as a sample from Sephora.


Hello, World!

Hello everyone and welcome to BeautyDuet.  We are best friends that share a passion for makeup!  We love trying ALL makeup products and want to provide detailed reviews of our findings.  Stay tuned for future updates as we dig through our collection.

Laura and Natasha