how to get the perfect bun + apply eyeshadow without looking like a clown

There are two things that make a cold, dreary day a little happier: frivolous pretty things, and free things. I hit the jackpot with free frivolous pretty things! (Thanks, Influenster.)

Today, for your reading pleasure, I review two of the fun items in my Beauty Vox Box.

1. Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins

What it is: Two metal springs that keep your hair in a bun, sans hair ties or bobby pins.

First thoughts: Cute idea, but totally not going to work in my layered, fairly thick hair.

How it works: Twirl your hair into a bun, then twist the pins into your hair. Done.

Tips: In the photo, I’m rocking a side bun. (For some reason I dubious about wearing a bun that I can’t see from the front. It feels like I have no hair. Is anyone else this neurotic?) The side bun didn’t hold up throughout the day, but I think that’s due to layers and running errands in the wind. To get my hair out of my face, I pulled my hair into a higher top knot, which stayed in place post-nap and into the evening.

The verdict: It took a couple tries, but it was a success! Perfect for achieving a pulled-together look in about a minute. I look forward to playing with the pins in the future for different looks. I’d rate the pins a B+. They’re $7.29 at your local store.

2. NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact

What it is: Eyeshadow compact with four eyeshadows, one illuminator and one primer.

First thoughts: This stuff is cheap and isn’t going to stick!

Tips: I received the compact with a black/gray color palette. While I normally wear black eyeliner and mascara, I stick with easily blended neutral shadows. The first time I attempted a smokey eye with this compact, it was disastrous. I seriously looked like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. Yikes. It came off easily, thankfully. Don’t put these on heavy handed! The next time I applied, I stuck witha light gray and a tiny dab of black smudged in the corner of my eye. Much better. I wore with Lancome eyeliner and Clinique mascara.

The verdict: For $5, it would be a fun way to add a little drama to your makeup bag. I really like the primer (it helps the shadow stay), and the gray is good for blending. The silver highlighter is a little too middle school for me, and it’s easy to go overboard and end up looking like a Kardashian after a long night out. I’d try it again in a more neutral color palette — the shadow is pretty pigmented, which isn’t always the case when it comes to drugstore makeup. Still, I think quality over quantity applies, which means I’ll probably spend a little more for one shadow and less chemicals rather than less for more shadows and more chemicals. I’d rate it a B-. It goes for $4.99 at most chain retailers.

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About Kayla

I'm a full-time journalist turned work-at-home writer. I'm hitched to a shaggy-haired pastor and we're smitten with two wild + crazy boys: Joseph (3), who joined our family via international adoption, and Asher (1), who came the old-fashioned way. I drink strong coffee, I like pretty things, and I believe there's beauty in the broken. I hope Many Sparrows will encourage you to find worth and live a story worth sharing. When I’m not changing diapers and sweeping Cheerios, I’m tickling the ivory keys of my old school MacBook as a freelance writer and editor. And when I’m not doing that, I’m sneaking into the living room in the wee hours of the night to blog about all of the things. (Primarily faith, family, style, adoption, design, and happy thoughts.)
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