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.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tarte Amazonian Clay Automatic Waterproof Gel Linerr - Review

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I love brown eyeliners. I love dark brown, shimmery liners, because they make my green-ish eyes more green in appearance, and don't look harsh on my fair skin. One of the Tarte kits I had on auto-delivery from QVC included a liner right up my alley - an Amazonian Clay-based formula in a convenient pencil liner.
I actually received a few of these, but the only color I was interested in was Deep Bronze, since it's brown and shimmery looking. It's a touch lighter than I usually like, but it's still a member of the brown family. It wears well, and glides on fairly easily. The pigmentation could be better, however. I usually have to go over my liner at least twice to get the best color depth.
This liner doesn't smudge after it sets on my lids, which is great. It lasts best on my upper lash line, most likely due to my primer system on my lids. I don't wear a primer on my lower lash line, and I've noticed this liner tends to wear off by the end of the day.

I tried to find these, and was not really able to other than in the QVC kits. I'm certain it's available via eBay, however, should you wish to try one. It's a nice formula, pigmentation issues aside. I don't think I'll repurchase, as there are other brown liners I prefer.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lancome Cils Booster XL Mascara Primer - Review

For some reason, I have been pining away to use a mascara primer. Nothing really spurred this desire, but it was becoming all-consuming - all I could think of was mascara primers. During Sephora's Friends and Family sale, I found a kit from Lancome that included a trial size of one of their primers, Cils Booster XL. Because the kit also had a mascara I wanted to try (Hypnose Doll Lashes), I finally could try a primer without spending too much money.
Although this is a trial size, it looks like the full size, just smaller. The cap/brush are black, with silver lettering saying what the product is. The bottom/tube is white, most likely to make it easy to determine what's inside - no Lancome mascaras (or anyone else's, for that matter), have white tubes.

The primer it's self is white, as well. One coat will start to dry clear, but if you layer (which is a must), it stays white-ish. One coat doesn't seem to do much, but with 2 - 3 coats helps define my lashes, which seems weird because that means I'm putting more and more stuff on my lashes, but it's true. It also adds length, but no real volume. Sephora says:
Give your lashes an XL boost. This innovative mascara base maximizes the result of any LancĂ´me mascara. Features micro-fibers for enhanced effect; triangular brush helps separate lashes.
I haven't noticed any fibers, and I didn't get a chance to use this under a Lancome mascara (I had other things to use up), but I tried this primer with They're Real! and Lashblast 24Hr, and it seemed to add soemthing to them. Neither mascara flaked without the primer, and there wasn't a difference in wear time or smudging, either.

To sum things up, this mascara added length for me, but little else.  For $23, I would hope it'd do something really measurable, but I don't know if the cost is worth it. I probably wouldn't purchase this on it's own, but I'd happily use a sample.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush - Review

Brush reviews sort of scare me. I mean, every one uses brushes differently, and expect different things from their brushes. Some brushes are universally loved, while others have their fans and haters. But, I've mentioned this brush enough to do a review, becase I really love the finish it gives to every foundation I've used it with, and think it's worth your time to look in to. Tarte released this brush originally last year, with the 8th Wonder of the World kit on QVC. Now that they've made the Amazonian Clay foundation available through normal retail outlets, the brush is to.
Top brush: Sephora Professional Platinum #55 Airbrush Brush, Bottom brush: Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation brush
 This brush is short, fat, and super soft. It has dense, bi-colored bristles that trick you into thinking it's a duo-fiber brush, but it's not. The bristles are cut into a dome shape, to help with blending.
The brush head is very, very full. This allows you to really buff your foundation in, and becuase of the large surface area, you are able to cover a lot of territory very quickly, making it a great addition for those mornings when sleeping in seemed a like a good idea.
My only gripe is that because the brush head is so dense, it can be hard to clean. I've found using a brush cleaner, like MAC's, then using a cleansing oil (or an oil-based makeup remover), and then using a makeup removing face wash (philosophy's Purity) seems to work, but that's a long process. It also take a while to dry after cleaning, but, considering the size, shape, and density of this brush, I'm okay with that.

This brush retails for $32, and is available from Sephora, QVC, and Ulta. The price on this brush is fantastic, considering I've never experienced shedding, and it's soft, and works so well. Likely, it's at a low-ish price, because it's made in China. Even if you're not a huge Tarte fan (and I wouldn't consider myself one), this brush should be in your kit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow - Review

Playing around on Sephora's website is a dangerous game. I qualified for their VIB program late last year, but never used my 10% off code (because I qualified during Friends and Family,and didn't need anything). I found I was able to still use the code in early February. Of course, using the code for the small purchase I made caused my total to drop below the threshhold for free shipping, and thus, I needed to find something else to make up for it. I had read Scrangie's post about Sephora's Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow, and decided to give one a try.
I chose Bronze Brilliance, since I love neutrals and bronzy tones. The reason these eyeshadows are different is how their pressed. It's not a flat surface. Instead, it's a raised, wavy shadow, which means the compact is super thick. The shadow is still powder, not cream, however. It just looks pretty cool. Sephora says:
The new wave in eye shadow, Prisma Chrome brings together the best features of baked, powder, and cream shadows. Its revolutionary effect captures light perfectly, delivering a prismatic effect with an unbelievably smooth and true color finish. 
Bronze Brilliance is a true bronze, and a bit less orange than MAC's Amber Lights, and more bronze than L'Oreal Infallible's Bronze Taupe, which is decidedly taupe in comparison. It's shimmery, and swatches well. Pigmentation on my lid could be a little better, though. I needed to pass my brush over the powder a couple of times. I use my MAC 239 to apply.

The shadow applies and blends decently. It's always hard to tell if my primer system is just super grabby or if a shadow is super draggy, but this shadow does not blend and move like a MAC Veluxe Pearl shadow, for example. I find myself having to revisit the pan more than once to get more product. I definitely see the baked influence in the way the powder acts when applying, but there's no fallout. I don't see anything resembling a creamy feel or finish, though.

I haven't had any creasing or fading with this shadow. It lasts all day on my lids without any problems.

These shadows cost $15, which seems like a pretty high price for a house brand, when MAC costs the same. The black shiny compact holds 0.12 ounces of shadow, while the standard MAC shadow is 0.04 ounces. Obviously, the Sephora is a better value.

Overall, this is a nice shadow, with an interesting shape. It's sort of sad that it's nothing super special, though, like the pressing would indicate - it performs much like any other powder shadow. I am not sure if I will purchase another one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Etsy Find - Pollen Cosmetics

More and more, I find myself drawn to neutrals - browns, creams, taupes, soft champagnes, and so on. A particular color from Pollen Cosmetics on Etsy caught my eye, and I decided to try out a sample set.
 I selected the 10 sample set, and Lindsey, the owner, threw in a freebie. She has a fairly good color range, including several neutrals, and some brights. Currently, she only offers eyeshadows. Samples are $1.25 singly, or 6 for $5, or 10 for $8.50. Full sized eyeshadows are $5.50 for a 5 gram jar. You can buy a set of 3 jars for $15, or a set of 5 full size jars for $23, as well.
Sample sizes are 1/8 teaspoon in a small baggie (hate baggies! I know they're cheap and keep costs low, though). Each one is labelled with the name of the shadow, and a complete ingredient list. Each Etsy listing has a complete ingredient listing, as well as a swatch (some seem better than others), and color description.
Swatches! Discoteque is a very bright gold shimmer with medium pigmentation. Violet Me Go is a shimmery light purple with medium pigmentation. Book Collector is an orange-brown shimmery color with good payoff. Off White Wedding is a fairly pigmented white shimmer. Dazzle Darling is a gold-olive wtih good pigmentation. Saddle up is a deeper brown that appears lighter due to the shimmer, and has medium pigmentation.
 Future Sunrize is my skin-tone but better - in the baggie it's a gorgeous peach shimmer. Lily Jane is a super sheer purple. True to Form is a blue green shimmer, that almost has medium pigmentation (it's very similar to MAC's Blue-Green pigment). Rare Find is a purple taupe (love!!) with decent payoff. Ordinary Moments is a medium brown with gold shimmer, and medium pigmenation.

Shipping time frames for Pollen are stated at 5 -7 business days, whcih is sort of a long time. I've been watching to see if that changes, and it doesn't appear to. So, be prepared to wait a while.

None of these shades are super pigmented, but applying them wet helps (this is fairly standard for any loose or mineral eyeshadow, so it's just the nature of the beast). You must own Rare Find, Ordinary Moments, and Future Sunrise, though. MUST. They are perfection, and I plan on purchasing full sizes soon. I would recommend taking a peek at Lindsey's shop!

Monday, March 5, 2012

MAC Matchmaster Foundation - Review

I picked this up awhile ago, and have not had a chance to write a review, because I keep going back to Perfection Lumiere, but MAC's Matchmaster Foundation is pretty awesome!
For $33, you get 1.18 fluid ounces (35 mL) of foundation in a tall, glass tube with a locking pump top. I really like how MAC's tubes lock, by twisting the outer plastic of the tube, because it's very easy to do. This process makes MAC foundations extremely easy to travel with. I find it interesting that MAC's volume for this product is an oddly specific number, 1.18 fluid ounces, rather than the regular 1.0. Nonetheless, you get a bit more than most companies would give you in the same price range.
Typically, I match to NC15 in MAC foundations (if they run light), and the lightest or second lightest warm shade in other lines. I was color matched to 1.0 in Matchmaster, and I believe it's a good match, with one caveat - I can't layer it. If I layer it, or try to build the coverage, it starts looking orange. One thin layer gives solid medium coverage, however, which works fine for my purposes. It doesn't appear cakey or mask-like, and wears well all day. This isn't a matte finish foundation - I would call it satin, which means I'm shiny at the end of the day, but I can live with that. I've suffered no breakouts or other skin issues while using this foundation.
The reason MAC is so proud of this foundation is because it contains "technology" that allows it to match almost anyone. The pigment is suspended in a clear "bubble" and allows it to "adjust" to the wearer. Yeah. Whatever. If you're an NC25, you can't pick up a bottle of 1.0 and expect a perfect. It gives some leeway to allow more people to find a color that may work for them, but I can't see an NW10 wearing my shade in this foundation and getting a match from it. 

The only real complaint I have about this foundation is the scent - it smells like the Cover Girl foundation I used to wear as a teen. A combination of paint and that eau de makeup scent. It doesn't last, and my brushes don't seem to pick up the scent at all. It's also pretty thick - sometimes I need to use a little over 1 pump for my whole face. For most foundations, I use 1 pump and I have a bit left over. Sometimes, I need a touch more. It seems to depend on the brush - a 187 uses less than the big Tarte brush released with the Amazonian Clay foundation (love that thing, though!).

Overall, this is a nice foundation. It does what it's supposed to do. I think NC15's will find a solid match in the 1.0 shade, but if you're boarderline like me, you won't find it buildable. I don't think I'll repurchase, because I strongly prefer my Perfection Lumiere (why do I have to like the more expensive one? WHY?!) to Matchmaster.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Clinique Flirty Honey Almost Lipstick - Review

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a lipstick girl - I don't want to reapply anything, with the exception of lipgloss. I want to do my face once, and then be good until I'm done for the day. Lipsticks in the past always managed to wear off terribly unevenly, causing me to feel I looked ridiculous. Thus, I'll only wear them on the weekend, when I'm only going to be out and about for a few hours. Sheer lipstick/balm hybrids are nice, because they wear off rather silently. When I heard Clinique was relaunching their Almost Lipstick Line, I was curious - I had tried Black Honey, and was wondering what the other shades would be like.
 Almost Lipsticks are a thin, sheer balm with a hint of color. They are fragrance free, which means they smell sort of waxy - not super waxy or gross, but, I wish they had some fragrance to them. By hint, it is more like a brief mention. Sephora says:
Not quite a gloss, and not quite a lipstick, this transparent formula merges with the unique, natural tone of your lips to create a look that's all your own. Its sheer, emollient-rich formula glides on for easy layering. 
Clinique released 7 new shades to complement Black Honey. I selected Flirty Honey, which appeared to be a coral-pink.
In reality, it looks hot pink in the tube, and gives a soft, sheer gloss of warm pink on my lips, with a little tiny bit of coral. Not a whole lot of coral to be found. There are two swatches on my inner wrist. On the left, a single pass. On the right, several (maybe 6?). Granted, my wrist isn't the same as my lips, but, I think you get the idea of how sheer this is. Almost Lipsticks are one of those products that the manufacturer claims "becomes" your perfect shade. Well, they don't. They are the shade they are, but in the case of Almost Lipsticks, they give a satiny shine with a little color. They are very comfortible, and feel like a very light weight balm with some slip. Not like Revlon Lip Butters or MAC Slimshines which feel like a light lipstick, Almost Lipsticks are more balm than anything else.

These don't last too long on me, about 2 hours, after which I'm not able to feel that slip anymore. I haven't noticed any staining, either, which means they cleanly disappear. My lips don't feel moisturized or dried out after they wear off, just some happy medium.

These retail for $15, and are available anywhere Clinique is sold. I really like Flirty Honey, and if I actually finish it, I would definitely repurchase it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow - Review

I use cream shadows everyday. Although I seem to prefer them in stick form (like the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils), I'm intrigued by drugstore products that mimic higher end offerings. In this case, Maybelline has formulated cream shadows that are very reminiscent of MAC's Paint Pots. But, are they better?
 Maybelline seems to claim these shadows will last 24 hours. I mean, they printed it on the package, so it must be true, right? Anyway, I have three shades: Tough as Taupe, Painted Purple, and Bad to the Bronze.

Bad to the Bronze is a shimmer brown/bronze. Painted Purple is a bright, shimmery purple. Tough as Taupe is a matte (!!) grey brown. I'm very surprised by Tough as Taupe - matte products seem to be hard to formulate well, and they did a fantastic job with this one! All three of these are creamy, and easy to blend and work with. They do not, however, last all day without creasing. I end up with creasing around hour 8 or so,when set with powder eyeshadow, which is still pretty awesome, but no where near the 24 hour claim. I can't wear them alone, because they crease after an hour.

I find these to be very similar to the best-textured Paint Pots from MAC. Some Paint Pots are hard and require warming, or they feel almost tacky to the touch. None of the Color Tattoo shades I have are like that - they're all very similar feeling, even Tough as Taupe.

Price ranges a bit, due to the nature of drugstore brands. I think the least I've seen them is around $6, and the highest was around $9.

I like these. I like them enough that I'm planning on getting one more (the white one). I think they're an excellent option for anyone who doesn't want to pay $18 for a Paint Pot.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray - Review

It's a fact - I have oily skin. I am willing to try almost anything to make it possible for me to skip blotting through out the day, including a specific setting spray. When in Ulta several weeks ago, I found a mini-size of Urban Decay's De-Slick spray, and decided to give it a try.
A full size, 4.0 oz bottle retails for $29, and the mini size gives 0.34 oz for $12. Obviously the full size is the better value, but, because I wasn't convinced this would work, I figure I saved myself $17 by trying the smaller size. It appears the small size is an Ulta exclusive, as it's not listed on the Sephora site.

Sephora says:
This high-tech, hypoallergenic formula keeps skin looking beautifully matte all day, without clogging pores or causing breakouts. The weightless mist absorbs excess sebum and controls surface shine, leaving your makeup looking fresh and newly applied. Your makeup won't melt when it's hot or become dehydrated and cracked when it's cold and windy because Urban Decay's patent-pending Temperature Control Technology, which lowers the temperature of your makeup to hold foundation, eye shadow, blush, and concealer in place. 
Unfortunately, this product did nothing for me. Nothing. Other than annoy me, that is. The directions state you should spray this on, then apply your foundation as usual, then spray your face again. I'm fairly certain these instructions are more for Urban Decay's benefit rather than yours, though - this bottle lasted me about a 7 days. No joke. And, I didn't even spray my face twice per use, thinking that might be overkill. In the end, it didn't matter if I just spray before foundation, just after foundation, or both before and after, the results were the same. I was still as oily at the end of my day as I am without this product at all.

I can't recommend this. At all. It did nothing for me, and thus, was a waste of $12.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Etsy Find: Muse Minerals

I have an addiction to eyeshadows. Etsy is one of my sparklecrack dealers - I can peruse all sorts of shimmery, glittery, and soft shadows in my pajamas, and shop from several new lines at once. Muse Minerals caught my eye (I tend to like newer sellers, with no real reason), because many of the shades offered included jojoba oil as an ingredient. I've learned that mineral/loose shadows must have a wax or oil of some sort in them, otherwise, they fade to nothing on my lids. Also included is Cap-5, an eye safe preservative. Muse was the first brand I've encountered on Etsy that uses a preservative, however, I've noted more and more lines are including one. This is a sampling of the large number of shades I have from Muse.
 Alyssa, the proprietress of Muse, offers 5 gram jars or sample baggies of her eyeshadows, however, I've been successful in requesting 3 gram jars. A full size eyeshadow jar retails for $4.95, a 3 gram jar costs $3.95, and a sample pack is $5 for 5 samples in baggies. I appreciate the size options, because I'll never finish a 5 gram jar. Above are 6 of the 3 gram jars I have, in colors I love.
 Each jar has a sticker on the bottom that includes the brand name, color name, and a complete ingredient list. All of these things are also appreciated.
J'Adore is a slightly reddened brown. Halo is one of the best highlights ever - a soft whisper of gold-laced white. Faun Over Me is a great neutral taupe. Smarty Pants is a shade deeper taupe, although Faun Over Me and Smarty Pants are very close. Orchid is a blue-based purple. Bright Eyes is a sparkly brown. SO far, Muse does not offer any matte shades.

What Alyssa seems to do best is neutrals - she has tons! Faun Over Me and Smarty Pants are my favorites of these, however, she has many different taupes to choose from. The only issue I have is that some shades are sheer. For some, like Halo, that makes sense - it's a highlight, after all. But others, notably the shade Pumpkin (which is not swatched), is also sheer. That's fine if you wish to use it as a highlight, however, as a lid shade, it's not going to work. Alyssa does not note which shades are sheer and which are more pigmented. She is very easy to talk to, however, and responds to inquires quickly. And while I don't have a picture of it, she packages things for shipping in such a cute way! Placing a small order is worth it just to see what she's going to come up with next in terms of shipping - cute paper bags, stickers, notes and candy!

Each listing includes a description of the shade the listing is for, and a full ingredient listing. Note to Etsy sellers: I will not purchase your wears if you don't include this! Kudos to you sellers that do!

Overall, I really like Muse Minerals, and I cannot recommend Alyssa's shop enough! Just be ware that some shades are more sheer than others, and you can always ask Alyssa if you're not sure.