Dupe? MAC's Cyber and NYX's Betrayal

 As a bargain shopper, I'm always looking for dupes of my favorite high end products in case of emergency or if I'm doing something that I don't want to risk bringing my pricey product to. When I received the NYX Wicked Lippie "Betrayal", I couldn't help but notice how similar it was to my Cyber, from MAC. Since fall and winter are fast approaching, I immediately swatched so I can get this dupe alert out just in time for you to swipe your fave off the shelf. 
In terms of packaging, MAC's lipsticks will always be my favorites. They're durable, soft and matte metal. I never feel like the cap isn't secure. I have broken a MAC cap before, but that's because I dropped it and then accidentally stepped on it in combat boots. With the Wicked Lippie, I feel like I could break it if I squeeze too hard with my hands. 

It's bigger than the MAC bullet which makes a difference when you have nothing but pockets or a small clutch. For all that size, however, you get the same amount of product as the MAC one offers. Although not pictured, the NYX lippie comes with a whole list of ingredients plastered on the side in bright white--not too aesthetically pleasing. 
As far as shades go, these two are nearly identically. While Cyber is a deeper and warmer purple, Betrayal is slightly more cool toned. They both have a sheen that looks gorgeous in sunlight, camera flash or the club's strobe light. 

As far as longevity goes, Cyber is decent when you're being low maintenance. However, once you start eating it will bleed a little bit. The Wicked Lippie won't bleed, but will leave a purple ring around your lips. Beware wehn you're kissing! I've learned the hard way that it will leave a huge purple smudge on your kissee. 

The amplified formula/finish of MAC's Cyber makes the lipstick feel strong and thick while Betrayal feels a bit more thin. It all comes down to personal preference here.  

My personal favorite is Cyber. I like the way the formula feels on my lips. It just feels like a good quality and like I can trust it to stick. The thinness of Betrayal makes me feel like it may drag off onto my lips or clothes or anywhere. I know a lot of people who don't like feeling the tackiness or thinkness on their lips, so Betrayal could be a better option. 

Have you tried either? What are your opinions? Comment, comment, comment!
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The Reformation's Newest Clothing Line Is All About Big Boobs

Finally! We women with larger chests have been complaining that clothing companies cater to women with small breasts and ignore us since we were old enough to wear a C cup. It gets annoying. From button ups being too tight and puckering to crop tops that only cover our chests, there seems to be no escape. 

U.S. brand, The Reformation has heard our pleas and backed us up. With the launch of their new line, "For Boobs", as part of their "I'm Up Here" collection. 

All of the items were designed with larger chests in mind, specifically for cup sizes C through DD. I now that's barely touching the surface of big boobs, but it's definitely a start and more of an effort than many brands have made. Even the models have large boobs, as told by the wonderfully casual and inviting model bios, so you can see how it might fit on you. The clothes are those that you may not be able to wear in your true size or wear at all, if you were to purchase from a regular line. There are multiple low necks, tight fits, crop tops and off the shoulder tops. 

Just like the rest of their products, this new line isn't cheap. However, when you take into context that The Reformation makes their clothes as Eco-friendly as possible (check their receipts) and within the United States--which creates jobs here and reduces emissions--it seems like a worthwhile purchase for the quality. If you're like me and a poor, poor young adult wait until you have a special occasion where you need to look perfect head-to-boobs-to-toe and splurge on a gorgeous look. 

Here are some of my faves from "For Boobs": 
You can check out the pieces here, then come back and tell me what your favorites are. Planning to call one of the gorgeous items your own? Leave a comment!

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OOTD: Fresh & Easy

Living in California has its perks: beaches, culture, diversity. Its only downfall is the intense, persistent, nearly perpetual heat.

Here's an action shot of me persevering through it:
Look at that determination. 

One of the ways I attempt to stay cool is by wearing thinner layers. Cotton is thick and absorbs moisture like crazy, which is probably not the best idea for 100 degree weather. Here, I opted for a satin shirt that's thinner by nature. Its boxy shape leaves room for air to flow and doesn't constrict the body. I bought this top years ago at Forever 21, a running theme in this post. 

Overalls (from that wonderful Forever 21), although thick, are a cute summer staple for spicing up the ol' shirt and shorts routine. I love this printed one for it's bright flowers. It instantly seems fresh and light. If you think light, you'll feel light and if you think cool, your body will still be baking at 102 degrees, but you'll feel cool. 

Even though this is a laid back outfit, I chose to wear pointed toe flats (guess where these were from?) because they I feel they're a nice, more poised, touch. I didn't want to cross the line into the outfit becoming completely bummy like I would if they were flip flops. Instead, it becomes a little bit more put together. 

Since I'm not doing anything major, I just opted for this small, white H&M bag to hold my wallet, keys, and lipstick. It definitely does the trick and brightens up this otherwise black outfit. 

Gotta protect those eyes! If I'm not wearing my actual glasses, I'm most likely wearing sunglasses. I have so many pairs. These classic silver aviators were purchased at Forever 21. 

Thanks for reading! What's something easy you like to throw on? Does anyone else ever find themselves accidentally wearing all one brand? Leave a comment!
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Makeup Haul - Beautycon and Birthday Presents

I was so very lucky to be asked to work with Tattoo Junkee, an awesome brand of glitter body art, luxe tattoos and cosmetics at this years BeautyCon LA. It was amazing. On top of meeting all sorts of amazing people, I also got a couple little freebies that I'm really excited to share with you!

Also, my birthday recently passed and while I'm not sharing all the presents I received, I am going to show you my favorites that my boyfriend got me because they're items that I have been pining for. 
From left to right: Too Faced Flushed Blush, Maybelline Colossal Chaotic Lash Mascara, Crown Brush Duo "C476", Colour Pop Supershock, Tarte Tartelette Palette, Babylips, NYX Wicked Lippie in "Betrayal", NYX Matte Lip Cream in "Copenhagen", Kat Von D Inkliner in "Hemingway" and Makeup Forever Aquaeyes in white. 

It's a long list!

I'm going to quickly run down the specs of the mascara and the brush because I obviously didn't swatch either. I've seen the add campaign for this mascara several times and I was really taken aback. The lashes don't look appealing to me at all, so if I hadn't gotten it at BeautyCon, I probably would have never tried it out. I'm so glad I did, though! When applied lightly it does give volume without being clumpy or coating your lashes. I use it on days where I'm not wearing a lot of makeup and just want to wake my eyes up a little bit. 

The brush is incredibly lovely. This is my very first Crown Brush and it's my understanding that they can get a little pricey. Mine was given to me at BeautyCon, thankfully. It's a flat, fluffy shading brush on one end and a dense, soft pencil brush on the other. It's truly a dynamic duo. I'm obsessed with it.  

I have been craving this palette ever since I saw this tutorial on Youtube. The colors are so gorgeous and rich. They're majority cool toned, but I'm excited to but that to work this winter. The packaging gets an A plus from me. It snaps closed and has that beautiful ombre purple on the front and metallic gold lettering. It's very ironic considering every color in the palette is matte. For the $44, you get a lot of high-quality eyeshadows that are so versatile. The palette is well worth the money. 

All of the colors have decent pigmentation and are very buildable. They all look bright, even on my darker skin tone. 
Swatched here is the blush, both liners, the shadow, NYX matte lip cream and their Wicked Lippie, in that order from right to left. 
The blush comes with three different shades that you can use separately or flushed together. That's what I did for the swatch and it turns into this beautiful, cool toned hot pink. It has a minimal amount of gold flakes, but a serious amount of sheen. When I wear this blush I don't highlight my cheekbones with a powder highlight otherwise it's a little too much for my liking. 
My least favorite part about the MUFE liner is how it applies. It's a little bit chalky and uneven. I hope that if I apply it using a brush, it'll be a bit more opaque. 
I'm actually addicted to the Kat Von D Inkliners. I have to stop myself from buying more every time I walk into Sephora. Luckily, my Sephora has been sold out of the two colors I want: Neruda and Nietzsche. It goes on smooth, dries quickly and lasts forever. Not as long, I will say, as the Benefit They're Real Eyeliners, that are very tempting, especially since they've come out with new colors. I find the Inkliner easier to apply, however, and it doesn't dry out or clump up like the Benefit one. 
Supershock is a gorgeous, metallic eyeshadow by Colour Pop. Their shadows are typically $5, which is amazing for the quality. It's so pigmented and glittery in just one swatch and lasted longer on my arm than all of the Tarte ones. This has a little to do with the fact that the CP shadow is very creamy and soft, whereas the Tarte ones are pressed powders.
I've wanted Copenhagen for a quite a bit of time, simply because two of my best friends have the matte lip cream and I don't like being left out. It's a gorgeous deep burgundy, perfect for fall. The longevity and finish of the NYX lip creams are 100% quality. However, like most, it comes off like crazy when you eat. Small price to pay, though. If you want something that lasts through your food, MAC's Retro Mattes will do the trick. 
As my first NYX lipstick, I'm quite disappointed in the Wicked Lippie. It bleeds, it creases and the packaging feels cheap. For an easy dark color for a small price, it does the trick. I recommend testing out the Ruby Kisses lipsticks, however. I'll talk about it a lot more in a later post where I compare it and MAC's Cyber, in terms of shade. 

That is it for my haul! I promise to keep spending lots of money on makeup in order to share it. 
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Is JustFab a Scam?

At the beginning of the summer, I signed up for a VIP Membership with JustFab, the online shoe company that apparently provides you with a personalized selection of shoes each month, for only $39.95. We've all seen the commercials. However, the website does not put an immediate focus towards that, even though it's its entire premise. Instead, it wants you to look and all the clothes and purses it sells, the outfits you can create, and the many other ways you can spend your money on this website. Long story short, for my first purchase I bought a pair of black heeled flat forms for $15 that arrived about half a size too big. I decided to live with it after finding out their "Free Returns on Every Purchase" mantra wasn't true. Ever since then I've "skipped this month" in regards to having $39.95 taken out of my account preemptively. I would NEVER spend $40 on shoes that weren't even close to being designer. That's just...ugh. When I decided it's better to be safe than sorry, I cancelled my account. 

Yet, here I am with $39.95 taken out of my bank account by Just Fab. I did some online research and apparently Zuska of Literally Darling has had a similar experience. After taking her advice and forcing the representative to cancel my account (He kept going on about how I could buy something great with the credit I have), I received an email slightly afterward saying my account has been cancelled. My only worry is that I didn't receive a cancellation confirmation number, like Zuska reported receiving. I pressed the telephone representative for one and he said I would just get an email. This is different compared to a few women's stories on this Anti-JustFab Facebook page. After calling, many of them never received emails. 

Many women also reported that JustFab does not do refunds. They won't refund money for broken items, returns or after they take it out of your account with no warning. An honest company would remind buyers to "Skip This Month" before the 6th of each month comes, but JustFab doesn't do that. Instead, I received a "You have a credit!" email right after the money was withdrawn. They are essentially forcing their customer's hands and making us buy products because they already took the money and it's hard press to get it back. But I don't want shoes, I want justice. 

I'm very hopeful that my account has been cancelled. To prevent further unwanted payments to JustFab, I plan on calling my bank to 1) Dispute the money being taken out and 2) Stop all payments (including possible future payments) to the company. If my bank finds it difficult to get my money back, I'm going to dispute it on PayPal, where my card is connected. PayPal is brilliant at getting people's money back, no questions asked. The only problem is that you have to wait for the payment to be paid and not pending to do anything about it within your bank or PayPal. Although this seems kind of ridiculous (Why not stop it before it goes?), I'm doing some deep breathing and will get to it when it's possible. 

Is JustFab a scam? It's hard to say. They have some seriously shady techniques to get customers. The products are not the best. The customer service is *sigh* a handful. But I can't decide where the line between terrible company and scam is crossed. There are thousands of people, I'm sure, who have incredible experiences with them, even people who do cancel their accounts, but does that outweigh the hundreds of voices complaining and losing money? I don't believe so. If anything, it make it seem more secretive that they try to keep the numbers down to prevent any real uproar. Even on this real Class Action Lawsuit against the company, there are people commenting in defense of JustFab, proof that they've created an overly prominent fanbase to hide and discredit those wronged. 


I will not be taking my business back to JustFab and I strongly suggest, based on the testimonials of several other women, one who went so far as to file a lawsuit against the company, that you don't order from Just Fab either. 
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How To Get Rihanna's Makeup Look In BBHMM

Image Credit: Iconoclast
As obsessed as the world is with Rihanna's graphic new music video for "B*tch Better Have My Money", I'm equally obsessed with some of her edgy makeup looks. Here's a few products you can use to achieve her dark and mysterious aura without needing a professional on standby. 
get the look: BBHMM
Rihanna goes for a clean and matte face here, letting all the attention go straight to her eyes. Start off with the awesome Smashbox Primer (1) to help your makeup last and stay matte. 
For the best matte finish in a drugstore foundation opt for the Loreal Pro Matte Infallible Foundation (2). It'll make your skin look completely flawless without looking too much like you're wearing foundation. 
To get the deep contours Rihanna wears, use the new Lorac PRO Contour Palette (3). This is perfect for matching to your skintone and finding the perfect contour shape for your face. 
This wild smoky eye can be easily accomplished with the right cool toned and dark shades. The brand new Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette (4) has exactly what you need, just in time. The intense pigmentation will allow you to recreate Riri's eye's will very little effort. 
Finally, your lips complete the picture with MAC's Studded Kiss (5), a stunning oxblood red shade with a matte finish. The picture doesn't do it justice. 
Go crazy with this gorgeous and easy makeup look, courtesy of Rihanna and comment your fave part about the music video!
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How I'm Preparing to Move to London

With a month and half to go, I guess it's time to get serious. 

Before that, though, a quick update. You can now find me over at FreshU writing about the things you NEED to know about college before you step foot onto your campus.  

For most of this school year and summer I have been avoiding the subject of moving to London like most people avoid calories (I was running to those with arms wide open). Since I've recently applied for my Visa, however, I realized that I need to get serious soon or I'll find myself standing at Heathrow, freezing cold, looking like a tourist *shudders*. 

So, here's what I did, step by hesitant step. 

Step 1! 
Figure out what the weather is like in London. I know everyone says it rains 24/7, but that can't possibly be true, right? 

Right! My research has told me it does tend to have sporadic rains, but it's sunny and warm up until September. After that, it begins to chill, but not typically below freezing and very light snow. 

It sounds like good news, but I was born and raised in Southern California. Southern. California. The rumors about London may not be true, but the ones about California certainly are. It's hot no matter what time of year. It's hot when it rains, hails, thunderstorms and I swear it's hot when it snows (which is not very often). I carry this knowledge with me to Step 2.

Step 2!
Shop! The best time to buy winter clothes is summer. I think everyone knows that. Luckily, I happened to walk into H&M when they had an extra 30% off clearance items. I think my eyes became dollar signs for the next hour as I picked out scarves, gloves, and beanies. They were all between 70 cents and 3.50. I walked out with two pairs of gloves, two beanies, three scarves and a sense of accomplishment. 

Luckily, the shopping is not over yet. I still need rainy day essentials, like a rain coat, boots, and an umbrella. I've picked out these for three main reasons: style (duh), sustainability, and price. 

Hunter Boots are the go-to brand for rain boots. They're amazing quality, long lasting and so fashionable for such a necessary piece. Keep an eye out for my full post on my favorite Hunter Boots and eventual decision on which one to purchase--they're all so cute. 

This ASOS raincoat is fun, a look on its own, and very wearable. You can throw it over almost any outfit and it would add something instead of taking away or covering it up. I think I'll do a full rain coat post, too, considering it took me a few searches to decide on featuring this one. 

Both these umbrellas serve the same practical purpose, but very different style goals. The first is a definite statement piece. The shape and translucent plastic instantly draw attention. The best part is that because it's clear, it won't draw attention away from an outfit. 
The second is a very classic black umbrella. I love the traditional aspect along with the fact that it's not distracting and can go with any look. The beauty comes from the inner lining, a print of a bright blue sky and soft clouds. Such an easy and fun way to brighten up a gloomy day. 

Step 3!

Pack! I'll be doing a comprehensive overview of how I pack when it gets closer to that time, but for now my favorite packing tips. 
  • Roll your clothes, instead of folding. This makes it so that the clothes take up less surface area. 
  • Put smaller items inside larger ones. Shoes, boots, and rolled clothes make the perfect storing spaces for makeup, shampoo, and other relatively small items. That way, you aren't taking up extra space. You can even stuff small clothing items in boots and shoes. 
  • Finally, skip packing guidebooks. Almost everything you need to know is on the internet and if it isn't, you can buy one once you've arrived or talk to a local. 

Stay tuned for more of my preparations to move! It's gonna get crazy over here, but I can't wait to begin this journey & share it will y'all. 

Much love! 
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