Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer - Review

After finishing my last full size primer, I decided to explore the samples I had hanging around. Then, I started hearing awesome things about Hourglass's Veil Mineral Primer, and it somehow found it's way into my Sephora Friends & Family order. I've been using it for about 3 weeks, and here are my thoughts.
Packaged in a lightly frosted glass vial, with a pump applicator, this is the smaller size. $17 gets you 0.33 ounces of primer, however, $52 gets you 1 fluid ounce. I love the fact that a smaller size is available - I don't have to spend a ton to get a good sized trial.
The tube is clearly labelled, which is nice. I haven't noticed any fading on the lettering, which is great. That says a lot about the quality of the packaging. Again, this is a glass tube - glass. Who packages a mini size in glass? Hourglass, that's who!

From Sephora's website:
This clean, satin-finish formula helps keep makeup looking fresh and prevents fading. Veil Mineral Primer also absorbs excess oils and minimizes the appearance of pores by evenly distributing light to help hide and soften skin imperfections and fine lines.
If you couldn't tell from the pictures of the vial, the product is a white cream. It's extremely light weight, and blends to nothing. It definitely leaves that silicone-y feeling behind on your skin, which I don't find unpleasant. This primer does provide an SPF of 15, which is a nice touch. It does keep my foundation looking great all day, but I haven't noticed it minimizing the appearance of my pores. I don't have fine lines, so I can't speak to how well it "distributes" light. I still end up being shiny at the end of my day due to oil, but that's par for my course. I do feel I appear less oily than I have with other primers, like Smashbox's Photo Finish (I used it for 2 days and could just tell it was not meant to be... I could see oil derricks being constructed on my nose and forehead).

Overall, I'm very impressed with this product. I am considering putting down $52 on the full size, but I have a few other primers to check out (trying to use up samples is getting tiring, but I want to start reducing the amount of clutter, and scads of samples take up a lot of room).

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isosterate, Stearic Acid, Alumina

(I was amazed at how short this list is!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush - Review

I'm a sucker for cream blushes. I love my Stila Convertible Color and Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges. When I heard that Maybelline was releasing a line of cream blushes, I started stalking my Ulta and Fred Meyer, waiting for them to surface. When I finally found a partially filled display, I selected two colors, Candy Coral, and Rose Petal.
The packaging for these is similar to the Dream Matte Powder - a beigey gold plastic with a clear lid. These appear to be small, but they're about the same pan size as a MAC blush. They're domed, as well. Maybelline says:
Freshest flush ever:
• Revolutionary gel formula provides a new bouncy texture.
• Lightweight like a powder, yet melts seamlessly into skin like a cream
• Natural sheer wash of color that is buildable for greater color intensity
• Dermatologist tested, Allergy tested
• Non comedogenic
The formula is unique. It's a dry feeling cream that dries to a powder finish. You can push down on the product in the pan, and make a dent.
From left: Candy Coral, Rose Petal
Ten colors are available, and the average price I've seen in my area for these blushes is $7.50. I think the color range is pretty good, and includes some unusual choices, like a lavender and red.
Swatching these shows how sheer they are. They are super, super sheer to start with. I'm a light NC 15, and Rose Petal, which appears to be a soft pink is essentially a highlighter, if that. Candy Coral has enough pigmentation that I can build it up a bit. I use a Sonia Kashuk cream blush brush to apply these. I have noticed that Candy Coral oxidizes on me, so I've found it can be easy to over apply them - after a few hours, what was a natural flush becomes that "I'm perpetually embarrassed!" flush. They're not sticky at all, though. Other than the oxidation issue, they wear very well.

Do I like these? I'm sort of meh about them. They're okay. I don't believe I'll replace these when (okay, if) I use them up. But, they're relatively inexpensive, and once you get the hang of how much to apply, they last all day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Physician's Formula Happy Booster Lipstick - Review

I honestly squealed when I saw a display of new Happy Booster products last month. No, really, squealed. After somewhat composing myself, I decided on one of the new blushes, and one of the lipsticks, I <3 Nude.
 The packaging is like the rest of the Happy Booster line - metallic hot pink with silver accents. The name of the product is printed on a sticker on the bottom of the tube.
The lipstick it's self is 3 different colors in a single tube. The outer ring is a bright peach-pink, the middle ring is a soft pink, and the inner core (which is hard to see once you've used it), is heart shaped and is a soft pinky peach. So, with a name like "I <3 Nude," where's the nude? No, really, WHERE? It's a bright peach-pink, and on my complexion, reads almost orange.

Physician's Formula says:
  • Rich color glides on with luminous shine and all-day comfort for a happy glow.
  • Lip boosting formula with collagen boosting peptides smoothes lips so they look plump, healthy and luscious.
Misnomer aside, the lipstick isn't bad, but it's not great. I consider it a lipstick/balm combo, not a true lipstick. It's somewhat sheer, and feels a bit like a slick balm. A few passes, as indicated above, build up the color intensity nicely, without weighing down my lips. The color is only slightly glossy. I would say this lipstick wears off by the 3 hour mark, or so, and should not be considered long wearing, despite the fact that my list started feeling dry after about an hour. I didn't notice any plumping effect (good, since plumpers usually irritate my lips terribly). My lips didn't appear smoother.

The scent is a strange floral with a bit of almost tea scent. Like the powders, if you've smelled those. Not unpleasant, not really my favorite, though.

Because Physician's Formula is rather expensive for a drugstore item, I don't see this lipstick being a great budget find. I believe this retails for $8.99 or so.

Overall, if you want a bright peach-pink that you reapply over the course of the day, this is for you. If you want opacity or a high-shine finish, however, keep looking.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pan! Lots and Lots of Pan!

I'll own up to the fact that I've been busy. Really busy. So busy, that I've neglected my blog. So, I've brought proof that I haven't given up makeup. Pan porn!
Clockwise from top left: Rimmel Stay Matte powder, Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera, Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray, MAC Sumptuous Olive, MAC Wedge, Stila Smudgestick in Lion Fish
See? Pan! Actually, the Smudgestick and the UD spray are empty. I'm rather disappointed that I used up the eyeliner so quickly - it was finished about 2 months ago! The spray didn't last very long, either, but it was a mini size. Still, I would've hoped for it to last longer than 2 weeks.

There are a few things not pictured, like my MAC Dazzleglass in Dressed to Dazzle. I love Dazzleglasses because I use them up regularly, thus meaning I can B2M the packaging quickly. Also, I complete finished MAC Shroom. You can see my progress on these eyeshadows, and the cream blush above, by checking out this older post.

Regardless, I'm back for now! And, I've been busy using up things!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bare Escentuals Ready 2.0 Eyeshadow Duo "The Epiphany" - Review

I really like Bare Escentuals as a brand, as I've previously noted. When I heard they were going to start releasing pressed eyeshadows, I was beyond excited. I love the concept of loose shadows, but I find them more prone to fall out, and the lasting power seems to vary wildly between shades with some brands. During Sephora's Friends & Family sale last year, I decided to pick up one of the duos, called "The Epiphany."

bareMinerals READYTM Eyeshadow provides exceptionally vivid, long-wearing color in an ultra smooth, silky texture for effortless application and seamless blendability with two complementary shades. Powered by our proprietary SeaNutritive MineralTM Complex along with powerful antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber-ingredients known to deliver anti-aging benefits including reduced look of puffiness and antioxidant protection for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area. It looks like a powder but feels like a cream and delivers a beautifully smooth application of vivid, long-wearing color.
I have to question how long, or how often, you would need to wear an eyeshadow for any sort of skin care benefits to be visible, but I suppose it's a nice touch - I mean, it's the thought that counts, right? That aside, these shadows are creamy to the touch, and color selection is pretty good.

For $20 (an outstanding price), you get two eyeshadows (complete with names), in a rounded square palette. The palettes are made from that same soft to the touch rubber that NARS uses. A mirror is provided in the lid, and a sponge applicator is included. Each duo contains 0.1 oz of shadow, 0.05 oz of each shade.
The Epiphany includes Foreshadow, a matte "brown truffle" shade, and A-Ha!, a shimmery "brown sugar." You could also call them a matte medium/dark brown and a shimmery taupe, if you wanted to. Both shades lean warm, and swatch beautifully.  A-Ha! applies and blends great, too, however Foreshadow doesn't apply great. It can appear chalky and less pigmented than it would appear. It's not without it's uses, though. I love using it to deepen other brown tones. It seems to apply much better over another shadow, perhaps because they give it some "slip."

The shadows last all day over my normal primer system (UDPP + color base of some kind). I have not noticed any morphing, fading or creasing on my oily lids.

Overall, I really like these. Enough that I've since bought a quad, one of the 8-pan palettes from their holiday 2011 collection, and picked up one from QVC in their Today's Special Value from several months ago. This is a particularly dependable duo, because it's a great pair of neutrals at an amazing price.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cover Girl LashBlast 24 Hour Mascara - Review

I am not a fan of any of the LashBlast mascaras. They just don't do much for me. I've tried the original (meh), and the LashBlast Fusion formula (double meh), but I had to try a mascara that claimed to last 24 hours. Had to.
LashBlast 24 Hour comes in a fat black tube with metallic orange lettering and graphics. It comes in  a few shades of black, and I picked up Very Black (as opposed to "Black"). I almost exclusively wear black or the darkest black mascara available. Brown mascaras always look weird to me, and it's super easy for me to tell if the mascara has pigmentation issues, because my lashes are red/blonde.
Like the original LashBlast, 24 Hour has one of those massive rubber/silicone spikey wands. I hate them. I knew I hated them when I bought this mascara, and I should've known nothing would change my mind. This surely didn't. It's hard to get the inner and outer corner lashes with these things, because the cone-shaped bristles are microscopically small at the tip, making them more pointless than an icemaker on Antarctica. The pigmentation is somewhat poor, as well. I wore this over a while mascara primer (Lancome's Cils Booster XL), and it usually required 3+ coats to fully cover the primer. This subsequently caused some clumping, but it was easily brushed out with a metal lash comb. Without primer, I still needed multiple coats to fully cover my lashes.

That said, it lasted all day without flaking or smudging. Did I get "a blast of lush, volumized lashes," as Cover Girl claims? No. I got slightly volumized lashes, with a touch of extra length. Oh, and a bit of aggravation when it came time to remove this stuff. I've been using Clinique's Take of the Day Balm, and 24 Hour lasts through that, plus normal face washing. I have to use an eye makeup remover, then the balm, and then wash my face. That's a lot of steps. I don't really like to spend that much time and energy on my lashes, because I really don't want to pull them out during the process of getting them clean.

If you need a mascara that lasts forever, 24 Hour is for you. If you want a mascara that lasts all day and is easily removed, however, don't bother with this one.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bare Escentuals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner - Review

I am truly a sucker for Bare Escentuals on QVC. It's like they know I have money, and they want me to give it to them, so they bring out only stuff that I would love, like brown sparkly eyeliners. And, despite my efforts to remind myself how much brown eyeliner I have, and how infrequently I use Bare Escentuals' products, my debit card comes out and I end up buying whatever the Today's Special Value is (which reminds me - they have one coming up soon! End of March, I think).

I was drawn to this liner because it promised to rival UD's 24/7 eyeliners, which are fabulous (except the color selection is somewhat weak, in my opinion). They claim to be long wearing, waterproof, creamy, and pigmented.
The color I ended up with is called 10 PM. It's a sparkly dark brown, and looks beautiful when swatched. The pencil barrel is black, with the product information printed in a soft silver tone. The end of the pencil is color coded for the eyeliner's color, much like MAC's Powerpoint pencils. The barrel is made of the same soft-ish plastic as Powerpoints and the 24/7 liners.

The color and formula of this liner is great, sort of. When first applied, it's beautiful - a deep, rich brown with shimmer. After a regular day of wear, though, the color morphed. Badly. It became a weird, antique green on my lids. This can mean one of two things: either the liner faded, or reacted with the oil on my lids or my eyeshadow/eyeshadow base. Either way, it doesn't bode well for a long wearing liner that is supposed to last "round the clock."

I wanted to like this liner, because it's so pretty, but if it can't last all day like other brands (Maybelline, MAC, UD, etc), then what's the point? I can't recommend this liner at all, based on my experience.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Maybelline MasterShape Brow Pencil - Review

I don't really have a need for more brow products (don't judge!), but I've never used one of these waxy-crayon things before, and Maybelline's Eyestudio line is, for the most part, pretty great. So, when I found this product a month ago, and on sale, I decided to try it out.

The MasterShape brow pencil comes in several colors: Soft Brown, Deep Brown, Blonde, and Auburn. Despite my redhair, I usually use taupe/brown tones for my brows (since, my brow hair is not red, and red or auburn shades look all kinds of wrong on my brows). Without a taupe to lean on, I picked up Blonde, which suits me perfectly.

I like that the barrel of the pencil is color coded, and the included spooly is a must. Brushing this stuff through your brows really helps tame and shape them, and adds a more polished look. This product couldn't be easier to use if it tried - it glides on fairly effortlessly, and is the perfect balance of pigmented and not pigmented, so you'd have to focus on getting it wrong. The price is decent, about $5 - $7, depending on whether or not it's on sale, or if you have a coupon.

I have two problems, though:
  1. I've used up a lot of this in the short time I've been using it -This sort of makes sense, coming from using brow powders (which last an eternity), that I would notice how short the pencil was getting.
  2. Sharpening this thing sucks. It's coated in plastic. Not the same kind of plastic MAC uses for their Powerpoint pencils, which is fairly easy to sharpen. No, this is full-on, real, plastic. You must have a really nice sharpener, to make this work. I use UD's Grindhouse (yes, a $10 sharpener for a $5 product.
Overall, I like this brow product. I really do. But, powders seem to be a better value. Remember that Brow Tech Trio review I did? I've been using it daily for the past 8 months, and no pan in sight. I have a feeling I'll run out of Mastershape about 2 months from now. My previous brow powder, MAC's discontinued Brow Shader, is literally 5 years old, and still going strong. So, you may keep that in mind when considering this product.