Liquid -Prescriptives - Flawless Skin Total Protection Makeup SPF 15
Aque 3/13/2009 12:45:00 PM
This is not the most user friendly of Px's liquid foundations, its difficult to get it to work well but the payoff is, I think, worth the effort. I nearly didn't buy this - I took home a few samples to confirm the right color (& my SA was right on with the one she recommended, but gave me a couple of others to compare it to) but had a lot of problems getting it to apply smoothly & without looking patchy & emphasizing my winter dry patches. So I went back to the counter, looking for the right color in what I hoped would be a better formula for me. Turns out there's a real knack to applying this & its very dependent on how dry your skin is, what moisturizer you put underneath it & the brush you use. In the winter my skin tends to be drier, but, as the SA showed me, put the right degree of moisturizer underneath & this blends extremely well - but you do need to use a foundation brush. For whatever reason this foundation gets very patchy if you use fingers. I did end up switching moisturizer & scrub to help my winter skin (not to Px, though I have some samples the SA gave me to try & I'll see how they work out) & am having a much better experience with this than I expected. Coverage is fairly full, but not unnatural & cakey, color match for me is excellent & the foundation wears well without oxidization. I've tried it with & without Px's new primer & while it does make a difference to how it holds in warmer weather its not critical to put a primer underneath. However, this stuff is not easy to remove from your face or clean off your brushes & if you aren't careful you risk breakouts. A good cleanser is a must if using this foundation. Only real complaint I have is the bottle. I wish it were in a pump rather than the large opening it has but that's a minor issue for something that's one of the best foundations I've used. If you are considering this, make sure you sample - if you find a good color match do sit down with your SA, make sure you are comfortable applying this before committing to a FB & invest in a good foundation brush (the Px one is great & Px often has offers to get one free or discounted with a new foundation purchase, so keep an eye open for these, but there's also good Ecotools one too which is a lot cheaper).
Primer/ Corrector -Boots - Matte Under Makeup Base
Aque 1/25/2009 4:14:00 PM
I picked this up out of curiosity when flying through the UK & while its not the worst decision I ever made, its also not one of the best. This is on the heavy side for a primer & as mentioned below, its thick & hard to blend. part of this at least is because the tube isn't perfectly air tight - the cream has dried out quite a bit since I first bought it, but even then it was on the thick side. This gives probably the most matte finish to any foundation you put over it that I have ever seen. If you've very bad oilies this is a good pick, but I only ever really use this in the summer when I need my makeup to hold up in the heat or outside. Then what I've found works best is to mix a VERY LITTLE of this into my tinted moisturizer on the back of my hand, apply the mix to my face, top with a fine dusting of powder & leave well enough alone. The little extra added base seems to stop my TM melting off my face in the heat. Because of how matte the finish is if you use it under regular foundation make sure you don't forget moisturizer or your foundation will probably cake. A tiny (seriously tiny) amount of this mixed with eye cream also makes a good eye shadow base. I'll probably slowly use up the tube rather than toss it, just because that's me, but if you're in the UK & need a foundation base, stick to the GOSH one (avail at Superdrug).
Lipstick -Sally Hansen - Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy l/s
Aque 1/17/2009 7:22:00 PM
Picked this as a freebie at Ulta with other SH Carmindy purchases, but even at its regular price of $10 its a reasonable price for a d/s lippie. Unusual green metallic case, nice & heavy & the lid stays put which is my main concern. Shopping at Ulta can be a pain, but one thing my local store has going for it is a lip bar with testers of all the SH Carmindy lipsticks. I was surprised how wearable so many of the colors looked on swatching, even if they might not suit my coloring. I eventually picked "Seashell Nude" based on how the color looked on me & before I registered its name - its like no other nude I've ever seen lol (they are usually too pale or too orange or something), this is more a warm medium mauvey brown cream finish with a tiny bit of pinkish shimmer, very MLBB & a very, very flattering color on me (I'm Px Vellum, nc20-ish). My main criticism of this is that it doesn't wear very well, the formula is extremely soft & disappears quickly. Admittedly, I haven't tried this over a lip pencil or primer yet, which I'll do next to see if it helps. That said this is definitely a lippie I'll wear as opposed to tossing because its comfortable & moisturizing in the lousy winter weather I'm living through now & its such a gorgeous color on me. Assuming I still love the color as much as I do now when I'm close to finishing this tube, I doubt I'll repurchase but may ask 3CC to copy it in a longer wearing formula, & without the rather odd smell this lippie has (its very faint & doesn't bother me, but its clearly there).
Gosh, this is a gorgeous color. I admit it, I was in a seriously pissy mood & wandered in to Walgreens to cheer myself up with a cheap treat. I found the entire Prestige display on clearance & since I'm a sucker for unusual colored eye pencils picked up this one & Jasmine (a deep blue). For $1.39 I got a very nice soft kohl pencil (not quite as soft & smudgy as the Jordana kohls, but also it doesn't smear anywhere near as much as the Jordana ones do) in a lovely warm khaki-ish brown with a hint of gray in it & a very subtle gold shimmer. I tight-line my upper lid with this & it blends perfectly into my skin color, enhancing my eyes but without looking obvious in anyway. The pencil also has a foam-smudger tip at the other end if you like to smudge a thicker line. Haven't tried the blue one yet, but this is definitely a winner & I'm planning on picking up a backup since at this price its a no-brainer & it looks like my local Walgreens at least is not going to be carrying these in the future.
Crème -L'Oreal - True Match Super Blendable Compact Makeup
Aque 1/7/2009 12:17:00 AM
This the new creme compact foundation L'oreal is offering in its True Match line. Like the True Match liquid foundation, this comes in 20 odd different shades, catagorized by warm, cool or neutral, so hopefully there's a shade that works for you. I travel a lot for work, short one or two day trips where I fly with just a carryon & carrying my usual liquid foundation on a plane is just a bad idea, so I've been on a hunt to find something that I can easily carry through security, works for my skin tone & doesn't cost a fortune given its going to probably be something I only use intermittently, rather than replace my usual Px custom blend. I like the True Match pressed powder (again because its easy to carry in a briefcase) & W3 is a pretty decent match for me, so I though W3 in the compact creme makeup would be a good bet. However, looking at the colors in this product, it seems that the warm colors at least run dark compared to the matching pressed powders, so look carefully when you select. I ended up picking the W2 makeup based on how it looked next to the W3 powder (the W3 makeup was far darker & didn't look like a good match) & it works pretty well for me, though in the summer with a tan I may need the W3 instead. Based on wearing this for two days on my current work trip, I quite like this. The compact (a new, more modern clear plastic design than the grey plastic ones for Truematch powder & blush) is convenient, with a small mirror & one of the white round True Match sponges for application. The actual product is oil-free & spf 17. It applies fairly sheerly & blends well with a dry sponge to give pretty light, natural looking coverage that evens out my skin tone well. You do need to carefully & quickly blend this or it looks blotchy, but it dries to a very natural finish when you are done. I haven't tried applying with a brush, but I assume you can get somewhat better coverage if you use one. The makeup for me (I've sensitive, but pretty normal skin) didn't result in any oilies by the end of the day (& today was a long, long day) and I didn't need to touch up with the makeup during the day (just a little powder a couple of times). I'll update further as I use this more, but so far it looks like a nice option for the specific need I have when traveling given the color match. I've always been a bit wary of compact foundations because the last one I used (years ago, by Clinique) broke me out badly, so I see how it does. Two warnings - look carefully at the colors, if you've got a current True Match color it may not be the same in this product & if you need heavy coverage this probably won't provide it. Retail on the product (for just under 9 grams) runs about $11 depending on where you get it - widely available on BOGO right now (I got it at my CVS as a BOGO plus a $3 coupon off).
Gold Dust is a very odd name for this shadow, its actually a deep taupey/gray brown with a fairly matte finish & a little bit of microfine glitter. Its very similar in tone to Ulta Truffle (which is a light taupey/gray brown), but Gold Dust is several shades darker. I have Gold Dust in the new formula & its very highly pigmented & soft - its almost a bit too easy to make a mess with this if you aren't careful & overload your brush. I have the feeling based on the earlier reviews that the color of this shadow changed slightly with the reformulation to make it a bit cooler toned than previously. This pic http://img.makeupalley.com/9/2/2/5/1155728.JPG shows Ulta Truffle in the first left pan in the top row; Gold Dust is the second from the left in the bottom row for comparison. Its a nice crease shade & great for a soft smokey eye that's less harsh than most true blacks & greys, I probably won't repurchase as its a little bit too cool toned for me & I prefer Ulta Mink (similar with a much warmer red/brown undertone), but a very nice basic shadow if you're looking for a deep gray/brown for your collection. Huge Ulta pot (4 g) is easy to depot if you're so inclined & its pretty much always on sale (usually BOGOF at Ulta), but even for its regular price of $7 its a nice buy.
One of my most used Ulta shades & one I've actually purchased a backup of to stash - my favorite colors have a bad habit of being discontinued & this is one shadow I don't want to risk being without. Lovely medium beige/gold with just a little shimmer to it, but nothing over the top. One of the most neutral of Ulta's nude eye options, its just slightly warm & will probably work on a number of skin tones; if you find Stila Kitten too peachy/warm/shimmery (like me) this is a solid alternative to consider. Great texture, applies & blends easily, just all around one of the best Ulta eye shadows available. Huge pan like all the Ulta shadows, and a definite bargain when its available as a BOGO. Easy to depot, I store this in a Ben Nye empty eye shadow palette that I've customized with my other Ulta shadows. Cashmere is the pan in the top row of my palette, last pan on the right in this pic http://img.makeupalley.com/9/2/2/5/1155728.JPG; you can also see a pic above of the pan alone.
Love this stuff. Its pretty much a dupe of the Leclerc Banane powder at a fraction of the price, about $6 for a 1.5 oz (42 g) shaker bottle of beautifully fine, silky powder that goes on like a dream. I wear this "neat" in the summer when I've got a tan or when I want to warm up my skin tone (this powder is a tiny bit too yellow for me in the winter); I've also used this to custom correct other loose powders that needed a little more yellow added to them, mixed it with Ben Nye's translucent Neutral Set powder & use it on its own to set concealer. On the skin its one of the nicest finishing powders I've ever found, gives a lovely non-shimmery, polished look, mattifies all day with minimal touchups, works well with the yellow tones in my skin & is very good at neutralizing any redness I have. If this color (Banana) doesn't work for your skin tone, do check out the other color options - the Visage Poudre is wonderful stuff & worth the hassle of tracking it down. The shaker bottle this is packaged in is great for transporting product without spills, & I like that it doesn't have any extra bits & pieces of cardboard/plastic etc to discard, but is mildly annoying when it comes to actually applying product - you can shake it onto a puff, but I invested in a medium MAC sifter jar & just pour a little out as needed into that & then apply with a regular powder brush. Would rebuy in a heartbeat when needed, but a small bottle lasts forever, so that's a rare event.
Love this stuff. Its pretty much a dupe of the Leclerc Banane powder at a fraction of the price, about $6 for a 1.5 oz (42 g) shaker bottle of beautifully fine, silky powder that goes on like a dream. I wear this "neat" in the summer when I've got a tan or when I want to warm up my skin tone (this powder is a tiny bit too yellow for me in the winter); I've also used this to custom correct other loose powders that needed a little more yellow added to them, mixed it with Ben Nye's translucent Neutral Set & its perfect on its own to set concealer or color correctors. On the skin its one of the nicest finishing powders I've ever found, gives a lovely non-shimmery, polished look, works well with the yellow tones in my skin & is very good at neutralizing any redness I have. If this color (banana) doesn't work for your skin tone, do check out the other color options - the Visage Luxury powder is wonderful stuff.
Lotions/ Creams -Jaqua Girls - Luscious Lotion in Buttercream Frosting
Aque 12/28/2008 2:07:00 PM
I received a sample packet of the pink version of this lotion from Ulta. I quite like the lotion itself, its light & absorbs quickly - however, I found the scent overly strong & won't buy this as a result. Is very synthetic vanilla/candyish for my taste & unfortunately lasts a very long time (it would be more tolerable if it faded quickly), but if you like these kinds of gourmand scents its worth a try.
Lipstick -Revlon - Renewist Lipcolor in Chocolate Satisfaction
Aque 12/19/2008 11:34:00 PM
Love this color. Chocolate Satisfaction is a moderately warm reddish toned brown on me. Its much more red/pink toned than is apparent in the tube, & thankfully has no yellow or orange undertones. It also isn't particularly dark/gothish which can happen with many browns on me, making it one of the few browns I can actually wear (I'm w3 in L'oreal Trumatch, & pretty pale). Just a completely fabulous color on me. The moisturizing core of this gives it a surprisingly comfortable feel the lips. I rather like the clear plastic tube (very Shu-ish, I think). Got it on clearance at Walgreens & I'm going to nab a back up of this since the SA said its being discontinued & I just adore the color.
Lipstick -Revlon - Renewist Lip Color [DISCONTINUED]
Aque 12/19/2008 11:27:00 PM
I, of course, just discover this product when its reportedly about to be discontinued, according the SA at Walgreens (at least four different Walgreens near where I live or work have had this on clearance with the orange sticker of death for the past two weeks). Not the normal price, but currently dirt cheap if you are near Walgreens, marked down to $2.39 AND BOGO50%. So less than $2 a piece. The product itself - for some reason I've never tried these before (I like a lot of the Revlon lipglosses & SL lipsticks), but I was attracted to these in the store because one of the colors, Chocolate Satisfaction, looked a lot like an old LE Revlon lipgloss I used to love before it was discontinued. And yes, its the closest thing I've found to that color, though the finish is different. This lipstick has a very nice balm-ish softness, but the color stains & lasts for quite a while, with very nice & comforting texture in the current winter weather & not at all drying so far (presumably due to the moisturizing core). I rather like the clear case, its very chic to me & reminds me of the Shu lipstick cases. The colors I got - Chocolate Satisfaction is a moderately warm reddish toned brown. Its much more red toned than is apparent in the tube, & thankfully its also got no yellow or orange undertones. It also isn't particularly dark/gothish which can happen with many browns, so for me (w3 in L'oreal Trumatch, so I'm pretty pale) its one of the few browns I can actually wear. Just a completely fabulous color on me. The other color I got, Mostly Mocha, really isn't a mocha color at all. In the tube it looks like a slightly lighter brown than the Chocolate Satisfaction color, but it wears on me as one of the most perfect, natural brown toned red I've ever worn, not too bright or blue or orange or any of the other problems I tend to have with red lippies that make me avoid them. I'm seriously considering picking up backups of these while they are still available because knowing my luck I'll loose one & then never be able to replace colors that suit me so well plus I really like the moisturizing core of these for winter wear (Chicago winters are murder on the lips).
Loose Powders -Ben Nye - Neutral Set translucent powder
Aque 12/16/2008 6:15:00 PM
It always astounds me when I find products like this that 1) seriously work and 2) are mind bogglingly cheap. Just how much to we pay for the fancy packaging & advertising? If you can find Ben Nye products (PM if anyone needs sources in Chicago, including a supplier that ships anywhere in the US) the loose powders are definitely worth trying. This is a great basic translucent setting powder that works, is dirt cheap, has never broken me out & the smallest bottle available lasts forever. My skin tone varies a lot in the summer vs winter (I don't really ever tan, I get sort of light gold, but I get very pale in the winter) & I got tired of dealing with multiple pots of powder that might or might not work with my different foundations. This translucent, basically colorless powder works all the time with everything. I've even used it to "lighten" other colored powders that were sort of but not quite right until I used them up. If you buy this, be warned - it comes in an awkward-looking squat shaker bottle. You can shake the powder onto a puff, but I found that messy. I invested in a couple of MAC 1 oz sifters jars & just pour a little of my Ben Nye powder into one of these as needed & it makes for easy traveling too. List price of this is $5 for 49 g (nearly two ounces) of product - in comparison you'll pay about $35 for one ounce (half the amount) from a line like Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier. Yes, the pretty pot is nice, but I find the price differences completely insane particularly when I can buy a pretty sifter jar from MAC for a couple of bucks.
I bought this wheel because I liked the idea of having all my concealer products in one compact rather than hunting for different pots all the time. I paid about $9 for the wheel which I consider a bargain for the quality of product & amount you get. This wheel contains half an ounce total of the following four Ben Nye concealers/neutralizers - MY-2 Mellow Yellow Norm, MO-2 Mellow Orange Med, CC-3 Coverette Medium, FS-3 Olive Beard Cover. I use the MY-2 & MO-2 most often. The Mellow Yellow is a great basic concealer for my occasional blemishes. I use the Mellow Orange under my eyes - its a blue/green neutralizer & recced for undereye discolourations. I find the peach/orange tone of this blends nicely under my eyes when I have shadows from too many late nights. I use the Coverette once in a while to cover up redness on my nose when I have a cold or if I have a really bad blemish that is scarring (Coverette is designed to cover scars); I've only ever used the FS-3 when I get bruises on my nose when my glasses don't fit properly (usually because I've bent them accidently). These two are nice to have but not essential - they are useful to add a bit of extra oomph under the MY-2 & MO-2 when needed. I can't see running out of product anytime soon, since the wheel is pretty huge compared to other products offered by other cosmetic lines (its not huge in size - its a nice compact two inches or so in diameter), but I'd definitely rebuy when needed (though what I'd actually like is a duo of the MY-2 & MO-2 if Ben Nye would offer that).
I have this in MY-2 Mellow Yellow Norm, as part of the SK1 Cover All wheel. I bough the wheel because I liked the idea of a small compact with all my different concealers together, but the Mellow Yellow products are also available as individual pots. There are four of them in this range, giving a nice range of yellow-based concealers. The MY-2 looks very yellow in the pot, but works well for my skin tone (I'm W3 in L'oreal Trumatch). If the MY-2 is too yellow for you, you need to go up shade or two to the MY-1 or MY-0 version; MY-3 is a few shades darker. This is probably the best concealer I have ever used & its definitely the best value for money. I paid about $9 for the entire four product wheel, which contains half an ounce total of product i.e. something like 4 g of each individual item which lasts for ages. Its in a sturdy, four compartment, screw top pot which travels well, but isn't the most chic thing out there - it doesn't bother me because, hey! this product works! I don't use this as an under eye concealer (I use Ben Nye Mellow Orange), but I do use this to cover up minor blemishes etc, particularly on my cheeks. A tiny (really tiny) dab applied over foundation with a small taklon concealer brush, blended in & topped with powder & I'm done. This product seriously covers & doesn't budge once its powdered. It is very thick & creamy & its easy to use too much & have it look a mess - you really need a lot less product than you think for it to be effective. I'll never waste my time buying any other concealer. Real HG product for me. If you can find Ben Nye products, I highly rec trying this.