31 January 2014

Wink & Pout Cosmetics by Kym Lee Review

When trying indie brands and small businesses I'm always a bit uneasy when placing my very first order. That's mainly because I have had my share of nightmare service with small businesses. Which is why I usually try to do some research on the brands before giving them a try, including reading reviews etc. But hey I'm human and sometimes I get those impulses to just buy when I see things that catch my eye.

That recently happened to me over the holidays as I was scrolling through Instagram and saw someone repost a pic of this woman wearing a stunning blue lipgloss. I've been wanting to try a blue lip hue for the longest time which is why it caught my eyes. So from there I browsed through the woman's profile and discovered that she had her own cosmetics line which she was promoting. The woman's name is Kym Lee, whom I've never heard of prior to stumbling across her on Instagram but according to her bio she's a well known celebrity makeup artist who's been in the beauty industry for over 17 years working with BET and has had her makeup artistry featured in several well known publications including Essence, Glamour and Sister 2 Sister. I love to see women, especially black women become multifaceted in business and it's always a pleasure for me to support their visions.

Kym Lee's cosmetic line is called Wink & Pout which consists of a variety of lipsticks, lipgoss, lashes and lip liners. The website is professional looking and pretty easy to navigate. I always like to go small in terms of purchasing when I buy for the first time from a company so I decided to order that intoxicating blue lipgloss that initially caught my eye and a pair of lashes to complete the "Wink & Pout" experience.

The lashes are really pretty & they feel super light. The only thing I don't like about them is that the outer wing of the lashes create a shadow on my face directly underneath - you can see it in the pics below. But that could be contributed to the outside lighting I'm not really sure.

Here's that vibrant blue gloss, it's called Holiday Blue
Ehh I'm not really sure Blue is the color for me lol but I enjoyed trying it out! 

Glow: As I mentioned the website is modern chic and definitely user friendly, so the buying experience was a piece of cake which I like! Upon receiving my items my first thoughts were "Yep, it definitely looks like what was on the website: -lol. The lipgloss is extremely vibrant and highly pigmented, the formula is also very good. I did notice the application was a bit streaky in some areas but nothing that a second coat couldn't fix.

Glare: Ok, so there are a couple of things that kind of stood out to me that I did not like. I'll start with the shipping process. While the order was easy to place there was a communication barrier that bothered me after ordering. I paid with Paypal and received a payment receipt and also an automated response from Wink & Pout immediately after my order stating my order number and items. I placed the order on December 6th and it arrived on the 16th which is about typical in terms of shipping. Now what I took issue with is that I never received a shipping confirmation nor a response to an email sent in regards to it. I understand people are busy, it was the holidays but I am a stickler for communication and that was a major turn off for me. If I spend my money with a company, I don't care how much or how little I still expect communication. I want to know when I can expect to receive my items, I don't think that's too much to ask. I also noticed that there weren't any shipping policies on the website nor the invoice which I think would be a good idea to incorporate in the future so consumers know what to expect. Aside from that, another con for me is that the lipgloss doesn't list ingredients on the container at all nor does the website *sigh* I can go into a whole rant about that but I won't. I will just say that it is a suppliers responsibility just as much as a consumers responsibility to be aware of what ingredients products are formulated with for their own safety. Yes, I made the choice to test this gloss out regardless but I probably will not with future brands that do not include ingredients or product facts.  

Would I Recommend It? With all that said I really hope this review doesn't come off as harsh because that is not my intention at all. I just like to share my own experiences and I also like to keep my readers informed and that starts with me always being completely honest in anything that I review. The bottom line is that I am satisfied with my purchase and I received exactly what I ordered. Would I order from them again? Ehh probably not. I do think the company could benefit from a few tweaks including a FAQ's page, list of ingredients and also ordering & shipping policies. Aside from that I think Wink n Pout has a lot of potential, the idea is trendy, the website is cute and the products seem ok. Not to mention this seems to be a brand new venture for Kym and with all new ventures there are trial and errors. I wish Wink n Pout the best of luck and can't wait to see what the future holds for them!

Where To Buy: All of Wink n Pout products can be purchased at http://winknpoutbykymlee.com.

Product(s) in this post were purchased by me. Read our disclosure policy here

30 January 2014

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection Review

Again, I am late with this but I wanted to finally post the Holiday edition of the RiRi collection with MAC. I wasn't impressed by the liners, shadows or other products from this collection so I decided to stick with the lipsticks and to try the polish out. I was in line opening day for this collection and was a little shocked to see an actual line when I got to my MAC store. Fortunately there were only like ten people ahead of me but Bad Girl RiRi sold out just before it was my turn to checkout, so I only bought Pleasure Bomb and another RiRi Woo for the pretty packaging. Before leaving I swatched Bad Girl RiRi on my hand and instantly fell in love and decided that I NEEDED it! But since it was sold out and I was tired of stalking websites for it I went ahead and ordered it from Evil-Bay at over double the price *angry glare* But anyway I'm glad I did because I love it! Check out swatches of everything I purchased below.

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection

RiRi Woo, Pleasure Bomb, Bad Girl RiRi

riri woo, pleasure bomb, bad girl riri

Bad Girl RiRi

Pleasure Bomb

RiRi Woo Nail Lacquer

the polish is very pigmented, it was opaque with one coat. 

Glow: The packaging is so pretty, I love the white paired with rose gold! I didn't photograph myself wearing RiRi Woo because I posted it previously with it's original release. Let's jump into the two lipsticks. I'll start with Pleasure Bomb which is the only color I initially thought I wanted. Pleasure Bomb is a matte fuschia/rose shade, it's a bit more muted in color than I expected it to be. I definitely like it but it doesn't necessarily wow me. My favorite is Bad Girl RiRi which surprised me. After swatching the other nude from Rihanna's Fall collection it made me a bit skeptical about trying this one. I'm so glad I gave it a chance because it's completely different. What I love most about it is how the color gives off a pinkish/mauve on my skintone. I've seen many comparison pics of it and it's crazy how it looks so different on everyone. I've been searching for a brown girl friendly nude lipstick for awhile and this is perfection! I almost hate that I couldn't have bought a backup of it though.

Glare: I really have no gripes about any of these. The lipstick formulas are much better than those from her Fall release. I haven't worn either of these outside of swatching them for photos so I can't really give my opinion on the wear just yet. 

Would I Recommend It? I would recommend MAC to stop making these limited ass edition collections that sell out in MINUTES! That's what I would recommend lol. Seriously, it's ridiculous. I'm tired of it, everyone else is tired of it but that's how they keep the demand up and their evil little tactics work because we keep buying into them. So what else can I really say? 

Where To Buy: If you didn't get anything at this point from any of the RiRi collections then I suggest to just give it up because there is no hope left other than her boring Viva Glam collaboration which I will also be getting *cries*

Product(s) in this post were purchased by me. Read our disclosure policy here

29 January 2014

Addicted To All Things Pretty Introduces "Luxe Oil" - A Staple For Radiant Skin

It's like Winter came out of nowhere and with the chilly temperatures approaching, nurturing my skin is one of my top priorities. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I am a bit delinquent when it comes to taking care of my skin with the exception of my face. One of my favorite blogging buddies Krissy from Addicted To All Things Pretty posed a question on twitter one day asking "how often do you reapply moisturizer during a single day" I almost think she was horrified by my response lol. I often shower with liquid soaps that have built in moisturizers so most of the time I do skip moisturizing my skin which I'm almost certain is a beauty crime of some sort ;-)

But like a fairy blog mother and slayer of all things ashy, my darling friend Krissy came along to save us all. Early this month she launched her signature skin care line called Luxe Oil. Luxe Oil is an in-shower moisturizer formulated to relieve dry skin and promote long-lasting radiant skin. The Luxe Oil line currently consists of three all natural hand blended products including Luxe Oil, Cocoa Deluxe Whipped Cocoa Butter Blend and a Whipped Shea Butter Blend with over 5 exclusive scents.

Luxe Oil 
Cocoa Deluxe Whipped Cocoa Butter Blend and Whipped Shea Butter Blend

the Cocoa Butter blend is so rich and creamy!

Glow: Let me just say that I love supporting small businesses. I like the personalization that most small businesses provide and most importantly I always appreciate great customer service. I can't even begin to tell you how many small and start-up companies I've dealt with in the past who truly lack professionalism and a great business sense. So when I come across such impressive service with indie brands such as Luxe Oil I have to give praises. I was initially sent a sample of the in-shower Luxe Oil in the beautiful scent Coco-nilla to test out and immediately after trying it I decided that I would be doing myself an injustice if I didn't give the other two products a try.  So I ordered the Cocoa Butter Blend as well as the Whipped Shea Butter Blend in Black Unicorn. After placing my order online it was shipped out the same day and I literally had the products in my hand in two days -talk about fast shipping! Lets get into the goodness of these products, the Luxe Oil not only smells amazing but also feels really good going on my skin in the shower, after drying off my skin felt so soft and looked radiant. The Cocoa Butter Blend has a thick rich consistency and smells like pure chocolate, it goes on effortlessly and leaves my skin feeling so nurtured. My favorite out of the crew is definitely the Whipped Shea Butter Blend, it's so creamy and smooth! The formula is blended to perfection. I've totally fallen in love with the scent Black Unicorn, it's intoxicating and heavenly and has become my new nightly staple after showering.

Glare: There's absolutely nothing negative that I can say about these products. Krissy has spent a great amount of time doing her research to create the perfect blend and she has definitely got it right! I love most of all that none of the products feel greasy or leave behind a residue, they absorb into your skin immediately and promote moisture and a healthy glow throughout the day. I also really like that the all natural ingredients are clearly labeled on the containers.

Would I Recommend It? I already have! I've purchased a few products for my BFF and my mother is next on the list after trying to set claims to my Whipped Shea Butter *side eye* lol! I almost forgot to mention that all of Luxe Oil products are made by hand which makes it that much more awesome! 

Where To Buy: All 3 Luxe Oil products are available for purchase at http://www.addictedtoallthingspretty.bigcartel.com/. There are also upcoming products in the works including something for the guy in your life. To stay up to date with future releases be sure to subscribe to the Luxe Oil Newsletter.

Product(s) in this post were purchased by me. Read our disclosure policy here

28 January 2014

RiRi Hearts MAC Fall Collection Review

I am fully aware that the holidays are far gone and that this post is late as hell, but.....I was determined to get this one out one way or the other. I would've had this review posted ages ago if I hadn't had such an ordeal in trying to get these products, I explained all of that in my last post. But anyway I was pretty much able to get everything I wanted despite the BS. I was also able to purchase the products I wanted from Rihanna's final Holiday collection and a review will be coming soon. MAC also just released Rihanna's Viva Glam lipstick and gloss which I will be getting sometime soon. Some people are saying that MAC has gone a little RiRi crazy but hey she sells and that's all that matters I suppose.  One thing for sure is that I'm over all of these limited edition/limited quantity collections and I plan to give it a break come the first of the year -the struggle in trying to get hold of them is beyond a headache plus I need to start enjoying the MANY products I already have *giggles*. Photos of the RiRi Hearts MAC Fall Collection, swatches and my full review are below, enjoy!

RiRi Hearts MAC Fall Collection
how cute is the packaging?! 

RiRi Hearts MAC Fall Lipsticks
Talk That Talk x Who's That Chick

RiRi Hearts MAC
riri woo lipglass, extended play gigablack lash mascara, liquid last liner 


RiRi Hearts MAC Lipstick
Who's That Chick

RiRi Hearts MAC Lipstick
Talk That Talk

RiRi Hearts MAC Pro Long Wear Lip Pencil
RiRi Woo


RiRi Hearts MAC Lipglass
RiRi Woo

Glow: I'll start with the packaging, honestly I think that's what really drew me in this time around. I love the rose colored boxes and the pink and rose gold theme throughout each of the products. For the lipsticks, Talk That Talk and Who's That Chick were the only 2 I wanted, I already have RiRi Woo so I would've just been purchasing for the packaging. Talk That Talk is a retro matte dark plum. Retro Mattes can be very drying but I always prep my lips with a tiny amount of chapstick before application and it still lasts for hours on me. Honestly I really love this color, it has more red/burgundy tones and was not as dark as some supposed dupes like Cyber and Yung Rapunxel. Who's That Chick has a frost finish and is described as a mid-tone orange. To me, it definitely has more gold tones than it does orange which I love. The color looks neutral on me and goes with my skin well -I like it! RiRi Woo Lipglass is a vibrant red, it's highly pigmented and goes on opaque with just a couple swipes. The formula holds up just like all MAC lipglass and the wear time is normal on me (about 3-4 hrs). RiRi Pro Longwear Lip Pencil is also very pigmented and can be worn alone or paired with the RiRi Woo Lipstick, I also hear that it looks great paired with Who's That Chick which I plan to try in the future. The Extended Play Mascara and Liquid Last Liner are basically just repackaged products that have always been with MAC and are not exclusive to this collection. I won't go into detail about either because I haven't tested the wear of them just yet. I will say that I do like the mascara, the formula is good, it's not clumpy and gives my lashes an even coverage. 

Glare: The biggest complaints that I've read about this collection are based on the lipsticks, mainly Talk That Talk. I've seen other reviews that complain about the application and coverage issues that include patchiness. I haven't seen any reviews about Who's That Chick's formula but from my experience with it, that's the one I had issues with. While the lipstick feels smooth it goes on a bit crumbly. I'm not sure if that's from the frost or just the way I applied it. I tried applying it both from the tube as well as with a lip brush and still the same results. It's a pretty color but the application kinda sucks. I'll continue to play around with it to determine what works best for me. 

Would I Recommend It? I don't think it's fair to answer that question since the collection is basically sold out. But I will say that if you're a Rihanna fan then I'm sure you already got your hands on it ^_^

Where To Buy: Unfortunately the majority of the Fall Collection is sold out. I've seen a few palettes, lashes, mascara and liquid liners lingering around on some of the retail sites that carry MAC such as Belk and Nordstrom but sometimes the availability that they show is not always accurate so I would always call before placing an order. As far as the lipsticks and other products your best bet is eBay if you just have to have it. But always use sound judgement when checking for reputable sellers.

Product(s) in this post were purchased by me. 

27 January 2014

Own The Look: The 56th Annual Grammy's Red Carpet Looks + Favorites

Out of all the award season shows the Grammy's are definitely my favorite. I'm a huge music lover and I thoroughly enjoy seeing my favorite artists perform and being acknowledged for their contributions to the arts. While I didn't catch the entire show, I did see the red carpet pre-show on E! to get a glimpse of what everyone wore. I don't have the energy to recap all of the looks but I do want to share my favorite fashions  from the night.

Ciara in Emilio Pucci 
She looked simply gorgeous and has that beautiful baby glow ^_^ I also loved the neutral makeup, very simple and clean.

Paris Hilton in Haus of Milani
There was a lot of white on the red carpet but Paris definitely won in my book. I love the sheer detailing on the sides.

BeyoncĂ© in Michael Costello
Another white dress and definitely done right. Bey seems to love the frame hugging mermaid cut dresses and they definitely love her back, she looked flawless. I also like the vampy lip color she paired with the look.

Tamar Braxton in Michael Costello
Tamar actually surprised me. She's usually so over the top from the face to the floor but this time I think she finally got the complete look right! She also went for a soft neutral look for makeup. The dress is simple yet elegant and the accessories are a perfect match - she looks stunning!

Coming in at honorable mention is Chrisette Michele who wore a colorful printed suit by Etro. I love that she didn't stray away from being herself and I just think this works for her. The red lip is also a winner!

Who were your favorite looks of the night? 


On Instagram

© Awkwardly April. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.