Monday, January 31, 2011

Makeup Forever HD Microperfecting Primer in #1 - Review

One thing I would love to change about my skin is the ruddiness on my cheeks - it's hell to get a blush to look even when you have surface redness going on. After much deliberation, I broke down and bought MUFE's "Microperfecting Primer" in #1, the green shade.

This retails from Sephora for $32. As with all MUFE, Sephora is the exclusive retailer of their products (unless you happen to live near one of the MUFE stores) in the U.S. According to Sephora, this is "A lightweight, oil-free complexion corrector that enhances the skin's texture and primes the skin for makeup application. [This product] deeply nourishes, moisturizes, and softens the skin, creating a glowing effect. Creates a protective layer on the skin allowing foundation to glide on easily and last longer." The green shade is supposed to "minimize redness."

For the price, you may be questioning the value. Packaged in a taller, more slender tube than it's foundation counterpart, the HD Primer gives you 1 fluid oz of product - which isn't bad, considering I only use a fraction of a pump with each use.

The amount above is enough for me to cover the red on my cheeks, and have a bit left over for my nose, if I need it. I've had my current tube of this primer for about 10 months, and am about halfway through it. As you can see, the product is very pigmented. Texture-wise, it feels like a gel. It does feel hydrating, but I wouldn't want to use this as a moisturizer, due to the pigmentation. The first time I used this, I used it all over my face - HUGE mistake. This is meant to be a targeted-use product. When overused, at least in my experience, you look a bit jaundiced, which isn't exactly flattering.

I can't say I have noticed my foundation applying any better (or worse) than usual, or lasting any longer where I have this product applied. My cheeks tend to be normal/dry. Because of the texture, I think this primer would be okay on oily skin, too. Because of the pigmentation of this product, it really does allow me to wear blushes and have them show up without piling them on.

Overall, this is a fantastic product! Because so little is needed, I feel the price is fine. Sure, it'd be awesome if it were cheaper, but you get a ton of product, and don't need a large amount. I'd strongly recommend this product to any one who has redness, like moi.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation - Review

When I was a teenager (13), I always loved Maybelline. I have no real reason, other than it was slightly more expensive than Cover Girl, and my mother almost always refused to buy Maybelline stuff for me. And their products always seemed cooler. That trend seems to have carried through the past several years, and now, as I keep moving closer to 30 years old, I still am always intrigued by Maybelline.

When I heard of their new line, Fit Me, I had to laugh a bit. I mean really, it's a great marketing ploy - "Hey! Look at us! We promise you'll find a foundation match! This will be the best foundation for you!" Sure, but those who usually can't find one in Maybelline may still not find one in this range. Maybelline also says: "Flawless; Lets the real you come through beyond matching; Fresh, breathing, natural skin." *sigh* Don't they all say that?

I picked up my bottle of Fit Me at Target for $6.99. After looking at the lightest range of colors, I selected Ivory 115. For reference, I'm a light NC15, Chanel Porcelain, basically fairly pale and warm - weirdly enough, Make Up For Ever's HD foundation in 110 is a smidge pale for me, but color-wise is pretty good. 115 is a very good match for me.I really like the packaging. It looks sleek, more higher-end than most. I also like that they printed, in fairly large print, the shade number on the bottle. It'll be hard for me to not see what shade I wear, and it's not printed on any shrink wrap that I'd throw away.

The foundation is a true liquid foundation, it flows easily from the bottle. I'd love to have a pump top, but I guess since it's easy enough to pour, I'll live without. It applies well, I use my Sephora Platinum Professional Airbrush (#55) and get a good, solid, medium coverage look. This does have a "natural finish," which usually means "oil-slick" for me, having oily skin. I was pleasantly surprised to find, however, this foundation wears well for me. It doesn't oxidize, stays all day, and doesn't get extremely shiny. I use Murad's Oil Control Lotion and MAC's Prep + Prime finishing powder as a base and to set with this foundation.
I like seeing pictures of a foundation next to others I've tried, so I can get a sense of color. Fit Me is a bit less yellow and darker than Revlon's Photo Ready in Vanilla, and is very similar to MUFE HD in 110.

Fit me was a pleasant surprise. This has become my daily foundation, which was rather unexpected - I've used high end foundations for the last 3 or 4 years straight. My only issue is the lack of a pump. This is a win in my book!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rock & Republic Luxe Lip Gloss in Drama Queen - Review

I am a lip gloss fan. I love glosses, because I like the moisture, and the ease of application (I prefer glosses I can apply without a mirror). I also seem to prefer products that I can actually see that I've used them. Glosses are, well, awesome. But some are more awesome than others.
I may never own a pair of Rock & Republic jeans, but I own a number of their cosmetic items - and they are fantastic! Their lipgoss is no different - good pigmentation, great formula, and a generous amount of product. I have the shade "Drama Queen" - a warm peachy-pink hue.

The applicator is a doe foot, which I greatly prefer to a brush (the bristles can get bend backwards or can be cut all wonky or any number of other annoyances). The tube is physically fairly large, and really reminds me of a test tube, for fairly obvious reasons. For $26, you get 0.11 fl oz of glossy-goodness. This line seems to frequent sample-sale websites like Haute Look and Gilt Group, however, so you may not need to pay full price. Quality-wise, I'd easily place this product with Chanel Glossimers, so the price is justified (Glossimers retail at $28.50 for 0.19 fl oz, so they win in the quantity category, however.)

Generally speaking, I usually gravitate towards thicker glosses, but I'll make an exception for Drama Queen. It has good pigmentation, no scent or taste that I notice, and actually feels like it's hydrating (which doesn't happen with some glosses). It does have a thinner consistency and feel, similar to the Dior Addict Ultra lipglosses. I'd say the wear time is 1 - 2 hours max, but due to the pigmentation, after the glossiness is gone, the color faintly remains.

In some ways, I wish the tube were a bit smaller. On the other hand, however, it's super easy to find in my purse. I also wish Rock and Repulic cosmetics were still available in stores like Nordstrom, where I'd have a chance to swatch them on me to see what colors I wanted (like I need more lipgloss). If you like the Dior Addict glosses, I think you'll really like these. If you like thicker glossess, though, I'd pass on these, since they seem fairly thin.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NOTD: Chanel Black Pearl

I'll admit it. I am a sucker for Chanel's nail polishes. I know they're expensive ($25.00 - the first colors I purchased from this line were $19.00, and I couldn't believe I was willing to pay that price!), but I just love them. They wear decently on me, and I usually only get colors that are unique (with only 1 true exception - I own Black Satin, but it's my only cream black), so I don't actually own too many.
As soon as I had read that Chanel was releasing a color called "Black Pearl," I knew I had to have it. I didn't care if I had to sell all of my worldly possessions, I would own, and love it. I waited patiently for details, hoping this color would truly mimick the hues of natural black pearls, and I haven't been disappointed.
Black Pearl was released with Chanel's Spring 2011 line, and leave it to Chanel to buck the typical pastel pinks and lavendars every one else is releasing, and include a rich black with a green/blue pearl. Black isn't even the right word. In the worst case, this color appears as a gray with a hint (very subtle hint) of green. In sunlight you really see the duochrome black/green.

The formula on this was standard Chanel - not thick nor thin, perfectly in the middle. I couldn't get away with only 1 coat, though. For full color depth, I used 2. Two coats of Black Pearl topped with 1 coat of Nubar's Diamont stayed about 3 days with 0 chips or tipwear.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Clinique Quick Eyes Cream Shadow - Review

I have oily eyelids, so Urban Decay Primer Potion is a must. But, UDPP alone does not work for me, so I have to turn to a second primer or something in addition to powder eyeshadows. Alternatives include Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows (which crease on me), MAC Paint Pots, and the topic of the day: Clinique's Quick Eyes Cream Shadows.
These retail for $15.50 for 0.17 oz, and are available anywhere Clinique is sold. Clinique markets them as a "crease proof cream eyeshadow," which is not quite true. Clinique also states they will last up to 10 hours on your lids, which is also not quite true. They do crease alone on me, but since everything does, that's not a huge suprise. After about 9 hours, they fade on me, which again, is nothing I'm suprised. These are packaged in tubes like MAC's lipglasses, complete with a doefoot applicator.
I have the shades "Rock Violet," a "muted silvery violet per Clinique, and "Sunlit Palm," a "soft forest green with gold shimmer." I would agree with both color descriptions. Both of these colors are shimmery, not glittery, and work fabulously as color bases.

These have a mousse-feeling to them, however they don't have that "whipped" look in the tube. What makes these great is you can sheer them out if you wish, or layer them for a more intense color. Keep in mind, though, all of the color descriptions include adjectives like "muted" or "soft." I don't believe these are meant to be piled on for a fully opaque, high colored look.

I seem to prefer the creaminess these have, rather than the feel of Paint Pots (although some have a great texture, others don't). I can blend these really well with my fingers, while I feel with Bare Study, for example, I can't move the shadow around on my lid.

I typically wear Rock Violet under purple eyeshadows, like MAC's Shale or Quietly pigment. Sunlit Palm I wear under Sumptuous Olive, or any khaki/green eyeshadow. Both cream shadows help enhance the tone and depth of the color of the shadow being applied over it. I tend use a sheer layer, in an effort to decrease the creasing potential that is inherent in cream shadows.

Clinique has a solid product here. So far, with the two I've used, I really like these and look forward to gathering the other shades the Quick Eyes Cream Shadow comes in.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Etsy Rant... ugh.

I hate it when I have a little cash to burn, and can't find anything to buy. Hate it! I've spent countless hours stalking Etsy, wanting to buy something pretty and sparkly, only to find the sellers I've haven't tried are doing all of the things that annoy me. So, to get it out of my system, I'll list them for you.

1) Charge WAY TOO MUCH for shipping. Seriously, $5.20 to ship a 10 gram jar of eyeshadow? What, you don't have a scale to weigh a bubble mailer (the CD sized ones, by the way, are usually about 1 oz, with label and tape) so you could get someone like ME to buy your colors? Sorry, I'll move on to the next seller, maybe...

2) Charge WAY TOO MUCH for their product. Time is valuable, and your time is just as valuable as mine is. I'd never ask that a seller price something so low they're losing money, but I would ask that they consider what the market will bear. If you want to sell a 5 gram jar of pigment, mica, and whatever for $10, knock yourself out. I don't know if you'll be extremely busy filling orders, though, when I can go to Shiro Cosmetics, Noella Beauty Works or any number of other sellers that price their products more competitively.

3) Not including a COLOR DESCRIPTION. I realize this one may be subjective, but honestly, how hard is it to say "warm brown," or "pale blue?" You don't have to get too artsy on me, just give me an indication of what the color is supposed to look like, so I know my monitor isn't fully of crap. Especially warm/cool leanings on colors because I need to know if I should even bother.

4) Not including swatches. This one I can kind of forgive, if the seller isn't also violating the others. Swatches are hard sometimes, and I don't always like eye swatches unless I can clearly see the color I'm supposed to buy. I saw a listing for a color that the person showed in the jar, then did a look with 2 other colors from the same color family. How, exactly, does that help me? 3 similar colored shades on an eyelid doesn't let me know what I'm buying. So, I'm NOT buying, and the seller is losing out!

5) Not offering samples. I'm a realist. I *know* I will never, ever, EVER run out of makeup. Unless I live to be 1,000 years old, but I'll have bigger problems if I live to be that old. I'd rather sample a color (especially if you're going to charge $8.00 for what others offer at half that price, on top of your bloated shipping costs), see if I like your product (the color, texture, presentation, etc), *then* buy the full size. Why? Simple logistics. I may love it in the picture, may simply like it on me, and if I lost only a dollar in the process, no big deal.

6) Rather than including # 3 and 4, including a diatribe about how GOOD "mineral makeup" is for you. Seriously? You can't be bothered to create a listing that adequately describes your colors, but you're going to tell me that my MAC eyeshadows will make my eyelids rot off? Yeah, I'll move on, thanks.

Whew. That feels a little better. I'm still bitter, but oh well. What annoys you about Etsy (or mineral makeup) sellers?

Friday, January 14, 2011

NOTD: China Glaze Afterglow + LA Splash Be Mine

I had been lusting after Afterglow from China Glaze for months before I finally decided it would be worth paying retail for. And I'm glad I did. Afterglow is a pretty neutral pink with a blue pearl - super pretty, but fairly sheer. I did 2 coats of Afterglow, and decided to add some sparkle and make this my first Valentine's mani. I had picked up LA Splash's Be Mine glitter top coat, which is a clear base, with light pink hearts, and small-sized golden glitter.

Afterglow applied like any other China Glaze, very smooth and easy. Be Mine, however, was a PITA. It was super, super thick, so it looks like I just glopped it on (I didn't! I swear!). I tried to smooth things over with a topcoat of Diamont, and it's lasted 4+ days. The glitter and hearts from Be Mine ended up being the same tone or shade as the pink in Afterglow, though. I was kind of hoping for some contrast, but, hey, live and learn! Plus,I still have visible nail line. Ugh. Oh well. I still love it!

Check out the Blog Sale!

Yep! I've listed a bunch of stuff over on my blog sale page! Please take a look - you might find something just for you! My plan at this time is to add more items as they come to the surface in my stash. See anything you like?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Labello Good Night Kiss lip balm - Review

Now that I've blathered on and on about lip balms I wasn't impressed with, it's about time I discuss one I really, really like. Too bad it's hard to come by in the states.

Labello is not an American company. They are sort of like the European label of Nivea, except Nivea is German, like Labello. So, I don't get it, really. Regardless, where I am, I can't go buy Labello. I received Good Night Kiss in a lovely swap, and I'm so glad I did.

I have lips that tend to be on the dry side, which are exacerbated by the cold and amplified by the dry, heated air that my house is filled with. Without a good, heavy-duty lip balm, my lips are dry, flakey, and essentially gross. Between exfoliation (to remove the dried skin) and a good balm, my lips can have some semblence of attractiveness during the winter months.

Prior to Good Night Kiss, I really like philosophy's very emollient lip balm in "kiss me." It had a thick, yet smooth texture that melted into my lips and help soothe them and gave a sheer red tint. Good Night Kiss has the same texture, but no color. The philosophy product also had a pleasant, sutble citrus scent, which Good Night Kiss lacks. The big difference between these two products, and why Labello's balm is simply better, is how my lips feel the next morning. Good Night Kiss protects my lips all night. The philosophy balm lasts a long time, don't get me wrong, but there were times where it felt like I hadn't put it on, and I needed to reapply immediately upon waking. There have only been 1 or 2 times in the past month where I've had that need with Good Night Kiss.

Anyway, Good Night Kiss comes in a blue, opaque, squeeze-tube. It has a slant-tipped applicator. As previously stated, the balm is thick, and melts into your lips, without any sort of color added.

My only major issue with Good Night Kiss is the scent/taste. It has a petroleum-based, vaseline-like scent and taste that's icky. It doesn't last more than a minute, but it's still kind of gross.

If you have dry lips, and can put up with a moment of ickiness upon application, I really recommend Good Night Kiss. If you can't handle the ickiness, the philosophy very emollient lip balm is a great choice, as well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Etsy Find: Holy House Dispensary - Review

Once again, we're venturing into my collection of loose eyeshadows from Etsy. This time, the company is a bit more local to me - Holy House Dispensary operates out of Idaho (home of many things, but most wellknown for their potatoes. They offer 15 eyeshadows and three tinted lip balms (which I haven't tried). The finishes range from matte to shimmery (I haven't seen a really glittery shade yet), and from sheer to very pigmented.

I have 5 colors, Thief, Call Me, Nude, and Smoke. Cassie, the owner, included a generous sample of Baby in my first order, as well. Full size jars are of the 3 oz size, and are full to the top - no sifters (yay!). Each jar has a sticker on the top with the Holy House Dispensary logo on it, and the shade names are written in permanent marker on the bottom. They retail for $4.99, and Cassie asks for $1.00 for shipping. She doesn't charge any additional shipping charges. At this time, she offers a discount of 10% when using the coupon code "holyhouse" on all orders, as well.

Thief is a bright, yet not over the top, shimmery green, with medium pigmentation. Call Me is a deep red-based purple with a sheen, and very pigmented. Nude is a sheer, sparkly nude (aptly named, don't you think?). Smoke is a matte smokey-purple, which really reminds me of MAC's Poison Pen from their Matte^2 line, with medium pigmentation. Baby is a soft, glimmery peach shade, with medium pigmentation.

I'm very happy with how well these blend. They are the perfect combination of easy to blend, yet pigmented. I'm not worried about blending these colors off my lid (which can happen with mineral pigments), but I can blend them into my crease without much effort. They hold up fairly well on my lids, with minimal creasing. My favorites are Smoke and Nude, the original two colors I ordered. The others are nice, but I love Smoke, and Nude is a great wash of sheer color. I don't know if I would recommend Nude to someone who wants a lot of color, or would plan on using it to even their lid color out, though. There's not a lot of pigment there.
I hope Cassie plans on adding the color name to her labels, or making labels to indicate the colors, as I'm concerned over time the names may wear off the bottoms of the jars (not that I've had that issue yet).

Overall, Holy House Dispensary offers a great product at an excellent price!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm - Review

I'm not a lipstick gal - I love balms and glosses (sheer colors that I don't need a mirror to apply, essentially). When my mother gave me a giftcard for Macy's, my original plan was to save it until gift-with-purchase for a line and then use it, but... that didn't happen (who was I kidding?). I was intrigued by these, as I usually find lipsticks to be drying, or poor-wearing, or uncomfortible. Clinique is a line that doesn't seem to get much love from the makeup-loving blog world, but I've always been reasonably happy with my Clinique choices, so I jumped on these Chubby Sticks.

These retail for $15, and they are available anywhere Clinique products are sold. From Sephora: "This gorgeous lip color treats lips to mouthwatering moisture and a hint of shine." We'll cover this claim in a bit.

The color I selected is "Mega Melon," which Sephora describes as a "sheer peachy-pink," a totally up-my-alley color. In reality, I found this color to be peachy with a hint of nudeness to it. Not the pink I was expecting.

As you can see, this isn't exactly sheer (I think of sheer being like a dazzleglass, or even many lipglasses from MAC, where my lip color heavily influences the color that the product appears as on my lips). Infact, I'd venture to say this is not a lip balm at all, but a cleverly marketed medium-finish lipstick. As such, it's not a bad lipstick. I didn't find this product to be balm-like at all. While not exactly drying, it was not moisturizing, either. It would benefit from a thin layer of a true lip balm underneath, or a sheer (or clear) gloss over top. The coverage, as indicated, is fairly good. My natural lip color isn't muted, it's pretty much gone when wearing this. Shine is next to nil with this, as well. These are not matte, but, again, not shiney either. The finish reminds me of what you get from an EOS-type balm. Satiny, maybe?

The Chubby Stick had a life span of about 2 hours on me, without anything over it. And really, at 2 hours, I was okay with it being gone. It seemed to slighly emphasize the lip-lines without just bleeding into them. I like moisturzing lip products, especially this time of year (winter), and Chubby Sticks just don't provide it. Do I like this product? I guess so. I'm not planning on returning it, but I sort of wished I'd waiting until my CCO got them or until a gift-with-purchase deal was available. I can't say I'd recommend this at this time, but maybe when I don't need the moisturizing I need now, this product will be better.

Friday, January 7, 2011

First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream - Review

One thing I'm always sure to buy during Sephora's annual Friends and Family sale is a moisturizer. I haven't yet found a holy grail moisturizer, and like most people, I love a good deal. I picked up First Aid Beauty's (FAB) Ultra Repair Cream in October, after hearing many, many good things about it.

This product is available in 3 sizes - a 2.5 squeeze tube, a 6 oz jar (which I have), and a 12 tub.
This is a fairly inexpensive cream, as it ranges from $15 - $39, with the middle size priced at $28. If I recall correctly, the only size available when I ordered was the 6 oz size.

From Sephora's website: "Safe for even the most sensitive skin. Petroleum-free. Contains Colliodal Oatmeal, the only FDA-approved, OTC ingredient for eczema. It's allergy tested, and contains FAB Antioxidant Booster to combat free radicals." This product has a long list of things it is formulated without, including parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, phthalates, GMOs, and Triclosans.

A little about my skin:

I have the classic oily t-zone with normal/dry cheeks. My skin isn't sensitive to any products I've used, however if I think about going outside for more than 10 minutes in the summer, I get a sun burn.

I've been using this on and off for the last 2 months or so, as I was finishing up a sample of another moisturizer. I have patches of mild eczema on my upper arms and my neck, which is what drew to me order this (and the price was awesome). I know some people don't like the idea of using the same product on their body as they do on their face, but, hey - if it works, it works.
When I developed a patch of eczema on my face, and exfoliating alone couldn't get rid of it, I figured it was time to pull out FAB's Ultra Repair Cream.

Sephora's website illudes to a whipped texture, which I don't see. This is a fairly dense cream, but it feels weightless when applied lightly. You do not need to slather this on, the amount shown above will work for about 1/4 of my face. This cream does not leave a greasy film on your skin, and would make a great day cream (I prefer to have some SPF in my moisturizer for day time), although I tend to only use it at night. 6 oz may last me for the rest of my life, though.

The small patch of eczema was literally gone the next morning after using this cream. Gone. I was impressed, and still am. Now having been using this nightly, my skin feels smooth and moisturized all day - even though I only use this at night. I haven't developed any new eczema on my face, which is awesome (of course), or any dryness like I tend to have this time of year (we use a fireplace as our main source of heat, and if you've ever lived in a house with a fireplace, you may know what I mean). I'll be very curious to see how this moisturizer will perform in the summer, when my skin isn't as dry.

If you need a moisturizer, and don't want to pay a ton, but still want a quality product, I'd recommend checking out FAB's Ultra Repair Cream. If you don't plan on using it for your face and body, you may wish to purchase the 2.5 oz size, though.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Etsy Find: Noella Beauty Works

One of my weaknesses is eyeshadow, as you'll probably find out. I love eyeshadow. Shadows probably total 90% of my stash. Recently, I've found myself trolling Etsy, to find the next big mineral makeup brand (or, to satisfy my needs for sparkly eyeshadows, which is far more likely). Over the last few weeks, I've taken the plunge, and ordered from several different sellers, both well-established, and the newer shops. Today we'll talk about another one of the latter.

One thing that will almost always encourage me to purchase is a sample or a listing or option to buy multiple items at some discount. Even small discounts will work on me (I guess I'm easy, lol). So when I found the "Blue Eyed Beauty" set from Noella Beauty Works, I immediately picture the prettiest blue eyeshadow look that I had to buy it. Never mind the fact that I have green/hazel eyes, or that I have more blue eyeshadow anyone could ever need (except Mimi from the Drew Carey Show).

So, I purchased the set at $11.49 + a reasonable $1.99 for shipping. My purchase was shipped quickly (within 2 days, if I recall correctly), and beautifully packaged. Jackie, the owner, included a lovely sample of Tidal along with the three colors included in the trio: Dark Crystal, Sleepy Blue, and Golden Neutral.

Full size shadows come in the standard 5 gram clear bottom/black top jars, with a sealed sifter (I remove sifters, to make the shadows easier to access in my opinion). The bottom of each jar has a paper label with the shop name, color name, and volume.

Dark Crystal is a shimmery deep blue (so pretty!), Sleepy Blue is a cool-toned grey blue with a sheen, and Golden Neutral is easily my favorite color, a soft highlight with a gold shimmer. Of the three, Dark Crystal is the most pigmented. Sleepy Blue and Golden Neutral are sheerer. I like that Golden Neutral is sheer, since it's a highlight color (and gorgeous), but Sleepy Blue was a bit of a disappointment. I applied it dry, over MAC's Bare Study paint put with a MAC 272 brush, patting the color on, and needed to apply 2 - 3 "layers" of color until I was satisfied. Also, Sleepy Blue seemed to be the only color that faded and creased a touch on me. I have very oily lids and tend to use both Urban Decay Primer Potion and a paint pot or other color base. For most shadows, this is enough of a foundation, but I guess for Sleepy Blue it wasn't enough.

All three colors blend perfectly. I used Dark Crystal as a liner and in the crease, Sleepy Blue on my lid and Golden Neutral on my brow bone and blended toward the inner portion of my lid. Sleepy Blue, perhaps due the amount of shadow I applied, blended maybe a touch too well. It almost seemed to be blended away when I was doing my final blending with my MAC 224. I also used MAC's Fly-by-Blue pearlglide to finish the look.

Her individual shadows are $3.99 (which is a lot better than those who are asking for $6.95+ for the same amount!), and as previously mentioned, her shipping charges are extremely reasonable. She has introduced foundations, blushes and a finishing powder. Her announcements on her Etsy shop mentions she's going to introduce lip balms and matte shadows (yay!) soon, as well.

I've already begun eyeing some other colors in her shop - and I'm dying get my grubby hands on the set for green eyes. I'd highly recommend checking out her products - especially Golden Neutral.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

philosophy hope in a tube eye & lip cream - Review

I'm always looking for a good eyecream. At this point in my life, I don't have too much in the way of wrinkles or concerns in my under eye area. Really, what I'm looking for is something that will prevent dark circles from forming. If I don't use an eye cream, my under eye area looks dreadful. Dark, burple (blue and purple) shadows form and when you're pale, it seems to stand out a little more. All I ask of an eyecream is that it doesn't migrate into my eyes, blind me, or raise havoc with my skin in general. Anti-aging stuff is nice, too.

I generally like a lot of philosophy's skin care, and I've used two full tubes of hope in a tube now. Each tube retails for $33, and you can purchase this anywhere that philosophy's products are sold. Each easy to use squeeze tube has 0.5 oz of product. Like most of philosophy's skin care line, the packaging is fairly plain - in this case, white with black lettering. 1 tube usually lasts me about a year of near-daily usage. This cream is designed to use around the mouth and eyes to counteract signs of aging.

What I like most about the packaging is the opening where the product comes out is very narrow, making it super easy to squeeze the right amount of product out. Since I only use this under and around my eyes, I don't need too much.
The product itself is a fairly thick, off-white cream, yet it spreads over my skin easily. For both eyes, I need very little (maybe a pin head for each eye?). Any extra product I happen to end up with I use in the outer-v area. The cream absorbs quickly, and doesn't leave my skin greasy. And, best of all, it doesn't migrate like some I've used (Clinique, I'll looking at you!). I generally only use an eyecream at night, so I can't comment on how this works for layering with concealor, however I can say within about 5 minutes of application, my skin feels the same as it did prior to application.

Overall, I like this product. I can't speak to the anti-aging claims, but I can say (since I've used 2 tubes of it), I'm fairly likely to repurchase :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Smashbox HyperLash Mascara - Review

For the last year or so, I haven't bought any new mascaras. The reason for this absurdity became clear at the end of last year (err, 2009), when I was looking for extras for a swap and I realized I had almost 15 unopened, untested sample-sized mascaras, and I WAS CONTINUING TO BUY MASCARAS. WHY?! So, rather than buy any new mascaras, I thought I'd use one sample per month to work my way through them, and to see what I had been missing from all of these other brands. Some I have reveiwed over at MUA. This one, however, will be reviewed here. Behold! I give you - Smashbox HyperLash!!

Alright. Now that that is out of my system, let's continue. My lashes have darker roots and light, nearly blonde, tips. I wear black mascara almost exclusively, because I love a bit of drama (I always wear eye makeup, and don't care how heavy it looks at times - if I like it, I'll wear it, thankyouverymuch). I dislike rubber-bristle wands, as I feel they don't coat my lashes. I don't curl my lashes (*gasp*), mostly because I don't think I have to (or I'm in denial, take your pick), and I'm lazy. HyperLash is the second mascara from Smashbox I've tried, and like the first, LashDNA, I like it. It doesn't wow me, but I'd consider buying it, maybe.

From "Rev up your lashes with this high intensity all-in-one mascara that lifts, lengthens, volumizes (sic?), and defines. The unique dual applicator has a brush on one side, and a comb on the other for beautifully full, amazingly long, clump-free lashes in seconds..." Holy adjectives, Batman!

First, the wand:

This does have rubberized bristles, however they're small, fine, and seem to work way better than LashBlast from Cover Girl. My lashes actually get coated with mascara! There are two different "sides" to this wand. One side of the brush features bristles that are all the same length. The other has bristles that get shorter towards the tip, which is awesome for getting the inner corner, unless you like applying mascara to your eye lid.

I like lengthing and definition from a mascara - oh, and I LOVE volume. This mascara seems to do a little bit of everything. It doesn't excell in one area, nor does it fail in any area. It's just a basic mascara. Does it deserve all of the superlatives Smashbox gives? Not really, for my lashes. It is a nice, black mascara, though. It looks truly black, and I don't find my naturally light tips peaking through.

With an MSRP of $21.00, I don't plan on purchasing this mascara on it's own. I'd rather go with MAC's PlushLash or DazzleLash, since they're around $13.00.

**This review is based on a sample sized tube that came from There is a belief that sample size mascaras are a different formula than the full size tubes, but... I don't know.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

NOTD: OPI Cuckoo for this Color

I love me some OPI nail polish. They wear so well on me, usually. Anyway, this was my NYE mani, and I like it. It reminds me a bit of MAC's Beyond Jealous, I think? A blackend teal with shimmer. Blackened colors that still look like something other than straigtup black are awesome. That little bit of silver shimmer in the bottle translates to tonal shimmer on the nail, though. You can see a bit of chipping on my pointer finger and a little tip wear on my middle finger, but still - after 4 days of clacking away at a keyboard at work, my nails still look pretty nice! This color is from the Swiss Collection of 2010.
Top coat: Nubar Diamont