Friday, May 13, 2011

40 Beauty Questions

This is a YouTube tag that I decided to do as a blog post. Credit goes to Alyson @ The Gloss Menagerie. She also did this, and I liked her idea!

40 Beauty Questions

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Skin Care Questions

How many times do you wash your face each day? Twice, morning and night.

What type of skin do you have? Very oily, acne-prone skin.

What is your current face wash? Solvere Acne Clearing Cleanser. But, when I’m not using a certain set of products, my standby is always Philosophy Purity Made Simple.

Do you exfoliate? Yes, but only chemically. I find physical exfoliation to be irritating.

What do you use to exfoliate? An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) of some sort…preferably glycolic acid.

Do you have freckles? No.

Do you use eye cream? Yes…all Lancome, whichever one I receive in GWP’s.

Do you/did you have acne prone skin? Yes, I have for as long as I can remember. It shows no signs of stopping…rarely gets significantly better, occasionally gets worse.

Did you ever use Proactiv? Yes, twice. The old formula and the new faster, gentler formula. Both were huge fails for me. They both seemed to work very well in the beginning but after about a week they both quit working for me. Plus the products ran out at all different times since they give you way too much cleanser, close to the right amount of toner, and not near enough of the BP lotion. Also, there is no moisturizer…you have to buy that separately. All in all, I just don’t love it. Solvere is MUCH better for me.

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Makeup Questions

What foundation do you use? Lancome Teint Miracle…it’s definitely my HG, I’m on my 4th bottle and still loving it more and more with each day that passes. I also use Lancome Teint Idole Ultra (previous HG), Lancome Teint Idole Fresh Wear (spend-all-day-in-the-summer-sun HG), and I loved the old formulation of L’Oreal True Match.

Do you use concealer? Definitely, it’s a necessity! I use Exuviance Coverblend Multi-Function Concealer after my foundation over larger areas that need additional concealing (redness, PIH, etc.). Then I follow that up with Maybelline Mineral Power Liquid for leftover spot concealing. For undereye I use Bobbi Brown Corrector to correct, Exuviance Coverblend to conceal, and MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter (Radiant Rose) to highlight.

Do you know your undertone color? I’m pretty much neutral, but definitely leaning yellow if I had to pick. Mostly neutral foundations with a hint of yellow work best for me. I avoid pink at all costs, since I have redness already and don’t need to accentuate that.

What do you think of false lashes? I like them! They have their time and place, but not for me.

Did you know you're supposed to replace your mascara every 3 months? Yes, but it doesn’t apply since I don’t wear mascara.

What mascara do you use? I don’t. Clear, if anything, once in a blue moon.

Sephora or MAC? What? Both. You can’t choose between two things that different.

Do you have a MAC pro card? Not currently.

What makeup tools do you use for makeup application? For liquid foundation, always fingers. I have tried many brushes and sponges, but I always come back to using my fingers. I just can’t find anything that creates a finish that I like as much. For powder foundation and eyeshadow I use brushes. I also use wedges to blend my foundation, concealer, and undereye concealer.

Do you use base/primer for eyes or face? Yes, always! Urban Decay Primer Potion for eyes, and the Monistat Chafing Relief gel (Smashbox Photo Finish dupe) for face.

Favorite eyeshadow? I can’t pick favorites…that’s impossible for a makeup hoor like myself! If I had to pick a single, I’d go with MAC Blanc Type since it’s one I constantly repurchase, but I still have many more that I love!

Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner? I only tightline, and I use gel liner to do that. MAC Fluidline, specifically. Love that stuff!

How often do you poke your eye w/ an eyeliner pencil? I never use pencil, so never. ;-)

What do you think of pigment eye shadows? They’re definitely pretty, but I never use loose. I’m too lazy, I find myself always reaching for pressed due to convenience and the mess factor.

Do you use mineral makeup? Rarely…I hate the finish, most of them accentuate my pores and just look bad on me. I love MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural though, if that counts.

What is your favorite lipstick? It’s a tie between Chanel Aqualumiere in Positano, Dior Addict (new 2011) Beige Casual, and MAC Blankety. If I had to pick one I’d go with the Chanel, I used an entire tube and I have 3 backups because it’s discontinued.

What is your favorite lipgloss? What is it with these favorite questions?! Again, a tie…this time between: Chanel Glossimer in Muscat, Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect in Beige Velvet, and Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Modern. I guess Chanel Glossimers are my favorite LINE of glosses, and also Chanel Aqualumiere Glosses but they’re discontinued.

What is your favorite blush? Yay, and easy favorite question! I don’t really wear blush, so I can’t say I have one.

Do you buy makeup on eBay? Occasionally..only from trusted sellers that I have ordered from before since there are so many fakes out there.

Do you like drugstore makeup? I don’t gravitate towards it, but I don’t hate it either. I have a few drugstore HG’s, but I much prefer high-end. However, I am always open to trying new drugstore products that appeal to me, since there are a lot of hidden gems. I have reviewed a lot of drugstore products lately that have really surprised me!

Do you go to CCOs? I have never been! I don’t know why, I live somewhat close to one.

Did you ever consider taking makeup classes? Not really.

Are you clumsy w/ putting on makeup? Not really…I have a basic process that I follow every single day. I have it down so well I could do it with my eyes closed or in my sleep, etc.

Name a makeup crime you hate. Orange foundation!

Do you like colors or neutrals? Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals!!! My makeup friends like to joke about how you can never see my eyeshadow when I have a lid shade, crease shade, and browbone highlight on; or my lipstick when I’m wearing a $28.50 Glossimer. I’m all into the natural makeup look!

Which celeb always has great makeup? Hmm, can’t say I take much notice of any certain celebs.

If you could leave the house using just one makeup item, what would you use? Foundation, without a question. Though I would fight for concealer and powder. Could that count as one? Face basics?

Could you ever leave the house w/o any makeup? No way! I wouldn’t even think about it. It’s like walking out naked to me. I shower and put on my makeup as soon as I get up, it’s part of getting dressed.

Do you think you look good w/o makeup? Not at all! My skin is FAR from perfect.

What is the best makeup line? Hahahaha…good one. Like I can even come close to picking one! I LOVE Chanel, but even I couldn’t use it exclusively. There are soooo many that I think are the best!

What do you think of makeup? It makes me presentable and keeps me from scaring small children! LOL And it’s fun to buy, collect and try new products!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Revlon Molten Metal Eye Shadow: Silver/Gold


Revlon Molten Metal Eye Shadow comes in a small, square acrylic & chrome compact. Each compact contains two eyeshadows that are baked onto tiles, rather than pressed into pans. There is also a curved sponge applicator included. The one I have is called Silver/Gold, but as you'll see in swatches below, the gold is more of a coppery color rather than a true gold. It's very pretty. These are part of the Heavenly Metals Collection.

The silver shade is a bit more shimmery and metallic than the gold, in my opinion. Each of them have a soft, shimmery finish when applied alone, and they both intensify into a highly metallic and slightly sparkly finish when applied over a base. If you're not one for shimmer and shine, you'll want to avoid these, as they definitely stand out.

As far as using a base, whether or not you need one really depends on the look you're going for. Assuming you can opt not to use one (i.e. your eyelids aren't oily like mine), you could use these as a nice, subtle shimmer wash alone. With a base, however, they turn into highly shimmery metallic shadows and the color really pops. They're quite nice either way, actually.

These apply SO nicely for baked shadows! They don't have a hard texture at all, they're actually quite soft and buttery. I found them very easy to work with. The pigmentation is also great for shimmery, drugstore shadows. Even without a base, you still get a nice pop of color.

The only downfall to these is that since they are so shimmery, they will crease. I found them creasing over UDPP which normally holds my shadow in place for the entire (and I mean 24-hour) day. I have very oily lids though, so this was probably a contributing factor. Your mileage may vary, obviously.

Do you need any of these? If you are a fan of metallic shadows, then most definitely yes. I like the fact that they're baked, and they have great color payoff for super shimmery drugstore shadows. Revlon wins with these.

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Swatches...

Center swatches are without a base, end swatches are over UDPP.

With Flash:
Without Flash:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

N.Y.C. New York Color Cheek Glow: Outside Cafe

N.Y.C. New York Color Cheek Glow in Outside Cafe comes in a very plain and simple package, just the product and a brush...no mirror. The brush is one of the really scratchy ones you'll want to toss, but very few people use the included brushes anyway. Plus, when you're paying $2.99 you don't expect much more.

Outside Cafe is best described as peachy pink with a hint of bronze. It has some shimmer, but it's the kind of shimmer that I would refer to as a "sheen." It shows up as more of a glow than a frosty shimmer, and you can't spot any actual particles of shimmer, which I really like.

The downfall to this blush is that the pigmentation is just...not there. The powder itself is so hard that I had to really rub my brush in the pan to pick up the slightest amount of product. On my bare skin, when I tried to swatch it for you guys, I couldn't get it to show up at all. It does show up a bit more over foundation, but even on my super-pale skin, I had to pack it on to get the slightest hint of color. The sheen/glow is definitely there, but the color is not.

Even though I said the shimmer was very understated, I found that by the time I was able to see a bit of color, it was starting to get overly shimmery for my taste due to how much of it I had to use. So I suppose, applied lightly/normally, I could use this just for a bit of a glow like I would a highlighter.

Since the powder is so ridiculously hard, I want to say that it's probably not supposed to be like this. I'm wondering if I just received a bad one, since there are many good reviews floating around for this. I did check MakeupAlley, and apparently the latest reviewer had the same problem as me, so maybe there is a bad batch out right now. Who knows...

Would I recommend it? No, not this shade at least. I think the Color Wheel blushes are MUCH better than the Cheek Glow, and I quite like those. But that's just me...as I said, there are many positive reviews for the Cheek Glow in both this color and others, so your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

N.Y.C. New York Color: Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in Rose Glow


I have owned quite a few of these Color Wheel powders over the last few years. My first powder when I started getting into makeup was the Color Wheel in Translucent/Highlighter Glow, and I loved it. I must have used up about 8 of them before I switched to something else. I also have a limited edition Color Wheel called Desert Bloom, (which unfortunately had a little accident and is now in a jar and used loose) and Peach Glow. I have also tried the All Over Bronze Glow, but it is SERIOUSLY dark and pigmented and I am so pale that it just was not a good combination.

Rose Glow is a shade I have looked at in the store about 50 times but never actually picked up. I'm not a big blush fan, so I always avoided Pink Cheek Glow, but Rose Glow was always appealing to me. It's somewhere between a blush and a bronzer, which I really like...not too pink and not too brown. When this was sent to me for review, I was really happy to finally try it out!

As you can see from the swatches (see end of post), the shades are as follows: matte/satin peach, matte/satin light brown, luminous bronze, and luminous rose. I described the last two shades as luminous, because there is no shimmer or glitter, just a glowy sheen. You *could* call it shimmer, but I wouldn't.

The texture of Rose Glow (and all the other Color Wheels) is VERY soft, so you barely need to touch the brush to the pan to get enough product. I find that these are also nicely pigmented, so a little goes a long way.

Blended together, the shades described above make a very pretty and glowy, bronzy peach color with no shimmer or glitter, just a healthy glow. Funny enough, it's not at all rose to me. The rose shades in the pan just disappear and balance out the bronze shades, so the end result is more of a bronze peach glow than a rose glow. But this is exactly what I like...just like I said above, a hybrid blush/bronzer that doesn't come off as being too pink or too brown.

I lightly apply this with a skunk brush, and even with my extremely pale NC10ish skin, this gives me a light, healthy glow without being too dark.

As for the packaging, yeah, it's not the best...but these are super affordable and really good quality, so it's not a big issue for me. I like the packaging better than some of the other cheapy drugstore packaging, at least these are simple and don't scream cheap as much as some I have seen. The only real drawback is that they could come open during travel, so be aware of that.

Would I recommend this? Definitely! Not just Rose Glow, but all of the Color Wheels!

Swatches: Each shade individually, and all blended together.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow Palette: Eternal Summer


Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow comes in a cute, sleek black palette with rounded little compartments that hold each creme shadow. When you open it, you see the mirror on the bottom, and the creme shadows are on the top of the palette. Basically, it's like a normal palette but reversed. I like the design since you can easily see the shades through the lid without having to open the palette. The suggested retail price is $6.50, which is very reasonable for 4 shadows.

This palette, Eternal Summer, is a palette that was released as part of the Summer Romantics collection. As far as I can tell, it is NOT limited edition, so don't worry if you can't find it now. It matches perfectly with the nail polishes that were also released in the same collection, specifically: Blue Lagoon, Tangerine, & Sunshine Sparkle. There is no matching nail shade for the green shadow in the palette.

See?

I generally don't love creme shadows because they are so low on pigmentation and don't apply evenly, but Revlon Illuminance seems to be the exception. Illuminance Creme Shadows actually show up on the skin and you can apply an even layer of color. They don't apply patchy and unevenly like some do (I'm looking at you, MAC Big Bounce Shadows).

Though they apply okay without primer, I always use UDPP first...regardless of whether I am using a creme shadow or a powder shadow. I like way that UDPP intensifies the color, allows it to apply even more evenly, and makes it pop more. But also, because I know from experience that everything creases on me due to my oily eyelids, even things that are supposedly creaseless. Unfortunately, these are no different. When I do use these with UDPP underneath, I still notice creasing shortly after application which gets worse over time.

Yes...they do tend to fade, but I find this to be the case with most creme shadows that are shimmery, especially if you're not using a powder shadow over them. If you are able to, you could always carry these with you and touch up throughout the day, since you can easily apply them with your finger.

Another way to use these is bases for powder shadow. They work well this way, and you might like them better this way if you're one of the ones that find these crease and fade on you.

Do you need these? If you have dry-to-normal lids, then yes...you would probably love these. Definitely give them a try since they have nice pigmentation. However, if you have oily lids, you'll want to avoid these since they do crease.
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Swatches:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New 2011 Revlon Beauty Tools

Revlon What A Catch Nail Clip w| Catcher

This is one sharp pair of nail clippers! I was impressed with how it made perfect cuts with minimal effort, and without leaving a ragged edge like come cheap clippers will.

The grip makes these very easy to hold without them slipping when you apply pressure like some clippers do. I also like the fact that it has a case to hold nail clippings, so that they're not flying all over the room. The case does make it a little bit harder to see what you're clipping, but you get used to it after the first couple clips.

Would I recommend this? Yes, I like this a lot more than the general, run of the mill, silver clipper. It's affordable, sharp, holds clippings, and has a foldaway file. Plus, the fact that it's a Revlon means that it's guaranteed for life, so you really can't go wrong.

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Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer


I LOVE this! I have used many of those gray nail buffers in the past, but this one is by far the best! It really does provide some crazy shine! Revlon says that this creates a top-coat shine in seconds that lasts for three days, and that it makes nails 400% shinier than if they were bare. That's all definitely true.

It's super easy to use...you just use the green (back) side to smooth and even out your nail surface, then you flip it back over and polish your nail with the white side until you reach your desired level of shine. Though I haven't tried this, it says that you can also use the white side to revive the luster of polished nails.

Would I recommend the CrazyShine? YES, I love it! You need one! I don't always have the time to sit down and polish my nails with a clear coat, but I can always find time to use this. Not only is it fast, but it's a lot more portable than nail polish, and the end result is much more durable. You don't have to worry about chipping or peeling with the shine you get from this!

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Revlon The No Pinch Mini Curler


The idea of this is great, it's small and perfectly portable unlike traditional curlers. As I was packing for a trip a few days ago, I was thinking how inconvenient eyelash curlers are to pack in a makeup bag. They're huge and they take up so much space with the handles and all that. I love how you can toss this in your makeup bag and it takes up barely any space.

Unfortunately, however, this one did not work for me like the other two items did. I tried and tried, but I could not get this to curl my lashes at all. I tried holding it for more than 5 seconds, applying more pressure, "pumping" the curler, curling at all different points of my lashes, and still nothing.

I really like the cage free design on plastic curlers, since you can easily reach all your lashes, but they have never worked for me. I have only ever had good results with metal curlers, so I think that my lashes need more than plastic can offer. It's not necessarily this curler that has the problem, but it's a problem with my lashes in particular.

So, would I recommend it? That really depends. If you have had success with plastic curlers in the past, then yes, you would probably love the portability of this one. However, if you're like me and you can only use metal curlers, then no...you'll want to avoid this one.

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All in all, I am definitely impressed with Revlon's new lineup of tools, and I think everyone needs a Crazy Shine! ;-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Revlon CustomEyes Mascara

Revlon CustomEyes Mascara is really a unique mascara. When you turn the dial on the cap, the brushes actually move to create the look you want! When the dial is set on setting 1, Length & Drama, the bristles are aligned for long and dramatic lashes. When the dial is set to setting 2, Length & Definition, the bristles are staggered to create long and defined lashes.

I have to admit that I was slightly dubious when I first read the packaging. There have been many products with similar claims, the whole multiple makeup items in one package thing, that haven't worked out so well. However, I was very pleasantly surprised with this. When I first applied it, I did one eye with setting 1 and one eye with setting 2. The difference was obvious...one eye had length and definition, while the other eye had length and a more dramatic effect without looking like clumped together lashes.

One thing I really like about CustomEyes is that is very easy to remove. Some mascaras tend to make a smeary mess all around the eye when you're removing them, but not this one. CustomEyes tends to come off very cleanly with a makeup wipe without making a mess, and you don't have to work at it to get it off.

I have noticed that there are many negative reviews from other beauty bloggers, but I actually liked this one. Perhaps because I have lighter lashes? It seems to be those with darker lashes who aren't loving this. Though, my mom (who has dark lashes) told me she uses this and really likes it, so I guess it's really a personal preference.

So, would I recommend this? Yes. Not only is it very reasonably priced, but it also saves you from carrying two mascaras in your makeup bag. With CustomEyes, you get both a night look and a day look all in one tube. Very convenient!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Almay Get Up & Grow Mascara

First and foremost, here are the packaging claims:

*Instantly lengthens and strengthens lashes every time you use it.
*Anti-breakage pro-vitamin formula defends against damage so lashes continue to grow their longest.
*Unique brush shape fits eye contours perfectly to reach every last lash.
*Clump-free, all day wear.
*Hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist tested and suitable for contact lens wearers.

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Let me just say first, I really liked the brush on this mascara! In fact, I found it to be one of the most effective brushes I have used. It's a bristle brush, rather than the ever popular silicone/rubber brushes that most of the newer mascaras use. It's slightly skinnier in the middle than it is on the ends (see pic above), and it really does do a wonderful job of catching every lash. I was able to reach lashes in the inner corner with ease, and it was easy to get the outer lashes without maneuvering the wand in an awkward direction.

I have fairly long lashes as it is, and Get Up & Grow still managed to add extra length without making my lashes look fake and unnatural. I loved the fanned out effect that it provided, rather than making them stick together even after multiple coats. I didn't feel the need to use a lash comb after application, and there were no clumps whatsoever. It gets an A+ for definition!

As far as smudging and flaking...minimal. I found a few flakes at the end of the day and it did smudge a bit on my oily skin, but most mascaras do. It certainly didn't deter me from using this mascara again. It's also very easy to remove, which is a plus. I removed most of it with a makeup wipe, and the rest came off when I was washing my face. I didn't have to work at it to get it off.

So, would I recommend this? Most definitely! Almay did a great job with this one, and for the price you really can't go wrong. Did I mention I love the brush? :-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor

Since I really don't like full coverage lipsticks, opaque lipglosses, or anything that doesn't look very subtle on my lips, this is something I would have never considered buying. I knew that Revlon made a sheer version of this, but for some reason I still thought it would be matte and obvious, so I kept passing it by. So, when I was sent this product for review last week, I was really curious and excited to give it a try.

Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color comes in a slim, portable double-ended tube. One end contains the lipcolor while the other end contains the clear topcoat that you put over the lipcolor. It retails for about $8.99, and you can frequently find it on sale for even less.

The idea with these is that you are supposed to apply the lipcolor to clean, bare lips. You then allow it to dry and finish by applying the glossy topcoat over it. That's it! Touching up is super easy, since all you need to do is apply more of the clear topcoat throughout the day, as it wears off. You can do that without a mirror, obviously, so there's really no upkeep to this.

It just happened that the day I chose to wear it, I put it through the ultimate test. My lips were feeling a little dry, so I had balm on in the morning. I applied this later in the day and ate a yogurt shortly after. I had soup for dinner, and a popsicle after that. I'm not trying to turn this into a food diary, I just wanted to point out that these are all things that are "wet" foods and require a spoon, not dry finger foods. If that wasn't enough, I was chewing gum later and I decided to blow a few bubbles just to test the lasting power a bit more.

The first time I ate, I wiped my mouth with a white napkin. Though the lipcolor was pretty freshly applied at this point, there was no color transfer on the napkin...at all. Obviously, when you're eating, most of the gloss will wear off. That's inevitable, and doesn't bother me since I tend to wipe off most of my gloss before eating anyway. After eating the first two times, I touched up with a bit of gloss and it still looked really fresh like I had just applied it. After the popsicle, I expected to have lost a good portion of the color since it isn't exactly something you can keep off your lips. Surprisingly, just like before, it looked the same after a quick gloss touch-up.

When I ended up chewing gum, it was much later in the evening and I was really amazed that it had lasted that long. I blew a few little bubbles while chewing, just so I could see how much it could endure. After hours of chewing, a few bubbles every so often, I got into what I was doing and forgot about the lipcolor. When I went to get ready for bed, I looked in the mirror and I was amazed to find that there was still enough left to warrant removing it! This stuff wears like iron!

Since it wears so nicely, one would think removal would be a hassle. I was very surprised to find that it's quite the opposite! All I did was put a few drops of jojoba oil on a cotton swab and run it across my lips a few times. It slid off with ease!

So, bottom line...

Would I recommend this, and do you need this? A HUGE YES to both! This is a really amazing product for being only $8.99. Plus, you can always find Revlon products on sale either BOGO or BOGO 50% at one of the drugstores, so it's an even better bargain. Now that I have tried one of these, I feel the need to go grab a couple more shades. I DEFINITELY recommend these!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup


I'm not a huge fan of creme-to-powder or creme foundation. Though creme-to-powder can be good for oily skin like mine, I find that the matte texture usually accentuates any dry patches that I may have. Creme foundation is a bit better, but it can often be too dewy for my oily skin. I generally tend to avoid the two for that reason, but since I was sent this one for review I thought I might as well give compact makeup another shot.

Revlon PhotoReady Compact Makeup comes in a somewhat large, rectangular compact, which is unique because it has a "liquefying screen" inside. The reason behind this screen is that when you apply pressure with your fingers or the sponge, the makeup liquefies and comes through the screen. This really intrigued me, since I thought it might make it apply a bit more "wet" in the beginning so that it wouldn't accentuate dry patches. I didn't find this to be the case...I just found that it gave the product an almost mousse-like texture, which enabled me to get a bit more product in one swipe than I would be able to if I were just running my finger over a pan of creme.

So, having said that, it does make application a little faster. The downside to the screen is that if you typically use a brush, this will make it near impossible to apply. Also, I tend to think that it would make the makeup really hard to get out when you start to get near the end. However, the outer frame pops off very easily and you can lift the screen right out, so it's not a big deal.

Unfortunately, although I had high hopes for this product, it just didn't work out for me and my skin. The coverage was very light in my opinion, much lighter than I needed to cover blemishes. Though it did seem to even out my skin tone, it didn't do anything for a breakout I wanted to cover. I did try to build this up, but it just seemed to get more streaky rather than blending in and adding coverage.

I just want to clarify that it's definitely a creme-to-powder makeup, not just a creme. It has a definite matte finish that did in fact seem to highlight a few dry spots I had around blemishes, which unfortunately just made the lack of coverage in those areas more obvious. It also has the same shimmer that the other products in the PhotoReady line have, which may or may not have contributed to the accentuation of blemishes.

After I finished applying this, I did need to apply a lot more concealer than I normally do, and even then I still needed my powder foundation to "finish" the look. It did look okay after I finished, but I can't say that I loved it. As the day went on, I got as oily as I normally would with my liquid foundation, so the matte effect of this foundation had no lasting effect on my skin. Also I feel it oxidized a bit which made it appear too dark/yellow on my skin. I can't say that's a problem with this foundation though, as I feel all foundations get a bit darker over the course of the day. It was just more pronounced with this one, because the shade I have (Ivory, the lightest) wasn't quite as light as I would have hoped for to begin with.

Would I recommend this? Honestly, I'm not sure. With the shimmer effect, like other products in the PhotoReady line, it's better suited for dry skin. However, I definitely wouldn't recommend it for dry skin because of the matte, mousse-like texture. I suppose if you have oily skin without any dry areas and you only need light coverage you might like this, but if you're looking for anything more than light coverage, this isn't for you.

Though Revlon makes many great products, this one just didn't get it for me. I know there are quite a few people who love this though, so it really just depends on your skin. Personally, I found the PhotoReady liquid to be much better in terms of coverage, so you might want to opt for that instead if you don't mind the shimmer and resulting dewy finish. If you're looking for a matte finish, Colorstay is always a great option and comes in different formulations to suit all skin types.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

N.Y.C. New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compacts

I first discovered these when I was searching for a dupe of my HG eyeshadow which was discontinued. I purchased 938-Union Square for Brown Eyes (shown above) because it had a shade similar to what I was looking for. I was really impressed by the amount of product for the price, so I sort of expected the quality to be below average. I believe I paid $4.49 for four eyeshadows, a primer, and a creme illuminator. Not bad, right? I was later sent 942-Smokey Blues (for Blue Eyes) and 940U-Central Park (for Green Eyes) for review, so now I have had the chance to give three of these a try.

Each NYC IndividualEyes Custom Compact comes with four eyeshadows designed to work with a certain eye color, but I think these would work on multiple eye colors. Each shadow is marked with what part of the eye it's for, such as: highlighter, all over lid, and two crease/contour shades. In addition, each palette comes with a creme primer and illuminator, which are the same universal shade in all of the palettes. Like I stated above, these retail for $4.99, and I paid $4.49 at Target for the one I purchased.

I must say, the quality of these shadows really surprised me! Normally I find cheaper palettes like this to be very hit and miss as far as pigmentation and texture, but not these. I found all the shades to have great pigmentation, and most of them were fairly soft, as well. The only shade I found to have texture issues was the grey "All Over Lid" shade in the Smokey Blues palette, it just wouldn't swatch well. It seems to be "chunky" when you swipe a brush over it, rather than buttery and soft. You get a lot of shadow in one swipe, but there is little color payoff...perhaps it's the shimmer? It does work better over a base, though...so not all is lost.

As for the primer and illuminator, I really like the primer! I can't speak for how well it works on it's own, but I have been using it over UDPP and I really like how it intensifies the eyeshadow but it doesn't make it crease. I don't use the illuminator simply because i'm not a huge fan of shimmer. However, from swatching it I did find that it's very creamy and blends out well. I think it would make a great brow highlight for those who like the shimmery effect.

The only negative thing I can say about these is that the combo of powder and creme in one palette means that the powder will inevitably get into the creme, but for $4.49 it's not a deal breaker for me. There are quite a few high-end palettes that also do this! If you're careful and tap/blow off the excess powder from the shadows before you store these, it keeps it to a minimum.


Pictures & Swatches:

(Click To View Full Size!)

T-B: Union Square, Central Park, Smokey Blues (with flash)

L-R: Union Square, Central Park, Smokey Blues (with flash)

938 Union Square for Brown Eyes:



Union Square:
Highlighter: Satin Ivory/Beige, All Over Lid: Matte Medium Neutral Brown
1st Crease/Contour: Bronze/Brown with a slight shimmer, 2nd Crease/Contour: Eggplant Purple with a slight silver shimmer.

942 Smokey Blues for Blue Eyes:



Smokey Blues:
Highlighter: Shimmering Gold, All Over Lid: Cool Grey with silver shimmer
1st Crease/Contour: Dark Chocolate Brown with gold shimmer, 2nd Crease/Contour: Shimmering Eggplant Purple

940U Central Park for Green Eyes:



Central Park:
Highlighter: Shimmering Champagne, All Over Lid: Shimmering Olive/Gold
1st Crease/Contour: Matte, Muted Brown, 2nd Crease/Contour: Dark, Muted Chocolate Brown with a slight shimmer.

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Would I recommend these? Yes. I think for the price, these are great. Some shadows are more pigmented and apply better than others, but I feel like this happens with most palettes (and less with these than others I have tried!). You're only paying about $1 per shadow, and $0.25 each for the illuminator and primer. Doesn't get much cheaper than that! These are definitely great budget palettes!

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer

Let me start off by saying that I am not a big fan of stick concealers. In my experience, I find that they usually tend to tug on the delicate undereye skin as you're trying to apply them. I also think they tend to crease a lot more than other types of concealers, and can be harder to blend when used on the face over foundation. Revlon has changed all that, PhotoReady concealer is the exact opposite.

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer comes in a sleek, black tube with a clear cap. It retails for about $10.99, which does seem a bit high for a drugstore concealer, but the formula feels very high-end, so it's not hard to see why. The concealer stick itself is perfectly shaped to fit the contour of the eye area, and small enough as well. This is one of the first things I noticed, as I have tried a few sticks that were larger and more round in shape, that I found inconvenient to work with. Revlon has made it very easy to swipe, blend, and go.

As with all products in the PhotoReady line, this concealer was professionally designed and tested under the harshest lighting and high-definition camera lenses to provide the appearance of flawless skin whether it be in indoor fluorescent lighting or bright sunlight. Here's a little technical info from Revlon:

"Revlon PhotoReady Concealer contains photo-chromatic pigments that bend, reflect, and diffuse light to leave you with an airbrushed finish. The concealer stands up against harsh, unflattering light through the diffusing formula while also providing complete yet virtually undetectable coverage.

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer does not look heavy or settle into imperfections and works like an eraser so flaws and imperfections virtually disappear. This unique lightweight, creamy formula contains an SPF 20 to protect against sun damage while providing a poreless, airbrushed appearance to skin."

The coverage, to me, is medium but buildable. It does a great job of concealing my dark circles with the first application, but it's not full coverage. However, since the concealer is so creamy and blendable, it's very easy to build the coverage up to where you need it without it getting cakey.

I have been using this under my eyes all week, and I am really liking it. It's very creamy, so there is zero tugging during application which tends to be the biggest problem with stick concealers. PhotoReady glides on super easily, blends like a dream, and doesn't seem to crease. I feel that it really does a great job at brightening up the under eye area without looking like I have a lot of concealer on.

Though I don't typically use stick concealer on my face, I did use this a few times to cover up redness around my nose and it did a great job. It wasn't hard to blend over foundation at all, which is something I have noticed in the past with sticks.

This does have a bit of shimmer in it like the PhotoReady foundation, but it's not obvious on my skin like it was with the foundation. When I first swatched this concealer on my hand, I noticed the shimmer, but I can't detect it on my face at all. I like the fact that it has a bit of shimmer, since it helps to brighten up the undereye area by bending, reflecting, and diffusing light, and that's where I use it most anyway.

Would I recommend this? Definitely. In my opinion, this is the best stick concealer I have used to date...drugstore or high-end. Considering this retails for $10.99 and you can frequently find a BOGO or BOGO 50% off sale, this is really worth the price.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss


At first glance, you might confuse these for a Chanel lipgloss. They are about the same size as Chanel Glossimers, with an identical tube other than the missing gold band and Revlon's cap design. In addition, the logo positioning is very similar to Chanel Aqualumiere Glosses. This is nice, as it adds a higher-end feel than most drugstore glosses. These are definitely not cheapy feeling tubes.


Revlon ColorBurst Lipglosses are naturally scented with Vanilla Absolute, so they smell just like pure vanilla extract. It's a nice, light, natural scent that you can only smell when you are applying these. It doesn't linger, and there is no flavor. That's a nice touch, as many drugstore glosses are scented.

The applicator is a flat, yet curvy doefoot. It's very similar to that of NYC's new Liquid Lipshine, but it's shorter and more curvy. The purpose of this applicator is to hug the lips so that it is able to provide color and shine in just one swipe. It definitely does for the bottom lip, but application to the top lip is a bit awkward the first couple times until you get used to the wand. My only real gripe about the applicator is that it does not pick up enough product. I have to re-dip the wand multiple times to get enough gloss...which isn't a big deal, but is worth mentioning.


Now for the gloss itself. Here's a little inside info from Revlon:
"Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss uses Elasticolor technology to distribute rich color pigments evenly over lips while conditioning and improving the texture with moisturizers and antioxidants such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E. Microsphere treated pigments provide luxurious vibrant color and seductive shine with micro-pearl crystals for a mirror-like shine."

Revlon ColorBurst glosses were tested against a pair of red patent leather pumps and proven to be 5x shinier. I believe it, these definitely do add shine to your lips. I don't find these to be sticky at all, which is a definite plus. The lasting power is about average...maybe a little better than the average drugstore gloss, thanks to their gel-like texture.

There is a lot of glitter in these, you can really see it in the tube. It appears to be more of a fine glitter than a micro-shimmer, so I expected them to be way too shimmery for my taste. Surprisingly, they're not! The glitter shows up just like micro-shimmer...there's no chunky glitter, and they don't feel gritty on your lips.

Though these are called ColorBurst, I don't find them to be very pigmented and/or add a lot of color. However, I love the level of pigmentation, since I prefer sheer glosses. I do own the lighter shades though, so I can't speak for the darker, brighter shades which do appear to be a lot more pigmented.

Swatches:


Pink Ice is a nice, nude pink. It tones down my natural lip color just a bit and adds shimmer and shine. Peony is my favorite of the bunch. It's the closest to my lip color, so it adds just a hint of color with a lot of shine. Sunset Peach is a nice, sheer, peachy shade that doesn't appear orange on my lips like so many peach shades do.

Would I recommend these? Definitely. In my opinion, these are one of the better drugstore glosses available. The packaging is also the best of any drugstore gloss I have come across, which is something that, for me, really matters. Revlon ColorBurst glosses retail for about $7.99, but you can find them on sale half the time...either BOGO or BOGO 50% off. Very worth it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo - Suede

I'm just going to admit it...I can't pass up a beige/taupe eyeshadow duo. Yes, they're the same two colors, but I could have a million and still justify another because it's just slightly different. I ran across this little gem on the MakeupAlley message boards, and I had to check it out for myself. After a little searching and looking at swatches, I decided that I definitely needed this duo. Dermstore had a 20% code, along with 7.5% cash back through Ebates, so I had to jump on it. A beige/taupe duo for $30.40? Yes, please!

Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duos come in the cutest little compact! The lid lifts up to become a mirror like a normal compact, or you can just slide it open if you don't need to use the mirror. But, it also swivels 360 degrees so that you can flip it over and use the duo as a mirror without actually exposing the eyeshadow. In addition, Hourglass also decided to add a real, soft brush that you could actually use in a pinch...not one of those useless sponge applicators! They definitely get an A+ for packaging.

Now I'm sure most of you don't care as much about the packaging as I do, so let's get to the shadows themselves. Do they live up to the standards the compact set? Most definitely. The texture of this duo is to die for...both of the shades are extremely soft, buttery, and pigmented. I barely had to touch my brush to the shadow to pick up product, and the color payoff was excellent. The shimmer in these is also perfection...it's perfectly between satin and shimmery. There's a definite hint of shimmer, but it's not full-on frosty and there's no chunks of glitter. It's just subtle, eye brightening shimmer.

The darker shade is a toss-up, no one can seem to agree on what shade it is. It's split between those that say it's an ultra light taupe and those that say it's a dark beige. I have to agree, it's hard to say. It does look more beige in the pan, but I feel like it swatches slightly taupey on my fair skin. I'll settle on saying it's somewhere inbetween. Teige? Baupe? Taupige? Your choice. It doesn't matter anyway, it's pretty and that's all that counts.

Do you need this? Yes...if you are a beige/taupe lover, definitely. Although I must have a gazillion beiges, this duo is still unique and worth owning. Since you barely need to touch the brush to the shadow to pick up product, this will last quite a while. I feel it's definitely worth the $38 retail, and you can always pick it up for even less at Dermstore. It's a guaranteed 10% off and sometimes even more. Bottom line: buttery, pigmented beiges and taupes with subtle shimmer. Need I say more?