Tinted Moisturizer -NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
diamondtiara 8/21/2012 2:13:00 AM
My favorite Sephora SA gave me a sample so huge, I could easily wear it for 10 days if I wanted! I wanted to love this, but alas, this tinted moisturizer irritated my skin. The effect is beautiful; once it sets, it's practically undetectable. It makes my skin look very fresh and hydrated (as it should!) and just pretty, with a touch of a sheeny glow. Right after it set, I truly felt like I'd applied nothing at all. However, about five minutes later, I felt like my mild rosacea was flaring up slightly on my cheeks. I could start to see some redness growing from underneath the TM, even though they'd been pinky-pale right before application. Another five minutes after that, I noticed some itchiness between my eyebrows and around my eyes where I'd applied it. I haven't applied any other products to my face, and my skin had been fine all day before using this product, so I know it's the NARS. Huge bummer, considering that Finland was an ideal match for my NW15 skin. After one application, I'm tossing my sample, because I really can't afford a breakout, and I feel like regular use of this product would lead to skin problems. This is the second face product by NARS that I've used that's given me trouble, the first being their Smudge Proof Eyelid Primer. I'm thinking that girls with super sensitive skin need to be really careful with NARS face MU, or just stick to color products instead. ETA: My skin has been great and I never get blemishes. I have a really painful zit beneath the skin on my cheek now, and my face still feels twitchy! This stuff really messed me up.
Powder -Christian Dior - Diorskin Nude Fresh Glow Makeup
diamondtiara 8/21/2012 2:12:00 AM
This is hands down the BEST loose powder I've ever use. My skin is DRY and sensitive and I struggle with pinky-red cheeks. Dior Fresh Glow evens my skintone and gives me a flawless, natural finish that NEVER looks cakey or overdone. I adore this a setting powder; it plays well with my other Dior foundations like Diorskin Forever and Diorskin Nude. It really starts to feel a bit like water when you first put it on, and I swear, it brightens my face like nothing else. It's been really hot here, and I've been adding just tiny touches of concealer over my primer, then dusting a layer or so of this powder on top. I feel cool and refreshed, and never overdone. This has become my HG powder, and I plan on getting a back-up ASAP!
Palettes -Christian Dior - Shimmer Powder 001 Rose Diamond, Spring 08
diamondtiara 8/21/2012 2:11:00 AM
I'M IN LOVE. I can't rave about this product enough! I bought Amber Diamond earlier this spring and I use it weekly; it's great as a bronzer, highlighter, and even eyeshadow. I read an awful rumor on MUA that Dior is discontinuing their Shimmer Stars soon, so I frantically went out and bought Rose Diamond, because my priorities are high and I know what really matters in life. :D I am so glad I did, because it's just as perfect as its Amber counterpart, but different enough that I can justify owning both. Rose Diamond offers a very subtle, sheer glow of pale pink/white/lilac that is really hard to over-do. You never look glittery, just like you're naturally this luminous and lovely. As with Amber Diamond, it's fun to use some of the individual colors as highlighters for my eye looks. And of course when you swirl all the shades together, the effect is a beautiful, sheeny blush that I haven't seen in any other makeup line. If you're cool-toned at all, I highly recommend it.
I am a huge fan of Diorshow Blackout; it's my HG mascara. I will purchase it as long as Dior makes it. What I dislike about the Dior, however, is the price! As a graduate student, I try to save money where I can, so I have been actively searching for dupes of my favorite products. I randomly read a review that said Carbon Black is just like Blackout, and of course it's 1/3 of the price, so who am I not to try it? I was actually pretty impressed by this mascara. I put this one one eye and Blackout on the other, and compared them. Overall, Blackout is STILL the blackest mascara; Carbon Black was noticeably lighter on my lashes than Blackout was. Blackout also makes my eyelashes longer. However, Carbon Black makes my lashes look thicker than Blackout, and if I spend a little time curling and reapplying a few more coats just so, I can get a really sexy panoramic effect. Carbon Black clumps more and takes a bit longer to dry, but it's a DS mascara and that's why lash combs were invented. It's still not a match for Blackout, but it's a great formula and a really affordable alternative. I would happily purchase this product again, because I feel it's versatile, nice quality, and worth its price point.
This polish smells like chemicals and flowers, and the smell never fully dissipated, even after several days and showers. Strange. However, the color is beautiful and clean; it's office-appropriate but that subtle shimmer and texture keeps it from looking boring. Julep nail polishes haven't been my favorite overall - for the price, I'd rather buy Butter London, with a far superior formula - but Audrey is a keeper.
Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
diamondtiara 7/30/2012 11:36:00 PM
Everyone on MUA flipped their lids over this mascara. "It's $2 and AHH-MAAH-ZING," they all seemed to trill in unision. I am a mascara snob. I stand behind Diorshow/Diorshow Blackout/Chanel Inimitable and I do not listen to haters who say these mascaras are overpriced because I feel like they're worth the hefty pricetag. But MUA's MU board is even more discerning than I am about most things, so if they're raving over $2 makeup, I have to find my shoes and haul it down to Walgreens, don't I? First of all, it was $3.49 at my Walgreens. WHATEVER, it's a small price to pay for what one MUAer on Cafe called, "Sex for your lashes," am I right? I want to find that MUAer and ask her what sort of sex she's been having, because if it's anything like Jordana BLEVM (interesting that the first three initials sound like BLEH) then I feel very, very sorry for her. Okay, it's not a bad mascara. But really, all I could think was, "This is it?" I don't get the hype. At all. It smells funny. And the effect is non-existant, basically. It just made my lashes look a little bit glossy. It didn't volumize or define very much; my lashes more or less look pretty natural, albeit slightly more glossy. I'm keeping it in my emergency makeup bag, but I definitely won't repurchase.
The only pencil eyeliners I used to wear are by Chanel. I have tried EVERY other high end option under the sun; name it and I've experimented with it! This includes UD 24/7, NARS Larger Than Life, Tarte SmolderEYES, etc etc etc. For years, I've treated myself to a few of my Chanel HGs, because I felt nothing else came close. Imagine my surprise when I tried Wet n' Wild Color Icon Eyeliners! I picked up Dark Brown impulsively one day, as I was taking the plunge with one WnW's eyeshadow trios. As I stated in another review, I am a high end makeup girl both by choice and necessity. I love HE cosmetics, and I also have extremely sensitive skin and eyes that are prone to irritation. Color Icon is FLAWLESS. I fell in love with Dark Brown right away. It's up there with Chanel's Coffee Bean. Not an exact dupe, but it's a pretty color with just enough creaminess. And it lasts ALL DAY LONG! No transferring and no smudginess. I've also purchased Black, Violet, and Amethyst, and all of them wear beautifully. In fact, I've accidentally fallen asleep with my makeup on, and woken up with most if not all of my eyeliner still on my lid when I've worn these. Brilliant! Best of all, you get a super long pencil for 97 cents - how awesome is that? I know that people have said Milani and L'Oreal might have better eyeliners, but for now I'm EXTREMELY happy wearing these babies on the days I don't want to bust out the Chanel!
Eye Shadow -Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Trio - Silent Treatment
diamondtiara 7/30/2012 10:29:00 PM
DEFINITELY believe the hype on this product! I promise you, you will not be disappointed in this set of colors. The texture, the pigmentation, and the lasting power are all amazing. I am a high end makeup girl; both by choice and by necessity. I have extremely sensitive skin and eyes, and I also wear contact lenses. I can't even begin to list all of the horrible drugstore (and even some high end) makeup that's broken me out since I was a preteen. Therefore, I shop very carefully for cosmetics purchased outside of department stores. I make sure to comb reviews for complaints of break outs or irritation, and I always check out swatch pictures for quality. With Wet n Wild's eye makeup, I was very worried about having an allergic reaction, but the swatches of this trio were so gorgeous that I couldn't resist. Thank God I didn't; this set of colors instantly became my favorite, and I've actually hit pan on the browbone color less than two months in. The color is a beautiful, subtle peach that I never expected to fall passionately in love with! (I'm much more of a purple girl than a neutral girl.) It looks great with ANYTHING. Sometimes I swipe it all over the lid and only add some mascara and people compliment me on how beautiful I look. I don't own MAC Satin Taupe, but everyone says that the eyelid shade is an exact dupe. It's a gorgeous, minky shade that can pull grey, brown, or even a little plum depending on what you pair it with. I adore this shade. It's another one that looks great on the lid, with some winged gel eyeliner and a hot pink lip. I also wear it as a wash for running errands. Even without a primer, it lasts all day. The middle crease shade is the only one that I have a minor complaint about. In the pan, this deep chocolate brown has golden, champagne glitter that is just to die for. On the skin, however, the glitter is lost. There's still a very lovely sheen and shimmer to this shade, but it's a bit drier than the other two. It's not a big deal; it still looks very smoldery and sexy in the crease. I just wish it looked more like it does in the pan! This is the only reason I took off one lippie, but even then, I'd still give this product an overall 4.5 stars! All in all, you cannot find better eyeshadows for the price. I was bowled over by the fact that for $2.99, you can get three lovely shades that compliment one another just as well as they compliment other eyeshadows in your collection. I plan on buying two back-up ASAP, because I want one for my emergency makeup kit, and one to use when I run out of this trio, which I definitely will. I use it weekly and can't get enough of it!
I was so excited to buy this product. I have always trusted Chanel's makeup, perfumes, and skincare, and really wanted to add one of their foundations to my makeup wardrobe. I have dry, sensitive skin, but I've never had acne; in fact, I rarely ever break out, and when I do, the blemish never lasts long. Two days of wearing this foundation resulted in three painful zits on my chin, jawline, and nose. Yup, count me in on the cystic acne group! I cannot fathom what's in this that gave my skin such trouble, but all I know is I'm avoiding it like the plague from now on! I'm really disappointed; no one would ever expect such sub-par results from anything by Chanel. My skin is notoriously fussy, but since so many other people have had the same issue, it looks like Chanel needs to reformulate this product... or people with sensitive skin need to keep clear!
Primer/ Corrector -Too Faced - Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
diamondtiara 2/20/2012 4:44:00 PM
I tried this for about six weeks before I gave up. The reviews here on MUA were mixed, but a Sephora SA recommended this to me, after I told her I had redness from my rosacea. She told me that Primed and Poreless promises to soothe and even out skin tone, and they she herself loves the way it reduces her redness. I was very excited to try this product. Ultimately, I took it back and now I'm still on the hunt for a good primer. The good: -- It is smoothing when you put it on. -- It didn't break me out or clog my pores, as so many products do. (Fussy skin!) -- A little does seem to go a long way. The bad: -- It did NOTHING, and I do mean nothing, to combat or control my redness. Every time I put it on, I would wait to see some difference. Once in a while, I would actually feel like it increased redness, at least temporarily. -- The tube doesn't feel very full. For $30, you should get way more product than 3/4 a tube! -- After the second or third time I used it, I noticed that teeny little... pills of STUFF were gathering around my chin and jawline after I put on my liquid foundation. A different Sephora SA told me that that is common when you put on a lot of product, which I do not. I think this weird effect occurred because my skin is dry. I have a great hydrating moisturizer and a good serum, and I've never had this issue with any other primer, so I feel it's the TF product itself. -- At the end of the day, this did nothing to improve the look of my makeup, or increase the longevity. I had many days in between uses where I'd skip this primer, and I felt my foundation (DiorSkin Forever) lasted just as long. Obviously, I would not repurchase. My primer search continues, much to my frustration. I'm planning on taking Lisa Eldridge's suggestion and using La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast next..
How are there only 3 reviews on this color?! Pug is FABULOUS. The color, shine, pigmentation, and formula are all wonderful. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of Pug in person. Temptalia has a great swatch of it, but you REALLY have to see it in person to appreciate it. I had been eyeing the sparkly, silvery-taupe in Michelle Phan's Lancome Chic by Chelle palette. However, I wasn't about to pay $59.50 for one eyeshadow color out of five! Pug is pretty similar in color and pigmentation to the Chic shade. It's a shiny, sparkly pewter color that pulls taupe, and even hints of pink in the undertones. It's endlessly flattering. I love sweeping this over my lid and adding an intense mascara (such as Diorshow Blackout) and nothing more. The formula of the Stay-There shadows is really fun. I've heard they're quite similar to Chanel's Illusion d'Ombres, which Temptalia points out were released after the Buxom formula. I love the sleek little glass jars the colors come in. It's a tad bit alarming the first time you open one; the product is sometimes pulled away from the sides of the jar, but that's the nature of the product. They're spongy and squishy and soft; you can't really get the idea until you feel it! I disagree with the reviewer below who complained about the amount of product received. You really do NOT need a ton of it to do the job! I lightly dab a stiff, flat brush against the top of it and it's enough to cover my lid. The only reason I didn't give Pug 4 stars is that I know it would crease if I didn't use a good primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance) underneath. I've also read that Urban Decay and NARS's primers work well with this formula.
Lipstick -Hourglass - Femme Rouge Velvet Creme- All
diamondtiara 2/18/2012 3:41:00 PM
This is the BEST lipstick formula EVER. Since I was fifteen, I've always spoiled myself with Chanel lipsticks, which are very good. In college, I started wearing a lot of MAC and recently, I fell in love with Dior's offerings, which are also amazing. I'm kind of a lipstick junkie; I've tried scads of formulas and colors from drugstore, mid-level and high end brands alike. But Hourglass is something really special. I admit, I didn't understand the hype at ALL when I first saw MU board discussing it! But one day I saw swatches online (thanks, Blanche!) and was impressed by the color. I finally splurged on a tube two weeks ago. The second I started putting on, I said "Wow" under my breath. The shine, the hydration, the pigmentation, the everything, was so incredible! The color, Ballet, wears for hours on my lips, and leaves behind an even, beautiful stain. I also adore the case; it feel substantial and heavy. I've never been a big stickler for packaging, but I really appreciate the classy but understated design, and the quality of the tube. I also like the fact that these lipsticks come with refillable cartridges! I know it's only a $6 difference, but I figure that's $6 toward something else - like, say, another Hourglass lipstick. :)
This was pretty much awful. I was THRILLED to swatch this and find that it's nearly identical to Urban Decay's 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Morphine, which retails $20. I thought it would be a no brainer to pick up Oyster instead; $4.50 for what appears to the same product sounded too good to be true. And alas, it was. Something happened to my Oyster before I got it home; when I pulled it out of the bag, the very bottom part had fallen off! I have no idea how it happened, but I know I wasn't rough with the bag, nor did I place anything heavy on top of it. I liked the color so much on my hand. On my eyes, however, the color wasn't as great. The pigmentation was a little weak, though layering it up did help. However, after an hour, the color was all but gone. You could barely see it, unless you looked diligently for it! I think these pencils would be good for someone very patient, armed with just the right primer, and just the right amount. I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which I love, but it still couldn't hold the color in place. It was so disappointing! I could have overlooked the crappy packaging if the color had stayed on a few hours longer, and if the pigmentation had been better. Obviously, you get what you pay for. Lesson learned! I'll be breaking down and purchasing UD Morphine, and hopefully I'll get the quick and easy eye color pencil I've been searching for.
READ: I'm NW15-20 and have to wear the very lightest shade, 010 Ivory, in pretty much all of Dior's foundations. If you are NC/NW10 or so, definitely get swatched at Sephora or a Dior counter before you purchase; Dior's colors tend to be a little too dark compared to many other brands on the market, and you may not be able to find the right shade. I'm usually the second lightest foundation shade in most brands, but Ivory was a perfect match for my fair skin. As for the foundation itself? I love it. I absolutely love it. More and more, I feel as if my HG items keep falling into my lap! I had been wearing Diorskin Nude in 022 Cameo for about a month, when I decided that right now I am WAY too pale for such a shade. Diorskin Nude has a very dewy look to it, and the coverage is light, but I liked the darker tone and the glowiness; I thought it worked pretty well with my dry, rosacea-prone skin. However, I did decide that I couldn't wear Cameo any longer, and took the bottle of Nude with me to Sephora for an exchange. This was about a week and a half before Christmas, and things at the mall were growing chaotic. The scene at Sephora was no exception. Everything was was in disarray, and the Ivory shade of Diorskin Nude I needed was gone. People were everywhere, and I had to wait twenty minutes for I could get some poor, overworked SA to help me. She looked and looked and then found a second SA, who told me that they wouldn't get a new shipment of Ivory in the DiorSkin Nude until right before Christmas. One of the girls suggested that I try Diorskin Forever instead. "It's the exact same color system," she said, "And you may like the formula. It can at least tide you over for now, and then after Christmas you're welcome to come back and swap it out for a bottle of the Nude." (Say what you want about Sephora, but their return policy is awesome!) Before I left Sephora with my new bottle of Forever, I took the sample bottle of Nude and swatched it along side a bit of Forever. Both shades, in Ivory, looked 100% alike, and I wish so much I'd taken a picture just to prove my point. Then I blended either formula on the back of my hands, just to see if they felt the same. After that I went to lunch with a friend. Halfway through our meal, I noticed that the hand with Diorskin Nude felt slightly tighter, or maybe dryer, than the hand with Diorskin Forever on it. It wasn't a huge difference, but it felt worth noting. Since that time, I've decided that Diorskin Forever is my REAL HG foundation; it's more perfect than I could have asked for. I think Nude is still a fabulous foundation and many girls would be happy with it. However, I'm sticking with Forever because: 1. The SPF coverage is higher; Forever is 25 and Nude is only 10. 2. The finished look is more natural than the Nude, which makes Forever much more versatile. I can always add glowiness or dewiness to the Forever with other products, but I can't as easily take away that effect from the Nude. 3. The coverage is a little more intense and buildable than Nude. Nude can be built to medium coverage, but on my skin, one layer of Forever is pretty much all I need, unless my skin is really misbehaving. I took off one point for packaging; the only part of Diorskin Nude I really miss is the gorgeous, heavy silver lid! But the navy blue lid on the Forever is pretty, and at least it doesn't show fingerprints as easily! All in all, I'm very happy that I was "stuck" with Diorskin Forever. A month after purchasing, I'm absolutely thrilled with what happened. I also feel that the Diorskin Forever compact is a perfect compliment for touch-ups, and it didn't mesh QUITE as well with the Nude. In my experience, the best way to apply Diorskin Forever is with the Sephora Airbrush #56. I get it slightly damp, and pump a very tiny amount of Forever onto my finger. I dab dots of the foundation all over my cheeks to start, and then I put my brush to work. First I stipple the foundation around, then in quick circles, I buff the formula out. I do the same thing to the rest of my face, and probably use only 1.5 to 2.5 pumps of Forever maximum. It's very quickly applied, and I think that combination of a high quality formula with the very soft, fluffy, and versatile Sephora brush helps speed things up greatly.
Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Black Out Mascara
diamondtiara 12/13/2011 6:14:00 PM
ETA on 2/7/12: I still really, really love this mascara. It's still the best I've tried in terms of dramatically enhancing my lashes' length, volume, color, and curl. However, I'm reassigning it four stars rather than five. It's a quality product but it DOES get really thick and the formula can be difficult to work with. You have to apply this quickly and work FAST to play with it or remove any bit that accidentally gets on your skin. That's fine if I have time to do my mascara properly, however when I'm in a rush, I find myself skipping Blackout and reaching for something else instead. Also, I wish this left my lashes feeling a bit softer than it does. It doesn't make them crunchy like waterproof formulas, but I wish it kept them feeling super light and natural like Benefit Badgal, BE Flawless Definition Volumizing, and even several of Sephora Brand's offerings do. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I love this. I think I was fated to have this mascara, lol. It's the BEST I've tried! I went to Sephora a few weeks ago to finally, finally try Lancome Hypnose Drama. A very nice but frazzled SA located a tube for me and I didn't realize until I got home that she'd given me the Waterproof version of HD. I tried it, liked the look, but wound up returning it a few days later. I just couldn't get past the fact that it took me a huge amount of time to remove Hypnose Drama each night, and I kept losing eyelashes in the process. I also didn't like how it made my lashes look and feel so stiff. I walked into Sephora and decided I'd try some false eyelashes. Another SA who I'd worked with a few months before was there. I've always loved her eye makeup and I commented on how gorgeous hers looked. I mentioned that I was interested in getting false lashes like hers, and remarked that I was "giving into the fact that there's no dramatic mascara out there that can do what falsies seem to do." I was shocked when she told me she was allergic to lash glue and was, instead, wearing "a great primer and DiorShow Blackout." Naturally, I had to get my hands on some, ASAP. She applied Blackout to one eye and I was blown away by the effect: My lashes looked jet black and a mile long, and the outer lashes were perfectly curled. I'm already a brunette with decent eyelashes to begin with, but Blackout made my natural lashes look paler and much shorter and sparser in comparison! I've been thrilled with Blackout and have worn it nearly every day since my purchase two weeks ago. With my old favorite, Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing, I felt that I "had" to wear eyeliner with it to make my mascara look better. I also felt like I must need a better eyelash curler, and that mine isn't up to par. With Blackout, I: - Never use a primer - Never curl my lashes - Sometimes skip eyeliner altogether, on the days I'm super rushed And my eye makeup always looks AMAZING! I've received many compliments lately that my lashes are long, pretty, sexy, and dramatic. That's with a quick two coats of Blackout and nothing else but eyeshadow to boot! And when I do wear eyeliner, my mascara looks even more dramatic and pin-up like, which I adore. I cannot imagine what would happen if I invested in a good eyelash primer and eyelash curler; I suspect the results would be over the top and amazing. But what I love about Blackout is that even without those things, I still get a fabulously lush, long, striking look with minimal clumping and smudging that lasts all day long. I really think I may have found my HG here. I would be open to trying Diorshow Iconic and maaaaybe Chantecaille's offerings. But after experimenting with Chanel, Lancome, Bare Escentuals, MAC, and several drugstore brands, Diorshow Blackout is hands down my favorite formula thus far. It does take a tad bit getting used to. I have large eyes, so I don't find the brush to be that huge, but the first two or three times I tried it, I wound up with a bit of smudginess. Once you practice, Blackout can go on very easily, and you will be stunned at how it transforms and finishes any eye makeup look from subtle to sultry.