Monday, November 12, 2012

Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

I am a reformed Urban Decay fan. About two-thirds of the way through the professional size tube of UDPP, I had to realize that it wasn't working. My eyeshadow was creasing no matter how much or little I used, despite my "perfected" system of UDPP topped with a cream shadow and finished with powder. I would get creasing after 6 hours or so. I needed something that could last 12 hours, because I will often work 10 hours a day and still wanted to be able to go somewhere after work without looking like I had worked 10 hours. I had read good things about Behind the Scenes, and decided to try it out.
 Packaged in a sleek charcoal tube with silver lettering. You get half an ounce for $21.00, or you can often find mini-sizes packaged with Lorac palettes, like the recently released Pro Palette. The applicator is a slant tip, like what you find lipglosses. Behinds the Scenes is available everywhere that Lorac is sold, include Sephora, Ulta, Lorac's website, etc. Sephora's website states:
Behind The Scenes Eye Primer is a crease-resistant formula that holds pigment in place for long-lasting, stay-true color. It easily glides on the eye lid and the silky-smooth finish minimizes flaws and imperfections on the lid.
The product is a milky, pink tone gel-cream hybrid. It applies giving the barest of coverage. I find that it does even the skintone on my lids, but not in a substantial way. I sort of expected the primer to have one of those super-silicone velvet feeling effects, but it doesn't. 

While I haven't been super impress with Lorac in the past, I really, really love this product. I was so surprised at how well it worked. I can even skip using a cream eyeshadow under powder shadows and have the look last for several hours, which is unusual. If I use loose shadows, I don't need to add mixing medium to ensure the shadows will last all day on my lids. I have found that the primer collects on the applicator surface, as seen above. But that's not a big deal.

My only issue with this product is that it seems I use it extremely fast. I don't need to use a ton of it, but it still seems like my supply is dwindling very quickly. It could be that I am used to the huge amount of UDPP from the professional size tube so my frame of reference is poor. Nonetheless, I felt it was important to note.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this product. I will definitely repurchase once my tube is empty.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blog Sale updated!

Hey guys! I updated my blog sale with items that were needing to find new homes. My update includes items from NARS, Dior, Guerlain, and Chanel. Already listed brands include MAC, Clinique, OPI, China Glaze etc. Click on the blog sale tab above for more information!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

L'Oreal Voluminous False Lashes Mascara - Review

I've never, in my make-up loving life, used a L'Oreal mascara before. They seem to fall into that "love it or hate it" realm, and I've been too busy trying other things. I'm not sure what prompted me to pick up False Lashes several weeks ago, but I did, and here's what I thought.

Packaged in a shiny, oddly shaped gold tube, this mascara retails from $7.99 - $9.99 or so in my area. The tube is triangular at the ends, and has flat, facet-type sides (which means it doesn't roll around - nice touch). The L'Oreal website states:
"[This mascara] features a unique blend of long and short nylon and rayon fibers... to deliver lashes that look fuller, longer, curled and sculpted..."
The brush is a traditional fiber brush, which I prefer. This mascara was my first time using a fiber mascara, which means fibers are mixed into the formula, to make it more lengthening and volumizing. The brush tapers at the point and the fibers are not cut in a conical fashion. Rather, one side of the brush has the bristles cut in a slightly curved fashion.

The tube does not do a great job of removing excess product from the trip of the wand, as you can see above. A minor annoyance, but you end up pushing dried out product back into the tube, if you scrape this extra mascara back on the opening of the tube.

So, does it deliver? Well, yes and no. My lashes looked longer, and slightly fuller. I could even say they seemed a bit more curled than usual, but sculpted? I don't think so. Also, this mascara did not do well over my lash primer from Clinique at all. Way too much volume (and coming from a volume fan, that's saying something). I appreciate that this mascara seemed to start off being dry, and didn't seem to get drier as time went on until about the last week (week # 6 of use), when it started getting dry and causing a spider-lash affect.  I purchased this mascara in the black shade, and it's nicely pigmented, and matches most other "Blackest Black" type mascaras.

I didn't experience any smudging, flaking or migrating with this mascara. It dried on my lashes pretty quickly, which I like. If my eyes watered, the mascara didn't move from my lashes. It wasn't a pain to remove, but it didn't come off super easy, either. I found using a dual-phase eye makeup remover in addition to my oil cleanser was a good idea.

Overall, it was a nice mascara, and worth a look. Because I couldn't deal with the dryness after about 6 weeks. I don't know if this tube had been on the shelf for a while, or if it's a dry formula, but it wouldn't have lasted the full 3 months. I'm also a mascara ho, so I have wa-ay to many more to try. In a pinch, I'd buy this, but only to tide me over until I was able to get a different mascara.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Updated Blog Sale!

Click on the "Blog Sale" tab to see the newness I added to the sale! I need to clear these things out, so please take a minute to look things over and find stuff to take off my hands! Thanks :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner - Review

The last thing included in my BzzKit for Neutrogena was an eyeliner. While I certainly didn't need another eyeliner, I was still game to give this one a try.

Neutrogena says:
Neutrogena® Nourishing Eyeliner defines and brightens eyes with luminous color. Subtle light diffusers make the whites of eyes appear whiter, while rich color nourishes skin with Olive Oil and Rainforest Shea Butter. The built-in sharpener gives precise definition and the contoured smudger softens and blends for a variety of looks.

- Infused with olive oil and rainforest shea butter to condition the delicate skin around your lashes
- Creamy automatic pencil glides on smoothly, then transforms into long-lasting finish that won't budge
-Built-in sharpener and smudger allow to create the perfect look--from precise definition to smoky effect
Packaged in a super-slim twist-up pencil, this liner is very similar in looks to most other eyeliners of this kind. The smudger is the same as any other smudger, and works like any other one you have probably used in the past. I like the inclusion of a sharpener, because often eyeliners like this get dull and then you can't get a super fine line. The upper part of the barrel is color coded to match the color of the liner, which is a nice touch. This liner has an MSRP of $7.49, however, my local stores seem to have it below $7.

Cosmic Black isn't a super harsh black, which is a good thing for people like me - a little to fair to pull of black eyeliner everyday. It has very fine shimmer in it, as well, to help reflect light. It smudges fairly easily immediately after application, and yet wears incredibly well on my lash line. For tightlining, it doesn't hold up as well (but, nothing really does for me, so take that for what it's worth.

The liner glides on with decent opacity at one stroke. The swatch above is 3 passes, as is Feline, for reference. It also removes nicely, which I appreciate.

I was intrigued by the skincare claims - specifically, how well can an eyeliner moisturize? And, how can you tell that it's moisturized such a small area effectively, if at all? I have to chalk this up to marketing. I'm sure the shea butter certainly provides a little something to this liner's feel, but honestly, who has dry enough skin to need a moisturizing eye liner?

Overall, this isn't a bad liner. On my oily lids, it lasted all day with ease, but came off when I was washing my face. I don't think I'll repurchase, only because I don't use black eyeliner all that often. When I do, I'm usually going for a more dramatic look, which would require a deeper, more pigmented black.

Please know, this product was sent to me for review by BzzAgent. The thoughts above are my own, and I was not paid to say anything complementary or otherwise.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm - Review

I've been making my own lip balm for several months now (almost a year, in fact), and haven't bought a huge amount since embarking on the USS I-Don't-Need-More-Hobbies. Like the Brightening Eye Perfector, however, I received several Revitalizing Lip Balms from Neutrogena, and was pretty happy to see they include an SPF - if you've ever sunburned your lips, you know how painful it can be.

These balms retail for $8.99, and come in the standard 0.15 ounce size. They're packaged in oval-shaped tubes (like what I use - they don't roll away from you!), and are black, which in a way makes them stand out, but can also make them harder to see in a dark purse.

Neutrogena says:
Revitalizing Lip Balm helps make lips softer, rosier and healthier-looking, even after you take it off! This sheer tinted balm with exclusive ion2complex™ instantly moisturizes lips, leaving them looking fuller and more defined. In just one week, it helps improve lips' texture and restores the look of rosiness. SPF 20 helps protect lips and keeps them looking healthy. 
I have three colors, Sunny Berry, Petal Glow, and Healthy Blush, and there are three additional shades in the line: Sheer Shimmer, Healthy Blush, and Soft Caramel. Although Neutrogena describes these as sheer, I was taken by surprise at how pigmented they were. They're not full coverage, but they're not like the Cover Girl balms - they show up pretty well on me! Some of the colors aren't what I would pick for myself, but that's okay. Of what I have, I like Petal Glow the best right now.

Petal Glow is a very pretty peachy-glowy color. Healthy Blush is a pinked-nude. Sunny Berry is a lighter berry tone.

It seems my lips feel different than they did before using these balms - but that's a hard thing to really know for sure (placebo effect and all that). I can say my lips are less prone to flaking for a few days after wearing the balm for several days in a row, but after the 3rd or 4th day of not using it, things are back to "normal" for me.

Scent wise, these are interesting. They don't really have a taste, and smell like tea, I think. I can't say that confidently, because it's sort of hard to know for sure what they're supposed to smell like. Maybe a little fruity, but a strong tea note is definitely there.

I love the fact that there's an SPF value. LOVE. And, you don't really smell it. I think I've tasted it, though, after wearing the lip balm for a while. There's a very small hint of a medicinal/chemical something, but it's nothing terrible.

Please know, this product was sent to me for review by BzzAgent. The thoughts above are my own, and I was not paid to say anything complementary or otherwise.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector - Review

Although I've been loving my Maybelline Fit Me concealer, I tend to be a bit of a makeup ho - I can't just settle for something that's great, I have to keep trying new products. BzzAgent has an ongoing campaign featuring a suite of Neutrogena products, and one of them is their new click-pen eye brightener, with skincare benefits.
Packaged in a shiny, chubby silver pen, you get 0.17 ounces of concealer for around $10 (the MSRP is $11.99, but the stores I've found this in have for a bit less at regular price). Packed with skin loving ingredients, and boasting a broad-spectrum SPF of 25, this concealer has the makings to be the best thing ever for your eye-area, right?

Neutrogena says:
Discover a do-it-all product that not only brightens and conceals with a patented blend of anti-oxidants including Vitamin E, wild chamomile and soy, but is also clinically shown to de-puff and treat the appearance of dark under eye circles. A flow-through brush perfectly applies the Brightening Eye Perfector for on-the-go flawless coverage anytime. 
We'll talk about the packaging, first. I don't like "flow-through" brushes. They're not sanitary, unless you clean it, and then you lose a fair amount of product. They also tend not to blend well, which is true for the Brightening   Eye Perfector (I end up using my finger or MAC 224 to really blend the product in). I like that the cap snaps tightly shut, though. And, after the seemingly endless number of "clicks" to bring the product up into the brush, two clicks is more than enough for both of my eyes.

I selected the shade "Fair," which is a touch too dark. This ends up being fine, though, because the product is not very pigmented. It needs a coverage boost from a thicker concealer, or corrector (like Bobbi Brown's, or even Cover Girl's). That said, however, it does seem to bring some amount of light to my eyes, which is what I would consider to be the essential function of an eye brightener. It is a fairly thin liquid, which is likely why it doesn't provide a ton of coverage.

It wears well, lasting all day without creasing. After using this for about a week, I haven't noted any real changes to my skin, but I'm not really a believer in products that make makeup and skincare claims. It doesn't appear to dry my skin out, or cause breakouts, however.

If you do not need heavy-duty coverage, this is a great product for you. If you need coverage, you may wish to skip this product. It's not for everyone who, like me, needs a real concealer for their under eye area.

Please know, this product was sent to me for review by BzzAgent. The thoughts above are my own, and I was not paid to say anything complementary or otherwise.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Makeup Forever Aqua Shadow - Review

I like shadow pencils. In all honesty, I actually like eyeshadows in general, but I really like shadow pencils, because they're awesome color bases and seem to be more creamy than potted cream shadows. When I discovered MUFE's Aqua Shadow pencils, I had to have one. After much internal debate, I decided upon an easy to wear neutral, 20E.
Aqua Shadows are a chubby pencil cream shadow. They are cased in black plastic, with a color coded cap and end, so you can easily tell which color you're reaching for. They retail for $20 on Sephora's website, and contain 0.14 ounces of shadow. Urban Decay's version is also $20, and contains only 0.1 ounces. From Sephora's website:
Aqua Shadow’s intensely pigmented, waterproof formula provides immediate, rich color that will not smudge, crease, or fade. Created with silica powder, its ultra creamy texture glides effortlessly on the eyelid and blends easily for an even result. Incredibly simple to use, Aqua Shadow quickly creates a multitude of dynamic and colorful looks.

I'm not totally convinced the shade I selected, 20E, is "intensely pigmented." It is pigmented, but no more or less than the UD 24/7 shadows I have. 20E is described as a "pearly taupe." It's a bit deeper than UD Sin, but lighter than Juju or Rehab. It's shimmery, rather than pearly to me. As a base, it's a great substitute for Sin, but they are different.

20E performs almost identically to Sin - it lasts a long time on my lids, blends well enough with my finger, and enhances the color of the powder shadow I put over it. The shadows appear a touch more rich and saturated, without any creasing after an 8 - 10 hour day.

Overall, I really like this pencil. They're a better value than the Urban Decay, and have a pretty good color range. If only there were multiple sources for them (as Sephora is the exclusive U.S. retailer for MUFE, where Urban Decay can be found in a multitude of stores). I also wish they'd give their colors names rather than numbers only, but I can live without, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Cream Compact Foundation - Review

Sometime last year, I had the opportunity to have a national makeup artist for Bobbi Brown's line give me a makeover, through one o f my local counters. Of course, this means they wanted me to buy huge, and I didn't (I should've declined the invitation, but c'mon... a makeover? For a line that I wanted to use more of at that time? I couldn't say no!)

I bought two things that day, and this was one of them. I never consider foundations labelled as "moisturizing," because that usually correlates to a glowy, dewy or not matte. As I prefer a matte finish, because my skin produces it's own glow (and lots of it), I was surprised when the makeup artist recommended it. She stated (keep in mind, she's supposed to sell me on it) that this foundation was formulated for all skin types, and would help camouflage my pores. She said the moisturizing aspect would be helpful for my "dehydrated" forehead (huh? It's oily. Never heard anyone say that oily skin is also dehydrated before, but I suppose....). She was pushing Bobbi's skincare line pretty hard, but I took it all with a grain of salt.  
Interestingly, this product is not listed on Bobbi's or Sephora's website. It's available at Macy's and Nordstrom (at least, on their websites). Nordstrom appears to have the all shades available, while Macy's has a limited, mostly deeper, shades listed. A cursory look around the internet doesn't tell me if this is discontinued, and I didn't see it at my CCO a few weeks ago. Anyway, here's what Macy's and Nordstrom have to say:
This unique emollient compact formula provides all-day wear and all-day moisturization, as it instantly softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and delivers a soft, radiant finish. Formulated for normal to dry skin, this foundation is blended with ingredients that prevent dehydration such as Jojoba Oil and Avocado Oil, both moisturize and condition skin. This creamy product provides medium to full coverage, and is a portable alternative to your liquid foundation and a more moisturizing alternative to traditional compact foundations.
The packaging is typical for Bobbi Brown - black, shiny, sleek, etc. This is a fairly thin compact, considering that it's a foundation. The product sits in a pan that can be lifted to reveal a home for a sponge applicator (my toddler seemed to have love it, when he saw it in my makeup room and took it with him). Vents are around the base of the compact, so the sponge can dry after use. A mirror lives in the lid of the compact. The base has a sticker with the shade name, number, and name of the product.

I was matched to Porcelain, which is the second lightest shade. One thing I admire about Bobbi's line is how accommodating she seems to be for us pale people. It's rare for me to be the second lightest in a line, and I know I'm not the palest person out there. Porcelain is a great match for me, possibly one of the best I've had.

I've tried this foundation over several primers, and all seem to play nicely with it. It doesn't oxidize, meltdown, or slide around on my face. It does collect a little on the parts of my glasses that rest on my nose, but so does everything else. I would agree this foundation provides medium coverage, and I suppose you could build it up, but I'd be concerned with the foundation appearing cakey. It evens the appearance of my skin tone nicely with one "coat." When first applied in a specific manner, it does help reduce the appearance of my pores.

The way I apply this is similar to how the makeup artist did on me. She used the sponge it came with, wrapped around her finger "like a taco," (her words, not mine), creating a round sponge-surface. She used the sponge dry, and rolled it across my skin. The coverage was impressive, and my pores disappeared in front of me when she did. I've used that technique (and of course, it didn't work nearly as well, but, c'est la vie, non?) and I've used the Sonia Kashuk Beautyblender dupe, with about the same success. I also wet the sponge a touch with Fix+ or Clinique's Moisture Surge Face Spray. I prefer a lightly damp sponge, because it seems to use less product. 
This leads me to my only real issue with this product: you get so little for a lot of money. This foundation costs $42, which is fairly average for a higher end foundation. But, you get 8 grams of foundation. MAC gives you 10 grams of their Studio Tech cream foundation for $30. Now, I'm willing to pay a slightly higher price for a great match, but really? I've hit pan on this foundation, as you can see above, and used it about 15 - 20 times. A bottle of foundation from Chanel or anyone else usually lasts me about a year, maybe a touch less. This compact won't last me 6 months of continuous use.

It also turns a bit sticky if you put a spray (makeup setting or otherwise) over it, like Fix+ or the aforementioned Clinique. And it stays sticky, which is kind of weird. Just an odd thing I noted with this foundation. I've never experienced that before, either.

I really like this foundation. I do. I don't like the price. I wonder if it is being discontinued, as it's availability is limited. If you find it at your CCO, I would recommend picking it up. I'm oily and it lasts all day looking relatively fresh, which is a rare thing. I don't know if it's worth full price, however, considering how much you get.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dior Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick - Review

I've stated before I'm not a lipstick girl. I'm not. Really. But, I've also stated that I am a big fan, and easily sucked in to purchasing products with nice packaging. This has led me to pick up expensive lip products in the past, and it's happened again. Dior got me with their new Dior Addict Extreme lipsticks. At $30 a piece, they had better make me look perfect, right? And they had better wear nicely on the lips, with no drying or odd wear patterns?

I can happily say, I'm becoming a convert. Dior makes a great lipstick, and I'm falling in love with this formula. I never thought I could say that regarding a lipstick, but, things change.

Sephora says:
This long-wearing lipstick goes the distance, resisting fading while adding bold color and beautiful shine. The expert formula combines waxes, radiant oils, and hyaluronic microspheres for ultimate comfort and a lip-plumping effect.
So, the packaging. Sleek? Check. Very highend in appearance? Check. Picked up fingerprints easily? Check. Kinda awkward? Check. I love the way this lipstick looks, but the packaging, while gorgeous, has it's quirks. I would think, as most people tend to, that the silver band on the tube indicates where you pull to remove the cap. That is not the case. Instead, it's just the silver, logo-laden, knob at the end of the lipstick. That's it. It can be tricky to open, especially if you have large fingers. The cap is Lucite with a black core, and Dior embossed into one side. The end has a black sticker with the product name, color and color number in silver. The tube itself is shiny silver.
The color I selected, Silhouette, isn't particularly bold. A nude-pink, it wears easily as a my lips but better look. The color isn't particularly special, but that's my own fault for picking it, and I don't hold it against the product in anyway. The lipstick, even in the tube, looks like a tinted balm, however, one swipe of the lipstick across your lips, and you see noticeable color. What I really like about this formula is how non-lipstick like it feels. It doesn't feel like a lipstick, long-wearing or otherwise. It feels like a balm, slightly thin, not sticky, and just a bit slick. I can feel it on my lips for up to 4 hours (light eating and drinking included). Towards the end of the wear time, I can feel my lips just starting to dry out, but a fresh application takes care of that. I don't feel like my lips are tight or peeling because of this lipstick at all (which has happened with other long-wear lipsticks, usually the two-step process ones, though).

So, are these worth $30? If you have the money to spend, sure. Would I go in to debit buying them? Nope. The only way this answer would change is if they lasted longer, ie, all day. Since they don't, I'm not jumping over the moon with happiness. I do like the feel of the lipstick, and have already added a few colors to my "must look at closely" list for the next time I'm in Sephora. I got Silhouette during the 15% sale, so I paid $25.50, which is still a bit high.

Friday, April 20, 2012

TheBalm Frat Boy Blush - Review

TheBalm is a quirky brand that for some reason, I almost always skip over. When I do purchase something, it's usually good, but it's never really remarkable in anyway. In fact, they usually end up getting swapped for something else, because there's something about them that bugs me. Some small facet prevents me from just loving them. Maybe it's the name of the branch, their kitschy packaging, their strange marketing, I don't know.

I do know that I have a peachy-pink blush problem. I love them. I collect them all, like Pokemon. It's a disease, but I don't want to be cured. I'd been lusting after Frat Boy (I hate the name) for a while, and finally broke down and picked it up during Hautelook's recent TheBalm sale. Normally, this blush retails for $21. For your money, you get 0.3 ounces of blush.
The package is, as indicated before, kitschy, just like the rest of the line. It has a football theme, which is kinda cute, but since it's cardboard, I'm not super impressed. I will say it's very sturdy, and the "compact" stays closed on it's own, without the cardboard sleeve. It does include a mirror on the inside of the lid. The sleeve (which is exactly the same as the outer packaging) is a tight fit, making it somewhat difficult to remove the compact.
The color, of course, its a peachy pink. Sephora calls it "peachy apricot," but, to my eye, it's a peachy-pink. Less pink than peach, though. It's not glittery, like NARS Orgasm or TheBalms' Hot Mama. It's more satin/matte. It's not too soft, not to hard. The pigmentation is nice, not too much, and not too light (it must be a Goldilocks kind of day).
The blush wears well enough on my cheeks, and lasts all day (which is more than I can say for some powder blushes). It blends well enough to suit my needs, and doesn't seem to morph or change over time.

My only issue with this blush is, I'm not overjoyed with it. It's nice, easy to wear, and right up my alley, colorwise. But, my overall feeling about it is meh. I could easily swap or sell it, and wouldn't know it was gone. I also think for $21, the packaging could be nicer. Cardboard has it's place, but I'd prefer something a little more substantial.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow - Review

NARS is one of those brands that puts out awesome stuff that I happily buy, and am constantly disappointed in. Usually, it's not because the product is bad - it's because it's just like something else that I own. Usually. I picked up Lhasa, a relatively new eyeshadow single, from, and was super happy to look at it in the pan. Swatched, it seemed sort of meh. On the lid, even worse.

NARS shadow singles are $24 for 0.07 oz of product, which isn't a terrible value. They come packaged in a sleek, soft-touch rubber compact, with a ridiculously sized mirror that is useful to no one. They look nice, though, as long as you keep the compact clean. Keeping it clean can be a challenge, which is why I typically store them in their boxes.
MAC Moth Brown on top, NARS Lhasa on bottom
Lhasa is a "lavender grey," according to NARS. I'm not inclined to disagree. I thought initially it may be close in color to MAC's Moth Brown, but it's not. Moth Brown is brown/lavender/grey, where Lhasa lacks that touch of brown.

So, it's pretty, it's NARS, and you get a decent amount of shadow. What's wrong? Well, it's crappy shadow. Seriously. Maybe mine was defective, or something, but I had to really work to get that swatch. Like, multiple passes over the shadow, and my wrist. Using my trusty MAC 239 to pat the shadow on my lid was equally bad - a brush that performs beautifully for 90%+ of the shadows I use it for, could barely make this shadow appear on my lid. Barely. No pigmentation, or a super-hard pressed shadow, I guess, were to blame.

I don't typically return cosmetics. I returned this. And I will definitely think long and hard about purchasing NARS shadows in the future.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Philips SatinPerfect Epilator HP6576/50 - Review

I hate shaving my legs, but I love the way they feel afterward. I really hate shaving my legs in the winter. Really. I've heard of epilators, but to be honest, they sound terribly scary. I mean, the thing rips hairs out of the follicles. It's medieval torture, right?

When BzzAgent offered me a campaign for an epilator, I was curious and excited. Curious about the pain part, excited about the option to try one for free, and a nice one, at that. The Philips Satin Perfect epilator is nice. Really nice. And spendy, too. To view the product details on Amazon, click here. This unit has an MSRP of $149.99, which is pretty steep. But, the bells and whistles it comes with make up for that price, I think.
The body of the epilator is ergonomically designed, with an angled head. It's white, with champagne/gold and silver accents. It's actually very pretty.
The epilator comes with 2 heads, an epilating and shaving head, and four attachments, one for the shaver, and three for the epilator. If you're not familiar with what an epilator is, think of it this way: a bunch of spinning discs, that are tilted to form tweezer-esque blades pull hair from your skin (legs, arms, back, where ever).
The different heads provide a different experience, supposedly. In actuality, I didn't notice a difference between the "active massage" head (the one with rollers), and the other. Both still hurt. The "trimming comb" I found it to be utterly useless. The shaver, like most electric shavers, didn't provide a super smooth result, however, it's still pretty awesome to have that option, so if you did buy this unit and found epilating to painful for all of those areas where you don't want hair, you can use this gadget to shave with. The clear comb for the shaving head seemed useless, as well. The heads and accessories are super easy to clean. The unit itself is not water proof, though, so don't take it in the shower!
The epilator charges in about an hour, and will run for 40 minutes on a single charge. Not too shabby. It has two speeds, and starts out at a high speed, and hitting the power button lowers the speed.The kit also includes super cool tweezers for your brows that have an LED in them, similar to the LED the body of the epilator has, to help you find all those hairs you missed. The tweezers have a little metal tube for storage and travel, that even has a slim mirror. A bag and small cleaning brush completes the ensemble.
So, after all of that, what do I think? It's pretty cool. I've used it a total of 4 times now (not including the sessions that lasted 2 seconds, after which I decided the pain was too great). I have noticed a marked difference in my pain tolerance between the first time and the 4th - the more you do it, the easier it gets, honestly. I do NOT like pain at all, and found the most recent session to be relatively benign. I still can't do my knees, though. I've found that pulling my skin taunt, and taking my time when going over each area also helps - don't go too fast! You'll just have to go over the area again. I've found it's best to exfoliate the area you'll be epilating really well, and epilate immediately after your shower or bath, after you've dried the area. Plan on exfoliating the area again, to help reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs.

I know it's common to say that hair removal, in general, causes the hair on that area to grow back darker, coarser, etc. I've never found that to be true, and certainly not in this case. My legs stay super smooth for about a week, and then I start to feel a bit of stubble. The areas that I've epilated the most feel less hairy, though, which is likely caused by damage to the follicle. Like waxing, if you epilate enough, you will find that your hair is less dense. The first time using this, I'd recommend using the slower speed, it seemed to hurt a bit less. Also, make sure you keep the head at a 90 degree angle from the surface you're working on, as this ensures the best and smoothest result.

** I was provided a free Philips SatinPerfect Epilator by BzzAgent. Although the unit was free, the opinions above are my own, and I was not compensated in anyway for posting this review.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting Eyeshadow - Review

I really like Essence. Almost everything I've tried from them has been pretty awesome at an insanely good price. I found an extremely empty display in my local Fred Meyer some time ago, and picked up one of their Stay All Day eyeshadows, in "Steel the Show."
I believe there were 4 - 5 different shades of this product, judging from the display. Of course, this shadow was the last one that hadn't been molested in some way. If I recall correctly, I paid around $3.
Packaged in a clear plastic jar, with a bubbled-screw top, these shadows look somewhat unimpressive. But, looks are deceiving.
"Steel the Show" is a taupe-tinged silver. It's not a color I would normally use, however, it looks great under any grey shadow I own. And, like Essence claims - it wears extremely well. Over UDPP, I can go 12+ hours without fading or creasing, when set with a powder shadow.

I found the texture of these to be interesting. They're very smooth, and very light. They're not tacky feeling at all. At first swatch, I was totally skeptical about how well they would work - I mean, it's so smooth feeling that my finger glides over it. I blend with my fingers, and can say it doesn't blend as nicely as I wish it would, but that's okay. I haven't found a cream shadow yet that blends well and provides the wear time that Stay All Day does.

I haven't seen any other colors or displays with this product at my Fred Meyer, and haven't checked my local Ulta.If you happen upon these, however, I'd grab them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

MAC Pro Longlash - Review

I'll freely admit to loving MAC mascaras. Plushlash is the closest thing I have to a holy grail mascara. I loves it. Deeply. Dazzlelash comes in a close second. I can say, however, I've been on a mascara low-ish buy, because I had been hoarding mascara sample tubes. I could swap for mascaras only (other than cheap thrills), and felt like I was lucky when I arranged a swap for Pro Longlash mascara in black on MUA.
Apparently only available from MAC Pro stores, this mascara retails at $13, which is par for the course for MAC. I like that their mascaras aren't $30, unlike their department store neighbors. Of course, they are more expensive than their drugstore counterparts, however, has anyone else noticed the price creeping for drugstore lines?  Anyway, MAC says:
Goes the distance. Makes lashes luxuriously long and silky: no spikes! Luxury and longitude in a pro-proven formula. Accelerates lashes into length, smooth and fast. Smooth silky finish. Wears long (all day!) Go the distance: bat-a-lash!
So... was it love? While I found this mascara to be nice, it's nothing to seek out. It's a run of the mill mascara, with a sort of wonky wand. The brush is tapered at both ends. The tip collects a lot of product, so you have to wipe it off as you remove it from the tube. It distributes the product fairly well on my lashes. 

My lashes, after one coat, look slightly longer. Two coats gives a little more length, and a tiny bit of volume. Additional coats don't improve things, and can easily lead to clumped lashes. I don't experience smudging or flaking, and this mascara is fairly easy to remove at the end of the day. The formula dries pretty quickly, which is nice.

Overall, I wasn't impressed. I won't seek this mascara out in the future.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blusher by Barry M - Review

Why does the UK get all sorts of drugstore awesomeness? It's not fair! Although, they pay a higher price for high end cosmetics, so maybe things balance out. It's not fair either way, though. I did a CP/swap with a lovely girl who lives in London, and one of the things I wanted was this blush from Barry M.
It's called Peaches & Cream, and it's a beautiful golden apricot/peach shade. The packaging is super cute and ornate for drugstore offerings. A typical, synthetic, cheap brush is included, however, Barry M does not provide a mirror in the compact. I apologize, but I'm not sure of the price for this, but I believe it was under £5.
 This is a shimmery blush, but oh so pretty!
The back as the information you would expect to find, except you'll note the name of the color does not appear. In fact, the only way you'd know what color the blush is, is on the barcode, where "BL 7" appears. It seems more companies in the U.S. are adopting this strategy of not printing color names on products.
Peaches & Cream has a decent amount of orange to it. It's still soft, wearable, and blendable. It's a great spring/summer blush for those of use who like peachy blushes. While I tend to like a little pink with my peach, the color is still beautiful, and unique in my stash. The shimmer buffs down a bit to a low glow, which is also very nice. I usually use my MAC 109 to apply.

Overall, I love the color a lot. And, for a drugstore blush, this is probably the best I've used. I'd like to swatch it next to NARS Luster, to see how it compares color wise, too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Benefit Girl Meets Pearl - Review

Benefit is one of those brands that moves between tacky/gimmicky and innovative very, very easily. I've found holy-grail items and garbage from the line (which, I suppose, is no different than any other line), but I'm always game to try another Benefit item, because you just never know.
 I've been eyeing Girl Meets Pearl for a long time - thinking it'd be a great alternative to Moonbeam/High Beam, which seem like they'd be a pain in the butt to apply (liquid highlighter on a cheap nail polish-type brush? uhg). Girl Meets Pearl is a "soft golden pink, liquid-pearl highligher." For $30, Benefit gives you 0.4 ounces of product. That's not much. Instead of laying out that kind of money, I bought a 0.25 ounce bottle at Ulta for something around $10. I figured, if I use it up, then it might be worth paying full price. The mini comes in a squeeze tube, however, the full size is packaged similar to a click-pen lip gloss, except the product is pushed through a plastic mesh. I'd imagine, based on experience with products like that, it'd be hard to apply directly from the container and a good brush would be in order. I've used it a fair amount, and use very little for each application.
The color description, "soft golden pink" is dead on. It's more shimmer than pearl, though. The amount you see on my wrist is enough for my cheekbones, so you don't need much.

The wear time is somewhat disappointing, though. This seems to fade within 2 hours to nothing. My end of day face is not highlighted. I don't like to touch up through out the day, so this irritates me. I would hope a liquid, set with powder, would last most of the day, and this doesn't. It's a beautiful color, though. I can't recommend this product.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Milani Illuminating Face Powder in Amber Nectar - Review

I'll admit, I need a good bronze. Well, need is a strong word - I have a few (read: several), but another one can't hurt, right? Especially a shimmery one? That's super cute? Milani's new Illuminating Face Powder caught my eye at my local Fred Meyers a few weeks ago, and since cosmetics were buy one get one half priced, and I had found one thing.... I needed a second.
See how pretty? Several rosettes pressed into this multicolored powder. The different tones are not overspray, either. Shades of pink-champagne, pink, light peachy tan and a less-light tan, with a tiny bit of shimmer, and pressed into one pan, with a clear lid and gold-toned plastic base.
For about $10-$12, you get 0.35 oz of powder. Due to the nature of drugstore products, the price you pay will vary depending on where you go and whether they're running a sale.
The back has a couple of suggestions for application, but this is a bronzer/blush, so I think most of us have a pretty good idea of how to use this.
The overall tone, when swirling your brush over the entire powder, is a slightly peachy-tan color. It's fairly neutral (not pink, not yellow), and it glows. At first I thought it might be shimmery, but it's really lovely. It appears to last most of the day on my cheeks (not oily, not necessarily dry), and does not oxidize in any way. I suppose you could use it as an eyeshadow palette, but the shades are not that different from one another. Blended, however, I think it'd be a very pretty lid color.

As a bronzer, the glow is a bit much for me - my oily t-zone can glow on it's own, thanks. I think drier skinned people will enjoy it when used as one, though. Deeper skintones could use this has a highlighter.

Overall, it's a very pretty powder, at a very good price. The quality is excellent, especially when noting the mosaic is not overspray, but individual shades.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Whiskey - Review

I hate reviewing two of the same type of products back to back, but I wanted to talk about this liner because I freaking love it. LOVE. But first, we'll talk about the liner in general.

Urban Decay's standard pencil eyeliner is their 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil. Currently, they offer 23 shades as part of their core collection, with limited edition or exclusive shades for certain retailers. They introduced 3 shades this spring, however, they've skipped over Whiskey (again), offering a shade that looks similar - Demolition. I may pick it up at some point, but not today.

Sephora's website says:
Glide on color that stays put for the duration of your non-stop, on-the-go day! These cushiony, creamy eye pencils deliver powerful, vibrant color that slides on smooth and stays soft and creamy for blending (about 30 seconds), then dries to a long-lasting finish that won't budge. Line eyes with a hint of color or go for the full artistic, multi-hued effect. Truly inspired, these pencils go all day and all night.
24/7 liners really do glide on easily, however, pigmentation is not consistent. Some shades are pigmented, others aren't. They last all day once they have set, however, you do have an opportunity to smudge them, should you wish. I find the claims from Sephora's website to be mostly accurate. They retail for $19.
Whiskey is a deep, red-based brown, with a little shine. It's usually included with palettes, like the Rollergirl palette from summer, 2011. It debuted with the the original Naked Palette, as part of the double-ended liner pencil offered when the palette was originally introduced. Whiskey is nicely pigmented, usually I can achieve the color depth I want with one pass. You can only find this color in palettes or sets, usually.

I'm hoping UD will come to their senses and release it as a standard color, because it's perfect. It accentuates the green in my eyes, and is easy to wear. 24/7 liners are worth the price, however, I would swatch before buying, as some colors are less pigmented than others. Underground, for example, isn't terribly pigmented on me.