I picked up the shade Pinched 100. It is a true peach with very fine silver shimmer which makes the finish luminous and provides a healthy sheen to the skin. However, even on my NC15 skintone I feel like the color only faintly shows up even if I substantially layer it on. That being said, it does provide a great base for powder blushes. The texture is fantastic. It's a cream-to powder formula that isn't overly dry and blends effortlessly. It makes for a great base because of this smooth texture, and also because it's not so pigmented that it will clash with the powder blush you put over it. It adds an extra layer that helps your cheek color stick around throughout the day. I prefer to apply this with my fingertips for the most control, but as others have said, a stippling brush or flat-top brush would work just as well. There is a very faint chemical scent that can only be detected if you stick your nose close to the pot. The packaging is nice and sleek and fairly lightweight. For $12.99 you get a hefty .44oz or 12.4g of product. I think if you picked up one of the other two more pigmented shades they would last you a very long time. I don't regret this purchase but if I get another one I wouldn't go for "Pinched" again.
Eye Shadow -Maybelline - Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Shadow in Tough as Taupe
songy67 6/10/2013 9:13:00 PM
I'm an NC15, dark brown hair. I use Tough as Taupe on my eyebrows and it works phenomenally well. It's a great match, looks extremely natural, and stays put all day even on my oily skin. I had been eyeing the MUFE Aqua Brow when I realized all I needed was a matte cream product with neutral undertones. This product is waterproof as well and much cheaper than MUFE. For those who find it too "muddy" as an eyeshadow, might I suggest re-purposing it for your brows? I personally enjoy it as an eyeshadow too and find it works very well with my skin tone. It's beautiful on its own and I tend to sheer it out all over the lid and build it up a bit in the outer crease. I also smudge it onto the outer corner of my lower lashline to enhance my eyes and give them depth. I find the best way to apply is with my fingers, which gives me the most control over both placement and color intensity. I tap it on first to place the color, then use a light touch to blend. The first one I got months ago hasn't dried out on me yet. I store these on the side and once in a while I will take a clean tissue and wipe away a thin layer so the product stays creamy and easy to work with. It's such a good buy. I would recommend this to anyone.
Mascara -Cover Girl - Lash Blast Clump Crusher mascara
songy67 6/9/2013 12:00:00 PM
This is my new HG mascara that I reach for every morning. I used to use the Imju Fiberwig XL mascara because it was the only thing that didn't smudge on my very oily lids. However, surprisingly, this one doesn't smudge at all either! The tube says it's a "water-resistant" formula and it reminds me of Japanese mascaras such as Imju that remove easily but stay put all day. I particularly love this because it lives up to its name and banishes clumps. I'm usually not a fan of plastic, spikey wands, but this one actually works extremely well. It doesn't cause my lashes to stick together or go spidery and I can separate them even more with a lash comb. I can continue to swipe it on until I get voluminous, long, fluttery lashes that look phenomenal yet still natural enough for everyday wear. The one downside is that it's not great at holding a curl, so girls with stick-straight lashes, this may not be for you. I'm also not a huge fan of the bulky green packaging, but it's not a deal breaker and the product itself is so good, cheap, and accessible that I don't even care. I hope CG never discontinues this.
I have been using this for years and it is still my go-to brow product in spite of the vast number of other things I've tried. The ease of use is fantastic and I love that it defines and holds my brows in place all at the same time. I use an old L'Oreal HIP Gel Eyeliner brush (way too coarse and scratchy to use on eyelids) to apply this tinted wax to my brows in light strokes. It's well-pigmented, looks natural, and stays in place all day on my oily skin. One of the four shades included is unusable for me because it has too much red in it, but I mix the other three shades all the time to get the results I want, and for $10 this thing has lasted me ages. I finally hit pan on the medium taupe shade last week and promptly ran out today to pick up a back-up. The white and silver packaging with its magnetic closure is chic, sleek, and gives easy-access. I would recommend this to anyone. I prefer it even to the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products.
This fragrance is SO unexpectedly good. It opens with a bright spicy ginger and pepper mix which fades to a creamy, delicious coconut with a subtle undercurrent of musk. It is definitely a nighttime/ going-out fragrance meant for special occasions, but I find myself spritzing it on at home, after a long day, just to indulge my olfactory senses. It is warm and sexy and exotic without being heavy or cloying at all. The tropical essence of the coconut and the zing of the ginger really elevate it to new heights. Unique and memorable. The packaging is beautiful and the lasting power on me is an impressive 4-5 hours; the base notes begin to develop after the first half hour and waft through the air dreamily as I move around.
Would I pay $24 for this? No. Would I pay $5 for it? Absolutely yes. I picked up two bottles for $5 each at my local Marshall's and have been using this as a makeup remover in lieu of Shiseido's Ultimate Cleansing Oil, which is my HG. I first tried using it as the directions say - but discovered that a lot of product was going to waste since it is essentially the consistency of water. What I do now is squirt a few pumps of this onto a cotton pad then wipe it all over my face in gentle outward and upward strokes. Then I squirt a small amount - about half a pump - into my hand and massage it all over my face, add water, massage to emulsify, then rinse clean. After removing my makeup I reach for my Clarisonic and either Lancome's Creme Radiance Cleanser or the La Roche Posay Effaclar Foaming Cleanser. This double cleansing method works wonderfully for me and I am happy to have found a replacement for the Shiseido Cleansing Oil, which is fantastic and more convenient to use, but also much more expensive.
Pressed Powders -YBF Cosmetics - Neutralizing Pressed Powder
songy67 3/29/2013 3:07:00 PM
I was on the hunt for something like a pressed version of the Ben Nye Banana Powder and happened to stumble across this. The packaging is sleek and minimalistic and includes a generous-sized mirror. The product itself, however, is severely disappointing. The first thing I noticed is that it contains a ton of fine silver shimmer. The next thing I noticed after applying it to my face (NC15-20 skin tone) is that the yellow pigmentation is much too strong. Neutralizing colored powders such as this should be sheer, so that they do the job without turning you into a Simpson's character. This stuff left patchy, noticeably yellow spots wherever I applied it. I wanted a pressed neutralizing powder to touch up with during the day because the area around my nose and top lip tends to get red as my foundation wears off a bit. But this particular powder is NOT good for that purpose. The only way I can use it is with a big fluffy brush and applied lightly all over my face - perhaps to color-correct foundations that may be too pink for me. I am disappointed and I would not recommend this product.
I am absolutely enthralled by this product. I thought the NYX blush in Taupe was a great contour, but no, the KA one blows it out of the water. This is an amazing grey-brown shade the exact color of a shadow. I use it to contour my cheeks, jawline, nose, and even as an eyeshadow. It is very pigmented and a bit soft (aka. there's fallout), but it blends out amazingly well, while still remaining present. Gorgeous.
Lipstick -Revlon - Color Stay Ultimate Suede Lipstick
songy67 12/29/2012 5:36:00 PM
I saw the new display and couldn't resist picking up the shades Iconic and Fashionista. They are sheer at first swipe but can be built up to an opaque shade. Fashionista is a medium warm red, Iconic is a slightly shimmery peachy salmon. I really adore how Iconic looks on my lips. It's exactly what I wanted the Peach Parfait Lip Butter to be (unfortunately, that one had too much jagged glitter in it to be wearable). Unfortunately, this lipstick has the worst effect on my lips I could have hoped for. They are creamy, but drying - a very bizarre combination. The product forms sort of a film over my lips without any kind of hydration. In fact, I feel like they suck the moisture right out. What use is a pretty shade if your lips underneath look like puckered prunes? Yes, it is long-wearing, but again, it's not a flattering look. I would NOT recommend these lipsticks.
Concealers -Sonia Kashuk - All Covered Up Concealer
songy67 9/23/2012 11:54:00 AM
I've been using this nearly every single day since I got it. I'm a MAC NC20 and picked up the shade 02 Ivory to cover my undereye circles with. 02 is a shade or two darker than my skin tone and has a peachy/ salmon undertone to it. It works beautifully to counteract the bluey-purple under my eyes and has just enough coverage - not FULL coverage - that it still looks natural. This is an incredibly creamy concealer that is very easy to blend: I swipe it on with a concealer brush then tap it in gently with my ring finger. It seems to melt into the skin without accentuating fine lines and lasts well throughout the day. It is marketed as a dark circle concealer and not as something to use on the rest of the face. In fact, there's a warning on the bottom label that says DO NOT USE IN LIP AREA, which sounds just a little bit worrisome... But it really does work wonders for what it's meant to do The little glass jar is great quality and for $10 I would definitely purchase this again. I adore SK products and think that they are one of the most underrated brands out there today.
Lip Treatments -NARS - Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment
songy67 9/3/2012 6:07:00 PM
This comes very close to being my perfect lip product. I have it in "Angelique" which is a "sheer strawberry" that looks to me like a sheer red with brownish undertones. On my lips it looks natural yet polished. There is no shimmer and no scent. The texture is balmy and smooth and feels cushiony and hydrating without having too much slip. After it wears off it doesn't leave my lips feeling parched, unlike many other lippies. There is an SPF of 15. I can wear this under a lipstick for some SPF protection and hydration because it isn't too greasy or slick. The packaging isn't overly showy, but minimalistic, sleek, and elegant. I love it. However, I'm taking off a star because of the price-to-product ratio. As wonderful as it is, $25 is a little steep for a mere 0.06oz/ 2ml of product, dontcha think François?
This is a lighter, slightly more sensual version of Dolce Gabbana's Light Blue. For comparison - Eclat d'Arpege Notes: lemon leaves, lilac, osmanthus, peach blossom, peony, wisteria, tea, cedarwood, amber, musks. / D&G Light Blue Notes: sicilian citron, bluebell, granny smith apple, jasmine sambac, bamboo, white rose, cedarwood, amber, musk. The base composition is exactly the same plus they both start out with a burst of lemon citrus. In spite of their similarities I much prefer Lanvin to D&G. I find Light Blue to be sharper, more fruity and fun but somehow less sophisticated and subtle. This is more feminine, softer, more radiant and works better with my body chemistry. It's neither invasive nor cloying and makes for a very refreshing yet inviting fragrance that is perfect for the warmer months. The lasting power is the only thing I'm not entirely happy with. I'm not sure if my nose just adapts to it quickly, but after only 1-2 hours I can no longer smell it on myself even though I gave it a good 3-4 spritzes. The good news though is that you can now find this fairly cheaply on eBay. It's only around $35 for the 3.4oz EDP so I don't feel bad about using it generously and decanting it to carry with me throughout the day.
Conditioner -Alterna - Caviar Anti-Aging Volume Conditioner
songy67 8/6/2012 6:42:00 PM
I've been using this shampoo & conditioner for over a year now, ever since I picked up a few samples on eBay and fell in love. I went ahead and got the jumbo bottles on HauteLook during an event. It's not cheap, so I switch between this and my Dove Daily Moisturizing shampoo & conditioner. This is a fairly effective volumizing duo and it doesn't cause build-up or weigh hair down. A little bit of the shampoo goes a long way and lathers into a very luxurious-feeling foam. The conditioner instantly detangles my hair in the shower, allowing me to comb through it even while its wet. I will say that I'm not a fan of the scent of this stuff. It smells like synthetic figs, but thankfully it isn't strongly fragranced and it doesn't linger. However, I actually prefer products that leave my hair with a long-lasting clean, pleasant scent (i.e. Dove). This gives my hair great bounce and shine. However, since it's expensive and because there are other volumizing products out there and I don't particularly enjoy the scent of this I might not repurchase it... but don't quote me on that.
This is a gorgeous metallic beige rose-gold shade. I have gone through two bottles of this. I absolutely LOVE this polish. It's my go-to for when I just don't know what I want on my nails because it's everything-appropriate, nearly opaque in 2 coats, and makes my hands look groomed and sophisticated. It's perfect. I will always have this in my collection.
Lipstick -Givenchy - Beige Champagne #02 (Rouge Interdit)
songy67 7/17/2012 5:18:00 PM
Gorgeous packaging, gorgeous color, gorgeous formula! This is absolutely one of the nicest lipsticks I own. #02 Beige Champagne is a neutral medium pinky-nude MLBB shade that goes on creamy and blends into my lips without emphasizing my lip lines or dryness. It's not heavy or overly slick and therefore doesn't shift around or collect in the corners of my mouth. I will say that this can be slightly drying and I need to wear a balm underneath or a gloss on top. But overall it is such a wearable color and such a beautiful, luxurious lippie to behold. The case is understated and elegant, a distinctive design. It can be a fingerprint magnet but is easy to wipe clean. I am currently in love with this lipstick and I am lemming for more.