My Favorite Urban Decay Products

ebblog faves urban decay

Urban Decay has come a looooong way since it’s initial offering of nail polish on the shelves of Hot Topic. Today the brand sports a wide variety of products that can make any beauty novice’s head spin. Like every beauty brand out there, the line sports some big hits and massive duds. I want to help you avoid the Urban Decay duds and give you what I feel are the standouts in the Urban Decay Line.

ebblog top urban decay

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil – There are some products that just don’t live up to their cult status and hype. The 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils deserve all the kudos they receive. These creamy, long wearing eye pencils definitely deserve all the praise they receive. Available in a stunning array of colors, there really is something for everyone in the 24/7 Glide-On Pencil line. While you might want to reach for trusty standby shades of brown or black, I suggest trying purples and greasy too as an alternative to “safe” colors. My picks are Smoke, Mushroom, Invasion, Vice and Empire.

urban decay optical blurring brush top urban deca picks

Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush – This face brush is hands down my favorite brush ever! It works with cream and liquids to give a perfect finish that you just have to see to believe. The Optical Blurring Brush handles well, has the perfect weight to it and also works to blend blush/bronzer/highlight. As a makeup artist it’s rare for me to be like, “OMG you must has dis brush??!”. The Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush is a definite must have.

urban decay top picks mascara

L to R: Cannonball, Perversion and SuerCurl

Mascaras – Urban Decay does mascaras very, VERY well. With one exception (the new Fatty is HORRID!) you can’t really go wrong with Cannonball (Waterproof), Supercurl or Perversion. I love all three and use them each for different purposes. Cannonball when I need a waterproof option. Perversion when I want dark, glossy, intense lashes. Supercurl when I am looking for a denser, thicker lash or to hold a curl. I own all three and reach for them all equally but if I had to choose just ONE: Perversion ALL the way!

naked basics top urban decay

Naked Basics – If you own one Urban Decay palette than the original Naked Basics is the one you SHOULD own. You can go from light wear, to work wear and then kick up for a smokey, night time look. All five shades in this palette are stunning, easy to work with and long wearing. Good mattes are hard to find and a predominantly matte palette that is not a chalk fest is even harder to find. Naked Basics is under $30 which also makes it a great palette at an awesome price.

all nighted urban decay top products

All Nighter Setting Spray – I find that not everyone needs to “set” there makeup with a powder. I only really recommend a powder to set if your really oily OR wearing a tinted moisturizer/BB/CC/DD/FF/AA cream and you’re looking to pump up the overage. Setting powders can be really hard to work with and they can take your perfect look to cake town if you’re not careful. Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is the perfect way to “set” your makeup without cake face OR correct cake face. Yes, you can fix over powdering with All Nighter (or any facial spray). Just spritz some All Nighter on a fluffy brush and gently buff away the excess powder on your face. You can also buy All Nighter in smaller purse sized travel packaging making touch ups easy!

24/7 glide-on lip pencils top urban decay

24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils – The cousin of their ultra famous 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils, their lip pencil options are JUST as fabulous! The 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils are long wearing, they stay in place and they will keep your lip color locked in place for hours. What you don’t hear about these lip pencils is how creamy and pigmented the 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils are. You can actually wear these all over lips (over a great balm if you suffer form dry chapped lips) without the tugging you normally get with most pencils. In the 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil have a liner and long wearing lip color in one. Not looking for any color, try Ozone for a clear liner that keeps your lippies in place and adds subtle definition to your lips.

Honorable Mention goes to Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Foundation. It wears for hours, looks like skin, provides great coverage and photographs well. It can be a little drying so if you have drier, flakey skin this is not a foundation for you.

What are your favorites from Urban Decay? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Fall 2014 Beauty Haul

ebblog fall haul 2014


The fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite time of year. There is nothing I dislike about the fall except maybe the rain but whatevs. I’ve been on a bit of a spending spree as of late so I figured I would share my beauty related purchases with everyone. I do want to say that Ulta Beauty has the best rewards program ever especially if you get salon services there (which I do!). I used my points to redeem to pay for some of the products below. Aaaaaaand now on to my Fall 2014 Haul!


ebblog fall 2014 haul bags


Make Up Forever Artists Shadows and Artist Palette – Special shout out to Cosmetically-Challenged because she really made me excited for this new line of gel to powder shadows from Make Up Forever. You can create your own palette OR you can choose to purchase the Artist’s palette. I opted for both. You do get a discount when you create your own palette (two or three pan palette) making the shadows a bit more affordable.

T3 Single Pass Compact Iron – I need a new flat iron badly and I prefer a smaller, compact flat iron because my arms get tired really, really fast. I had been on the fence about this because it’s got just a single heat setting but it gets great reviews and I think it’s time to graduate from Chi to T3.


ebblog fall 2014 haul products 1


Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – I bought the full size because I loved the sample I got in last month’s Ipsy bag.

MAC Strobe Cream – The best thing about free standing MAC Stores is they sell everything so I was able to get a travel size Strobe Cream for $10.

MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Designer Purple – My obsession with purple is real this season!

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Highly Charged – Moar purple!

ebblog fall haul 2104 products 2


Shea Moisture Super Fruit Complex Shampoo and Hair Masque (not pictured) – I have to thank Daydreaming Beauty for inspiring me to try this line out. Before vacation I went pretty blonde which ended up really drying my hair out. I recently went back to my natural hair color and I am hoping these products help infuse my hair with moisture.

Redken Wax Blast 10 – A recommendation from my stylist.

Too Faced Cat Eye Palette – I have been on a Too Faced high recently. Hopefully that keeps up with this incredibly cute palette!

Urban Decay Shadow Box – It was the Urban Decay Ammo Palette that really jump started my beauty obsession and this was more of a nostalgic purchase. Plus it’s pretty!

Essence All About Nude Eyeshadow – A curiosity purchase. I have seen a few good review on their new palettes. This was the one that spoke to me.

Essence Stay No Matter What Eyeshadow Pencil in Whipped White Frosting – I was craving frosting and this eyeshadow pencil is beyond pretty. I have high hopes for this!

Essence Crystal Liner in Sparkling Purple – I’m addicted to adding just a little bit of glitter to my outter v, to give it that little bit of pop.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Flash Dance – I had a $20 Nordstrom Note and I got this. It’s such a GORGEOUS color! Perfect for my toes on fall!

City Color Barely Exposed – Last but not least… I grabbed this at Five Below. I loved my last City Colors purchase so I thought I’d try this.

There you have it, my Fall 2014 haul. I am going to TRY and go on a no buy but I suspect that is going to get really, really hard for me given that Holiday 2014 is literally right around the corner. Have you been on a shipping kick lately? What are some of the new items you have picked up?


August 2014 Faves


ebblog august 2014 faves

I cannot believe it’s September already? Where has this year gone? August was a weird month for us here in the Chi. It was downright cool at some points but Summer came roaring back the last few weeks of August and it has been pretty humid and hot, yuck! I had a few favorites for the month of August, some of them are predictable (obviously!) and some of them are brand new. But because of the heat I can honesty say that I wore very minimal makeup for more than half of the month.

ebblog august 2014 faves

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick – Honestly, if you haven’t tried this you are missing out! I’m fairly consistent when it comes to favorite products and this foundation has been my go to since I bought it waaaaaay back when it first launched. My official review is here.

batiste dry shampoo august 2104

Forgot to include this in my group shot!

Batiste Dry Shampoo Fruity & Cheeky Cherry – A recent discovery for me. I grabbed a can of this prior to leaving for Mexico in July and I fell in love with it. I just bought another can of the Fruity & Cheeky Cherry scent and I got one for brunettes. Batiste is an affordable dry shampoo option at 7.99 and it works better then most high end dry shampoos I have tried. The scent is more fruity than cherry but it smells really, really good.  This particular scent absorbs oil and freshens my hair very well. It also adds a nice, long lasting volume. You can find Batiste Dry Shampoos in a variety of scents at various stores. I buy mine at Ulta and Walgreens.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – Ok, so I like this better than my previous fave L’Oreal Miss Manga. Perversion is ultra black, ultra shiny goodness folks! I know, I know I kind of dogged on the mascara in my August 2014 Ipsy Bag review BUT I am a woman and therefore allowed to change my mind. I really, really LOVE this mascara. Against my fair skin it just makes my lashes “POP”. Perversion doesn’t clump my lashes, it’s extremely easy to build up and the brush/wand is the bomb. This mascara gives me just the right amount of oomph for any occasion.  I just bought a full size yesterday. =)

Serenity + Scott Powder Foundation – I discovered this brand at TMS Chicago this year. Their Powder Foundation is the bee’s knees. And when combined with my Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick I get perfect, natural looking skin. I’ve never used a powder foundation that mimics natural skin like this one. It is fabulous: wears softly on the skin, doesn’t stick to drier patches on the skin, or “sit” on top of the skin. I finally found a powder foundation that I like.

Urban Decay Naked Lipgloss in Naked – This was the ONLY product I have used on my lips for the past month (until my Berry obsession which happened at the tail end of August). Naked is the perfect shade of sheer peachy pink for me. It’s just gorgeous with an added bonus of not drying my lips out as it has some née moisturizing properties packed in it.. I also adore the packaging, it’s very luxe and a definite conversation starter.

Anastasia Brow Wiz – Try as I may I cannot find anything that replaces my beloved Anastasia Brow Wiz. I love a natural brow that has some skin peaking through. And I can get this effect with my beloved Brow Wiz. The skinny tip is perfect for creating a natural brow and I like the spoolie on the end. This is an all in one product for me but if it’s insanely muggy out I do need to set it with a powder.

As you can tell by now I went ultra natural for August 2104. Was it hot and muggy in your neck of the woods like it was here? What were your faves for the month of August 2014?



bare Minerals Destination Glow

bare Minerals Destination Glow ebblog

bare Minerals Destination Glow is a six piece (including the totally adorable mini tote) limited edition set for the Summer 2014 from bare Minerals. This set includes five full sized items and retails for $39.oo. The retail value of the bare Minerals Destination Glow set if purchased separately is $87. I want to say this is an Ulta exclusive as I have not seen it anywhere else. It is still available on the Ulta site and in stores.

bare Minerals Destination Glow contents ebblog

The beyond adorable bare Minerals Destination Glow summer set is definitely beach themed. All of the products included in the Destination Glow set are designed to be either long wearing, waterproof or hydrating all optimal for outdoor summer wear. Not that I normally wear makeup to the beach but I would wear the items in Destination Glow to an amusement park, a BBQ or some other summer destination. The set breaks down like this:

bare Minerals Destination Glow BB Eye Cream

5-In-1 Advanced BB Perfomance Cream Eye Shadow Broad Spectrum 15 in Soft Linen (0.10 oz.) – I bought this set just for this product because at the time these were only available exclusively in sets. You can now purchase the 5-In-1 BB Performance Cream Eye Shadow on the bare Minerals site and I believe these officially launch in store soon. 5-In-1 Advanced BB Perfomance Cream Eye Shadow are touted to wear for 12 hours and unfortunately Soft Linen did not stand up to the heat and humidity of Chicago’s summer. I wore Soft Linen on a hot, humid day without primer and it creased within an hour. When used with a primer or as a primer I had no issues with lasting power or fading. The formula itself is very soft, creamy, easy to apply, blends well and sets to a powder-like consistency. The “bb” aspects of it are really just fluff with one exception, Soft Linen did brighten up my tired eyes. The product itself is housed in a frosted glass tube and it is applied with a doe foot applicator, much like the classic Urban Decay Primer Potion. I like this product but I am iffy about buying any other shades as I feel Soft Linen is the best shade for me and the other shades in the line appear to be more on the lines of neutral skin tones as opposed to straight on color.

bare Minerals Destination Glow ebblog eyeshadow

Riviera Eye Color in Sunbaked Bronze (0.02 oz.) – The perfect shade of shimmery bronze for the summer. I thoroughly enjoyed this shade as it can be applied lightly or a sheer wash or layered for an intense, almost smoky finish. Sunbaked Bronze was the first time I had ever used a loose bare Minerals eyeshadow and I had no fall out issues applying it from the jar to my face. Sunbaked Bronze wore for hours upon hours over primer without primer I got a good hour crease free. I would like to state that I have oily, hooded lids so very few product

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Full Size Flawless Definition Waterproof Mascara in Black (0.33 fl. oz.) – I was not exactly wowed by this mascara. While long wearing and waterproof, it is very difficult to remove and I don’t really feel it does much for me in terms of volume and length. It does deliver in the definition promise but Flawless Definition Waterproof Mascara will clump while attempting to layer it. The formula reminds me of an expensive version of Covergirl’s Clump Crusher Mascara without the ability to keep adding layers without clumping. The brush is a very full and made of synthetic hair like bristles. Flawless Definition Waterproof Mascara will work for me on the days when I need a waterproof mascara and those are few and far between: beach/water park days.

bare Minerals Destination Glow review

Faux Tan Matte All Over Face Color (0.05 oz.) – I have to admit I didn’t like this when I swatched it. Faux Tan Matte looked almost orange and I didn’t think it would work for me. Surprisingly, Faux Tan Matte works very well to add a sun kissed glow to my skin. I don’t think I could use this to contour with as it would probably look a little muddy but just a touch of this on the high points of my face gives me just the right amount of bronzy, summer glow. On it’s own the wear time will vary depending on your skin type. I had no issues with it on my cheeks, forhead and chin. It faded on the bridge of my nose in two hours when wore alone. Combined with a primer and foundation I had ZERO wear issues with bare Mineral Faux Tan Matte All Over Face Color.

bare Minerals Destination Glow review

Loud & Clear Lip Sheer in Magenta Vibe (0.07 oz.) – Hands down, my favorite item in this set. If you don’t know by now I am not a bright/loud/bold lip girl. The Loud & Clear Lip Sheer in Magenta Vibe is just perfect for me! It’s the perfect punch of color without being too much for me. Magenta Vibe is a tinted lip balm which is meant to be on the sheer side, imparting just enough color and moisture. It doesn’t bleed all over but it also not a very long wearing product either. Wear time aside it is a lip balm that is perfect to toss in your purse for those days when you need a hint of color and moisture. Magenta Vibe is exclusive to this set as far as I know.

swatches bare Minerals Destination Glow ebblog review

Top to Bottom: Faux Tan Matte All Over Face Powder, Loud & Clear Lip Sheer in Magenta Vibe, 5-In-1 Advanced BB Perfomance Cream Eye Shadow Broad Spectrum 15 in Soft Linen and
Riviera Eye Color in Sunbaked Bronze

full face bare Minerals Destination Glow review Ashley Pena

Ready for that summertime BBQ! Foundationless face, dark eyeliners are Urban Decay, brows by Anastasia and concealer is from The Balm, everything else is bare Minerals Destination Glow.

All in all, I really like bare Minerals Destination Glow. I was surpised that my favorite of the bunch is the Loud & Clear Lip Sheer in Magenta Vibe. I really want to try more from this line of bare Minerals products.  As I mentioned before this appears to be an Ulta exclusive which means that if you are signed up to receive their e-mails they occasionally offer discounts on their bare Minerals products and picking bare Minerals Destination Glow on a discount is a GREAT deal. Have you tried this set? Do you have any bare Mineral faves?


L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara Black 373

miss manga package ebblog

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara is one of their newest mascara offerings here in the United States. It contains .27 Fl Oz of product and it retails for around $7.00.  Originally available elsewhere in three shades: Black, Violet and Turquoise, I was only able to find Black. Miss Manga is seeing a limited release run right now (it is not even on the L’Oreal USA website) but it should be widely available by Summer 2014. I am not sure if we will be seeing the Violet or Turquoise shades.


I found Miss Manga at my local Bed. Bath and Beyond. Did you know that some of them sell makeup? Odd, but whatevs! She was chilling like a villain, dangling in front of the L’Oreal shelves. They did not have an official display for the line which is why I cannot confirm if the other two shades are coming, all they had was Black. The packaging claims:

  1. 15X lash volume in a flash!
  2. Clump free, flake free and smudge free.
miss manga pnda ebblog

Manga pandas faces!

Can we talk about the packaging for a minute? How adorable is the little manga panda character? That is what initially drew me in. I’m a sucker for cutesy packaging. The tube itself is very sleek and pretty. I adore the hot metallic pink cap, it makes this mascara easy for em to find in my makeup bag. I also like the script style of “Miss Manga”. I’m weird, I know.

Ok, so on to the ACTUAL product. I will admit I did not pay attention to much of the packaging claim because I was so distracted by the little manga panda and I am glad I didn’t because I might not have bought it. Miss Manga has a similar wand to the Maybelline’s Volum Express Mega Plush, it is hinged at one point. That was an immediate turn off for me. I did not care for the feature on the Maybellina mascara so I was SURE I was going to hate Miss Manga. Thankfully, I was wrong.  Miss Manga has it going on in two places: the brush and the formula. The brush itself is composed of fiber bristles in a conical shape. The brush makes it beyond easy to get into every crevice around your eye for even application.

miss manga review ebblog

Miss Manga’s formula is FANTASTIC. It reminds me very much of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, just with a better brush. It is on the drier side, which makes it great for ladies with sparse and/or thinner lashes (like me!) but it delivers on all of the promises. Upon initial application you might notice some very slight clumping but just work the brush through your lashes and you’ll be amazed how quickly your lashes separate and gain volume. Surprisingly I also got some length out of this mascara as well. My lashes have a natural curve, so I cannot attest to how well Miss Manga will hold your curl if you have stick straight lashes. They are also uneven: my left lashes are sparser than my right lashes. Miss Manga wore like a champ for well over 8 hours with no smudging or flaking and was very easy to remove.

ashley pena miss manga ebblog

Miss Manga applied to the left eye. No mascara on the right. I am wearing my typical daily eye makeup. My lashes on my right eye are about double the thickness of the lashes on my left naturally.  Miss Manga evened them out nicely!

As I mentioned this previously, Miss Manga’s formula is on the drier, thick side so it probably will not work for those of you with fuller lashes, although I noticed no change on my right lashes. I suggest storing Miss Manga upright (the wand pointing down) so it won’t dry out as fast as a wetter mascara will. As of right now, this is my go to mascara for thick, dramatic lashes. Miss Manga is NOT a replacement for false lashes, but it will give you a nice, smokey, full lash. I really wish the photo did it more justice. For under $8 Miss Manga is a steal.