Eye Primer -Wet 'n' Wild - Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer
girlndocs 4/7/2013 9:39:00 PM
I'm very happy with this primer. I had been using Monistat anti-chafing gel as a primer, which was fine before I started wearing facial sunscreen religiously, and then would slide and gather in my crease (along with the shadow on top of it). This primer, worn over my sunscreen, does an excellent job of keeping my shadow exactly where I put it for hours and hours. I have had zero creasing problems since I started using it. I have not had any issues with it exaggerating the crepey skin around my eyes. The first time I used it, I used too much, and ended up with flaky white residue. Now I use much less and it's pretty much completely invisible. I find another plus is that it sets and is ready to go much faster than the Monistat, which takes ~5 minutes to dry on my lids. Yes there is an issue with separation in new tubes. I found that warming it in my hand/pocket a while and then shaking it fixes that. It is a new concept for me that eye primer is supposed to make shadows look more intense; I previously wore primer simply to keep my eyeshadow in place longer. So I ran my own test with the WnW primer versus bare skin on my arm and I found that for each shadow, the primed skin grabbed onto more product resulting in a more opaque and therefore more vivid result. I did not see any issues with the complexity or sheen of the shadows. I will say that the primer made very little if any difference to the "grab" of matte shadows. Anyway, I like this primer a lot and wish it were easier to find. I will stay loyal to it, if I can find it again when I run out.
Eye Shadow -Sephora - Colorful Mono Eyeshadow - All
girlndocs 4/7/2013 7:49:00 PM
I'm not exactly clear on whether there's a difference between the "Colorful Mono" shadows, or the "Colorful Eyshadow" singles, except the Mono seem to be on clearance. SO ANYWAY I have #65 Lazy Afternoon (matte beige) and #85 Coffee Break (matte medium chocolate brown). I'm kind of a reverse snob with makeup, and I wasn't going to buy them if they weren't better than my favorite WnW shadows (from various palettes and also Brulee and Nutty singles). So I actually went into Sephora with my own palette and stood there swatching. Let me tell you, they absolutely blew my mattes out of the water. They are the most velvety, pigmented matte shadows I've ever felt, and I couldn't grab them and put them in my basket fast enough. Lazy Afternoon is better for my coloring than WnW Brulee, too -- pinker where Brulee has a yellowish-cream color. I also tried #88 Morning Mocha, which is every bit as nice. I actually accidentally brought it home instead of Coffee Break -- they look a lot alike except that Mocha is slightly darker -- and had to go back and swap out because I had been looking for a medium brown specifically. But I will be back to get Mocha, oh yes I will, and now I have a whole wish list of mattes to go with it, not to mention the list of shimmers I want to try. Packaging! The packaging is great, higher quality than MAC (also you get more product for a lower price). If you buy 2 shadows you get the 4-shadow palette free, and if you buy 4 shadows you get the 6-shadow palette. Good marketing that. The palettes and shadow compacts are heavy, slick and sturdy and (I love this so much) the entire system is magnetized, so you can simply pop out a shadow from its compact and drop it into your Sephora or other palette (although they don't fit in MAC size wells). I like freestyle, so I ripped the wells right out of the palette I got, and they came out like a dream and left the palette ready to go. I am particularly recommending this line to my friends who are novices at eyeshadow and don't know where to start. The selection of neutrals is great at a great quality, and the swatchability (if you buy in store) and return policy mean that probably it'll be less trouble and expense to pay $13 per shadow on a modest starter palette than to run around trying to collect and/or return lesser quality shadows from the drugstore. ETA two weeks later: I now have 50 Cashmere, 58 Winter in London and 20 Sailor Kiss. Cashmere is a wonderful matte taupe leaning gray, perfect for a crease that will go with anything. Winter In London is a buttery, pigmented medium-gray shimmer. Sailor Kiss is outstanding, a ridiculously pigmented matte navy with just a smidge of peacock to it. It goes on like butter and makes a gorgeous line used wet. The only shadow I haven't found to be worth it so far is 49 Be on the A-List. WnW Nutty duplicates this one with better pigmentation.
I have dark hereditary undereye circles, plus crepey undereye lines and occasional dry skin from Retin-A so I'm a challenge for any concealer. I was really impressed with how well Rimmel Match Perfection worked, especially for the price. It holds up against undereye lines for hours, and when it does give out it doesn't make them look dramatically worse. It's easy to blend and it does a good job of covering up the darkness. The main reason I don't use it regularly is because MAC Pro Longwear concealer was just that little scootch better -- it has a better color match to my face or better light diffusion properties or something so it makes my whole face light up, not just my undereye area. To tell the truth, the MAC is not actually three times better than Rimmel to go with the 3X higher price, I'm just that vain. If I run out of MAC someday when the budget doesn't have room for replacing it, I'll get the Rimmel instead. (Also, the Rimmel does a better job on scars and spots, so I keep it around to use for those.)
So, I have the trifecta of undereye suck: hereditary dark circles (thanks Mom), crepey undereye lines, and skin that's often dry from Retin-A. I've conducted a massive concealer hunt and basically MAC Pro Longwear is the concealer that performs best for me in all three areas. I used up two samples, and knew it was a keeper when I caught myself looking in the mirror and thinking not how well my undereye problems were concealed, but how great my skin looked. What makes the MC stand out for me from the second best concealer I found (the Rimmel color matching concealer) is the way it seems to diffuse light and brighten my whole face. The Rimmel actually holds up really well against creasing for such a cheap concealer, almost as well as the MAC, it just doesn't have that magical reflective property or perfect skin match or whatever it is that makes me look so extra good. I'll be honest, this stuff does not wear an entire day without any creasing. I wear an all-physical facial sunscreen that frankly is a challenge for any concealer, so by hour 4 or so, my lines are as visible as they were before I applied it. But they're not WORSE, which is what a lot of other concealers did. You'd have to get rightupinmyface to see how it's fallen into the fine lines, as opposed to some of the failed concealers, which made me look 20 years older, from 10 feet away, the minute I put them on. One thing is to avoid powdering it until *after* it's set. I apply with fingers and/or a beautyblender dupe in a tapping motion. I've noticed that immediately after I apply it, if I look in the mirror, I think it hasn't done much. Then I walk away for 10 minutes, come back, and go "wow". I suppose that's because it has to set/dry. One day I rubbed my eye while sweating, removing most of my concealer, and it looked like someone had punched me in that eye -- that's how dramatic the difference was from the eye that still had concealer.
Nope nope nope. I have the trifecta of undereye suck, namely hereditary dark circles PLUS crepey lines PLUS often dryish skin from Retin-A. Had high hopes for this concealer but when I applied it over my everyday facial sunscreen (which has a number of silicones and usually acts as a sort of primer-lite) it immediately got patchy and disgusting, and the more I blended (fingers and a beauty blender dupe) the patchier it got. Before I did the other eye, I applied a real silicone primer and it didn't help at all. My best concealer find for my issues so far is MAC Pro Longwear, and I'll be going back to that.
Not really getting the great overall score for this product. I got the birthday mini and I'm not impressed. I might have been impressed once, before I'd used both Maybelline Color Tattoo (in Barely Branded) and the e.l.f. shimmering facial whip. Both of those are better products than Watts Up, hands down, with creamy textures and great blendability. I found Watts Up to be waxy and stiff, difficult to blend out/dragging the skin on application, and not anything special in terms of highlighting. In addition the shade is very much on the warm side of gold, which is not universally flattering (did nothing for me).
I've been using "Snowy White", which is not white at all but matte beige very similar to Wet n Wild Brulee (and thus, MAC Brule). For the price, not bad at all. Certainly on par with MAC Brule in texture and pigmentation. Silkier than the very similar shades in the WnW multi-palettes I have. But not as good as WnW Brulee. I'd buy it again if I ran out and couldn't find WnW Brulee anywhere.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain- Darling
girlndocs 4/5/2013 4:07:00 PM
Skimming over the reviews I was surprised not to see anyone mention that this balm dramatically changes color on your lips! It applied very cool lavender pink (like the packaging color) but after I had left the house and looked in my compact 45 minutes later it was bright, almost hot pink. And of course I couldn't get it off. Since the lavender was somewhat flattering and the hot pink NOT flattering at all, this was a problem for me. Balm consistency, packaging, application are all just fine but it's a dealbreaker that it changes from a color I like to a completely different-toned color. Be sure to give these a nice long test before you go out somewhere in them.
LOVE. Don't know why I wanted so long to get it, especially since the Essence shelf has testers and I could feel all along how lovely it was. This shadow is utterly silky, rich, and opaque with one swipe. It blends like a dream. It stays put (over primer) all day long. It goes with any other color. And for the price you get a huge honkin' pan of shadow (which, might I add, is a nice steel pan, great for depotting, not aluminum). I am fair and use this all over my lid for an everyday neutral look; it brightens and opens my eyes. Straight into my "favorites" palette it went. YES, I will rebuy.
Eye Shadow -Cover Girl - Eye Enhancers - Brown Smolder #740
girlndocs 4/5/2013 12:06:00 AM
I don't know if Cover Girl just changed the formula for this shadow or what but I was pretty much completely disappointed in it. When I saw it compared to MAC Espresso (several places, not just here) I was excited to grab it during a BOGO1/2 sale because I was looking for a rich brown and I'd been thinking about some of the brown Sephora Collection shadows at about 7x the price. What a letdown. My experience was that this shadow is not rich, buttery or highly pigmented. It would maybe have been okay if I hadn't already been spoiled by drugstore shadows like Color Icon and Essence, but as it is I found it powdery, slightly gritty, and difficult to place and blend with a lot of fallout. (My consolation is that at least I didn't pay MAC prices for this. I would have been pissed off.) I had been looking for a better quality replacement for the brown in WnW's LE nude palette, but at least until I can get to Sephora I'll stick to the WnW brown.
Eyeliner -Physicians Formula - Eye booster eyeliner + serum
girlndocs 4/4/2013 12:15:00 PM
My Jordana liquid liner pooped out and when I went to buy a new one it was watery and pale, wtf? I have a friend who swears by the Eye Booster so I grabbed one and I bow to her superior product recommendation. This thing is AWESOME. The brush is about twice as fine as the tip on the Jordana liners and it has the perfect amount of flex to contour pretty much intuitively to my lid. My cat eye got roughly 100x better the minute I opened the cap on this thing. I got Brown and it's a very deep rich brown, still quite dramatic. The pen packaging is very nice with an expensive heft, a lid that really closes tight and a ball inside to keep the product mixed or liquid or whatever. Staying power is fine, haven't tested it out rigorously yet, but it doesn't smudge once it dries. It's more than my cheap little heart prefers to shell out for an eyeliner but there seems to be a generous amount of product in there and I think it will last quite a while (esp since the packaging is well designed to keep it from drying out) so it's worth it. I don't often wear black liquid liner but one of these days I'll mosey around to buying one in black or deepest black, and YES, I will repurchase when it runs out, I think I will be loyal to this liner forever.
My brows have always been my bete noir. Because I was hypothyroid for years, most of the outer halves of my brows are very sparse, so plucking to define would only do so much for them and they really needed filling. I reached an okay sort of place with either brow powder or a pencil but very rarely could I get *just right* natural but sculpted brows, mostly they were just passable. Also, because the outer halves of my brows are so sparse, for my pencil or powder to fade or smudge off was kind of a disaster. So the big attraction of Aqua Brow for me was the promise that it would stay put all day and night. I honestly thought I would probably end up returning it, because $20 is steep, and it would have to really blow me away to be worth it. Well I am here to say that I'm keeping my tube. Used with the #10 Sephora brow brush it somehow makes the perfect brow childishly simple. Unlike pencil, it doesn't look like I'm shading in with a product -- as I apply it, it literally looks like my brows are growing thicker. I can't believe how natural it looks, especially since I dubiously ended up with a tube of Ash and it looks so gray and pale in the tube, but it's the perfect shade to fill in my dark-but-sparse brows without making them darker and clownlike. And it does stay put. I accidentally made the tail of one brow a smidge too long and couldn't rub it off -- had to go for a drop of oil-based cleanser to get it off. I love this stuff passionately. It will easily last as long as $20 worth of brow pencils, with no sharpening and way better results. Best $20 I've ever spent on makeup.
CONTINUOUS CRANBERRY IS A PERFECT COLOR DUPE FOR NARS CRUELLA! Which is itself a dupe (a much more expensive but better quality dupe) of NYX Electra, which I have been trying to dupe for aaaaaaages without Electra's godawful texture and staying power. Continuous Cranberry is less matte than Cruella, can't speak for their comparative staying powers because I don't actually own Cruella and haven't given Cranberry a good wearing yet. But Cranberry is smooth, silky and very pigmented. ETA: this stuff really sticks around! I have worn it through several hours running errands and shopping, kissing my daughter goodnight, and drinking a glass of water. There is some transfer to cheek, glass etc, but the lipstick on my lips doesn't seem to fade, and it's smudge resistant. There's a slight tackiness but overall it's comfortable and not dry or chalky feeling on my lips.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - OCM Oil Cleansing Method with Polysorbate
girlndocs 3/27/2013 1:37:00 AM
I've been experimenting with rinsable oil cleansers since Retin-A made my cheeks too sensitive to tolerate the wiping involved in cold cream or regular oil cleansing. I still needed an oily cleanser since my sunscreen just laughs at soap and water. The actual oils I used were consistent throughout my experiments, a combination of sunflower/coconut/olive I know my skin likes. I first tried polysorbate-20 between 5 and 10% and had trouble finding a balance where the oil would rinse clean but not leave my face feeling tight and dry. While I was waiting on an order of Cromollient I tried with some BTMS pastilles that I had left over from other projects: 1/2 tsp BTMS to about 8 Tb. mixed oils. This went much better. The BTMS provided a lush moisturizing effect and my skin wasn't dried out. It feels slimy or slippery when I rinse it, but leaves no residue and hasn't clogged my pores. I also like the milky, slightly thickened consistency the mixture has. I only recently tried an oil blend with slightly under 10% Cromollient and I think on balance I prefer it slightly to the BTMS just because it's easier to rinse clean and does have a clean feel under my hands when it's completely rinsed off. It leaves my skin feeling even softer than the BTMS did. I think about 7 or 8% is going to be the right amount for me, otherwise it can be drying, but unlike polysorbate-20, there is a "just right" place I can find with it. Bottom line, I'll use up the BTMS I have left but reorder the Cromollient.
Cleansers -Clinique - Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
girlndocs 3/16/2013 9:08:00 PM
I've been a die-hard cold cream user for some time but going on retin-a has made my skin intolerant of all the wiping that involves. I still needed something oily to remove my sunscreen every day, though, and with all the great reviews it seemed like this would fit the bill. I used up a sample before I sprung for the full jar. The price made me cringe, but since it would be the only cleanser I was using, I didn't actually think it was too bad -- it seemed like a jar would last a long time and be more economical than the initial price would suggest. Obviously, oily cleansers don't scare me, so I liked the texture; and it removed my makeup well. I thought I was in love. Maybe I should have used more samples, though, because about a week after I bought the jar I realized the balm was causing the dry, flaky and increasingly sensitive patches on my cheeks. :( I am honestly sad that it didn't work because I enjoyed using it. Going to return this, and I am experimenting with DIY rinsable/emulsed oils with some success.