Absolute New York Matte Lipstick Review!

Hi everyone! I received this little beauty in my November Ipsy Glam Bag! As I do every month, I’ll be posting my first impressions of everything I received in my Glam Bag soon!  But in the meantime, I wanted to share a quick review and some swatches of Absolute New York Cosmetic’s Matte Stick in Dark Red. This is the first time I’ve tried any products from this brand…actually now that I think about it, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this brand before!  As soon as I opened this lipstick and swatched it, it easily became the MVP and highlight of my November Ipsy bag.


The name of this shade gets right to the point- Dark Red. If I could rename this shade I’d name it Snow White Kiss, Candy Apple Red, or Rudolf… ok so maybe I shouldn’t quit my dayjob and become a make up shade namer. But really, if you wanted my opinion, I think this is more a bright red than it is a dark red.

One of my favorite things about this lipstick is that it is super creamy and feels soft and silky on the lips. This matte lipstick didn’t make my lips feel overly dry like matte liquid lipsticks tend to do. It doesn’t necessarily feel hydrating, but definitely not drying. This lipstick has a slightly shiny finish at first, and then dries matte.


Here is this lipstick swatched on 2 different skin tones! As you can see from the swatches below, the pigmentation of the shade is thick enough that it stays a true beautiful red shade on both skin tones. On my tan-ish skin tone, the shade looks like a darker hued hot pink when the light hits it in certain angles. But overall, this shade stays a true red!


As far as how long this lipstick lasts, I tried to blot it away on the back of my hand and after 4 or 5 pats, my lipstick print on the back of my hand started getting lighter and lighter, but surprisingly, the shade still looked bright on my lips. Even though the shade stayed on my lips, it is definitely NOT smear proof. A couple of good rubs and the lipstick turned into a hot mess. I don’t anticipate this lipstick to stay put during a meal. When it was time to take this lipstick off, I tried my very hardest to wipe it off with a tissue and the shade noticeably stained my lips and I was left with a light pink tint.

Overall, I was super impressed with this lipstick! Because this lipstick is such good quality, I assumed that this would be around $30. To my surprise, this lipstick is only $4.99! And there are 18 shades to choose from! Check em out here!

Have you tried this lipstick? Let me know what you think!!

8 - Edited

Continue Reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your families!

Between my boyfriend’s family and mine, we have 4 Thanksgiving dinners/lunches to go to! The first one starts in t-minus 45 minutes 🙂

I’m thankful for a lot this year! For my amazing family and friends all over the world, Chris, my puppy, my little turtle, my job.. the list is endless.

I’m also extremely thankful that I finally brought my vision and blog to life this year. Thank you to everyone who has shown their support for Beyond the Swatch! It’s been a great experience so far. I’ve met a lot of incredible new bloggers and fellow makeup enthusiasts and reconnected with friends & family members that I haven’t talked to in a long time by bonding through our love of makeup! This blog has also given me the chance to revisit my love for writing, not just writing about makeup but about everything and anything!

So if you’re reading this right now… THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! Have a great Thanksgiving!!




Continue Reading

Lip Product That Lasts Up to 18 Hours?? I Put That to the Test!

Yup! A lip color that is said to last anywhere from 4-18 hours! Dream come true or just wishful thinking?

Here is my review of Lipsense Liquid Lipstick in shade Praline Rose! ($25)

This product was sent to me by The Lipstick Guru! Check out her website and IG page for more Lipsense products!

I wanted to share with you all a breakdown of my first day using Lipsense to show how this product lasted throughout a typical day. Here we go!


November 6th 2016!

10AM: First Impression! Woke up on this beautiful Sunday morning sans alarm clocks (gotta love that feeling) and got ready for the day!  I applied 3 layers of the Lipsense color, waiting 3-5 seconds in between each layer to let it dry, as advised on the directions. Not gonna lie, when I first read that I need to apply 3 layers and wait for them to dry in between applications, the impatient lazy girl in me cringed a little. But 3-5 seconds goes quick and the layers dry fast! Heres a swatch of 1 layer of shade on my wrist. You can see how light the formula is. Notice the lovely, subtle shimmer as well.

1029161028a_wm swatch2

The formula felt watery & light when I applied it and immediately made my lips feel sticky. On a random note, I thought that it smelled really good!  Warning- the first layer definitely stings when you apply it.  The stinging feeling is similar to how it feels when you use a lip plumper. The stinging stopped when I applied the next 2 layers. With each layer I could feel the product cling onto my lips and sink into every crevice and fine line. It felt like the product was actually seeping into my lips instead of just layering on top of it. And finally, after the 3 layers of color, I sealed the lip color with the clear glossy gloss ($20).

10:01AM: Praline Rose in particular matched my natural lipcolor almost to the tee. The shade of the lipstick looked matte and dry by itself and then looked glossy after applying the clear gloss top coat. Little traces of sparkle shined in the lipcolor which I really liked. One thing is that I had to get used to was the way the product made my lips feeling so dry and sticky.

See the swatches below of the Praline Rose under inside light and under natural light!

img_20161120_181053_wm img_20161120_181220-1_wm

11AM- Coffee and Breakfast at Starbucks! See my lipstick mark on my Pumpkin Spice Latte? Me either! I was extremely impressed at the staying power and that I didn’t see any trace of my lipcolor on my cup or on my sandwich while I ate. I typically avoid putting on lipstick or lipgloss if I know I’m going to be eating soon or I have to spend a couple minutes blotting my lipstick away on a napkin before eating a meal. So overall, the fact that the lipcolor stayed where it should (on my lips) even after drinking and eating was super exciting to me.


1PM/2PM:   In between grocery shopping, running errands, and basic adulting, I checked a mirror and noticed that the lip color was slightly faded in the inner parts of my lips. Not noticeably, just enough for me to notice if I was really paying attention. But overall, the lipcolor was still in tact.

4PMish: Wasn’t hungry for lunch this day so I snacked on a granola bar & triscuits and checked my lipcolor after. By this point, my lipcolor was noticeably faced in the inner parts of my lips. I tried rubbing my lips with my hand to see if the rest of the color would smear, and it stayed put! I also noticed that the lip color was less shiny as it was before.

5PM:  The product completely disappeared in the inner part of my lips and only a ring of color on the outline of my lips was still there.

7PM:  After dinner, the lipcolor was completely gone.

Overall thoughts:

This lipcolor is said to last anywhere from 4-18 hours. I can personally vouch for the first 4 hours. Overall I was impressed to find a lipstick that lasts through a meal without having to reapply, which immediately categorized this product as a winner… even if it didn’t last the entire 18 hours.

The day that I wrote about in this post was a pretty light eating day (very rare for me), so this may have been a reason the color lasted as long as it did. I wore Lipsense today to a party where I ate (a lot), and after about an hour or two, I felt the lipcolor flaking off my lips.

Long story short…. Lipsense has impressed me enough that I will most definitely be purchasing more products! I’ve found it pretty difficult to find a lipstick that stays put throughout the day without reapplying, even with lipcolors that are said to be “long lasting”. Each lipcolor is $25, which is typically a little more than I spend on lipstick. But, the fact that I can eat and drink without worrying that my lipstick is going to get everywhere, makes it easy for me to justify the cost. Praline Rose is a subtle shade against my skintone and natural lipcolor, so I am looking forward to trying more shades!


Let me know what you think! Have you tried Lipsense before? How long has the product lasted for you? What are your favorite shades?

8 - Edited


Continue Reading

Love, Love, Love…..


Hi everyone! First off, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the Veterans out there for your service and sacrifice! We will be forever grateful. Happy Veteran’s day!!! Secondly, I’ll be logging off for the weekend to let the events of this week sink in and give myself some time to process everything. A central theme of my blog is embracing diversity in the makeup industry. But outside of my blog- diversity, inclusion, and showing compassion for everyone regardless of their background is something that I take very seriously and that I’m extremely passionate about every day. I’m taking the weekend off to spend some much needed quality time with people that I love. ?
Be kind, show empathy, spread some love and have a great weekend!”

I wrote this last Friday while my boyfriend and I were on our way to visit my little sister. At that moment, I was feeling a little down and I’ll admit that I let myself drown in my thoughts, sadness, and anger for a couple days.  Sometimes all it takes to ease a burdened mind and a heavy heart is some quality time with your loved ones, fresh beach air, California sunshine, and a break from reading posts on social media. Oh yeah, and wine… can’t forget the wine! All these things don’t solve everything, but it definitely helps to feel and give a little love and light.

Here are some suggestions on how to spread some happiness today!

  • Hold the door open for a stranger
  • Smile at anyone and everyone
  • Leave positive comments on someone’s blog or Instagram
  • Compliment someone!
  • Text/reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Assume positive intent in people… this one is harder said than done
  • If you see someone who seems sad or having a hard time with something, offer some support
  • Do something to make yourself happy too! Go shopping, treat yourself, relax, write, sing, dance, laugh… whatever makes you feel good!


1112161333_wm 1113161138_wm


Continue Reading

October Ipsy Glam Bag First Impressions!

Happy November, everyone!

I wanted to share my October Ipsy bag with you all! Better late then never right?

I’m going to try something different this time around…in the past I’ve written first impression reviews and swatches on all the items in my Ipsy bag in one single post, but this time, I’m going to share my quick first impressions in this post, and then  share swatches and a more in depth product reviews in separate little baby posts! Let’s see how it goes!

I’ve been subscribed to Ipsy for about 6 months now, and overall I’ve been enjoying a lot of the products that I’ve received! But on the flip side, I have been disappointed by some of the random products too. I’ll admit, some Glam Bags have been more exciting than others.  An average Glam Bag seems to consist of 2-3 make up products + 1 skin care or hair product + a cosmetics tool or nail polish.

So without further adieu (took 6 tries to get that word spelled correctly)… here are my first impressions of the products I got in my Ipsy Glam Bag!


The makeup bag: ADORABLE. First off, I’m a sucker for anything baby pink, and the cute little Halloween cartoon drawings makes this bag even cuter. I may use this bag even outside of Halloween season!

The Balm Shadow/Blush in Cabana Boy. I immediately get excited when I receive The Balm products because I’ve loved this brand in the past. I extra like the fact that this eye shadow doubles as a blush! It’s nice rose, mauvey, pink shade that would be perfect for a blush shade. One thing I would comment on is that I wish the sample size was a little bigger. The size is just enough to pick up some product with your finger to use as eyeshadow but it would be hard to use this as a blush.



Pur-lisse Daily Lip Nourisher with Mango & Shea Butter. The packaging states that it hydrates,nourishes, heals, softens, is petroleum free and for all skin types. After quick application, I noticed that 1) it smells good 2) tastes pretty good too! Kinda like mango starburst… is there a mango starburst flavor? I don’t know but that’s the first thing that popped in head. 3) Thick consistency, like Vaseline.  4) Definitely made my lips feel instantly soft.


TreStique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Belize Bourdeaux. Always love getting lipsticks in my Glam Bag! Can’t have too many different lipstick brands and shades in your collection. I tend to only buy nude or pink shades of lipstick for myself, so it’s always good to expand my palette with the new shades that I receive! This shade at first glance looks like a deep burgundy red. Swatches and a more in depth product review to follow!


Kokie Professional Nail Polish. This is the 3rd or 4th nail polish I’ve received in my Glam Bag in the last 6 months. It’s great because you receive a full sized nail polish, but I personally don’t paint my nails as often as most people. So the nail polishes I receive go unused. I’ve never heard or used this brand before but the packaging and shade are both really cute! Maybe all these nail polishes will motivate me to paint my own nails someday!


Ciate Fierce Flicks Felt Eye Liner. First off, I didn’t know that Ciate made makeup! I’ve always associated them as a nail polish brand.  Secondly, I’m not a huge fan of felt eye liners because they feel sorta marker-like to me BUT as soon as I swatched this eyeliner, I was super impressed with the pigmentation and quality. More to follow on this one as well!


Swatches and product reviews to follow! Stay tuned!

8 - Edited


Continue Reading

What I’ve Learned from Being a Big Sister

This post is very near and dear to my heart because it’s about my one and only BABY sister, Marci, who just turned 21 years old on Halloween this year. Ok ok, 21 is hardly baby age, but she’ll always be a baby to me!


I felt like one minute I was giving my little baby sister makeovers (like this dalmatian look you see right here), and then I blinked and all the sudden she turned into this gorgeous, smart, hilarious, witty GROWN UP who I go to for literally everything..whether it be advice about my career, personal life, my blog, ANYTHING. Somehow, my younger sister has taken the role of older sister and taken care of me in more ways than she’ll ever know.


Not only has she been one of the very most important people in my life since I was six years old, she has been an incredible influence on this blog. She is my social media adviser… almost all pictures and posts get her approval first! She keeps me up to date on young people lingo… for example when she had to explain to me what “on fleek” meant.


3 out of the many things I’ve learned while being her big sister….

How to truly care about someone else. I can definitely relate to Katniss Everdeen when she volunteered herself as tribute in place of her little sister- because there is no doubt in my mind that I would do the same for Marci. We’re 6 years apart so our age gap has been significant for most of our lives and that has always made me protective of her. I constantly worry about her well-being, get nervous for her during her first day of school, always hope that she makes the right decisions in life, etc. And every time I’ve been nervous about her, she’s proven she can totally handle it and that I had nothing to worry about!

Patience.  My sister and I are 6 years apart. I grew up watching my friends with their siblings who were super close in age laugh and play with each other and I remember being so excited to finally have a relationship like that with my baby sister. I quickly found out at 6 years old that new born babies don’t really do much at all. I remember one time, I literally sat around next to her crib and told myself that I would “sit right here and wait until she’s old enough to actually play with me”.  Hence- patience!

How to be a grown up. Marci gives me the best advice and has no problem telling me how it is. Her most recent gem of advice that has super stuck with me was “stop wearing yoga pants and Hello Kitty shirts everyday and get your life together!”

Overall…. She is a constant reminder that family always comes first and how amazing it is to have someone to love and care about you as much as you love and care about them.

What I can promise her as her big sister: I will always be there for her no matter what.  No matter how much we bicker or fight like sisters tend to do! Anytime she needs me, I will literally drop ANYTHING for her!!


I will always love and care for her (this includes being extra protective-can’t help it sorry!!)


Marci-pie, I love you with all my heart, always have, always will!!!



Continue Reading